Today might be deadline day but 14 premier league teams will be in action with Liverpool vs Chelsea being potentially decisive in the title race. There are several other games that could be decisive in the top four, midfield and relegation fights.
Arsenal vs Watford
Arsene Wenger will be confident of another comfortable win after Saturday’s mauling of Southampton in the FA Cup. Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck are unlikely to be in the starting eleven but could come off the bench. Granit Xhaka is still serving a suspension.
Watford will be without Costel Pantilimon after picking up a leg injury against Millwall on Sunday. Jose Holebas and Mauro Zarate are both serving bans and will therefore not participate in tonight’s game.
With the Hornets having played on Sunday, Arsenal should ease to another victory and the visitors are without a Premier League win during midweek since 2007.
Prediction: Arsenal 4-0 Watford
Result: Arsenal 1-2 Watford
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
Eddie Howe will have a full squad to choose from after Simon Francis returned from a three game suspension. Winger, Max Gradel is also back early from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Crystal Palace could hand new signing, Patrick van Aanholt his first start along with returnees, Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako. They however are set to be without Jeffery Schlupp after picking up a hamstring injury.
This match should be competitive but Bournemouth had no FA Cup action at the weekend so expect them to come through and collect three valuable points.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Crystal Palace
Result: Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Burnley vs Leicester City
This tie is massive for both clubs because a win for Burnley will push them further toward safety, whereas victory for Leicester will allay any relegation fears.
Sean Dyche has a full squad to choose from despite two players having just returned on Saturday. Scott Arfield and Johan Berg Gudmundsson showed no effect upon their return to first team action but are likely to be rested tonight.
Leicester will be missing Islam Slimani and Leonardo Ulloa to injuries but are set to welcome Riyad Mahrez back into the starting squad.
Leicester will be the favourites but Burnley’s home record is one of the best in the league. Given that the Foxes have struggled away from home this season, the Clarets should be able to end a run of no victory over their visitors in their last ten meetings.
Prediction: Burnley 2-0 Leicester
Result: Burnley 1-0 Leicester
Middlesbrough vs West Bromwich Albion
Aitor Karanka and Tony Pulis’ minds are more towards deadline day signings meaning that this match could well be a quiet affair.
Middlesbrough will be without Calum Chambers George Friend, due to injury but are welcoming Antonio Barragan and Daniel Ayala back into the fold. Midfielder, Gaston Ramirez will not be involved due to being linked with a move to Leicester City.
West Brom will be without Jonny Evans for a fourth match as a result of his calf injury. Jake Livermore is still awaiting his first start but is expected to be amongst the substitutes.
The reverse fixture at the Hawthorns in August was a bore fest and with both managers having their attention elsewhere, a draw wouldn’t come as a surprise but hopefully with a couple of goals.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 1-1 WBA
Result: Middlesbrough 1-1 WBA
Sunderland vs Tottenham Hotspur
This match is Tottenham’s to lose unless Sunderland put in a performance alike to that of Wycombe Wanderers.
David Moyes is busy looking to bring in more signings but will have Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone available after early returns from international duty in Africa. Papy Djilobodji begins his four match ban after accepting a violent conduct charge following the Black Cats’ away defeat to West Brom.
Everton pair, Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo were signed after the eligibility deadline for tonight’s game.
Tottenham welcomes back Toby Alderweireld, Harry Kane and Danny Rose back from injury for the long trip north.
After Saturday’s scrappy FA Cup showing at home to Wycombe Wanderers, Mauricio Pochettino will be determined to see a response from his side because defeat to Sunderland could all but end their relegation hopes. Luckily they are unbeaten in their last thirteen meetings with the Mackems and that should continue tonight.
Prediction: Sunderland 0-2 Tottenham
Result: Sunderland 0-0 Tottenham
Swansea vs Southampton
This match is critical if both clubs are to kick start a run into comfortable midfield safety.
Swansea are set to hand new signing, Luciano Narsingh his first start since joining from PSV. Ki Sung-yueng is set to make his return from injury. Leon Britton and Oliver McBurnie won’t play any part in tonight’s proceedings.
Southampton could welcome back several players after a mass shake up against Arsenal on Saturday. Charlie Austin, Sofiane Boufal, Alex McCarthy, Jeremy Pied, James Ward Prowse and Matt Targett are all in line for a return to action tonight.
The advantage really lies with Swansea after missing out on action at the weekend. They however face a strong Southampton squad, who have won on their last three trips to the Liberty Stadium. Expect the Saints to just edge this game due to the Swan’s poor home record.
Prediction: Swansea 0-1 Southampton
Result: Swansea 2-1 Southampton
Liverpool vs Chelsea
As far as the title battle goes, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. Lose and Liverpool will surely be out of the title hunt. Win and game on.
Jurgen Klopp could have Sadio Mane back after the Reds struggled without him throughout January. Mane has been on international duty but was flown back privately after Senegal crashed out on Saturday night.
Adam Lallana has recovered from a minor injury but Nathaniel Clyne has sustained a rib concern that could keep him out of tonight’s clash.
Chelsea have no players to worry about after resting their big stars at the weekend. Branislav Ivanovic however misses out as he prepare to complete a move to Zenit St Petersburg. Asmir Begovic could be on the bench after the Blues failed to find a replacement keeper.
Liverpool will be looking to do a league double over the league leaders but Chelsea have won their last four league visits to Anfield. This month has been terrible for Liverpool with only no wins on home soil and I don’t see it getting any better.
Prediction: Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea
Result: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea