The Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for every match of Week 36, concluding with a high-stakes heavyweight duel between Manchester United and Chelsea.
History: Played 78: Huddersfield 31 V Liverpool 30 (17 Draws)
Last meeting: October 20, 2018 (EPL): Liverpool 1 d Huddersfield 0 at John Smith’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Liverpool maintained their 14-match unbeaten streak with their six straight win, a scrappy 2-0 victory at Cardiff. But they have slipped a point behind Man City with three rounds to play. Only three points per game from here on out will do for the Reds.
Fortunately, they play a Huddersfield team already consigned to last place who are on a seven-match losing streak. They went down 2-1 at home to Watford last weekend and have scored a league-low 20 goals in 35 games.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 13 against Huddersfield, who have not scored a goal in their last seven games against the Reds. Liverpool won both clashes last season 3-0, but had to work hard for a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield in Week 9 this season.
With none of Liverpool’s last six wins coming by more than two goals, it’s hard to find value in the $1.06 favourites. But a big scoreline does feel somewhat inevitable at Anfield.
History: Played 211: Tottenham 96 V West Ham 63 (52 Draws)
Last meeting: October 31, 2018 (EFL Cup): Tottenham 3 d West Ham 1 at London Stadium
Final Thoughts: Third-placed Tottenham put a crucial three-point gap between themselves and the chasing bunch with a 1-0 win over Brighton midweek, thanks to a late Christian Eriksen strike. It maintained Spurs’ record of winning every game to nil so far at their new stadium.
A top-half finish looks beyond 11th-placed West Ham now, following up three straight losses with a 2-2 draw at home to Leicester in Week 35. With four teams below them within three points, they will be eager to avoid slipping further down the standings.
West Ham have managed six wins and two draws in their last 14 games against Tottenham. The teams drew 1-1 at Wembley last season, but Spurs prevailed 1-0 in the EPL and 3-1 in the League Cup in away clashes with West Ham in the space of 11 days in October.
Tottenham have scored a modest 11 goals in their last nine games, but their stingy defence should get them home again.
History: Played 48: Everton 20 V Crystal Palace 13 (15 Draws)
Last meeting: October 21, 2018 (EPL): Everton 2 d Crystal Palace 0 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: Crystal Palace have hoisted themselves to safety, climbing to 12th via last week’s stunning 3-2 upset of Arsenal at the Emirates. It was Palace’s sixth win in 12 games, doubling their tally from the first 24 weeks of the season.
Everton are hunting their customary seventh-placed finish. Dismal for much of the season, Everton are coming home with a wet sail and have won four of their last five – culminating in a phenomenal 4-0 beatdown of Man United at home.
Everton are unbeaten in their last eight against Palace, winning four. The Toffees carved out a 2-0 victory at home in Week 9 via two late goals.
Both teams are in giant-killing form, and while Everton boast a pinch more class and firepower, Palace’s home-ground advantage points towards a draw.
History: Played 63: Fulham 26 V Cardiff 25 (12 Draws)
Last meeting: October 20, 2018 (EPL): Cardiff 4 d Fulham 2 at Cardiff City Stadium
Final Thoughts: Fulham’s relegation fate is sealed – despite back-to-back wins over Everton and Bournemouth to nil. It’s been a remarkable late-season turnaround after losing their previous nine games.
Cardiff, who sit 18th, will be viewing this game as their chance to save their Premier League bacon. They backed up a 2-0 win at Brighton with a 2-0 home loss to Liverpool, and still sit three points adrift of Brighton with a irretrievably worse goal difference. In short, they need to win here.
Cardiff City ended a seven-match winless run against Fulham with a 4-2 home victory in Week 9. They are chasing their first win at Craven Cottage since 2013.
The Cottagers’ recent performances are a spanner in the works, but Cardiff’s desperation makes them a pretty handy underdog option in this clash of the cellar dwellers.
History: Played 28: Southampton 13 V Bournemouth 7 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: October 20, 2018 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Vitality Stadium
Final Thoughts: Southampton are effectively safe in 16th – but a win would guarantee their 2019-20 EPL pass. The Saints drew 1-1 at Watford midweek in a solid bounce-back from their 3-1 loss at Newcastle three days earlier. Southampton won four of their previous six games to storm out of the relegation zone.
Early-season overachievers Bournemouth have tumbled to 14th courtesy of winning just two of their last 11 games. They carved out a resounding 5-0 win at Brighton in Week 34, but inexplicably went down 1-0 at home to doomed Fulham at home seven days later.
Bournemouth have won just one of their last 11 against Southampton, though three of the last four encounters finished in a draw. The teams played out a scoreless stalemate in Week 9. The Cherries have never won in 14 visits to Southampton.
With three wins from their last four at home (and a loss to Liverpool), Southampton look the goods to salute at St Mary’s Stadium.
History: Played 46: Watford 15 V Wolverhampton 13 (18 Draws)
Last meeting: April 7, 2019 (FA Cup): Watford 3 d Wolverhampton 2 at Vicarage Road
Final Thoughts: This is the clash that could decide who finishes seventh. Wolverhampton currently sit in the coveted spot – one point ahead of Watford.
Watford have lost only six of their last 20 games but followed up a 2-1 win at Fulham with a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton. Wolves, meanwhile, followed up an unflattering scoreless draw at home to Brighton with a marvellous 3-1 victory over Arsenal.
Watford have won three and drawn two of their last six against Wolves. The Hornets prevailed 2-0 at Molineux Stadium in Week 9 and notched a 3-2 FA Cup win at home earlier this month.
Wolves are winless in their last five on the road, while Watford have lost just one of their last seven at Vicarage Road. But this one’s too close to call.
History: Played 23: Brighton 10 V Newcastle 9 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: October 20, 2018 (EPL): Brighton 1 d Newcastle 0 at St James’ Park
Final Thoughts: Brighton are still a real chance of being relegated, sitting just three points ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff. They are on a six-match winless run in which they have failed to score a single goal – though their midweek 1-0 defeat at Tottenham was an overachieving result.
Thirteenth-placed Newcastle have found some excellent form in the second half of the season, collecting seven wins and two draws from their last 13 games. They have accounted for Leicester away (1-0) and Southampton at home (3-1) in the past fortnight.
Brighton have had the wood on Newcastle since both teams’ elevation to the Premier League last season. The Seagulls won 1-0 at home and earned a scoreless draw away last season, while they down Newcastle 1-0 at St James’ Park in Week 9 this season. Only one of the teams’ last eight encounters produced more than two goals.
It’s hard to win games when you can’t score a goal, which paints Newcastle as the best-value underdog of the weekend.
History: Played 140: Arsenal 66 V Leicester 30 (44 Draws)
Last meeting: October 22, 2018 (EPL): Arsenal 3 d Leicester 1 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Arsenal have done their best to throw away their top-four chances in recent weeks. But the fifth-placed Gunners are still just a point shy of Chelsea. They have lost their last two to Crystal Palace (3-2) and Wolverhampton (3-1) – unacceptable by a ‘Big Six’ club’s standards.
Tenth-placed Leicester can still climb as high as seventh, but after a four-game winning streak they have lost to Newcastle at home and drawn away with West Ham.
Leicester have won only one of their last 15 against Arsenal – a 3-1 home victory last season. The Gunners prevailed by the same scoreline at the Emirates earlier this season.
Arsenal’s dismal recent efforts aside, their value as only a narrow favourite is tough to overlook.
EPL History: Played 100: Man City 46 V Burnley 29 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: January 26, 2019 (FA Cup): Man City 5 d Burnley 0 at Etihad Stadium
Final Thoughts: Burnley have secured their passage to next year’s EPL with three straight wins over Wolves, Bournemouth and Cardiff followed by a draw at Chelsea. But this week they host a Man City side who need to keep winning to defend their title.
One point clear of Liverpool, Man City’s 2-0 shutout of United at Old Trafford midweek was their 11th straight win. It was also their eighth clean sheet in 10 league outings.
Man City already have a pair of 5-0 wins against Burnley to their credit this season – in the EPL and the FA Cup – they both were at home. Burnley held out for a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor last season, lost just 2-1 at home in the 2016-17 campaign, a jagged a 1-0 upset the season before that.
Burnley have been in good goalscoring touch with nine goals in their last four games, but breaking down City’s defence shapes as a tall order.
EPL History: Played 182: Man United 78 V Chelsea 54 (50 Draws)
Last meeting: February 18, 2019 (FA Cup): Man United 2 d Chelsea 0 at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: Despite a disastrous week that saw them get blanked by Everton (4-0) and Man City (2-0), sixth-placed Man United can still put themselves in a decent position for a top-four finish with a win over fourth-placed Chelsea.
Chelsea are three points clear with a superior goal difference, but they are coming off a 2-0 loss at Liverpool and a 2-2 draw at home to Burnley in the past fortnight.
The heavyweights drew 2-all at Stamford Bridge in Week 9, before Man United knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup at the same venue in February. United are unbeaten in their last five against the Blues at Old Trafford.
United have also only lost one of their last 15 at home, while Chelsea have lost five of their last seven on the road. With the heavyweights even-money head-to-head, back the hosts to get the bounce-back result.