2019-01-01 by W.M.
Premier League Week 21 Fixtures: EPL TV Schedule, Live Stream and Picks | Bleacher Report
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Week 21 will be the first round of Premier League fixtures in 2019, and it’s set to contain the most important fixture of the 2018-19 campaign.
Leaders Liverpool will take a seven-point lead and an unbeaten record to Manchester City on Thursday, who are the nearest challengers to the Merseyside outfit. A positive result for the Reds would be a huge step towards the title, while victory for City would tighten things up at the top again.
There are a number of other intriguing matches to savour over the course of three days, starting with Everton hosting Leicester City on Tuesday lunchtime. Newcastle United also host a rejuvenated Manchester United on Wednesday.
Week 21 Fixtures
Tuesday, January 1
12:30 p.m.—Everton vs. Leicester City (2-1)*
3 p.m.—Arsenal vs. Fulham (2-0)
5:30 p.m.—Cardiff City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (0-1)*
Wednesday, January 2
7:45 p.m.—Bournemouth vs. Watford (1-1)
7:45 p.m.—Chelsea vs. Southampton (2-0)
7:45 p.m.—Huddersfield Town vs. Burnley (1-1)
7:45 p.m.—West Ham United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (2-1)
7:45 p.m.—Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Crystal Palace (1-1)
8 p.m.—Newcastle United vs. Manchester United (1-2)*
Thursday, January 3
8 p.m.—Manchester City vs. Liverpool (1-1)*
All matches are available on NBC Sports and the NBC Sports App in the United States.
*Matches shown on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Go in the United Kingdom
Newcastle vs. Manchester United
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While the upturn in form for United comes with the caveat that they’ve played mediocre opposition, there’s been a much more jubilant mood around the club since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.
The most significant change in terms of playing staff has been the form of Paul Pogba, who scored his second successive brace in the win over Bournemouth.
The Frenchman has really kicked on under the new coach:
When asked about his display, Pogba suggested the more attacking approach under Solskjaer is suited to the team:
Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL
“That’s how we want to play. We want to attack.”
Man of the match Paul Pogba looks back at the 4-1 win over Bournemouth with Geoff Shreeves.
Watch the reaction on Sky Sports PL or follow here: https://t.co/kZxABrwehU https://t.co/EfEf3FBzkn
This trip to Newcastle will be a big challenge for United, though, as the atmosphere will be vibrant at St James’ Park.
Although Magpies manager Rafael Benitez recently said it would take a “miracle” to keep his side out of the relegation zone, they have the potential to make things awkward and have an in-form forward in Salomon Rondo. Either way, you’d back the extra class of the Red Devils outfit to be decisive.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool
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For City and manager Pep Guardiola, this match represents a chance to undo some of the sloppy performances over the Christmas period that have left them a long way behind Liverpool.
A four-point gap wouldn’t feel quite so significant if they were able to find a way past the Reds at the Etihad Stadium, and there were some signs they’ve rediscovered their groove in the 3-1 win over Southampton on Sunday.
Per Goal’s Sam Lee, a couple of the team’s key midfield performers made a big difference on the day:
Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal
Much better from City, which wasn’t completely unexpected given Fernandinho and David Silva we’re back. So hardly the meltdown talked about in some quarters. But at the same time, improvements will be needed for Liverpool. Can’t miss/offer the opposition that many chances
Getting the better of this Liverpool side is going to be a big challenge, though, as they’ve been in imperious form over the festive period. Their 5-1 hammering of Arsenal was an emphatic warning to the rest of the Premier League that they aren’t slowing down any time soon.
Regardless of how this one goes, they will still be in a strong position ahead of the run-in too, as Neil Atkinson of The Anfield Wrap noted:
Neil Atkinson @Knox_Harrington
The worst case scenario is being 4pts ahead come the third round of the FA Cup having played City home and away.
That’s the worst case scenario.
Marvellous. Imagine the best case.
Even so, Jurgen Klopp will be gearing up for his team to win; with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all on the scoresheet in the Arsenal mauling, they have the firepower to do so.
City will lift their levels and pull out a performance on the night. But at the moment, Liverpool appear capable of rising to anything the opposition throw their way.