By Neil Leverett
- The Britwatch Football Team give their preview and predictions for the eleventh weekend of the season
- Follow their progress throughout the season and see which writer takes up the Premier League Prediction cup
- Correct result gets one point, correct result and score gets three points.
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – It is a Super-Sunday this weekend as Match-Week 11 of the Premier League season approaches, and as usual our writers have had their say on what will happen.
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Stoke City vs Leicester City (Saturday, 12:30)
Niall: The weekend kicks off with an interesting match at the Bet 365 stadium as Stoke City host Leicester City.
The Foxes have found a nice bit of form recently, winning their last three matches after a poor start to the season. They looked like the title winning Leicester in their first game under Claude Puel and will be keen to keep that form going against Stoke.
The Potters’ confidence will have risen after an impressive win against Watford last week. Stoke have had a difficult start to the season themselves and that win would have come as a relief.
It is a difficult match to call, but Leicester look slightly rejuvenated lately, and given their extra bit of quality going forward, I think the Foxes will edge it.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Leicester
Neil: The final round of fixtures before the international break kicks off at the Bet365. Stoke City stemmed the flow of dropped points with a hard-fought win at Watford, which saw a return to their formidable defensive selves, thanks in no small part to Ryan Shawcross.
Puel made a winning start as Foxes steward with a dominant first-half display versus Everton enough to hold off the Toffees in the second period. Puel knows how to set up a side to win, but also shut the opposition out. This is a tough one to call and I am going for a share of the spoils.
Prediction: Stoke 1-1 Leicester
Huddersfield Town vs West Brom (Saturday, 15:00)
Niall: This game does not scream goals as neither are known for their ability to score goals, but it is an interesting game that could go either way.
Huddersfield were brought back down to earth after their win against Manchester United as Liverpool easily beat them 3-0 at Anfield. Despite that, Huddersfield will be confident in getting a result against a struggling West Brom side who sit 16th in the table.
Things have not gone well for the Baggies with their usually tight defence leaking in a few too many goals. I think it will hold up better in this game, but I foresee a rather uninspiring draw playing out.
Prediction: Huddersfield 0-0 West Brom
Neil: Huddersfield host West Brom looking to repeat their famous win over Manchester United a fortnight ago. Goals are still an issue on the road for David Wagner’s men, with their home form now looking a key ingredient in keep the Terriers away from the drop zone.
The Baggies have lost their last two outings, with a trip to Yorkshire a chance to record their first win since August. This is looking like a watershed moment in the season for both sides, but I can see the hosts just edging it with Tony Pulis’ side in a poor run of form.
Prediction: Huddersfield 2-1 West Brom
Newcastle vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 15:00)
Niall: Bournemouth’s poor start to the campaign sees them sat second from bottom after 10 games, but there seems to be little panic amongst their ranks.
Newcastle in contrast and sitting pretty in the top half of the table and look like they can have a good season under Rafa Benitez. Their extra bit of confidence, combined with the home factor means I am picking Newcastle to get the win
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Bournemouth
Neil: Whilst their away from is something of a sore point for Newcastle to reflect upon, a trip to St. James’ Park is something to be approached with trepidation. Benitez’s men are unbeaten at home since the opening day of the season having conceded just once.
Bournemouth are showing no signs of stability as of yet, with a loss to Chelsea on the back of an away win at Stoke. Callum Wilson’s return to the fold after an extended absence is a huge boost to Eddie Howe’s men, but there is a distinct lack of service to the front men to date. After a Monday night loss to Burnley, The Magpies should have enough to win this one.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-0 Bournemouth
Southampton vs Burnley (Saturday, 15:00)
Niall: This is another game where goals will likely be at a premium. Southampton welcome Burnley to St. Mary’s in need of three points.
The Clarets have had a very successful start to the season. They sit in seventh after 10 games, and that is largely down to their away form. Burnley are a side usually known for being so difficult to beat at home, but this season it has somewhat turned on its head.
Southampton have slowly climbed to the top 10 despite failing to really impress this season. They have lacked attacking prowess through most of the season, but I think they will grab a goal against Burnley. The question is though, can they keep the Clarets out?
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Burnley
Neil: The Saints are unbeaten in three coming into this one, but Mauricio Pellegrino’s men are yet to fully throw the shackles of defence. In previous weeks, goals had given way to clean sheets, but with neither coming to fruition for the moment, the time might have to come for a change of ethos.
Burnley are notoriously difficult to crack as the visiting side. Their loss to Manchester City was nothing less than expected, but it should not detract from their record on the road this season. After a home win, Sean Dyche – who continues to be linked with the Everton job – will look to get the ball rolling on another away tally. Which I foresee happening with a point.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Burnley
Swansea vs Brighton (Saturday, 15:00)
Niall: Swansea host Brighton in need of three points as they only sit outside the bottom three due to goal difference.
Brighton have adjusted to Premier League life well, but they themselves only sit four points above Swansea, and a loss here may drag them into an unwanted relegation battle. This could be a big game come the end of the season.
Swansea may sit 17th, but it feels they have not performed that badly. They lead against Arsenal last week, and against a Brighton side who struggle away from the AMEX, I think the Welsh side will get it done.
Prediction: Swansea 2-0 Brighton
Neil: The Swans have just one win from their last eight outings, with a home clash to Brighton looking like another vital game come May. The hosts at 1-0 up to Arsenal last week, spurned a gilt-edged chance through Jordan Ayew and having gone on to lose at the Emirates, that result could have gone very differently.
Brighton continue their steady progress in the top-flight. Glenn Murray now has three goals in two games and is set to keep Tomer Hemed on the bench once more in South Wales. Pascal Gross is continuing to be a huge source of creativity for Chris Hughton’s men and vital to their hopes of picking up points. The hosts will be desperate not to lose here, and as such I am tipping a share of the points.
Prediction: Swansea 1-1 Brighton
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West Ham vs Liverpool (Saturday, 17:30)
Niall: Is this the last game in charge of West Ham United for Slaven Bilic? It feels like a must win for the Croatian after his side let a two goal lead slip against Crystal Palace, and against Liverpool anything is possible.
If I have learned anything from predicting football, it is do not trust Liverpool. For all their talent, they are inconsistent against sides exactly like West Ham. Defensively they have issues, and if they can not break you down then the Reds often find themselves in big trouble.
It mainly comes down to how the players respond to the pressure their manager is under. Can they perform for Bilic? If so I believe they will get something out of this game.
Prediction: West Ham 2-2 Liverpool
Neil: West Ham threw away a point to fellow basement-dwellers Crystal Palace last weekend, and it is likely boss Bilic will have read Michail Antonio the riot act after his error caused the loss of two points at Selhurst Park. Javier Hernandez scored his fourth goal of the season last time out and ahead of the visit of a leaky Liverpool defence, will be eyeing further chances to add to his tally.
As ever this season, goals are not an issue for the Reds. Mohamed Salah has now scored 10 goals this campaign across the board, and having missed a penalty last time out, the Egyptian will be keen to make amends in East London. I see neither able to keep one another out and in what should be a riveting encounter, I think Jurgen Klopp’s men will nick the points to pile pressure on Bilic.
Prediction: West Ham 2-3 Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace (Sunday, 12:00)
Niall: In a way you have to feel sorry for Crystal Palace. When it looked like they were getting at least a little bit of confidence back, they have to travel to face a Spurs side buoyant after beating Real Madrid in midweek.
Real Madrid may have been struggling lately, but it takes nothing away from Spurs and the way Mauricio Pochettino set up his side. Tottenham were excellent and will be really confident heading into this match.
This is not a difficult one to predict because I feel Tottenham will win, it Is just a matter of how much they will win by. Palace will set up to defend so Spurs may not hit really high numbers, but it will likely be a thrashing none the less.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-0 Crystal Palace
Neil: In the first of four Sunday games to round off the weekend, Spurs host Crystal Palace in a London derby. Despite all that has been said, the hosts’ victory against Real Madrid in Europe was a tad flattering. Pochettino’s men have the chance nonetheless, to keep the ball rolling against the Eagles with Harry Kane having returned to fitness.
Roy Hodgson’s men have taken four points from a possible nine now, but a trip to Wembley is unlikely to greeted warmly in North London. The visitors are lacking a target man up front and are still shipping goals aplenty. With Kane having not registered against Los Blancos, the Englishman may be saving his efforts for this one. It could be a long lunchtime for Palace.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-0 Crystal Palace
Manchester City vs Arsenal (Sunday, 14:15)
City are arguably Europe’s best team on current form. They have been in blistering goal-scoring form all season and have set the bar at the top of the Premier League. Do Arsenal have enough to stop them?
The Gunners are capable of big performances, that should not be forgotten. In their past five meetings, they have drawn three times over 90 minutes, and shared one victory each. In fact, Arsene Wenger’s side have proved tricky opposition for the Citizens over the past few years.
But this City side looks rather special at the moment, and Arsenal do not seem like a good enough side defensively to stop them from scoring a few goals. I think it will be a good game and may be tighter than many think, but City will come out on top again.
Prediction: Man City 3-2 Arsenal
Neil: In the first of two titanic clashes, league leaders Manchester host Arsenal, with goals on the menu. After a hugely impressive win in Naples versus the previously unbeaten Napoli, Kun Aguero is now the Citizens’ record goal scorer. He is far from their only threat in attack however and Leroy Sane in particularly will be looking to net for the fourth-successive league game.
Arsenal still look rattled and lack inspiration from their wantaway stars. The Gunners still have plenty in their Arsenal in attack but the absence of Shkodran Mustafi has forced Per Mertesacker back into action. That possibility against the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Sane and Aguero could make for viewing from behind the sofa. Goals are guaranteed here, it is just a question of how many and to who. As it is, I foresee a heavy loss for the visitors.
Prediction: Man City 4-2 Arsenal
Chelsea vs Manchester United (Sunday, 16:00)
This fixture last season was a whitewash for the Blues. It was an excellent 4-0 win in that long streak of victories that propelled Antonio Conte’s side to the title last season. But this year it feels like times have changed a little.
Chelsea are struggling for form, and they were well beaten by Roma in mid-week. United are not in the same blistering form they were at the start of the season, but they put in a very good performance to stifle Spurs last weekend.
They can do the same against Chelsea on Sunday, and I think they will. Do not expect a ton of goals in this match, because it will likely be a cagey tactical affair. Both managers are known for more defensive set ups, and I think we will end up with a chess match that finishes in a stalemate.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Man United
Neil: In Sunday’s other marquee clash, Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge. The Blues come into the game having been taken apart 3-0 in Rome in midweek on Conte’s return to Italy. The hosts won comfortably at Bournemouth last weekend but the visit of the Red Devils represents a hugely unpredictable for the hosts.
Having already gone to Anfield and parked the bus, and with Jose Mourinho not wanting a loss at his former club also, this game could again be a frustrating affair for players and fans alike in contrast to the game at the Etihad. With striker Romelu Lukaku having gone six games without a goal, this looks has stalemate written all over it. You can never be sure in such meetings, but I do fancy a goal for both sides.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Man United
Everton vs Watford (Sunday, 16:30)
Niall: Sunday’s last match sees a really out of sorts Everton welcoming a Watford side on a two match losing streak to Goodison Park. It is a must win game for both sides.
The Toffees were hit with more misery in mid-week. Not only are they 18th in the Premier League, they are also out of the Europa League after being soundly beaten by Lyon in mid-week. They are manager-less, direction-less and frankly a shambles. Something needs to change or they could find themselves in a relegation scrap.
Watford made a great start to the season, but recent weeks have not gone their way. Marco Silva has done an good job with Watford so far, but his side need to tighten up at the back to progress any further.
Everton are so low at the moment, that I think this is a perfect match for Watford to get back to winning ways.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Watford
Neil: The final game before the international hiatus sees Everton host Watford. Caretaker boss David Unsworth has not done his chances of being given the permanent post at Goodison Park the world of good, having overseen three consecutive losses in the league and in Europe, scoring just once. There are issues at both ends of the field for the Toffees who now sit in the bottom three.
Watford travel to Merseyside having lost their unbeaten away record at Chelsea. After a home loss to Stoke last weekend also, boss Silva is experiencing his first sticky spell in charge of the Hornets. The hosts need to turn their form around and quick, but with their defensive issues, I can only see one outcome here, in a win for Watford.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Watford
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