Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League has been cut to 12 points. They suffered a 4-3 defeat in a thrilling contest at Anfield last Sunday. Liverpool hassled and harried Pep Guardiola’s side like no other team before them. They thoroughly deserved to inflict a first loss of the season on the league leaders. Let’s recap last week’s games and Premier League tips for Matchweek 24.
A routine 3-0 victory over Stoke kept Manchester United in second place. Liverpool is up to third after Chelsea could only manage a goalless draw with Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Tottenham swept aside a meek challenge from Everton at Wembley. Arsenal’s surprise 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth means Spurs now hold a five-point advantage over their North London rivals.
At the foot of the table there was relief for West Brom, who beat Brighton 2-0 to secure their first victory since August. This dragged Chris Hughton’s side further into the relegation scrap in the process. Swansea earned a point from their trip to Newcastle, while Southampton were denied victory at Watford. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s controversial stoppage time goal was the straw that broke the camel’s back. West Ham, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth all eased their relegation fears by picking up three points.
The 24th round of matches begins with Chelsea’s visit to Brighton on Saturday lunchtime. It ends with Liverpool’s trip to Swansea on Monday night. Manchester City are expected to win as they host Newcastle, while United take on Burnley at Turf Moor.
There’s a fascinating relegation scrap at the Bet365 Stadium where Paul Lambert’s first task as Stoke manager will be to take on Huddersfield. West Brom will hope to build on a rare success when they go to Goodison Park. Everton made a promising start under Sam Allardyce but have lost their last four games in all competitions and are without a win in six, including a goalless draw at the Hawthorns.
Premier League Tips – Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Pep Guardiola may have won four successive manager of the month awards, but Crystal Palace fans would be entitled to argue that Roy Hodgson’s achievements at Selhurst Park are even more remarkable than those of the City boss.
With Palace now 12th in the table and five points clear of the relegation zone it’s easy to forget that they were the first team in top flight history to lose their first seven matches without scoring. Hodgson took a little while to stop the rot, losing his first three games, but the Eagles are now flying.
Palace have won four of their last seven league games. They have lost only one of the last 11 and have conceded three goals in their last six away from home. They won comfortably at Leicester in December and were 2-1 winners at Southampton in their last away game.
This could be the perfect time for Hodgson to take his team to Arsenal. Arsenal’s 3-2 win at Selhurst Park is their only success in their last seven games. A masterclass from Alexis Sanchez inspired that victory in late December. But the Chilean will not be involved at the Emirates on Saturday.
Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth left them eight points adrift of the top four. They’re facing the prospect of another season in the Europa League unless they can win that competition this term. With players coming and going – Sanchez will follow Coquelin and Walcott out of the door – the Gunners look unsettled.
Premier League Tips – West Ham v Bournemouth
David Moyes took a little while to make an impact at West Ham, picking up just one point from his first four games. But the 1-0 win over Chelsea and the subsequent goalless draw with Arsenal have restored the confidence to his side.
The Hammers have moved into mid-table after losing only one of their last eight league games. While they have scored 15 goals in their last six. They still have their defensive wobbles, though, and they are without a clean sheet in five league games, a run which includes a 3-3 draw away to Saturday’s opponents Bournemouth.
The Cherries are unbeaten in their last four league games. But the pattern for them too has been scoring and conceding plenty of goals. Their last nine games in all competitions have each produced at least three goals, with four or more scored in five of those. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in 13 games, since a goalless draw at Swansea in late November. The trend for both of these teams is for goals to be scored. That can continue at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Premier League Tips – Swansea v Liverpool
Liverpool’s confidence was up prior to their victory over City and after extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 18 matches they should be backed to make a flying start against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won their last five matches in all competitions and have scored 22 goals in the last seven, while there has been a glut of goals in their recent away fixtures. Since the start of November they have scored 22 goals in seven away games in all competitions, winning five of them and drawing twice.
They are the top away scorers in the Premier League with 29 goals in 11 games, scoring 14 of them in the first half. That’s an unusually high figure and is the best in England’s top four divisions, from three fewer games than most teams in the Football League.
In those last seven away games they have scored at least two goals in the first half of four of them, while they have found the net in the opening period of eight of their last nine Premier League away games. Swansea have the division’s worst home record and Liverpool should be backed to trouble them from the first whistle.
Premier League Tips: Recommended Bets
|Liverpool vs. Man City||Salah to score||2.75*|
|West Ham vs. Bournemouth||Over 3.5 goals||3.4*|
|Swansea vs. Liverpool||2+ 1st half goals||3.6*|
*Odds at publication. Subject to change.