Leicester to win & btts
Leicester City v Newcastle United (Friday 20.00) 2-1
Brendan Rodgers voiced his frustration at the number of fixtures his Leicester side have played recently. Tired legs may be creeping in, however, with a week between this match and their last, he should be able to field the same XI if he wanted to.
The Foxes could only muster a draw against Southampton last week, a game which must go down as two points dropped with the home side playing most of the match with 10-men.
Newcastle have turned the corner in recent weeks, and despite having the poorest away form outside of the bottom three, they took a well-earned point away from Anfield last time they were on their travels.
With Leicester chasing Champions League qualification, I do see the Foxes as the likely winner here. A week-long break will have done them no harm, and I reckon they’ll have enough to get a result.
Tottenham to win
Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday 12.30) 1-2
After a string of impressive results, Leeds were brought back down to earth in their 2-0 away defeat at Brighton last week. Tottenham bounced back from their Carabao Cup final defeat with a 4-0 win against Sheffield United, a victory that will have done their confidence no harm at all.
Now a couple of games in, it looks like Ryan Mason has removed the shackles and is prepared to throw caution to the wind. That said, this is his first match away from home in the Premier League, so it will be interesting to see if he continues with these tactics.
If he does, we could be in for an entertaining affair. There’s no doubt that Elland Road is a tough place to go, however, if Tottenham pick up where they left off against Sheffield United, I think they’ll win.
Correct score 0-0
Sheffield United v Crystal Palace (Saturday 15.00) 0-0
It’s all about planning for next season for Paul Heckingbotham at Sheffield United. Last weeks 4-0 defeat against Tottenham was the Blades’ 27th defeat of the Premier League season, so it’s fair to say it’s been a long campaign for fans of the Brammall Lane club.
Crystal Palace weren’t humiliated but ultimately succumbed to a far superior Manchester City side last week, losing 2-0.
Interestingly, only one team has scored in five of the past six meetings between the two sides, so it’s likely that we’ll witness a low scoring affair.
With that in mind, I’m going for a stalemate between two sides that have nothing other than pride to play for on the day.
Manchester City v Chelsea (Saturday 17.30) 1-1
It’s a dress rehearsal of the UEFA Champions League final at the Etihad as Chelsea make the trip north.
This should be another intense tactical battle between two of the best managers in the game. What makes it more interesting, is that both have contrasting styles.
We saw that in their FA Cup tie when Chelsea took the spoils. I think they’ll set up much the same here and try to hit City on the counter.
Those tactics worked a treat in their midweek win against Real Madrid, however, City’s much improved defence will be harder to breach.
For City, we know what to expect. Ball retention is a huge part of their game, so with that, coupled with Chelsea’s patient approach, I can see another tight game evolving. It’s set to be a fascinating encounter, but it’s one I think is likely to end all square.
Liverpool to win -1 goal
Liverpool v Southampton (Saturday 20.15) 2-0
With last week’s match against Manchester United postponed, Liverpool should come into this one with fresh legs. The Reds’ will have the option to use all their strikers as well, something that hasn’t always been available this season for Jurgen Klopp.
You must give Southampton credit for taking a point against Leicester last week. The Saints played most of the match with 10 men, but despite that, really got stuck in. Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl will have been delighted with that; however, his side’s form on the road has been a huge cause for concern in recent weeks.
Southampton defeated Liverpool early in the season during a spell where the Reds had a lot of injuries. That list has reduced considerably now, and with a Champions League spot in their sights, I think it’ll be Liverpool who take the points.
Wolves v Brighton (Sunday 12.00) 1-1
There are five points between these two sides with both clear of the drop zone. Wolves arrive here having lost only one their last four games, although they did draw 1-1 with relegated West Brom last week.
Brighton defeated Leeds 2-0 last week in an impressive display. When they put it all together, they are a decent side. With a couple of sensible additions over the Summer, Graham Potters’ side could do much better next term.
Games between these two have a history of being tight and I’m anticipating another close one here. It’s 1-1 for me.
Manchester United to win 1-0
Aston Villa v Manchester United (Sunday 14.05) 0-1
Many a classic has been played down the years between these two at Villa Park. Can you believe that Villa’s last win against United at home was back in 1995?
So, with that in mind, it’s fair to say this is a happy hunting ground for the Red Devils. What’s more, the visitors arrive here undefeated in their last 24 away games in the Premier League.
Both these sides have been excellent on the counter this season, and when sides that play that way meet, it can often result in a cagey affair.
I’m thinking this one could be just like that, although I do believe United have enough to take the points.
West Ham to win
West Ham United v Everton (Sunday 16.30) 2-1
West Ham welcome Everton to the London Stadium in the envious position of fifth spot in the table. Of course, I say envious because Toffees fans will feel after starting their season so well all those months ago, it could be them in that position.
That said, on paper there isn’t much at all between these two, so I think this could come down to who wants it more. The Hammers can still get into the heady heights of the top four, and with one eye on how Chelsea get on against Manchester City, I think they’ll get a narrow victory.
Arsenal to win & btts
Arsenal v West Brom (Sunday 19.00) 3-1
West Brom visit London with nothing other than pride to play for after suffering relegation from the Premier League. They take on an Arsenal side that were unlucky to go out of the Europa League on Thursday night.
They created loads of chances, but it just wasn’t enough. Unfortunately for West Brom, I think this could be the case of meeting a ‘wounded animal’ and reckon they may feel the wrath of a frustrated Arsenal side.
Burnley to win
Fulham v Burnley (Monday 20.00) 0-1
It now or never for Fulham at the bottom end of the Premier League. Lose or draw this one and they are down. Burnley will know all too well that this is a huge six pointer with the stakes so high for both.
Fulham simply have to go for it, and I get the impression that Burnley will quite happily soak it up with the hope of nicking one on the break. Unfortunately for the Cottagers, that’s what I think could play out here. It’s 1-0 to the Clarets for me.