ALIS­TAIR TWEEDALE

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League -

Liver­pool and Manch­ester City are so far ahead of the rest of the Premier League that every game looks like a guar­an­teed three points. Suc­cess is far less as­sured, how­ever, for the rest of the “Big Six”, as the early part of this sea­son has shown.

Tot­ten­ham, Chelsea and Manch­ester United have slipped up in games they would have been ex­pected to win, and things are not go­ing to get eas­ier this week­end, with Spurs and Chelsea fac­ing two of the tough­est games that ex­ist in the top flight.

Crys­tal Palace are the

vis­i­tors to north Lon­don, hav­ing won at Old Traf­ford last month, while Chelsea go to Wolves, where they, Arse­nal, Manch­ester United and Liver­pool were all de­feated last sea­son.

Since the start of the 2018-19 cam­paign, no team have won more points at the Premier League’s “Big Six” than Palace. Their 10 points are matched only by Manch­ester City (al­though they have played fewer games).

Palace’s coun­ter­at­tack­ing game per­fectly suits fac­ing teams who dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion. Spurs strug­gled to break down New­cas­tle’s deep block in their 1-0 de­feat last month and the vis­i­tors to­day will have a sim­i­lar game plan. Palace have the best de­fen­sive record in the Premier League this sea­son, hav­ing con­ceded only two goals in four games, while the pace of Wil­fried Zaha and Jor­dan Ayew on the break could cause prob­lems.

Wolves have out­played every “Big-six” team at some stage since their pro­mo­tion a year ago, and to­day they will be­lieve they can do so again when faced with a Chelsea team still adapt­ing to life un­der Frank Lam­pard.

In home games, only Liver­pool and City have taken more points off the “Big Six” than Wolves, with 11 since the start of last sea­son.

Wolves won 2-1 at home to Chelsea last De­cem­ber and were only de­nied a vic­tory at Stam­ford Bridge by a last-gasp Eden Haz­ard equaliser.

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