Premier League Preview: Gameweek 268 min read
Bournemouth caused a huge shock at Stamford Bridge midweek and the fight for a top four place is one of a number of sub-plots ahead of the weekend Premier League fixtures.
Once again, I’ve shared my thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the weekend action.
Burnley v Manchester City
Burnley picked up a valuable point at St James’s Park midweek, but the bottom line is they are without a win in eight in the PL and have already lost twice to Manchester City at the Etihad so far this season.
The Clarets have only scored eight times at home in the PL this season and City have won six of their last seven trips to Turf Moor. I will be surprised if City do not take another small step towards the title.
Tip: City to win to nil at
Bournemouth v Stoke City
Bournemouth are unbeaten in six in the PL and have beaten Arsenal and Chelsea in recent weeks, but I think Stoke will pick up a valuable point at the Vitality Stadium.
The Potters have conceded 30 goals on the road in the league this season but they have kept back-to-back clean sheets under Paul Lambert and can get a draw against the Cherries.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at
Brighton v West Ham
Brighton have only scored five times in their last 13 PL games although Glenn Murray’s penalty was enough to give them a hard-earned point at St Mary’s earlier in the week.
The Seagulls have only won one of their last nine at the Amex in the league and I think injury-hit West Ham can take a point in a game, which is unlikely to see many if any goals.
Tip: Game to finish 0-0 at
Leicester City v Swansea City
Swansea have picked up ten points from a possible 15 under Carlos Carvalhal, but they face a stern test at the King Power against a Leicester side who may have been unsettled before the trip to Everton midweek by the transfer request made by Riyad Mahrez.
The Algerian scored a hat-trick against the Swans back in their title season and I expect the Foxes to return to winning ways following their Goodison loss.
Tip: Leicester to win and both teams to score at
Manchester United v Huddersfield Town
I was surprised by the tactics of Huddersfield against Liverpool at the John Smith’s Stadium earlier in the week when they folded far too tamely for my liking.
The Terriers are without a win in their last seven and I cannot see them getting anything at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho will demand a positive reaction following their comprehensive defeat at Wembley on Wednesday – expect Romelu Lukaku to be among the goals against the West Yorkshire outfit.
Tip: Romelu Lukaku to score at anytime at
West Brom v Southampton
I was impressed by the Baggies at Anfield last weekend in the FA Cup and am prepared to forgive any side losing at the Etihad, as they did midweek, to Manchester City in their current mood.
Southampton will create an unwanted club record – 13 PL games without a win – if they fail to win at the Hawthorns and loan signing Daniel Sturridge has the opportunity to showcase his considerable talents and, hopefully, his fitness between now and the end of the campaign.
Tip: West Brom to win at
You can say what you want about Arsenal's defence.
— betvictor (@BetVictor) January 31, 2018
Arsenal v Everton
Arsene Wenger is likely to give a debut to £57m deadline day signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and it will be interesting to see if the Gabonese striker can team up as effectively with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the PL as the pair did in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund.
Arsenal’s away day blues have resurfaced at Bournemouth and Swansea in recent weeks and, worryingly, they have taken the lead in both those defeats. The Gunners are, however, a different proposition at the Emirates and they are taken to keep the points against an Everton side who have not won at Arsenal in any competition since a 2-1 win in January 1996 when Bruce Rioch was at the helm.
Everton will include Theo Walcott in their ranks after his brace against Leicester midweek and the winger is sure to get a great reception back at the Emirates.
Tip: Arsenal halftime/fulltime at
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United
Palace have only lost one of their last nine PL home games although, surprisingly, they have failed to score in any of their three previous games against the newly promoted sides (Newcastle, Huddersfield and Brighton) so far this season.
Goals breed confidence and the Eagles’ Christian Benteke found the back of the West Ham net midweek. He has yet to score a home league goal so far this season and is certainly due one having played for 780 barren minutes in front of the Palace fans.
The Magpies will be rueing their missed penalty and Burnley’s late equaliser at St James’s Park midweek – it was certainly two points dropped.
Tip: Crystal Palace to win at
Liverpool v Tottenham
Liverpool will be looking for revenge against Spurs following their 4-1 defeat at Wembley earlier in the season.
Spurs were very good against a disappointing United at Wembley midweek, but this is the acid test. They failed the Anfield examination in the corresponding fixture last season when they were soundly beaten and the north London outfit have only won one of their last 23 away PL games against Liverpool.
Harry Kane (21) leads Mo Salah (19) in the race for the Golden Boot and it would be no surprise to see both add to their impressive individual tally in what looks certain to be an open attacking game.
Tip: Over 3.5 goals at
Watford v Chelsea
You have to go back to 1999 for the last time Watford beat Chelsea in any competition and the limited evidence we have to date suggests the Hornets will play a less expansive game under Javi Gracia.
The champions were well beaten by Bournemouth midweek but I expect Antonio Conte’s side to bounce back with Eden Hazard likely to be to the fore once again.
Tip: Eden Hazard to score at anytime at
Michael’s weekend wager: West Brom, Manchester United and Crystal Palace all to win at