Palmerbet Sports Team’s Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for every match of Week 21, headlined by a pseudo title decider between Manchester City and Liverpool.
EPL History: Played 25: Everton 8 V Leicester City 4 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: October 6, 2018 (EPL): Leicester City 1 lost to Everton 2 at King Power Stadium
Final Thoughts: Everton head into Week 21 sitting a familiar mid table position, looking to put together a run of wins to push for European football next year. Their current form remains patchy, not unlike their squad. In the age where money buys success, its fair to say that Everton shop in the bargain bin. Without out and out stars, the Toffees have struggled to turn draws into wins, which is the hallmark of the strong EPL teams.
Speed at the back is where Everton lack, which Leicester City will be looking to exploit with the pace of Jaime Vardy. Leicester’s lack of goals continues to be a concern but two brilliant wins against Chelsea and Manchester City either side of Christmas shows their talent.
The current run of double game weeks will continue to test both sides fitness and squad depths, which will mean a downturn in quality towards the end of the game. This opens up plenty of scoring opportunities which we like.
EPL History: Played 27: Arsenal 19 V Fulham 3 (5 Draws)
Last meeting: October 7, 2018 (EPL): Fulham 1 lost to Arsenal 5 at Craven Cottage
Final Thoughts: Relegation threatened Fulham travel across London to the Emirates to their place of nightmares. Yet to win away at Arsenal, things aren’t looking great for this trip either!
Fulham holds the dubious record of the worst defence in this years Premier League. Averaging over two goals against, and under one goal for per game, there’s not much in the way of good news for the Londoners. Their current record of just 2 clean sheets this season looks to be maintained.
Arsenal meanwhile are a team of talent, but also a team in transition. Adapting to a new manager and style is always hard. Maintaining that style consistently, even harder. Their patchy form of late has seen 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw. Most revealing was their recent drubbing at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield. A 5-1 drubbing really sets the expectation of its fans back to a Top 6 contender and not much more.
The good news for Gunners fans has been the form of their Gabon striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Sitting equal top of the EPL Golden Boot run with 13, he’s proving his quality amongst the mediocrity that’s beset the Emirates over the previous seasons.
There’s not doubt that Arsenal are favourites, have a point to prove after the spanking at Anfield and should come out breathing fire. Their midfield should tear apart Fulham, who look to be headed back to the Premiership and we wouldnt be surprised if this ones a blow out.
EPL History: Played 3: Cardiff 0 V Spurs 3 (0 Draws)
Last meeting: October 6, 2018 (EPL): Spurs 1 d Cardiff City 0 at Wembley Stadium
Final Thoughts: And just like that, Spurs title hopes fade into the distance at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanders. Wolves! Of all teams, it was a loss, at home, to Wolves that may have handed the title to Liverpool.
Cruising towards their 6th win on the trot at 1 Nil with 20 minutes to go, Spurs gave up 3 home goals in 15 minutes and couldn’t recover. Their lack of intent in the second half was either a work load issue or a complete mistake from their manager and is unlikely to be repeated in this match up.
A gutsy away win at Leicester belies Cardiff’s inability to create quality chances. Sitting 16th on the table, in real relegation trouble and averaging less than a goal a game, they’ve got issues. Their lack of talent upfront is coming to the fore, with quality chances averaging 0.7 per game which is just not Premier League quality. Averaging almost 2 goals conceded per game also spells trouble against a team of Spurs quality.
This one looks to be Spurs and how far. Harry Kane remains in goal scoring form and we’re expecting this one to be clear.
EPL History: Played 7: Bournemouth 1 V Watford 1 (5 Draws)
Last meeting: October 6, 2018 (EPL): Watford 0 lost to Bournemouth 4 at Vicarage Road, Watford
Final Thoughts: Another mid table clash, with both sides sitting well above the relegation zone. Watford, currently sitting 9th are pushing for higher honours, whilst Bournemouth sit 12th, but just a win out of 8th place.
In the previous clash in October, Bournemouth put the home team to the sword with possibly their most impressive 50 minutes of football EVER! 4 goals to the good inside of 50 minutes was an outstanding display as Watford couldn’t convert their dominant time in Bournemouth’s attacking third into goals.
Recent form from both teams has been patchy as you expect from mid table small clubs. Regular losses to the big clubs, Wins against the lower half of the table. To be fair to Bournemouth, they’ve been beaten by Spurs, Man Utd, Liverpool and Wolves in their past 5 games and we’re completely outclassed in each loss.
Even though Watford are 2-2-1 from their last five, they continue to score. 9 goals in their last 5 is a positive. The memories of the savage loss to Bournemouth must burn though.
EPL History: Played 39: Chelsea 23 V Southampton 8 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: October 7, 2018 (EPL): Southampton 0 lost to Chelsea 3 at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
Final Thoughts: Its amazing to think that a Chelsea side with clean sheets in 45% of their games, and the second best defensive record, are out of title contention! Roman must be furious!
Chelsea are basically Eden Hazard and his 10 mates these days. In desperate need of a world class striker, Chelsea just aren’t a destination club anymore it seems. Hazard is averaging a goal every two games, but Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have been a bust. N’Golo Kante has provided their defence a wall of protection, but when he is breached in midfield, the back four can be susceptible, as shown against the likes of Wolves and Leicester in December.
Southampton sit goal difference above relegation and simply must take points from any game. A thrilling pair of wins prior to Christmas against Arsenal and Huddersfield gave them hope of staying up, as well as showing their capabilities against class teams like Arsenal. Danny Ings brings them a touch of class up front, if they can maintain ball control and pierce the tight Chelsea midfield.
In days of old, you’d chalk this one up to a Chelsea win by how far, but given the reliance on Hazard, if he has an off day, anything could happen. Its Stamford Bridge though, so we expect Chelsea to take this one by 2 goals or more.
EPL History: Played 3: Huddersfield 0 V Burnley 0 (3 Draws)
Last meeting: October 6, 2018 (EPL): Burnley 1 drew with Huddersfield 1 at Turf Moor, Burnley
Final Thoughts: Its been a very tough season for Huddersfield as they anchor the bottom of the table. Pointless since November, things are now very dire if Hudders want to stay in the Premier League next season.
Common amongst the smaller clubs who just look for survival in the Premier League, Huddersfield haven’t invested in Prem quality players. As a result, their scoring capability is poor. Scoring only 12 goals in 20 games, its now a question of WHEN they get relegated rather than IF.
Fellow strugglers Burnley ended a nasty run against top teams with a handy 2-0 win against West Ham. Its a leaky defence that has been their problem, conceding the second highest amount of goals in the league. This has caused them to also have the worse goal difference in the EPL and they simply must win games to ensure safety. This is a must win.
Huddersfield haven’t scored more than one goal in the EPL all year, so this ones likely to be a low scoring encounter. Their past three games have a combined goal tally of just 2 goals. A low scoring one for us.
EPL History: Played 3: West Ham 0 V Brighton 3 (0 Draws)
Last meeting: October 5, 2018 (EPL): West Ham 0 lost to Brighton 0 at Amex Stadium, Falmer
Final Thoughts: West Ham travel to Aussie Mat Ryan’s Brighton on a 3 from 5 winning run. Currently sitting 8th on the table and looking to push for European qualification! Brighton have had a rough December, with loses to Burnley, Chelsea and Bournemouth. Improved performances saw a draw against the mighty Arsenal and a great win at home to Everton in their last.
West Ham look to have a superior attacking threat in this match up with over 50% more chances created per match than Brighton. On the flip side, quality defence and one of the EPL’s best keepers in Ryan, sees Brighton own one of the best defensive records.
The two teams combined attacking stats sit at 1.2 goals scored per game, so don’t expect a barnstormer. Brighton’s best hope sits with poacher Glenn Murray, currently on 8 goals for the year. West Ham have a slightly stronger pairing in Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic with 13 goals between them.
West Ham go in clear favourites, but the defensive abilities of Brighton suggest a tight one, so we’ll have a stab at the Draw.
Tip: DRAW @ $3.60
EPL History: Played 1: Wolves 1 V Palace 0 (0 Draws)
Last meeting: October 6, 2018 (EPL): Palace 0 d Wolves 1 at Selhurst Park, London
Final Thoughts: What a season from Wolves. Currently sitting 7th on the table and pushing for Europe. Its been a strange December for them, with wins over Chelsea and Spurs, but losses to Cardiff and Liverpool.
For Palace, currently sitting 14th, they moved themselves out of relegation range with a win over Leicester and then possibly the clubs greatest victory, a 3-2 win over all conquering Man City. They’ve crashed back to earth recently though with a draw to Cardiff and a home loss to Chelsea. They have to find their form quickly.
Palace have one of the tightest defences in the EPL, conceding just 26 goals from their 20 games. Its their lack of attacking options thats costing them points. Without a consistent goal threat, if they concede, they rarely come back even to claim a point.
For Wolves, the recent loss to Liverpool, was just the fifth time they’d been held goals this EPL season. They don’t score a lot, with only 23 goals this season, but they score regularly. This holds them in good stead against a Palace size that isn’t high scoring.
Wolves created double the scoring chances per match than Palace, score almost every game, so we’re pushing for a Wolves result at home.
EPL History: Played 47: Newcastle 6 V Man Utd 27 (14 Draws)
Last meeting: October 6, 2018 (EPL): Man Utd 3 d Newcastle 2 at Old Trafford, Manchester
Final Thoughts: The hand brake that was Jose Mourinho is officially OFF! 12 goals in the last three, albeit against teams they should beat every day of the week. The good times might be coming back to Man U!
The news is not so good for the Geordies. Sitting 15th and coming out of a 5 game run against sides they HAD to gain points against, they’ve managed just 5 points from 15. With just 15 goals from 20 games, the Newcastle side have managed to sneak 6 draws this season which is keeping them above the relegation zone. They must find goals though. Worryingly, only Salomon Rondon has scored more than 2 this season, sitting on 5.
United’s return to form has been quick and ruthless. Paul Pogba is back to his best, with 4 goals in his last two starts, while Rashford, Lingard and Martial all getting on the scoreboard.
The Red Devils have got their free wheeling style back under new manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer and should make easy work of a bland Newcastle lineup.
EPL History: Played 39: Manchester City 8 V Liverpool 19 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: October 7, 2018 (EPL): Liverpool 0 drew with Man City 0 at Anfield, Liverpool,
Final Thoughts: Match of the Season coming up! Its an absolute must win for Man City if they want to take the league title. 3 losses in their last 5 has ruined Man City’s season. What a Christmas nightmare! Lose this one and they effectively hand the title to the Reds.
It was all going so well for the Citizens as they headed into December undefeated. A stop in Chelsea for a quick 3 points and some Christmas shopping turned into a nightmare for City as Chelsea pick pocketed 3 points in a 2-0 away loss. Two weeks late, Crystal Palace somehow managed to score three times with just 21% possession, then Leicester kicked the three points after 90 minutes of having the defence bombarded! Cue Title over talk!
Liverpool meanwhile are the hottest team in world football. Undefeated this EPL campaign, they have taken full points from their last 9 games and piled on 34 goals to 3 in that time. Mo Salah is back to his best, Roberto Firminio is knocking them in for fun and finally, they have a decent back four, who have conceded just 8 goals.
City appear bored. They quickly establish a lead, then seem to think their enormous talent are going to walk to a win. Meanwhile Liverpool are tearing the EPL apart with pace and precision. In their last match up at Anfield, the Nil All draw saw just 4 shots on target. It was a bore. Liverpool will be happy with a draw, but City MUST win. This should mean all out attack from City. Liverpool are the best counter attacking side in the world at the moment. Salah, Firminio and Mane feast on the break. Will City have the bravery to attack, or just sit back? We think they’ll sit back and try and nick this one with a single goal but we’ll build in 2 goals max.