English Premier League Week 20: 5 Teams on Upset Alert This Week
Following on from a dramatic round of action mid-week, the Premier League returns once more with a fascinating slate of matchups this week.
Week 20 of the English competition sees a number of potential upsets and favorites that could be beaten, with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool all playing away from home this week.
And those that are at home—Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton—all face difficult matches against potentially explosive attacking units this week.
So which of the favorites are most likely to be a surprise loser this week? Read on for the five Premier League favorites that are on upset alert this week.
5. Manchester United (vs. West Bromwich Albion)
Having already beaten the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City this year, few would expect the surprise team of the year—West Bromwich Albion—to trouble the Red Devils at all, particularly given the fact that this is being played at Old Trafford in Manchester.
However, don't completely rule out the Baggies in this one.
West Brom have already shown they can mix it against the best in the league—beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and unlucky not to at least draw against Manchester City—and will hold no fears playing well away from home.
Steve Clarke's men enter this one with back-to-back victories, and given the host of injuries that United currently have, including Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa, could well dominate the Manchester club through the middle of the pitch this weekend.
When Norwich City, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur dominated central midfield, they all recorded victories against United. So it stands to reason that if they can hold the center here, there's no reason why West Brom can't become the fourth.
4. Manchester City (vs. Norwich City)
The Canaries have been particularly strong at home this year—losing just twice all season—and will be desperate to end their two-game skid this weekend.
Having already taken points off the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Stoke City and West Ham at home this year, Norwich must be considered a genuine chance at Carrow Road this week—particularly given City's struggling away form in 2012.
The reigning English Premier League champions have managed just four wins from nine appearances away from the Etihad and have scored nearly half the goals that they have done at home. They were lucky to get the points they did against Liverpool, West Brom, Fulham and West Ham on the road this year, and against a fired up Norwich side, could be in for a tough afternoon.
3. Chelsea (vs. Everton)
Chelsea travel to Goodison Park on the back of an 8-0 thumping of Aston Villa and an away win over Norwich City that ended their strong home run, giving the Blues a mountain of confidence heading into Week 20 in the Premier League.
However, the Toffees represent a real danger at home this week for the West London club, having not been beaten at Goodison Park at all this season. In fact, David Moyes's men have only lost one match against a top half team all year.
They will be without star forward Marouane Fellaini due to injury, but the Toffees still hold a powerful forward line and midfield that is more than capable of mixing it with Chelsea's star midfield trio of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar.
Rafa Benitez is still under pressure and is yet to beat a top team in the Premier League. Is this the week that it finally happens, or will the tension remain for the new boss?
2. Tottenham Hotspur (vs. Sunderland)
Sunderland—fresh off a home defeat of Manchester City—will welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Stadium of Light this week in what promises to be a difficult match for the North London club.
The Black Cats have won three of their past four matches (including their past two at home), and have only conceded 10 goals at the Stadium of Light all season—meaning that Tottenham's attack is going to have to be completely switched on for this one.
Spurs were very good last week against a poor Aston Villa side, but have struggled away from White Hart Lane this year—losing four matches on the road already this season, which is not a good statistic to take with you to the Stadium of Light.
Andre Villas-Boas has thrown away plenty of points in the final 15 minutes of play this year, and with Sunderland bound to fight to the death in front of their home fans, Sunderland could well turn out to be more of a threat than many expect for Tottenham this week.
1. Fulham (vs. Swansea City)
However, the top team on upset alert this week is Fulham, who will welcome the inconsistent Swansea City to Craven Cottage this week in the EPL.
Swansea have been strong this season away from home—beating Arsenal and Newcastle—but have also had some poor performances there as well, including losses to Aston Villa and Stoke as well as a scoreless draw last week against last-placed Reading.
Their dynamic attack was snuffled out by the Royals last week and now, playing one of the stronger teams at home this year, could well face some difficulties—hence why Fulham will enter this match as favorites according to bookmakers.
Having said that, don't expect Martin Jol's men to have it all easy here, with their form line making for less-than-impressive reading heading into this one. Fulham have won just one of their past 11 league matches and are lagging in 14th position—something that not even the skill of Dimitar Berbatov has been able to change.
Both teams have been incredibly inconsistent of late, making this tough to predict—but it is hard to ignore the firepower that Swansea bring to the table here. Even if Michu is ruled out with injury, Michael Laudrup's men have what it takes to upset the Cottagers.
Goes to show how much faith there is in Fulham at the moment.
Which EPL teams do you think should be on upset alert this week?
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