In this week's edition of the Friday 5iver, Desh highlights United's defensive woes, Burnley's awful away record, Brighton's brilliance and more!
The final round of Premier League fixtures scheduled for January 2022 is upon us. The English FA sanctioned more than twenty league fixture postponements – with some clubs being affected than others.
Burnley had three league fixtures chalked off in December 2021 and come into this round of fixtures in plum last. However, they have only had seventeen (W1 D8 L8) league run outs compared to Chelsea (W12 D8 L3) who have played 23 league fixtures to date.
The rescheduling of matches has had contrasting effects across the division. Ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, I took a look at the torrid home form and resilient away form of five top-flight clubs in action.
Brighton have suffered just one defeat on the road all season (W3 D6 L1). Graham Potter has certainly attracted his fair share of admirers following consistent performances over the past 18 months or so.
The Seagulls are unbeaten in each of their last three Premier League matches against sides starting the day in the top 3, suffice to say, that their defensive unit is something to be marvelled at!
Last season, Brighton conceded just 46 league goals across a 38 game season. Whilst they’ve only kept two clean sheets on the road this season, Potter’s side have conceded just 11 times across their 10 away league fixtures.
Burnley haven’t won a fixture on the road during this campaign (W0 D4 L6). Dyche has certainly got his back up against the wall – all the more support for when he comes out swinging.
The 21/22 Premier League season is Burnley’s sixth straight season in the English top-flight, however, they’ve finished 15th or below in three of their previous five campaigns.
Dyche has created a reputation as a Premier League survivalist, however, the club sit plum last ahead of this round of fixtures. With the departure of Chris Wood, mission improbable just became mission impossible.
Southampton have lost just one league game at home this season (W3 D6 L1). This is underpinned by Armando Broja’s home form. He is the youngest player in Premier League history to score in each of his first four home starts in the competition.
Southampton are unbeaten in their last 7 home premier league fixtures and will be looking to build on this streak going into the second half of the season. They face off against a red-hot Manchester City side this weekend, so they’ll need to be at their best to get anything from the encounter.
Manchester United have kept just a solitary clean sheet at home in the league this season. The club has strayed far from what they once were and Old Trafford is no longer the revered fortress it used to be.
Interim boss, Ralf Rangnick, has deployed a different set of tactics focusing around a high pressing intensity. His players will need to adapt to this quickly if they are to stop dropping points at home.
They next face off against West Ham who only sit behind Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea in terms of goals scored this season. Looks like it could be another hard day at the office for Maguire and co.
Crystal Palace have lost just 2 of their 10 home league fixtures this season. Many pundits had Palace down as favourites to be relegated following the loss of several first-team players.
After managerial spells at New York City FC and Nice FC, Patrick Viera earned himself plenty of critics when he was announced as the man to succeed Roy Hodgson in the hot seat. Whilst the season has just passed the midpoint, Palace are looking incredibly solid and a top-half finish is definitely on the cards!