The Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for each match from Week 9 of the 2019-20 season, including a blockbuster between Man United and Liverpool.
History: Played 140: Everton 70 V West Ham 40 (30 Draws)
Last meeting: March 30, 2019 (EPL): Everton 2 d West Ham 0 at London Stadium
Final Thoughts: Everton head into Week 9 desperate to bank a win. The Toffees are on a four-match losing streak that has dragged them down into the bottom-three, culminating in a 1-0 loss at Burnley in Week 8. Marco Silva’s team has been held scoreless four times in eight games – despite being gifted a relatively kind early-season draw.
Surprise-packed West Ham had their six-match unbeaten run halted in a 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace. Eighth-placed Hammers’ charged included a 2-0 victory over Man United. They are yet to lose on the road this season.
The teams’ last 11 clashes were split four wins apiece, with three matches drawn. Last season both clubs chalked up an away win over the other by a two-goal margin.
With Everton on struggle street, West Ham are difficult to resist as sizeable underdogs.
History: Played 57: Norwich 23 V Bournemouth 19 (15 Draws)
Last meeting: October 30, 2018 (EFL Cup): Bournemouth 2 d Norwich 1 at Vitality Stadium
Final Thoughts: Overachieving AFC Bournemouth are clinging to their spot in the top half, despite a 1-0 loss at Arsenal in Week 8. The Cherries beat Everton and Southampton by 3-1 scorelines and drew with in-form West Ham in their previous three games.
Norwich City are sitting in second last with two wins and six losses. After shocking Man City in Week 5, it’s been a sobering few weeks courtesy of losses to Burnley (2-0), Palace (2-0) and Aston Villa (5-1). The latter – at home against a fellow promoted team – undid much of the team’s good early-season work.
After a six-match winless streak in the rivalry, Bournemouth have won their last two against Norwich. They should make it three in front of the Vitality Stadium faithful.
History: Played 22: Aston Villa 12 V Brighton 3 (7 Draws)
Last meeting: September 25, 2019 (EFL Cup): Aston Villa 3 d Brighton 1 at Amex Stadium
Final Thoughts: Aston Villa are on the rise after notching two wins and two draws from their last six games. After scoring just five goals in the opening five weeks, their attack has burst into life with nine goals from their last three – including a 5-1 drubbing of Norwich City at Carrow Road in Week 8.
Brighton are one spot ahead in 14th thanks to their stunning 3-0 victory over Tottenham in Week 8. Aaron Connolly bagged a goal in each half to seal the Seagulls’ first win since the opening round.
Brighton have not beaten Aston Villa in eight matches since 1980. The teams met only three weeks ago in League Cup action, with Villa powering to a 3-1 away win.
Both teams bring plenty of confidence into this clash, which is too close to call. Expect an entertaining, high-scoring affair.
History: Played 165: Chelsea 73 V Newcastle 53 (39 Draws)
Last meeting: January 12, 2019 (EPL): Chelsea 2 d Newcastle 1 at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: Chelsea are quietly warming up, with only losses to Man United and Liverpool against their name and strong wins over Brighton (2-0) and Southampton (4-1) in their past two league outings. The Blues also chalked up a 2-1 UCL win at Lille in between. Tammy Abraham has eight goals in Chelsea’s last seven EPL games, while he also scored against Lille.
Newcastle claimed their second big scalp of the season in Week 8, shutting out Man United 1-0 to back up their Week 3 upset of Tottenham by the same score. Those are the 16th-placed Magpies’ only two wins so far, but it was an important bounce-back after being thrashed 5-0 at Leicester.
Chelsea have won five of their last six against Newcastle, including both matches last season by 2-1 scorelines. The Magpies are aiming to snap a seven-match losing streak at Stamford Bridge.
It’s been a tough draw to start the season for Newcastle – this is their fifth game against a ‘Big Six’ heavyweight already – and nabbing a point would hold them in good stead moving forward. But Chelsea have scored 17 goals in their last six games and should have too much firepower at home.
History: Played 112: Burnley 45 V Leicester 36 (31 Draws)
Last meeting: March 16, 2019 (EPL): Leicester 2 d Burnley 1 at Turf Moor
Final Thoughts: Leicester remain in the top four with a 4-2-2 record, with their only losses to Man United in Week 5 and Liverpool in Week 8 – thwarted by a 95th-minute winner in the latter. The Foxes are unbeaten at home this season, outscoring visiting teams 10-2.
Burnley have moved up to seventh courtesy of a four-match unbeaten streak…albeit through a relatively soft section of the draw. The Clarets notched draws away to Brighton and Villa, and beat Norwich and Everton at home. Jeff Hendrick and Chris Wood have both scored twice in Burnley’s past four games.
Leicester boast nine wins and four draws from their last 15 encounters with Burnley. Last season the clubs played out a scoreless draw at King Power Stadium, before the Foxes grabbed a 2-1 win at Burnley.
Burnley are still searching for their first away win of the season. King Power Stadium has been a fortress so far this season and an upset seems unlikely. Leicester are short $1.50 favourites, so the better value may come from taking the under, with these sides conceding just 16 goals between them.
History: Played 48: Tottenham 31 V Watford 8 (9 Draws)
Last meeting: January 30, 2019 (EPL): Tottenham 2 d Watford 1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Final Thoughts: Tottenham are floundering in ninth after losses at Leicester and Brighton either side of a scratchy home win over Southampton in their past three. A 7-2 UCL beatdown at the hands of Bayern Munich has also eroded confidence, but the 3-0 loss to the Seagulls was arguably their lowest point to date.
They get an ideal opportunity to play themselves back into form, however, when Watford come to town. The last-placed Hornets are the only team yet to win a game, playing out a 0-0 result at home to Sheffield for their third draw of the season in Week 8. It was the third straight game Watford have failed to score and fifth time overall.
Watford have won just one of their last 16 against Tottenham – a 2-1 home upset last season. Spurs responded with a win by the same scoreline at Wembley later in the campaign.
Spurs’ subpar form may put some punters off, but the hosts are offering outstanding value against an opponent that is struggling big-time.
History: Played 65: Southampton 27 V Wolverhampton 22 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: April 13, 2019 (EPL): Southampton 3 d Wolverhampton 1 at St Mary’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: After a frustrating winless opening six rounds, Wolverhampton have chalked up back-to-back 2-0 wins over Watford and, sensationally, Manchester City. Adam Traore scored twice from the 80th minute to seal the momentous away win against City. Wolves only have two losses against their name and have climbed to 11th.
Southampton are sliding back towards the bottom-three after three consecutive losses to Bournemouth (3-1), Tottenham (2-1) and Chelsea (4-1). Only two clubs have conceded more than the Saints’ 15 so far.
Southampton broke a six-match winless streak against Wolves with a 3-1 home victory last season. But Wolves won the Molineux Stadium-hosted encounter 2-0.
The Saints have proven a tricky opponent at times this season but have gone off the boil defensively. Wanderers have good momentum and just one loss from their last 12 home games to hang their hat on.
History: Played 61: Man City 32 V Crystal Palace 16 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: April 14, 2019 (EPL): Man City 3 d Crystal Palace 1 at Selhurst Park
Final Thoughts: Crystal Palace are an early front-runner for overachiever of the season honours, currently sitting in sixth with a 4-2-2 record. Already boasting Man United’s scalp, Palace accounted for Norwich (2-0) and West Ham (2-1) in their past two.
But Manchester City will be hell-bent on avoiding a third upset loss after going down to Norwich and Wolves in their past four games. The latter was their first defeat at home since Palace shocked them in Week 16 last season, and their first time the champs have been held scoreless since a nil-all draw with Liverpool in Week 8 last season.
Palace pulled off arguably the biggest upset of the 2018-19 season when they toppled City 3-2 at Etihad Stadium. The Citizens gained some revenge with a 3-1 victory at Selhurst Park late in the campaign. Palace have won only two wins and a draw to show for their last 18 encounters with Man City.
The threat of a blistering Man City blowback looms large after their recent losses, but $11 outsiders Palace’s form deserves respect and they hold plenty of value with a handy start.
EPL History: Played 230: Man United 88 V Liverpool 76 (66 Draws)
Last meeting: February 24, 2019 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Old Trafford
Final Thoughts: Manchester United’s campaign is in all sorts – and now they face they prospect of undefeated Liverpool shredding their confidence beyond repair.
United sit 12th with just two wins and suffered shock defeats at West Ham and Newcastle either side of a home draw against Arsenal in their past three games. They also lost to Crystal Palace in Week 3 and were held to a draw by lowly Southampton a week later. A scoreless draw again AZ in Europa League action did little to boost spirits, with Man U’s paltry return of nine goals in the EPL central to their problems.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are a perfect eight-from-eighth and they hold an eight-point lead at the top of the table with a plus-14 goal difference. The title already appears Liverpool’s to lose. Their last three wins were by one-goal margins, however, with James Milner’s stoppage-time goal required to snatch a 2-1 result against in-form Leicester in Week 8.
After just one win in the heavyweights’ previous 10 encounters, Liverpool earned bragging rights last season with a 3-1 win at Anfield and a scoreless draw at Old Trafford. But they have not won at United’s home ground since March 2014.
Liverpool won’t get a better chance to snap that drought.
EPL History: Played 113: Arsenal 48 V Sheffield 39 (26 Draws)
Last meeting: September 23, 2008 (EFL Cup): Arsenal 6 d Sheffield 0 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Promoted Sheffield United have proved more than nuisance value in their Premier League return, grabbing two wins and three draws to sit 13th. They boast a draw at Chelsea, a 2-0 win at Everton and an honourable 1-0 loss against dominant Liverpool, while they played out a scoreless draw at Watford in Week 8. The Blades have been better on the road, however, losing their last three at Bramall Lane.
Third-placed Arsenal are going about their business without setting the world on fire. Their only loss this season was to Liverpool in Week 3, while they have managed unconvincing wins over Villa (3-2) and Bournemouth (1-0) at home either side of a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in their past three. A 4-0 Europa League thrashing of Standard Liege was a confidence-booster. Frenchman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a constant threat for the Gunners, scoring seven goals already.
Sheffield managed two wins and three draws from their last seven home games against Arsenal, though the clubs have not met in any competitions since September 2008.
If there’s to be an upset in Week 9, pencil in Sheffield as a team that could pull it off.