Brentford and Watford’s Friday night clash get this weekend’s Premier League fixtures underway, and here is our predictions for Matchweek 16.
This weekend sees Steven Gerrard returning to Anfield with his Villa side. The Villa boss is sure to get a warm welcome, but it’s hard to see him leaving with anything else!
Sadly, we have lost one match from this weekend’s schedule due to the worsening health crisis.
Brighton’s home match against Spurs on Sunday has been called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Tottenham camp.
Our thoughts and best wishes from all at The Big Kick Off go to all those affected, and we hope they all have a speedy recovery to full health.
Back to the actual football, and we have a new leader in the Premier League.
Yes, Manchester City now tops the league table after beating Watford 3-1 at Vicarage Road. City overtook Chelsea at the top, after Tuchel’s Blues suffered a 3-2 defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium.
The win hasn’t seen much change in the betting to win the Premier League from Man City’s perspective.
Pep’s team was 4/6 (1.66) before start of play last weekend, they are now 31/50 (1.62).
- Man City 31/50 (1.62)
- Liverpool 11/4 (3.75)
- Chelsea 5/1 (6.0)
- Man Utd 100/1 (101.0)
- Spurs 175/1 (176.0)
- Arsenal 275/1 (276.0)
- West Ham 275/1 (276.0)
The big change in the betting is directly beneath City, with Liverpool swapping places with Chelsea.
Prior to their defeat at West Ham, Chelsea were 11/4 (3.75) second favourites. They are now 5/1 (6.0) third favourites.
The Reds – who won 1-0 at Wolves – saw their odds cut from 7/2 (3.50) to 11/4 (3.75). They are now second favourites.
It really is a huge shame that Liverpool will lose Mo Salah for such a long time, as if he was available to Klopp’s team all season, it could have been a really exciting title race.
Premier League Matchweek 16 Match Predictions
Right, it’s time for some Premier League predictions, starting with two of this season’s new boys!
Brentford v Watford – 8pm Friday
Despite stuttering of late, I don’t think there is a Brentford fan anywhere who wouldn’t be happy with their return of 17 points from fifteen matches.
The Bees may have only won once in their last eight in the Premier League, but they have picked up 5 points from their last four matches, which isn’t bad for a struggling team.
Last weekend’s 2-2 draw away to Leeds will feel like 2 points dropped though.
As for Watford, I feel like it’s a bet on which version of them turns up.
I’ve gone from thinking they are rubbish, to now thinking they have a game in them, but only if they get out of the right side of the bed.
Given they’re at home, I’m going to go with Brentford in this one, but only just.
- Verdict – BRENTFORD WIN
Bonus Tip – In the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market, overs is 2.0, and I think that’s worth a punt with this Watford side.
Man City v Wolves – 12.30pm Sat
Right then, City took over as Premier League leaders last weekend, and when that happened last season, they never looked back.
I’m not counting last Tuesday’s Champions League defeat against them, they were already through and were just going through the motions at Leipzig.
Wolves have struggled of late, and with just 1 goal in their last five matches, their season seems to have stalled again.
I can only see another defeat here for them.
- Verdict – MAN CITY WIN
Arsenal v Southampton – 3pm Sat
The Gunners are at it again, this time losing at Everton. Just when you think they are finally moving in the right direction, they go and do that.
Southampton is one of the most unpredictable sides in the league. One week they are hopeless, the next they are good.
Last weekend they should really have beaten Brighton, but had to settle for a point in the end.
Those are the results that are going to hurt Hasenhuttl’s men in the long run, and I can only see them losing again on Saturday!
- Verdict – ARSENAL WIN
Chelsea v Leeds – 3pm Sat
Ever since pundits started crowing about what a great job Thomas Tuchel has done in the past 12 months, Chelsea has been a bit up and down.
Last week they threw away the lead against West Ham, not once, but twice, and managed to lose the match. And in doing so, went from 1st to 3rd.
This is a great match to get back to winning ways in though.
A nice little runout against misfiring Leeds is just what the doctor ordered, and I can only see a comfortable 3 points for the Blues.
- Verdict – CHELSEA WIN
Liverpool v Aston Villa – 3pm Sat
This looks like another comfortable home win.
Yes, Villa has been given that much-needed new manager bounce from the arrival of Steven Gerrard, but I can’t see that being enough to get a result at Anfield.
Gerrard will no doubt steal the headlines on his Anfield return, but I can only see him recording another defeat.
- Verdict – LIVERPOOL WIN
Norwich v Man Utd – 5.30pm Sat
Saturday’s final match sees Dean Smith’s Norwich taking on Ralf Rangnick’s Man Utd.
Norwich lost their first match under Smith last week in the 3-0 defeat away to Tottenham.
Even though we haven’t yet seen much of Rangnick’s style, I still think his team will have more than enough to inflict back-to-back defeats on Smith and Norwich.
- Verdict – MAN UTD WIN
Burnley v West Ham – 2pm Sun
Sean Dyche’s Burnley at home to West Ham is the first of three – what I can only say are – uninspiring matches on Sunday.
Burnley suffered a very disappointing loss at Newcastle last Saturday, while West Ham beat Chelsea.
All three results are a possibility here, so I’m sitting on the fence and going for the draw.
- Verdict – DRAW
Leicester v Newcastle – 2pm Sun
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle finally got their first win of the season last Saturday, and they must have a chance of making it two from two away at Brendon Rodgers’ unpredictable Leicester City.
The Foxes are a funny side. Last weekend they managed to lose to Aston Villa, having picked up 4 points from their previous two matches.
I do think they will have too much for Newcastle, and the win version of the inconsistent Foxes will be the ones on show this weekend.
- Verdict – LEICESTER WIN
Crystal Palace v Everton – 4.30pm Sun
One of the abbreviations on the Premier League website for this match is CRY, and that’s how I felt when I saw this game was live on TV.
In all fairness, it’s a chance to have a good look at Crystal Palace under Patrick Viera.
Will they be able to see off an Everton side that finally managed a win last Monday? I don’t know.
I’m going for a draw at Selhurst Park.
- Verdict – DRAW