Gameweek 25 in the Premier League is upon us, boasting several noteworthy fixtures.
We take a look at the games in which a Italians will partake in some shape or form as the nationality’s influence continues to solidify itself in England.
Manchester United vs Watford
Walter Mazzari will have an interesting match-up this week against Jose Mourinho’s resurgent Manchester United side. Both teams have faced an upturn in fortunes recently which can be attributed to various factors for each side respectively. Mazzari’s side have won two games in a row, with the 1-2 win over Arsenal signaling their intent to challenge the big teams. Manchester United, on the other hand, have been on on scintillating form and are currently on a 15 match unbeaten run. They have barely dropped any points and are looking to attain a desperately sought after Champions League spot. United recently defeated reigning EPL champions Leicester City convincingly 0-3 and are riding on a wave of confidence.
The last time these sides met, Mazzarri masterminded a 3-1 win over United, shocking a number of people in the process. He will need to utilise the impact of newcomer M’Baye Niang once again to deliver his devastating runs, and captailise on Troy Deeney’s strength upfront. Mourinho has a plethora of talent to call upon, and none are more lethal than the combination of Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan who are crucial to their success recently.
This is a different team than the one Mazzarri faced earlier in the year and it may prove difficult to get the win. A draw would be considered a successful outing for Watford.
Chelsea vs Leicester City
This year’s possible Champion vs last years Champion. Conte vs Ranieri, 1st vs 16th. Conte’s Chelsea are on such a great run, it seems impossible for them to lose the title with the number of points separating them from the rest of the pack. In stark contrast, Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester are struggling considerably to the point where they are two points shy of the drop zone.
Quite the drop off for last seasons miracle champions. However, Ranieri’s side managed to get a morale boosting 3-1 win in the FA cup this week, and will look to use that confidence booster to finally attain a much needed win. Ranieri will need last seasons stars to fire on all cylinders if they hope to not drop further down. Chelsea, on the hand, look nearly unstoppable and with Hazard hitting his stride, it looks like a near impossible task for Leicester to get the win.
Odder things have happened if Hull City’s win over Liverpool is anything to go by.
Southampton vs Tottenham
Southampton take on second place Spurs who are looking to maintain their chase of Chelsea’s 9 point advantage. A win over Southampton would keep them within distance of the Blues and they look a good bet of achieving it over Manolo Gabbiadini’s Southampton.
Gabbiadini made a lasting impression with an absolute rocket of a goal in his first 12 minutes of his club debut, and the Saints are hoping he can continue to reproduce these heroics for the remainder of the season.
Pochettino’s Spurs look the most likely to challenge Chelsea for the title, even if their is some distance between 1st and 2nd. They needed a late Harry Kane penalty to dispel struggling Middlesbrough, but look to have finally overcome their inability to maintain their consistency unlike previous seasons. It is more than likely that Tottenham will run out winners.