WINDHOEK, JAN 17 – The London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea headlines the 23rd round of the 2018/19 Premier League season, while Liverpool will look to keep up their title push and Manchester United will chase a sixth straight league win under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
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Arsenal come into the game against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening under something of a cloud, having succumbed 1-0 in another London derby, away to West Ham United, this past weekend. The match was the first time Arsenal have failed to score in the league since the opening weekend of the 2018/19 season.
Chelsea, meanwhile, overcame a stubborn Newcastle United 2-1 at home last Saturday evening. Wingers Pedro and Willian each scored a goal as the Blues got the better of Rafael Benitez’s ultra-defensive Magpies to keep a strong hold on fourth place.
Maurizio Sarri continues to persist with the tactic of playing Eden Hazard as a centre-forward, and while the Belgian is perfectly capable of playing the role, it certainly doesn’t allow him the freedom to run at defenders he so enjoys, and Chelsea’s overall effectiveness suffers as a result.
League leaders Liverpool host Crystal Palace at Anfield earlier in the day. The Reds bounced back from successive defeats (to Manchester City in the league and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup) earlier this month to return to winning form by edging Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 away last Saturday. Mohamed Salah will be looking to continue his excellent scoring form for the Merseysiders.
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, continued their up-and-down form by losing 2-1 at home to Watford. Manager Roy Hodgson remains under pressure, with the Eagles far from comfortable in their current league position of 14th, just four points above the red zone.
Most worryingly, their talisman, Ivorian attacker Wilfred Zaha, has not scored in the Premier League since September and his dip in output severely affects their hopes of keeping their heads above water.
Manchester United look a club completely revived under caretaker Solskjaer and will fancy their chances of a sixth straight league victory under the Norwegian when they host Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday. Red Devils fans will hope they are not so reliant on goalkeeper David de Gea to win them the game, as he did with a string of great saves in the 1-0 triumph at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
Other key matches to watch out for include Bournemouth looking to address their slide down the table when they host West Ham, Newcastle United host Cardiff City in a relegation six-pointer, and the round wraps up on Sunday evening with another London derby as Fulham host Tottenham Hotspur.
Key match stats
Liverpool v Crystal Palace – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 19
Liverpool wins 11
Palace wins 5
Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 3
United wins 1
Brighton wins 2
Arsenal v Chelsea – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 53
Arsenal wins 19
Chelsea wins 18
Premier League fixtures, 19-20 January
All times CAT
Saturday 19 January
14:30: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City – LIVE on SS3 & Max1
17:00: Bournemouth v West Ham United
17:00: Liverpool v Crystal Palace – LIVE on SS3 & Max1
17:00: Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion – LIVE on SS5/SS10 & SelGo2
17:00: Newcastle United v Cardiff City – LIVE on SS12
17:00: Southampton v Everton – LIVE on SS11
17:00: Watford v Burnley
19:30: Arsenal v Chelsea – LIVE on SS3 & Max1
Sunday 20 January
15:30: Huddersfield Town v Manchester City – LIVE on SS3/SS10 & SelGo2
18:00: Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur – – LIVE on SS3 & Max1 – Multichoice Namibia