Saturday 3rd February PL

After an dramatic midweek round of action and the transfer window shutting, teams must make do with their squads for rest of season now.

There is however no time for managers to rest on their laurels as they prepare for another round of fixtures.

Burnley kicks us off at home to leaders, Manchester City, before Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang potentially makes his Arsenal debut at teatime against Everton at the Emirates.

This weekend’s three o’clock highlights include; Manchester United vs Huddersfield Town, West Bromwich Albion vs Southampton and Leicester City vs Swansea City.

*3:00pm unless stated otherwise


Burnley vs Manchester City (12:30pm)

Burnley return to Turf Moor still looking for their first league win since 12th December, after drawing at Newcastle in midweek.

Manchester City meanwhile are already back to their best with six goals in last two league games, after that 4-3 defeat at Liverpool.

Turf Moor however has been a notoriously challenging place for the Citizens to go, with a (W11, D7, L20) record from 38 top flight trips.

These teams met at the Etihad twice this season in the league and FA Cup, with City running out 7-1 winners on aggregate from those two meetings combined.

Burnley however are facing the second highest scoring team in Europe on 101 goals to PSG’s 104. That shows just how difficult a clean sheet will be here, regardless of this being Turf Moor.

Although the Clarets have punched above their weight and have the stronger record, I can see just one comfortable winner here.

Prediction: Burnley 0-3 Manchester City

Jake predicts: Burnley 0-1 Manchester City

Result: Burnley 1-1 Manchester City


Bournemouth vs Stoke City

With both teams still vulnerable to the drop despite Bournemouth sitting 10th, this game could go a long way in deciding who stays up.

After Stoke did the double in 2015-16, the Cherries have won two of last three meetings with a 2-2 draw coming here last season and two own goals in that game.

In midweek, Bournemouth stunned Chelsea at Stamford Bridge whilst the Potters lagged to a 0-0 draw with Watford.

Those results are bound to give both teams confidence entering this match, so be interesting to see how it translates into performance.

Goal scoring wise, both teams have had six scorers in their five PL meetings so far (including own goal scorers).

Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas and Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf have netted twice each, so are joint top scorers from this era of meetings.

Stoke know three points will be key come May but for Bournemouth, a win could see them go ninth and join Everton, Leicester and Burnley in a tight scrap for 7th position.

For that reason, a draw seems likely but I fancy the Cherries to extend their unbeaten run of six league games to seven here.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Stoke

Jake predicts: Bournemouth 2-1 Stoke

Result: Bournemouth 2-1 Stoke


Brighton & Hove Albion vs West Ham United

Brighton won 2-0 at the London Stadium in October but are without a win since beating Watford on 23rd December.

The Seagulls won two of first three home games but since then, have only managed nine points at the Amex from a possible 27.

Their two home losses in that period have come expectedly against Liverpool and Chelsea.

West Ham meanwhile have taken 10 points from that period and are unbeaten with two wins and four draws.

That form is admirable for a club who got an injury crisis and Arthur Masuaku banned for six matches, after spitting in FA Cup game at Wigan last weekend.

If look at number of goals in all competitions for each team in bottom half, West Ham are the best scorers on 39 goals whilst Brighton are seventh worse with 22.

Full goals in all competitions list of teams in bottom half of Premier League table is as follow;

Team Goals
West Ham United 39
Watford 36
Stoke City 29
Crystal Palace, Newcastle United 28
Swansea 27
Southampton 26
Brighton & Hove Albion 22
Huddersfield Town 21
West Bromwich Albion 17

The key to avoiding relegation is often winning games against those around you and Brighton definitely are doing that at home.

However six home draws and three home wins against fellow teams on this list might be costly, making this a must win six pointer really for the Seagulls.

David Moyes will be happy to play for a draw given his side’s current form and off field issues.

Chris Houghton and his players need to use that to push themselves on and if so, they will win this.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 West Ham

Jake predicts: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 West Ham

Result: Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham


Leicester City vs Swansea City

Carlos Carvahal Swansea
Can Swansea keep their form under Carlos Carvalhal going?

Since Carlos Carvalhal arrived at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea have taken three wins against sides in top ten at time of meeting.

Two of those wins however have come in last two home games against Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.

Their away form however is patchy with two away draws in FA Cup and a point from league game at Newcastle United.

Leicester have been in decent form throughout January with two wins and a draw from three of four league games.

Riyad Mahrez however seems to have upset the apple cart like he did at end of summer transfer window, when wanted a move away.

That period saw the Foxes go five games without a win before Craig Shakespeare was sacked.

This time around, I can’t see a repeat because a) their league position is strong and b) Fousseni Diabate is already capable of producing strong performances in Mahrez’s position.

That would just leave the Algerian sidelined unless he accepts that Leicester didn’t sell him and focus on producing his best football in hope of a summer move.

Prediction wise, I am backing Leicester purely because they have won five of the six Premier League meetings in this fixture.

Prediction: Leicester City 1-0 Swansea City

Jake predicts: Leicester City 1-1 Swansea City

Result: Leicester City 1-1 Swansea City


Manchester United vs Huddersfield Town

Will Jose Mourinho maintain his unbeaten record in month of February, having not lost in this month for 15 years?

Huddersfield won the reverse fixture 2-1 to end Manchester United’s unbeaten start to the season.

Since then, the Terriers have a (W3, D3 L10) record whilst United’s can be read as (W10, D3, L3).

Jose Mourinho however will be confident here as Alexis Sanchez makes his Old Trafford bow, having not lost in February since 2002.

Another positive omen is that the Red Devils haven’t had the double done over them by a newly promoted team in the Premier League yet.

For those reasons and Huddersfield’s concerning away form of just two wins and seven goals, I am backing United to win here.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Huddersfield Town

Jake predicts: Manchester United 2-0 Huddersfield Town

Result: Manchester United 2-0 Huddersfield Town


WBA vs Southampton

D Day has arrived for Mauricio Pellegrino as he seeks to avoid the sack.

This match is essentially D Day for Mauricio Pellegrino, if he is to avoid sack after being given the past week to get club out of relegation zone.

West Brom currently sit rock bottom and know that victory here will be massive for their survival chances, at the Saints and Pellegrino’s expense.

Goals in seven meetings of this fixture at the Hawthorns in Premier League however have been few and far.

The Baggies have just four goals to Southampton’s two whilst there have been two 0-0 draws.

No game is yet to feature both teams scoring so whoever scores first will probably win this match.

Southampton drew with Brighton on Wednesday at home, but have scored in just six away matches all season.

West Brom meanwhile have netted 12 of their 17 goals in all competitions at home.

Although a 0-0 is probably written all over this fixture, I think that the home side will just have that extra edge here.

Prediction: WBA 1-0 Southampton

Jake predicts: WBA 2-0 Southampton

Result: WBA 2-3 Southampton


Arsenal vs Everton (5:30pm)

Theo Walcott could make a return to the Emirates with his new side, as Everton visit Arsenal in the teatime match.

Arsene Wenger could hand Aubameyang his home bow here, after signing the Gabonese from Borussia Dortmund on Deadline Day but illness could delay that.

Everton’s last win at Arsenal came in January 1996 and since then, they have taken just four draws and 17 defeats from 21 meetings.

Goal wise, the Gunners have notched 51 goals in that period to the Toffees’ 16 so expect a tough battle for the Merseysiders here.

From 13 previous trips to Arsenal, Sam Allardyce has left with just three draws and no wins.

Based purely on odds being stacked against Everton, I can see Arsenal winning but their form last month was poor with just four points from four league games.

Everton however are currently off the back of a seven match winless run in all competitions and Walcott comes here confident.

Ultimately although I feel Arsenal will win, I think this might be a draw.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Everton

Jake predicts: Arsenal 2-0 Everton

Result: Arsenal 5-1 Everton


Prediction Wars

Here at Sport Grill, me and Jake Self are going head to head predicting games.

Here is how things stand after the previous round of games along with the rules.
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points

Name Points
James Gregory 153
Jake Self 157

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