The Premier League games keep on coming in this busy new year period. Last gameweek saw the first set of midweek fixtures because of the FA Cup on the weekend. Gameweek 21 saw two 3-3 draws and the title race heat up even more after some interesting results. We’re back to weekend fixtures this week with the gameweek 22 preview…
Tottenham vs Sunderland
Tottenham have played Leicester in their last 2 fixtures and have failed to win in both of them which suggests their season may be slowing down somewhat. They drew in the FA Cup to them and lost at home to a Robert Huth header. Sunderland lost 3-1 in the FA Cup but swiftly turned around their form with an emphatic 4-2 win away at Swansea which saw Jermain Defoe bag himself a hat-trick.
Star Man – Jermain Defoe (5.1m)
A striker bang in form and faces his former club who aren’t in great form.
Prediction – Tottenham 1-1 Sunderland
Bournemouth vs Norwich
After their 3 game winning streak including wins against Chelsea and Manchester United, Bournemouth are now back to their predicted ways of struggling. Their most recent result was a 3-1 home defeat to an in form West Ham side. Norwich conceded 3 in both of their previous games against Manchester City and Stoke. They’ve also recently sold Lewis Grabban to the Cherries after the striker failed to fit in at Carrow Road.
Star Man – Benik Afobe (6.1m)
Looked dangerous against West Ham and was unlucky not to score on his debut.
Prediction – Bournemouth 1-0 Norwich
Chelsea vs Everton
The Chelsea team were booed off after their recent league game at home to West Brom, which saw them draw 2-2 with the Baggies and frustrate their fans further. They did however secure their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a 2-0 win against Scunthorpe. Everton on the other hand have had 2 solid performances recently. Firstly was their comfortable win in the FA Cup. Then they earned a draw away at Manchester City.
Star Man – Diego Costa (10.7m)
Back on form and his duel with John Stones should be an interesting one this weekend.
Prediction – Chelsea 1-1 Everton
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace
Manchester City eased to a 3-0 away victory against Norwich in the FA Cup but let themselves down just a couple of days later after only earning a point at home to Everton. Crystal Palace had a shocker of a result on Monday where they lost to rock bottom Aston Villa. Their main problem is getting a fit, out and out striker who scores goals. They reverted to Sako against Villa but he was ineffective.
Star Man – Yaya Toure (8.7m)
Has a past of scoring against Palace who are certainly not on the best of form.
Prediction – Manchester City 2-0 Crystal Palace
Newcastle vs West Ham
Newcastle’s most recent result was a dramatic 3-3 draw against Manchester United at St James’ Park. They’ve also made 2 signings, both in the midfield sector of the pitch. They are, Senegalese international Saivet and former Swansea player Jonjo Shelvey. West Ham are now 9 games unbeaten in the Premier League which has seen them soar up the table after a shaky period before hand. Also Dimitri Payet has now returned for the Hammers.
Star Man – Enner Valencia (5.8m)
Scored twice against Bournemouth and linked up well with Dimitri Payet.
Prediction – Newcastle 1-2 West Ham
Southampton vs West Brom
Southampton lost in the FA Cup to fellow Premier League team Crystal Palace but did turn around their form with their league fixture a couple of days later. They defeated Watford 2-0 which saw the Saints climb out of a relegation worry. West Brom drew away to Chelsea in the league but scraped through a draw with Bristol City in the FA Cup 2-2 thanks to a very late James Morrison goal.
Star Man – Dusan Tadic (6.7m)
Came off the bench against Watford, sealed the victory and looked dangerous.
Prediction – Southampton 1-0 West Brom
Aston Villa vs Leicester City
Aston Villa could be turning round their season if their win against Crystal Palace is anything to go by. They did however, struggle against Wycombe in the FA Cup so not everything may be fixed in their team. Leicester played Tottenham twice away in the last few days and certainly played well in those fixtures. They drew in the FA Cup and grabbed a win in the league which saw the Foxes gain ground on table toppers Arsenal.
Star Man – Riyad Mahrez (7.2m)
Mahrez has been on fire this season! Need we say any more?
Prediction – Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Liverpool were involved in score draws in the last 2 games which saw them unconvincingly draw with League 2 Exeter, albeit playing with many young and inexperienced players. However they did put in a good performance against Arsenal where they drew 3-3 in a great game for the neutral. Manchester United beat Sheffield United 1-0 in the FA Cup and were also involved in a 3-3 draw which was away at Newcastle where Wayne Rooney scored twice.
Star Man – Roberto Firmino (7.7m)
Scored twice against Arsenal and may have started to live up to his price tag.
Prediction – Liverpool 2-2 Manchester United
Stoke City vs Arsenal
Stoke won both of their games recently, the first of which came away in the FA Cup at Doncaster where they won 2-1. A few days later they defeated Norwich at home 3-1 so they’re certainly in good shape. Arsenal still find themselves top of the league after they earned a draw away at Liverpool in a dramatic 3-3 draw. In the FA Cup they defeated fellow Premier League side Sunderland 3-1 for the second time within a couple of months with the same scorers for Arsenal.
Star Man – Jonathan Walters (5.6m)
Scored in both of the games mentioned and Stoke look good at home to the ‘big’ teams.
Prediction – Stoke 2-2 Arsenal
Swansea vs Watford
Swansea conceded 7 goals in their last 2 games which saw them get knocked out in the FA Cup and get thrashed by relegation rivals Sunderland. They lost to Oxford in the FA Cup but have scored 4 in those games so scoring is certainly not a problem. Watford defeated Newcastle in the FA Cup 1-0 but did lose in the league away at Southampton which saw them drop down the table slightly.
Star Man – Jefferson Montero (5.2m)
Caused both defenses problems in recent games and can certainly test Nyom.
Prediction – Swansea 1-1 Watford
Written by Harry Clark