Premier League Matchday 26 Preview – Prediction + Tips 2017/18

Despite a full round of midweek fixtures, the Premier League is right back with us just a few days later this weekend.

Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea were the high-profile victims of those fixtures, losing to Spurs, Swansea, and Bournemouth respectively. Those defeats have meant that things are even tighter at the top, with Liverpool moving into third place on goal difference, while Arsenal look set to look on at the race for the Champions League places from the sidelines.

Match of the Day

Two form teams meet head to head for our match of the day in what could be a cracker. Liverpool famously beat Manchester City this season, showing they can do away with the big boys of the league, while Spurs won convincingly against Manchester United on Wednesday evening.

Liverpool v Tottenham
Liverpool Form Guide WWWLW
Spurs Form Guide WDWDW
  • Venue: Anfield
  • Sunday 04th February 16:30
  • Referee: Jonathan Moss
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 21/20 D: 13/5 A: 12/5

About the Game:

A few doubts must have emerged in the Liverpool camp after the second consecutive defeat following their eighteen game unbeaten streak. That second defeat was against West Brom and followed a defeat to Swansea, two teams currently in the relegation zone. Liverpool have made a habit of collapsing at unfortunate times in recent years, especially under Klopp, where they have performed well against top teams but often lost matches that are a lot easier on paper.

Tuesday night’s 3-0 win against Huddersfield, managed by Klopp’s close friend and counterpart David Wagner, must have settled some of those doubts. The loss to the Baggies came in the cup, meaning Liverpool are still in a strong position in the league table. Despite being without new signing Virgil van Dijk, the Reds kept a clean sheet, while Salah, Firmino and Can got on the scoresheet. This one will be a much tougher fixture though and is an ultimate crunch match. Liverpool and Spurs are the two teams currently challenging for the fourth and final Champions League spot, so the ramifications for a defeat here are huge. Liverpool can count on an almost fully fit squad which, coupled with home advantage, has the bookies making them favourites.

Bet on the match of the week between Liverpool and Tottenham at Unibet

Tottenham got off to the perfect start on Wednesday with a goal inside 30 seconds against Manchester United. Spurs went on to dominate the match and emerged deserving victors. With Chelsea also losing, Spurs have closed the gap on the teams above them in the Champions League places.

This will be the second of three extremely tough fixtures which will go a long way to dictating Spur’s season. Having done away with United, a win here would see them leapfrog Liverpool into at least fourth place, before facing Arsenal next week. The signing of Lucas Moura has undoubtedly strengthened the squad, though it’s not sure if the Brazilian will oust any of the current starting lineup. Deli Alli, Christian Eriksen, and Heung-Min Son were all excellent against Manchester United, while Eric Dier and Mousa Dembélé were solid in the deeper midfield role. On their day, Spurs can beat anybody and if they play like they did against United, they might just win here.

Prediction: BTTS yes – A win for either team would cement their place in a Champions League spot. Liverpool’s defence is better at home, but with both teams possessing such irresistible attacking talent, we see them both finding the net at least once.

Rest of the Premier League Games

Burnley and Manchester City will start us off with the early kickoff on Saturday, while Super Sunday has two games, before Watford and Chelsea round off the action on Monday night.

Burnley v Manchester City
Burnley Form Guide DLLLD
Man City Form Guide DWLWW
  • Venue: Turf Moor
  • Saturday 03rd February 12:30
  • Referee: Martin Atkinson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 9/1 D: 9/2 A: 2/7

About the Game:

Burnley scraped a draw against Newcastle on Wednesday, but that still means that the Clarets are eight games without a win. Having played Manchester United twice, Liverpool and Tottenham over the last five weeks, you could forgive them not picking up too many points, but the fixture here is even tougher if anything. Burnley are always tough to beat at Turf Moor, but they’re extremely low on confidence of late.

Manchester City made easy work of West Brom on Wednesday, who offered little in the way of attacking threat. City may be expecting similar from Burnley, who are struggling to score goals, and take a relentless attacking approach, which usually works out well for the Citizens. David Silva is likely to miss out, but City have received defensive reinforcements with Aymeric Laporte arriving in the week.

Prediction: Manchester City win + O 1.5 goals – It’s never easy to beat Burnley at home, but they are on a bad run of late, while City have scored three in each of their last four games.

Bournemouth v Stoke
Bournemouth Form Guide WDWDW
Stoke Form Guide LLLWD
  • Venue: Vitality Stadium
  • Saturday 03rd February 15:00
  • Referee: Paul Tierney
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/1 D: 12/5 A: 11/4

About the Game:

Callum Wilson has helped turnaround Bournemouth’s season as they reach a season high tenth place in the table. The striker has four goals in his last six matches and will be fancied to score again here. Having just beaten Chelsea, the Cherries are now six games unbeaten and will be high on confidence going into this one.

Stoke couldn’t find a goal to beat Watford last weekend, but a point was enough to mean the Potters sit outside of the relegation zone. Stoke have improved under new manager Lambert, with a win and a draw in their last two games, but they face a team in even finer form here.

Prediction: Bournemouth Draw no bet – Stoke will be difficult to beat but Bournemouth are in fine form at the moment.

Brighton v West Ham
Brighton Form Guide DDLLD
West Ham Form Guide WDWDD
  • Venue: AMEX Stadium
  • Saturday 03rd February 15:00
  • Referee: Roger East
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 6/5 D: 2/1 A: 13/5

About the Game:

Brighton’s win against West Ham back in October sparked a good run of results for them, while sending West Ham on a poor run that resulted in the sacking of their manager. Fast forward to now though and the Seagulls have only won once since that good run, with just one win in their last thirteen games.

The injury list is horrific for West Ham at the moment, but they managed to emerge with a point in a crunch match against Crystal Palace on Tuesday. Michail Antonio should return, which would be a major attacking boost to the Hammers, who, despite their injury problems, are unbeaten in their last six matches.

Prediction: O 1.5 Goals – West Ham especially seem to always find a way to score, while neither team can keep a clean sheet of late.

Leicester v Swansea
Leicester Form Guide LWDWL
Swansea Form Guide WLDWW
  • Venue: King Power Stadium
  • Saturday 03rd February 15:00
  • Referee: Anthony Taylor
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 7/10 D: 13/5 A: 4/1

About the Game:

A defeat to Everton on Wednesday was disappointing for Leicester, who were without Riyad Mahrez after the Frenchman handed in a transfer request. Mahrez is staying put though and will likely return to the squad for this match. Swansea are rejuvenated under a new manager, but Leicester are strong at the King Power this season.

Swansea’s turn around under new manager Carlos Carvalhal seems to be a permanent thing as they added to their win against Liverpool with a win against Arsenal on Tuesday. The Swans lifted themselves off from the bottom of the table, but they still sit in the relegation zone. Nevertheless it’s a positive move for the Swans who can only be boosted by it. Carvalhal knows how much hardwork is still left to do, so don’t count the Swans out here once again.

Prediction: Leicester Draw no bet – Swansea will be tough to beat, but Leicester should be in the driving seat for this one.

Manchester United v Huddersfield
Man U Form Guide DWWWL
Huddersfield Form Guide DLLLL
  • Venue: Old Trafford
  • Saturday 03rd February 15:00
  • Referee: Stuart Attwell
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/7 D: 13/2 A: 16/1

About the Game:

It all went wrong from the get go on Wednesday for Untied, who found themselves behind after less than 30 seconds, before an own goal from Phil Jones saw the deficit doubled. The Red Devils were previously unbeaten in 2018 and they should get right back on track here, after stern words from their manager.

Huddersfield were poor against Liverpool on Tuesday, looking devoid of any spark or creativity. As we approach a vital point in the season the Terriers are on a very poor run, with four straight defeats in a row. With some teams below them starting to hit form and pick up points, things aren’t looking good for Wagner’s men. Few will expect them to get anything here.

Prediction: Manchester United Half time/Full time – It just wouldn’t happen for United in their last game, but expect them to get straight back to business against a team that are really struggling.

West Brom v Southampton
West Brom Form Guide DLWDL
Southampton Form Guide DLDDD
  • Venue: The Hawthorns
  • Saturday 03rd February 15:00
  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 7/5 D: 11/5 A: 2/1

About the Game:

West Brom didn’t really give it much of a go against City on Wednesday, which was a shame as the Baggies had managed to see off Liverpool in the cup in the previous game. The Baggies are currently rock bottom of the table, a full three points away from the two teams above them. One of those teams is today’s opponents Southampton, meaning this is a must win game for both teams.

Southampton’s draw against Brighton was their third in a row, meaning the Saints have at least stemmed the tide of defeats. However, they’ve won just four times in the league this year and their position is precarious. Defeat will see West Brom equal them on points and make the Saint’s league position even more dangerous.

Prediction: U 2.5 goals – Neither team can afford to lose this, so they must be cautious in attack. We can see the teams cancelling each out, or a narrow victory for one.

Arsenal v Everton
Arsenal Form Guide DDLWL
Everton Form Guide LLLDW
  • Venue: The Emirates
  • Saturday 03rd February 17:30
  • Referee: Neil Swarbrick
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 2/7 D: 9/2 A: 9/1

About the Game:

Arsenal’s fans have voiced their frustration once again after a loss to bottom of the table Swansea on Tuesday. In a week that Arsenal have just signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, things look as bleak as ever for the Gunners, who are now a long way from the Champions League spots.

Everton fans got a long overdue victory on Wednesday against Leicester. New signing Theo Walcott scored both the goals and it would be a cruel irony for Arsenal should Walcott score against his own team here, especially in a week in which Wenger has made a number of high-profile new signings.

Prediction: Both teams to score – Both teams are sloppy at the back of late, while being much more clinical at the other end of the field.

Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Crystal Palace Form Guide DWWLD
Newcastle Form Guide DWDLD
  • Venue: Selhurt Park
  • Sunday 04th February 14:15
  • Referee: Andre Marriner
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/1 D: 11/5 A: 12/5

About the Game:

Crystal Palace started well against West Ham on Tuesday going a goal up, before an injury to Bakary Sako changed the dynamic of the game. The injuries are starting to add up for Palace and after this match the fixtures start to turn sour, meaning a win here, if Hodgson’s men can manage it, would be extremely valuable.

Newcastle couldn’t hang onto the three points against Burnley on Wednesday, but the Magpies were unlucky. They’ve lost two of the last seven games, but both of those were against Manchester City, suggesting that Newcastle may be able to pick up points against lesser opposition. The fixture list is daunting over the short term though, so points here against another team in the bottom half of the table would be huge.

Prediction: BTTS yes – Palace have been ruthless in attack while Newcastle are improving. The Magpies can leapfrog Palace with a win here, so we expect goals.

Watford v Chelsea
Watford Form Guide LLDLD
Chelsea Form Guide WDDWL
  • Venue: Vicarage Road
  • Monday 05th February 20:00
  • Referee: Craig Pawson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 19/4 D: 3/1 A: 4/7

About the Game:

A clean sheet for Watford was their first since the end of November, suggesting that finally some defensive improvements are underway. They face tough opposition here, but Javi Gracia seems to have stabilised the Hornets somewhat. After Chelsea’s shock defeat to Bournemouth, could Watford pull off another heist?

Chelsea fell to fourth after a painful defeat to Bournemouth on Wednesday. The Blues have signed Olivier Giroud as attacking reinforcements and the Frenchmen appears needed, as Chelsea are a little one dimensional in attack. The Blues have bounced back after surprise defeats twice already this season, so the question is, can they do it a third time?

Prediction: U 1.5 First half goals – Watford have steadied the ship and nerves may set in at Chelsea. We expect the Blues to bounce back and put in a much better performance, but a goal fest doesn’t seem on the cards.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
Burnley v Manchester City Man City O 1.5 team goals 2/5 1.4
Bournemouth v Stoke Bournemouth Draw no bet 4/9 2.02
Manchester United v Huddersfield Manchester United HT/FT 8/15 3.1
Liverpool v Tottenham BTTS 8/15 4.75
Watford v Chelsea U 1.5 FH Goals 4/9 6.86

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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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