Seth Megginson: Premier League Matchday 16 Preview
In 2012 two behemoth football clubs from Manchester had an epic title race that saw one of the most incredible finishes to a Premier League season with the team in blue from Manchester City finally overcoming their rivals in red Manchester United. It was like watching King Kong fight Godzilla, or Ali fight Foreman. We all thought this was going to be the two best teams in the Premier League for a long time. Fast forward almost eight years and Manchester City has been basked in ultimate English football glory, they are the gold standard, the team to beat. Meanwhile on the other side of town United have had a fall from glory that rivals Danny Targaryen, obsessed with regaining their throne that they throw money around trying to fix the problems only for it just to create more havoc and heartache for the fanbase. This Sunday these two clubs meet in what is the headliner for matchday 16 but it may just be a headliner in name. Let’s preview this weekend’s matches for matchday 16.
Can United delay the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by getting something against City?
I firmly believe Solskjaer saved his job earlier in the week with a 2-1 victory of former United Manager Jose Mourinho and Spurs. Now he turns around and faces rivals Man City with once again the shadows of being fired lurking behind him. This should be a mismatch for the Red Devils of United but getting a draw or even a victory is not out of the question. United in the past has given their rivals a tough time when they are clearly outmatched, and yes, a lot of those matches ended with a City victory, but United have shown heart. (which if you follow United you know is not always the case) United have managed to rise up the table to sixth, which is somewhat surprising when thinking about where United was just a month ago. City however is trying to gain some ground on league leaders Liverpool and what better way to boost even more confidence in a club that’s finding its feet this season then a dominating victory over Man United.
How do Spurs respond after their first defeat with Jose Mourinho as manager?
Everything was looking pretty for new Spurs manager Jose Mourinho. He had not lost a match when he took his team to his old grounds of Old Trafford, but all that changed as his team was dealt a 2-1 defeat to United. Now Spurs will host an always feisty Burnley squad that’s more than capable of taking a point anywhere they play. It will be interesting to see how Spurs play after their first setback with Mourinho in charge. I am in no way suggesting that Mourinho is already losing the squad; that would be ludicrous to think so soon after he has taken the job. But this Spurs team has not responded well to adversity this season, and it will be key to showing if the Jose Mourinho experiment will work in Tottenham because if Jose is your manager you will have to learn how to handle adversity because it will be around.
Arsenal: What the hell?
I mean, really, what the hell is going on at Arsenal? They haven’t one a match in any competition since October 24 and they have not won a Primer league match since October 6. Could this be the week they finally stop the bleeding and get a win and a much-needed three points? They are playing a West Ham team that has been disappointing to me this season, but the Hammers of West Ham did win a big one last weekend over Chelsea. Arsenal just doesn’t have an identity anywhere in their club at the moment, not on the pitch, not with their manager, or even their front office. I do believe the quality is still there for a top four push, but that quality needs to show up sometime soon or they will lucky to finish top 6 this season.
What type of team does Liverpool go with?
The league leaders Liverpool honestly had me shaking my head with lineup they put out to play their rivals Everton. No Bobby, no Mo, Lallana starting over Ox, and Shaq getting his first start of the season after being out with an injury. I will never (and I mean never) question the lineup manager Jurgen Klopp puts out again. Liverpool ran all over their rivals to a 5-2 victory and sit eight points clear at the top of the table. Liverpool have a big champions league match up on Tuesday that will be for a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League, so it makes you wonder what Klopp maybe thinking team wise when they play Bournemouth. Will Klopp rest players like Mo and Bobby again? Maybe give Mane a break? Whatever Jurgen does his team has shown that there is depth all over the pitch for this team and they are more than capable with getting victories while resting some of their key players.
Everton 1 v Chelsea 2
Bournemouth 0 v Liverpool 2
Spurs 3 v Burnley 1
Watford 1 v Crystal Palace 2
Man City 3 v Man United 1
Aston Villa 1 v Leicester 1
Newcastle 2 v Southampton 1
Norwich 0 v Sheffield United 0
Brighton 0 v Wolves 1
West Ham 1 v Arsenal 1
Preview by Seth Megginson