Barclays Premier League

Weekend Preview

5th March 2016

This is the biggest weekend of football this season to date, there is relegation 6 pointers, top of the table clashes, a derby. Sit back and relax and read the preview of all this weekends games, to see who I also think is the most dangerous this weekend in both teams, and also who i think will win the games.

This is the biggest North London derby in recent times by a mile, this is a huge game for both Tottenham and Arsenal because a win for spurs and Arsenal’s title chances are all but gone and realistically the title race will then only be between Tottenham and Leicester, this would make Tottenham massive favourites to win the league.

But if Arsenal win then this opens the title race up once again after their disappointing 3-2 loss to Manchester United.

The players to watch out for in each team:

Dele Alli – The young Englishman has a lot of potential to live up to in the future, and as for his debut season in the premier league, it couldn’t have gone much better. He can create something out of nothing and if the gunners can’t track him at all times I can see Alli being the difference maker.

Mesut Özil – Currently into his third season at the emirates and he has only recently started to get his form back that inspired his move to north London, with 18 assists and five goals he has been crucial to Arsenal’s title push this season.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think this game will be down to the managers and this season I could only see that argument going one way, Mauricio Pochettino has made his team a rock at the back and clinical going forward, whereas Arsenal are quite shaky in defence as they have been for the past few seasons. I am going with a 2-1 for Tottenham.

 

Chelsea v Stoke City

This match will be a pair up of two teams chasing for European football, if Chelsea win this game, depending on other results they could potentially only be 5 points off champions league, which before the season started most people would have predicted anyway, but Chelsea were in a relegation dogfight and managed to pull through it. This came at an expense though with them losing the most successful manager in their history, but things are picking up at Stamford Bridge as the blues are unbeaten under Guus Hiddink.

If Stoke win this match they could be hot on the tail of the Europa league places, only a season after their highest finish as a club in the premier league (8th)

The players to watch out for in each team:

Willian – The Brazilian winger has been a small light at the end of the tunnel for Chelsea fans, as if it was not for him Chelsea would be no-where near where they are now as he has won the blues points on his own more than once this season.

Xherdan Shaqiri – The Swiss wide man has been instrumental to the potter’s best season to date, whether it is either scoring goals or assisting them, the ex-Bayern Munich player has it all.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think this should be rather easy for Chelsea, they will want to try and put their early season form firmly behind them and make a push for the elite champion’s league places, I’m going for a 3-1 win for the blues.

 

Everton v West Ham United

This game is a must win for both sides as Everton want to get past this season by moving into the top 10 as Europe is a very slim chance unless they make a very late surge.

This game is crucial for West Ham and they have a very real chance of making the champions league spots if City slip up, what adds to this motivation is that West Ham have not really lost big games this season away from home.

The players to watch out for in each team:

Romelu Lukaku – The Belgian striker has been in sublime form in a rather standard Everton season, Lukaku is the second top goal scorer this season and I’m expecting him to get another here

Dimitri Payet – Bought from Marseille in the summer, he has been without a doubt the signing of the season with 5 goals and he has created an amazing 72 chances in the premier league, this is an amazing first season for the Frenchman.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think Lukaku will score a goal here but I can’t bet against West Ham away from home with the results they have had this season, I’m going with a 3-2 win for the hammers.

 

Manchester City v Aston Villa

Where do I start? Aston Villa have barely looked like a team this season and they are already down in my opinion, if they win away at the Etihad it would be a miracle.

This is only going to go one way realistically, Manchester City need to win their game in hand and there is no better fixture to come up at this point in the season for City, if they don’t win they may have a chance of not even getting champions league, which for having the best team last season then spending over £100m this season that would be simply unacceptable.

The players to watch out for in each team:

Sergio Aguero – The argentine hitman had his worst game of the season against Liverpool, so I can only expect that he will come out of the tunnel looking to put that performance right and put city’s title charge back on track.

Jordan Ayew – The Ghana player has managed to get 5 goals in this disastrous Villa team, It looks unlikely but if Aston Villa were to get a goal at the Etihad I’d put my money on it being him.

Which way do I think it will go?

In all honestly I think and expect a demolition job from City to get their title push back on track, I’m going for a 5-0 City win.

 

Newcastle United v Bournemouth

This is a relegation 6 pointer, for Newcastle if they don’t win this game they may as well pack it all in and give up, after what I witnessed on Wednesday against Stoke it was one of the worst performances I’ve seen from any set of premier league players especially after an 18 day rest.

Bournemouth win this and I think they will be ok and I think they’ll stay up they have the drive and determination to put on that shirt every week and climb Bournemouth to safety, something Newcastle seemingly don’t have.

The players to watch out for in each team:

Georginio Wijnaldum – The Dutch playmaker always performs better for Newcastle in the comfort of their own stadium, but he will need the entire stadiums support and the support of his colleagues to win this game.

Benik Afobe – The striker has only played 8 games for the cherries and already has 4 goals, if Bournemouth are to walk away with something from this game Afobe will be crucial to this.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think that Newcastle need to get out of this mess and quickly, but Bournemouth will not go down without a fight. I think Newcastle will win 2-1.

 

Southampton v Sunderland

For Southampton they could start a push for Europe with a win here but Europe seems like an unrealistic target at this stage in the season.

For Sunderland this means so much more as Sunderland need to start picking up wins and quickly, if they don’t they will be relegated by mid-april these types of games are crucial, show up and play well you have a chance, bottle it and you walk away with nothing but more pressure and stress on the manager.

The players to watch out for in each team:

Sadio Mane – The midfielder has scored 3 goals and got 6 assists this season and he will be crucial to the result on Saturday.

Jermain Defoe – The England frontman has 10 goals and 1 assist to his name this season, he needs to have a good day at St Marys if Sunderland are to avoid defeat.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think Southampton have just enough quality to scrape this I think 3-2 Southampton.

 

Swansea v Norwich

Another relegation 6 pointer, Swansea should not be in this much of a mess with the players and the quality they have, they need to win this to widen the gap between them and the rest of the relegation battlers.

Norwich were predicted to be in this position at the start of the season and I can’t say I’m surprised as they did not strengthen enough in the areas they needed too.

The players to watch out for in each team:

Andre Ayew – He has managed 8 goals and an assist in his debut season in the premier league, he is a danger anywhere on the pitch the canaries need to be wary of his goal threat.

Nathan Redmond – The English winger has 5 goals and 2 assists this season, and his pace on the wing will be a real threat to the Swansea full backs.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think the two teams will play for the draw and sit back for most of the game, I think it will end 0-0.

 

Watford v Leicester

Nobody imagined Leicester would be top with 10 games to go, and If they win this they should surely go on and push for the league, everyone keeps saying they will drop points eventually but they are still up there 28 games in without dropping a great deal of points.

Watford were tipped for relegation at the start of the season, but they bought well and the strikers are pairing well together and keeping them in mid-table.

The players to watch out for on each team:

Odion Ighalo – The striker has 14 goals and three assists at this point in the season which could turn out badly for Leicester.

Riyad Mahrez – The Algerian international has to be on top of his game from here on out in the season as if he has one bad performance it may break foxes fans hearts.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think this will be a 2-1 win for Leicester to pile pressure on the north London clubs.

 

Crystal Palace v Liverpool

Palace need to start picking up points as they could still be dragged into this relegation fight being only 9 points off, this will be piling on the pressure for Alan Pardew.

Liverpool on the other hand could still get champions league so the Liverpool squad need to have a good game against palace after their 3-0 win against Manchester City.

The players to watch out for on each team:

Yohan Cabaye – The ex-Newcastle player needs to play well for the eagles to give them a few chances in this game and the strikers need to take their chances otherwise they will more than likely be punished.

Roberto Firmino – The midfielder/striker has seven goals and seven assists on Merseyside in his debut season, I can see him scoring again here.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think palace will take the lead and Liverpool will win 2-1 through 2 quick fire goals in the second half.

 

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United

West Brom aren’t really playing for much this season as they can’t realistically get Europe and they will probably not go down.

For Manchester United it is a whole different story, LVG is under pressure from the fans for top 4 and they are currently level on points with Manchester City but City have a game in hand, this is a must win game for Manchester United.

The players to watch out for on each team:

Salomon Rondon – Rondon is not really getting a lot of goals in this West Brom side but this needs to change with a goal at home.

Chris Smalling – The centre back will have to be on top form when against Rondon as one slip up could spell the end of Manchester United’s champion’s league ambitions.

Which way do I think it will go?

I think they will cancel each other out, with West Brom scoring first then Martial to equalize.

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