Premier League Preview: Gameweek 299 min read
Pep Guardiola’s formidable Manchester City side can move one step closer to the Premier League title when they take on a faltering Chelsea side at the Etihad in what promises to be a mouthwatering contest.
There’s also a reunion in Merseyside as Liverpool host Newcastle in a match which sees Rafa Benitez return to Anfield, with the Magpies desperate for points to pull away from the relegation zone.
Burnley v Everton
Burnley actually won the old first division the last time they did the double over Everton in the 1959/60 season but I think they will have to settle for a draw at Turf Moor in what is likely to be a low-scoring start to the Premier League weekend.
Burnley are without a win in their last 11 PL games while Everton, who were very poor at Watford last weekend, have only won one of their last 22 away league games.
I think the game has a draw written all over it.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at
Leicester City v Bournemouth
Leicester have never beaten Bournemouth in the Premier League in five previous games, but I think Claude Puel’s side can keep the points in the East Midlands.
The Foxes have lost just one of their last eight home league games although they had to rely on a Jack Butland own goal to salvage a point at home to Stoke last weekend.
Bournemouth have scored in their last nine PL games and might find the back of the Leicester net again on Saturday, but I expect the hosts to prevail in what promises to be an entertaining clash.
Tip: Leicester to win at
Southampton v Stoke City
Stoke can leapfrog Southampton if they take all three points at St Mary’s and this is a massive game for both clubs as they battle to maintain their PL status.
Southampton have both scored and conceded in 17 of their 28 PL games so far this season and I feel both sides will find the back of the net in what promises to be a tight, close affair.
Tip: Game to finish 1-1 at
Swansea v West Ham
Swansea won their sixth successive home game in all competitions midweek when they beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup 5th Round replay thus reaching the last eight for the first time since 1964.
West Ham were well beaten against Liverpool on Saturday but they did score at Anfield and they have now found the back of the net in their last 11 PL games. I expect to see goals at the Liberty Stadium and if there is to be a winner, I feel the hosts might edge it.
Tip: Swansea Draw No Bet
Tottenham v Huddersfield
Huddersfield have fond memories of Wembley given they are unbeaten in their last four visits including two penalty shoot-out successes following goalless draws.
They are likely to find this current Spurs side a different proposition, however, given the North London outfit have lost just one of their 33 home PL games since the start of last season.
Spurs are unbeaten in their last ten league games and Harry Kane will be a short price to score his 25th PL goal of the season and thus join Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry as only the third player in the history of the PL to score 25 or more goals in three successive seasons.
Tip: Spurs to win to nil at
Watford v West Brom
West Brom are in danger of losing touch at the foot of the PL table and last weekend’s defeat at home to Huddersfield was a body-blow to the Baggies’ chances of avoiding the drop.
The Hornets did not have to be at their best to beat Everton at Vicarage Road last weekend, but they defended well and I feel they might be able to pick off Alan Pardew’s side for whom a draw may not suffice.
Liverpool v Newcastle United
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 21 home league games against Newcastle United and they have scored more goals against the Magpies (89) than any other side in the history of the Premier League.
Rafa Benitez is sure to get a warm reception back on Merseyside and it should be noted that he is unbeaten in three previous PL games against his former club with both games at Anfield finishing 2-2.
Mo Salah has scored in his last six games for the Reds in all competitions and United need to stop the Egyptian if they are to get a positive result against this exciting Liverpool side.
Tip: Liverpool to lead at halftime/fulltime at
Brighton v Arsenal
Brighton have won their last couple of home games and I think they will give Arsenal, who have lost their last three away games in the PL, a real game at the Amex.
Glenn Murray has scored five goals in his last five home games for the Seagulls but the Gunners will have been hurt by the criticism they received after their Wembley defeat last weekend.
I expect Arsene Wenger’s side to be a different proposition against City back at the Emirates on Thursday although their recent away form remains a concern. I expect Brighton to get something from the game.
Tip: Brighton double chance (win or draw) at
Manchester City v Chelsea
Chelsea played their part in a very good game at Old Trafford last weekend but it is possible they will start their second game in a week in Manchester five points off a Champions League spot.
Eden Hazard and Willian were outstanding, especially in the first 45 minutes, against United but the worry is the pair are carrying the Blues as an attacking threat of late. City will miss their midfield enforcer Fernandinho through injury, but they have won their last 13 home PL games scoring at least twice on every occasion.
The League Cup winners have so much class that I cannot see past another home win.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score at
Crystal Palace v Manchester United
Palace have yet to win against Manchester United in the PL in 17 previous games although Palace showed against Spurs last weekend that they can roll their sleeves up and defend in numbers despite their recent injury woes.
Palace have lost all eight PL games without Wilfried Zaha and scored just one goal in those games. Monday’s game might come just too soon for Zaha to return to Roy Hodgson’s squad although he is reported to be nearing a return to full fitness.
United may have to be patient but I expect them to take all three points.
Tip: United to win and under 2.5 goals at
My weekend wager: Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester City at