EPL Week 12 - Saturday Preview Part 2

EPL Week 12 - Saturday Preview Part 2

Stoke v Bournemouth @ Brittania Stadium

Stoke will be looking to maintain their unbeaten 6-match run in the Premier League when they welcome in Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon. Stoke drew with West Ham at the London Stadium, ending an impressive run of 3 consecutive victories against the bottom 3 clubs in Hull, Swansea and Sunderland. Stoke are up to 12th, however remain just 2 points above the relegation zone in a cluttered middle part of the table. Bournemouth have hit the wall since their 6-1 demolition of Hull, drawing just 1 of their previous 3 matches. Back to back losses against strugglers Middlesbrough and Sunderland have seen Eddie Howe's men slump to 14th after a highly encouraging start to the season. When Bournemouth last visited Stoke in September 2015 they went down narrowly 2-1. 

Verdict - Stoke 1 Bournemouth 0

Stoke have got back to their usual selves of late by putting in organised and grinding displays. I expect them to be very hard to beat here with their form trending the opposite way to the visitors. Stoke to get an early goal and then hold on for a win. 

Sunderland v Hull City @ Stadium Of Light

This is a crucial match up between two teams in the relegation zone when Hull visit Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light on Saturday. Sunderland finally broke through for their first win of the season at their 11th attempt as they  secured a surprise 2-1 victory at Bournemouth. David Moyes endured a nightmare start  to his reign, however has a real shot at back-to-back victories here against a Hull City side with just one victory on the road all season. Hull got a much needed victory before the International break, holding off Southampton at home 2-1. This ended a wretched run of form which saw Hull pick up just 1 point from their previous 8 matches. After 4 consecutive Premier League victories against Hull, Sunderland have failed to win any of their last 4, including 3 losses and 1 draw. When the sides last met in the Premier League at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day of 2014, Hull ran out 3-1 winners. 

Verdict - Sunderland 2 Hull 1

I think David Moyes' men can make it back-to-back victories here with a home win against fellow strugglers in Hull. Already this shapes as a 6 point game between two relegation rivals, and for Sunderland a draw will not be good enough. They need a victory here. 

Watford v Leicester City @ Vicarage Road

Watford will be looking to continue their impressive 2016/17 campaign when they welcome in the Champions, Leicester City, on Saturday to Vicarage Road. Despite sitting in the lofty spot of 8th after 11 rounds, Watford's confidence might have taken a rattling after suffering a 6-1 pummelling at Anfield in their last start. The Champions have endured a tough campaign to date, being rooted in 14th spot with just 3 victories from their opening 11 games. Their form has been even worse on the road, with just 1 draw and 4 losses from 5 games. Watford have failed to win a Premier League match against Leicester City in their history with three single goal losses and a draw. When the sides last met at Vicarage Road back in March, Leicester secured a memorable 1-0 victory which was a crucial away success on their way to their improbable title. 

Verdict - Watford 1 Leicester 1

The Champions are having a pretty desperate season, however there have been some signs of life of late. Their away performance at Tottenham Hotspur was more encouraging and I expect them to provide a good challenge for a Watford side that have been hard to beat at home. Expecting this game to be evenly matched with a draw being the most likely outcome. 

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United @ White Hart Lane

We get a big London derby to round off the Saturday action as West Ham visit White Hart Lane and a stuttering Tottenham Hotspur. Since their outstanding 2-0 victory over Manchester City, Spurs have drawn their past 4 matches which has seen them slump to 5th in the standings. With just 3 goals from their last 4 games, Tottenham are struggling to create clear cut opportunities, despite being tight at the back and the only remaining unbeaten team in the Premier League. West Ham have problems of a much larger scale sitting in 17th place, just 1 point ahead of the relegation zone. The Hammers had European ambitions this season coming off last year's excellent 7th place finish under Slaven Bilic, however have failed to hit anywhere near those heights so far this campaign. When the sides last met at White Hart Lane back in November, Spurs blew away West Ham with a thumping 4-1 victory. 

Verdict - Tottenham 3 West Ham 0

Spurs are overdue for some goals and I think they might get them here against struggling West Ham. You would think, being a derby game, this game will be tight and fiercely contested, however I think the Hammers look well down on confidence. Spurs need a win desperately to keep pace with the Top 4 and I expect them to get it in emphatic style here.