Premier League Matchweek 21: Preview, Betting tips and Predictions - Early bloomers wanted!
Welcome to the maiden edition of predictions for 2020, we had fun in the outgoing year and a few surprising misses, it’s the beauty of football and folks would do better to gamble responsibly.
Hello Amex, look through your window see who we have here, Super Frank and the Blues, slayers of Arsenal, maybe it was under the watch of the ever dubious VAR but the points are on the board and it will form a part of historical facts in favor of the Blues against the Gunners.
Brighton have been carried on the wings of Lewis Dunk and Matt Ryan, take the two out of the team and relegation would be calling.
What’s the plan to stop Tammy Abraham? Lamptey the kid at right back in the second half against Arsenal should be kept, confidence is needed and Azpilicueta should be rested... for good!
Southampton have Danny Ings to thank for where they are on the table, the 9-0 embarrassment at home to Leicester will remain the highlight of their 2019 but they have bounced back well.
Forcing points here and there and making sure they’re better off than at least three teams every now and then.
Here comes Jose Mourinho and Tottenham, the Saints will have to be brave, Norwich were and they got a result, Spurs will attempt to bully their hosts but long balls and line hugging will hurt the visitors on the counter.
Spurs are still without Heung Min Son who sits out his final ban; Ryan Sessegnon will still be preferred in his role, we wait to see how Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk react to that.
Steve Bruce is surprisingly punching above his weight at Newcastle but no one expects him to finish inside the top ten and he definitely will not, we talk about his season so far later but now he has to prepare Fabian Schaar and co ahead of the return of Jamie Vardy to premier league football after being granted leave to attend to his newborn baby.
In Vardy’s absence, the baby foxes as unleashed by Brendan Rodgers did the job beautifully and by doing so got Manuel Pellegrini fired. Leicester are the likeliest to finish third and that’s no surprise, they deserve it, and it will take more than luck for the Magpies to stop the Foxes.
Manchester City need to respond consistently, they employed grit to dispatch Sheffield two days ago, that result came after they lost a two-goal lead at the Molineaux to lose 3-2 to Wolves.
Defense is the problem and maybe over-reliance on Kevin De Bruyne, smart Belgian.
Bernardo Silva has failed to hit the heights of last season and Raheem Sterling needs to add a little bit more of consistency as well.
They host Everton and that means they have to deal with Carlo Ancellotti, the Italian General has a 100% record since joining Everton and will now face the strongest of tests.
The decision to hire the experienced tactician certainly isn’t the best when you’re thinking long term but he will lead them out of the chaos that trailed Marco Silva’s reigns.
West Ham will see what David Moyes brings for the first time in his second coming with the visit of Bournemouth to the London Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Moyes won only 32% of his 57 games in his first spell with the Hammers and he is full of confidence, going bullish in his first press conference where he emphatically said the board won’t have a choice than to extend his contract.
Moyes will start with his choice of starting eleven, Mikail Antonio should be starting without questions, Manual Lanzini if fit should be a starter and he has to get the best out of the towering Isa Diop in defense.
Bournemouth are struggling this season, they have been dealt with injury blows severally and their frontman, Calum Wilson has refused to hit his strides of last season.
Ryan Frazier is entering the final six months of his deal and he’s been sparingly used despite how good he can be on his days.
Eddie Howe isn’t the man you want to envy right now but the job he’s doing at Bournemouth cannot be swept under the carpet.
Manchester United know exactly how to win against the big boys but struggle against the smaller teams, here’s the confusion, sitting in 12th, just six points away from the drop zone, can Arsenal be considered as a big team? Will United falter here because Arsenal is considered mid-table at best? United held on to beat Burnley last time out, that was after they lost to bottom club Watford, no serious team should be playing Lingard, he has absolutely nothing to offer United of course except for the British core stories.
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal will try again on Wednesday with the visit of Manchester United, not for lack of effort but their failure to get a result from the game against Chelsea will haunt them for a while till they get a result that boosts confidence.
Starting Lacazette and Aubameyang together limits the chances of getting the best from the latter, and whatever it takes, Mikel Arteta should endeavor to bring the best out of Arsenal’s record signing, Nicolas Pepe. This would be a spectacle, especially to the neutrals.
Welcome to the first prediction adventure for the year. There are lots of tricky fixtures as usual and the final game of the round sees runaway leaders Liverpool take on Sheffield, this one would be tricky for Sheffield and their great away record.
We go again and we wish everyone a wonderful new year filled with lots of luck and greener fields.
Brighton vs Chelsea
Betting prediction: Chelsea to win or draw
Burnley vs Villa
Betting prediction: Burnley to win or draw
Newcastle vs Leicester
Betting prediction: Leicester to win
Southampton vs Spurs
Betting prediction: Both teams to score
Watford vs Wolves
Betting prediction: Wolves to win or draw
City vs Everton
Betting prediction: Straight win City
Norwich vs Palace
Betting prediction: Over 7.5 corners
Westham vs Bournemouth
Betting prediction: Over 1.5 goals
Arsenal vs Man United
Betting prediction: Arsenal to win or draw
Liverpool vs Sheffield
Betting prediction: Liverpool to win
Strictly the writer’s opinion