March 2021

 Manchester United will take on West Ham United on Sunday, 14th March, 2021 at 7:15 GMT, 8:15pm Nigerian time.

Manchester United are realistically targeting 'best of the rest' behind league leaders, Manchester City even though their two-nil win over their neighbours last weekend made it eight Premier League games without a single defeat (W5, D3). Five clean sheets in that process is impressive, but three barren draws (all against London  clubs) highlights an inability to break teams down or put games to bed.

Although the Red Devils are unbeaten in six Premier League games following a midweek European clash this season (W4, D2), their sole defeat of such sequence came at at Old Trafford. Ultimately, with high profile forwards absent, nothing should be taken for granted, even if the hosts are unbeaten in Head-to-Heads at home since May 2007 (W12, D4). An interesting stats for the Manchester United faithful suggest that the Manchester club haven't lost any of their last 103 Premier League games in which they have led at halftime (W91, D12)

West Ham United are chasing an European spot for next season. The Hammers found the net first in the reverse fixture this season but lost the tie after a dramatic comeback by the Red Devils. However, they have won all seven Premier League games in which they scored first since then, including their 2-0 win over Leeds United. This saw them rebound from a defeat to Manchester City that reduced their win rate as Premier League underdogs since August 2019 to 28.21%.

The defeat at the Etihad was their first away loss in six games (W3, D2, L1) with the Hammers not trailing at halftime in any of those games. That implies that they'll make life difficult for their hosts, as does their record of going unbeaten in 60% of the league matches David Moyes' men have entered as away underdogs this season.

Manchester United's Mason Green have found the net in two of his last meetings with the Hammers and will look to continue his form against the London club as United's injury crisis in front continues. West Ham's Craig Dawson will be looking to earn his side their sixth clean sheet of the season.

On injury front, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is sweating on the fitness of several of his high profile players as Juan Mata and Donny van de Beek are suffering from Muscle injuries alongside Paul Pogba who is out due to a Thigh problem. Edison Cavani, Phil Jones, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will undergo fitness tests to ascertain their readiness for the Hammers' visit.

This European spot race clash at Old Trafford will see Chris Kavanagh as the centre referee.  

 The 168th North London derby will be played  on Sunday, 14th March, 2021 at 4:30 GMT, 5:30pm Nigerian time.

Arsenal are still hoping for a revival in the league in order to get a Europa League spot next season. The Gunners are often unaccustomed to going into derby games below their most hated rivals in the Premier League standing. However, they will come just four point behind Spurs if they take all three points in this game, as they boast the all time edge in such clashes, winning 66 of their last 167 meetings (D47, L54).

Arsenal's midweek triumph over Olympiacos may take a toll on them as fatigue may set in to distort their balance and not encouraging for the Gunners is that  they have gone behind inside the first ten minutes in both prior games played immediately after an European fixture in 2021, winning one and drawing the other. History is till on the Mikel Arteta's side as an encouraging stats shows that they could recover from an early setback as they have recovered four points from six despite lost 2-1 at the break in the last two Premier League Head-to-Head at the Emirates.

Tottenham Hotspur are aiming to get a first league double over their North London rival for the first time since 1992/1993 season. The Lilywhites are braced up for a fight for the Premier League top four after winning all of their last three league games. Considering Arteta's side slow start to games after an European competition this year, Spurs might be looking to be the team to draw the first blood as Jose Mourinho's side have scored the opener in all of their last Premier League three wins inside the first 25 minutes of the game. 

In as much as Spurs played their European game in midweek at home, they are still the outsiders in this game and will lament a dreadful record as travelling underdogs in the Premier League, winning just once in 11 games (D5, L5) since 2019/2020 season. In an interesting relation to their post halftime falls in recent away league games, Spurs have lost the second half without scoring in five of their last six away lost to former or current Premier League champions.

Arsenal's club captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have scored the club's second goal of the day in each of his last two home league home games against Tottenham. Tottenham's Harry Kane will be looking to score the club's 100th all time Head-to-Head away goal with three of his four goals against the Gunners coming in between the first 31 minutes.

The Gunners look clean on injury front going into this game and Mikel Arteta will look to field a strong XI as the chase for an European league spot heat up for the Red London club.

Jose Mourinho have only Giovanni Lo Celso to worry about on injury front who is out as a result of a Muscle injury and will miss this game.

This fiercely contested North London derby to be held at Emirates Stadium will see Michael Oliver as the centre referee.

 This mouth watering clash between two of the city of Manchester best clubs will come on the 7th of March, 2021 at 4:30 GMT, 5:30 pm Nigerian time.

Champions-elect, Manchester City are just three-quarter of their way to a new win rate of 28 straight wins in professional football, and could go on to surpass their club record of 28 games unbeaten run by fulltime. Impressively, City’s average margin of victory across their current winning streak is 2.24, with two-thirds (14) of those 21 wins witnessing a halftime City lead.

The Cityzens have also beaten a second half handicap in seven of their last fourteen wins, in addition to winning all of the last 20 games to see them score first. City did both in the EFL Cup in January, but with the Cityzens’ last winning a home Head-to-Head after conceding first back in January 2010, shows there is a potential weak spot.

Manchester United are yet to concede over 1.5 goals on the road in the league since Boxing Day, the Red Devils also pursue a record. They are unbeaten in 21 Premier League away games (W13, D8), but of the draws came in the run’s last four games, and it is still six short of equaling Arsenal’s 27-game record.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s Man United lead the top flight Head-to-Head record (W58, D48, L45), but they are currently just a goal ahead in that series (GF: 209, GA: 208). The Red Devils saw three consecutive of their decisive goals across the last four wins therein come between the 16th to the 30th minute. Curiously, the last two of those first-half deciders both came through their French striker, Anthony Martial.

Ilkay Gundogan has averaged one second half goal per Premier League game across City’s last four clean sheet home wins to yield 2+ goal margin. In red Manchester, Bruno Fernandes have netted 60% of United’s competitive away goals in February, and each of his last four converted penalties have come in victories producing over 2.5 total goals.

Pep Guardiola have only one injury concern in Nathan Ake who has a Muscle Injury and should miss the Red Devils visit.

For Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, he will be without Phil Jones, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba due to Thigh injuries while David De Gea is witnessing the birth of his daughter in Spain and will miss this encounter too. Anthony Martial and Donny Van de Beek will undergo a late fitness test to ascertain their readiness for this fixture.

This Manchester Derby at the Etihad will see Anthony Taylor as the centre referee. 

 The premier League clash between Liverpool and Fulham will kick-off on Sunday, 7th March, 2021 at 2:00 GMT, 3:00 pm Nigerian time.

The thoughts of Liverpool going over 5 straight games without scoring a goal from open play at home would have been immposible last season when the Merseysiders ran away with the League title. However, this is the reality now after losing 1-0 to Chelsea in mid-week -  a game that made Klopp and his boys set an unwanted record of five straight home loss in their 128 years of existence, and coincidentally masking them the only defending English league champions to ever experience such a low ebb.

The more we talk about the Reds' Premier League performance, the more we see that even European football next is season is looking like a daunting task for free-falling Liverpool who have found the back of the net just once before the halftime interval in their last 12 Premier League matches despite accumulating 78 shot attempts during the first interval in that period. The Reds could gain confidence as they face a team they beaten in all of their last three visits to Anfield in a Halftime/fulltime settings, yet it is worth noting that they have struggled so much at home this season when playing agsinst teams in the bottom five ahead of this game week winning just one of their last three games against such opponents (D1, L1).

Fulham gained a point against their host in this reverse fixture and they could of getting another one considering Liverpool’s poor run of form. On a more brighter side for the London club is that they have lost just one of their last six games; winning two and pulling up three draws. However, the Cottagers will be rueing missed chances this season across the last 16 rounds, and having more goal attempts than their opposition on the day in three of their last four winless games.

Six of the London club’s last seven Premier League away games have also ended in the points been shared with the Cottagers winning just one, albeit those seven  matches also make up Fulham’s longest ever Premier League unbeaten run as visitors after they conceded the opener just once in that period.

Liverpool’s Mo Salah have scored four of their last seven Premier League seven goals, all in the second interval. For Fulham, Ademola Lookman netted the team’s last goal in the second half. This game should produce goals as their last seven Head-to-Heads have produced both half goals.

Jurgen Klopp’s injury crisis have ensured the German tactician has fielded 20 different centre back pairing this season and the lost keep growing for the Premier League defending Champions with the likes of club captain, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and long term absentee, Virgil va Dijk all suffering from Knee and Ankle injuries which have made the Reds struggle all through the sesson.

For Scott Parker, he has only Tim Cairney who is suffering from a Knee injury to worry about.

This Liverpool’s redemption game will be played at Anfield with Kevin Friend as the centre referee