Predictions

Hot PL Saturday 4th February

This weekend is massive for every club at top, middle and bottom in terms of how the league table might unfold come May.

 

Chelsea vs Arsenal

 

The title race doesn’t get more important than this as Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge.

 

The reverse leg at the Emirates kick started the Blues’ title charge as they were battered 3-0 by a strong Arsenal side and made a switch to three at back during that match. Now that they are nine points clear, a win here and the title will be theirs to lose.

 

Arsene Wenger will be hoping for a better performance here after Tuesday’s shock defeat at home to Watford. They were all over the place in midweek so will need to tighten up at the back or they will receive a even more hurtful defeat than that dished out by the Hornets.

 

Antonio Conte has lost just one of his home matches in charge of Chelsea so it will be a tough place to go. Given how his side are performing, a draw here will leave them best placed to on go and win the league.

 

Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal

Result: Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal

 

Crystal Palace vs Sunderland

 

With Sam Allardyce now in charge of Crystal Palace, this match will be significant in the relegation battle.

 

Palace will be favourites after a 2-0 win at Bournemouth in mid week but their home record is abysmal. Allardyce will need to hope that the new formation tested on Tuesday night can hold up at Selhurst Park or a gap could open up between them and those above.

 

Sunderland are still dealing with an injury crisis but still held Tottenham to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday night. David Moyes will need to ensure that his side play on the counter if they are to do a smash and grab or survival will surely be another miracle.

 

Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-1 Sunderland

Result: Crystal Palace 0-4 Sunderland

 

Everton vs Bournemouth

 

This match should be competitive because Eddie Howe will be wanting a strong performance after a poor run of results. Everton are however on a strong run and will look to close the gap to Manchester United as they chase an Europa League spot.

 

The Toffees have a strong home record this season so expect them to be favourites but Bournemouth have a habit of causing issues for sides on good runs.

 

Prediction: Everton 1-2 Bournemouth

Result: Everton 6-3 Bournemouth

 

Hull vs Liverpool

 

Marco Silva will be hoping to cause problems for another major team as Jurgen Klopp hope that his Liverpool side can kick off their February in style with victory.

 

Hull will have to defend deep if they want to at least claim another point after their draw at Manchester United on Wednesday night. Liverpool will be a different beast unlike January now that Saido Mane is back. The Tigers have beaten Liverpool in their last two meetings at the KCOM Stadium so will be a tough team for the Reds to see off.

 

Prediction: Hull 1-0 Liverpool

Result: Hull 2-0 Liverpool

 

Southampton vs West Ham

 

Southampton will be hoping that Marco Gabbiadini can make an impact at St Marys as they look to turn around their weak home record in the league. West Ham will however look to pick themselves up after a shambolic performance at home to Manchester City in midweek.

 

This match should be tight because both sides have underperformed all season. The Saints are not scoring enough goal at home but the Hammers’ away form has picked up recently and will be keen to push on for a top ten finish.

 

Prediction: Southampton 0-1 West Ham

Result: Southampton 1-3 West Ham

 

Watford vs Burnley

 

Watford will be looking to get back to their best after a shock victory over Arsenal in midweek. Burnley will look like easy opposition to see off given their awful away record this season.

 

Walter Mazzarri will be looking to push on and avoid getting dragged further into a relegation battle. The shock sale of Odion Ighalo will take some getting used to but the Hornets will need to dig deep to see off an ever improving Burnley side, who nearly got a point at Arsenal in their last away outing.

 

Sean Dyche will view this as a match in which the Clarets can get their first away victory in the league this season. With the club comfortable in tenth place, they will be looking to consolidate that position and enjoy a proper cup run for the rest of this season. Andre Gray and Sam Vokes are currently in form up front and will be tough to keep out.

 

Prediction: Watford 1-2 Burnley

Result: Watford 2-1 Burnley

 

West Brom vs Stoke

 

Saido Berahino will be relishing a return to the Hawthorns with a strong Stoke team. They however face a Tony Pulis side, who are looking to chase seventh position and a potential Europa League spot if cup results opens up that position for European entry.

 

Both sides played out battling 1-1 draws in midweek and will be looking to push on and get the win. Peter Crouch will be a real threat after rediscovering his golden touch in recent weeks and the Baggies will need to be wary of him in the box.

 

West Brom is however difficult to beat at home and will be confident of seeing off the Potters, given their improved quality across the pitch. Stoke can be inconsistent on occasions and can see them just falling here.

 

Prediction: West Brom 2-1 Stoke

Result: West Brom 1-0 Stoke

 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Middlesbrough

 

Spurs will be confident of getting the three points but Aitor Karanka has made Middlesbrough tough to play away at the big boys. Both sides drew their last matches so expect a initially tight but competitive match.

 

Mauricio Pochettino will be disappointed by the draw at Sunderland on Tuesday but can’t afford for Boro to derail his side’s title challenge. If he decides to rotate again then Tottenham will need to be stronger than last weekend’s home tie against Wycombe Wanderers in FA Cup.

 

Another performance like that and the visitors won’t be as easy to see off from behind than the Chairboys were. Middlesbrough will relish being underdogs in this match and will cause problems but expect a tight first half before things open up in the second half.

 

If Karanka can get them playing as dominant as they were against West Brom in midweek then they could sneak this tie.

 

Prediction: Tottenham 0-1 Middlesbrough

Result: Tottenham 1-0 Middlesbrough

 

 

 

 

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