Manchester City (H) vs. Everton (A)
Well last week sure was a miss on the Manchester City prediction, huh? I figured the hot team would handle the cold team easily, but Chelsea decided they were going to screw all of that up and go win 2-0. This week shouldn’t be a problem for City though, as Everton are not Chelsea. Along with that fact, they got to rest Kyle Walker, Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Fabian Delph midweek in the Champions League. Meanwhile, Everton have been pretty stale lately, needing a fantastic free kick from Lucas Digne last week to scrape a draw out of Watford. I don’t really think this one needs too much explanation.
Score Prediction: 3-1 Manchester City
Crystal Palace (H) vs. Leicester City (A)
At this point, it might behoove Leicester to hire me as an assistant manager or something, because it seems as though I know their team better then they do. In the two articles I’ve written, I’ve nailed the Leicester game both times, which is frankly just odd. But if I’ve gotten it right two weeks in a row, I may as well keep thinking the same things about this Leicester side, as apparently I’m doing something right. So I’ll say it again: Leicester’s attack is pretty stale right now. And until they inevitably prove me wrong, I’ll keep on saying it. Meanwhile, Palace’s attack has somehow been worse, boasting a miniscule .81 goals scored/game. And the only reason it’s that high is because they scored two against West Ham over the weekend. Needless to say, I will probably not be watching this one, as it has 0-0 written all over it. It doesn’t help that the game is at Selhurst Park, where Palace have scored a whopping four goals all season.
Score Prediction: 0-0
Huddersfield Town (H) vs. Newcastle United (A)
Attention all neutral fans! Do not, under any circumstances, approach this game or the last, as they could be extremely harmful to any and all sensory receptors! You have been warned.
Or alternatively: Welcome one and all to the extraordinary show of Huddersfield and Newcastle! Today’s show features no goals, stale play, probably an injury or two, and if we’re lucky, there might be a good save!
Anyways, if it wasn’t obvious enough, I’ll take another 0-0 draw here. Throw the defensive numbers out the window, Newcastle’s attack is right on par with Palace’s at a measly .81 goals scored/game, while Huddersfield’s is absolutely shocking, scoring .63 goals/game. I don’t know if you could pay me to watch this game.
Score Prediction: 0-0
Tottenham Hotspur (H) vs. Burnley (A)
If you’re looking for a good old-fashioned shellacking, you’ve come to the right place! Spurs are coming off a midweek result in the Champions League (albeit against a heavily rotated Barcelona) that saw them through to the knockout round of the competition, so they are on a massie high right now. Normally in a situation like this, I might give a warning for a trap game scenario, but when the opponent is Burnley I feel like that would be blatant deception from me. So I’m gonna shoot you straight: I’m not watching this one either. I want to watch a good, close game, not Spurs keeping possession and scoring when they feel it’s a good time for them. Of course, I’m exaggerating this quite a bit, as Spurs will probably have to actually try a little bit at least, but they should easily dispose of Burnley regardless.
Score Prediction: 2-0 Spurs
Watford (H) vs. Cardiff City (A)
Had this fixture been earlier in the season, my analysis for this matchup would have probably looked similar to the last matchup. As it is though, this is probably one of the two best matches of Saturday’s fixtures. And, as much as it might surprise some, Cardiff are in much better form than Watford. The Hornets have been in free fall since the beginning of the season, while Cardiff have actually been trending upwards. They have won three of their last five, including a 1-0 win in their last game against Southampton (my prediction was so close!). I’m not going to be one to sell Watford off, because Cardiff could end up regressing in this match and looking like the Championship team they probably should be looking like. However, this game could end as it probably should based on recent form, with Cardiff on top. So, as per the usual when I’m torn on what to predict, it’s a draw for me.
Score Prediction: 1-1
Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) vs. AFC Bournemouth (A)
Fresh off of a 4-0 embarrassment at the hands of Mo Salah and Steve Cook (who incidentally had a lovely back heel finish for his own goal), Bournemouth will be looking to bounce back in this match against a team that is of a very similar quality to them. This would certainly be a quality win for Bournemouth should they find a way to win. However, the stats don’t seem to suggest they will win. While they score 1.56 goals/game, they concede 1.63 (though that is boosted by the aforementioned 4-0 result). One can understand Bournemouth’s “regression to the mean” when one sees the teams they’ve been facing. In their last five games, they’ve lost four. Of those four losses, three were to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, and Arsenal (the other was to Newcastle, but we’ll forget that for now). If anyone expected them to win all/any of those games, I would be surprised. So, all things considered, Bournemouth are still alright. They do come up against the surging Wolves though, who get to play at home on the back of two consecutive wins, one being an impressive one over Chelsea (the other was a late winner against Newcastle, but we’ll forget that for now). Wolves still haven’t been prolific in front of goal this season though, scoring only 1.06 goals/game. For some reason though, this game seems to me as a redemption game for Bournemouth, where they come into the Molineaux and stomp on Wolves’ throats. This one is bold (and I’ll probably be completely wrong), but here goes nothing.
Score Prediction: 3-1 Bournemouth
Fulham (H) vs. West Ham (A)
This one isn’t going to have much analysis, and you’ll see why. Claudio Ranieri hasn’t had that much of an impact since being appointed as Fulham manager, and he certainly hasn’t fixed the defense yet. When you’re giving up four goals to this season’s Manchester United, that’s when you know it’s bad. Meanwhile, West Ham have played three bottom half teams in a row and scored three goals against all of them. There’s no reason for me to think it will be any different Saturday. Fulham give up 2.5 goals/game as well, so this lays perfectly for West Ham to continue their streak. It’s four for four.
Score Prediction: 3-1 West Ham
Brighton and Hove Albion (H) vs. Chelsea (A)
Chelsea have to be on a massive high right now after beating Manchester City 2-0 last weekend. However, I wouldn’t pick them for only that reason, as their recent form has been inconsistent at the least. Before the big win on the weekend, they had lost to Wolves 2-1 and Spurs 3-1 (with a 2-0 cakewalk against Fulham between those results). Those sorts of circumstances lead my mind directly to “trap game!”. However, as much as I would like this to be a trap game (I support Brighton, whoops), I don’t think it’s going to happen. Those two losses were the only two Chelsea have had all season and Brighton just lost to Burnley. If Chelsea are playing a game that resembles Sarriball at all, Brighton are done for. However, as it is at the Amex, I’m not predicting a blowout, as Brighton for some reason are normally much better at home than away.
Score Prediction: 2-1 Chelsea
Southampton (H) vs. Arsenal (A)
Score Prediction: 3-1 Arsenal
Liverpool (H) vs. Manchester United (A)
By far this is the best matchup of the entire weekend, and it should be a good one. Despite the fact that Liverpool have been miles better than United this season, rivalry games such as this seem to always be close. Liverpool are certainly on a high this week after beating Napoli 1-0 in the Champions League to make the knockout round, while United suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Valencia in the same competition which was highlighted by a Phil Jones own goal (classic). However, United did get a big win in the Premier League last weekend, though it was against Fulham. I’m not sure why I’m talking about recent form though, because in these rivalry games, recent form doesn’t seem to matter all that much. This game feels like one with a dramatic ending, so I think Liverpool scores first, United equalizes in the second half, then in classic Liverpool fashion, a substitute scores the late game winner.
Score Prediction: 2-1 Liverpool