by

Olu Oke

 

1.Goals to flow at the North London Derby

Tottenham go into arguably the most important North London derby in recent memory as favourites. They currently sit 4 points behind league leaders Chelsea and will be full of confidence after securing a club record 8 straight wins on Wednesday at Crystal Palace. Arsenal on the other hand, come into this game on the back of a 3rd successive win in all competitions since switching to a 3-4-2-1 formation. The Gunners need to come away with 3 points to realistically maintain their bid for a top 4 place and a spot in next year’s Champions league. This should theoretically lead to an open end-to-end game that should translate into goals on Sunday. I expect Harry Kane and Alexis Sanchez to both score for their respective sides in a score draw.

2. Chelsea to draw at Goodison Park

Chelsea head into another challenging away game at Goodison Park straight after losing 2-0 to Manchester United a fortnight ago. The Toffees head into this game on the back of 8 straight home wins in 2017 and will be confident of securing a result against the league leaders. Chelsea on the other hand, are on the verge of winning a 2nd premier league title in 3 years and are currently 4 points ahead of Tottenham with 5 games to go. The league leaders have won their last two games including a pair of 4-2 wins against Tottenham at Wembley and Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. With both teams boasting serious firepower up-front, goals should be expected from this game. I expect both teams to cancel each other out in a 1-1 draw, with Lukaku and Diego Costa to register for their respective sides.

3. Liverpool to drop points at Watford
The league’s top scorers head into a tricky Monday Night fixture against a Watford team that have won 3 straight home games on the bounce. Liverpool currently sit in 3rd place on 66 points, 1 place ahead of City and 2 above United albeit with a game in hand. The Reds also have Arsenal chasing in their sights on 60 points but with a pair of games in hand. Liverpool failed to win an away game in 2017 until they faced both Stoke and West Brom in April and I expect them to struggle here.

MUNICH, GERMANY – OCTOBER 04: Josep Guardiola, head coach of Muenchen looks on prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Hannover 96 at Allianz Arena on October 4, 2014 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images)

4. Manchester City to win away at Middlesborough

Middlesborough have been absolutely terrible in their first season back in the Premier League. The team from the Riverside have won a league-low 5 games all season and have also scored the fewest goals in the division with 24. Middlesborough won their last home game 1-0 against Swansea but are up against a much better side who boast world class players like Sergio Aguero & Kevin De Bruyne. City will be buoyed by the return to fitness of Gabriel Jesus and would expect to comfortably come away
with 3 points on Sunday. City to win 3-0 with Gabriel Jesus on the scoresheet.

5.Manchester United to Go 4th With Home Win Against Swansea
Manchester United are currently on a 24-game unbeaten run in the league and head into this game with a lot of confidence after beating Chelsea 2-0 and securing a point away at the Etihad against their city rivals Manchester City. The Red Devils have struggled to win home drawn 5 of their last 7 home games in the Premier League but I expect them to be too strong for 18th placed Swansea. The Swans are currently 2 points from safety on 31 points but have lost their last 6 away games in a row. I expect United to win this comfortably.

6. Gabbiadini To Score a Brace for Southampton

9th place Southampton have enjoyed a decent season and currently have nothing to play apart from pride. That will not deter their Italian January signing Manolo Gabbiadini from getting on the scoresheet in this game. The Saints have only won two of their five home games in 2017 but will be confident of dispatching Hull City, who currently sit two points above the drop zone. Hull City have failed to win an away league tie since August & I expect the trend to continue in this fixture. Gabbiadini recently returned from an injury layoff and would be keen to get back to his early goal scoring form when he joined the club in the January transfer window. Southampton to win.

7. Sunderland to Edge Closer to Relegation from The Premier League

Rock-bottom Sunderland head into this home tie knowing they need a win to hold on to their already slender hopes of staying in the division. Sunderland are 12 points beyond safety with 5 games to go, which does not make good reading considering how poor their form has been in 2017. The Black Cats are yet to win a Premier League home tie in 2017 and their top goal scorer Jermaine Defoe has failed to hit the back of the net since the start of February. This all points towards an away win for Bournemouth at the Stadium of Light. The Cherries are winless in 7 away games but this is arguably their best chance to win an away game in 2017. I expect Joshua King to continue his remarkable goal-scoring form & notch his 15th league goal of the season in an away win.

8. Crystal Palace to Win at Home against Burnley

What an impact Sam Allardyce has had at Selhurst Park in 2017! The South London team started the season as relegation candidates but now find themselves in 12th place in the league after claiming 10 points from their previous 6 games, including impressive away wins at Chelsea and Liverpool. Benteke has also been in great goalscoring form recently, scoring 5 in his previous 6 Premier League games and he’ll be very confident of adding to his tally at home to Burnley. The Clarets on the other hand possess the worst away record in the division with a mere 4 points won on their travels all season. Burnley seem to be a tame version of their home selves whenever they travel away and I expect them to receive a 3-0 hammering from Palace on Saturday.

9. Fulham to secure a playoff spot
Fulham head into the penultimate game of the Championship season, occupying the 6th and final spot for Playoff qualification. The Cottagers are 3 points ahead of Leeds United & know a win at home to 9th place Brentford should all but guarantee their place in the Playoffs. Fulham possess one of world football’s most exciting prospects in Ryan Sessegnon, the 16 year old left-back was recently named to the PFA Skybet Championship team of the year after notching 5 league goals & producing an array of superb performances. Expect him to play a key part in the game on Saturday. 7th place Leeds on the other hand, are winless in 3 games and have a tough tie against 8th place Norwich, where I expect them to drop further points. This should lead to Fulham joining Huddersfield Town, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship playoffs.