23 games in and Manchester City have finally been stopped. A historic win for Liverpool means they move ever closer to securing that top 4 spot, whereas Arsenal look most definitely like they’ll miss out. West Bromwich Albion claimed their first win since August buts it’s Stoke City who are slipping ever closer towards relegation. How will week 24 shape things up?
Brighton v Chelsea
It’s time for Brighton to stop this run of successive games without a victory but going against Chelsea will be a tough call. Having won only five games this season, it’ll be a relief for the Seagulls to be playing at home, as they haven’t lost a game since the opening day of the season against Manchester City. Chris Hughton is a determined manager and I reckon their home form will keep them up this season, and give them a great chance in this game.
Chelsea are in a perilous situation where their strikers simply cannot score. Summer signing Alvaro Morata, who is showing a real lack of confidence in front of goal, is suspended for this game, as is Pedro, two real attacking threats. Antonio Conte will have to rely on forward Eden Hazard to do the damage, especially as Michy Batshuayi is unwanted and the (bizarre) likes of Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch haven’t signed yet.
Brighton 1-1 Chelsea
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
When you focus on all the surroundings around Alexis Sanchez’s departure and how Arsenal will replace him, it’s easy to forget just how miserably Arsene Wenger’s men are performing. With this set to be their worst ever spell under the Frenchman, it’s no surprise the stars want out. Fortunately for Gooners ahead of this game, Arsenal do actually turn up at home and won’t need Alexis for this kind of fixture.
Roy Hodgson really has Crystal Palace back on track now and they find themselves up to 12th, a remarkable achievement considering how dismal their start to the campaign was. With two wins in their last couple of games, they will be optimistic going into this fixture but they haven’t got the best away form in the league, picking up only 2 wins in their 11 away games.
Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace
Burnley v Manchester United
Burnley are entering their remission phase, having hit the top of their limits on their ascent up the table. The way Sean Dyche’s campaign has gone so far, it’s been a dream campaign and one that many will remember for a long time. Even though they haven’t won a game in their last six matches, they can still spring an upset here. New signing Aaron Lennon may be making his debut here too, so he’ll be one to watch.
For Jose Mourinho, even though his lips are tightly sealed, this may be the game that sees the debut of Alexis Sanchez. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but the Red Devils are in fine form going into this fixture. Having won their last two games, after a series of draws, this is the kind of match that can help determine whether they stay on Manchester City’s heels, however farfetched that sounds. However, I think they’ll drop points against a resolute Burnley.
Burnley 1-1 Manchester United
Everton v West Bromwich Albion
The Toffees are beginning to slip again after making a big improvement to their game since appointing Sam Allardyce. A run of five games without a victory does look bad but in that time, they have faced Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham. More so, Allardyce has made two major signings in Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott, bolstering their attack. It’ll be exciting to see how the two players make their mark.
West Brom finally ended their run of 20 games without victory by sealing a 2-0 win over Brighton last weekend. The relief was there for all to see and especially for Alan Pardew who oversaw his first win in charge of The Baggies. However, they’re still in 19th and will need more wins like that against clubs around them if they are to stand a chance of escaping relegation. I don’t think they’ll be able to cope here.
Everton 3-0 West Brom
Leicester City v Watford
Leicester should have really finished the game off against a poor Chelsea side but failed to take the three points in their previous fixture. It’s not been a bad season though as they sit in 8th place and Claude Puel has done a very good job since coming in. Even though they won’t do any better than mid-table this season, it’s still a respectable position.
For Marco Silva, his side will need a lift as they’ve only won once in their last ten games and will really need to pick up form if they don’t want the sides at the bottom catching up. With their list of injured players adding up, I don’t see The Hornets taking anything in this game.
Leicester City 2-0 Watford
Stoke City v Huddersfield Town
Stoke are in trouble here as they find themselves staring at relegation with one win in eight games. At the Britannia Stadium, you’d expect the Potters to win games but that’s been missing this season with only 4 wins from a possible 11 at home. Paul Lambert will have to bring something different to the team otherwise they could be on their way out of the Premier League.
Many thought, including myself, that Huddersfield town were going to be this season’s whipping boys but David Wagner has proved everyone wrong. It’s a remarkable campaign which although has seen them without a win in five games, it doesn’t strike too much fear as they have done very well in other fixtures. I think they’ll do well here.
Stoke City 1-2 Huddersfield Town
West Ham v Bournemouth
The Hammers are in good form and especially Marko Anuatovic who is tied as top scorer with Andre Ayew and won’t miss the absence of Andy Carroll. David Moyes’ side are peaking at the right point of the season and will do well to claim another mid-table spot.
Bournemouth picked their attacks against Arsenal and exploited their weaknesses to claim three points and raise their safety hopes. Even though at times this season they have looked poor, getting wins like that mean they are still very much capable of staying another season in the Premier League. I think West Ham’s hot form will take them out here though.
West Ham 2-1 Bournemouth
Manchester City v Newcastle United
The defeat to Liverpool came crashing down on Pep Guardiola as he could only watch and witness his side lose possession on many occasions, yet they still came back to 4-3, which is just a testament to how good they are. I think that was simply a blip and even though they will not go the season undefeated, they will go pretty close.
Rafael Benitez states he still needs to sign two to three players this window as his side look depleted of options. With only 2 wins in their last 14 games, the Magpies are in serious need of recruitments and will only look for damage limitation here.
Manchester City 4-0 Newcastle United
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur
10 successive games without a win mean Southampton find themselves in 17th place, the lowest they’ve been for quite a while. It’s not looking good for the Saints in the transfer window either as they missed out on Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon. Only time will tell if they can climb back up the table but this fixture certainly won’t help.
Tottenham are going into this game full of confidence and there’s no reason why Mauricio Pochettino shouldn’t be as he tries to claim back 4th spot. With Chelsea struggling, this could be an opportunity for Spurs to get back their place, especially when looking at how well Son Heung-min, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane are performing at the minute.
Southampton 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Swansea City v Liverpool
I can’t think of a worse fixture for Swansea City to have as they look to make some amends in their horrible season so far. Stuck at the bottom of the league, Carlos Carvalhal has an immense task of trying to save their season. The Swans haven’t won a single game in seven fixtures and at home have only secured eight points out of a possible 33.
Jürgen Klopp must be licking his lips at the thought of chasing Manchester United in 2nd as his side impressively swept Manchester City away at Anfield. Unbeaten since October, the Reds will be looking for their fifth successive victory and should see this one off comfortably. I think it will be a walk in the park.
Swansea City 0-4 Liverpool