It has not been the best of weeks for top-of-the-table Manchester City and things might get even worse for the Champions-elect this weekend given they meet a Tottenham side who are looking to cement their Champions League spot for next season.
Ahead of that match, and the rest of the weekend’s Premier League action, BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions…
Southampton v Chelsea
The opening goal is normally very important in any game but perhaps less so at St Mary’s this weekend, given both sides failed to hang on to a lead last time out. Indeed, Southampton have now failed to win any of the last six Premier League games in which they have opened the scoring!
Southampton lost to Arsenal last weekend despite having been in the lead (Getty)The Saints badly need the points as they look to maintain their Premier League status and if there is to be a winner at St Mary’s I feel it will be the hosts, despite them having lost their last four league games against Chelsea.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Chelsea
Burnley v Leicester City
Burnley manager Sean Dyche (Getty)Burnley are looking to win five consecutive top-flight games for the first time since November 1968 and Sean Dyche must be a leading candidate for LMA Manager of the Year irrespective of the outstanding claims of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Only Mo Salah (21) has scored in more Premier League games than Jamie Vardy (15) so far this season and I fancy the Foxes will pick up a hard-earned point at Turf Moor.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Leicester City
Crystal Palace v Brighton
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha (Getty)Palace have not had much luck at Selhurst Park in recent months but that might change this weekend in their ‘derby’ clash with Brighton.
Brighton have failed to score in five of their last seven away Premier League games and I think they will struggle to cope with the pace and flair of Wilfried Zaha. You would have got big odds at the start of the season had you backed Luka Milovejic (10) to be top Premier League scorer for the Eagles this term and it is about time that Christian Benteke stepped up to the plate for Roy Hodgson’s side.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Brighton
Huddersfield v Watford
There have been 32 goals in the last seven league games between the sides and I expect to see another entertaining clash in West Yorkshire.
The Hornets have only picked up one point from their last nine Premier League away games and coach Javi Gracia is yet to see his side score a goal away from Vicarage Road in four previous games. A hard game to call but I would be surprised if we did not see goals at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Prediction: Huddersfield 1-2 Watford
Swansea v Everton
Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal (Getty)I was disappointed with Everton, despite them picking up a point, against Liverpool in last weekend’s Merseyside Derby. They were second best for much of the game before suddenly waking up in the last fifteen minutes due to the fact that the Reds were there for the taking.
It might be a long time before they a have a similar opportunity to break their Derby hoodoo such is the respective strength of the two clubs at present.
Carlos Carvalhal has won seven of his nine home matches since taking over at the Liberty Stadium and both defeats have come at the hands of Spurs. I think the Swans might edge a low-scoring contest.
Prediction: Swansea 1-0 Everton
Liverpool v Bournemouth
Mohamed Salah will be looking to crack the 30 goal mark (Getty)Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 18 home Premier League games and when they take the field at Anfield on Saturday evening against Bournemouth we will just know the winner of the 2018 Grand National – which starts fifteen minute earlier. But more importantly we’ll also know who the Reds will meet in the semi-final of the Champions League.
The Cherries have only won at Stamford Bridge against the ‘Big Six’ sides on the road in the history of the Premier League and I cannot see past another home win for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Mo Salah has scored in 21 Premier League games so far this season and is one goal from becoming just the eighth player in the history of the competition to score 30 league goals in a season. Seventeen of those goals have come at Anfield but his midweek goal at the Etihad again showed just what a great player he is.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth
Tottenham v Manchester City
It’s been a poor week for Pep Guardiola (Metro.co.uk)Manchester City have played two great halves of football against United and Liverpool this week, but they were not able to sustain that brilliance over 90 minutes and it has to go down as a disappointing week for the club.
That should not detract, however, from a magnificent season for the team and they will be fitting champions – even if the champagne is currently on ice.
Spurs have won their last two home league games against City and the visitors would not be human if they did not feel a little sorry for themselves.
As an England supporter, I am concerned that England’s first-choice defender John Stones did not even make the bench for either of the games this week and Gareth Southgate must be a little worried about his lack of regular playing time.
These two sides can only play one way and that is to attack, but I feel the hosts will keep the points in the capital.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Manchester City
Newcastle v Arsenal
Can Rafa Benitez mastermind a win over Arsenal? (Reuters)Newcastle will be well aware that they have lost their last 10 Premier League games against the Gunners but I think they will buck that trend at St James’s Park on Sunday.
United have won their last three league games while the Gunners have actually lost their last four Premier League games on the road. Yes – they have not played an away league game since their 2-1 defeat at Brighton at the beginning of March!
Arsenal have only won thirteen of their 54 points so far this season on their travels and if there is to be a winner on Sunday, I expect United will edge it.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal
Manchester United v West Brom
Manchester United stunned Man City last time out (Getty)Manchester United have kept a league-high 16 clean sheets in the league so far this season and with a trip to Bournemouth to come on Wednesday I expect to see a no-frills success from Jose Mourinho’s side whose confidence must be sky-high after their Etihad derby win.
The Baggies have not won in their last 15 away league games while United have won their last five league games. This looks a banker home win.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 West Brom
West Ham v Stoke City
David Moyes would love to see his side win the Monday night game (Getty)You have to go back to December 2016 for the last time West Ham gained back-to-back home wins and I feel the Potters might take a vital point in the capital on Monday night.
Stoke are fighting for the Premier League lives but do have a good record at West Ham where they are unbeaten in their last five league visits.
Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Stoke City
More: Manchester United FC
Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.
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