English Premier League Preview - Fixture 16th
16th game week of Premier League is in front of us. Liverpool are still unstoppable, but Leicester and Manchester City definitely won't give up this early. This weekend won't offer us many spectacular games, but there are some interesting situations in a few clubs which are without a coach at the moment what should definitely give something more to the whole picture. The leading clash is Manchester derby, and you can check the preview for that game and all the others as well in this article. Don't forget to check English Premier League betting tips and predictions from our users!
EVERTON – CHELSEA
Everton lost the Merseyside derby, that was their 3rd defeat in a row and now they find themselves in the relegation zone. Marco Silva's days as a manager are numbered and yesterday he was sacked. You should expect a lot of changes in the starting 11, some of them because of injuries, and some because of the poor performances of starters lately. Don't be surprised if you see Schneiderlin, Kean, Bernard and Walcott. There is a big problem for Everton with scoring, so their best tactic for this game should probably be to stay behind and take advantage of Chelsea young squad later in the game. Frank Lampard's guys aren't afraid to attack, and the best news for Chelsea manager is the return of his top scorer Tammy Abraham. Also, Rudiger should get back soon, but probably not in this game, and Jorginho should be in the starting 11 again. So far Chelsea have proven they deserve to be in the top 4 even with this young squad so they are clear favourites against the team from the relegation zone.
Prediction: Chelsea to win @ 2.03
BOURNEMOUTH – LIVERPOOL
Bournemouth have lost four games in a row, but their last defeat should especially hurt them. In the away game against Crystal Palace, they played against ten men for 71 minutes, but didn't manage to score a single goal despite the dominance in possession and chances. All of that got from bad to worse when they conceded 15 minutes before the end. Cherries' coach Eddie Howe should definitely change something to end this losing streak, and the toughest fixtures are coming. Liverpool are playing incredible, they didn't win in only three of their last 23 games in all competitions, and the points they have dropped weren't that costly (4 were dropped against Napoli). On Wednesday night they destroyed city rivals Everton 5:2 and it wouldn't be wrong to say they are unstoppable right now. In the last two seasons, the Reds have won all four head to head games against Bournemouth, with unbelievable goal difference 14:0. Some of Klopp's key players were rested in the Merseyside derby so in this game he can count on all of his major stars. His team should have no troubles against Cherries who are obviously in crisis.
Prediction: Liverpool -1.25 @ 1.99
TOTTENHAM – BURNLEY
After three wins at the start of his reign in Tottenham, Jose Mourinho suffered his first defeat at his previous home Old Trafford. That was also the poorest display of Spurs since Mourinho took over, and after only four games there are clear signs of what he has to fix. Spurs have conceded at least two goals in every game so far, and if anyone is the master of defending, that's The Special One. So you shouldn't consider that as a problem in the long term, and Burnley is coming like an ideal opponent to start a new winning series. After two great games in which they won 3:0, against West Ham and Watford, Burnley have lost two home games in a row, and both of them pretty easily. That's a little bit strange from them since they are one of the most reliable home teams. In five visits to Spurs since Burnley came back to Premier League, the best result was only one draw, all the other games were won by the hosts. It seems the next game is offering the same scenario.
Prediction: Tottenham -1.25 @ 1.93
WATFORD - CRYSTAL PALACE
Watford lost the third game in a row, Quique Flores wasn't able to do something with this team and now they are deep at the bottom with only 8 points, 3 less than the nearest rivals Norwich, and 7 less than Southampton, who hold the last safe place. There are a lot of players injured, the Hornets are in a really tough situation, and if don't start winning they will be considered as relegated even before the New year. On the other side, Crystal Palace are fighting injury problems in defence, but despite that, they managed to win in the last two games. The most impressive was the last one when they were down to ten men against Bournemouth for the almost whole game, but still took all three points. The important thing to mention is they didn't concede a single goal in those wins. They are waiting for this game with minimum stress because they are extremely high in the standings, no one could expect to see them on 7th place in this phase of the season. Watford have to win, but they had the same imperative in the previous games and couldn't do anything.
Prediction: Crystal Palace +0.25 @ 1.90
MANCHESTER CITY – MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester City are one of the unluckiest teams in this season. You surely remember their game against Tottenham earlier in this season, and last weekend something similar happened to them at St. James Park. They should have won that game without any problems, but Newcastle scored two times from only a few chances they had. Pep's squad responded with thrashing Burnley 4:1 and now they regained confidence ahead of the city derby. The same thing happened to United, but they can't blame bad luck for previous failures against Astana and Aston Villa. No matter of that, against the Spurs, United played probably the best game of this season, of course, if we exclude some clashes against obviously much weaker teams. In the last two season, Manchester is definitely Blue, since the Citizens won three of the last four clashes. The title defenders will still be without Sergio Aguero, but Gabriel Jesus have proven that won't be much of a problem by scoring two goals against Burnley. There is no doubt who are favourites here, but don't you think the odds on City are a little bit too low?
Prediction: Manchester United +1.5 @ 2.03
ASTON VILLA – LEICESTER
After escaping from Old Trafford with one point, Aston Villa lost at Stamford Bridge in the midweek. But, they'd be glad to return home where they have lost only one of their last six games. It is quite noticeable that the team that won at Villa Park during that streak was Liverpool. Coach Dean Smith can count on Guilbert again after he served the suspension what will surely help him facing Leicester. The Foxes have won eight games in a row, or if you look at the longer streak, then they won 11 of their last 12 games. Can you guess who managed to beat them? Liverpool, of course. The Reds are having a sensational season, but if we exclude them, Leicester are definitely the biggest surprise. With only nine goals conceded they have the best defence by far – for comparison, 2nd best Liverpool conceded 14. The Villans are respectable opponents at home, but we believe Leicester's defence should be a basis for the 9th win in a row.
Prediction: Leicester to win @ 1.88
NEWCASTLE – SOUTHAMPTON
Newcastle established themselves in the middle of the table with the scores from their last two games. Against Manchester City, they had help of Lady Luck, while in the last game they were better than Sheffield United in away game. Only the top two teams, Liverpool and Leicester, have earned more points than the Magpies in the last six games. Also, the team of Steve Bruce are undefeated at home for six consecutive games. Southampton are also rising, with two wins in a row against Watford and Norwich they managed to escape the relegation zone, leaving Everton below them. This game on paper looks like a game without a favourite, as the two similar teams are playing, but Newcastle should have a slightly bigger chance due to home advantage.
Prediction: Newcastle +0 @ 1.88
NORWICH – SHEFFIELD UNITED
Norwich and Sheffield United both played in the Championship last season when Sheffield were more successful. At Carrow Road, the score was 2:2, but in Sheffield, United managed to win 2:1. The Finnish striker from Norwich Teemu Pukki was probably the biggest sensation of the early phase of this season, he had some silent period, but in the last two games, he had found the opponents' net again. Unfortunately for the Canaries, his goals weren't enough for a win, only for one point against Arsenal. Norwich are in 19th place at the moment, four points below the safe zone and draws are something that shouldn't satisfy them in future. They have 2nd worst defence of the league, and now they are playing against the 3rd best defence. Sheffield United have conceded only 15 goals so far, one per game on average, and so far they have recorded seven draws. They are without a win in the last four games, but they got a point against Spurs, Man United and Wolves. The difference between them and Norwich is that Sheffield know how to keep the lead after scoring a goal. Because of that, they are favourites in this game, but that has no value, so you should rather look for some option like under 2.5. Sheffield will come to defend and we could see „zero“ for a long time in the game.
Prediction: Under 2.5 goals @ 2.04
BRIGHTON – WOLVES
Brighton almost created an upset in Liverpool after Alisson's red card and Dunk's goal from the free-kick. They were really close, but what they didn't do at Anfield, they succeeded at Emirates. No one expected an easy game for Arsenal, but this was totally out of expectation. Graham Potter totally outplayed Fredrik Ljungberg and led the Seagulls to the deserved victory. With that win, the pressure is lowered as they got to relatively safe 13th position. Wolves are 5th, they have no enough quality to fight for the Champions League, but they are definitely contenders for Europa League. Their last defeat in Premier league was in mid-September when they were thrashed against Chelsea, and since then they recorded ten games without a defeat. In the last season's head to head clashes, Brighton didn't concede a goal – at Molineux, it was a goaless draw, while Brighton won 1:0 in front of their own fans. Both teams practice defensive football, so this game could easily be the most boring of this whole game week.
Prediction: Under 2.25 @ 1.88
WEST HAM – ARSENAL
These two teams are both in terrible shape, and it seems there is no end for their agony. West Ham didn't have a really tough schedule lately, but despite that, they won only one of last nine games. Of course, it will be important to stress that win was really lucky because Chelsea deserved to record an easy win. So, they win accidentally and that actually the only way how they are able to win. The same thing can be said for Arsenal, who are winless in nine games in all competitions. After sacking Unai Emery, Arsenal board tried with giving a chance to Fredrik Ljungberg, who was a part of Arsenal's invincibles in the memorable 2003/04 season, but he couldn't do anything. Only 2:2 away against Norwich, and not even home field didn't help sorry Arsenal to record at least a draw in the last game against Brighton. Probably the best examples of how bad they are, are the difference compared to Liverpool, which is already 24 points after only 15 games, and the goal difference, which is -2. Luckily for them, West Ham have similar problems and in this game, we can't say that better team should win, better said would be that the winner should be a less bad team in that game. Arsenal are set as 50% favourites to win, and we believe you'll agree that's a little bit too much, so betting on West Ham has a value.
Prediction: West Ham +0.5 @ 1.94