Manchester City maintained their 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League. In the last round, they kept Manchester United and Chelsea at arm’s length with their 3-1 win over Newcastle. Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick earned Pep Guardiola’s side an 11th straight home league win. While a second-half strike from Anthony Martial was enough to give United a 1-0 victory at Burnley. Read on for a further recap of last week’s games and Premier League Tips for the midweek games.
Chelsea raced into an early two-goal lead at Brighton before cruising to a 4-0 success. This keeps the defending champions in third place, three points behind United. Liverpool lost ground as their 17-match unbeaten run came to an end with a shock defeat at Swansea. While Tottenham also dropped points as they were held by Southampton. Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace means they are now five points adrift of the Champions League places.
At the foot of the table, Swansea have drawn level with West Brom. Stoke’s victory over Huddersfield in Paul Lambert’s first match in charge means Southampton now find themselves in the bottom three, as their draw with Spurs extended their winless run to 12 league games. Brighton and Newcastle are now both a single point above the relegation places. Huddersfield is a further point clear as last season’s three promoted clubs all begin to feel the pace of the Premier League.
The 25th round of matches is split over two nights. Wednesday’s clash between Tottenham and Manchester United at Wembley is the undoubted highlight. Leaders City host West Brom on the same night, while Arsenal and Liverpool will be well-backed to earn away victories on Tuesday as they visit Swansea and Huddersfield respectively. New Watford manager Javi Gracia takes charge of his first league game as the Hornets go to Stoke.
Premier League Tips – Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool
Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Manchester City was full of promise. But the club’s last two matches have reminded supporters that Jurgen Klopp’s team retain some of their old frailties. In the subsequent 1-0 defeat at Swansea, Liverpool were unable to break down a packed defence, while their own backline was shambolic in Saturday’s 3-2 FA Cup defeat to West Brom, who scored more than twice in an away game for only the second time in 84 matches in all competitions. The other occasion was at Accrington Stanley in the Carabao Cup.
Nevertheless, Liverpool should be backed to regain their focus when they visit Huddersfield on Tuesday, where they will be facing a team who are finding the going increasingly tough in the top flight. A run of six league games without a win has left Huddersfield just two points above the drop zone, while they have lost the last three by margins of three, three and two goals.
David Wagner’s side will approach this game in much the same way as Swansea a week ago, but Liverpool are the division’s top away scorers for a reason and their multi-talented strikeforce should not be expected to draw another blank here.
Premier League Tips – Tottenham vs Manchester United
The main focus on Wednesday night will be on Alexis Sanchez and his potential Premier League debut for Manchester United against Tottenham at Wembley. But the key strength of Jose Mourinho’s side since the turn of the year has been their defence.
United will be well aware of the dangers posed by Tottenham’s 30-goal striker Harry Kane. But after keeping clean sheets in each of their last six matches in all competitions they will be confident of keeping things tight. Four of United’s last six matches have been goalless at half time. It would be no great surprise to see the same scoreline after 45 minutes of this game.
Premier League Tips – Newcastle United vs Burnley
Burnley have lost their way a little over the winter, dropping to eighth place in the Premier League after a run of six games without a win. But they will pose a real threat to struggling Newcastle at St James’ Park on Wednesday. The Clarets have lost their last four games in all competitions. But three of those were against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United. The focus should be on their overall performances away from home rather than their more recent form.
Burnley won only seven points on their travels last season, but have collected 17 from 12 games this term, losing only three times and conceding just 12 goals, having already visited each of the current top five. Despite that poor run of results, they remain defensively strong, conceding only five goals in seven games on the road since losing 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium in October.
Only Swansea and Burnley themselves have scored fewer goals at home than Newcastle, who have taken only two points from their last seven home league games and haven’t won in front of their own supporters since beating Crystal Palace 1-0 in October. Since taking nine points from their opening five games, last season’s Championship winners have gathered just 14 from 19 matches and have been slowly sinking into a relegation scrap. They now sit just one point above the bottom three.
Premier League Tips – Stoke vs Watford
Several of Watford’s players were involved in angry confrontations with supporters following their poor performance in their 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Southampton. It was their ninth loss in 13 games in all competitions.
Thanks to their bright start to the season the Hornets remain in the top half of the table. But the reality is that they are just four points above the relegation places. 17th placed Stoke can move level with them on points by beating them at the Bet365 Stadium on Wednesday night.
Paul Lambert got an immediate response from his players in his first match in charge. It ended in a 2-0 win over Huddersfield. With games against Bournemouth, Brighton and Southampton on the horizon, the Potters have the opportunity to drag themselves out of trouble. Stoke have won more home games than any other side in the bottom half of the table. They look a good bet to gain another.
Premier League Tips: Recommended Bets
|Huddersfield vs. Liverpool||HT/FT Liverpool/Liverpool||2.05*|
|Tottenham vs. Man Utd||HT 0-0||2.87*|
|Newcastle vs. Burnley||Burnley win||4.0*|
|Stoke vs. Watford||Stoke win||2.3*|
*Odds at publication. Subject to change.