Premier League Preview Week 26
After a busy December and January, the Premier League now enters a two-week period of slimmed down fixtures lists.
Ten matches will be played over the next two weeks, with just four this weekend. Manchester City suffered another loss recently and they host a West Ham side desperate for a win under new manager David Moyes. Sheffield United will be hoping to make up ground on the top four as they take on a Bournemouth side who have won their last two matches. Watford slipped back into the relegation zone recently but face Brighton in a massive relegation six-pointer on Saturday. Everton will be looking to continue their good form against a Crystal Palace side struggling for points.
All odds are from bet365 and subject to change.
Everton v Crystal Palace
Everton are one of the most in-form teams in the Premier League, losing just once in their last six matches. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are also unbeaten in their last six home matches and have not lost at Goodison Park since the 2-0 defeat to Norwich at the end of November.
Crystal Palace would be bottom of the table based on current form. They have not won a game in seven and lost three of their last five. The Eagles are the lowest scorers in the league with 22 goals this season. They have not won away from home in their last five attempts.
Fabian Delph is suspended for Everton following his dismissal against Watford while Jean-Phillipe Gbamin remains out long term with a thigh injury. Cenk Tosun (thigh) and Jeffery Schlupp (groin) will be out until the end of February for Palace. Mamadou Sakho (thigh) is also out for the foreseeable future.
Everton’s excellent form recently will see them pick up all three points against a Palace side struggling for goals and points of late.
Brighton v Watford
Brighton are without a win in their last six, but their comeback from 3-1 to secure a point against West Ham last week will give them confidence. They have won once in their last 11 games in all competitions. Graeme Potter’s side are unbeaten in their last three home fixtures.
Watford have lost their last three games in all competitions and now have one win in five. The Hornets have one of the worst away records in the league, winning just two on the road all season. They have lost four of their last six away matches.
Shane Duffy may return for Brighton after a recent calf injury but Dan Burn (shoulder) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) are both ruled out. Daryl Janmaat (knee), Craig Dawson (knock) and Kiko Feminia (thigh) are all ruled out. Tom Cleverley, Nathan Chalobah and Ismaila Sarr are all expected to return after recent injuries.
Both sides will be pushing for a much-needed win to move away from the relegation zone but I can see Brighton and Watford cancelling each other out in a score draw.
Sheffield United v Bournemouth
Sheffield United are in good form and have won four of their last six matches in all competitions. Chris Wilder’s side have conceded just two goals in their last five and kept three clean sheets during this time. The Blades have lost one game in their last four at home.
Bournemouth secured back to back league wins for the first time this season after they beat Aston Villa last weekend. They now have two wins from their last eight league fixtures. Bournemouth have lost three consecutive away games and have only gained 10 points in 12 games away this season.
David McGoldrick is back in contention for Sheffield United following an ankle injury. Jefferson Lerma is suspended after his red card against Aston Villa. Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld (ankle), Josh King (thigh), Jack Stacey (thigh), Lloyd Kelly (thigh), Charlie Daniels (knee), David Brooks (ankle) and Chris Mepham (knee) are all out for Bournemouth.
Despite Bournemouth’s slight upturn in form, Sheffield United will provide a tough test at Bramall Lane and will secure all three points without conceding.
Manchester City v West Ham
Manchester City’s loss to Spurs last weekend was their sixth of the season, two more than the lost for the entirety of the 2018/19 season. This was their first league loss in five and their fourth away from home this season. City have won eight of their last 10 home matches but drew their last match at the Etihad against Crystal Palace.
West Ham dropped into the relegation zone last weekend and have won one league game since David Moyes took over. In his seven games in charge, Moyes has overseen four losses and the Hammers have conceded 13 goals and they have lost their last three away games.
Oleksandr Zinchenko is suspended until the end of February for City. Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane could be back in contention. Raheem Sterling is doubtful with a thigh injury. Jack Wilshere (groin), Felipe Anderson (chest) and Andriy Yarmolenko (thigh) are all out for West Ham.
Man City always seem to win after a loss and they will comfortably beat David Moyes’ West Ham who haven’t been able to win anywhere lately.
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