EPL Week 14 - Saturday Preview Part 2

EPL Week 14 - Saturday Preview Part 2

Tottenham Hotspur (5th) v Swansea City (19th) @ White Hart Lane

Tottenham will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they host Swansea City at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Spurs played some great football last week at Chelsea, but couldn't shake off their rotten curse at Stamford Bridge, losing 2-1 despite dominating for long periods. Tottenham have not won at Stamford Bridge since way back in 1990 and their loss means they are now in 5th spot, 7 points behind the Blues at the top of the table. Swansea scored a wildly entertaining 5-4 last gasp win over Crystal Palace to earn coach Bob Bradley a stay of execution. Swansea looked set for defeat until two goals in injury time gave them the 3 points and off the bottom of the table into 19th spot ahead of Sunderland. Spurs have a remarkable record against Swansea with 9 victories and 2 draws from their most recent 11 games. Included in this stretch was a victory in February in the Premier League over the Swans 2-1, as Spurs made a late charge for the title, only to fall short. 

Verdict - Tottenham 3 Swansea 0

Not being fooled by Swansea's last start win. Spurs have gone too long without a win in the Premier League, and this is the perfect opponent for them to get back on track at home. Comfortable win for Spurs. 

Sunderland (20th) v Leicester City (14th) @ Stadium of Light

Sunderland welcome in the Champions when they host Leicester City on Saturday afternoon at the Stadium Of Light. David Moyes' men have started to show signs of life, despite still sitting rotted to the bottom of the the table with just two victories from their opening 13 games. Sunderland had come off back-to-back victories at Bournemouth and against Hull at home, before putting in a plucky performance at Anfield, eventually going down 2-0. Liverpool had been blowing teams away at Anfield this season, however it took them 75 minutes to break down a resolute Sunderland before marching on to claim another victory. Leicester City's fairytale title of 2015 will not be repeated this year, with the Champions sitting on 13 points in equal 13th spot after a difficult start to the season. Amazingly, the Foxes have started a similarly giant killing run in the Champions League this season, having already qualified for the final 16 matches in February. However, their League form has been a real mixed bag with them being held 2-2 by Middlesbrough at home in their last game. The Foxes away form has been a real concern this season without a victory on the road, and with just 1 point at White Hart Lane to show for their efforts. Leicester City went a long way to securing their famous title at the Stadium of Light in April with a tough and hard fought victory. 

Verdict - Sunderland 1 Leicester City 0

I am going for another upset of sorts here, with David Moyes' men to get a third victory from their last 4 starts. The Foxes away form does not fill me with much confidence, and with their exertions in the Champions League, they are vulnerable here off a short turn around. 

West Bromwich Albion (9th) v Watford (8th) @ The Hawthorns

It's a battle between two teams experiencing better than expected seasons when 8th placed Watford visit 9th placed West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday. West Brom have picked up 7 points from their last 3 games with victories over Leicester away and Burnley at home, followed by a frustrating draw at Hull City. The Baggies put in a great performance on their last home outing, with a 4-0 thumping of Burnley and are on track for another solid season under veteran head coach Tony Pulis. Watford were narrowly beaten 1-0 at Stoke in their last game, missing a chance to go ahead of Manchester United in the table.Watford's away form has been patchy this season with 2 wins and a draw from 6 away fixtures. The winner of this game can catch a break on their opponents in the race for Europa League positions, and a highly respectable top half of the table finish. Watford caused an upset back in April when they went to The Hawthorns and dug in for a scrappy 1-0 victory. 

Verdict - West Brom 2 Watford 1

Going with another home victory for West Brom. I just feel they are carrying slightly better momentum than Watford at the moment and they were excellent in their last home outing.

West Ham United (16th) v Arsenal (4th) @ London Stadium

We get a big London Derby to round off the Saturday action as Arsenal visit struggling West Ham in the vast surrounds of the new London Stadium. The Hammers clung on for a point in a 1-1- draw at Old Trafford last weekend to keep them out of the drop zone by just a single point, sitting on 12 points and in 16th position. The Hammers have been a touch unlucky of late in their last London derby, as two late goals from Tottenham Hotspur reverted what would have been a famous victory for West Ham at White Hart Lane, with Spurs triumphing late 2-1. Arsenal also recently drew 1-1 at Old Trafford courtesy of a very late goal from Olivier Girroud. Arsenal stayed in touch with pace setters Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Bournemouth in their last game at home. Despite sitting in 4th place, the Gunners are just 3 points off the lead, and can keep the pressure on with another victory here. This will be the teams' first clash ever at the London Stadium, and after recent crowd trouble when Chelsea visited there in the League Cup, the action in the stands will be closely watched here. When Arsenal travelled to West Ham last year in the farewell to Upton Park, the Gunners had to settle for a thrilling 3-3 draw, a result that about ended any faint hopes they had of winning the title. 

Verdict - Arsenal 3 West Ham 1

Arsenal have been a little flat of late and I think they might respond to their dumping out of the League Cup with a big victory here. They sure need it as Chelsea, Liverpool and City are setting a cracking pace this year. However I think this Arsenal side are a little more resilient this year and can keep pace for a fair portion of the season.