Chelsea Travel To Stoke Aiming To Keep Pressure On Rivals

Chelsea travel to Stoke on Saturday afternoon looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league to five games. Following last week’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, Chelsea remained in 3rd and could close the gap on the two Manchester clubs above if they beat Stoke. The last time Stoke won in this fixture was November 2015 but last season saw the away side score a late winner to take the game 2-1. Stoke have just one win this season which came at home to Arsenal and currently sit 13th in the league. Eden Hazard made his first start since injury in the midweek cup win so could be in line for a start at the Bet365 Stadium. David Luiz, however, will not be available for the visitors and will be serving the second of his three-match suspension. On loan Kurt Zouma will not be available for the home side.

Table-topping Manchester City host winless Crystal Palace hoping to put daylight between themselves and the rest of the league. They currently occupy the top spot courtesy of alphabetical listing as they share the same record as their neighbours United. Palace, on the other hand, are bottom after failing to win or score in their opening five games, a league record. Given that Palace have won only two of the past 14 Premier League meetings that record may continue this weekend. City have scored 17 goals in their last four games in all competitions and won the last three at home to Palace with ease including the 5-0 win last season.

Manchester United have a more difficult task this week as they face a trip to Southampton who have conceded just four goals in the league so far. You have to go back to August 2003 however for the last home win in this fixture and given that United have dropped just two points in five games so far it is a run which could continue. Last season saw a 0-0 draw between the sides and with Southampton occupying a top 10 place they will be hoping for more points.

This weekend brings another London derby and it is West Ham’s turn to host Tottenham in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff. This was the game which all but ended Tottenham’s faint title hopes last May as they lost 1-0. Half of the last six fixtures over the years have ended in a 1-0 win to West Ham and August 2014 saw the last away win. With points and clean sheets in their previous two games, West Ham have started to recover from their awful start to the season. Tottenham, however, have been victorious in their two away games already this season but it is at home where they have struggled.

The Saturday evening kick-off sees Leicester take on Liverpool having just met in the League Cup in midweek. Leicester won that game 2-0 and will be looking for a similar result tomorrow. Last season also went the way of the home side as Leicester ran out 3-1 winners. December 2014 was the last time Liverpool took all three points away from the King Power Stadium. After drawing 1-1 in their respective fixtures last week both sides will be aiming to return to winning ways.

Fourth place Newcastle United make the long trip to Brighton on Sunday aiming to win their fourth league game in a row. Brighton have four points from their last three games after a poor start and sit 16th in the league. Newcastle won both league games last season when the sides met in the Championship and in the end, was what helped them edge Brighton to the title.

Two sides inside the bottom three face off at Goodison Park as Everton welcome Bournemouth. Either side could climb out of the relegation zone with a win. Both previous Premier League meetings at Everton have been won by the home side including last year’s 6-3 contest. Everton haven’t won in the last four league games since their opening day win over Stoke. Bournemouth have also just one win to their name this season and are a point behind in the table.

There has not been more than one goal separating Swansea and Watford in the past four league meetings and the pair meet at the Liberty Stadium this weekend. The home side are yet to win, or score, on their own turf in the league this season. Last week saw Watford lose their first game of the season in the 6-0 drubbing handed to them by Man City. A similar result is unlikely but may be more entertaining than the 0-0 draw seen last season.

Burnley meet Huddersfield at Turf Moor on Saturday and both sides currently occupy a top 10 spot. Having lost only one game each this season the pair will be looking to improve on an impressive start to the campaign. Burnley won the last three meetings between the sides in the Championship between January 2014 and March 2016.

The match week concludes on Monday when Arsenal host West Brom at the Emirates. Having picked up four points in their last two games, Arsenal’s season is showing signs of revival and a win in this game will build momentum. West Brom haven’t won in their last three league games but were the winners when the teams last met in March. They haven’t beaten Arsenal in London since September 2010 though.

Chelsea need to return to winning ways this weekend following last week’s stalemate with Arsenal. Stoke will likely defend deep and look to break at speed but Chelsea have the quality on offer to deal with that. The Blues face Man City next week so need to keep the pressure on their title rivals in advance of that game.