Chelsea vs Huddersfield Town

Chelsea vs Huddersfield Town preview: Tough London trip for the Terriers

Huddersfield Town began this Premier League campaign in the worst way possible. Match day one spelled defeat as David Wagner and his wards were soundly beaten 3-0 in front of their home crowd. Chelsea did the inflicting. For match day 24, the Terriers travel to west London to face the same foe. For more reasons than one, this isn’t a trip that sparks excitement for the west Yorkshire side. More likely the exact opposite.

If Huddersfield could pick and choose fixtures to play at this moment, they surely wouldn’t choose to play a top-six Premier League side, desperate for a top-four finish. Confidence levels in Jan Siewert’s side are at an all-time low.

Since the start of the season, the Terriers have looked a shadow of themselves from last term. At this point in 2017/18, they were 14th in the League with a real chance of beating the drop, which they did. They’re currently bottom of the league without a glimmer of hope of staying in the top-tier beyond May 2019. Read More

Bournemouth vs Chelsea Preview

Bournemouth vs Chelsea Preview: The same, but different

Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on an inconsistent Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night. The Blues overcame Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, but lost 2-0 at Arsenal in their last Premier League clash on January 19 to leave themselves vulnerable in the top four.

Indeed, from being comfortable in the Champions League spots, Chelsea are now facing pressure from the teams behind them. Sarri’s side go into match week 24 in fourth, but they are just three points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United. As that duo have home games with Cardiff and Burnley respectively on Tuesday, there’s every chance they will be level on points with the Blues when they kick off on the south coast.

This latest Bournemouth vs Chelsea clash will be the 15th meeting in all competitions. The Blues have won 11 of the previous 14, while there has never been a draw between the two teams. Never a draw! Amazing, isn’t it?

Maybe that’s because both sides love possession. Chelsea have 696 passes on average per match, while Bournemouth have 424. Eddie Howe sets his teams to play possession based football, moving the ball around in a dynamic and expansive manner. Similar to Sarri, but also different. Read More

Chelsea vs Newcastle

Chelsea vs Newcastle Preview: Can depleted Magpies’ shock the Blues?

Newcastle United fans are used to managing expectations, but their manager, Rafael Benitez certainly isn’t. Not to this level, anyway. It should never be underestimated how surprising it is to see a Champions League-winning manager, somebody who has worked with some of the best players and clubs in the world, battling on even though he knows avoiding relegation is probably the best he can achieve this season.

Sitting just two points above the drop zone with injuries piling up, Newcastle travel to Chelsea on Saturday evening. Benitez can only look on in envy at the squad his opposite number, Maurizio Sarri, has at his disposal, but he continues to get on with his job.

The Spaniard has a self-imposed embargo on his head when it comes to discussing transfers, so most fans are being left in the dark. The inference, though, is that nothing is close to happening, and judging by the previous actions of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, that does seem about right.

The Magpies are particularly short on central midfielders for the game at Stamford Bridge; given that most games at the top level hinge on the battle in the centre of the park, that is particularly bad news. Read More

Chelsea vs Leicester

Chelsea vs Leicester Preview: Good times for Blues, pressure on Foxes

After losing 3-1 to Arsenal at the Emirates, Leicester City embarked on a six-game unbeaten run. It ensured they remained inside the Premier League top 10 up until match day 15. But two consecutive defeats have sent the Foxes reeling. They’re now 12th in the table and could sink further with another defeat here.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are beginning to breathe some fresh air. They got hounded by Wolves on match day 15 but bounced back remarkably to end Manchester City’s unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory. It was followed by a trip to Brighton that saw them return with all three points.

Leicester must know what to expect when they travel to Stamford Bridge: they won’t see the ball too often. Maurizio Sarri’s system depends on steady buildup and smooth passing. It’s why the Blues are second behind Manchester City in terms of passes completed, with 11,718 passes, and why five Chelsea players are among the Premier League’s top 10 passers so far. Read More

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Preview: Time for the first time

Let me put a question to you, Premier League fans: when was the last time you did something for the first time ever? Well, Mr. Roy Hodgson will meet Sarri’s boys for the first time this season. And I believe he is very excited to do so.

I mean, who wouldn’t be? Imagine you are a football manager and you must prepare your team to face one of the most brilliant teams of the season, at their ground. Also, you should be prepared to play against a couple of talented players, who can beat you in the blink of an eye.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Looking at Chelsea’s ‘Effective Time Possession’ graphic against Burnley, it’s all about the left side. Assuming they will repeat patterns, the connection between Marco Alonso and Eden Hazard will be key. Perhaps the most dangerous duo in the Premier League this season? Read More

Premier League Team of Week 7

Premier League Team of Week 7: Two Harrys and Sterling Silva

It’s week seven in the Premier League, and almost a fifth of the 2018/19 campaign is in the bag already. The game of the weekend was Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool, but only players from one side in that match make it in here. We also have seven debutants, including some very big names showing their faces in these parts for the first time. The Premier League team of week 7 begins with a player who only played one half of their match.

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno. Arsenal 2-0 Watford.

Leno replaced Petr Cech in the Gunners’ home win over Watford, yet despite only playing for 47 minutes, he topped our defence leader board this week. That he was able to do that probably explains why there are no Arsenal defenders in this team. Read More

Premier League Fantasy Football Picks: Week Seven

Premier League Fantasy Football Picks: Week Seven

Here at Twelve, we’ve been wondering if we can use our algorithm in order to do well at fantasy football. To test the theory, we’ve been playing Draft Kings‘ weekly Premier League game, in which you have to select players from their chosen matches.

Our performance has been on an upward trend, but we’re still short of taking home the cash prizes. Perhaps as more player data is accrued for 2018/19, we’ll get even better? We can but hope. Here are the matches for this week’s game, which players would you select?

Premier League Fantasy Football Picks: Week Seven Draft Kings

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West Ham vs Chelsea Premier League Preview

West Ham vs Chelsea Preview: Hammers should fear the ugly sorcerer

West Ham claimed their first win of the season last time out while leaders Chelsea are looking to make it six victories from their first six matches. Sarri is striving for perfection and it brought him limited satisfaction to hear that he has emulated Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare by becoming the fourth manager to win his first five EPL games.

“I cannot change my mind because of one match,” Chelsea’s manager said. “My target is to be the best team in England, but not in one month. Maybe one season. Maybe a little more. But at the moment, in my opinion, Liverpool and Manchester City are better than us.”

But how can’t we say that Chelsea are favourites when eight of the top 10 players from both sides according to Twelve’s data are from the Blues? Read More