The Premier League is back this weekend and there are some tasty ties to sink our teeth into. Liverpool host Crystal Palace, Manchester United take on Brighton and the big fixture of the weekend sees Arsenal take on Chelsea in an all-top-four-chasing affair.
On Sunday, Tottenham face Fulham and begin a run of games without star man Harry Kane, who has been side-lined with ankle ligament damage until early March.
Our football expert offers his tips for this weekend’s matches below.
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Every game is a must win for Liverpool from now until the end of season. Manchester City are enjoying the sort of form where any sign of weakness from the Reds will be sensed and capitalised on, but Liverpool have a chance to pull seven points clear once more, playing a day before their closest title rivals.
Although it was a comfortable win last weekend for Jurgen Klopp’s men, 2019 has yet to bring the typical heavy metal style of football synonymous with Liverpool over the last few years, and indeed this has been the case for large parts of the season.
They’ve instead substituted their demonic aggression for an inner calmness and self-assurance, heavily influenced by player of the season contender Virgil Van Dijk, who has guided the side to 13 Premier League clean sheets this season alongside goalkeeper Alisson.
Crystal Palace are without a win in their last three away games in the league and are by no means out of the relegation scrap, sitting four points ahead of 18th placed Newcastle. I expect a routine win for Liverpool and Mo Salah to score the opener at 13/5 with GrosvenorSport.com. 13/5
Huddersfield v Manchester City
Huddersfield haven’t won a Premier League match in their last 10 matches attempts (D1, L9) and sit eight points from safety at the bottom. If that doesn’t already spell trouble, manager David Wagner has left the club to move on to bigger and better opportunities whilst the Terriers face Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal consecutively in Premier League after the weekend.
Manchester City have scored 17 goals in their last three games in all competitions; both Rotherham and Burton have left the Etihad red-faced in the last couple of weeks as City ruthlessly put seven past each of them in the two domestic cup competitions.
It’s hard to see Huddersfield having any sort of opportunity to throw a spanner in the works in this tie – they’ve scored just four goals in their last nine games in all competitions. I fancy a 4-0 win for Manchester City at 25/1.
Fulham v Tottenham
It’s both the perfect time for Fulham to play Tottenham and the perfect time for Tottenham to play Fulham…
Fulham will be buoyed by the absences of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, hoping Spurs will be short of ideas and incisiveness in front of goal. Spurs face a side who have shipped 49 goals this season, a league high, knowing that they can tinker the frontmen throughout the game and attempt to lock down a proficient system before tests against sterner opposition.
It’s not likely to be a goal fest considering, but I do think Spurs will have enough to get over the line in this one, and it may be by the skin of their teeth. You can get Spurs’ Christian Eriksen to score first and Spurs to win at 8/1.
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