Premier League Matchday 19 Preview – Prediction + Tips 2017/18

It’s the last weekend of football before Christmas, though it’s been a memorable first half of the season for relatively few teams. Manchester City obviously have everything to smile about, while Burnley will be perhaps the most satisfied of the other teams making up the top six.

For many others, it has been a struggle. Crystal Palace started the year dreadfully, but have recovered well, while West Ham have done the same, though to a lesser extent. Many established Premier League teams currently find themselves in very precarious positions, with Swansea, Stoke, Bournemouth, and West Brom perhaps the most at risk. Two of the promoted teams are going along steady, though Newcastle look in serious trouble. It’s extremely tight at the bottom of the table and any pretty much any three teams from the bottom half of the table could find themselves in the relegation zone at the end of the year if results don’t go their way.

Match of the Day

The two teams currently fighting over the fourth and final Champions League place come head to head on Friday evening. Arsenal maintained their almost perfect home record last weekend against Newcastle, while Liverpool were convincing winners against Bournemouth. Just a point separates the two teams, who must also be weary of Burnley and Tottenham breathing down their necks.

Arsenal v Liverpool
Arsenal Form Guide WLDDW
Liverpool Form Guide WWDDW
  • Venue: The Emirates
  • Friday 22nd December 19:45
  • Referee: Martin Atkinson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 11/8 D: 13/5 A: 7/4

About the Game:

Arsenal were hardly prolific against struggling Newcastle last week, but they got the job done and have won eight of their nine home games this season. Mesut Özil scored the winner in that game, amid rumours that he could be off during the January transfer window.

The Gunners have hit a stutter after what was generally a great run of form from the fourth week of the season, in which they lost just three games, two of which were against the Manchester teams. They’ve drawn two of the last three though and have struggled to find a cutting edge. This has coincided with a drop in form from both Alexis Sánchez and Alexandre Lacazette, with the former registering one assist and the latter no goals or assists in those three matches. What could be key here is that Arsenal are playing at home. They’ve lost just once all season at the Emirates in an enthralling encounter with Manchester United, in which Arsenal were desperately unlucky not to emerge with at least a point. This home advantage could be key in suggesting the winner from what should be an interesting spectacle.

Bet on the match of the week between Arsenal and Liverpool at Paddy Power

Liverpool are on a fantastic unbeaten run now of nine games. This has seen them edge Arsenal out of the top four as Liverpool currently occupy the all-important Champions League place. The form had seemed to slip a little over the last few weeks though, as the Reds drew with both Everton and West Brom, in games where it can be said that they certainly dropped two points, rather than earned one.

That changed on Sunday though when Liverpool demolished Bournemouth. It was a great performance in which Liverpool dominated the game and showed what their irresistible attack is capable of. This will be a tougher test, but Klopp will feel his men are up for it. Coutinho, Firmino, and of course Salah are in fantastic form and have at times been simply impossible for defences to handle. The only problems are currently in defence, where injury means Joel Matip and Alberto Moreno are unavailable, while Nathaniel Clyne is still not back after a lengthy absence. Klopp has seen to the defensive frailties his team were rightly criticised for earlier in the season and if Liverpool can remain focused at the back, they have every chance of winning this game.

Prediction: Arsenal or draw double chance – Liverpool are on a fine streak of form but we simply cannot look past Arsenal’s home form this season and see them at least holding Liverpool to a draw.

Rest of the Premier League Games

Our match of the day takes place on Friday, but all of the other Matchday 19 games take place throughout Saturday. Everton and Chelsea start us off, while the late fixture is an intriguing match between Leicester and Manchester United.

Everton v Chelsea
Everton Form Guide WWDWW
Chelsea Form Guide WWLWW
  • Venue: Goodison Park
  • Saturday 23rd December 12.30
  • Referee: Bobby Madley
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 9/2 D: 11/4 A: 8/13

About the Game:

Under Big Sam Everton have already put together a great run and are proving very difficult to beat. Now up to ninth place, the Toffees are five games unbeaten in the league, with four wins and a draw. Their home form is also something to pay attention to; Everton have won all four of their last four games at Goodison Park. This will be the toughest home match they’ve faced for a while, but with key players hitting good form, they could cause an upset here.

Other than their stutter against West Ham a few weeks back, Chelsea too are in fine form. They should be welcoming Morata back to the starting lineup, which will certainly provide more fire power and allow Eden Hazard to slip back into his preferred number 10 role. This will be a very tricky test for Chelsea who have to win games like this if they want to keep their place in the top four.

Prediction: U 2.5 goals – Both teams are solid at the back at the moment and despite both teams being in scoring form, we expect the teams to cancel each out to some extent.

Brighton v Watford
Brighton Form Guide DLLLD
Watford Form Guide LDLLL
  • Venue: AMEX
  • Saturday 23rd December 15:00
  • Referee: Paul Tierney
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 6/4 D: 21/10 A: 19/10

About the Game:

A draw was a great result for Brighton last weekend against high-flying Burnley. But it’s wins the Seagulls need if they are to stop their gradual fall down the table. They haven’t won now in seven Premier League games, with just three points earned in that time. They face here a Watford team above them in the table but perhaps even more out of sorts, meaning Chris Hughton will perhaps be looking at this one as as good an opportunity to win as any upcoming match.

Watford have at times this season played some of the league’s most exciting football. Their problem has been that they have also exhibited some of the worst defending. Winless in five games, the Hornets are now without club legend Troy Deeney, who is suspended after a reckless challenge in the loss against Huddersfield. Watford started the season fantastically, but have now won just two from their last ten league games.

Prediction: BTTS – Both teams need the points and are out of form, so we see goals being conceded at both ends.

Manchester City v Bournemouth
Manchester City Form Guide WWWWW
Bournemouth Form Guide LDDLL
  • Venue: The Etihad
  • Saturday 23rd December 15:00
  • Referee: Mike Jones
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/10 D: 8/1 A: 22/1

About the Game:

City’s convincing win against Spurs meant that they’ve beaten each team currently in the top eight this season. It also put them 19 points ahead of Spurs, who now languish in seventh place. There’s little more that can be said about this City team. With one record already broken, they’re currently on course to break many more, and should have no troubles winning here. The main talking point is that David Silva will miss out again through personal reasons and that City could have further defensive personnel problems, after Eliaquim Mangala went off injured in the midweek cup win against Leicester.

Bournemouth were thoroughly outplayed by a rampant Liverpool last week and despite a mini revival throughout the end of October and beginning of November, the reality for Eddie Howe is that Bournemouth are well and truly in a relegation battle. With the teams around them starting to pick up points, Bournemouth must do the same, but they are extremely unlikely to pick up anything here.

Prediction: Manchester City win + O 2.5 goals – David Silva will miss out but City put four past Spurs without him last week. A routine win that could be a goal fest.

Southampton v Huddersfield
Southampton Form Guide LDDLL
Huddersfield Form Guide LLWLW
  • Venue: St Marys’
  • Saturday 23rd December 15:00
  • Referee: Lee Probert
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 4/7 D: 29/10 A: 19/4

About the Game:

Southampton were perhaps a little unlucky to lose to Chelsea at the weekend. The reality is that they are another team heading solely in the wrong direction, with one win in their last eight games. Virgil van Dijk sat that match out and looks like he will be heading for the exit in the January transfer window. Southampton face Tottenham then Manchester United after this one, so a win will go a long way to ensuring they don’t slip much further down the table before the year is out.

Huddersfield have been one of the surprise packages of this season and they surprised perhaps everyone with a convincing win against Watford last weekend. Despite things being tight at the wrong end of the table, the Terriers find themselves in a relatively comfortable spot six points clear of the relegation zone. If results go their way, they could find themselves in the top ten before the year is out, which would be a fantastic achievement for a team that was expected to struggle.

Prediction: O 1.5 goals – We fancy Southampton, but confidence is low at St Mary’s, whereas all but one of each teams’ last six matches has featured over 1.5 goals.

Stoke v West Brom
Stoke Form Guide LWLLL
West Brom Form Guide DDLDL
  • Venue: bet365 Arena
  • Saturday 23rd December 15:00
  • Referee: Neil Swarbrick
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 6/5 D: 11/5 A: 12/5

About the Game:

Stoke’s loss to West Ham on Saturday must have been a bitter pill to swallow. That loss meant the Hammer’s leapfrogged Stoke, who now sit one point above the relegation zone. Mark Hughes still has the support of the board, but the question is, for how long? The Potters have won just four matches this season and could have an uphill struggle in 2018.

West Brom are another established Premier League team in a perilous position. The Baggies are second from bottom, though a win against opponents Stoke would mean they will leapfrog them and most likely Bournemouth too. This is a real six-pointer then, that neither team can afford to lose. The Baggies are one of the few teams to have won less games than Stoke, with just two wins all season the lowest in the division. A win here would be their first since 19th August.

Prediction: Stoke Draw no bet – West Brom have the worst form in the league and though they should be spurred by the importance of this game, we expect Stoke’s home advantage to play a vital part.

Swansea v Crystal Palace
Swansea Form Guide LLWLL
Crystal Palace Form Guide DDDWW
  • Venue: Liberty Stadium
  • Saturday 23rd December 15:00
  • Referee: Craig Pawson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 2/1 D: 21/10 A: 29/20

About the Game:

Swansea are still rooted to the bottom of the table. The Swans actually won the reverse fixture of this game back in August, when they started the season relatively well, with a win and a draw in the first three games. Things are very different now though. Swansea have picked up just eight points in the three months since, while Crystal Palace are on a seven game unbeaten streak. Wilfred Bony is likely to miss out with a hamstring injury, so it’s hard to see where the goals will come from.

After one of the worst starts to a season in history, Palace have really turned things around and, barring a disaster, should be a few points clear of the relegation zone at the end of the year. They’re on a fantastic run now and look a different team under Hodgson. They should earn another win here.

Prediction: Crystal Palace Draw no bet – Crystal Palace have some of the best form in the league and won’t want to slip up against an opponent below them.

West Ham v Newcastle
West Ham Form Guide LLWDW
Newcastle Form Guide DLLLL
  • Venue: London Stadium
  • Saturday 23rd December 15:00
  • Referee: Lee Mason
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 21/20 D: 23/10 A: 13/5

About the Game:

West Ham are another that have turned their fortunes around. They will be expecting to win here after a fine performance against Stoke last weekend, but there are some caveats. The midweek cup loss to Arsenal will have cost some energy from the numerous first-team players who featured, while in-form Manuel Lanzini is banned for two games for simulation. He’s the Hammer’s most creative player and it remains to be seen how big a loss he will be.

Newcastle’s terrible run finally resulted in them slipping into the relegation zone last week and there they remain after a loss against Arsenal. Every point counts at this stage, but against another struggling team, extra importance is placed on this one. Jonjo Shelvey is suspended and could be missed from the centre of the park.

Prediction: West Ham win – Lanzini is a big loss, but West Ham have most of their players now back from injury and with confidence low at Newcastle, they should still have enough to win.

Burnley v Tottenham
Burnley Form Guide WLWWD
Tottenham Form Guide DDWWL
  • Venue: Turf Moor
  • Saturday 23rd December 17:30
  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 6/1 D: 3/1 A: 1/2

About the Game:

Few would have predicted Burnley to be ahead of Tottenham at this stage of this season, but after a fine first-half, Burnley have achieved just that, sitting one point and one place ahead of Spurs in sixth. That should make Burnley favourites here, but the bookies don’t agree. Nevertheless, Burnley have made Turf Moor into something of a fortress and with Manchester City and Arsenal the only teams in the top seven to beat them, it would be foolish to assume defeat here.

Tottenham’s chances of the title are certainly now gone, but the race for the top four is still well and truly on. They will need to start winning again though and this will be a tough game to win. Anything can happen over the Christmas period and Spurs will be hoping for a productive period, rather than slipping even further back from the top four.

Prediction: U 2.5 goals – None of Burnley’s home games have featured over 2.5 goals this season.

Leicester v Manchester United
Leicester Form Guide WWWWL
Manchester United Form Guide WWLWW
  • Venue: King Power Stadium
  • Saturday 23rd December 19:45
  • Referee: Jonathan Moss
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 15/4 D: 13/5 A: 8/11

About the Game:

Leicester’s impressive run came to an end last week with a surprise home loss to Crystal Palace. That was the Foxe’s first loss in five league games and they followed it up with an exit from the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Nevertheless, Leicester are back in-form and should provide plenty of problems for the Manchester United backline.

United are still the only team that have even half a chance of challenging Manchester City, so it’s vital they come through this packed Christmas schedule unharmed. Other than a loss to City, they’ve won all of their last seven league games, while Romelu Lukaku is back in scoring form. Antonio Valencia is set to miss out with a hamstring injury, but United will welcome back Paul Pogba from suspension.

Prediction: Both teams to score – We fancy Leicester to go for this one and really take the game to Manchester United in what should be an entertaining match.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
Manchester City v Bournemouth Manchester City win + O 2.5 goals 30/100 1.3
Burnley v Tottenham U 2.5 goals 8/11 2.24
Swansea v Crystal Palace Crystal Palace Draw no bet 7/10 3.81
Southampton v Huddersfield O 1.5 goals 1/3 5.09
Leicester v Manchester United BTTS yes 4/5 9.16

Place a £10 5-fold bet on these selections at Paddy Power to win £91.60 plus any additional bonuses

Bookie of the week: Our Pick

Paddy Power are our bookie of the week. To find out all you need to know about Paddy Power you can read our Paddy Power 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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