North London Derby, Van Dijk’s Return: Premier league preview | Betting tips

North London Derby, Van Dijk’s Return: Premier league preview | Betting tips

Welcome back to our predictions table, this is where we X-ray upcoming premier league fixtures, it’s Game Week 27, the home stretch and the time every mistake gets punished. 

The pick of this round has to be the famous North London derby, the first ever to be played at the Wembley stadium as Tottenham constructs a new home in London. Arsenal halted a gory run of seven premier league north London premier league derbies without a win in November at the Emirates when Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez both got on the score sheet to dump Spurs 2:0, with Harry Kane failing to score for the first time in six meetings between the two sides. Both heads into the derby on the back of victories, Arsenal destroyed Everton 5:1 over the weekend while Tottenham left it late, albeit contentiously to earn a point at Anfield and then oust Newport in midweek to advance in the FA Cup. As always, form is nothing when it comes to derbies, both teams have it all to play for, with four points separating them on the log, the hosts will hope to make it seven while the Gunners will look to cut it to just one. Arsenal have triumphed nine out of nine times in their past visits to Wembley, including the cup wins over Chelsea recently; pressure is more on the hosts who travel to Juventus in midweek for their Champions League second round first leg... North London Derby is here.

Everton will look to forget everything that went wrong at the Emirates last weekend, they host Crystal Palace who welcomed the bad news of Wilfried Zaha’s injury after their 1:1 home draw with Newcastle. Everton were well beaten by Arsenal, they lost all second balls in the first half and couldn’t keep up with the pace, they didn’t come to party until they were three goals down, they have to check that when the Eagles visit. Palace need to steer completely out of the murky waters of relegation, with just three points between them and the red zone, they need a result here, but with their recent showings, Everton can press high and make them pay. 

Stoke City took the lead at Bournemouth through a rare Shaqiri header but in form Mousset equalized late on before Bournemouth nicked it late to keep the Potters dangerously down and under, Paul Lambert must be as worried as anyone else as the league hits the twenty-seventh fixture and they host a brave Brighton side who were victorious at home against West Ham last weekend; while the new boys can breathe following their solid win, the potters need same inspiration else they dive down for the first time in almost a decade.

Swansea are unbeaten in a few games now, stringing solid wins against top six opponents and a point here and there will keep them up especially with surrounding teams failing to match their results, but this isn’t mathematics, Burnley are next and the Welsh club must see the clips of their sensational second half against Manchester City at Turf Moor last weekend; while Swansea left Leicester ruing missed chances, Burnley were doing the same to Raheem Sterling who missed a sitter just before Gudmundsson latched on to a loose ball to earn the hosts a vital point. Burnley sits just one place outside European slots in seventh while Swansea are just one place above the relegation zone, it’s even harder for the Swans as they lost Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony to long-term injuries after the drab at Leicester, they must respond here. 

West Ham lost at Brighton, how they equalized and then capitulated needs evaluation but they have a bigger headache now, slayers of Chelsea, Watford are in town and they need urgent attention, the guile and poise of Watford especially after Chelsea equalized epitomized their night, no two games are the same, Jarvi Gracia definitely knows better, David Moyes is waiting for Gerrard Delofeu and everyone and everything the Hornets have for the Hammers, this would be a cracker in London.

Manchester City are thirteen points clear, the blip at Burnley only took two points from them and they are well expected to bounce back against Leicester who also managed only one point at home to Swansea, talking the Foxes, they had everything needed to score more goals last weekend but managed to conspire not to. Kelechi Iheanacho had the open net but struck Federico Fernandez, the situations of Riyad Mahrez is still unclear but City won’t show many mercies after being so kind with the bench at Burnley, the Citizens do have a Champions League match in midweek, one they are expected to win, but domestic business comes first. 

Huddersfield need to bounce back from their weak showings at Old Trafford when Bournemouth visits on Sunday, they didn’t offer much resistance as Alexis Sanchez scored his first league goal for Manchester United from a rebound off his saved penalty, which was after Romelu Lukaku had bundled home a neat cross from Juan Mata. Bournemouth, on the other hand, had it sleek at the end against Stoke, two late goals and they are well and truly safe for now. On Paper, Bournemouth should give David Wagner’s men a very hard lunch but the new boys will give a fight, although they do need a lot of discipline.

Newcastle United would feel hard done by the linesman who adjudged Cirian Clark to have tugged down Christian Benteke to earn the Eagles a point at Selhurst from the spot, they were the better side in the stalemate but had Clark to thank for his point blank block from Benteke with just two minutes of normal time remaining on Sunday; here they are home to Manchester United who have a lot of catching up to do especially with City playing a day earlier; Manchester United bested Huddersfield with not so inspiring display but with the visitors showing little resistance, the Red Devils strolled. Jose Mourinho opted to keep Marquee signing, Paul Pogba on the bench and didn’t have much to do as United were already two up before he was introduced, would he be reinstated into the starting eleven? Will Mou be conservative or go for the jugular? 

Elsewhere on Sunday, Liverpool take their world most expensive defender Virgil Van Dijk to the stadium where he was recruited from, St. Marys, to face Southampton. The boo boys will be waiting but Liverpool must have a bigger agenda, they were stunned by a late penalty call when Eric lamella appeared to be offside and they have to respond, Chelsea’s failure to beat Watford kept them in third, they need a win to remain in the top four hunt with the Blues and both north London teams breathing down their necks. With two points separating the Saints from the drop zone, a win is tops on the agenda too.

Chelsea host West Brom on Monday night football, following last Monday’s show of shame at Watford, including Bakayoko’s sending off, Chelsea have some responding to do, everything went wrong, from the choice of selection from the obviously embattled Antonio Conte, to the embarrassing defense and the extremely quiet attack, calls for Conte’s sack may prove premature but the Italian isn’t helping matters. Westbrom lost at home to Southampton from a winning position, the baggies are rock bottom and Alan Pardew must be worried, very worried, it’s a good time to play Chelsea tho with the Blues fighting battles beyond the pitch, squad rotation could be at the fore for the champions too, with Champions League football coming soon, are we going to see a start for Olivier Giroud? We stick our necks out and deliver our takes on the upcoming premier league fixtures, tricky to say the least but someone has to do it... Premier League predictions.

Tottenham vs Arsenal
Arsenal to win or draw
Everton vs Crystal Palace
Everton to win
Stoke vs Brighton
Both teams to score
Swansea vs Burnley
Burnley to win or draw
Westham vs Watford
Both teams to score
Manchester City vs Leicester
Manchester City to win
Huddersfield vs Bournemouth
Bournemouth to win or draw
Newcastle vs Manchester United
Manchester United to win
Southampton vs Liverpool
Liverpool to win
Chelsea vs West Brom
Chelsea to win

Strictly the writer’s opinion

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