It’s back. The Premier League makes another fine return after FA Cup and European games have been taking centre stage for the past week or so.
Key battles at either end of the table resume this week and there are some vital games to look forward to. Last time out, Ben Ashton correctly called three correct results with one perfect score in a tricky round of fixtures. This week, Louis East will turn to the mystic orb and guess the scores of all 10 games.
Saturday, February 21st (all kickoffs are 15:00 unless stated otherwise)
Aston Villa vs. Stoke
Villa have lost five on the bounce in the league and are currently sitting in the relegation zone with just 13 games remaining. Tim Sherwood has been brought in and he will hope to turn things around in this one in front of his new supporters. Stoke have been pretty consistent but were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City last time out and lost the reverse fixture at home on the opening day of the season.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Stoke City
Chelsea vs. Burnley
Chelsea may have had a Champions League game against PSG on Tuesday night but that won’t affect them in this one. Burnley are in trouble. They are second from bottom and are without a win in four. Chelsea don’t lose at home and that will see them record a comfortable victory here.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Burnley
Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal
Crystal Palace have been rejuvenated since Alan Pardew took over as manager and will hope they can beat Arsenal for the first time in 21 years this weekend. The Gunners are picking up results but still remain outside the top four. They need a win in this one but it might be too much to ask.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal
Hull City vs. Queens Park Rangers
This is a huge game for both sides. They are both relegation candidates and know that this is a real six-pointer. Hull have improved in their last two and beat Aston Villa last time out. But QPR managed to end their horrendous away streak by picking up their first points on the road with victory over Sunderland in their last game. This could be too tight for either side to win it.
Prediction: Hull 1–1 QPR
Sunderland vs. West Bromwich Albion
Another key clash at the lower end of the table sees Sunderland host West Brom. The Baggies have been good since Tony Pulis took over and come into the game off the back of a huge 4-0 FA Cup win against West Ham. Sunderland have been poor all season and have only won four matches. Jermain Defoe might not be fit enough to start and without him they have no chance.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-3 West Brom
Swansea City vs. Manchester United
These two opened up the 2014/15 season back in August in fine style as the Swans took all three points from Old Trafford with a 2-1 win. However, Garry Monk’s side have not won at home in 2015 as of yet and United need the points more as they look to remain third in the league. They just about got a point at West Ham last time out and might have to settle for the same here.
Prediction: Swansea 2-2 Manchester United
Manchester City vs. Newcastle United (17:30)
City got back to winning ways with a 4-1 win at Stoke last time out and will be boosted by the return of Yaya Toure and new signing Wilfried Bony from the African Cup of Nations. Newcastle have only won one of their last six and won’t be able to end their terrible run of 10 straight league defeats against the Citizens.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle
Sunday, February 22nd
Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham United (12:00)
Spurs had to settle for a draw against Fiorentina on Thursday night and West Ham will hope to take advantage of the fact Spurs have only had two days to prepare for this one. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have improved at home of late and the Harry Kane factor might be enough to get them over the line again. The Hammers were dreadful at West Brom in the FA Cup last weekend and need to improve dramatically to get anything from this.
Prediction: Spurs 2-1 West Ham
Everton vs. Leicester City (14:05)
Everton have not won a league game at Goodison Park in five attempts now and come into the game after a Europa League game away at BSC Young Boys on Thursday night. They need to make sure they’re fully focused on this game as Leicester are fighting for their lives. The Foxes are bottom of the table and need to start winning games.They might be able to get something out of this one.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Leicester
Southampton vs. Liverpool (16:15)Embed from Getty Images
The final game of the weekend is a huge one in the race for Champions League football. Southampton still sit in fourth going into the weekend and know a win against the Reds would put them seven points clear of their opponents. But Liverpool have not lost a game since December and have been on a fine run of form. They will be looking to take all three points from this one and would be just a point behind the Saints with victory. Huge game.
Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Liverpool
What do you think will happen in Gameweek 26 in the Premier League?