Wolves to stun another top team & aid Liverpool’s title bid? – Premier League Weekend Preview

11 January 2019

The Premier League returns after FA Cup commitments this weekend, as Liverpool aim to at least keep their four-point lead at the top intact.


The Reds make the trip to Brighton on Saturday, with the 2-1 defeat to Man City and FA Cup exit at the hands of Wolves hopefully nothing more than a minor speed bump in their title quest.

It is another test of Liverpool’s credentials, with dropped points sure to build up the narrative that they are ‘bottling it’.

Away from the Reds’ trip to the Amex, there are nine other top-flight games to look forward to, with implications at both ends of the table.

Here’s a look at the upcoming action.

 

West Ham vs. Arsenal – Saturday, 12.30pm – 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)

This looks like a possible cracker to open up the weekend proceedings.

Arsenal can both score and leak goals at will, while West Ham are capable of upping their game when the big clubs come to town.

The Hammers (10th) will believe seventh place is theirs for the taking this season, with just three points separating themselves and Leicester currently.

Arsenal, meanwhile, remain very much in the top-four battle, which could lead to an entertaining score draw.

Prediction: West Ham 2-2 Arsenal

 

Burnley vs. Fulham – Saturday, 3pm

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Thursday, August 16, 2018: Burnley's manager Sean Dyche during the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round 2nd Leg match between Burnley FC and ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Burnley have staged a mini-recovery after a desperate run of form, winning three games in a row in all competitions.

They are now out of the relegation zone and Sean Dyche will feel his team should get the better of 19th-placed Fulham on Saturday.

The Cottagers continue to struggle on their return to the top flight and they will be given an uncomfortable afternoon at Turf Moor.

Don’t expect a classic, but expect a Burnley victory.

Prediction: Burnley 1-0 Fulham

 

Cardiff vs. Huddersfield – 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)

Another relegation clash sees Cardiff host Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon, as Jurgen Klopp‘s great friend David Wagner desperately searches for three points.

The Terriers prop up the other 19 teams and if nothing changes quickly they will be doomed, with eight points separating them and the 17th-placed Bluebirds.

Cardiff are a grittier outfit and they look like they are going to do enough to retain their top-flight status for another year, as it stands.

A home win is likely, as Huddersfield fall further into the mire.

Prediction: Cardiff 2-1 Huddersfield

 

Crystal Palace vs. Watford – 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)

It may only be January, but this is set up as a meeting between two sides who will finish the season in mid-table.

Crystal Palace have threatened to get themselves into a relegation scrap, but they have too much quality to go down.

Watford, meanwhile, will be setting their sights on seventh, with Javi Gracia continuing to do an excellent job at Vicarage Road.

It’s a hard one to call, but Palace might just make the most of home advantage.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford

 

Leicester vs. Southampton – Saturday, 3pm

Southampton's Danny Ings during the Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images)

Leicester’s season is petering out a little, with their shock FA Cup defeat to Newport leaving them with only seventh place to play for in 2018/19.

The Foxes are a good side who will want to finish in the European places, however, as they fight off the chasing pack.

Claude Puel’s side are favourites to overcome Southampton this weekend, even though Saints are improving under new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Leicester are generally good at home, despite losing to Cardiff last time around, and they should add three points to their tally.

Prediction: Leicester 2-0 Southampton

 

Chelsea vs. Newcastle – Saturday, 5.30pm – BT Sport 1

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Wednesday, December 26, 2018: Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez waves as the Liverpool supporters sing his name after during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea have become a curious team, with their title challenge seeming a distant memory after a string of poor league results.

Fourth place is now the primary aim for Maurizio Sarri and his players, who have completely lost their early-season zip.

They shouldn’t have too much trouble overcoming Newcastle on Saturday evening, though, as Rafa Benitez attempts to defend his way to a positive result.

Chelsea will be too strong, but it won’t always be entirely convincing.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle

 

Everton vs. Bournemouth – Sunday, 2.15pm – 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 Everton won the transfer window and were about to mount a top-four challenge? Heady days.

Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals have never been the same since Divock Origi‘s last-gasp winner at Anfield last month, winning just once in seven league outings.

They need to get back on track on Sunday, but Bournemouth will prove to be tricky opponents, even though their own season is in danger of falling apart a little.

A point apiece.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Bournemouth

 

Tottenham vs. Man United – Sunday, 4.30pm – Sky Sports Main Event

ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 18, 2018: Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Rochdale AFC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Spotland Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The heavyweight clash of the weekend sees Tottenham entertain a rejuvenated Man United side thriving since replacing Jose Mourinho with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

In truth, United have had a lovely run of fixtures since Mourinho’s sacking and this is Solskjaer’s first genuine test.

Spurs find themselves back in the title race, so for once Liverpool supporters may actually be cheering on their old foes down the M62.

It is tough to see them getting anything, given their opponents’ superiority.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Man United

 

Man City vs. Wolves – Monday, 8pm – Sky Sports Main Event

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 3, 2019: Manchester City's Fernando Luiz Roza 'Fernandinho' during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the Etihad Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The weekend action finishes on Monday night, in a match Reds fans are sure to be glued to.

City’s win over them on January 3 was a tough defeat to take, bringing the champions right back into the title reckoning.

Pep Guardiola’s men will be buzzing to showcase their brilliance once more when Wolves visit the Etihad, but the Premier League newcomers have caused big sides trouble all season.

In fact, Liverpool are the only ‘big six’ team they haven’t taken points off them, so they will believe they can cause another surprise.

If Conor Coady and his trusty deputies could do the Reds a favour, that would be much appreciated!

Prediction: Man City 3-1 Wolves

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