Premier League Matchday 15 Preview – Prediction + Tips 2017/18

After being treated to a full fixture list in midweek, the Premier League wastes no time to return at the weekend with yet another full schedule.

Chelsea start us off as they embark on a very favourable run of fixtures throughout December. There’s a top of the table clash between Arsenal and Manchester United on Saturday afternoon, while Manchester City and West Ham round things off for us with the Sunday afternoon kickoff.

Match of the Day

Our match of the day is a classic meeting of old enemies. Manchester United have had the upper hand in recent year, but Arsenal, like United, are unbeaten at home this season. Both teams can realistically drop few points from this point on if they want to challenge Manchester City, so we have hope that Mourinho may not turn up simply to park the bus. Both teams are in form, with one defeat and four wins in their last five.

Arsenal v Manchester United
Arsenal Form Guide WLWWW
Manchester United Form Guide WLWWW
  • Venue: The Emirates
  • Saturday 02nd December 17:30
  • Referee: Andre Marriner
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 11/8 D: 13/10 A: 2/1

About the Game:

Arsenal are really starting to pick up form in the league, especially at the Emirates, where the Gunners have won all seven games played there so far. An emphatic win against Huddersfield on Wednesday made it three wins from three, but looking further back, they’ve now won eight of the last eleven games, drawing one and losing two. That form has seen them finally make it back into the top four, at the expense of Tottenham, who Arsenal comfortably beat two weeks ago.

Alexandre Lacazette scored the opener on Wednesday, but went off after half-time with a groin injury. Early reports suggest he is unlikely to take part here. That could mean a start for Olivier Giroud, though the other option would be Sanchez shifted upfront and midfield personnel tampered with. Wenger has options then and with the Gunner’s home form and a new found defensive resilience – they’ve now had three clean sheets in a row – Arsenal have every chance here.

Bet on the match of the week between Arsenal and Manchester United at Royal Panda

United too were fairly emphatic in their last victory. They led 3-0 up until late in the game, with the scoreline ending 4-2 after a flurry of late goals. Like Arsenal, the Red Devils have now put together three wins on the bounce as they attempt to put the pressure on leaders Manchester City.

There are issues though. While United are scoring goals, Romelu Lukaku himself is on somewhat of a goal drought. Defensively too, we’re not seeing the team that recorded seven clean sheets in their first eight games. This likely has much to do with the absence of both first-choice centre backs, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly. Victor Lindelöf and Chris Smalling have proved able deputies, but it remains to be seen whether Mourinho will employ an overly defensive formation and approach. He has been criticised for this already this season and with the gap between the leaders already eight points, a draw, while a good result, is simply not enough for the chasing pack.

Prediction: Arsenal Draw no bet – This is a difficult one to call in what is always a fiery encounter. But, we’re going with Arsenal maintaining their home form of the season and taking the game to United.

Rest of the Premier League Games

The action starts on Friday night with struggling West Ham hosting Leicester. There’s also a packed Sunday schedule with three games, including leaders Manchester City playing away at Huddersfield.

Chelsea v Newcastle
Chelsea Form Guide WWWDW
Newcastle Form Guide LLLLD
  • Venue: Stamford Bridge
  • Saturday 02nd December 12.30
  • Referee: Kevin Friend
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 2/9 D: 11/2 A: 10/1

About the Game:

Antonio Conte surprised many by leaving Eden Hazard on the bench for Wednesday’s match against Swansea. His absence may be some of the reason Chelsea found it hard to break down the Swans, despite their dominance. The Blues emerged winners and are big favourites coming into this one as well. Chelsea are now unbeaten in six and have a very kind fixture list over the next month; something Conte and his players will be looking to make the most of.

Newcastle came back from two goals down against West Brom on Tuesday. The spirited comeback shows that there’s still plenty of fight left at St James’ in spite of the recent poor run. That was the Magpie’s first points in five games though and they’ll do well to follow that up with a result here. Chelsea are strong at home this season and with Newcastle struggling for goals, a win seems a fairly remote possibility.

Prediction: Chelsea win – With five wins and four clean sheets in their last six, it’s difficult to envisage Chelsea slipping up here.

Brighton v Liverpool
Brighton Form Guide DWDLD
Liverpool Form Guide WWWDW
  • Venue: Amex Stadium
  • Saturday 02nd December 15:00
  • Referee: Graham Scott
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 11/2 D: 7/2 A: 4/9

About the Game:

Brighton’s off the pitch rivalry with Crystal Palace didn’t really spill onto it on Tuesday night, as the points were shared in a goalless draw. Nevertheless, it was another good result for Brighton, who appeared to have put the disappointment of the narrow defeat to Manchester United behind them. It’s just one defeat in seven now for the Seagulls, but the pre-season worry of scoring goals may rear its head again soon; they haven’t scored in the last two games.

Rounding off the top five is Liverpool, who are in equally good form as the teams above them. The Reds lead by a slim margin for most of the match against Stoke on Wednesday, until a certain Mr Mohamed Salah was introduced around 70 minutes into the game. Salah’s introduction changed the game, as he scored two goals in quick succession to finish Stoke off. Both Salah and Coutinho were rested, so those two will be fresh and sure to start here, which will certainly have Brighton fans worried.

Prediction: Liverpool win – Brighton are tough to break down at home, but Liverpool are in fine form and should continue their good run.

Everton v Huddersfield
Everton Form Guide LWDLW
Huddersfield Form Guide LWLLL
  • Venue: Goodison Park
  • Saturday 02nd December 15:00
  • Referee: Chris Kavanagh
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 4/6 D: 11/4 A: 4/1

About the Game:

While things have been going bad for Everton of late, they’ve been going for worse for West Ham. Lucky for the Toffess then that West Ham were their opponents on Wednesday. Wayne Rooney scored a fantastic hat-trick as Everton eased to a 4-0 victory. The question is, can Everton push on from here. Sam Allardyce will take over as manager which should organise things somewhat and this is a great first fixture for the new manager to get off to a winning start.

Few expected Huddersfield to take anything from the Emirates on Wednesday, but defeat by five goals to zero was a heavy blow. That’s eleven goals conceded in three games now for the Terriers, who must tighten up at the back. Both teams are level on points, but it’s perhaps fair to say that Huddersfield are current overachieving and Everton underachieving up to this point.

Prediction: Everton Draw no bet – Confidence is low at Huddersfield, who have been on the end of some thumpings lately, while Everton have a new manager and should now turn a corner.

Leicester v Burnley
Leicester Form Guide WDLDW
Burnley Form Guide WWWLW
  • Venue: King Power Stadium
  • Saturday 02nd December 15:00
  • Referee: Paul Tierney
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 8/11 D: 13/5 A: 15/4

About the Game:

Leicester continued their run of fine results with a win against Tottenham on Tuesday. Jamie Vardy got on the scoresheet and Ryad Mahrez showed flashes on his brilliance from seasons past. The Foxes have lost only to Manchester City over the last two months and despite Burnley’s defensive resilience, will be well fancied for this one.

Burnley couldn’t hold on to keep a clean sheet, but they still did enough to deservedly take all three points against Bournemouth on Wednesday. That will help relieve the sting of late defeat against Arsenal last weekend, as Burnley continue on a fantastic run. Aside from the Arsenal game, in which Burnley coped well defensively, this will be the toughest test in a while.

Prediction: Leicester Draw no bet – This is a very difficult game for the Foxes, but they are in fine form, and will be expected to take the initiative.

Stoke v Swansea
Stoke Form Guide WDDLL
Swansea Form Guide LLLDL
  • Venue: bet365 Arena
  • Saturday 02nd December 15:00
  • Referee: Craig Pawson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/4 D: 9/2 A: 11/1

About the Game:

Stoke’s defensive frailty continued on Wednesday where defeat to Liverpool saw them tumble further down the table. The Potters have now conceded the second most goals in the league, with only West Ham having a poorer defensive record. A good thing then that they will face one of the Premier League’s poorest attacking teams, as Mark Hughes’ men will have a great chance of getting their first win in five weeks.

Swansea were once again disappointing in an attacking sense against Chelsea on Wednesday, where they barely troubled the Blues’ defence at all. Hopefully that can change here, where they welcome back Tammy Abraham, who was ineligible to face his parent club Chelsea. Abraham has four goals this season and you get the sense he will be key if Swansea are to avoid relegation.

Prediction: O 1.5 goals – Swansea will set up to defend, but we see a high chance of goals, with Stoke defending poorly of late.

Watford v Tottenham
Watford Form Guide LLWWL
Spurs Form Guide LWLDL
  • Venue: Vicarage Road
  • Saturday 02nd December 15:00
  • Referee: Martin Atkinson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 4/1 D: 14/5 A: 4/6

About the Game:

Watford took the game to Manchester United in the first twenty minutes of Tuesday’s match, but were quickly silenced by two quick goals in succession from Ashley Young, followed by a third. The Hornets fought back to make it 3-2, before conceding again, but it was a spirited performance nonetheless. This is another tricky fixture, but Watford are a confident, attacking team, who will look at Spurs’ recent results and see a real chance of victory here.

Spurs’ baron run continued on Tuesday with another defeat, this time to Leicester. It’s fairly early in the season, but most would agree that their title chances have all but completely disappeared over the last few weeks. Watford are a team that score freely and with Spurs struggling for goals, they could be worried here. Tottenham’s defensive weakness without Toby Alderweireld has been laid bare for all to see, but they will be without the Belgian for at least another month. If Tottenham don’t drastically improve, this could be their fourth defeat in six games.

Prediction: Both teams to score – Watford are in fantastic goal-scoring form at home, as Spurs look to keep up the pace with the top five.

West Brom v Crystal Palace
West Brom Form Guide LLLDD
Crystal Palace Form Guide DLDWD
  • Venue: The Hawthorns
  • Saturday 02nd December 15:00
  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 17/20 D: 5/2 A: 16/5

About the Game:

West Brom couldn’t hold on for their first win since the second week of the season against Newcastle on Tuesday. The Baggies led 2-0, but allowed Newcastle back into the match in the second half. On a more positive note, that is the second draw in a row for West Brom, with the team experiencing an upturn after parting ways with Tony Pulis. Alan Pardew has been appointed the new manager until 2020, which could also help the Baggies turn things around. Crystal Palace sit below West Brom in the table, but on recent form, Palace have the edge.

Palace picked up another point on Tuesday night, but it’s wins they need, not draws. Nevertheless, it was their third game unbeaten, as they appear to be taking advantage of a very kind run of fixtures. With the team gelling and players returning from injury, Palace could well lift themselves off the bottom of the table this weekend.

Prediction: Crystal Palace or Draw Double chance – Palace are looking good under Hodgson and are unbeaten now, as they look to move off the foot of the table.

Bournemouth v Southampton
Bournemouth Form Guide LWWDL
Southampton Form Guide DLLWL
  • Venue: Dean Court
  • Sunday 03rd December 13:30
  • Referee: Jonathan Moss
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 17/10 D:9/4 A: 8/5

About the Game:

Bournemouth’s great run that saw them fly up the table finally came to an end against Burnley on Wednesday. The Cherries got on the scoresheet, but it wasn’t enough to grab a point. Still, this is another winnable game for a team with three clean sheets in their last four. Josh King got on the scoreesheet, as the forward tries to replicate his incredible form of last year, while Bournemouth’s attack has improved significantly.

Southampton came so close to being the first team to stop Manchester City winning since the second week of the season. However, a 96th Raheem Sterling goal inflicted defeat on the Saints, who despite being outplayed, have every right to feel hard done by. They must move on quickly though; Bournemouth can leapfrog Southampton with a win here, so this game may have somewhat of an edge to it.

Prediction: O 2.5 goals – All of Southampton’s – and two of Bournemouth’s – last three games have featured over 2.5 goals.

Manchester City v West Ham
Man City Form Guide WWWWW
West Ham Form Guide DLLDL
  • Venue: The Etihad
  • Sunday 02nd December 16:00
  • Referee: Mike Dean
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/12 D: 23/10 A: 2/1

About the Game:

Manchester City came just seconds away from losing their eleven game winning streak in the league. A late, late goal made it twelve domestic wins in a row though and few would bet against City making it thirteen here. Key players, like David Silva, were rested on Wednesday night, meaning despite the packed schedule, City could have a freshness to them.

West Ham were on the end of another thrashing, as David Moyes’ men were beaten 4-0 by his old club Everton. If it wasn’t already panic stations at West Ham, it really should be now. After City, the Hammers face Chelsea and then Arsenal, so zero points over the next three games is very likely. West Ham will have to pull off a minor miracle not to be in the relegation zone at Christmas.

Prediction: Manchester City win + O 3.5 goals – The league’s highest scoring team comes up against its worst defence. West Ham could be on the wrong end of another demolition.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
Chelsea v Newcastle Chelsea win 2/9 1.22
Brighton v Liverpool Liverpool win 4/9 1.76
Everton v Huddersfield Everton Draw no bet 1/4 2.20
Bournemouth v Southampton O 2.5 goals 23/20 4.74
Manchester City v West Ham Manchester City win + O 3.5 goals 4/6 7.90

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Bookie of the week: Our Pick

Royal Panda are our bookie of the week. To find out all you need to know about Royal Panda you can read our Royal Panda review.

* All our selections are provided for entertainment only and should only be used for informational purposes. Whilst we use our experience and knowledge to help inform you to make a considered bet, we are not responsible for any losses that may arise from actual results being different than predicted.

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