Leicester City vs. Brighton
Venue: King Power Stadium
Leicester City hosts Brighton in the opening match of the latest round of English Premier League games.
The Foxes were involved in a rather interesting game at the weekend away to Watford, taking the lead on the dot of regulation time but astonishingly conceded a late equaliser to the hosts.
Although Leicester didn’t particularly look sharp in the encounter, understandably due to inactivity for three months they can still feel upbeat against a Brighton side, who only managed to avoid a home defeat in the final 15 minutes against strugglers Arsenal.
We expect the Foxes to take the game to the Seagulls from the blast of the whistle and secure a straightforward win and a clean sheet to consolidate third position.
Prediction: Leicester 2 – 0 Brighton
Tottenham vs. West Ham United
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
The London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United takes place at the home of Spurs on Tuesday night.
Ordinarily, this game is always one of the most intense games of a Premier League season with history between both city rivals but the absence of the fans will definitely take some shine away from this contest.
In the reverse fixture played in November, Jose Mourinho made his managerial bow for Spurs, a contest they only managed to win after almost throwing away a three-goal lead, an event which if not properly guarded against might repeat itself in the latest meeting, particularly as they were on the verge of making same mistake against Manchester United on Friday.
Spurs’ defensive fragilities should worry Mourinho, who might be forced to replace Eric Dier after a rather shaky performance against the Red Devils with the more experienced and stable Toby Alderweireld in the heart of defence, a move necessitated by the threat posed in the form of the direct running and aggressive Michel Antonio for the Hammers.
Regardless of Tottenham’s weaknesses, we don’t expect West Ham to take maximum advantage as we predict both teams to score, over 2.5 goals and the hosts to come out on top in this derby.
Prediction: Spurs 2 – 1 West Ham Utd
Manchester United vs. Sheffield United
Venue: Old Trafford
Manchester United welcomes Sheffield United to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
The Red Devils put on an impressive display in the away draw at Tottenham Hotspur, although David De Gea and Harry Maguire received heavy sticks for their displays on the night in London.
On Sheffield’s part, they suffered their heaviest defeat of the campaign away at Newcastle United and equally lost defender Chris Basham to a red card, meaning an important void in the heart of defence for Chris Wilder.
We expect Paul Pogba to start this fixture after his encouraging midfield partnership together with Bruno Fernandes off the bench against Spurs.
United should build on the momentum and take advantage of the Blades’ present vulnerability to secure a home win and prevent Sheffield from scoring for a third straight game.
Prediction: Man Utd 2 – 0 Sheffield
Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa
Venue: Saint James’ Park
A resurgent Newcastle United takes on Aston Villa at Saint James’ Park, three days after securing a comprehensive victory on the ground which all but confirmed Premier League survival.
The Magpies impressively scored three second-half goals against Sheffield United only after the Blades were reduced to 10-men following the sending off of defender Chris Basham to secure a second straight league win.
However, considering how inconsistent Newcastle can be and also factoring a sinking Villa’s determination (one point from two matches) and the fact they appear to play better on the road, despite results not often going their way (five away points all season), we tip a score draw settling this tie, a result which doesn’t help Aston Villa’s survival prospects.
Prediction: NUFC 1 – 1 Villa
Norwich City vs. Everton
Venue: Carrow Road
Bottom club Norwich City are on a free fall and their latest meeting with Everton doesn’t look like a fixture they will particularly look forward to playing at this moment.
The Canaries were all over the place and terribly short of match practice in an embarrassing display and defeat at home to Southampton on Friday.
They come up against an Everton team fresh from securing a point from the Merseyside derby and with the pace and goal threat of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin and all-round superior qualities of the Toffees, we can only predict one outcome, an away win and a defeat which leaves Norwich a step away from relegation.
Prediction: Norwich 0 – 3 Everton
Wolverhampton vs. Bournemouth
Venue: Molineux Stadium
Relegation battlers Bournemouth are away to high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers in another potentially one-sided fixture.
The Cherries were desperately disappointing in a home defeat to Crystal Palace and analysing the performance of Eddie Howe’s team redemption wouldn’t start away at a compact and well-drilled Wolves side.
Considering the congested fixture list we expect Nuno Espirito Santo to freshen up his team, starting Adama Traore and Pedro Neto in attack.
We predict a comfortable Wolverhampton victory which further consolidates their push for European football next term and a defeat for Bournemouth which extends their stay in the bottom three.
Prediction: Wolves 3 – 1 Bournemouth
Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace
Liverpool welcomes Crystal Palace to Anfield in a game which potentially should have been a title-winning encounter but for recent results which haven’t gone their way.
The Reds were uncharacteristically flat, looked ordinary and predictable, recent features of their game play at the weekend away to Everton and we expect Jurgen Klopp to ring the changes, Mohamed Salah, Georginio Wijnaldum, Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson all coming into the line-up.
Palace on their part will be gunning for successive points on the road after claiming maximum points at Bournemouth.
Factoring their compactness, Roy Hodgson’s tactical shrewdness and the fact that games between both teams are always a tight call and the weekend’s form, we predict a draw to settle this tie, a major morale booster for Palace.
Prediction: Liverpool 1 – 1 Palace
Burnley vs. Watford
Venue: Turf Moor
Burnley hosts Watford at Turf Moor, the Clarets’ first home game since the restart of the league.
Watford were involved in a rather interesting match at home to Leicester City at the weekend, a combination of Ben Foster’s terrific saves and Craig Dawson’s stunning added-time goal salvaged the Hornets a point.
At this time of writing this preview, Burnley have yet to play against Manchester City, meaning having a precise idea about their form and fitness is almost impossible but factoring injuries to forwards Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood and certain players at the risk of a suspension, Sean Dyche could be struggling to put out a competitive team against Watford.
However, despite Watford having more days to recover and prepare for the game, we don’t expect Burnley not to come away with a point, as a draw should settle the game, the second time in the last three meetings between both teams.
Prediction: Burnley 1 – 1 Watford
Southampton vs. Arsenal
Venue: Saint Mary’s Stadium
Southampton should be thanking their lucky stars as there is no better time to face Arsenal, who have experienced a horrendous start to Project Restart.
Injuries, suspension, ill-luck and general poor performance have summarised the Gunners’ fate in the last week and coming up against a Saints team full of confidence and backed by the goals of the free scoring Danny Ings, you can only feel some sympathy for Arsenal.
Whatever tactics Mikel Arteta has tried to adopt at the Gunners hasn’t worked out well, despite the good intentions, it appears he doesn’t have the right players to interpret the formation and he might be best advised to revert to a more familiar pattern.
We expect Southampton to take maximum advantage of Arsenal’s unstable defence and replacement goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez’s lack of exposure at this level to clinch a home win marked with a Danny Ings’ goal.
Prediction: Saints 2 – 1 Arsenal
Chelsea vs. Manchester City
Venue: Etihad Stadium
The round of matches concludes on Thursday night with a potentially mouth-watering top-of-the-table fixture between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues secured a comeback victory at Aston Villa but continued to be plagued by a reoccurring problem all season, an inability to successfully break down teams despite dominating large spells of possession and a fragile defence.
City on their part particularly Kevin De Bruyne didn’t look like a team that went on a break, getting straight back into the groove against Arsenal.
We expect Frank Lampard to ring the changes, predictably Fikayo Tomori coming into the defence to add pace, Christian Pulisic and Ross Barkley in the final attacking third.
This should be an open game with both teams to score, over 2.5 goals and just like the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium, we predict a City win.
Prediction: Chelsea 1 –2 Man City
Disclaimer- Predictions are just for fun, based on analysis. We do NOT sell or guarantee results.