The Premier League comes back from the international break on Saturday and it does so with a seven match card which is likely to have a big impact on both ends of the table as well as the race for fourth spot.
As with most other Saturdays in this competition we begin and end with a TV match and then there are various other ways and means for those of us who are in the UK to keep up with the five other games throughout the afternoon.
Early Kick Off
The league returns from the break at Anfield where Liverpool will be able to go to the top of the table for a few hours at the very least when they welcome a Watford side who are in desperate need of points to come away from the danger zone at the bottom end of the table. This match pits Liverpool against their former manager Roy Hodgson but the Hornets boss will be hoping he can come away from Anfield with three much needed points.
Whatever Liverpool do in the early kick off Manchester City will have the chance to reply in the 3pm matches. The champions head to Burnley in a clash between the second bottom team in the league and the leaders. Chelsea looked to have got their form back on track prior to the international break without being overly impressive. They welcome Brentford to Stamford Bridge in a West London derby in which the visitors are sure to be motivated as they are not quite safe from relegation just yet.
Three other matches take place in the traditional 3pm slot with Norwich City looking to give their fading survival hopes a boost when they make the trip to the Amex Stadium to take on a Brighton and Hove Albion side who were in terrible form heading into the international break. Leeds United gave their chances of staying up a huge boost before the pause and they host Southampton knowing a win will put them on the edge of safety. The other match sees Wolverhampton Wanderers hosting Aston Villa.
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It might be that the best has been saved for last as Manchester United will look to bolster their top four hopes in the final game of the day when they host Leicester City. This match doesn’t really mean anything for the visitors now, their season revolves around European competition, but it isn’t in their DNA to roll over for anyone so if United are to move within a point of Arsenal then they are going to have to play well and get the better of a talented Leicester side even if it is one which has underachieved so far this season.
Leeds United can pull themselves further away from the drop zone on Saturday when they host a Southampton side who have had a good enough season but I can’t help but feel the remainder of their campaign was about the FA Cup and after they were dumped out of that prior to the international break I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they struggle for motivation for the rest of the season. Leeds certainly won’t. They’re not safe and even if and when they are they will want to keep climbing the table.
Leeds get a number of players back for this match with Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips among the most important ones. They have just won at Wolves without that pair though which shows that there is a little more balance to them under Jesse Marsch. Southampton have won just three matches on their travels all season and when they go away they cough up a barrel load of chances. They were walloped 4-0 at Aston Villa in their last away game and if they give Leeds the chance to impose themselves on their defence that can only end in curtains. I fancy the home side in this one.
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