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Premier League: Man City host Leicester in battle of 3rd vs 2nd

first_imgMan City have won four of their past five meetings with Leicester City. (PHOTO/Courtesy)Everton vs ArsenalGoodison Park, LiverpoolSaturday, 21-12-2019 @3:30pmRef: Kevin FriendEverton triumphed 1-0 in last season’s corresponding fixture in April but haven’t won successive league games against Arsenal since a run of three between March 1985 and April 1986. The Toffees could keep consecutive top-flight clean sheets in this fixture for the first time since 1978. Arsenal have won 33 games and scored 107 goals versus Everton in the Premier League, more than they have against any other side.The Gunners are attempting to earn consecutive away league wins within the same season for the first time in 14 months. However, the 3-1 victory at West Ham earlier this month is Arsenal’s only success in 12 matches in all competitions (D7, L4). Arsenal could win fewer than six of their opening 18 matches of a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1975. They have gone 14 league and cup fixtures without a clean sheet, their longest streak since a run of 21 games between October 1983 and February 1984. Arsenal have conceded the first goal in an unrivalled 11 Premier League matches in 2019-20, including each of the past six. Their tally of five victories after 17 league games is half as many as at this stage of last season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored seven of Arsenal’s 10 Premier League away goals this season.Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson hopes to welcome back several players who have missed recent matches. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Djibril Sidibe are both recovering from illness, while Lucas Digne and Fabian Delph may also be fit to return.Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka is available after two games out with concussion, while Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Mesut Ozil will be assessed. Sead Kolasinac is sidelined with ankle ligament damage.AFC Bournemouth vs BurnleyVitality Stadium, DorsetSaturday, 21-12-2019 @6pmRef: Martin AtkinsonBurnley have won four of the six Premier League encounters, including home and away victories last season by an aggregate score of 7-1. The six previous top-flight meetings have produced a total of 22 goals. Burnley have scored in 10 successive league matches versus Bournemouth, last failing to do so in a 0-0 draw in 1999 – a match current Cherries boss and former player Eddie Howe started.Bournemouth will make a late decision on Joshua King, who hurt his ankle against Chelsea, while Junior Stanislas may miss out through personal reasons.  Andrew Surman is doubtful with a calf injury, so the Cherries might be without up to 12 senior players.Burnley will assess Chris Wood and Ashley Westwood, who are nursing respective Achilles and groin problems. Ben Gibson is also doubtful, but Charlie Taylor and Kevin Long could come back into contention.Aston Villa vs Southampton Villa Park, Birmingham Saturday, 21-12-2019 @6pmRef: Craig PawsonAston Villa have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game with fellow strugglers Southampton. Tyrone Mings and Keinan Davis remain out, but both could return before the end of the year.Southampton are without winger Moussa Djenepo, who has a hamstring injury, and Sofiane Boufal continues to recover from a stubbed big toe. Yan Valery has again been ruled out because of a viral infection, while Kevin Danso has also been ill.Aston Villa are winless in the past six meetings in all competitions, culminating in a 4-2 Premier League home defeat in April 2016. Since they returned to the Premier League in 2012, Southampton are unbeaten in their four top-flight visits to Villa Park (W2, D2). Saints could win consecutive league away matches against Villa for the first time.Brighton vs Sheffield United The American Express Community Stadium, East SussexSaturday, 21-12-2019 @6pmRef: Robert JonesBrighton forward Aaron Connolly is fit to return and Dale Stephens is available after serving a suspension. The Seagulls’ only absentees are Solly March and Jose Izquierdo because of respective groin and knee injuries.Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck is serving a one-match ban for accumulating five bookings. Luke Freeman or Mo Besic may deputise. Manager Chris Wilder reports no fresh injures and is boosted by Callum Robinson’s return after illness.This is the first top-flight fixture between the sides. Their most recent encounter was a 3-1 Championship win for Sheffield United in January 2006. Sheffield United have lost only one of the past eight meetings (W5, D2). The Blades are unbeaten on their last four visits to Brighton (W2, D2).Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace St. James Park, Newcastle Upon TyneSaturday, 21-12-2019 @6pmRef: Simon HooperNewcastle pair Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron could be fit to return after missing last week’s defeat at Burnley. Allan Saint-Maximin, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie and Ki Sung-Yeung are all still absent.Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt has returned to training ahead of schedule and is being assessed. Scott Dann and Jairo Riedewald are both doubts, while fellow defenders Jeffrey Schlupp, Gary Cahill and Joel Ward are injured and Mamadou Sakho is banned. Ex-Newcastle loanee Andros Townsend is also absent for the Eagles.The last five league meetings have produced just five goals, three for Newcastle and two for Crystal Palace. Palace have won only three of their 18 league away matches against Newcastle (D4, L11).Norwich City vs WolvesCarrow Road, NolforkSaturday, 21-12-2019 @6pmRef: Peter BankesNorwich central defender Ben Godfrey has torn a knee ligament and been ruled out until February. Grant Hanley could return after injuries that have kept him out since August, and Teemu Pukki will play despite injuring his toe last weekend.Wolves have no reported fresh injuries, with Morgan Gibbs-White doubtful with an ongoing back injury. Winger Adama Traore is expected to be available after suffering a dislocated shoulder last weekend.The only previous meetings in the Premier League came in the 2011-12 season, when the sides drew 2-2 at Wolves before Norwich won 2-1 at Carrow Road. There has been just one away win in 18 top-flight fixtures between these teams – a 4-0 triumph for Wolves in February 1980.Man City vs Leicester City Etihad Stadium, ManchesterSaturday, 21-12-2019 @8:30pmRef: Mike DeanManchester City have won four of the past five Premier League meetings. Vincent Kompany’s final goal for Manchester City was enough to win the most recent encounter in May but Leicester won when the teams met last December.Manchester City had lost just once after 17 games in 2018-19 but have suffered four defeats so far in this league campaign. They haven’t lost consecutive home league games since February 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini. Pep Guardiola has never lost back-to-back top-flight home fixtures as a manager. Kevin De Bruyne has nine assists in this season’s Premier League, more than any other player. He’s been involved in 15 goals, second only to Leicester’s Jamie Vardy. De Bruyne has been directly involved in 19 goals in the Premier League in 2019 (seven goals and 12 assists), the most of any midfielder this year. Sergio Aguero has scored five goals in his five home Premier League games against Leicester, with four of those goals coming in one half – when Manchester City won 5-1 in February 2018.Leicester have their best record after 17 matches of a league season, with 39 points. The Foxes have won their last four away from home, scoring 17 goals and conceding just one. They have never won five consecutive away games in the top flight. Leicester’s goal difference of +29 is the best in the Premier League. If the Premier League was measured on second-half performance only, Leicester would be top and five points clear of Liverpool. Leicester have kept seven an unrivalled seven clean sheets in this season’s Premier League. They have won all nine league games in which they scored first this season. Jamie Vardy has 28 Premier League goals in 2019, five more than any other player.Manchester City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero is in contention to return on Saturday after almost a month out with a thigh injury. Centre-back John Stones could feature after a hamstring problem but David Silva hasn’t yet recovered from a bruised leg.Leicester have no fresh injuries ahead of their festive schedule. Long-term absentee Matty James remains sidelined with an Achilles problem but is training with the squad again.Sunday’s fixtures-Watford vs Man United @5pm-Tottenham vs Chelsea @7:30pmComments Tags: arsenalEvertonleicester cityMan Citypremier leaguelast_img


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