Liverpool look for an unlikely favour from Everton – Premier League Weekend Preview

14 December 2018

Liverpool’s clash with Man United headlines the weekend Premier League action, but elsewhere they will be hoping for an unlikely favour from Everton.


The Reds do battle with their bitter rivals at Anfield after a thrilling Champions League win over Napoli, as they search for a first home victory over United since 2013.

The likelihood is that Jurgen Klopp‘s side will be two points behind Man City by the time Sunday’s game kicks off, so victory will again be essential.

Liverpool’s much-anticipated clash with United is one of 10 Premier League games to look forward over the next two days.

Here’s an overview of the rest of the action.

 

Man City vs. Everton – Saturday, 12.30pm – Sky Sports Main Event

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 28, 2018: Everton's Theo Walcott during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Everton FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Remember when Liverpool wanted a favour from Everton back in 2014 and they lay down against Man City?

A cynical view would be that this shows the lengths the Blues will go to ensure the Reds don’t win trophies, and they come up against the same opponents this weekend.

City’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea last Saturday was a pleasant surprise, and Pep Guardiola’s side are actually under some pressure for the first time this season.

They remain a fantastic team, though, and while Marco Silva has turned Everton into a solid outfit in their own right, a home win seems highly likely.

Prediction: Man City 3-1 Everton

 

Crystal Palace vs. Leicester – Saturday, 3pm

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 21, 2018: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Crystal Palace FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Perhaps it’s just bias because Liverpool fans have little time for him, but why isn’t Roy Hodgson under more pressure?

His Crystal Palace side are a lot more talented than their 16th-placed position suggests, with only one victory in their last 11 outings.

The Eagles host a good Leicester side on Saturday afternoon, but while the Foxes are superior, Palace could edge an ugly win sooner or later.

That may come this weekend, depending on which Leicester turn up, considering they have won and lost the same number of league matches (six) this season.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Leicester

 

Huddersfield vs. Newcastle – Saturday, 3pm

Newcastle United's manger Rafa Benitez (Image: Steve Drew/Press Association Images)Newcastle United's manger Rafa Benitez (Image: Steve Drew/Press Association Images)

This is set up as a relegation six-pointer, as Huddersfield welcome Newcastle to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Just three points separate the two teams and Rafa Benitez will be well aware of how priceless three points would be for the visitors.

Their last-gasp defeat at home to Wolves last Sunday was tough to take and they can’t quite pull away from the struggling pack.

Huddersfield remain in the bottom three—there is little to suggest that will change as the months pass.

Prediction: Huddersfield 1-1 Newcastle

 

Tottenham vs. Burnley – Saturday, 3pm

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 10, 2018: Burnley's Sam Vokes during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Burnley FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Two words: home banker.

Burnley are suffering a noticeable dip this season, despite picking up a typically gritty 1-0 victory over Brighton last time out.

They are easier to beat than before, making Saturday’s trip to Tottenham a daunting game, especially after the north Londoners reached the Champions League knockout stages in midweek.

Three more points will be added to Spurs’ total this weekend, strengthening their top-four hopes in the process.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Burnley

 

Watford vs. Cardiff – Saturday, 3pm

CARDIFF, WALES - Sunday, September 2, 2018: Cardiff City's Joe Bennett during the FA Premier League match between Cardiff City FC and Arsenal FC at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

His style of football may be grim, but the job Neil Warnock is doing at Cardiff is worthy of great praise.

After a tough start they have bounced back impressively, currently sitting 14th.

The Bluebirds head to Watford on Saturday with plenty of confidence, but the hosts should be too strong on the day.

Javi Gracia has built a team capable of finishing seventh, although no win since October is alarming.

They will stop the rot against Cardiff.

Prediction: Watford 2-1 Cardiff

 

Wolves vs. Bournemouth – Saturday, 3pm

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 25, 2018: AFC Bournemouth's Joshua King celebrates scoring the equalising first goal during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wolves’ aforementioned late victory at Newcastle was a massive bonus and they have recovered well from a dip in form.

They host Bournemouth on Saturday in a meeting between two teams who aim to play good football, so an entertaining encounter is on the cards.

Bournemouth offered little against Liverpool last Saturday, but they shouldn’t be judged too harshly, considering how imperious the Reds were.

Seventh place should still be the aim for Eddie Howe’s men—they are only three points behind sixth-placed United—and they will get something from Wolves.

Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Bournemouth

 

Fulham vs. West Ham – Saturday, 5.30pm – BT Sport 1

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 12, 2018: West Ham United's manager Manuel Pellegrini during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The only London derby of the weekend sees west take on east at Craven Cottage.

Fulham are propping up the rest of the Premier League and their 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford was worrying, considering how woeful Jose Mourinho’s team have been this season.

Their defence is alarmingly leaky, with 40 goals conceded in 16 games, and they will continue to struggle at the back against West Ham.

The Hammers are one of several clubs with European aspirations—finding a consistent level holds the key to that.

Prediction: Fulham 2-2 West Ham

 

Brighton vs. Chelsea – Sunday, 1.30pm

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 26, 2018: Chelsea's manager Maurizio Sarri during the pre-match warm-up before the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea gave Liverpool a massive helping hand by beating City—probably the only nice thing they have done to the Reds since Roman Abramovich bought the club.

It was a huge victory for themselves too, though, keeping their title hopes alive and ending a worrying run of iffy results.

They are strong favourites to overcome Brighton on Sunday, although anyone taking the Seagulls lightly is in for a rude awakening.

It won’t be plain sailing, but Chelsea will win.

Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Chelsea

 

Southampton vs. Arsenal – Sunday, 1.30pm – Sky Sports Main Event

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 25, 2018: Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Will Arsenal ever lose again?

Never has a team looked so beatable but put together such a strong run, even though it must be stressed that the Gunners have impressed hugely at times this season.

Unai Emery has instilled a winning mentality that Arsene Wenger failed to in the league late in his reign, and it is paying dividends.

They will fully expect to get the better of a Southampton side right in the relegation fight, but things should gradually improve with Ralph Hasenhuttl at the helm.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Arsenal

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