Premier League Matchday 27: Six Of The Top 10 Face-Off8 min read
Chelsea v Tottenham
Chelsea to win
Spurs will leapfrog London rivals Chelsea and move into the top four with a win although the news earlier in the week that Son Heung-min had joined Harry Kane on the sidelines sways me further towards the hosts, despite their home defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Monday.
Frank Lampard’s side did not get the rub of the green against United, but I felt the best side won on the night and with Bayern Munich visiting the Bridge on Tuesday in the Champions League, this is a season-defining period for the Blues who have already lost seven times in front of their home supporters this campaign.
Burnley v Bournemouth
Burnley to win
Bournemouth have lost seven of their last eight away league games while Burnley have picked up ten points from their last four league games and were good value for their win at St Mary’s in their last outing.
Bournemouth begin the weekend just two points above the relegation zone and with the Clarets in such good form, I would be surprised if the Cherries got anything from their trip to Turf Moor.
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United
Under 1.5 goals
Crystal Palace are without a clean sheet in their last ten league games and have failed to score in the opening 45 minutes of 21 of their 26 league games so far this term. Those are worrying statistics for the Eagles ahead of the visit of Newcastle to Selhurst Park.
The Magpies are pulling up few trees themselves of late, however, although they gave as good as they got for 45 minutes at the Emirates on Sunday. I don’t expect to see many goals in the capital.
Sheffield United v Brighton
Sheffield United to win
Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last seven games against teams starting the day in the bottom half of the table (W6 D1) and I expect to see the Blades continue their magnificent season against a Brighton side who have yet to win in the league in 2020.
The Seagulls have come from behind to pick up valuable points at West Ham and at home to Watford in their last couple of league games, but Chris Wilder’s side are very much in the mix for a Champions League spot this season which would be a remarkable achievement for all involved at the club.
Southampton v Aston Villa
Both teams to score
Southampton were disappointing against Burnley last weekend and they have only picked up 11 points in front of their home supporters so far this season – the fewest of any side in the division.
Both sides have scored in all nine of Villa’s games so far in 2020 and I would be surprised if that sequence was broken at St Mary’s.
Leicester City v Manchester City
City to win and both teams to score
With a trip to the Bernabeu and a meeting with La Liga league leaders Real Madrid to follow midweek, this is a hectic period for Pep Guardiola’s side who cannot feel sorry for themselves after the announcement last week that they will be banned from UEFA competition for the next couple of years.
Leicester are without a win in three and are not playing with the same fluency as they were before the turn of the year. I expect to see City claim the points before their trip to the Spanish capital.
Manchester United v Watford
Game to finish in a draw
Manchester United were outstanding at Stamford Bridge on Monday, but they face a tricky game in Bruges in the Europa League on Thursday, and I believe relegation-threatened Watford will gain a valuable point on Sunday.
It will be interesting to see if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer perseveres with the back three he deployed at Chelsea, where Eric Bailly made a very impressive return to the starting XI.
Watford have dropped 17 points from winning positions so far this season – a league high – but they are fighting for their Premier League survival and I think they might shock a few people at Old Trafford given United’s hectic schedule.
Wolves v Norwich City
Wolves to win to nil
Wolves have played out back-to-back goalless draws but I would be surprised if they drew a blank at Molineux when Norwich are the visitors on Sunday.
The Canaries are in danger of becoming marooned at the foot of the division although it took a late goal by substitute Sadio Mane to give runaway league leaders Liverpool all three points at Carrow Road last weekend.
Arsenal v Everton
Arsenal to win
Arsenal put four past Newcastle in the second half at the Emirates on Sunday, but they faced a difficult looking trip to Greece in the Europa League on Thursday and Everton will provide a stern test for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Only Liverpool (24) have picked up more points since Carlo Ancelotti took charge of Everton (17) at the beginning of December, but the Blues have arguably had a good run of fixtures and we will know more about the long-term future of many of this current Everton squad after their next four league fixtures which reads: Arsenal (A), Man United (H), Chelsea (A) and Liverpool (H).
It promises to be a most informative game which I think Arsenal will edge.
Liverpool v West Ham United
Liverpool to win to nil
Liverpool may have lost on their return to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium midweek, but I was impressed with how they managed the game after going a goal down to Atletico, although their lack of an away goal is a slight concern ahead of the second leg at Anfield next month.
Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in 10 of their last 11 league games and I don’t think David Moyes’ relegation-threatened West Ham side will be able to prevent another three points for Jurgen Klopp’s record-breaking Reds.
Michael’s weekend treble: Burnley, Wolves and Sheffield United