Premier League Matchday 36: United and Chelsea In Top Four Tussle9 min read
Liverpool start the Premier League weekend on Friday evening when they entertain relegated Huddersfield Town at Anfield. Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts on all the action at both ends of the table.
Liverpool v Huddersfield
Huddersfield haven’t scored in their last eight meetings against Liverpool in all competitions and it is hard to make a case for the Terriers against title chasing Liverpool who must win after rivals Manchester City regained top spot following their 2-0 success at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. The Reds have won their last six league games on the spin and are unbeaten in their last 38 home league games. Huddersfield have lost their five away games against the other “big six” sides by an aggregate total of 2-19. Liverpool to march on and improve their goal difference along the way.
Tip: Over 4.5 goals
Tottenham v West Ham
It looked like being one of those nights for Spurs against Brighton midweek but Christian Eriksen’s late winner was enough to give the hosts their fourth successive win since moving into the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and they have yet to concede a goal in that run. West Ham played their part in a terrific game against Leicester last weekend, but they continue to leak goals and I feel the hosts will gain another valuable three points although they may lose their proud defensive home record.
Tip: Spurs to win and both teams to score
Crystal Palace v Everton
Both Palace and Everton gained excellent wins against “big six” sides Arsenal and Manchester United respectively on Sunday, but the Eagles must transfer their excellent away form back to Selhurst Park while the Blues lost at Craven Cottage in their last away league game. I expect to see an open entertaining game, but I can’t split the sides.
Tip: Score draw
Fulham v Cardiff City
Fulham gained back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since 2014 when they won at the Vitality Stadium last weekend and Scott Parker will almost be as delighted with successive clean sheets as the six hard-earned points. Cardiff were no match for a rampant Liverpool on Sunday although they did give themselves a chance of maintaining their Premier League status when winning at the Amex last week. The Bluebirds need a positive result at Craven Cottage, but it is the hosts to land the hat-trick for me.
Tip: Fulham to win
Southampton v Bournemouth
Southampton have dropped a league-high 25 points from winning positions after Watford’s late equaliser at Vicarage Road midweek. Bournemouth lost at home to Fulham last weekend and, despite winning 5-0 at Brighton recently, they are largely struggling on the road. Southampton to gain a victory that will ensure they are playing Premier League football next term.
Tip: Southampton to win
Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Watford have conceded in their last nine PL games and it only took Southampton seven seconds to score at Vicarage Road midweek. That said I don’t expect to see many – if any goals – in this repeat of the recent FA Cup semi-final between the teams at Wembley. Wolves were excellent when beating Arsenal 3-1 at Molineux Wednesday but will do well to back that performance up so quickly here despite looking to avenge that cup heartache.
Tip: Under 1.5 goals
Brighton v Newcastle United
Brighton have failed to score in seven successive games in all competitions and I don’t expect to see a goal-fest at the Amex at the weekend. The Seagulls have defended stoically in recent games and it is possible that their point at Molineux last weekend might be the difference between survival and relegation. The Seagulls begin the weekend three points above the drop zone with a superior goal difference to Cardiff. A point against Newcastle might be a good result depending on the result at Craven Cottage.
Tip: Game to finish 0-0
Leicester City v Arsenal
Arsenal missed a chance to move back into the top four when tamely surrendering 3-1 at Wolves during the week. That made it successive PL defeats after they were beaten 3-2 at home by Crystal Palace previously. Leicester therefore must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of facing such a weak rearguard and I expect goals aplenty here. The Foxes drew 2-2 with West Ham last time out and rarely keep a clean sheet so one thing is for sure, it won’t finish goalless!
Tip: Over 3.5 goals
Burnley v Manchester City
City passed what at least on paper looked their last really stern test when winning 2-0 at Old Trafford during the week. They now have three games left to reclaim the title and will expect to win at Burnley where they are long odds on favourites. The Clarets are finishing the season well after dicing with relegation and 10 points from a possible 12 has secured safety for another year. I expect them to continue to fight hard but the visitors should have too much class.
Tip: Man City to win with under 4.5 match goals
Manchester United v Chelsea
After a mini revival under new management, United are struggling and have conceded 9 times without reply in their last three games in all competitions. They are three points behind Chelsea who occupy fourth position and realistically will need to win to have any hopes of catching them. The Pensioners missed a chance on Monday when held 2-2 by Burnley at Stamford Bridge and may well take the view avoiding defeat is their best option. With both low on confidence, a point each looks quite likely and keeps both managers reasonably happy.
Michael’s weekend wager: Spurs, Fulham and Southampton all to win