Liverpool get the ball rolling on Saturday, so here we go with The Big Kick Off’s Premier League match predictions for Matchweek 29.
Man City and Liverpool continue their fight for the Premier League title this weekend, and with City not in action until Monday, Liverpool have the chance to close the gap when they take on Brighton in the early kick-off on Saturday.
Both City and Liverpool won tricky looking fixtures last weekend to maintain the status quo. First, Liverpool defeated West Ham 1-0, and then Man City dismantled their city neighbours, Man Utd, by four goals to one at the Etihad.
In the betting to win the Premier League, Man City are now 1/4, with Liverpool at 3/1. To confirm just how much of a two-horse race this is, third favourites Chelsea are 400/1.
Second favourites Liverpool are first to go this weekend, and their match against Brighton is our first prediction of the weekend’s action.
Brighton v Liverpool – Saturday 12.30pm
The poor Seagulls are on a horrendous run at the moment, so the last thing they need is to be playing Liverpool.
Graham Potter’s team have lost four in a row now. The big difference between this poor run, and the one they had earlier in the season, is that they weren’t playing too badly earlier in the season, while this time around, it’s hard to see where a result will come from.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool look back to the form they showed when they won the Premier League.
With them needing a win to keep the pressure on Man City, I can’t see them slipping up here.
- Verdict – LIVERPOOL WIN
Brentford v Burnley – Saturday 3pm
Brentford went and pulled a result out of the bag last weekend and took the 3 points against Norwich.
Another 3 points against fellow strugglers Burnley will see them go 9 points clear of the Clarets, and at the very least 8 points clear of the relegation zone.
Burnley have just lost two on the trot, after picking up 7 points from their previous three matches.
This could be a huge match in the relegation dogfight, and it’s also a match where I’m struggling to pick a winner.
- Verdict – DRAW
Man Utd v Spurs – Saturday 5.30pm
Well, United played okay in the first half against Man City last week, and then they transformed into a non-league outfit at half time.
What is it with this team, that they can’t string two decent halves of football together?
Spurs on the other hand, have beat Man City at the Etihad, then looked clueless away to Burnley, and have scored nine unanswered goals in their last two Premier League matches.
Sandwiched in between the 4-0 win over Leeds and the 5-0 demolition of Everton, was a 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
How on earth do you predict this match?
I’m going to go for Spurs to win though. Antonio Conte will know how to frustrate United at Old Trafford, and I’m going for him to pull off an Italian tactical masterclass.
- Verdict – SPURS WIN
Chelsea v Newcastle – Sunday 2pm
If at Christmas someone had told you Newcastle United would be 10 points clear of the relegation zone by the second weekend of March, you would be forgiven for thinking they were talking rubbish.
But ahead of their visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, that’s exactly where they are.
In their wildest of dreams, any Newcastle fans who thought the club may stay up, probably expected it to go down to the wire, but with 11 matches to go, I think it’s safe to say that Newcastle are safe.
As for Chelsea, all the off field stuff didn’t seem to affect the team at Norwich on Thursday night. Newcastle will be a sterner test though.
Despite this, I can still see the Blues coming out on top, although I expect Newcastle to make it a real contest.
- Verdict – CHELSEA WIN
Everton v Wolves – Sunday 2pm
After last Monday’s mauling at the hands of Spurs, Everton could really do with a result, for a boost in confidence if nothing else.
The Toffees are now in the relegation battle, of that there can be no doubt.
As for Wolves, their 4-0 win over Watford on Thursday saw them end a run of three successive defeats.
Since Frank Lampard took over as manager, Everton have been abysmal on the road, but decent at home. At Goodison Park under Lampard they beat Leeds 3-0, and gave a good account of themselves when losing 1-0 to Man City.
If Burnley can get anything at Brentford on Saturday, Everton will go into the match in the bottom 3. Can the Toffees handle the pressure? I’m not sure. I’m going for a draw.
- Verdict – DRAW
Leeds v Norwich – Sunday 2pm
Another huge game at the bottom of the table, and one neither side can afford to lose.
Leeds have endured a torrid time of late, and any positives they might have taken from only losing 1-0 to Leicester, were completely blown out of the water by the manner of their 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on Thursday.
Leeds have now lost five in a row, conceding 21 goals in the process.
As for Norwich, they’re still fighting, but unfortunately for Dean Smith, they keep on losing. The Canaries have lost five in a row now, but in their defence, two of those defeats were to Liverpool, and one was at the hands of Man City.
It’s a tough match to call, I think Leeds are in a worse place than Norwich form-wise, but they have home advantage.
I’m going for Leeds to just edge it – although nothing would surprise me.
- Verdict – LEEDS WIN
Southampton v Watford – Sunday 2pm
Despite having been in good form of late, Southampton have lost their last two.
Thursday’s defeat to Newcastle was only their second home defeat of the season, and shows just how hot Eddie Howe’s side currently are.
As for Watford, just one win in seven games since Roy Hodgson took over wasn’t the return the club’s owners were looking for.
Long before Hodgson arrived, Watford’s chances of survival looked bleak. And nothing has really changed.
- Verdict – SOUTHAMPTON WIN
West Ham v Aston Villa – Sunday 2pm
The Hammers might consider themselves unlucky to have left Anfield empty handed last Saturday. But in all honesty, they were second best on the day.
While for Aston Villa, since their shock 1-0 home defeat to Watford, they’ve now won three on the spin. Scoring nine, and conceding none.
Steven Gerrard seems to have now found a system that allows him to play his front two of Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins, with Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho pulling the strings behind them.
This is another tight looking match on paper, but with the form Coutinho is in, and West Ham looking a touch jaded lately, I’m going for Villa.
- Verdict – ASTON VILLA WIN
Arsenal v Leicester – Sunday 4.30pm
The Gunners have won their last four, while Leicester have won two in a row.
A lot of Arsenal’s wins have come against teams they would be expected to beat. But in fairness, Arsenal do look to be growing as a unit under Artera, and they don’t look like they’ve missed the now departed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Leicester had just got their very own talisman Jamie Vardy back from injury, but now he’s out again.
Vardy played a part in Leicester’s back-to-back wins over Burnley and Leeds, but picked up a knee injury in the win over the latter.
I’m going to have to go for the Gunners here. I can’t see Leicester making it three from three at the Emirates.
- Verdict – ARSENAL WIN
Crystal Palace v Man City – Monday 8pm
Palace have only lost one of their last five, and have won two of their last three.
They’re having a pretty good season in my view, given they’ve totally changed their style of play and philosophy under the leadership of Patrick Viera.
As for City, what can you say? They were under pressure at half time against Man Utd last Sunday, and they responded by wiping the floor with the Red Devils in the second half.
As good as Palace have done, I have to go for a City win.
- Verdict – MAN CITY