Matchday Eighteen’s Premier League Preview: Hammers Face Potters As Spurs Face Take On The League Leaders

Premier League Preview

We have barely had time to gather our bearings from the last dosage of midweek Premier League action and another Matchday is upon us, Game Week 18 to you and me and what a weekend it promises to be as the Hammers travel to the Bet 365 Stadium and it’s first against fourth on Super Sunday at The Etihad.

Leicester City vs Crystal Palace (Saturday 12:30 PM)

To kick-off, all the spoils and thrills, Claude Puel’s Fantastic Foxes play host to Roy Hodgson’s Eagles at the King Power Stadium, in Sky Sports’ early live game.

This is a meeting of two teams that are on top form presently, the hosts are fresh from an impressive 1-4 victory at The St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday, whereas, the away side left it late to claim all three points at home to Watford the night before.

But, a glance at the Standings tell a different story, with the two sides enduring very different seasons up to this point, Puel’s men sitting in eighth place and Hodgson’s side struggling down in 19th position.

If the home side look like the clear favourites on paper, it’s worth remembering that the Eagles’ former England Boss has never lost to the Foxes as a Manager, adding a tad of the doubt to the expected outcome.

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-0.

Chelsea vs Southampton (Saturday 3 PM)

In the first of the traditional Saturday afternoon ties, The Blues welcome The Saints to Stamford Bridge as Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pellegrino prepare to do battle.

The West Londoners are fresh from an emphatic away win at the hands of Huddersfield Town in midweek, that followed their disappointing fourth defeat of the campaign, they are currently occupying third place, 14 off Manchester City’s Table-topping pace.

Tomorrow’s visitors are currently in the midst of a frustrating lull in form, one that has rendered them winless in the last four League clashes, losing out most recently to the tune of 1-4 at home to Leicester City. Keeping them 11th.

Whatever happens in the Capital, expect goals, Southampton have not kept a clean sheet against Chelsea since 2002 in the PL, whereas, the hosts have defeated the visitors in each of the last playings of this fixture.

Glanville’s Prediction: 3-1.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Burnley (Saturday 3 PM)

Another of tomorrow’s clashes will see Sean Dyche’s ground-breaking Clarets make the lengthy trip South where they will face off with Chris Hughton’s newly-Promoted Seagulls.

The home side’s impressive start to their first ever Premier League season is fading quickly, having not won since very early November and losing at Wembley to Tottenham Hotspur last time out, they are 13th but only three above the drop zone.

Meanwhile, things couldn’t be more different for Burnley, who have enjoyed their best ever start to a Top-Flight campaign, incredibly sitting on sixth place heading into the festive period, after leaving it late to defeat Stoke City on Tuesday.

The away side are many’s favourites to collect the full three points at the Amex Stadium, however, it’s worth bearing in mind that they have not won in six League games with Brighton, their last victory coming over four years ago, will that all end?

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-1.

Arsenal vs Newcastle United (Saturday 3 PM)

We head to North London for the next little slice of action and an intriguing matchup at the Emirates Stadium, the Magpies travelling to face the Gunners on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger is now under considerable pressure in charge of Arsenal after a goalless draw with West Ham United, they’ve not won in the League in three matches and fallen as far as seventh position, the Clarets remarkably above them, they need a quick response.

The situation gets worse when you look to the North East and the fortunes of Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle, he hasn’t inspired them to any form of win since mid-October, a barren run of seven matches that was extended to eight by Everton a few days ago.

There are danger men that could be the difference for both sides, Olivier Giroud has scored most against the Magpies in the PL with eight, whereas, Dwight Gayle has developed a knack for netting against the bigger teams of late.

Glanville’s Prediction: 4-0.

Watford vs Huddersfield Town (Saturday 3 PM)

All eyes on Hertfordshire next up with Watford entertaining Huddersfield at Vicarage Road in a clash of two sides that have tainted their marvellous starts with sour recent form.

Marco Silva was leading some kind of revolution with the Hornets up until recently, they’ve now lost three of their last four, most recently at Selhurst Park, finishing their last two encounters with ten men on the pitch, having slipped to ninth position.

While things are slightly worse for David Wagner’s and his Terriers, they stunned the world of Football with a terrific opening to their first ever Premier League season, something they have found hard to live up to, Chelsea on Tuesday being their latest defeat.

The hosts have an impressive record against the newly-Promoted outfits, unbeaten in seven but tomorrow’s away side have proved more than once that they can more than pack a punch, making the fixture hard to call.

Glanville’s Prediction: 1-0.

Stoke City vs West Ham United (Saturday 3 PM)

In the final of the 3 PM starts, David Moyes’ Hammers make the Northerly journey up to the Bet 365 Stadium to go toe-to-toe with Mark Hughes and his Potters side.

This one is being dubbed a Relegation six-pointer and it’s not hard to see why at all, with Stoke in 15th with 16 points to their name and West Ham with two fewer points, dangerously occupying 19th position, although level with Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion above.

When you look at recent results, that’s where a distinction arrives, Stoke have been defeated in each of their last two matches, conceding seven goals along the way, whilst the East Londoners have kept two clean sheets in that period, downing Chelsea and drawing with Arsenal.

However, they have not won away at the hands of this opponent since the 2012/2013 campaign when a Jack Collison strike separated the two teams, also, Hughes has never lost to the Irons since taking charge, will that change?

Glanville’s Prediction: 0-0.

Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday 5:30 PM)

BT Sport’s Saturday night live encounter serves as the pick of the weekend’s action by a long stretch, with Spurs travelling to become the latest team to pit their wits against the formidable City.

Pep Guardiola’s men are brimming with confidence having just broken the PL record for most consecutive victories with unimaginable ease, thrashing Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, their lead at the top of the Table stands at a staggering 14 points.

In contrast, the Lilywhites’ inconsistency has been there for everyone to marvel at over the last couple of months, although they will be relieved to have won their last two against Brighton and Stoke, in fourth place, they will need a miracle at the Etihad Stadium.

There is one stat that might suggest they could get it and it’s that Spurs have won more at the Ground than any other PL team with 10 triumphs, but if City reign supreme they will defeat five of “the Big Six” before the New Year, becoming the first do so.

Glanville’s Prediction: 3-0.

West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester United (Sunday 2:15 PM)

An eagerly-awaited Super Sunday begins in the Midlands early afternoon when the might of the Red Devils tries to foil the compactness of the Baggies at the Hawthorns Stadium.

Despite not winning since Matchday Two, Alan Pardew has been able to tighten things up at WBA, something that was displayed in the 0-0 draw at Anfield two days ago, they sit 17th in the Standings.

Exactly a week after their Title hopes took a huge blow at home to the Citizens and having recovered somewhat in midweek to take three points from AFC Bournemouth, United are a full 11 off where they want to be and will be vying to apply the pressure in two days’ time.

Gareth Barry will look to make things happen for his side as he edges closer to another impressive PL record, this time for the most appearances against one club, just two away from Ryan Giggs against Liverpool.

Glanville’s Prediction: 0-2.

AFC Bournemouth vs Liverpool (Sunday 4:30 PM)

That very Reds team will be making a painstaking 524-mile round trip down to the Vitality Stadium in the second Sunday matchup, going up against Eddie Howe’s Cherries.

Bournemouth have endured very mixed fortunes in the first few months of 2017/2018, but have been hovering over 14th on the Table for quite some time now, without a win in five games after losing to Old Trafford.

Jurgen Klopp’s away side have also been left frustrated lately, their last win ironically also coming on the South Coast, besting Brighton, they are coming off two home draws with Everton and West Brom that have left them fifth.

Like others this weekend, there promises to be goals galore in this one, there was only one higher scoring fixture in the whole of the PL last campaign and that was Crystal Palace and Swansea City, will there be yet more goals?

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-1.

Everton vs Swansea City (Monday 8 PM)

The first Sky Sports Monday Night Football in close to a month allows the Blue Boys of Merseyside welcome the pride of Wales to Goodison Park for a desperate encounter.

A mere few weeks ago, Everton were embroiled in a Relegation battle with Monday’s visitors, now they are tenth and have not lost in the month of December under new Boss Sam Allardyce, winning at St James’ Park most recently.

In contrary, Paul Clement’s men were played off the park by Blue Moon on Wednesday, a crushing loss that dropped them to the very foot of the Standings on just 12 points from 17 fixtures, they need a quick turnaround.

Such is the Toffees’ recent upturn that they have collected more points in their last four than the 12 matches before that combined, while Skipper Wayne Rooney has netted the same number of goals as Swansea have as a tram this campaign.

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-0.

So, now that all the excitement for another round of 2017/2028 PL clashes has been well and truly looked forward to, who will be the winners? Who will be the losers? And who will make the headlines? Join us again on Monday to find out.

About the Author

Luke Glanville
Lead Writer and Site Manager of MTJAC, Sub-Editor for the Falbros Media Group.