All Access Soccer

MATCHDAY 13 & 14 PREVIEW

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By: MATT CARROLL, BSN/ALL ACCESS SOCCER PREMIER LEAGUE/ INTWRNATIONAL EXPERT

Matchday 13 & 14
With some slim pickings across the Matchday 13 slate and Matchday 14 kicking off less than forty-eight hours after its conclusion, we will be bringing you a compilation of the best the English Premier League has to offer over the next five days. The action will kick off later this afternoon so if you can duck out of work a little early and call it a week you can catch every game live across the NBC family of networks or, if you are stuck at the office, online at NBC Live Extra.
Saturday (all times eastern)
12:30pm – Chelsea @ Liverpool – Anfield, NBC
The marquee matchup of the weekend will wrap up the Saturday fixtures when Chelsea, fresh off their third clean sheet in as many weeks with a 4-0 win over the toothless and now manager less West Brom to move up to third place in the table followed up with a victory by the same score line over Champions League minnows Qarabag to book their place in the final sixteen of Europe’s top club competition with a game to spare, travel to Anfield for a showdown against fellow English footballing giants Liverpool, who had little trouble in the league getting past Southampton 3-0 and grab their third straight win.
The trouble for the Reds came in the mid-week when they squandered a three-goal halftime advantage against Sevilla and missed out on a chance to book their place in the knockout stages, which leaves them needing at the very least a result from their final group stage matchup at home to Spartak Moscow to secure their place. They must first however contend with a Chelsea side that sit three points ahead of them in the table and who are unbeaten the last six times they have made the trek to Anfield, although Liverpool have not lost in their last five meetings in the league with the Blues (W2 D3).
Sunday (all times eastern)
9:00am – Arsenal @ Burnley – Turf Moor, CNBC
Every time we are ready to stick a fork in Arsenal and the future of long serving manager Arsene Wenger they go and put in a performance that makes their inconsistencies from week to week even more frustrating and mind boggling. They shrugged off any suggestions of Tottenham taking over as the top club in the north of London when they beat their arch rivals 2-0 to hold bragging rights until at least the reverse fixture later this season and they will try to avoid falling in to the all too familiar big game let down when they travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley, who got past Swansea City 2-0.
The victory made it three in a row for Burnley and gave the club their first hat trick of top-flight wins since 1975, as they kept hold of seventh place in the table and stayed level on points with Arsenal on twenty-two. While its way too early for the Clarets to start dreaming of a top four finish, they could improbably jump over both Arsenal and Liverpool with a win on Sunday morning although that may be a tough ask, as the Gunners have won the last six meetings across all competitions and dropped only one of their last ten between the two, including just one of their last five trips to Turf Moor (W3 D1).
Tuesday (all times eastern)
3:00pm – Manchester United @ Watford – Vicarage Road, NBC Sports Network
After dropping two of their previous three games in the league (W1), Manchester United were back in the win column with the help of a goal and an assist from Paul Pogba, who made his return to the starting eleven after two months out with a hamstring injury, helping the Red Devils to score four unanswered in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United. They will travel to Vicarage Road next week to help kick off Matchday 14 against Watford, with the Hornets snapping their three-game losing streak and spoiling David Moyes return to the Premier League in a 2-0 victory over West Ham United.
The return of Pogba could be the final piece of the puzzle that United need to make a concerted push to catch Manchester City at the top of table, with the French international adding a new dimension to what could be a potentially devastating midfield. If they can get past Brighton at the weekend, which will be no easy task as the Premier League new boys are unbeaten in their last five (W2 3) and holding a spot in the top half of the table, and navigate the trip Watford, where they have dropped only one of their last thirteen matchups across all competitions (W12), they can keep the pressure on City.

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