Gameweek 26 preview

February 12, 2016

13 Feb 12:45 Sunderland v Man Utd
13 Feb 15:00 Bournemouth v Stoke
13 Feb 15:00 Crystal Palace v Watford
13 Feb 15:00 Everton v West Brom
13 Feb 15:00 Norwich v West Ham
13 Feb 15:00 Swansea v Southampton
13 Feb 17:30 Chelsea v Newcastle
14 Feb 12:00 Arsenal v Leicester
14 Feb 14:05 Aston Villa v Liverpool
14 Feb 16:15 Man City v Spurs


Strange how the fixture list works out sometimes. We’re two thirds of the way there and this could be a pivotal week in the title race. Looking at the fixture list at the start of the season you’d never have guessed we’d be seeing the top four squaring up against each other this weekend. On top of that, it’s Arsenal and Manchester City (because just referring to them as ‘City’ isn’t really fair on Leicester is it?), who need to win their games. The reverse fixtures, played on the 26th September, resulted in a 4-1 victory for Spurs and a 5-2 victory for Arsenal. They’re four of the five highest scoring teams in the league. Don’t expect two 0-0s.

Remember gameweek 27 is a reduced gameweek so don’t make your squads too Man City, Liverpool, Everton or Newcastle heavy, and if they already are, it’s time to think ahead. Which is a bit of a bummer because Everton and Liverpool have two of the most winnable games of the weekend. Anyone who comes up against Villa is made automatic favourite. That is ignoring the fact that they’ve managed three clean sheets in the last five games and that Joleon Lescott is one of the form defenders. I’d wager more on Roberto Firmino continuing his goalscoring run ahead of Lescott.

Everton are in the midst of a largely positive run of results, including two 3-0s, a draw against Spurs, and a goalfest against Chelsea. West Brom aren’t in the best of form and had to come through a penalty shoot out to dispatch of Peterborough in the FA Cup in midweek. Tiredness could tell, and their usually sturdy defence might find it difficult to keep out Lukaku and Barkley, who rarely get through a weekend without contributing something.

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