Premier League Matchweek 28: Preview, Betting tips and Predictions -Another weekend in paradise for champions-elect Liverpool
|Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have scored more goals against Watford than they have versus any other side in the Premier League, netting 27 times in nine matches (Source: premierleague.com)|
Welcome back to the predictions table. The League Cup Final comes up this weekend, cup games can surprise anyone at any time and anywhere but Manchester City should retain their crown on that front having conceded the league title to Liverpool.
The champions-elect are away at Watford, Mohammed Salah’s favorite ground and opponent and you can only expect one outcome.
Watching the Hornets against Manchester United last weekend tells a story of what is to come this weekend, they were piss poor, left too many spaces for the Red Devils to operate and no doubt felt like a championship team.
They would argue that it could have been different had Troy Deeney’s goal stood, but Craig Dawson’s arm was in the way and it was rightly chalked off.
The champions-elect were home to Westham, a team you can’t easily predict.
One moment they fire hard, the next they go blunt but they ruffled some feathers on Monday.
Scoring twice at Anfield, a ground where they hadn’t conceded more than once in the last eleven, but the usual suspects rose to the occasion and the rest is history.
How can Watford stop Liverpool? Only one way, by not turning up.
Manchester United continued their impressive run with another strong showing in Europe on Thursday.
Nigerian star, Odion Ighalo opened his account for the Reds, the first of how many? I wonder.
While Arsenal was being Arsenal at the Emirates, losing out of their most realistic route to Champions League football, United were doing things the way they should and can ready themselves for Everton who can also take advantage of Arsenal’s absence on this weekend’s fixture list due to the league cup final to climb after dropping down last weekend with a loss to the Gunners.
Everton gave everything at Arsenal on Sunday but fell short just after halftime as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang headed in from a Nicolas Pepe cross.
Carlo Ancelotti knows the importance of momentum and he will give his best to keep up at home to Manchester United.
On Friday, Norwich will host Leicester at Carrow Road in what seems like a very predictable affair.
Norwich will play beautifully well and still go ahead and lose, it’s an unwritten script and you can only feel the agony of Daniel Farke.
The German manager has a philosophy that works for the modern game but on a shoestring budget and a very thin squad.
Injuries haven’t been kind to the Canaries, form has dipped, Teemu Pukki doesn’t score often anymore and Todd Cantwell’s rhythm isn’t melodious.
And against Brendan Rodgers’ side, also struggling with form and Jamie Vardy firing blank too, it’s a game to watch.
Tottenham also have loads of headache and it looks like it will get worse before it gets better, but no one will accept the “we don’t have a striker” excuse from Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese manager enjoys looking for who to blame but in the losses to Chelsea and RB Leipzig, he was to blame for different reasons.
Against the Blues, he played free-flowing football but could have started Dele Alli or introduced him earlier.
And against the German side, his defensive approach ruined his script but it was badly worded in the first place.
Wolves are a team on the rise, a team firing on all cylinders, home away and on neutral grounds, Wolves are a menace and it will take more than Mou’s excuses to stop Nuno’s men.
West Ham have a chance to jump out of the drop zone.
They play Southampton on Saturday and if they turn up the way they did at Anfield, they have a chance of beating the Saints.
But they must remember that Ralph Hansselhutti’s side travel better, so how will they line up?
The Mikail Antonio experiment worked well for a long time against Liverpool, they should deploy him again upfront and play Robert Snodgrass in the hole behind him.
Mark Noble will come handy in midfield but Manuel Lanzini has to start playing.
There’s a lot of energy in the Saints’ midfield, but they are easily undone from the flanks, Felipe Anderson can exploit that if well-staged.
Bournemouth will never forget their game away at Burnley last weekend.
The Cherries thought they scored first but Joshua King’s goal was ruled out for offside by VAR, then Matej Vydra danced in to score for the second game running.
Later on in the game, Callum Wilson broke away and fed Harry Wilson who side-footed home for what was to be the equalizer.
But right before their eyes, VAR called back an incident moments earlier in the Bournemouth box, and awarded a penalty to the Clarets which Jay Rodriguez converted emphatically against his old side… The cruel world of VAR football.
Chelsea will look at their recent loss at home to Bayern Munich and reflect on their most horrific night in European competition in a long while.
The memories of their success against the Bavarian side in 2012 were banished as former Gunner, Serge Gnabry destroyed the Blues in quick succession before legendary sniper, Robert Lewandowski rounded off the scoring.
Now you ask, which Chelsea will turn up against relegation-threatened Bournemouth?
The one that took out Spurs beautifully or the one that got beat mercilessly by Bayern?
The one with a tame Tammy Abraham or the one with the experienced Olivier Giroud?
The one with a rock-solid Antonio Rudiger or the one with a ball watching entire backline?
Games are limited to eight this weekend due to the League Cup Final on Sunday between reigning champions, Manchester City and Aston Villa, here we go!
Norwich vs Leicester – Leicester to win
Brighton vs Palace – Under 3.5 goals
Bournemouth vs Chelsea - Both teams to score
Newcastle vs Burnley – Newcastle to be booked at least twice
Westham vs Southampton – Westham to win
Watford vs Liverpool – Liverpool to win
Everton vs Manchester United – Both teams to score
Spurs vs Wolves – Wolves to win or draw
Strictly the writer’s opinion. Gamble responsibly.