Premier League Weekly Report 16

The Premier League Sign and Logo on a Blue Background - Photo By ISABEL INFANTES

The last game of the EPL has been played and it’s time to take stock of what happened on matchday 16 and just what we are looking forward to in the coming week. The table looks a whole lot different from what it was a couple of weeks ago and we’re going to go through the exciting news from this week, as well as the soccer odds for the first soccer game of 2021.

What happened in the league this week?

Fears of an outbreak

The Premier League has had a concerning number of positive COVID-19 cases, which has led to a number of postponements. Manchester City had a number of players test positive— including Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus—which meant that their game against Everton had to be postponed. Newcastle also previously closed down their training ground and postponed their match against Aston Villa earlier in the month.

The Tottenham vs. Fulham match was called off at the last minute yesterday after Fulham recorded a number of positive tests among their players and staff. Just how these matches will be caught up in an already frenzied fixture season is anyone’s guess.

This concerning rise in positive results is sparking fears that the Premier League will have to enforce a break in play soon to ensure the safety of players and staff members. Whether play will be stopped before the winter break in February remains to be seen.

Man Utd climb the table

Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, and Fred of Manchester United Celebrate After a Goal - Photo By Michael Regan
(Photo By Michael Regan)

Manchester United are finally on a solid winning streak and they closed out their last game of the year at Old Trafford with a hard-fought win against Wolves. It was an incredibly closely contested game, but Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be happy with the win. The only goal of the game came courtesy of a Marcus Rashford strike that was deflected into the goal well within injury time.

The win leaves the Red Devils within title touching distance in 2nd place on 30 points. Wolves, meanwhile, find themselves in 12th spot on 21 points.

Arsenal win again

What a difference a week makes in the Premier League! Mikel Arteta’s team were on the verge of the relegation zone when they miraculously won 3-0 against Chelsea last week. The game against Brighton was an opportunity to get some confidence for the struggling Gunners going into 2021. They scraped a win through a single goal scored by Alexandre Lacazette in the 66th minute. What’s changed for Arsenal? It seems that the introduction of youngsters Saka and Smith Rowe has provided the team with the much-needed energy and creativity that they were looking for.

This result lifts Arsenal into 13th spot with 20 points and leaves Brighton in 17th on 13 points.

Leicester and Chelsea held to draws

Leicester City drew against Man United last week and Chelsea lost to Arsenal—both teams were looking for a much-needed win in their last game of 2020. It was not to be. Leicester failed to capitalize in their game against Crystal Palace and they needed an 88th minute equalizer from Harvey Barnes to cancel out Wilfred Zaha’s opener. 

This results puts Leicester in 3rd place on 29 points and Crystal Palace in 15th on 19 points.

Frank Lampard has had a torrid few weeks and he can’t seem to get his expensively assembled new team to gel. Aston Villa are having an excellent season and this was never going to be an easy game, but certainly one that Lampard would have been hoping to take all three points from. The Blues took the lead through Olivier Giroud in the 34th minute, but their work was undone by El Ghazi in the 50th minute.

This result leaves Chelsea in 6th spot on 26 points and Aston Villa in 5th place on 26 points with two games in hand.

Liverpool

Liverpool Manager Jürgen Klopp Gestures at His Players During a Match - Photo By Phil Noble
(Photo By Phil Noble)

Liverpool had one of the easiest festive season fixture lists facing relegation-placed West Brom and a struggling Newcastle side. Klopp won’t be impressed that his team failed to win either of these fixtures. A 1-1 draw against The Baggies meant that the Reds simply had to win against Newcastle to give themselves some breathing room from the rest of the chasing pack.

Newcastle keeper, Karl Darlow, had the match of his career—making a number of excellent saves and keeping Mo Salah at bay. Liverpool will rue their missed chances, as the 0-0 result leaves them wide open at the top of the table. Currently, if they win all their games in hand, Man United and Everton can go equal with them on top of the table.

This result leaves Liverpool precariously perched in top spot with 30 points, and Newcastle move up to 14th on 19 points.

The week ahead

Online sports betting fans will be eager to know more about the week ahead and what Premier League odds to expect. The key games to keep an eye out for are Manchester United vs. Aston Villa, Everton vs. West Ham, Chelsea vs. Man City, and Liverpool vs. Southampton.

The odds for Matchday 17 are currently as follows:

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