Premier League Matchday 23 Preview – Prediction + Tips 2017/18

The Premier League teams might have played FA Cup games – some for the last time this season – though the last 10 days or so has been the longest break the players will have had for a long time. The grueling Christmas schedule, which managers such as Pep Guardiola have spoken out strongly against, is now behind us, as the fixture list returns to relative normality.

Some teams had a strong Christmas period; Liverpool and Manchester City particularly at the top of the table, while West Ham, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace have managed to climb out of the relegation zone. Swansea and West Brom have slipped further adrift of the numerous teams just points clear of the drop zone, with the omens not looking good for either of those teams. Southampton’s fall from grace continued, while Stoke occupy the last relegation place after sacking manager Mark Hughes.

We’re now past the halfway point of the season too, with 58% of matches played. For the second half of the season, it looks as though the title is all but wrapped up for Manchester City, but excitement remains to see which teams will survive another year in the league, with around ten teams in legitimate danger of going down.

Match of the Day

The league’s two most in form teams meet head to head for our match of the day. We all know City’s record this season, but Liverpool have now gone an impressive 13 games unbeaten, winning 9 of those. Liverpool were thrashed 5-0 in this fixture early on in the season after Sadio Mané received a red card, but while City will be favourites, this is set up to be a very different encounter.

Liverpool v Manchester City
Liverpool Form Guide WDWWW
Manchester City Form Guide WWWDW
  • Venue: Anfield
  • Sunday 14th January 16:00
  • Referee: Andre Marriner
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 2/1 D: 11/4 A: 23/20

About the Game:

Liverpool might have lost their little magician Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona earlier this week, but they have gained defensive reinforcements, with Virgil van Dijk making his long overdue move to Merseyside. Liverpool’s defence has received much criticism over recent seasons, much of it justified, though a perhaps little known fact is that they’ve conceded just four goals at home all season. Riyad Mahrez is another name that is being linked with the club this January transfer window.

Coutinho is undeniably a big loss to Liverpool. Throughout his time at the club, the Brazilian has always performed, but even amid the transfer rumours of this season, he has still been in fantastic form. Klopp has managed to build a strong squad however and has the reserves to replace Coutinho. How adequately remains to be seen, but a front three of Salah, Firmino and Mané is still as fearsome as any attacking trio in the Premier League, and perhaps even the world. Liverpool have quality then, but the question is; can they beat a currently unbeaten team? Most would say no, but, Liverpool and Klopp’s spirit mean they will give it a good go, which will hopefully make for an entertaining fixture. A key factor is whether star man Mohamed Salah can overcome a groin injury to be fit in time for the match.

Bet on the match of the week between Liverpool and Manchester City at bwin

Manchester City’s 18 game winning run came to a halt a few weeks back with a draw against Crystal Palace. However, they’re still unbeaten, have a 15 point lead at the top of the table, and will very likely be crowned Champions at the end of the season. City also left it very late to beat Bristol City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, suggesting that perhaps their total dominance is starting to come to an end.

Guardiola is also said to be stepping up his pursuit of Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez, with Gabriel Jesus potentially out for the rest of the season. The manager is also said to be seeking defensive reinforcements, with Mendy out for the season and Vincent Kompany’s fitness patchy. City missed out on Virgil van Dijk, who went to opponents Liverpool last week, and Guardiola is apparently interested in West Brom’s Jonny Evans. Not that City’s defence has been anything like leaky. Though it’s the attack that has been the focal point. Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, and Sergio Agüero are all in fine form and will no doubt cause Liverpool problems. City thrashed Liverpool by 5 goals in the first meeting between the sides this season, though Liverpool were down to 10 men from fairly early on in the match. This one should be a much different, much tighter match.

Prediction: O 2.5 goals – These two teams are the highest scoring in the Premiership and Liverpool’s approach at home will be to go for victory. We expect an enthralling, high-scoring match.

Rest of the Premier League Games

There’s no early kick off on Saturday this week. Instead, six games will kick-off at 15:000 on Saturday, followed by Tottenham at home to Everton in the afternoon. There are two games on Sunday, while Manchester United host Stoke to round things off on Monday night.

Chelsea v Leicester
Chelsea Form Guide WDWWD
Leicester Form Guide LDLLW
  • Venue: Stamford Bridge
  • Saturday 13th January 15:00
  • Referee: Mike Jones
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/4 D: 9/2 A: 11/1

About the Game:

Chelsea are another team that had a very productive December and are in a good run of form. A shock defeat to West Ham is their only loss in the last fourteen games, while they’re now six games unbeaten. David Luiz is back from injury, though Eden Hazard is a slight doubt for the match with a calf injury.

Leicester’s strong run of form has hit a stutter throughout late December, as they earned just one point from four matches. They did return to winning ways in their last game though, with a victory against Leicester. Riad Mahrez was left out of the FA Cup squad at the weekend amid rumours he could be on his way to Liverpool, which would be a huge loss for Leicester.

Prediction: Chelsea win + BTTS yes – Chelsea have won their last seven home matches, while Leicester have scored in every away game under Claude Puel.

Crystal Palace v Burnley
Crystal Palace Form Guide WDLDW
Burnley Form Guide DLDDL
  • Venue: Selhurst Park
  • Saturday 13th January 15:00
  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/1 D: 11/5 A: 3/1

About the Game:

Crystal Palace became just the second team this season to take points from Manchester City on New Year’s Eve and then followed that up with a win against Southampton. Palace’s turnaround has been remarkable and they’ve lost just once in eleven games now. Burnley are tough opponents, but Palace’s confidence is at an all-time high.

Burnley’s fantastic season continues, though they are, as expected, starting to drop off the pace of the top six. Nevertheless, the Clarets remain incredibly tough to beat and have been beaten just twice on their travels this season, grinding out five draws.

Prediction: U 2.5 goals – Burnley’s organised approach means they’ve lost just twice on their travels. It will be tough for Palace to find a way through their defence.

Huddersfield v West Ham
Huddersfiedl Form Guide WDDDL
West Ham Form Guide WLDWD
  • Venue: Kirklees
  • Saturday 13th January 15:00
  • Referee: Jonathan Moss
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 8/5 D: 2/1 A: 15/8

About the Game:

Home form is keeping Huddersfield afloat this season, with four wins and four draws at the Kirklees Stadium so far. Defeat earlier in the season to West Ham was the first time they lost, so a little bit of revenge would be nice here. Only Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham have beaten Huddersfield at home this season, which shows how difficult they are to turn over in their own stomping ground.

David Moyes can now be satisfied with how things are going at West Ham, but there’s no time to sit and admire his work. Despite just one loss in their last seven, the Hammers are still only two points above the relegation zone. West Ham have won just one game away from home this season, which, combined with Huddersfield’s aforementioned home form, doesn’t bode well for the Hammer’s chances here.

Prediction: Huddersfield Draw no bet – West Ham are on a good run, but Huddersfield are notoriously difficult to beat at home this season.

Newcastle v Swansea
Newcastle Form Guide LWLDW
Form Guide LDLWL
  • Venue: St Jame’s Park
  • Saturday 13th January 15:00
  • Referee: Graham Scott
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 10/11 D: 9/4 A: 10/3

About the Game:

After having one of the league’s worst runs of form throughout November and December, Newcastle have had a mini revival, with two wins and a draw in their last four matches. Whether they can keep it up is the question, as Rafa Benitez is already over achieving with a squad that needs reinforcements.

Bottom of the table in January, Swansea have a monumental job on their hands. Fifty percent of teams in this position have ended up finishing last, though the Swans have been in the relegation zone at Christmas two of the last three years and managed to avoid the drop. Just eight points picked up on the road so far suggests they will be lucky to add to their tally here.

Prediction: Newcastle win – A relegation battle that both sides can ill afford to lose, but Newcastle’s slightly better form and home advantage should carry them through.

Watford v Southampton
Watford Form Guide LLWLL
Southampton Form Guide LDLDL
  • Venue: Vicarage Road
  • Saturday 13th January 15:00
  • Referee: Roger East
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 7/5 D: 23/10 A: 19/10

About the Game:

Watford’s fall from grace has been an ongoing saga since October and still shows little sign of letting up. Just three wins and a draw since mid October still means the Hornets are tenth, but things could be so much different. Sloppy defeats to Swansea and Crystal Palace have characterised things, though this is a good chance to get back to winning ways.

Southampton are on a terrible run of their own and manager Mauricio Pellegrino is coming under some real pressure from the fans. The Saints have been a mainstay in the top half of the table for many seasons, but now they are really struggling, outside of the relegation zone on goal difference alone. Charlie Austin is out until March with a hamstring injury, just as Pellegrino has bemoaned the lack of a top-class striker as being key to the Saint’s problems.

Prediction: BTTS yes – Watford always seem to score, but neither team can keep a clean sheet at the moment.

West Brom v Brighton
West Brom Form Guide LLDDL
Brighton Form Guide DWLDD
  • Venue: The Hawthorns
  • Saturday 13th January 15:00
  • Referee: Martin Atkinson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 21/20 D: 21/10 A: 3/1

About the Game:

Many teams are on bad runs, but none can compare to West Brom. Even after sacking Tony Pulis, things haven’t improved, and the Baggies are winless since the second week of the season. With that sort of form, it’s going to be tough to turn things around, and Pardrew hasn’t won yet in the league as West Brom manager. Brighton have only lost to Chelsea in their last five matches and will be on a high after beating Palace in the FA Cup on Monday night.

All things considered, Chris Hughton will be happy with the first half of Brighton’s first season back in the Premier League. However, the tight nature of the bottom half of the table means that despite sitting in 12th place, Brighton are just one win above the relegation zone. Nevertheless, they’ve lost just one of their last five and will be confident of not being beaten here.

Prediction: U 2.5 goals – Brighton score few away from home, while West Brom score few at all.

Spurs v Everton
Spurs Form Guide LWWWD
Everton Form Guide WDDLL
  • Venue: Wembley
  • Saturday 13th January 15:00
  • Referee: Craig Pawson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/4 D: 5/1 A: 9/1

About the Game:

Tottenham had a relatively good December, but it was still not enough to see them slip into the top four. As we approach crunch time of the season, Spurs will have to start grinding out wins as their rivals have been doing so effectively. Everton will set up to defend here, so Spurs will likely look to Christian Eriksen’s creativity and Harry Kane’s finishing to try and unlock the Toffees.

Everton’s fantastic run under Big Sam has come to an end with two defeats in their last two league games, as well as a loss in a Merseyside derby FA Cup match. You know what you’ll get with Allardyce, so we expect Everton to look to soak up pressure and maybe nick a goal on the counter. New signing Cenk Tosun could make his debut.

Prediction: Tottenham win + BTTS no – Spurs should eventually find a way through the Toffee’s defence who have lost some of their earlier resoluteness under Sam Allardyce.

Bournemouth v Arsenal
Bournemouth Form Guide LLDWD
Arsenal Form Guide WDWDD
  • Venue: Vitality Stadium
  • Sunday 14th January 13:30
  • Referee: Kevin Friend
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 9/2 D: 3/1 A: 4/7

About the Game:

Bournemouth haven’t really managed to get on a good run of results all season, so the two draws and one win in their last three is something of a triumph for Eddie Howe. But Bournemouth cannot afford to sit back; despite those points picked up, they’re one point above the relegation zone and will face Arsenal here and Chelsea fortnight later.

Unbeaten in seven, Arsenal have won just two of those games, with a host of frustrating draws meaning the Gunners are losing pace with the top four. Alexis Sánchez could be on his way to Manchester City soon, while there’s also talk of Mesut Özil heading to Manchester United. This is an easy game on paper, but Arsenal are without key personnel, especially at the back.

Prediction: Arsenal win – They’ve drawn many games, but Arsenal are on a good unbeaten run and should win here.

Manchester United v Stoke
Manchester United Form Guide WDDDW
Stoke Form Guide LWDLL
  • Venue: Old Trafford
  • Monday 15th January 20:00
  • Referee: Anthony Taylor
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/5 D: 5/1 A: 14/1

About the Game:

Chelsea’s draw with Arsenal two weeks ago meant United’s win was enough to put them back into second place. Mourinho has been hitting the headlines more for his off the pitch antics lately, but other than their loss to neighbours Manchester City, United are unbeaten in eleven. They did draw three of the last four games though, which has seen them drop further back from the league leaders.

Stoke fans will be hoping for a revival with their club having sacked manager Mark Hughes. The team Hughes put together has often been described as disjointed, but now, more than ever, Stoke will need to become unified. Currently in the relegation zone and with one away win all season, three points is a very tough ask here.

Prediction: Manchester United Half Time/Full Time – Stoke are completely out of sorts and with United’s first team returning to full strength, they should make easy work of this.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
Huddersfield v West Ham Huddersfield Draw no bet 4/5 1.80
Crystal Palace v Burnley U 2.5 goals 3/5 2.88
Watford v Southampton BTTS yes 3/4 5.04
West Brom v Brighton U 2.5 goals 4/11 6.87
Manchester United v Stoke Man U HT/FT 4/6 11.45

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Bookie of the week: Our Pick

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* 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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