This week’s Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for every match of Week 27, headlined by a Manchester United v Liverpool blockbuster.
History: Played 56: Cardiff 22 V Watford 20 (14 Draws)
Last meeting: December 15, 2018 (EPL): Watford 3 d Cardiff 2 at Vicarage Road
Final Thoughts: Cardiff City are 17th and one point above relegation, but they are coming off back-to-back wins for the first time this season. They downed Bournemouth 2-0 at home in Week 25 before notching a rare 2-1 away victory over Southampton.
Eighth-placed Watford have only lost two of their last 11 league games (to Chelsea and Tottenham), and downed Everton 1-0 at home in Week 26. They also progressed to the FA Cup quarters with a 1-0 win over QPR last weekend.
After picking up just one win in their previous 10 games against Cardiff, Watford have won the last two between the sides – including a 3-2 victory in Week 17.
Cardiff’s only losses in their last seven home games were to heavyweights Man United and Spurs. Going against the hosts could back-fire, with the under shaping as a more sensible play here.
History: Played 102: West Ham 47 V Fulham 32 (23 Draws)
Last meeting: December 15, 2018 (EPL): West Ham 2 d Fulham 0 at Craven Cottage
Final Thoughts: Tenth-placed West Ham have won only one of their last seven – an upset of Arsenal in Week 22 – but they are coming off consecutive 1-1 draws at home to Liverpool and away to Crystal Palace. In their last nine games, Hammers have been held scoreless four times and scored just one goal in three games.
Second-last Fulham are eight points from safety and needed to get cracking if they are to avoid relegation. They have lost five of their last six – including a 3-0 defeat to Man United in Week 26 – conceding 15 goals in that period.
West Ham have won 10 and drawn four of their last 17 against Fulham, but the last four clashes were split two apiece. Hammers eased to a 2-0 away win when the teams met in Week 17.
West Ham have won three and drawn two of their last six at home and should pick up the three points against a struggling opponent.
History: Played 113: Tottenham 46 V Burnley 40 (27 Draws)
Last meeting: December 15, 2018 (EPL): Tottenham 1 d Burnley 0 at Wembley Stadium
Final Thoughts: Burnley are by no means safe in 15th and just three points clear of the bottom-three, but they are on one of the hottest streaks in the EPL. Their last loss was on Boxing Day, winning four and drawing three since then. Kiwi Chris Wood bagged two goals in their 3-1 win at Brighton in Week 26 – taking his tally to five in seven games – while Ashley Barnes scored for the fourth time in six games.
Third-placed Tottenham are on a four-match winning streak, carving out a 3-1 home win over Leicester in Week 26. Their form spike continued with a 3-0 Champions League defeat of Dortmund last week.
Tottenham are unbeaten in their last nine against Burnley, holding their opponents scoreless in four of the last six clashes. Spurs eked out a 1-0 win at Wembley in Week 17.
Spurs are starting to build but Burnley are tough to bet against after their recent run of positive results.
History: Played 12: Bournemouth 6 V Wolverhampton 4 (2 Draws)
Last meeting: December 15, 2018 (EPL): Wolverhampton 2 d Bournemouth 0 at Molineux Stadium
Final Thoughts: Wolverhampton have moved to outright seventh with 11 wins and six draws from their 26 games. But 11th-placed Bournemouth can close the gap to just three points with a home win in this intriguing fixture.
It’s been feast or famine for Bournemouth lately, however. After blanking West Ham (2-0) and Chelsea (4-0) at home, they were held scoreless by Cardiff (2-0) and Liverpool (3-0) away. Wolves followed up a three-match winning streak with a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle in Week 26, while they also picked up a 1-0 FA Cup win over Bristol earlier this week.
Wolves carved out a 2-0 win over visiting Bournemouth in Week 17 – their first win in 19 years in the rivalry. Their only win at Bournemouth came in the 1948 FA Cup.
Bournemouth have four wins and draw from their last six at home, but their recent results make them hard to get behind. The over looks the best play in this one with four of Wolves’ past five and five of Bournemouth’s past eight producing three goals or more.
History: Played 65: Newcastle 28 V Huddersfield 22 (15 Draws)
Last meeting: December 15, 2018 (EPL): Newcastle 1 d Huddersfield 0 at John Smith’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Newcastle are just one point clear of the bottom three in 16th, while last-place Huddersfield’s fate looks to be sealed already 14 points behind.
But the Magpies will be satisfied with their recent form, beating Cardiff (3-0) and Man City (2-1) at home, before losing to Spurs (1-0) and drawing with Wolves (1-1) on the road. Town have picked up just one point from their past 13 games and have lost their last four by a combined 11-1, though there were signs of life in a 2-1 loss to Arsenal in Week 26.
The teams’ last three encounters were decided by 1-0 scorelines, with Newcastle jagging an away win in Week 17 courtesy of Salomón Rondón’s 55th-minute goal. Huddersfield have won just one of their last 13 at St James’ Park.
Huddersfield have been held scoreless in four of their last five away games and it appears a no-brainer to back Newcastle in for a crucial three points.
History: Played 70: Leicester 26 V Crystal Palace 26 (18 Draws)
Last meeting: December 15, 2018 (EPL): Crystal Palace 1 d Leicester 0 at Selhurst Park
Final Thoughts: Twelfth-placed Leicester City are aiming to snap a dreadful run of results. Crystal Palace are very much still in the relegation picture despite sitting 13th.
Leicester have just one draw to show for their last five matches and went down 3-1 to Tottenham in Week 26. They are also on a three-match losing streak at home. Palace – who are five points adrift of the Foxes – have managed 1-1 draws with Southampton and West Ham either side of a 2-0 win over Fulham in their last three. The Eagles will also be buoyed by a 2-0 FA Cup win over Doncaster last weekend.
Palace have won their last three against Leicester by a combined 9-0. They prevailed 1-0 at home win Week 17, but will be looking to draw upon the memory of their 3-0 upset at King Power last season.
Crystal Palace are a big chance here at juicy odds. Palace have scored in their last six games and the Foxes’ only scoreless game in their last six coming against Man United. A more conservative punt on both teams to score looks solid value.
History: Played 96: Arsenal 49 V Southampton 21 (26 Draws)
Last meeting: December 16, 2018 (EPL): Southampton 3 d Arsenal 2 at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Fifth-placed Arsenal bounced back from their 3-1 loss to Man City with a scratchy 2-1 win at struggling Huddersfield. They will be on a short turnaround from their Europa League tie with BATE.
Southampton are in the dreadful 18th spot, but are only three points shy of 13th in a congested bottom end of the table. They had been on an impressive five-game unbeaten charge, but sank to a 2-1 home loss to Cardiff in Week 26.
Southampton have enjoyed disproportionate success against heavyweights Arsenal in recent years. The Saints have picked up five wins and three draws in the teams’ last 13 encounters. Danny Ings scored a brace in a 3-2 boilover at St Mary’s Stadium in Week 17.
Expect Arsenal to exact some revenge for that shock result at the Emirates.
History: Played 229: Man United 88 V Liverpool 76 (65 Draws)
Last meeting: December 16, 2018 (EPL): Liverpool 3 d Man United 1 at Anfield
Final Thoughts: Week 27 concludes with one of the biggest clashes of the season. Liverpool are looking to reclaim top spot on the ladder and Man United aiming to consolidate their newfound top-four standing.
United have been on the march since Ole Gunnar Solksjaer took over, winning eight and drawing one of nine league games. They suffered their first loss under his stewardship in the UCL last week – a 2-0 defeat to PSG – but carved out a 2-0 FA Cup win at Chelsea earlier this week.
Liverpool still have just one loss against their name and thumped Bournemouth 3-0 at Anfield in Week 26. They played out a scoreless stalemate at home against Bayern in midweek Champions League action.
Liverpool have won just two of their last 11 against United, but they surged to a 3-1 home victory at Anfield at the height of Man U’s troubles. Liverpool are aiming to snap a five-game winless run at Old Trafford.
And with United in such blistering form, they are very hard to resist as home underdogs in this mouth-watering grudge match.