Premier League Showdowns
Two-thirds of the league season is over as we enter this weekends slate of games. While the champions have essentially been crowned plenty is still up in the air as clubs battle for European positions and league survival. Players will be excited for what’s next as for the first time the Premier League has a winter break. However, before the 2 weeks off there are plenty of big match-ups, so lets break them all down and pick winners.
Leicester City vs Chelsea
Both clubs come into this match with striker concerns. Jamie Vardy is out for Leicester, so they’ll replace their top goal scorer with Kelechi Iheanacho. Meanwhile for Chelsea, Tammy Abraham could miss with an ankle injury. Leicester could be tired and devastated after being eliminated from the Carabao Cup, but they know a win could put a big gap between them and 4th place Chelsea.
Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 win
Bournemouth vs Aston Villa
This will be a thrilling game between relegation battling clubs. Bournemouth is in terrible form which has seen them fall into the drop zone. Aston Villa is just 2 points above them but full of confidence after advancing to the Carabao Cup final in midweek. A win in this game will go a long way in each team maintaining league survival.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 win
Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United
A hot start by Palace has cooled off dramatically as they haven’t won a game since Boxing Day. Meanwhile, Sheffield is flying high at the moment and a win could see them jump up into 5th place. Palace will want to get this over quickly and welcome the winter break with a chance to reset. In the end, Sheffield have the better confidence, form, and playmakers to sweep the season series.
Prediction: Sheffield 3-1 win
Liverpool vs Southampton
Nobody has beaten Liverpool all season and there is little to suggest Southampton can pull off the shocker at Anfield. The three headed monster of Salah, Firmino, and Mane will be too much for Southampton and the game should be over by halftime.
Prediction: Liverpool 4-0 win
Newcastle United vs Norwich City
Norwich sit bottom of the table and are starting to wonder if the premier league is too much for them. They won’t find any enjoyment heading to St. James Park and dealing with a well organized Newcastle squad. Norwich plays too sloppy each week giving up easy goals. After this game, Norwich might just be preparing for life in the Championship during winter break
Prediction: Newcastle 1-0 win
Watford vs Everton
While Everton sit comfortably in mid-table position, Watford will look to climb out of relegation with a win. Neither team are in great form currently. Expect this one to be scrappy as both teams welcome the winter break.
Prediction: Watford 1 – Everton 1
West Ham United vs Brighton
It appears both of these clubs will be fighting for survival until the end. West Ham did not get the manager bump when hiring David Moyes and are really slumping. Neither team will light up the scoreboard as this one could be boring.
Manchester United vs Wolves
These clubs will know each other quite well as it’ll be there 3rd meeting this month. Both of those games saw entertaining football, but just 1 goal. However, cup games are different than league games so I expect more goals. The big question will be if newly signed Bruno Fernandes will feature for United?
Prediction: United 3-1 win
Burnley vs Arsenal
Arsenal may feature the more recognizable names, but Sean Dyche usually sets his team up better tactically. Arsenal are still finding themselves a bit under new manager Mikel Arteta, so that’ll give Burnley hope. I expect the crowd at Turf Moor to provide the home side with enough of a boost to claim a late winner and all the points
Prediction: Burnley 2-1 win
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Tottenham have not enjoyed the turn of the calendar in the league so far as they’ve only managed 2 goals since then. Going up against City without one of the league’s best goal scorers in Harry Kane will make life difficult. There only hope is that the home crowd can will them to a win. While a match-up between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will be entertaining as always, its hard to see Tottenham getting anything from this game.
Prediction: City 3-1 win
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