27 November, 2012 - 14:33

Premier League Fixtures' Preview: Matchday 14

Premier League Fixtures' Preview: Matchday 14

The clash between Tottenham and Liverpool is the key fixture of the Matchday 14. Liverpool have been disappointing in the Premier League this season and find themselves in the 11th place. Taking into account recent Rodgers’ revelation that Liverpool are not going to strengthen their squad with new players in January, there may be doubts as whether the team in its current condition is able to fight for the European spot. Yet in-form Luis Suarez continues carrying Liverpool – without his goals the team would hit rock bottom. The helper-outer has not scored at The Liberty Stadium last Sunday, which will hopefully motivate him to net against The Spurs.

The confident 3-1 win over West Ham last Sunday has demonstrated that André Villas-Boas gradually gets his team’s performance on the right track. Should The Spurs secure the victory over The Merseysiders, this would mark the start of the good run.

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Chelsea - Fulham

Even the fierce opponents of Benítez’s appointment recognized that the scoreless draw against Man City was a satisfying result. Yet the west London derby will be the first real test for Benítez, and he has no choice but meet fans’ expectations and deliver the dominant win over the Cottagers.

Benítez is likely to stick to his favorite 4-2-3-1 formation which he has used both in Valencia and Liverpool with David Luiz and Branislav Ivanović playing at the heart of the defense and Torres up front.

In order to secure the victory Chelsea should bend every effort to contain Dimitar Berbatov who has found a new lease of life at Fulham. During his spell at Man Utd Berbatov has too often put in average performance against the top clubs as his style of play did not fit into the Man Utd’s tactical scheme (Fergie preferred more direct style while Berba likes to hold onto the ball). Currently the Bulgarian forward thrives under Martin Jol. His new boss gives him a level of freedom that he was not allowed under Fergie. Berbatov is able to put the opposition’s defense to the sword when given enough space up front.

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Everton - Arsenal

Arsenal have been inconsistent this season. For instance they passed the difficult test with flying colors running out 5-2 winners in the north London derby against Tottenham on the 17th of November while in the next game they have ground out the bleak goalless draw with Aston Villa.

The excellent start of the season has seen Everton rise quickly to the top of the Premier League table. However the team failed to maintain their fine play - in the last seven matches they secured only one win while in the last two matches Everton let the victory slip through their hands (having scored the first goal of the game they let the opposition to come from behind and level the score). The lack of squad depth is Everton’s heel of Achilles with Phil Neville, Victor Anichebe, Seamus Coleman, and Kevin Mirallas sidelined due to injuries.

Moyes is relieved to see Marouane Fellaini returning to the first team after missing one match due to suspension (he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Reading). The Belgian powerhouse is capable to issue the serious challenge to Arteta and Wilshere in the midfield while also posing the serious threat from the set pieces. It would be no exaggeration to say that he is capable to make decisive contribution to the overall team’s performance.

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Manchester United – West Ham United

Almost everyone seems to discuss the so-called “Man Utd’s midfield crisis” which is due to the insufficient mobility and creativity delivered by the players. However if Anderson remains consistent and maintains the same level of performance which he has put in the previous matches then the critics would be silenced. Fergie has even said that his appearance was the key event of the game against QPR. Probably Anderson will finally get his chance on Wednesday –Paul Sholes misses the clash against West Ham United due to the suspension, while Darren Fletcher is likely not be fit enough.

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Swansea City - West Bromwich Albion

One of the main intrigues of the game between Swansea and West Bromwich Albion is whether The Baggies will continue their fantastic run of form. Swansea goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel produced an outstanding display in the match against Liverpool making nine quality saves (which is more than any other keeper has made in this season to date). Taking into consideration the excellent form of the German it will be not that easy for WBA to secure yet another victory.

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Other matches to watch on Tuesday and Wednesday:

Sunderland - Queens Park Rangers
Aston Villa - Reading
Southampton - Norwich City
Stoke City - Newcastle United
Wigan Athletic - Manchester City

Photos: sportinglife.com

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Author: Basil Naumov

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