We’re approaching yet another blockbuster gameweek of Premier League football.
Even though we have a reduced game count due to champions Manchester City facing Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final, we still have eight matches jam-packed with quality. Things kick-off on Friday night with two games as Cardiff host Watford and we have a derby as West Ham and Fulham go head-to-head at the London Stadium.
Saturday sees Spurs travel to Wembley and Leicester face-off against Crystal Palace before the main event on Sunday as Manchester United and Liverpool battle at Old Trafford. The Reds will be looking to get one over their eternal rivals knowing that avoiding defeat will see them return to the top of the league, but can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men derail their title bid?
We’ve had two of our team have a look at the fixtures and come up with some predictions.
Cardiff vs. Watford
Muhammad Butt: Watford have conceded just two goals in their last six games, keeping five clean sheets in the process. They’ve not been prolific goalscorers, however, and the Friday night showdown could end in a stalemate. 0-0 draw.
Mohamed Moallim: It’s not been the easiest of times at Cardiff City, though Neil Warnock’s men have started to turn their season around with back-to-back league wins. So have Watford, who are now becoming one of the more difficult Premier League sides to score against. Expecting another tight affair. 0-1 Watford.
Player to watch: Sol Bamba has made more clearances (164) than all but one Premier League player this season.
West Ham vs. Fulham
MB: West Ham are winless in five, their worst such run of the season, but Fulham at home is the gimmie they’ve been waiting for. The Cottagers are likeable but just lack the quality needed. Expect the Hammers to pick up their first win for five weeks. 3-2 West Ham.
MM: Both teams are in desperate need of all three points. Fulham more so, given they’re firmly in a relegation battle. West Ham, despite squandering a win last time out at Crystal Palace, are simply laced with more match-winners. 2-0 West Ham.
Player to watch: Felipe Anderson has more take-ons completed (53) than the top two Fulham dribblers combined (46).
Burnley vs. Spurs
MB: Burnley are solid battlers but Spurs should have too much quality for the Clarets. Moreover, Mauricio Pochettino’s men will know that this is their last easy match before a run of three heavyweight clashes. Expect Spurs’ will-they-won’t-they relationship with the title race to continue for a few days at least. 0-2 Spurs.
MM: Tottenham all of a sudden are back in the title race. A run of four consecutive wins, including some late winners, leaves them five points behind the leaders but a trip to Turf Moor is never easy. Still, Spurs’ momentum could prove too much. 1-2 Spurs.
Player to watch: Heung-min Son has scored one goal in each of the four games he’s played since returning from the Asian Cup.
Bournemouth vs. Wolves
MB: Despite thrashing Chelsea, Bournemouth’s form remains poor whilst Wolves are really hitting their stride. Expect the Mendes project to take another step towards locking down that seventh spot in the table. 1-2 Wolves.
MM: Wolves are currently the best of the rest. Bournemouth, meanwhile, have proven to be a proposition for anyone. However, with that being said, they’re currently in a slump and expect Nuno Espírito Santo’s side take advantage. 0-2 Wolves.
Player to watch: Raul Jimenez has scored more league goals (9) than he has ever managed in a single season for a European club.
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Newcastle vs. Huddersfield
MB: Newcastle are bad, but Huddersfield are worse (they have lost 13 of their last 15 games). Newcastle won their last Premier League home match against Manchester City, so they’ll have some good vibes coming into the game and should just about win. 1-0 Newcastle.
MM: Huddersfield Town are surely down, so from now until their final game, they’re playing for pride. Newcastle need to be careful, only a point is keeping them above the relegation zone, but surely even the struggling Magpies will have enough for the Terriers. 2-1 Newcastle.
Player to watch: Fabian Schar has scored as many goals (2) as he has made defensive errors (2) so far this season.
Leicester vs. Crystal Palace
MB: Claude Puel’s Leicester have seemingly hit the wall all of his sides end up doing. They’re struggling to turn their good performances into wins and a side as potentially ruthless as Crystal Palace is pretty much the worst possible match-up right now. Expect the Eagles to swoop out of the sky and sink their talons into the Foxes. 0-2 Palace.
MM: Crystal Palace are two bad results away from being dragged into an unwanted relegation battle. They couldn’t have picked a better time to face Leicester City, a place and five points above, who have lost four of their last five league outings. 2-2 draw.
Player to watch: James Maddison has created more chances (64) than all but one Premier League player this season.
Arsenal vs. Southampton
MB: Southampton beat Arsenal earlier in the season under Ralph Hasenhuttl and whilst they would like to do that again, it’s far more likely that Arsenal will have learned their lessons and will be itching for a bit of payback. 3-1 Arsenal.
MM: Despite the uncertainty swirling around the Emirates Stadium, there’s been just one defeat in four league matches for Arsenal, who have won the other three. A visit from relegation-threatened Southampton presents another opportunity for maximum points. 2-0 Arsenal.
Player to watch: Alexandre Lacazette has scored 36% of Arsenal’s Premier League goals (4 of 11) in 2019.
Manchester United vs. Liverpool
MB: Liverpool will know that they have a huge chance to go top of the league with a positive result from Old Trafford, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has turned Manchester United into something of a war machine. The Red Devils will be eager to damage their eternal rivals’ title bid and with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, they’ll have the difference-makers to just about pull it off. 2-1 United.
MM: The latest huge test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has done incredibly well to turn Manchester United around. Liverpool, in the middle of an intense title battle against City, will love nothing more than completing a rare double over their eternal foes. 1-1 draw.
Player to watch: Paul Pogba has taken more shots (30), scored more goals (8), created more chances (18) and made more assists (5) than any Liverpool player since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became United manager.