Premier League Predictions Week 17

Reporter:

Thomas Norris

Premier League fixtures come thick and fast at this time of year and once again the Leader’s sports writers go head-to-head to predict the outcome of all nine top-flight games.

With three points for predicting the correct score, or one for the correct match outcome (win/lose/draw), let us know your thoughts on this weekend’s action.

BOURNEMOUTH v EVERTON

NICK HARRISON: Everton are keeping clean sheets for fun and they’ll probably be happy with a third goalless draw on the trot. But Bournemouth don’t do shut-outs and expect another high-scoring draw on the south coast. 2-2

TOM NORRIS: Everton have looked very solid at the back under Big Sam, something that can’t be said of Bournemouth this season. Rooney should return as the visitors take all three points.0-2

DAN HEALD: Sam Allardyce teams are built on defensive solidity, while Eddie Howe appears to regard clean sheets as an afterthought. That should prove decisive here as the Toffees edge out the visitors. 1-2

CHELSEA v STOKE CITY

NH: Hazard’s gone off the boil a bit and Chelsea are a side who miss Costa. They should have enough to see off a Stoke side, who are showing a bit more belief and the performance of frontman Morata will be key. 3-1

TN: Chelsea are finding ways to pick off the poorer teams by and large, and Stoke must be considered one of those. Mark Hughes’ men look vulnerable defensively and Chelsea will exploit that. 3-0

DH: Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are a pale imitation of the side that swept to the league title last season, but they continue to collect three points at home. Eden Hazard’s due a decent game and can inspire the Blues to victory. 3-1

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN v BURNLEY

NH: The Terriers have found a bit of consistency but how will Burnley react to being so close, yet so far at United? Dyche will have his players fired up for the Roses battle but I think Huddersfield have the belief to sneak this. 2-1

TN: I know a Manchester United fan who is going to this game. Talk about finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. This won’t be pretty, but both teams will be chasing victory. 1-1

DH: Expect an attritional contest with neither side going for broke early on. Burnley had a famous victory snatched away from them at Old Trafford, which may have blunted them. Mooy to net the winner for the Terriers. 1-0

LIVERPOOL v LEICESTER CITY

NH: Liverpool look very good at the moment although Leicester will be a different proposition to the pathetic Swansea side that turned up at Anfield on Boxing Day. It’s a game that could play straight into The Foxes hands. Vardy is long overdue a goal and he might grab one in a thrilling end-to-end encounter. 4-2

TN: This could be a cracker. Liverpool will have a right go at Leicester, who will do their best to soak up pressure and hit their hosts on the counter. Vardy to score, but

Liverpool to take the points.3-1

DH: The Reds are scoring for fun right now and thrive in open games. Puel’s canny enough to know that any attempt to match Liverpool’s firepower would be futile and may adopt a defensive line-up. Klopp’s men to prevail, regardless.3-1

NEWCASTLE UNITED v BRIGHTON

NH: Defences will definitely be on top in the North East where the home supporters will be key in backing their team to a vital three point haul to spoil Hughton’s return to St James’ Park. 2-1

TN: Chris Hughton was encouraged by Brighton’s performance at Chelsea, but this is the one that really matters. Newcastle get results when they are least expected, but need to win these games to survive. 2-0

DH: Premier League survival is the extent of Brighton’s ambition this season, understandably so. Points from away games like these are integral to achieving that and the Seagulls will seek to grind out a result. 0-0​​​​​​

WATFORD v SWANSEA CITY

NH: The Swans need to start winning but you can’t see it, especially against a Watford side whose confidence will be up after their win at home to Leicester. 2-0

TN: Once a benchmark for promoted sides, Swansea are slipping out of the division if they aren’t careful. No-one really likes what Watford do, but it’s a results business and they are winning matches. 2-0

DH: Watford stopped the rot with their win against Leicester and Swansea’s confidence must be through the floor after their Anfield mauling. It’s hard not to foresee more misery for them here. 3-1

MANCHESTER UNITED v SOUTHAMPTON

NH: Moan-inho’s back after a few months of letting his team do the talking out on the pitch. Needs his big-name players like Lukaku and Pogba to step up to the plate and they should do against a Saints’ side, who may soon be looking for a new manager. 4-0

TN: What has happened to Jose’s boys? They look short of confidence and certain players look tired. Could be time for Lukaku to have a rest. Regardless it’s got home win written all over it. 3-1

DH: Mourinho’s comments about the disparity in spending between clubs like United and City were baffling. His own expensively-assembled side had just scrambled to a 2-2 home draw with Burnley and he’s pleading poverty? Not good enough, and I think they’ll make hard work of it against the uninspiring Saints. 2-0

CRYSTAL PALACE v MANCHESTER CITY

NH: You keep thinking that City just may slip up at one stage and if Benteke and Zaha hit it off, they could give the Pep’s back-line a bit of a scare. Palace have beaten Chelsea at home but surely they can’t do the same to title-chasing City? 2-3

TN: It’s hard to see past another comfortable away win. Palace will be tough to break down, but City have too much quality with Sterling popping up to help Pep's men seal another three points. 1-3

DH: City boast an embarrassment of riches up front and carry a goal threat all over the pitch. This won’t be easy though against the spirited Eagles, who have improved massively under Roy Hodgson. 1-3

WEST BROM v ARSENAL

NH: If Arsenal can’t win at West Brom, then serious questions need to be asked. An early goal for The Gunners could lead to a few more at The Hawthorns where Pardew seems intent on concentrating on defence rather than attack. 1-2

TN: Alan Pardew hasn’t exactly set the Hawthorns alight since taking over from Tony Pulis has he? But what Arsenal side will turn up? If Ozil and Sanchez fancy it then the Gunners should win. It’s a big ‘if’ though. 1-2

DH: That fabled ‘new manager bounce’ has eluded Alan Pardew at the Baggies, but Arsenal’s old defensive frailties have returned to the fore of late. Honours even in a score draw in the Black Country. 1-1

Email:

thomas.norris@nwn.co.uk

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