So we’re back with Premier League action this week, we have some games over the weekend and a few throughout the week with some teams playing twice, 11 games in total. I’m going to be giving my thoughts and predictions on each game.
AFC Bournemouth vs Middlesborough
We kick off the week’s footballing action off down at the Vitality Stadium, where Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth take on Steve Agnew’s Middlesborough. Last time out, both sides suffered losses so both will be looking to get back on the right track. Bournemouth got destroyed 4-0 by Spurs last week so they’ll be looking to quickly erase that one from memory. Middlesborough are still stuck in the relegation zone and they’re going to need every single point possible and maybe even a little bit of luck. However, Monday night, they pushed Arsenal and played a good game and even managed to score. Although, they still ended up on the losing side and 6 points from safety. I feel like Bournemouth have enough to overcome the challenge of Middlesborough especially at home. AFC Bournemouth win 2-1.
Hull vs Watford
The action continues at the KCOM Stadium with Marco Silva’s men going head to head with Walter Mazzari’s Watford. Recently, Hull’s form has seen them climb out of the relegation zone and take massive steps towards Premier League survival. Even though, Hull suffered defeat last weekend, they’re still 2 points about the relegation zone and a win here at home would go a long way in achieving their goal of survival. Silva has got Hull playing a lot better and they seem to have belief back in them so this should be an interesting game. Hull have managed 16 points at home from their last 6 home games, that is a great achievement considering where they were when Silva took over. Watford stole a win last weekend and they’ve won 3 of their last 4 Premier League games. I can see both sides cancelling each other out and I don’t think we’re going to see a clear winner. 1-1 Draw.
Swansea City vs Stoke City
Swansea lost weekend and they’re on a terrible run of form, 0 wins in 6 Premier League games. Paul Clement hasn’t enjoyed the best of times since he took over and I don’t see his team winning this. As a matter of fact, I don’t even see them playing Premier League football next season. Stoke were brilliant last weekend and seemed to be shutting the book on their own bad form. It certainly helped that their star man Xherdan Shaqiri once again scored a wonder goal. I feel like Stoke have way too much for Swansea to handle. Stoke win 2-0.
West Ham vs Everton
The Hammers let a lead slip last weekend against bottom side Sunderland of all people and to sum it up they haven’t exactly been great lately, with just 1 win in 6 Premier League games. Whereas, Everton are rocking at the minute. They’re absolutely red hot, Lukaku is breaking club records and Barkley is in phenomenal form. Not to mention their most recent achievement when they set a new club record by winning 8 consecutive Premier League games. Lukaku is the current top goalscorer this season and he has a great record against Slavan Bilic’s side scoring in all of his 9 previous games against them. This should be a simple easy win for the Toffees’ on paper and that’s exactly what I’m going for. Everton win 3-0.
Burnley vs Manchester United
Burnley have a decent home record in the Premier League despite their struggles away from Turf Moor. Burnley have only 1 win in their last 6 Premier League games and that win came at home. So theoretically this is an easy game for Sean Dyche. However, his men kick off Super Sunday against the currently unbeaten in 22 games Manchester United. Jose Mourinho’s men will be on a massive high upon advancing to the UEFA Europa League Semi Finals this week even though they seemed to have lost key players Marcos Rojo & Zlatan Ibrahimovic with some horrific injuries. Regardless of this, United still have wonderkid Marcus Rashford to unleash and they have players more than capable of filling the void left in that centre back position by Rojo. I still feel like United can extend their undefeated streak and close the gap on the top 4. It won’t be an easy game that’s for sure but they should still win this one. Manchester United win 1-0.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
Liverpool have relied on some Brazilian brilliance as of late specifically from key players, Coutinho & Firmino. The Brazilians have helped Liverpool claim back-to-back wins in the Premier League. Palace have also been in good form lately losing only 1 game of their last 6 Premier League games. Benteke has been in goal scoring form of late and he’ll surely be looking to put one over on his former club so he could be a decisive factor. I really am torn I can’t pick a winner but there’s too many goals in these teams for it to be a draw. Palace are going to steal this one. Crystal Palace win 2-1.
Chelsea vs Southampton
Chelsea know that after their recent slip ups lately, they certainly cannot afford another one. You can bet Antonio Conte will want to see an improvement on last weeks performance. Southampton also faced defeat last time out as they were blown away by Manchester City. Given the pressure on Chelsea at the minute and the fact they have home advantage I can see them coming through this difficult tie unscathed. Chelsea win 2-0.
Arsenal vs Leicester City
Things really aren’t too great for the Arsenal faithful lately but they did managed to nick a win last week against Middlesborough. Leicester’s winning run came to a head when they lost 4-2 at Everton and they haven’t won a game since, getting 1 loss and 2 draws. Leicester finally got knocked out of the Champions League this week so maybe the squad is even more deflated than they already were not to mention the so called “European Hangover” effect that we have seen bigger teams suffer from in the past. I think Arsenal’s class will shine through and The Foxes will be gunned down at The Emirates. Arsenal win 2-0.
Middlesborough vs Sunderland
A North East derby and a real 6 pointer in the relegation fight as 20th and 19th come head-to-head. This will be Boro’s second game of the week though so fatigue could play a big part for them whereas, Sunderland will be fresh and raring to go and you have to assume that morale is high after Borini’s dramatic late equaliser last weekend. Sunderland win 2-0.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur
Palace are another side that have a second game this week and for themselves, its two massive games. They will face 2nd and 3rd this week so that’s no easy feat even if they have beaten Chelsea and Arsenal in recent weeks. Pochettino’s Spurs will be looking forward to this one as they know that if results go their way this week we may only have a 1 point gap at the top of the Premier League. I feel that with the form Tottenham are in this should be an easy win. However, given that they also have an FA Cup Semi-final this weekend, priorities maybe mixed for Mauricio Pochettino. I personally feel that Spurs should prioritise the League because they’ve come so far and they’re as close as they have ever been but I feel like they have a squad capable of competing on two fronts. So with that being said I’ll have to side with Tottenham. Tottenham Hotspur win 2-0.
Manchester City vs Manchester United
We finish this jam packed week of football with a real heavyweight clash, its 4th vs 5th and a renewal of the great Jose Mourinho vs Pep Guardiola rivalry in the spectacle known as the Manchester Derby. If United beat Burnley and then claim victory in the Derby they’ll be 4th possibly even 3rd if results are to go their way. United will most likely again be missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo. City should have a fully fit squad at their disposal. It’s going to be interesting to see how things pan out. United will be used to the Sunday-Thursday schedule having competed in the Europa League this season. I feel United can shock the country this week, I think they’ll get two wins and hope a Liverpool slip up can push them to 3rd in the Premier League. Manchester United win 2-0.