Premier League Preview

The Premier League returns this weekend following the international break. The season is nearing the end and there are some big games in the top flight this weekend, including the Merseyside derby.

Liverpool vs Everton (Saturday, Kick-Off 12:30 GMT)

Liverpool go into this game sitting in fourth spot. The reds will be hoping to finish the season in the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season. It is in their hands, they are four points ahead of Manchester United in fifth and six points ahead of Arsenal and Everton. This is a must win game for both sides, Liverpool will want to cement their place in the top four sooner rather than later, whilst Everton’s top four aspirations are far from over. Both sides lost key players during the international break, Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana will miss this game after suffering a thigh injury with England. Everton meanwhile lost Seamus Coleman, who suffered a horrific leg-break whilst playing for Ireland against Wales. Everton have a number of injury problems, Ronald Koeman will have field a makeshift back four.

I am predicting a close game. It looks set to be an exciting encounter as most Merseyside derbies are. Many will be going for a Liverpool win with Everton’s injury problems. However with Adam Lallana out for Liverpool – Which is a massive blow for them, I can see Everton coming away with something. With Romelu Lukaku up front, they are always threatening in front of goal.

Prediction: Liverpool 2 Everton 2

Burnley vs Tottenham (Saturday, Kick-Off 15:00 GMT)

Burnley have a fantastic home record and Sean Dyche has done an unbelievable job at Turf Moore, something he does not get enough credit for. Make no mistake, this is a tough game for Tottenham and one that must not be taken lightly. Tottenham are without Harry Kane, however they still possess some lethal players in attack. Burnley are without a win in their last 5 league games, Sean Dyche’s men will be looking to put that right and confirm their place in the Premier League for next season. Tottenham meanwhile look almost assured of a top four finish this season, the thing they must not do is get complacent.

I think Tottenham will win this one, even without Kane they have a number of players that can inflict damage to the opposition.

Prediction: Burnley 1 Tottenham 2

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, Kick-Off 15:00 GMT)

Sorry Palace fans, I just can’t see anything other than a Chelsea win in this one. You may as well give Chelsea the title now, they have been running away with the Premier League for a while now. The blues are ten points clear of Tottenham and show no signs of slipping up. The signing of N’Golo Kante has been key and the return to form of Eden Hazard, Chelsea have simply been unstoppable.

Palace have regained some form in recent weeks, they even managed to beat Watford without having a shot on target. Palace are by no means safe, they are four points from safety with a game in hand over Hull, so they are in a favourable position.

Chelsea will win this one comfortably.

Prediction: 3-0

Hull City vs West Ham United (Saturday, Kick-Off 15:00 GMT)

Marco Silva has done a good job since taking over at Hull. The Tigers find themselves in the bottom three but are in with a real chance of staying up, providing they win this game. This should be an entertaining game, West Ham seem to be better away from home, away from the pressures of the new stadium. Hull have two home games in the space of a few days, they should see this as an opportunity to take six points from those games, starting with West Ham.

Slaven Bilic is under pressure at West Ham, the players have got to step up and put in a performance for the manager. If Hull are to stay up this is a must win for them, a game I think they will just edge,

Prediction: Hull City 2 West Ham 1

Leicester City vs Stoke City (Saturday, Kick-Off 15:00 GMT)

How well has Craig Shakespeare done since taking over from Ranieri? It is clear the players downed tools on the Italian, after winning three games on the bounce under Shakespeare. Leicester look like the team of last season under Shakespeare. Leicester are now six points clear of the relegation zone, they are on the verge of safety. Stoke meanwhile have been a little inconsistent but are on course for a top ten finish.

I fancy Leicester to win this one, Jamie Vardy is back amongst the goals – Which will do him the world of good. With the way Leicester are playing at the moment, especially at home you expect them to win this game.

Prediction: Leicester 2 Stoke 1

Manchester United vs West Brom (Saturday, Kick-Off 15:00 GMT)

Tony Pulis isn’t getting the recognition he deserves for the job he has done at West Brom this season. The West Brom manager has done an unbelievable job, the Baggies are currently in eighth position. This will be a tough game for Manchester United, West Brom are always a threat, especially from set pieces. Paul Pogba looks unlikely to be fit, so Marouane Fellaini will have to come in. With that Manchester United are more defensive.

I have a sneaky feeling that West Brom will come away something. Normally I would expect Manchester United to win this one, however I would fancy putting a bet on West Brom to come away with a point. West Brom deserve a lot of credit for what they have done this season.

Prediction Manchester United 1 West Brom 1

Watford vs Sunderland (Saturday, Kick-Off 15:00 GMT)

For me, this game doesn’t look very appealing. Watford are comfortable on the ball but often lack that cutting edge. Sunderland on the other hand – They look certain to be relegated this season. They rely for too heavily on Jermaine Defoe, if the striker doesn’t score – Sunderland do not. David Moyes said that the Black Cats need another five wins to be safe, something I think they will struggle to do.

Sunderland have been fighting relegation for a few seasons, history shows that it will inevitably catch up with you – For me, this is the season that Sunderland run out of escape plans.

I see this one probably being one of the final games on Match of the Day – Meaning it probably won’t be very entertaining. I struggle to see goals in this game.

Prediction: Watford 0 Sunderland 0

Southampton vs Bournemouth (Saturday, Kick-Off 15:00 GMT)

A great game on the cards here, both teams like to attack. Southampton have done fantastic again, despite losing key players and their manager in the summer. They seem to overcome the odds every year, it’s a real credit to the system they have in place there. Having lived in Southampton for a few years, I know what derby games are like on the South coast.

This looks set to be an entertaining game, Southampton dominated Bournemouth in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. Eddie Howe has done a superb job at Bournemouth, their last two victories were vital, they could have easily been dragged into a relegation fight. Level on points and side by side in the table, this is a tough game to call.

I do think Southampton will just have too much for Bournemouth in this game.

Prediction: Southampton 2 Bournemouth 1

Swansea vs Middlesbrough (Sunday, Kick-Off 13:30 GMT)

Wow, what a massive game this one is. Seventeenth vs nineteenth, Karanka lost his job at Boro after being dragged into the relegation zone, they looked frightened of attacking under Karanka, it was the correct decision to make a change. It is important that Boro stay in the Premier League for as long as they can, if they go down this year it will be tough for them to bounce straight back.

Paul Clement has done a great job at Swansea since his arrival. This is very much a winnable game for Swansea, especially at home. I worry for Boro, though their hopes in my opinion are with Adama Traore, he looks like a real talent – He impressed me at Villa last season and has continued to impress me this season. Traore will be at one of the big clubs in the near future.

I see Swansea being too much for Boro. A Swansea win, will finish off Boro I think.

Prediction: Swansea 2 Middlesbrough 0

Arsenal vs Manchester City (Sunday, Kick-Off 16:00 GMT)

This is a huge game – A game that WILL have goals in it. You can forget about betting on a goalless draw, I will be astonished if that happens. Arsene Wenger is under constant pressure at Arsenal, his uncertain future is definitely having an impact on the team. If Arsenal lose this game then Wenger will be under even more pressure.

Guardiola has done OK with City this season, I wouldn’t say they have improved that much since his arrival, the Spaniard will adapt though and I expect great things from City next season.

I see City winning this game, Arsenal have been all over the place recently and I think City will punish Arsenal’s defensive frailties.

Prediction: Arsenal 1 Manchester City 3