2019/20 Premier League
Round 26, part I
8-9 February 2020
With the Premier League
undergoing a ‘winter break’ which sees a full round spread over the next two weekends, Sheffield United will look to move into the top five with their clash at home to Bournemouth on Sunday.
The clash at Bramall Lane gives the Blades the chance to move up to fifth spot with a win – ahead of the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Such has been the excellence of Chris Wilder’s team that a push for next season’s UEFA Champions League is not out of the question, though the manager himself says they need to keep pressing hard.
“We're in a great place as a football club,” explained Wilder. “With the quality we've signed, the results we're getting and the performances we're getting — even when we're not at our best. But the key is to not pat yourself on the back. A lot of good things are happening at the football club but we've got to keep going on to the next challenge.”
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And Bournemouth will represent a tricky challenge for Sheffield, with the Cherries fresh in confidence after back-to-back Premier League wins. The South Coast side have moved out of the relegation zone and, according to manager Eddie Howe are “showing we want to be in the Premier League”.
The mini round opens on Saturday afternoon with Everton looking to build on the momentum of their 3-2 win away to Watford when they welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park. The Toffees have been inconsistent under manager Carlo Ancelotti, but will back themselves to beat an Eagles team which has struggled for form in recent weeks.
Also on the card is a relegation six-pointer between Brighton and Watford, with both teams desperate to claim three vital points in their battle against the drop, while the round closes on Sunday evening with Manchester City hosting West Ham United and looking to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend which left them a whopping 22 points adrift of leaders Liverpool.
Premier League fixtures, 8-9 February 2020
Saturday 8 February
15:30: Everton v Crystal Palace
20:30: Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford
Sunday 9 February
17:00: Sheffield United v Bournemouth
19:30: Manchester City v West Ham United
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