BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen is here to give his predictions ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action!
West Ham v Newcastle United
This feels like a huge game for both and could shape the rest of their season. West Ham have seen their CL Qualification hopes take a hit and have fallen out the top four. I feel for David Moyes, he was desperate to get some signings in January. West Ham’s failure to do so could have cost them top four.
I was impressed with what I saw from Newcastle last week. The players thrived off what was a brilliant atmosphere at St James’. The players look galvanised, and Joelinton is probably the best example of that. The only downside, and it is a big one, is the injury to Kieran Trippier. Trippier has been immense since joining and will be a huge miss.
Twenty points separate these two in the league, but I don’t think that will show on the pitch. I can see a very even game here, I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
Arsenal v Brentford
Arsenal to win 2-0
Top four looks very achievable now for Arsenal. I don’t think they have the biggest of squads, but they only have the league to focus on between now and the end of the season. They don’t score many, but they’ve been hard to beat in recent weeks, keeping clean sheets in their last two.
As for Brentford, that was a crucial point against Palace last week. It ends the losing streak and puts another point between them and the bottom three. Their form obviously hasn’t been good, but the bottom three are struggling to pick up wins. If they can find a few wins between now and the end of the season, that will be enough to stay up.
I don’t think Arsenal will score loads here, but I do think they will win. 2-0 to Arsenal.
Brighton v Burnley
Brighton to win 1-0
That was a frustrating defeat at Old Trafford for Brighton. They played well in large parts of the game, but the margins went against them. De Gea made a brilliant save, they hit the bar, had a man sent off, it was one of those days.
This is a massive game for Burnley. Games are running out for them, and they desperately need some wins. They’ve still got games in hand on some of the teams down there, so if they can go on a run, they’ll give themselves a chance.
These two aren’t high scorers, so I don’t think we’ll see many goals here. I think Brighton will edge this 1-0.
Liverpool v Norwich City
Liverpool to win 3-0
It’s been a great few weeks for Liverpool and Wednesday’s win in Milan was the highlight. It wasn’t their best performance, but Klopp made good subs at the right time, and changed the game. That’s got to be a real positive moving forward, Liverpool now have a squad where they have game changers on the bench.
I’m not going to judge Norwich on their defeat to Man City last week. Obviously, those aren’t the games that will decide their season, and this is the same. Their form against teams in the bottom half has picked up and their fixtures after this game ease up.
However, this should be a comfortable win at Anfield. I’d expect a few changes from Liverpool, Luis Diaz might get a start, but I can see a 3-0 Liverpool win.
Southampton v Everton
Ralph Hasenhüttl has got to be in the running for manager of the month. They more than deserved their draw at Old Trafford and possibly could even have won it. It was the same as the game against Spurs, they seemed to get better the longer the game went. Their last three games have been City, Spurs and United, to get five points from those games is a fantastic effort.
It’s early to say, but that felt like a season altering win for Everton. They badly needed a win, and they completely deserved to beat Leeds. They could have scored more than the three they got, and Donny van de Beek really caught the eye.
This is a hard one to call. Southampton’s recent form is superb, but Everton look improved under Lampard. I can see a draw here, 1-1.
Aston Villa v Watford
Aston Villa to win 2-0
I wouldn’t say Villa were bad against Newcastle, but it was a disappointing result, nonetheless. They did have a contentious VAR decision go against them, but they didn’t really threaten Newcastle. With the attacking options they have, Steven Gerrard will have been disappointed to only have the one shot on target.
Watford need a positive result to galvanise the team. It’s been a really difficult couple of months for them and I don’t have much hope for them staying up. They’ve not scored in any of their last four, that’s alarming. They had some threat at the start of the season, but the goals have really dried up.
I can’t see anything, but a routine Villa win here. 2-0.
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Chelsea to win 2-1
Palace haven’t been playing badly, but that’s now two defeats in a row. They need some luck to go their way, but they also need to take some of their chances. They’ve got a lot of attacking quality, so I think the results will pick up.
Chelsea have had a week off after winning the Club World Cup, and I’d expect them to come back in good form. They’ve got a big couple of months ahead of them, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lift some more silverware.
This will be an even game, but I think Chelsea will have too much quality for Palace. 2-1.
Manchester City v Tottenham
Manchester City to win 4-1
What a week for City, 9 goals scored and zero conceded. Pep wasn’t happy with the performance in Lisbon, so to win 5-0 shows the standards he has set for this team. Raheem Sterling scored a lovely goal in Lisbon to go with the three against Norwich, he looks in great form.
The pressure is really on Spurs now after three straight defeats in the league. I thought that Spurs would really kick-on in 2022, but they’ve really disappointed. Conte doesn’t seem happy, and the atmosphere around the club can’t be good. I don’t see things getting better this weekend and I’m going for a 4-1 win to the Citizens.
Leeds United v Manchester United
The pressure is mounting on Marcelo Bielsa. It’s been a difficult season for them, and they were poor against Everton last week. I’m expecting a response here and the atmosphere for this should be brilliant. That will help the energy levels of the players on the pitch.
United played well in spells in the win over Brighton. They’ve been creating chances in recent weeks, but they just haven’t been taking them. They’re back in the top four though and can still finish the season strongly,
This should be a thriller; I’d expect goals here. I think Leeds will take the game to United and we’ll see goals at both ends. I’m going for a 2-2 draw at Elland Road.
Wolves v Leicester City
Wolves to win 1-0
What a result that was for Wolves against Spurs. They were disappointed to lose at home to Arsenal and responded in style against Spurs. They still have a chance of making the top four, but they can’t afford many more dropped points.
Leicester conceded yet another late equaliser against West Ham and Brendan Rodgers must be frustrated. With the injuries they’ve had, dropping points in games they should have won, it feels like a season where everything has gone wrong for them.
I like Wolves here, this game means a lot more to them. They won’t score many, they never do, but I fancy them to edge this 1-0.