In the 18th game week, Liverpool will finally stop winning in the Premier League, but only because they are on their way to win the World Club Championship at the same time. After beating Monterrey, only Flamengo stands in their way, but despite they won't play their game against West Ham now, we still have a really interesting round. Everton and Arsenal are starting again with the new coach, Tottenham and Chelsea will decide who is the best team in London at the moment, while Leicester will try to keep the big points gap in front of Man City at Etihad Stadium. You can check the previews for the mentioned and all the other game of this game week in this article, with betting advice also included.
EVERTON – ARSENAL
The opening game of the 18th game week could easily be the most interesting of all, despite we also have a clash between first followers of Liverpool, and the London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea. The reason for this statement is that both clubs are entering new eras, both with new coaches. Everton decided to call Carlo Ancelotti to improve their current form and lift them out of mediocrity in future, while Arsenal's choice was Mikel Arteta. The Spanish used to be a player of Arsenal, but he spent more time in Everton so this game should be especially emotional for him. During the recent period, Everton have been more successful – under interim coach Duncan Ferguson, they managed to beat Chelsea, take a point at Old Trafford, and they lost in the EFL Cup game against Leicester on penalties. The Scottish will still lead the team this weekend, as the appointing of Carlo Ancelotti is not yet confirmed. On the other side, Arsenal won only one game during the five-game spell of Fredrik Ljungberg. In the last game, Manchester City destroyed them 3-0 at Emirates, which made the terrible streak even worse – only one win in the last 12 games. In this match, they will probably be without Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin, while Sokratis Papastathopoulos is serving a one-match ban. Kieran Tierney is also out injured, so the Gunners will have a huge problem on the left-back position if Bosnian isn't going to be fit. The Toffees should be without one of their best players Lucas Digne, and we should also see Gylfi Sigurdsson on the bench. Both teams have unstable defences lately and in this game, we could easily see a lot of goals.
Prediction: Over 3 goals @ 1.97
ASTON VILLA – SOUTHAMPTON
In the last Premier League game, Aston Villa recorded 3rd straight loss. They didn't manage to have a single shot on target in Sheffield and the home team had deservedly won 2:0. The situation in the standings remained the same because none of the teams from the bottom had some significant result. In the midweek, they destroyed 19-year-old Liverpool team 5:0, but that was definitely nothing memorable – the easy job was expected because the „real“ team of the Reds are in Qatar. The team from Birmingham are sharing the 17th place with Southampton, and they are better only thanks to goal difference. The Saints also didn't show much against West Ham in the last game and lost 1:0. Both teams are in desperate need of the points, but Ralph Hasenhuttl is under much bigger pressure. With a defeat in this game he could even be sacked, and it will be interesting to see how the players are going to react. Maybe they want a change and they would like to finish with him, and their attitude will remain unknown until the end of this game.
Prediction: Aston Villa +0 @ 1.83
BRIGHTON – SHEFFIELD UNITED
After the away win against Arsenal, Brighton got a point in each of the next two games against Wolves and Crystal Palace. The coach Graham Potter made some changed in his system in the game against Crystal Palace, he switched more to 4-3-1-2, what is something we could see again in the game against Sheffield United. The newly-promoted team are still flying high, they recorded another win, against Aston Villa. Right now they have the same number of points as Manchester United and only one less than Tottenham who currently hold the 5th place. It is difficult to expect they are going to play this good until the end of the season, but they don't have any European obligations, so with that fact, they could have an upper hand in something at least. There is one more interesting thing about them, and that's the fact they still didn't lose the away game. Only Liverpool can be proud of the same achievement, and for example, both Manchester City and Leicester lost twice when being away from home. The defence of Chris Wilder is 3rd best in the league and it should be the basis for another game without a defeat.
Prediction: Sheffield United +0.5 @ 1.76
NEWCASTLE UNITED – CRYSTAL PALACE
Newcastle recorded two consecutive wins which they honestly didn't deserve, but in the last game, they couldn't get at least a point. Burnley had more quality chances and won 1:0. On the other side, Crystal Palace are having unbelievable injury troubles, but despite that, they have the best series of results since this season had started. Of course, the easier fixtures have a lot to do with that, but four games in a row without a defeat, in which they got eight points, are worth every respect. Both teams are safe in the middle of the table so they will be able to enter this game with some less pressure than usual. Newcastle are still going to be without Allan Saint-Maximin, while Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron who missed the last games are questionable. It's still nothing compared to the current problems of Crystal Palace, who have seven players out, because of injury or a suspension. Roy Hodgson can't count on Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt, Gary Cahill, Jairo Riedewald, Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend and Joel Ward. The last five head to head games were quite boring to watch, with only one goal per game average. In this season both have also been ones of the most defensive, so considering that and the tradition, we could easily see another non-efficient game.
Prediction: Under 2 goals @ 1.99
NORWICH – WOLVES
Norwich are 2nd worst team of the league according to the league table, but that didn't stop them in ruining the plans of Liverpool's first followers Leicester. The Foxes didn't dominate as it was expected, the team of Daniel Farke actually looked pretty good. The point from that game won't mean much in the standings, but it will definitely give some self-confidence to the players, which was obviously lost in the previous period. Their opponent Wolves were better than Tottenham in the last game, but they didn't have enough composure to make their chances pay. The worst thing for them was the late goal they conceded, which left them without a single point. Now they find themselves in the 8th place, really close to the European places, but also closer to the bottom part of the table. Anyway, they are in way better position than the hosts. The biggest worry for the home team is the condition of their top scorer Teemmu Pukki. He was injured in the last game, but it is more probably we are going to see him on the pitch. On the other side, Nuno Espirito Santo doesn't have any bigger injury concerns. It this game they should surely have the advantage, but the odds on their wins is simply too low, so everything in a favour of Norwich looks like a good bet here.
Prediction: Norwich +0.5 @ 1.90
MANCHESTER CITY – LEICESTER
Manchester City lost the derby against United, and after that, we all knew what is coming – „the explaining“ time, to prove to all the others that was just a coincidence. The first in the row was Dinamo who were thrashed 4:1 in a game in which City actually didn't need a result, and the away game at Emirates was another proof. Kevin de Bruyne played a brilliant game in a 3:0 win, but Manchester City still aren't able to overtake Leicester in the standings. The Foxes failed against Norwich in the last game by getting only a draw and there is still four points gap between them and the hosts. The Citizens might count on David Silva and Sergio Aguero, but it would be a risk to play them if they won't be 100% ready. Guardiola's main goal in this season is to win the Champions League finally because he had already proven himself in the Premier League two times. Placing some players in fire after injuries with a possibility to suffer something serious wouldn't be smart, especially when you have so many options on the bench as he does. Leicester is great in this season, but City is now in the period of „explaining“ and this one could be rough for them.
Prediction: Manchester City -1.5 @ 2.05
WATFORD – MANCHESTER UNITED
Watford still aren't able to move from the dead spot. In the last game at Anfield, they lost 2:0, but they have shown much more than this result suggests. At the result 0:0 and 1:0, they had some big chances and Liverpool can feel lucky they didn't stumble there. Another change in the manager position in Watford didn't create some big sparkle, and the injuries number is quite big. Ex-players of Manchester United Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck are out, and Jose Holebas, Sebastian Prodl and Daryl Janmaat too. Actually, the only good thing for the home team is they don't have anything to lose in this match and also the fact their rivals didn't make any serious steps in the previous game week. Manchester United is looking better with time, they didn't manage to win against Everton in the last game week, but they totally dominated them. The Red Devils had 67% possession, which is really rare for them, so the only thing they lacked was luck. Paul Pogba still won't be ready for this game, but it seems they look better without him. In the last five head to head games, Manchester United were the winners. Considering the recent form and that streak, the Hornets agony should continue for some more time.
Prediction: Manchester United to win @ 1.84
TOTTENHAM – CHELSEA
The appointment of Jose Mourinho is starting to look like a fantastic job for the Spurs. Since he started his reign in Tottenham, he recorded two defeats, but he is definitely someone who is moving his team forward. In the last game, Tottenham visited Wolves and they didn't show too much. Despite that, they got all three points thanks to Jan Vertonghen who scored the winning goal in the injury time. The day before, Chelsea surprisingly lost the game against Bournemouth who previously lost five games in a row. Now there is only one point difference between these two teams, which will make this game even more important. Mourinho has to work on the defence because in the seven games so far the Spurs kept only one clean sheet. Frank Lampard, on the other side, has to take care of much more things, as his team lost four of the last five games in the Premier League. Christian Pulisic or Willian could be dropped because they obviously lack the inspiration. Chelsea lost in the last two visits to Tottenham, and in this game, the Spurs also have the advantage.
Prediction: Tottenham +0 @ 1.79
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