John Newsome looks forward to this weekend’s EPL action, which includes hugely-important derbies in London, Liverpool and Manchester.
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WEST HAM v CHELSEA
An early kick off at the London Stadium sees struggling West Ham take on a Chelsea side, who are in fine form. The Hammers were unlucky last time out against Man City. David Moyes should employ the same defensive tactics against Chelsea and try and score from a set piece. Chelsea play in The Champions League this week but have qualified for the last 16 and may rest a few players, leaving them fresh for this early Saturday kick-off. The Blues should be too strong for West Ham and can collect all 3 points.
Away Win 1-3
BURNLEY v WATFORD
Both teams are exceeding all expectations this season and both have managers who Everton were supposedly in for. Burnley are a lot better at Turf Moor and should get the win, despite losing here to a controversial penalty last time out against Arsenal. Watford got a decent draw against Tottenham last Saturday, but a low scoring home win is forecast.
Home Win 1-0
CRYSTAL PALACE v BOURNEMOUTH
Crystal Palace are improving under Roy Hodgson and with Zaha back in the side, they can get the win they so desperately need. The two teams are down at the bottom end of the league and only 5 points separate them. Both also draw a lot of games, but with home advantage and an extra day to recover Crystal Palace should win by the odd goal.
Home Win 2-1
HUDDERSFIELD v BRIGHTON
This was a Championship game last season, with both teams gaining promotion to the Premier League at the end of the campaign. Huddersfield started well but are on a run of 4 straight defeats and will want to put an end to that. Brighton themselves haven’t won any of their previous 4, but have collected 2 draws and this could be another.
SWANSEA v WEST BROM
Swansea are struggling and are now sat at the bottom of the league after only collecting 1 point from their last 7 games (losing 6). They simply haven’t got enough Premier League standard players. West Brom recently changed managers and have decided Alan Pardew is the answer. He’s a good bloke and will keep West Brom in the league but clubs keep recycling the same managers who fail. Hodgson, Moyes, Allardyce and now Pardew. When Swansea decide to change managers, they’ll probably employ Tony Pulis. That said, West Brom will be more attacking and should get the points.
Away Win 0-2
TOTTENHAM v STOKE
Tottenham are difficult to predict at the moment and are coming off a midweek game in Europe. They have qualified for the last 16 in that competition, so the key to this game against Stoke is whether Spurs rest players for the European game and have fresh replacements for the Stoke game. Stoke struggle away and have only collected 5 points away from the Bet365 Stadium, so Tottenham can get back to winning ways.
Home Win 3-1
NEWCASTLE v LEICESTER
Newcastle are better at St James Park and have collected most of their Premier League points here. However, they have lost their last 2 home games so will want to get back on track. Leicester are slowly improving after the arrival of Claude Puel and have only lost once under him and that was against Man City. With Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez both finding form, Leicester will score. Newcastle, with home advantage, should rescue a draw.
SOUTHAMPTON v ARSENAL
This is the first of 3 games on Sunday. Like most sides, Southampton are better at home and have collected most of their points and getting most of their goals at St Mary’s. They can be expected to score. Arsenal played in The Europa League on Thursday night, but they usually play a completely different side in that competition and should be fresh. The Gunners haven’t failed to score since September and (even though they lost to Manchester United last weekend) should be too strong for the Saints.
Away Win 1-3
LIVERPOOL v EVERTON
Big Sam is back and doing what he does best – saving teams from relegation. That sounds all well and good but Everton weren’t going to be relegated, they just needed some guidance which is what Big Sam Allardyce will bring. However, he has no track record of taking a team into the higher echelons of the Premier League and Everton will just end up mid-table. Liverpool will be too strong at Anfield and even though Everton will be organised, Liverpool, with Mane, Salah and Coutinho firing will outscore them.
Home Win 3-1
MAN UNITED v MAN CITY
The game of the weekend comes at last. City have won there last 3 games ‘2-1’, which is the mark of championship winning teams. Manchester United are a different proposition though and with home advantage can get a result. They have only conceded 1 goal at Old Trafford so far this season. United won’t be able to play Paul Pogba after his red card against Arsenal and will miss him for 3 games. It’s been evident this season that United have missed Pogba when he’s not played and he’ll be missed. Jose will have a gameplan to stop high-flying City, but without Pogba we can expect a low score draw.
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