After an action-packed weekend of Premier League football ultimately saw Manchester City tighten their already strong grip on the title race, all teams will once again be performing over the next couple of days. Here, our man Kyle gives us his view on how events will unfold.
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Burnley vs. Stoke City: Kyle predicts 1-0.
Fresh off a home win over Watford, the Clarets are again at Turf Moor on Tuesday night as they take on out-of-form Stoke. Mark Hughes’ side put in a sorry display at Wembley at the weekend as they were battered 5-1 by Tottenham, and if Burnley’s season so far is anything to go by, they may not have much more luck getting a result here.
Kyle says: “Sean Dyche has his team on the up this season and I think Stoke have been poor. After that good win against Watford they have a lot more momentum than Stoke after that display at Wembley.”
Crystal Palace vs. Watford: Kyle predicts 2-2.
It’s probably safe to say that Christian Benteke won’t be on penalties for this one. The Belgian’s poor last minute spot kick cost Palace two points against Bournemouth as they were made to settle for a 2-2 draw. Things won’t be any easier in this one either, as a strong Watford side visit Selhurst Park with frustration having been reduced to ten men and beaten at Burnley on Saturday.
Kyle says: “I think Watford remain very unpredictable meaning this one is hard to predict. I think there’ll be goals given the unpredictability of both sides but these two are hard to separate.”
HUDDERSFIELD VS. CHELSEA: KYLE PREDICTS 0-2.
Now a must-win game for Chelsea in order to avoid going into freefall as opposed to keeping up a title race, the 1-0 loss Antonio Conte’s men suffered at West Ham on Saturday effectively ended their title race. This will be a very difficult fixture for the Blues on what will certainly be a chilly evening in Huddersfield, but a game that fans will be demanding a win from after what happened at the London stadium.
Kyle says: “Although it has emerged Morata is out of this game, I think Batshuayi is more than capable of finishing some of the many chances Chelsea are likely to create and he, like the Blues, has a point to prove.”
Newcastle vs. Everton: Kyle predicts 2-2.
After losing against Leicester on Saturday night there is now even more pressure on Newcastle to get a result when they entertain Everton on Wednesday. The Toffees managed a 1-1 draw at Anfield (somehow) on Sunday and will be full of confidence ahead of what looks to be a much easier game on paper. That Newcastle takeover can’t come soon enough.
Kyle says: “Newcastle have been really poor lately and it’s hard to see how things can change dramatically. Everton have improved under Big Sam and will be pleased with that point against Liverpool, but I think there may be more goals than people think. There’ll be some fatigued players in this Christmas period meaning there could be more goals than usual across the league.”
Southampton vs. Leicester: Kyle predicts 2-1.
Both sides in this one will be pleased with their weekend’s one after picking up a draw against Arsenal and a win over Newcastle respectively. This may not be the most attractive fixture on Wednesday evening, but both sides will see it as an under-the-radar game that would create extra momentum in this busy Christmas period if it were to be won.
Kyle says: “Southampton can build on the point they managed against Arsenal at the weekend and Charlie Austin has re-found his goal scoring touch. The Saints have a good record against Leicester at home and the fixture congestion may catch up with Claude Puel’s men given their intense style of play.”
Swansea vs. Manchester City: Kyle predicts 0-3.
Paul Clement will be *very* pleased his Swansea side beat West Brom at the weekend. Three points there were an absolute necessity given the Swans’ position in the league, and they now face a game that is undoubtedly a ‘free swing’ against a City side absolutely no one will be betting against. Guardiola’s side are looking for a record-breaking 15th win on the bounce after dominating the Manchester derby on Sunday.
Kyle says: “Manchester City are surely bankers here. They just seem so strong this season and Swansea have shown nothing to suggest they are capable of being the first team to beat Guardiola’s men this season”.
Liverpool vs. West Brom: Kyle predicts 2-1.
This is a game that Liverpool will know is likely to play out in a similar way to Sunday’s Merseyside derby, but be hoping won’t have the same result. West Brom will be keeping all their men behind the ball and looking to contain, but if you can get your striker on the ball just once in the opposition area, you may just grab a penalty courtesy of some clumsy Liverpool defending.
Kyle says: “I think Liverpool know they have to keep pace with the top four, especially after that disappointing Everton game. West Brom will make a game of this and it won’t be easy for the Reds but I think they make sure of the result unlike on Sunday.”
Manchester United vs. Bournemouth: Kyle predicts 3-1.
After what happened on Sunday Mourinho’s side need to attack and attack well in order to cheer their fans up and show their manager how they probably should have played against City. Bournemouth arrive as a team that will always try and play football, meaning this could be quite an interesting game.
Kyle says: “We should see a response from United here. I think they’ll change their tactics back to the attacking style of play we have seen from them against smaller sides, though Bournemouth should manage a goal especially with the recent form of Jermaine Defoe.”
Spurs vs. Brighton: Kyle predicts 2-0.
Comfortably beaten by Huddersfield at the weekend, Brighton now face the daunting prospect of facing a Spurs side who just spanked Stoke 5-1. On the plus side, this is a fixture all teams are looking forward to this season as the ‘Wembley factor’ can always make a difference.
Kyle says: “Spurs were fantastic against Stoke at the weekend, and though I can’t see Pochettino’s side managing the same amount of goals in this game, I think they’ll win. Brighton will be harder to break down then Stoke but probably don’t offer enough going forward.”
West Ham vs. Arsenal: Kyle predicts 1-1.
A fantastic result against Chelsea, but West Ham now need a similarly impressive display on Wednesday night if they are to also get a result against Arsenal. A London derby with Arsenal in need of a win and West Ham beginning to gel under Moyes? Might not be a bad game this.
Kyle says: “Arsenal were fortunate to get that point at Southampton on Sunday, and I think West Ham showed real solidity against Chelsea. This one should be pretty even and I can see the Hammers frustrating another top side.”