With the Champions League taking centre stage in midweek, the Premier League is back for gameweek 30.
The standout fixture of the round is Liverpool’s trip to Everton in the Merseyside derby as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to banish the memory of their defeat to Atletico Madrid by taking another step toward the Premier League title.
Tottenham and Manchester United face off on Sunday in what could be another intriguing clash in the battle for Champions League football, while Manchester City host Burnley on Saturday following their derby defeat last weekend.
As ever, two of our writers have predicted the result of each match below. There are also percentile odds, based on the SBK sportsbook app, for every result possible.
Watford vs Leicester City
Chris Smith: Losing against Palace wasn’t exactly the follow-up Watford wanted after that famous win over Liverpool. However, another big point at home against a wildly inconsistent Leicester City side should keep them outside the bottom three. Watford 2-2 Leicester City.
Harry Edwards: Watford were brought back down to earth after their win over Liverpool with a defeat to Crystal Palace but will be looking bounce back against Nigel Pearson’s former side Leicester City. The Foxes returned to winning ways on Monday at the expense of relegation battlers Aston Villa and looked good, albeit against a struggling side. Pearson may have extra motivation but Leicester should come out on top. Watford 0-2 Leicester.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Troy Deeney has won 138 aerial duels in the Premier League this season, at least 79 more than any other Watford player.
Watford win: 30.77%
Leicester win: 43.10%
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
CS: Despite taking just a point, Bournemouth have shown signs of improvement against Chelsea and Liverpool recently. However, Palace have won each of their last three games without conceding a goal. Given the Cherries’ struggles in the box this season, we expect that trend to continue. Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace.
HE: Bournemouth are currently in freefall and look in genuine danger of being relegated. They haven’t won in four matches, losing three of those, and sit inside the relegation zone, albeit only on goal difference. By stark contrast, Crystal Palace have been moved further away from the drop thanks to three consecutive wins and are now closer to fourth than they are to Bournemouth. There’s only one winner here. Bournemouth 0-1 Crystal Palace.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Palace are relying on their defensive solidity to grind results out, so the attacking output of Wilfried Zaha, who has completed the second-highest number of dribbles (136) in the Premier League this season, is even more important.
Bournemouth win: 39.68%
Crystal Palace win: 31.25%
Brighton vs Arsenal
CS: A Europa League disaster aside, Arsenal are picking up pace under Mikel Arteta, very quickly climbing the table. Brighton are now 10 without a win in all competitions and it’s hard to see them stopping the rot here. Brighton 1-2 Arsenal.
HE: This will be a strange game with some Arsenal players having only just returned from self-isolation on Friday after coronavirus fears following their Europa League game against Olympiacos. They were supposed to have a game in midweek but saw it cancelled which will undoubtedly affect their preparation for this weekend. For that reason, Brighton’s chances of getting a result will have increased. Brighton 1-0 Arsenal.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Having not scored since December, Alexandre Lacazette has now been directly involved in four goals across his last four games, scoring three and assisting one.
Brighton win: 29.41%
Arsenal win: 42.74%
Manchester City vs Burnley
CS: Pep Guardiola will be hurting after a third Manchester derby defeat of the season and despite going seven without defeat in the Premier League, Burnley are likely to feel the full force of City’s wrath here. Man City 4-0 Burnley.
HE: Man City were also directly affected by measures taken to combat the spread of coronavirus as their game with Arsenal was postponed, giving them a full week to work on what went wrong against Manchester United. They also appear unlikely to be in Champions League action next week after Real Madrid’s squad went into self-isolation, which could affect Pep Guardiola’s plans. Burnley are one of the better Premier League sides on form recently, unbeaten in seven games. They could stretch that to eight. Man City 1-1 Burnley.
PLAYER TO WATCH: It’s been a pretty torrid title defence for Manchester City so far, well represented by Raheem Sterling’s 11-game scoreless streak. The England international will be hellbent on setting that straight here.
Man City win: 84.03%
Burnley win: 4.17%
Newcastle vs Sheffield United
CS: Sheffield United remain right in the thick of the battle for European places and are in good form heading to St James’ Park. However, this might be another game in which Newcastle grind out a valuable point. Newcastle 1-1 Sheff Utd.
HE: Newcastle enjoyed a good win over Southampton last weekend to ease relegation fears, but they face stiff opposition in Sheffield United. The Blades are just five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand and look in good stead to finish in a European spot after a stellar season. They should continue this run with another spirited performance away from home. Newcastle 0-2 Sheff Utd.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Given their pragmatic set-up, Newcastle are heavily reliant on swift counter-attacks to provide their attacking threat. Having completed the fourth-highest number of dribbles (80) in the Premier League this season, Allan Saint-Maximin is vital to Steve Bruce’s side’s chances of success in this one.
Newcastle win: 27.03%
Sheff Utd win: 41.67%
Norwich vs Southampton
CS: With just one win in seven across all competitions, Southampton’s resurgence seems over. Norwich are barely hanging onto their Premier League status but could enhance their survival chances in this one. Norwich 2-1 Southampton.
HE: Norwich were fortunate not to fall further away from safety after their defeat last weekend, with the rest of the teams around them also losing. But the Canaries need to string together a good run of results if they are to stay up, starting with the visit of Southampton. Having appeared to save themselves, Southampton are slipping closer to the relegation zone after a poor run of form. But they should return to winning ways here. Norwich 1-2 Southampton.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Danny Ings has scored just one goal in his last seven Premier League games, failing to find the net in each of his last three.
Norwich win: 33.56%
Southampton win: 39.68%
Aston Villa vs Chelsea
CS: Villa are looking more and more doomed by the week, never more evident than in their 4-0 defeat to Leicester last time out. Expect Chelsea to put them to the sword following their thrashing of Everton by the same scoreline. Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea.
HE: After their season looked to be crashing, Chelsea have put together two good wins against Liverpool and Everton in the FA Cup and Premier League respectively. The latter keeps them in fourth but Aston Villa will be looking to rain on Chelsea’s parade in the hopes of staying in the Premier League. After losing to Leicester, Villa remain 19th with 10 games to play and need to stop the rot fast. It may not happen this weekend. Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Olivier Giroud has scored in his last six games against Aston Villa across all competitions, netting eight goals.
Aston Villa win: 17.54%
Chelsea win: 60.98%
West Ham vs Wolves
CS: Wolves have generally coped well balancing European and domestic football this season, losing just two Premier League games after playing in the Europa League. Given their recent form, West Ham will likely be glad of a point in this one. West Ham 1-1 Wolves.
HE: Wolves’ game against Brighton last weekend was one to forget as they struggled in front of goal and it may be equally as tough at the London Stadium. Although West Ham lost to Arsenal at the Emirates, they were unlucky, with their performance deserving of a point. But David Moyes will have a task on his hands to keep morale high, especially against a good Wolves side. West Ham 0-1 Wolves.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Diogo Jota has been directly involved in four goals in his past three Premier League games, scoring three and recording one assist.
West Ham win: 30.77%
Wolves win: 39.06%
Tottenham vs Manchester United
CS: After going six games without a win, Jose Mourinho is likely to be more pragmatic than ever when he hosts his former club on Sunday. That could seriously hinder Man Utd, who are far more effective on the break than trying to wear down a stubborn opponent. All signs point to a goalless stalemate. Tottenham 0-0 Man Utd.
HE: Few expected Manchester United to beat Man City last weekend, but the Red Devils were excellent. The question now will be whether they can emulate that performance to compile the misery on former manager Jose Mourinho and Tottenham. Spurs were well beaten by RB Leipzig in midweek and don’t actually look capable of winning right now, going six games without victory across all competitions. Tottenham 0-2 Man Utd.
PLAYER TO WATCH: United have conceded two goals across the past 11 starts made by Luke Shaw, who is going up against a manager who once suggested he lacked a ‘brain’.
Tottenham win: 26.67%
Man Utd win: 43.86%
Everton vs. Liverpool
CS: Liverpool will head into this Merseyside derby like a wounded animal after their Champions League and FA Cup exits and Jurgen Klopp will be intent on getting this title finished. That can only spell danger for Everton, who haven’t beaten their rivals since 2010 and continue to look spineless in the big games. Everton 0-3 Liverpool.
HE: There was a chance this game could have secured the title for Liverpool but now they will just have to settle on taking a step closer if they beat their rivals. And that does look likely. Even though the Reds suffered their fourth loss in six games on Wednesday night, they will have enough to beat Everton if Carlo Ancelotti’s side perform as they did against Chelsea. Everton 0-3 Liverpool.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sadio Mane has been directly involved in four goals in his past four Premier League games, scoring three and recording one assist.
Everton win: 20%
Liverpool win: 54.64%