It’s time for Matchweek 32 in the Premier League, and with the biggest Premier League match of the season to date taking place this weekend, here is The Big Kick Off’s Premier League Predictions.
Yes, it’s being hyped up as the Premier League title decider, but personally I’m not convinced it is. Man City take on Liverpool at the Etihad on Sunday, and the winner will find themselves as the favourite to win this season’s Premier League.
If City win, it puts them in an incredibly strong position, granted. But I still think there is plenty of water to pass under the bridge before this argument is sorted out.
There is also the distraction of the Champions League. Rotating squads and trying to put as strong a side out as possible in both these competitions for the remainder of the season will be challenging for both Guardiola and Klopp. So there’s still plenty of potential banana skins out there.
Elsewhere the battle for fourth place took another couple of twists last weekend and now Spurs are apparently in pole position. While at the bottom, Everton were the big losers after Burnley’s remarkable comeback at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.
This weekend’s 10-fold pays a whopping 20,000/1, so no pressure there. It will probably be busted by 10pm on Friday in fairness.
The best way to make a couple of quid from these predictions is to place a bet on each outcome individually, or use one of many football betting systems that can show you where the best value is.
If we get 5 or more of these matches correct, we are in profit though. So let’s hope for the best. Right, on with the match predictions.
Newcastle v Wolves – Friday 8pm
Newcastle have now lost three on the spin, and Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Spurs was by far the worst of that trio of losses.
The mistakes at the back were more like we were accustomed to seeing before Christmas, not since. Although they could do with arresting their recent slump, I still don’t see Eddie Howe’s team going down.
Wolves are still only 5 points off fourth place, but the chances of making the Champions League look slim. The Europa League is still a realistic possibility though. Regardless of Europe, it’s been a brilliant season for Wolves and their boss Bruno Lage.
Last weekend his team bounced back well from the Leeds loss by defeating Aston Villa 2-1, and I have a feeling they will win again this weekend.
- Verdict – WOLVES WIN
Everton v Man Utd – Saturday 12.30pm
Tricky fixture this, because as bad as Everton are on the road, they haven’t been altogether that bad at Goodison Park. A few weeks ago, they gave a more than decent account of themselves against Man City, and as I’ve mentioned many times, they were very unfortunate to lose that day.
The Everton fans will get behind their team, and they will know they have a chance up against an inconsistent Manchester United.
Yes, that Man Utd team. The ones who were very fortunate not to lose at home to Leicester City last week, courtesy of a VAR intervention that was debatable to say the least.
It’s that old story of which version of United turns up again, with regards to predicting the outcome of the match. For that reason, I’m sitting on the fence.
- Verdict – DRAW
Arsenal v Brighton – Saturday 3pm
The Gunners were well and truly beaten at Selhurst Park on Monday, and it was more like a throwback to the Arsenal of old.
A visit from Brighton, who managed to end an awful losing run by drawing 0-0 with Norwich last week, looks the ideal fixture to get Arsenal winning again.
The problem for Brighton seems to be that even when they are playing well they don’t score, and at the moment they aren’t even playing well.
- Verdict – ARSENAL WIN
Southampton v Chelsea – Saturday 3pm
It’s been a horrific week for Thomas Tuchel and his Chelsea side. They’ve conceded 7 goals at Stamford Bridge, and as a result, I suspect confidence is extremely low.
They do have top players though, and they can’t spend too long feeling sorry for themselves.
The Saints aren’t in good form either, and have lost three of their last four. They have a feel of Alan Curbishley’s Charlton of previous vintage, where once Premier League survival was achieved, the team went on a downward spiral for the remainder of the season.
I feel Chelsea will bounce back with a win here.
- Verdict – CHELSEA WIN
Watford v Leeds – Saturday 3pm
What a match this is, and you tend to get the feeling it’s a must win for Roy Hodgson and Watford if the Hornets are to have any chance of staying up.
The last time Watford won at Vicarage Road in the Premier League was that 4-1 win over Manchester United! Remember that?
As for Leeds, they have arrested the slide since Jesse Marsch took over, and 7 points from their last three matches has given them some much needed breathing space.
I think not losing is a good result for Leeds here, but I suspect they might do better because I just think Watford have that doomed look about them already.
- Verdict – LEEDS WIN
Aston Villa v Spurs – Saturday 5.30pm
The last match for Saturday, and it looks like a cracker. Aston Villa have stuttered a bit again in recent weeks, and at eleventh in the table, are probably about par for the season.
As for Spurs, all of a sudden things are clicking into place and the Champions League now looks a real prospect. Yes, I did just write Spurs and Champions League in the same sentence!
The winter transfer window signings have settled in, Son is scoring and performing, and Harry Kane looks back to his best. Take the awful loss to Burnley out of the recent run, and it’s actually not too bad.
My head is telling me a Spurs win here, but I do feel Villa will bounce back and give Spurs a real test on Saturday. So I’m going for the draw.
- Verdict – DRAW
Brentford v West Ham – Sunday 2pm
No offence meant, but I’m sick of Brentford. Every week they muck up my predictions! Even when I’ve predicted they will win, they’ve lost. I just can’t call their games anymore.
West Ham had a hard night in the Europa League on Thursday and had to play 30 minutes with 10 men. They may also already have one eye on the second leg, so I’m going for Brentford to get something out of the match.
- Verdict – DRAW
Leicester v Crystal Palace – Sunday 2pm
This one has the makings of a good match on paper, with both these sides liking to play on the front foot. Leicester were – in my view – very unlucky at Old Trafford last Saturday, while Palace dismantled Arsenal on Monday night.
Unfortunately for the Foxes, they have been dogged by inconsistency this season, so there is no guarantee one good performance will be followed by another one.
As for Palace, they’re now on a roll. They’re five unbeaten in the Premier League and into the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Patrick Viera has got them playing, and they look like they’re going to finish the season strongly.
If this were at Palace, I would have no hesitation in calling it a home win. At Leicester, I’m not so sure.
- Verdict – DRAW
Norwich v Burnley – Sunday 2pm
What a chance this is for Burnley to make their move and possibly get themselves out of the bottom three. To comeback from 2-1 down at home in their situation against Everton last Wednesday showed incredible character.
Norwich haven’t stopped playing this season, and they are a good team to watch. Their problem is, they’ve spilt too many pints in last chance saloon, and even a win over Burnley will probably be too little too late for them.
Besides, I don’t see the Canaries winning anyway!
- Verdict – BURNLEY WIN
Man City v Liverpool – Sunday 4.30pm
Onto the big match, and is this the championship decider? Possibly, but I do see more potential twists in the title race this season. Although, both of these sides are well capable of winning all remaining matches after Sunday.
City arguably had the harder night in the Champions League on Tuesday, but I also think they held Phil Foden and Jack Grealish back for this match.
I’m expecting a tight game with only the odd goal in it, and I think that home advantage will take precedence and City will nick it 2-1.
- Verdict – MAN CITY WIN