Matchweek 25 of the Premier League is upon us, and that can only mean one thing, yes, it’s time for the Big Kick Off to bring you our Premier League match predictions.
Still no Chelsea in the mix for this round of matches. They are still away at the World Club Championship. I think they were due to play against an Alaskan Fishing XI the last time I checked.
As well as there being no Chelsea this weekend, there is also no Arsneal – much to the frustration of my Fantasy Premier League team! The Gunners were due to face the Blues this weekend.
What did we learn from Matchweek 24?
Well, both Man City and Liverpool won again. Man Utd still can’t play for 90 minutes, Newcastle seem up for the fight, and Watford seem to have tightened up defensively.
We also seen the offical arrival of Everton into the relegation, and maybe more signs Brentford are to follow.
In the battle for fourth place, West Ham regained pole position, although Arsenal now look the better long term bet after their win at Wolves.
Also helping the Gunners’ cause was United drawing, and Spurs suffering a shock defeat, of sorts!
Matchweek 25 Premier League Predictions
Anyway, let’s get straight into this weekend’s Premier League predictions, starting with Manchester United taking on conquerors of Spurs, Southampton, in the Saturday lunch time fixture.
Man Utd v Southampton – Saturday 12.30pm
We now seem to have moved on from the question about which version of Manchester United will turn up today!
United seems to be turning up now and doing great for 45 minutes, and being absolutely useless for the other 45.
So the question now is, does the good 45 minutes see United do enough to win the game, ahead of the rubbish 45?
According to Ralf Rangnick, and even most neutral observers like myself, United probably did do enough in the first 45 minutes af Turf Moor.
But even allowing for the contentious decisions, did that justify the second half performance? Of course it didn’t.
And it’s pretty symbolic of where we’re at with United these days.
As for Southampton, they are in a good place at the moment.
I can see them causing United problems, but I just have a sneaky feeling United will find a way to leave with the 3 points in the weekend’s opening fixture.
- Verdict – MAN UTD WIN
Brentford v Crystal Palace – Saturday 3pm
Five defeats in a row for Brentford now, and all of a sudden they are on the brink of being dragged into the relegation battle.
A home match against an up and down Palace side is the ideal opportunity for Brentford to get that much needed win that just keeps the ‘R’ word at bay for another week or two.
Lose here, and they really will need to start looking over their shoulders.
As for Palace, they’re four without a win now, having not tasted victory in the Premier League since the 28th December.
I’m split between the draw and an away win here. But in fairness, I’ve seen little from Palace to convince me they might win, so lets go with the draw.
- Verdict – DRAW
Everton v Leeds – Saturday 3pm
Well, after Tuesday’s defeat to Newcastle, any Everton fans denying they were in a relegation battle, would have had a serious rethink.
All of a sudden now, this game takes on massive significance. Everton simply cannot afford to lose this.
Leeds have had a bit of a mini revival of late. That did come to an abrupt end when they lost at home to Newcastle, but they bounced back well to earn a hard fought point at Villa Park on Wednesday.
Not knowing what you’re going to get from these two teams is probably the main reason they are both having poor seasons. It makes predicting very difficult as well.
This one could go either way. I expect the fans to be right behind the manager and team on Saturday, and I think they might just drive the Toffees to a much needed victory.
- Verdict – EVERTON WIN
Watford v Brighton – Saturday 3pm
Roy Hodgson has managed to shut the back door in his Watford side. Only one goal conceded in this first two matches is just what the doctor ordered.
Even though the Hornets weren’t very threatening going forward, the leaky defence had to be fixed, or they would be certain for relegation.
In Emmanual Dennis and Josh King, Watford do have a goal threat. And if they can find form, Watford will have a chance of staying up.
I expect the same pattern to continue on Saturday. Hodgson will prioirtise a clean sheet, and Brighton are good at getting draws.
- Verdict – DRAW
Norwich v Man City – Saturday 5.30pm
The Canaries are three unbeaten, and won’t be too disheartened at dropping back into the relegation zone in the latest round of fixtures.
Newcastle’s win that put Norwich back in the bottom 3, also dragged Everton closer to the bottom of the table, effectively adding a fifth team to the relegation battle.
Man City won against Brentford on Wednesday without really breaking out of second gear. I can only see Norwich’s unbeaten run coming to an end on Saturday!
- Verdict – MAN CITY WIN
Burnley v Liverpool – Sunday 2pm
The Clarets put up a decent second half showing against Manchester United on Tuesday, and will take heart from their well earned point.
They are up against a different beast in Liverpool though. The Red’s suffered their mini blip over the Christmas period, and now look back to their best.
They also have Mo Salah back, possibly Sadio Mane, and new signing Luis Diaz looks to have settled in well.
I have to go for an away win here.
- Verdict – LIVERPOOL WIN
Newcastle v Aston Villa – Sunday 2pm
This match looks a good one on paper at least.
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle now look like they are going to try and play their way out of trouble. While Steven Gerrard’s Villa side continue to impress.
Newcastle recorded a great win over Everton on Tuesday, and if this is the sign of things to come, the Newcastle fans will be happy.
Can they keep it up against a Villa side who look mentally tougher under Steven Gerrard?
I expect Villa to come under the kosh at St James, but that doesn’t mean they will lose.
In matches that could go any of three ways, it’s sometimes wise to sit on the fence.
- Verdict – DRAW
Tottenham v Wolves – Sunday 2pm
Well, on paper it looks like a home win. But I thought that last Wednesday, and Spurs lost at home to Southampton.
Last Wednesday, Antonio Conte’s side got hit with a similar sucker punch to the one they recently landed on Leicester.
With all due respect to Southampton, they went into that game in good form, meaning Spurs were no bankers to win. So in hindsight, it might not have been such a disastrous result for Tottenham afterall.
As for Wolves, the home defeat to Arsenal on Thursday brought to an end their three match winning run.
In some respects, I don’t think Martinelli’s red card after 69 minutes helped Wolves much. Not renowned for scoring many goals, Wolves found an ultra defensive Gunners side even harder to break down in the final 20 minutes.
Spurs also have the added bonus of an extra day’s recovery, and that could be crucial in a tight contest.
- Verdict – SPURS WIN
Leicester v West Ham – Sunday 4.30pm
This match could be the perfect storm for Brendan Rodgers and his struggling Leicester side.
Whether it’s down to injuries, or bad organisation, Leicester seem incapable of defending set pieces this season. On the flip side to that, West Ham are great at them.
The Foxes were improved against Liverpool on Thursday, but they never looked threatening. And they still conceded from a corner.
West Ham made hard work of seeing Watford off, but that is to be expected with Roy Hodgson now in charge, and focussing on the defense.
Leicester have the ability to win here, but given the respective teams strengths and weaknesses with set pieces, I have to go for a home win.
- Verdict – WEST HAM WIN