We’re approaching a reduced gameweek of Premier League football.
Due to the FA Cup taking place this weekend only half of the teams in the league are playing this weekend and the action starts at 3pm on Saturday with Newcastle making the long trip down to Bournemouth as well as Burnley hosting Leicester and West Ham taking on Huddersfield.
Sunday sees a double-header of Fulham playing Liverpool as the Reds look to get a leg up and re-take the lead at the top of the Premier League whilst the big match of the weekend is Everton hosting and looking to damage the top four ambitions of Chelsea.
We’ve had two of our team have a look at the fixtures and come up with some predictions.
Bournemouth vs. Newcastle
Muhammad Butt: Bournemouth’s win over Huddersfield arrested their slide down the table and now they get to face a Newcastle side that will have made a long trip down south. Both sides will all out for this one and expect attack to triumph over defence. 2-2 draw,
Chris Smith: It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Miguel Almiron and his link up with Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon has finally given the Magpies a credible threat up front – one that a very out-of-form Bournemouth side will struggle to deal with. 0-2 Newcastle.
Player to watch: Ryan Fraser has created more big chances (19) than any other player in the Premier League so far this season.
Burnley vs. Leicester
MB: Vardy is white hot under Brendan Rodgers and the Foxes are probably not a big enough club to really energise Shuan Dyche’s kind of football with the underdog spirit. Expect an away win with Vardy on the scoresheet. 1-2 Leicester.
CS: A tough one to predict as Burnley are on a poor run but caused Liverpool problems last week, while Leicester looked much improved last week under Brendan Rodgers – all signs point to a draw. 1-1 draw.
Player to watch: Jamie Vardy has scored 3 goals from 4 shots since Brendan Rodgers became manager, no player in the league has more in the same time-frame.
West Ham vs. Huddersfield
MB: Alright so this might still be your daddy’s West Ham after all, but at The London Stadium they should have just too much ability for hapless Huddersfield to contend with. 3-1 West Ham.
CS: Yes, West Ham are very inconsistent, but Huddersfield are just consistently terrible. The likes of Felipe Anderson and the recently returned Manuel Lanzini should easily see off the Terriers. 2-0 West Ham.
Player to watch: Felipe Anderson has completed more take-ons (61), created more chances (51) and scored more goals (9) than any other West Ham or Huddersfield player this season.
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Fulham vs. Liverpool
MB: Even with the fatigue that comes from expending so much energy midweek in the Champions League, it’s hard to see a change in Fulham that would allow them to actually cause the Reds any real issue at Craven Cottage. 0-2 Liverpool.
CS: Liverpool might be tired from their Champions League exploits, or even still suffering from recent away draws with Man Utd and Everton. However, it’ll still do nothing to stem the flow when they head to the worst defence in the Premier League this season. 0-3 Liverpool.
Player to watch: Sadio Mané has scored four of Liverpool’s last nine Premier League goals (and 6 of 13 across all competitions).
Everton vs. Chelsea
MB: Everton are still a work in progress and aren’t yet the side Marco Silva wants or needs them to be, but they can be an obstinate defensive outfit and their last two matches against Chelsea ended 0-0, so unless Eden Hazard pulls another rabbit out of the hat, expect that to happen again. 0-0 draw.
CS: Everton win, every day of the week. OK, let’s not get stupid, the Toffees looked solid in their previous home game against Liverpool but totally shambolic in the 3-2 defeat to Newcastle a week later – they’ll still raise their game for a home draw with Chelsea, though. 1-1 draw.
Player to watch: Eden Hazard has completed more take-ons (92) than any other player in the Premier League this season.