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Premier League Matchday 18 Preview: Man Utd Travel to Burnley; Man City host Brighton and All You Need to Know

Shubham Dupare
Manchester City are just four points behind Liverpool and Manchester United in the Premier League standings.
Manchester City are just four points behind Liverpool and Manchester United in the Premier League standings. / Alex Livesey/Getty Images
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After a weekend of FA Cup fixtures in England, the Premier League action is set to return in the midweek for Matchday 18.

Only six games are scheduled for this Matchday, in which the teams who have got one or two games in hand over their rivals will be in action.

Manchester United could go atop the league standings if they secure a point in their trip to the Turf Moor against Burnley while a top-four spot is up for grabs for their rivals Manchester City.

Here is our rundown of all the action from the six games that awaits us in the Premier League Matchday 18:


Sheffield United vs Newcastle United

The first game of the Matchday 18 takes place at the Bramall Lane, where last-placed Sheffield United play hosts to Newcastle United. The hosts have four losses and a draw to their name while the visitors have lost three times in their last five outings.

Last Result:

The Blades suffered their 15th loss of the season against Burnley in their last outing, which was also their third consecutive defeat in the top-flight. They secured a 3-2 win over third-tier side Bristol Rovers in their FA Cup Round 3 fixture.
The Magpies' form has taken a hit recently and in their last outing, they suffered a 2-1 home loss to Leicester City. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal over the weekend, losing 2-0 in their third-round fixture.

Head-to-Head:

There have been 126 competitive meetings between the two sides so far. The head-to-head record is pretty even at this point of time, as the hosts have 49 wins to their name while the visitors have picked up the three points on 48 occasions.
29 games have ended in a draw. Sheffield United are winless in their last five outings against Newcastle, with their last win coming in 2006.

What This Could Mean:

The hosts have no wins to their name after 17 games in the league this term. They are currently 12 points off the 17th place, so even after a win here they have a long and tough journey to safety ahead of them.
The Magpies will stay in the 15th place irrespective of the result of tomorrow night's game.

Injuries and Suspensions:

Sheffield: Oliver McBurnie, Jack O'Connell, Sander Berge, George Baldock, Jack Robinson, Enda Stevens
Newcastle: Allan Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser, Isaac Hayden

Player to Watch:

Callum Wilson is Newcastle's top scorer for the season with eight goals
Callum Wilson is Newcastle's top scorer for the season with eight goals / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Callum Wilson - The English striker has scored 8 goals for Newcastle this season. Among the top 10 goalscorers in the Premier League currently, the former Bournemouth striker has the second-best shot conversion ratio, with his 36% goal conversion only bettered by Spurs forward Son Hueng-Min.

Prediction: 0-2 win for Newcastle United


Burnley vs Manchester United

Burnley welcome Manchester United to the Turf Moor on Tuesday night. The much-awaited game was originally scheduled to take place in the opening weekend of the Premier League but got postponed.

Manchester United are on level with points with leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
Manchester United are on level with points with leaders Liverpool with a game in hand. / OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Last Results:

The hosts recorded a 1-0 win over bottom-placed Sheffield United in their last Premier League outing and have ensured a place in the safe zone for at least another week. They won 4-3 on penalties in their FA Cup Round 3 fixture against MK Dons on Saturday.
The Red Devils recorded a secured a 2-1 win over Aston Villa with Bruno Fernandes scoring a match-winning penalty. They are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games. They were victorious in their FA Cup Third Round fixture as well.

Head-to-Head:

The two sides have crossed paths 130 times across all competitions. While United have recorded more wins in the fixture their lead in the head-to-head record is just 62-45. 23 encounters in this fixture have ended in a draw. Last season, both sides recorded 2-0 away wins in their Premier League meetings.

What This Could Mean:

Burnley will stay in the 16th position unless they record a win by a margin of three goals or more. They might slip to the 17th place if they suffer a draw here.
United could displace Liverpool from the pole position in the standings if they avoid a defeat here. They'll be looking to open up a three-point gap over the reigning champions with a win here.

Injuries and Suspensions:

Manchester United: Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba
Burnley: Jack Cork, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Matej Vydra, Robbie Brady, Jimmy Dunne

Player to Watch:

Bruno Fernandes- The Portuguese midfielder is expected to create or score goals in United's every outing nowadays and he rarely lets his team-mates down. He has scored 11 times already this season and also has 7 assists to his name in 16 appearances. The player will likely find himself in the thick of the things against The Clarets.

Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League / Pool/Getty Images

Prediction: 0-2 win for United


Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Everton

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton will meet in their Premier League fixture at the Molineux on Tuesday night. The visitors are one of the four sides tied at 29 points vying for a top four spot.

Last Results:

The hosts played a six-goal draw against Brighton in their last league fixture while they secured a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in their FA Cup Round 3 fixture, with Adama Traore scoring his first goal across all competitions after almost a year.
Everton suffered a 1-0 loss to West Ham in the previous outing while they also secured a passage into the next round in the FA Cup, beating Rotherham 2-1.

Head-to-Head:

The two sides have locked horns 134 times across all competitions. The Toffees have a slight advantage in their meetings, as they lead 61-46 in wins in their meetings. 27 encounters between the two have ended in a draw. In the 2019/20 campaign, either side recorded a home win over the opponents.

What This Could Mean:

A top 10 spot remains beyond the reach of the Wolves but if they can pull off a win here, they can go as high as 11th in the standings. A loss would probably see them drop to the 14th place.
The hosts are locked in a four-way race for the fourth place in the standings. Spurs and Manchester City are also in action this week, so it is a must win game for Everton.

Injuries and Suspensions:

Wolves: Jonny, Raul Jimenez, Fernando Marcal Wily Boly, Daniel Podence
Everton: Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Lucas Digne, Fabian Delph, Allan, Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Player to Watch:

Everton v Leeds United - Premier League
Everton v Leeds United - Premier League / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

James Rodriguez - The Colombian midfielder has been a bit quiet in the recent fixtures after a great start to his Premier League career. In absence of striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin through injury, it is expected that he will provide his side with a much-needed threat in the final third.

Prediction: 0-1 win for Everton


Manchester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion

In-form Manchester City host 17th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion in their Premier League fixture as they look to make it four Premier League wins in a row.

Manchester City are four points behind leaders Liverpool with two games in hand.
Manchester City are four points behind leaders Liverpool with two games in hand. / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Last Result:

The Cityzens are on a six-game winning streak across all competitions. In their last outing, they defeated Chelsea 3-1 at the Stamford Bridge and also recorded a comfortable 3-0 win in their FA Cup Round 3 fixture.
The Seagulls held Wolves to a 3-3 draw in their previous fixture to avoid dropping into the relegation zone.

Head-to-Head:

There have only been 24 meetings between the two sides till date and as expected the hosts have been the dominant side in this fixture. City lead 15-5 in the head-to-head record, while four games have ended in a draw. City are on a 7-game winning streak and Brighton's last win against the Manchester giants came in 2008.

What This Could Mean:

City are just four points off the leaders with two games in hand, so, if they manage to win this game, they can end up closing the gap at the top to a point, unless Manchester United win their game.
The visitors just need a point to keep themselves in the green zone. Even if they lose, they'll likely stay in the 17th place on goal difference.

Injuries and Suspensions:

City: Eric Garcia, Ferran Torres, Sergio Aguero, Tommy Doyle, Nathan Ake, Scott Carson, Cole Palmer, Aymeric Laporte
Brighton: Florin Andone, Jose Izquierdo, Tariq Lamptey, Adam Lallana, Aaron Connolly, Danny Welbeck

Player to Watch:

Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne - The midfield maestro has found his form in recent fixtures. He has three goals and 8 assists in 14 Premier League appearances so far. He was on target against his former side Chelsea last time around and can pull the strings from the midfield to hand City their fourth win on the spin against minnows Brighton.

Prediction: 0-3 win for Manchester City


Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham

Tottenham Hotspur play Fulham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday night in a game that was postponed from 30 December on account of COVID-19 outbreak at Fulham. The hosts were supposed to play Aston Villa this week but as Villa continue to deal with Covid-19 outbreak, the game has been postponed.

Last Result:

Spurs got back to winning ways in the league with a comfortable 3-0 win over Leeds in the last outing, with their deadly duo of Harry Kane and Son Hueng-min both on target. They recorded a massive 5-0 away win in their FA Cup Round 3 fixture over non-league side Marine.
Fulham played their fourth-straight draw in the league against Southampton last time around. They too were victorious in their FA Cup fixture, recording a 2-0 win over QPR.

Head-to-Head:

The two clubs have squared off 98 times across all competitions, with their last meeting coming in the 2018/19 campaign. Spurs have recorded 51 wins over their London rivals while Fulham have 18 wins to their name. 29 encounters between the two have ended in a draw.

What This Could Mean:

If Spurs win here they could move to the third place in the standings, due to their superior goal diifference as compared to Leicester, who will not play a game this week.
The visitors need to record a win with a margin of three goals or better if they are to move out of the relegation zone this week.

Injuries and Suspensions:

Spurs: Giovani Lo Celso
Fulham: None

Player to Watch:

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Tottenham Hotspur's deadly duo
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Tottenham Hotspur's deadly duo / Pool/Getty Images

Harry Kane - The English forward is the only player across Europe's top five leagues to have reached double digits in goals and assists this campaign. He was on target against Leeds United and also grabbed the assist for Son's 100th-goal for the club. The duo's understanding will be key as Jose Mourinho looks to put a poor run of form behind.

Prediction: 2-0 win for Spurs


Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

Though there are only six games to be played this week, two of them will be London derbies. Arsenal welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates stadium, to conclude this midweek Matchday.

Last Result:

Arsenal recorded a comprehensive 4-0 win over struggling West Brom in their last outing and were victorious in their FA Cup Round 3 fixture as well. They overcame Newcastle United 2-0.
Palace recorded a 2-0 win over last-placed Sheffield in their previous fixture but were eliminated from the FA Cup by fellow Premier League side Wolves.

Head-to-Head:

The two London based outfits have faced each other 47 times across all competitions so far. The Gunners have had the upper hand in these meetings and have won more than half of these fixtures. They lead 24-5 in wins while 14 games have ended in a draw. Last season both their meetings ended in stalemates.

What This Could Mean:

The Gunners have returned to winning ways and now find themselves in the 11th position in the standings. If they record a win with a margin of two goals or better they will move to the 10th place. But a loss here could see them drop at least three places.
The Eagles have remained between the 10th and 15th place for the majority of the campaign and now with 22 points, they are out of contention for a top 10 spot, at least until next week. Even after a loss here, they'll remain in the 14th place.

Injuries and Suspensions:

Arsenal: Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli|
Palace: Nathan Ferguson, Wayne Hennessey, Connor Wickham, Martin Kelly, Jeffrey Schlupp, Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann

Player to Watch:

Lacazette has 7 Premier League goals this season.
Lacazette has 7 Premier League goals this season. / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Alexandre Lacazette - The Frenchman has now scored in his last four appearances for Arsenal across all competitions. He is also their top goalscorer at the moment. With Aubameyang's form questionable at the moment, Mikel Arteta would be hoping that Lacazette can deliver again, building on his quick-fire double against West Brom.

Prediction: 2-1 win to Arsenal


Stats courtesy int.soccerway.comtransfermarkt.com and whoscored.com

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