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    Three Matches to Watch in Wednesday's EPL action

    West Ham's Dimitri Payet shoots a free-kick against Liverpool during Sunday's 2-2 draw. (Credit to Mirror UK.)
    Round #16 of the Barclays Premier League kicked off Tuesday with two matches, and will continue Wednesday with eight additional matches. Due to the busy December month, teams will be playing more matches this month than normal. With it being a short week, I decided to take a look at three matches on Wednesday that jump out than the rest.

                                  Middlesbrough (16th) vs. Liverpool (3rd) -- 19:45 G.M.T.
    This match is intriguing for a number of reasons with both teams sitting at opposite sides of the league table. Liverpool are coming off two disappointing results, losing 4-3 at Bournemouth two weekends ago before drawing vs. West Ham last weekend. After being in the top spot, they now sit in third and are desperate for a positive result tomorrow at the Riverside. Goalkeeper Loris Karius was at the front of the criticism after his play against West Ham and will need a better performance against Boro' to relieve some of the stress.

    As for Boro, they are coming off a 1-0 road defeat to Southampton in which they weren't able to make the most of their chances. Liverpool is a tougher task than Southampton, but they need to be able to frustrate Liverpool when they have the ball. Middlesbrough relies on their back-line and Ben Gibson and Calum Chambers will have to be at their best against a pacey Liverpool attack. Alvaro Negredo needs to be more of a force in attack, if Middlesbrough wants to tally more goals this season.  
    Burnley's Stephen Ward shoots on goal during his side's 3-2 win over Bournemouth last Saturday. (Credit to Mirror UK.)

         West Ham United (17th) vs. Burnley (13th) -- 19:45 G.M.T. 
    Even though both sides are in the bottom half of the league table, this match should be an interesting one at the London Stadium. West Ham have underachieved so far this season after last year, and need to pick it up to get out of the bottom half. A 2-2 draw against Liverpool is a positive result, but they need their fighting spirit back that saw them finish seventh a season ago. Dimitri Payet (two goals, five assists) and Michail Antonio (seven goals) have been the Hammers' best two players this season and will be heavily relied on to get them on a winning run.

    After falling in three straight, Sean Dyche's Clarets defeated Bournemouth at Turf Moor 3-2 on Saturday. The return of Tom Heaton in goal was a plus, while three goals by three different players was also a nice positive. Burnley have the ability to score goals, the problem is trying to pick up results on the road. Out of their 17 points so far this campaign, only one was earned away from Turf Moor. To avoid a relegation fight this season, Burnley have to be more consistent on the road, and luckily their next opponent has struggled at their new stadium. 

                                        Manchester City (4th) vs. Watford (7th) -- 20:00 G.M.T.
    A must-watch is Pep Guardiola's Manchester City taking on Walter Mazzari's Watford at the Etihad Stadium. City have struggled lately, losing two-in-a-row in league play, and struggling on the defensive side. After Chelsea put three past the Citizens, Jamie Vardy netted a hat-trick this past Saturday in a 4-2 Leicester thumping of Pep's side. With Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho out due to suspension, Pep has been forced to rotate some players in the side. With Nicolas Otamendi returning to the side from a one-match ban, he should start with John Stones in defence. heading into a huge showdown with Arsenal on Sunday, Manchester City need a positive result against Watford to build some momentum.

    Watford, are coming into this match after a 3-2 home win over Everton. Striker Stefano Okaka netted a brace and should be starting again with Troy Deeney up-top.Both strikers bring physicality to the squad and are threats with their feet and head. The return of Roberto Pereyra after a one-match ban should help in the midfield and build-up play, while Sebastian Prodl has done a nice job in the centre of defence. With a reasonable rest of December approaching, Watford could definitely use another impressive win to head into matches with Sunderland and Crystal Palace.

    These are three matches that should be at the top priority of your viewing schedule as Round #16 comes to a close. Round #17 kicks off on Saturday, and will continue on Sunday and conclude next Monday with a Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park. Be sure to check back to Premier League Preview for all the recaps, opinion, and news regarding the top-flight in England.

    To check out any additional work of mine, follow me on twitter at @lhenry019.

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    Item Reviewed: Three Matches to Watch in Wednesday's EPL action Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Larry Henry Jr
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