Matchday 17 Preview

Everton vs West Ham

The New Year Premier League action gets underway on Merseyside and with Everton inactive in midweek after Manchester City’s COVID-19 issues, it means that Carlo Ancelotti’s men will be well rested for the visit of West Ham.

Of course, their manager David Moyes knows this ground very well and after being held by Southampton, a return to Goodison Park could prove to be rather difficult for the wily old Scot.

Prediction: Everton 2-0 West Ham

Manchester United vs Aston Villa

Surely Manchester United won’t win the Premier League this season. I mean, they couldn’t or then again, maybe they could. With such an impressive unbeaten run under their belt, the Red Devils are now looking like they could be the most genuine challengers to their arch-rivals Liverpool.

For that opportunity to increase, they will need to get the better of an Aston Villa side, who are very much the dark horses in all of this and if they win their two games in hand, then who knows what might happen.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa

Tottenham vs Leeds

Tottenham were another outfit afforded a rest after Covid-19 issues elsewhere and this means that Jose Mourinho’s men were offered some respite after a set of leggy performances, performances that have seen the North London outfit unable to win their last four league outings.

This Saturday sees them go up against Leeds and with Marcelo Bielsa’s men putting five goals past a hapless West Brom, this is going to be an incredible style clash between two legendary managers.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Leeds

Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United

Crystal Palace showed some fight against Leicester in their last outing and because of this, you would have to say that they were worthy of a point. However, that outcome only serves to extend their run of results without a win, a run that has increased to five league outings.

This weekend sees them go up against Sheffield United and what they would love to do with a draw. All season, they’ve only earned two points from the first 16 matches and relegation is now a near certainty.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Sheffield United

Brighton vs Wolves

Brighton were perhaps unlucky to get anything from the visit of Arsenal in midweek. However, luck is not a currency that is trading in the Premier League and it is not really an excuse that Graham Potter and his players can keep attempting to fall back on.

This weekend they will hope their luck is in, as they go up against Wolves and after they suffered an agonising defeat at Old Trafford, they will look to bounce back in the best possible fashion.

Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Wolves

West Brom vs Arsenal

After such an impressive showing against Liverpool, West Brom certainly regressed to the mean against Leeds and after suffering such an embarrassing defeat at The Hawthorns, the hard work now begins in earnest for manager Sam Allardyce.

Work that will see them try to get the better of an Arsenal side, that is now looking resurgent and if they can win in the West Midlands, any conversation of relegation will be put to bed once and for all.

Prediction: West Brom 0-2 Arsenal

Burnley vs Fulham

Burnley will be celebrating off the pitch, as their takeover deal is now all but complete and with investment not all that far away, it could be the impetus that Sean Dyche’s men need to steer further clear of the relegation zone.

Of course, there is a slight chance that their next encounter may not take place and with Fulham’s squad being decimated by a Covid-19 outbreak, health is arguably more important than points.

Prediction: Burnley 1-0 Fulham

Newcastle vs Leicester

Newcastle’s football might not be appealing to all, it’s not even appealing to their own fanbase at times and although Steve Bruce has been accused of being overly negative, he and his players must be commended for their efforts against Liverpool on Wednesday night.

The Magpies play a second home game in a row, as they play host to Leicester and after not drawing all season before Boxing Day, the Foxes have now stumbled in their last two league outings.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Leicester

Chelsea vs Manchester City

Things are not going all that well for Chelsea and after picking up just one point from the last six on offer, the Blues have ceded ground to their title rivals. With Frank Lampard spending so much money over the summer, the pressure is now beginning to press down on his shoulders.

Pressure that might not be released at the start of the year, as Manchester City come to town and after being given the all-clear to play, Pep Guardiola’s men will look to move quick out of the blocks at Stamford Bridge.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City

Southampton vs Liverpool

Southampton have gone off the boil as of late, as the South Coast outfit have failed to win their last four league outings and because of this run of results, there is a sense that the Saints are now operating back at their natural level.

A level that could be lowered by the time they face Liverpool and with Jurgen Klopp’s men being held away at Newcastle, they will now look to put their upcoming opponents to the sword.

Prediction: Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

Tottenham Fan. Football Writer, Podcaster and Statistician.

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