Premier League Preview: Gameweek 249 min read
Liverpool inflicted a first domestic defeat of the season upon Manchester City last weekend and Manchester United supporters might take heart from one “interesting stat” before the weekend games.
On 20th January 1996, United were 12 points behind leaders Newcastle United after 23 league games before going on to win the Premier League title. United travel to Turf Moor on Saturday 12 points behind their neighbours City after 23 Pl fixtures.
I’ve once again shared my thoughts on all the weekend action exclusively for BetVictor.
Brighton v Chelsea
At the time of writing – before their midweek FA Cup 3rd Round Replay with Norwich – Chelsea have played out three successive 0-0 draws but the good news for Antonio Conte and Blues’ fans is that Brighton have lost their last seven games against Chelsea in all competitions. I expect the visitors to take the points.
The Seagulls have been tough to beat, especially at home, this season but their two home defeats have been at the hands of City and Liverpool and they have failed to score in eight of their last 12 league games. They lack the class of the west London outfit.
Chelsea to win to nil at
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
John Salako scored the winner – at Highbury – the last time Palace beat Arsenal away back in 1994 and I think the Gunners will keep the points despite the fact that the Eagles have been on an impressive run since Roy Hodgson took charge.
When the sides met in the reverse fixture back in December, Alexis Sanchez scored a brace but it looks as if the Chilean will join Manchester United between now and the end of the window.
Arsenal are entering a period of transition but they still have some quality attacking players and they can keep all three points in what should be an entertaining derby.
Arsenal to win and both teams to score at
Burnley v Manchester United
United have only conceded one goal in their last nine visits to Turf Moor and I expect Jose Mourinho’s side to have too much pace and class for the Clarets who have not won in their last six PL games.
United have scored at least twice in their last five away league games and Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku were back to their best against Stoke earlier in the week. The pair might be the difference between the sides at Turf Moor.
Romelu Lukaku to score the opening goal at
Everton v West Brom
Everton have scored just once in their last five PL games and have only had four shots on target in that period. This is a big game for both clubs and I am looking forward to the home debut of Cenk Tosun who had just scraps to feed on at Wembley last weekend.
The Baggies have won their last two games including breaking their barren league run last weekend and I expect to see a tight, close affair, which might be decided by a single goal.
Under 1.5 goals at
Leicester City v Watford
Watford’s 23 Premier League games so far this season have seen 75 goals scored and I would be surprised if we did not see a number of goals at the King Power Stadium.
The Hornets have only picked up five points from the last 30 on offer and I think things are likely to get worse before they get better for the Hornets.
Over 3.5 goals at
Stoke City v Huddersfield
Paul Lambert will take charge of his first Stoke City game at the weekend and I expect the Potters’ to keep all three points against the Terriers, despite the fact that the hosts have now conceded more goals (50) than any other side in Europe’s big five leagues.
Stoke have some quality players in their ranks, however, and a new manager can often have a galvanising effect on the players who will all want to impress their new boss. Lambert failed to win any of his last 10 games when he last managed in the PL at Villa (February 2015) and he will be eager to make a winning start.
Stoke to win at
West Ham v Bournemouth
Another game where I expect to see goals given the teams have scored 23 times in the five previous PL games between the clubs.
The Hammers have scored 15 times in their last six league games and David Moyes deserves plenty of credit for turning the club around after a difficult start. It will be 364 days at kick-off since the Irons last won back-to-back in the league, but I think they can beat the Cherries despite them showing their mettle when coming from a goal down against Arsenal last weekend.
West Ham to win at
Manchester City v Newcastle
City are unbeaten in their last 20 PL games against Newcastle and I expect Pep Guardiola’s side to bounce back after their Anfield defeat.
City remain unbeaten in their last 23 home league games but, one could argue that the Magpies are a better side on the road this season than at St James’s Park. Rafa Benitez’s side are looking for a third successive away PL win for the first time since 2001 when they were managed by the late great (Sir) Bobby Robson.
City -2 on the handicap at
Southampton v Tottenham
Spurs have won their last two on their travels and they looked back to their very best when giving Everton a 5-0 hiding at Wembley last weekend.
Former Saints’ boss Mauricio Pochettino is unbeaten at St Mary’s since he left the club at the end of the 2013-14 season whilst Saints have not won in their last 10 league games. I cannot see past a Spurs win.
Spurs to lead at halftime/fulltime at
Swansea v Liverpool
This game pits the side with the fewest home league goals (6) so far this season with the side with the most goals on the road in the division (29) and I agree with the formbook – an away win.
I was asked earlier in the week if I was surprised with the inclusion of Loris Karius for the Reds over Simon Mignolet for last weekend’s visit of Manchester City and I must admit I was. I think Jurgen Klopp looks upon Karius as the future of the club and a better distributor of the ball with both hands and feet than the Belgian international. There looks little between the pair as shot-stoppers but Karius is perhaps more of a modern “sweeper” and I look forward to watching his development.
Liverpool won the reverse fixture 5-0 at Anfield earlier in the season and the Reds have scored at least twice in their last six away league games.
Just to put the game into some context Mo Salah has scored 18 times from 44 shots on target so far this term. The Swans have scored 14 times from 52 shots on target.
Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 21/10
Michael’s Premier League weekend wager:
Stoke, West Ham and Spurs at