Premier League Matchday 35: Tricky Away Trip For Manchester United10 min read
Liverpool and Manchester City continue to trade blows at the top of the Premier League, and it is City who are again in action first this weekend when they entertain Spurs for the second time in less than 72 hours at the Etihad in Saturday’s early kick off.
Manchester City v Tottenham
No quadruple for Manchester City this season after Spurs won an epic Champions League quarter-final on away goals at the Etihad midweek. City may count themselves unlucky, but they must dust themselves down and prepare for two tumultuous PL games over the next week given they travel to Old Trafford midweek for the rearranged Manchester Derby.
City have won their last three PL games against Spurs and, let’s not forget, they did win the second leg tie on Wednesday. Spurs have much to play for themselves as they chase a top four finish – they cannot afford to just concentrate on the Champions League although they will be favourites against Ajax in the semi-final.
Spurs will always be a threat on the break, but I feel City will take all three points and set up what promises to be an Old Trafford showdown on Wednesday.
Tip: City to win and over 2.5 goals at
Bournemouth v Fulham
Bournemouth haven’t won in their last four home league games, but I think they will buck that trend against Fulham even though the Cottagers picked up a rare win and clean sheet against Everton at Craven Cottage last weekend.
Bournemouth put five past Brighton at the Amex Stadium at the weekend, and there are almost invariably goals in Bournemouth games with 110 scored so far in their 34 previous PL games so far this season.
The Cherries to win a game with chances at both ends.
Tip: Bournemouth to win and both teams to score at
Huddersfield v Watford
Watford have lost three of their last four in the league, but they have reached the final of the FA Cup during this period and I think will return to winning ways against relegated Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Hornets were forced to play Arsenal with 10-men for much of the game at Vicarage Road on Monday and will have to do without suspended Troy Deeney, but Javi Gracia’s side have a number of squad players looking to get a minimum of a place on the bench at Wembley next month.
I expect Watford to inflict a record 14th home league loss of the season on the Terriers.
Tip: Watford to win and under 2.5 goals at
West Ham v Leicester City
West Ham put behind a couple of poor displays last weekend when they were unfortunate not to come away from Old Trafford with at least a point.
A point is all I can see them getting against Leicester back at the London Stadium, however, with the Foxes looking for a third successive away league win for the first time in three years.
I expect to see an open, entertaining clash with honours even.
Tip: Game to finish in a scoring draw at
Wolves v Brighton
Brighton begin the weekend just two points above the relegation places having lost vital home games to Bournemouth and Cardiff this week without finding the back of the visitor’s net.
These are worrying times for the Seagulls and I don’t expect them to get anything at Molineux, with the hosts playing their first game back on home soil since they surrendered a two-goal lead in the FA Cup semi-final to Watford earlier in the month.
Tip: Wolves to win at
Newcastle United v Southampton
Southampton have won four of their last six PL games but will probably think they need one more win before they can consider themselves safe from the drop. Eight wins from 18 games shows what a good job Ralph Hasenhuttl has done since he took charge at St Mary’s.
United picked up a very good three points at the King Power Stadium last Friday and they have won five of their last six home games at St James’ Park. I feel they may have to settle for a point against this progressive Saints’ side.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at
Everton v Manchester United
Manchester United had their moments early on at the Nou Camp midweek, but they were, ultimately, well beaten by Barcelona and they need to bounce back at Everton on Sunday if they are to maintain their challenge for a top four spot.
Everton will miss Andre Gomez after his retrospective red card against Fulham at the weekend when the Blues did not play with the energy or pace they had done in their good recent run.
It is never easy at Goodison, but I feel United will take all three points and keep the pressure on the London clubs who are challenging for the Champions League places. Romelu Lukaku was left out at the Nou Camp midweek, but I feel he will be restored to the starting XI against his old club. He has much to play for.
Tip: Lukaku to score at anytime at
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Arsenal face a very difficult trip to Naples on Thursday, but I feel they will pick up maximum points against Palace and gain an 11th successive home league win on Sunday – a record for the club in top-flight football.
Palace have picked up more points on the road (23 of 39) than they have at Selhurst Park so far this term and although they do have pace and power on the break, I feel the Gunners will continue their excellent recent home league run.
Tip: Arsenal to win and both teams to score at
Cardiff City v Liverpool
Cardiff gave themselves a chance of avoiding the drop when they won at Brighton midweek and the Bluebirds start the weekend just three points from safety.
Had the Bluebirds lost at the Amex on Tuesday one would expect an air of resignation at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, but there is likely to be a renewed optimism on the terraces following that win at the Amex.
The Reds have the class and belief to cope with anything Cardiff can throw at them, however, and I expect Jurgen Klopp’s side to run out comfortable winners.
Tip: Liverpool -2 at
Chelsea v Burnley
Chelsea have lost just one of their last 20 home league games, but the Clarets have won their last three and I feel they will give the Blues plenty to think about at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
Chelsea were in Europa League action on Thursday and they have two strings to their Champions League bow given they held a lead from the 1st leg in Prague. Burnley won the corresponding fixture last season, but I expect to see an Eden Hazard inspired Chelsea keep the points.
Tip: Chelsea halftime/fulltime at
Michael’s weekend treble: Wolves, Bournemouth and Chelsea at