The Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for each match from Week 25, plus the catch-up match between West Ham and Liverpool.
History: Played 139: Liverpool 74 V West Ham 28 (37 Draws)
Last meeting: February 4, 2019 (EPL): 1-1 draw at London Stadium
Final Thoughts: West Ham and Liverpool square off in their postponed Premier League clash before Week 25 gets underway.
Hammers are locked in a hectic battle to avoid relegation, sitting 17th but only ahead of Bournemouth and Watford on goal difference. A 4-1 loss at Leicester last week did little for their confidence or differential.
Runaway leaders Liverpool extended their winning streak to 14 games, with Roberto Firmino’s 84th-minute goal snatching a 2-1 result at Wolverhampton. It was the first time in eight EPL outings the Reds have conceded a goal. Sadio Mane looks set to miss this clash in a welcome relief to West Ham’s defence.
West Ham snapped a four-match losing streak against Liverpool (in which they leaked 16 goals) with a 1-all draw at home last season.
Liverpool are prohibitive $1.30 favourites but there is still value to be had.
History: Played 115: Chelsea 56 V Leicester City 26 (33 Draws)
Last meeting: August 19, 2019 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: Leicester City and Chelsea are looking to put some patchy recent form behind them and consolidate their top-four spot.
After losing their long-held second position with four losses in six games, Leicester whipped visiting West Ham in Week 24. Jamie Vardy’s return off the bench could not stop a 2-1 EFL Cup loss to Villa, however. But having Vardy back in the line-up will be a huge boost for the Foxes here.
Spluttering Chelsea remain fourth despite winning only four of their last 12. After going down 1-0 at Newcastle in Week 23, they were held to a 2-all draw at home against badly out of form Arsenal. Tammy Abraham will carry an injury into this match.
Three of the teams’ last four EPL encounters finished in a draw, including a 1-1 result at Stamford Bridge in Week 2. But Chelsea have just one win and a draw at Brighton to show for their last five away games – Leicester look good value in this one.
Tip: Result – Leicester
History: Played 8: Aston Villa 4 V Bournemouth 3 (1 Draw)
Last meeting: August 17, 2019 (EPL): Bournemouth 2 d Aston Villa 1 at Villa Park
Final Thoughts: AFC Bournemouth and Aston Villa are neck-deep in the relegation battle, but both teams are coming off vital Week 24 wins.
Eighteenth-placed Bournemouth ended a four-match losing (and goal-less) streak with a 3-1 victory over Brighton.
Villa having surged to 16th – two points ahead of a three-team logjam – thanks to their third win in six games, a 2-1 win over fellow relegation contenders Watford. Tyrone Mings scored the stoppage-time winner after Villa trailed at halftime.
Meanwhile, Villa will contest the EFL Cup final after upsetting Leicester 2-1 midweek.
Bournemouth banked a 2-1 win on the road when they met newly-promoted Villa in Week 2. But Aston Villa should be able to parlay their big week into at least a share of the spoils against a Bournemouth outfit that has won only two of its last 13.
History: Played 54: Crystal Palace 21 V Sheffield 21 (12 Draws)
Last meeting: August 18, 2019 (EPL): Sheffield 1 d Crystal Palace 0 at Bramall Lane
Final Thoughts: Crystal Palace and Sheffield United have both overachieved this season, but both clubs are coming off home losses.
Palace slipped to 11th after suffering just their second loss in 11 games, a 2-0 defeat to Southampton. Sheffield held their own against Man City but went down 1-0 after scoreless opening 72 minutes. The goals have dried up for the gritty eighth-placed Blades, scoring just two in their last five games.
The home team is unbeaten in these clubs’ last seven clashes. Sheffield grabbed their first win back in the top flight via a 1-0 result in Week 2. But the Blades have not won at Selhurst Park since 2005.
Sheffield are $2.50 favourites but the draw stands out as the best option with Crystal Palace (who have drawn six of their last nine games) at home.
History: Played 111: Liverpool 56 V Southampton 30 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: August 17, 2019 (EPL): Liverpool 2 d Southampton 1 at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Liverpool’s short turnaround from their make-up clash at West Ham sees them host a surging Southampton outfit.
The Saints – bottom-three fodder for much of the season – have chalked up seven wins and two draws in their last 12 games to rocket to ninth. They grabbed a 2-0 result at Crystal Palace in Week 24, their fourth straight win on the road.
Liverpool have won their last five straight against Southampton, who are chasing their first league win at Anfield since 2013. The Reds got away with a 2-1 win at Southampton at the start of the season.
Liverpool have won all 12 of their games at Anfield this season, the last four to nil. But Southampton are worth getting behind with a couple of goals’ head-start given their recent form and Liverpool’s busy schedule.
History: Played 57: Newcastle 24 V Norwich 17 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: August 17, 2019 (EPL): Norwich 3 d Newcastle 1 at Carrow Road
Final Thoughts: Newcastle have lifted themselves a good distance clear from the relegation scramble with five points from their last three games. Last-placed Norwich, meanwhile, are six points adrift of the field and desperate for wins.
Newcastle bookended their 1-0 upset of Chelsea at home with draws on the road against Wolverhampton and Everton. Magpies defender/midfielder Florian Lejeune scored twice in stoppage-time in a wild finish to the clash at Goodison Park.
Norwich followed up their drought-breaking home win over Bournemouth with an honourable 2-1 loss at Tottenham last week.
Norwich powered to a shock 3-1 home result against Newcastle in the early stages of the season. But the Canaries have managed just one point from their last nine visits to St James’ Park. Norwich also have just a win and two draws to show for 12 away games this season. Newcastle boast a solid record of five wins and four draws from 12 home fixtures.
History: Played 30: Everton 21 V Watford 5 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: October 29, 2019 (EFL Cup): Everton 2 d Watford 0 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: Watford’s six-match unbeaten streak (including four wins) came to a halt in Week 24 via a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa. It sent the Hornets back into the bottom-three, where they have spent all but the past two weeks of this season.
Everton have hauled themselves out of relegation trouble by losing just one of their last nine games. But they bottled a chance to climb into the top half last week, conceding two stoppage-time goals in a 2-all draw at home to Newcastle.
Everton have had the wood on Watford this season, chalking up EPL (1-0) and League Cup (2-0) wins at Goodison Park. But Watford have won their last three home games against the Toffees, including the last two to nil.
A tough game to get a read on with both clubs producing some outstanding recent form, last week aside. The over looks a strong option, however, with the Hornets and Toffees both in good attacking touch.
History: Played 52: West Ham 18 V Brighton 18 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: August 17, 2019 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Amex Stadium
Final Thoughts: An enormous fixture in the context of the scramble to avoid the drop.
West Ham are on a short turnaround from their make-up clash with Liverpool, after which – barring a miracle – they will still be in 17th (or lower, depending on the margin). Fifteenth-placed Brighton are just two-points ahead, having won just one of their last nine. The Seagulls are coming off a 3-1 loss at Bournemouth.
Hammers are on a five-match winless streak against the Seagulls, including a 1-all draw at Brighton in Week 2.
Brighton have a 2-2-8 away record; West Ham have only been marginally better at home. Another flip-of-the-coin game where the totals may provide better value.
History: Played 104: Man United 49 V Wolverhampton 36 (19 Draws)
Last meeting: January 15, 2020 (FA Cup): Man United 1 d Wolverhampton 0 at Old Trafford
Final Thoughts: Fifth-placed Man United and seventh-placed Wolverhampton head into Week 25 locked on 34 points, six adrift of the top four.
United’s difficult campaign hit a new low last week when they followed up their 2-0 loss at Liverpool with a 2-0 home defeat to Burnley. It represents their first back-to-back losses of the season, while it was their fourth defeat by that scoreline in their last seven games.
Wolverhampton held their own in a 2-1 home loss to Liverpool last week. But it was their fourth in eight games after losing just two of their first 16.
Wolves have proved a real bogey for United since returning to the Premier League. Man U’s 1-0 FA Cup tie win two weeks ago was their first against Wolverhampton in six games across all competitions. The teams drew 1-1 at Molineux Stadium in EPL action earlier in the season.
Man United also have an EFL Cup semi against Man City to negotiate this week. That could open the door for a fired-up Wolves to climb up the ladder.
History: Played 108: Arsenal 54 V Burnley 33 (21 Draws)
Last meeting: August 17, 2019 (EPL): Arsenal 2 d Burnley 1 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Burnley have extricated themselves from relegation calculations for the time being after a remarkable past fortnight. After accounting for Leicester 2-1 at home, they bagged a 2-0 upset at Old Trafford. The Clarets now sit 13th. Chris Wood scored in both victories, taking his season tally to 10.
Arsenal – who head a five-team logjam that includes Burnley – are clinging to 10th after three straight draws against Crystal Palace, Sheffield and Chelsea. The struggling heavyweights have won just two of their last 16 games, but have at least nabbed nine draws during that period (albeit it against mostly ordinary teams).
Arsenal are on an 11-match winning streak against Burnley. The Gunners edged the Clarets 2-1 at home in Week 2. Burnley have scored just one goal in their last four home games against Arsenal.
Arsenal head in as warm $2.00 favourites – surely on reputation more than anything else. Burnley have form on the board and will be hard to topple at Turf Moor.
History: Played 160: Man City 63 V Tottenham 61 (36 Draws)
Last meeting: August 17, 2019 (EPL): 2-2 draw at Etihad Stadium
Final Thoughts: Tottenham stayed alive in the top-four race with a 2-1 home win over lowly Norwich last week. The result ended a four-game winless run. Spurs are desperately seeking a replacement for injured striker Harry Kane but options are scarce.
Man City consolidated second spot with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Sheffield, Sergio Aguero netting the 73rd-minute winner. It extended their unbeaten streak to a season-high five games. Aguero has scored six in City’s last three games.
Tottenham have won only one of their last eight against Man City – a Champions League tie last year. But they held the Citizens to a 2-all draw at Etihad Stadium in Week 2.
City have been well below their best and have an EFL Cup semi-final with Man United to negotiate first. But the two-time defending champs should still find a way past a floundering Spurs line-up.