The Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for each match from Week 28, including a crunch game between Everton and Manchester United.
History: Played 57: Leicester 23 V Norwich 21 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: December 16, 2019 (EPL): 1-1 draw at King Power Stadium
Final Thoughts: Leicester City will get a golden opportunity to break their February duck when they travel to take on last-placed Norwich City.
Norwich’s relegation fate is all but sealed, winning just one of their last 14 to sit eight points from safety. They went down 3-0 at Wolverhampton last weekend, their third straight game without a goal.
Leicester remain in third with a handy buffer, but it has been a lean run since mid-December with just three wins from their last 11. After draws against Chelsea and Wolves, they were edged 1-0 by Man City at home in Week 27.
The teams drew 1-all at Leicester earlier this season after Teemu Pukki’s opener was negated by a Norwich own goal. The Foxes have won only one of their last five league games at Carrow Road.
Though the Foxes appear to be limping towards the line, they should get the job done against a Norwich side that lacks the strike to compete.
History: Played 102: Brighton 40 V Crystal Palace 36 (26 Draws)
Last meeting: December 14, 2019 (EPL): 1-1 at Selhurst Park
Final Thoughts: Crystal Palace ended a seven-match winless run – including losses in their previous three games – by downing Newcastle 1-0 at home last weekend. Patrick van Aanholt’s goal just before halftime was enough to secure a much-needed three points and edge Palace up to 13th.
Brighton, who are five points back in 15th, are looking for a similar drought-breaker this weekend. They are winless in their last seven, though five draws – including in their last three against West Ham, Watford and high-flying Sheffield – have kept them just away from relegation danger.
Crystal Palace have won only one of their last six against Brighton. The Seagulls prevailed in both clashes last season – including a 3-1 result at Amex Stadium – while the teams drew 1-all at Palace in Week 17.
Brighton have lost only three of their 13 home games this season. Crystal Palace are 3-5-5 on the road. A low-scoring draw shapes as the most likely outcome here.
History: Played 16: Chelsea 11 V Bournemouth 5
Last meeting: December 14, 2019 (EPL): Bournemouth 1 d Chelsea 0 at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: AFC Bournemouth’s vital two-game tear – beating Brighton and Villa in Weeks 24 and 25 – has given way to consecutive losses to Sheffield (2-1) and Burnley (3-0). In 16th and just two points ahead of the bottom-three, the Cherries are still vulnerable.
Fourth-placed Chelsea have endured a frustrating few months with more lows than highs, but they snapped a four-match winless streak by downing Spurs 2-1 at home last weekend. It kept the chasing pack at bay – but the Blues need to keep winning.
Bournemouth have won their last two against heavyweights Chelsea – a stunning 4-0 slaughter at Vitality Stadium and a 1-0 upset at Stamford Bridge in Week 17.
Chelsea have let some poor teams off the hook on the road this season, but anything like last week’s performance will prove too much for Bournemouth.
History: Played 86: Newcastle 43 V Burnley 43 (20 Draws)
Last meeting: December 14, 2019 (EPL): Burnley 1 d Newcastle 0 at Turf Moor
Final Thoughts: Newcastle have won just one of their last nine and are coming off back-to-back road losses to Arsenal (4-0) and Crystal Palace (1-0). The Magpies have been much better at home this season, however, winning five and drawing five of 13 games at St James’ Park.
Dangling precariously towards the bottom three in mid-January, Burnley have stormed into the top and must rate as one of the EPL’s form teams at present. They have scored four wins and a draw in their past five games, keeping three clean sheets. The Clarets pumped Bournemouth 3-0 at Turf Moor last weekend with Matej Vydra scoring for the second week in a row.
Newcastle won both clashes between the teams last season – including a 2-0 shutout at St James’ Park – but Burnley turned the tables 1-0 at home in Week 17 with Chris Wood netting the winner. Burnley’s last win at Newcastle was way back in 1976.
But Burnley have won their last two on the road (and four of their last seven) to emerge as a red-hot chance here as the slight underdog.
History: Played 174: West Ham 78 V Southampton 50 (46 Draws)
Last meeting: December 14, 2019 (EPL): West Ham 1 d Southampton 0 at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: West Ham are 18th and have managed just two points from their last seven games. But a win would change their relegation outlook drastically. They were unlucky last weekend at Anfield, grabbing a second-half lead against unbeaten Liverpool before ultimately going down 3-2.
Southampton dug themselves out of a dire situation (they won only two of their first 13) by winning eight of their last 14 games, including a 2-0 defeat of Villa last week. The Saints have won four of their last five on the road.
West Ham are on a four-match winning streak against Southampton – including 3-0 scorelines in the teams’ last two meetings at London Stadium. Hammers prevailed 1-0 at Southampton earlier this season.
West Ham’s gutsy showing last week will have provided them with plenty of confidence – and their precarious position ensures there is no shortage of motivation. But Southampton’s form can’t be ignore and a draw looks the best bet here.
History: Played 33: Liverpool 24 V Watford 5 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: December 14, 2019 (EPL): Liverpool 2 d Watford 0 at Anfield
Final Thoughts: Languishing in second-last and tied with West Ham on 24 points, Watford will attempt to do what Hammers almost managed last weekend: take unexpected points off runaway leaders Liverpool.
Second-half goals to Mo Salah and Sadio Mane saw Liverpool to a 3-2 win after they had fallen behind – the unbeaten side’s 18th straight win. It was just the second time in 12 games they had conceded a goal.
Watford’s 3-0 defeat away to Man United last week extended their winless streak to five games. But with three wins and two draws from their last six home games, they will hold out hope of emerging from this mismatch with something to show for it.
A draw in 2017 is the best Watford have managed in their last eight clashes with Liverpool. Since then, they have lost four straight by a combined 15-0. Liverpool won 2-0 at home in Week 17 with Mo Salah scoring in each half.
After a close call last week, expect Liverpool to put Watford to the sword again.
History: Played 202: Man United 88 V Everton 70 (44 Draws)
Last meeting: December 21, 2019 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Old Trafford
Final Thoughts: Everton missed a massive opportunity to push for a top-four finish when they lost 3-2 away to out-of-sorts Arsenal last week. It was just their second loss in 12 games and saw the Toffees slip back to 11th.
They’ll attempt to get back on track against a rejuvenated Manchester United, who have charged to fifth (which would be good enough for a Champions League place with Man City banned) with back-to-back convincing wins over Chelsea (2-0) and Watford (3-0). Anthony Martial scored in both as United put a dreadful January behind them.
After going winless in their previous eight against Man United, Everton dished out a 4-0 thrashing at Goodison Park late last season. The Toffees also jagged a 1-all draw at Old Trafford in Week 17.
Last meet may just have been a glitch for Everton, who are unbeaten in their last six at Goodison Park. The home-ground factor might just be enough to slow United’s mini-revival and secure a share of the spoils.
History: Played 96: Tottenham 48 V Wolverhampton 28 (20 Draws)
Last meeting: December 15, 2019 (EPL): Tottenham 2 d Wolverhampton 1 at Molineux Stadium
Final Thoughts: The race to finish in the Champions League is fascinating and super-tight. This encounter could have a significant bearing on that picture. Tottenham are sixth – one point behind Man United – while Wolverhampton are one point back in eighth.
Spurs’ long-awaited three-match winning streak was halted by a 2-1 loss at Chelsea last weekend. Wolves followed up back-to-back scoreless draws against Man United and Leicester with a 3-0 drubbing of Norwich in Week 27, with Diogo Jota scoring twice in the first half.
Wolverhampton have managed three wins and two draws in their last nine against Tottenham, including a 3-1 boilover at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last season. But Spurs got the win 2-1 at Wolverhampton in Week 17.
Tottenham can take confidence from their record of eight wins and two draws from 13 home games in a patch season. Wolves have picked up four wins and six draws from 13 on the road. This one has an upset feel about it, with the visitors primed for another North London heist.