By Neil Leverett

  • The Britwatch Football Team give their preview and predictions for the weekend action
  • 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’s the North London Derby in Matchweek 27 as the highlight of the weekend. Will Harry Kane or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have their say at Wembley? As usual our writers have had their say on what will happen.

 

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Matchweek 27

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (Saturday, 12:30)

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Neil: Matchweek 27 kicks off with a hotly-anticipated North London Derby at Wembley Stadium. After Tottenham Hotspur grabbed a controversial point against Liverpool last Sunday, the big games keep coming for Spurs, as an Arsenal side with a renewed purpose in attack arrive at their rivals’ temporary North London home, but at which the Gunners have an excellent recent record in cup competition. Both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan shone on their debuts under Arsene Wenger, but Aaron Ramsey also threatened to steal the headlines with his first ever hat-trick for Arsenal.

Harry Kane loves playing Saturday’s visitors and one can almost bank on a goal from one of Europe’s hottest marksmen, but there is an awful lot of attacking talent on show here. The return of Toby Alderweireld to partner Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez in defence may well be key here, but with it likely to be a tale of attack rather than defence once more, I just favour the high-scoring draw.

Prediction: Spurs 2-2 Arsenal  

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Niall: Tottenham’s nightmare run of fixtures continues as they host neighbours Arsenal to kick off Matchweek 27. Spurs fans can be happy they have taken four points from their last two games, but defeat against Arsenal will undo their good work. The Gunners looked much better in their 5-1 thrashing of Everton last week, but their issues have come away from home. Tottenham are in good form and are knocking on the door of a top four place, so I think they will beat their rivals here to continue their good spell.

Prediction: Spurs 3-2 Arsenal

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Everton vs. Crystal Palace (Saturday, 15:00)

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Neil: Everton were soundly thrashed at the Emirates last Saturday, with notions of a possible relegation scrap once again having reared their ugly head. For Palace, a wasteful showing against a struggling Newcastle side was aided by Luka Milivojevic who rescued a point for the Eagles via the penalty spot. The loss of Wilfried Zaha is going to be a big loss for the visitors over the next month – despite his profligacies – which might tell this weekend. I do however, feel a share of the spoils is on the cards here.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Palace

 

Niall: The Toffees were left embarrassed by Arsenal last weekend as their poor run of form continued. Sam Allardyce needs a win and a quickly when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Eagles have settled into a solid side that are difficult to beat, but they have failed to win in their last three. That makes a draw likely for this one.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Palace

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Stoke City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (Saturday, 15:00)

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Neil: Stoke showed that just when you might think the Potters are getting their act together, they fall apart. Leading at the Vitality Stadium last time out, the hosts lost to a Bournemouth side who themselves are now unbeaten in seven league games. Brighton picked up a vital three points against West Ham United as their core players once again ticked. Glenn Murray is now two off double figures in the top-flight for first time and if the veteran gets on the score sheet here, the Seagulls might be looking at back-to-back wins. In reality alas for them, I think Stoke will take the win.

Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Brighton

Niall: Stoke suffered their first defeat under Paul Lambert away at Bournemouth last weekend, a result that has left them languishing in the bottom three. The Potters will be glad to be back in front of their home fans when they welcome poor-traveling Brighton to the Bet 365 stadium. The Potters should expect a win here, and I think they well get it.

Prediction: Stoke 1-0 Brighton

 

Swansea City vs. Burnley (Saturday, 15:00)

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Neil: The Swans continued their upward momentum against Leicester last weekend, and as they return to Wales to entertain a shot-shy and goal-shy Burnley on the road, the hosts might be eyeing taking their tally to ten from a possible 12 points at the Liberty Stadium this weekend. The Clarets, having held Manchester City at Turf Moor, know their away form leaves a lot to be desired with the knowledge however, that earlier this season were formidable opponents. The Welsh side are looking a now competent outfit across the park, and with Andre Ayew set to make his debut on his return to Swansea, I foresee the hosts winning comfortably.

Prediction: Swansea 2-0 Burnley

 

Niall: Swansea have turned their fortunes around in recent weeks, and they will come into this match high on confidence after thrashing Notts County 8-1 in mid-week. Burnley did well to hold Man City last weekend and are still a tough side to figure out despite their form dropping off since the turn of the year. It could go either way, but I think a draw may be on the cards.

Prediction: Swansea 1-1 Burnley

 

West Ham United vs. Watford (Saturday, 15:00)

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Neil: The one bright side to the absence of a number of key players for West Ham, has been the return to form of Javier Hernandez. The out-of-favour Mexican netted his second league goal in as many games against Brighton and should lead the line ahead of Joao Mario and Michail Antonio this weekend. The Hornets stunning 4-1 demolition job of Chelsea was spear-headed by Gerard Deulofeu, with the on-loan Barcelona winger having stated that he has unfinished business in the Premier League. It’s hard to say for sure what we might see from Javi Gracia’s men here, but with the hosts’ defensive frailties, I can see Watford nicking this.

Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Watford

 

Niall: After a terrible period for Watford, the Hornets got back to winning ways in some style by thrashing Chelsea 4-1 on Monday. They looked more like the side that flew high up the table early in the season and with their confidence will be high after that win. West Ham have only won one in their last five, but the majority of them have been draws. This could end up being another one.

Prediction: West Ham 2-2 Watford

 

Manchester City vs. Leicester City (Saturday, 17:30)

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Neil: Manchester City took their foot off the gas against Burnley last weekend, showing Pep Guardiola’s men are still capable of dropping points – though if Raheem Sterling had taken his gilt-edged chance the result may have been different. The Citizens have recorded just one clean sheet in five games, and with the Foxes set to test the hosts’ back line to a greater extent in this encounter, that may become six. I do see the visitors finding the net here – possibly via Jamie Vardy – but I also expect Sterling to be burning to show his best in what should be another home win.

Prediction: Man City 3-1 Leicester

 

Niall: The league leaders had a rare occurrence of dropping points last weekend, so we will see how they respond to that draw when they host Leicester at the Etihad Stadium. The Foxes have been  thorn in City’s side the last few seasons with their counter attacking style causing many problems for the Citizens. However, this is a better Manchester City side and whilst Leicester may cause some issues, I see Man City winning this one.

Prediction: Man City 3-1 Leicester

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Huddersfield Town vs. AFC Bournemouth (Sunday, 12:00)

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Neil: The Terriers continue to battle against the relegation tide, now in 19th spot in the league standings and struggling for goals and indeed shots on target. Bournemouth are unbeaten in the league since before Christmas and approach this will little to fear. Callum Wilson came up short last weekend but against a side that have lost their defensive path, the Cherries for me are favourites here but might settle for a another point away from home. And I do think that will come to pass.

Prediction: Huddersfield 1-1 Bournemouth

 

Niall: Huddersfield are a team in desperate need of a win. Losing their last five games means that the Terriers are the worst form team in the league and now sit second from bottom. The good news is they are at home in a winnable game against Bournemouth. The bad news is that the Cherries are in decent form and have risen to the top ten. Town are better at home but their lack of goals is a problem that could cost them a win here.

Prediction: Huddersfield 1-1 Bournemouth

 

Newcastle United vs. Manchester United (Sunday, 14:15)

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Neil: The second of three Sunday offerings on Matchweek 27, sees Manchester United visit St. James’ Park. Following Alexis Sanchez’s first goal for the Red Devils – albeit from a missed spot kick at Old Trafford – the Magpies might be wary of a hiding here. The hosts however look to have a different dimension to their play with the loan arrival of Kenedy from Chelsea, in particular in the wide areas. Jose Mourinho has let his underachieving players know they are not untouchable – particularly talisman Paul Pogba. Here however, I expect a return to the starting XI for both himself and Phil Jones. I also expect the visitors to be too much to handle for Newcastle.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Man Utd

 

Niall: These two have played out many classic matches over the years, but gone are the days where Newcastle were competing at the top of the table. Rafa Benitez’s side sit a single point from the drop zone and are winless in their last four. That is not a good omen when going in to face Man United, and I believe the Red Devils win here and comfortably.

Prediction: Newcastle 0-2 Man Utd

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Southampton vs. Liverpool (Sunday, 16:30)

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Neil: After taking four points from their last two games, Southampton might approach this game with a little more vim than in previous weeks but that mettle will be tested as Liverpool come to town. For the hosts, James Ward-Prowse is enjoying some of his best form as not only a creative source for the Saints, but a goal-scorer to boot. The task here for the south coast side will be to keep Mohamed Salah quiet, as the Egyptian shows no sign of letting up in front of goal. Even if they do that there is still no guarantee of success and as Virgil van Dijk makes his first return after a January move, I anticipate a frosty reception at St. Marys’. The Dutchman may have the last laugh however, with the Reds likely to take the win.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Liverpool

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Niall: Many Liverpool fans felt aggrieved by the result against Tottenham last week, so it will be interesting to see how they respond against Southampton. The Saints are unbeaten in four and their form has taken them out of the bottom three. They still sit dangerously close to the relegation zone so they can not afford a defeat. That will be decided on which Liverpool show up, and with Salah still in goal-scoring form, I think the Reds get it done on this occasion.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Liverpool

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Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion (Monday, 20:00)

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Neil: Matchweek 27 rounds off at Stamford Bridge, with Blues boss Antonio Conte, desperate to see his side fightback after a Hertfordshire humbling last time out. Whenever Chelsea come under pressure off the field, the players have tended to respond on the field with a much-improved showing and against the Baggies I do expect that to happen. If West Brom do end up losing in West London, they could become cut adrift at the foot of the table depending on other results. As they eye a revenge mission in the FA Cup Fifth round next Saturday, they might take a loss in that one however, if a win was to emerge here. That however, seems far-fetched.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 West Brom

 

Niall: Conte remains at the helm at Chelsea for now after escaping the sack following their 4-1 loss to Watford. The Blues need a big response, so they should count themselves lucky they are facing West Brom who sit bottom of the table. Surely Chelsea are not that bad at the moment to lose this one too?

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 West Brom

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Premier League Matchweek 27 takes place this weekend between the 10th and 12th of February

 

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