Premier League Preview And Predictions: Palace Resurgence To Continue?

Premier League

We take a look at this week’s Premier League fixtures, including a huge game in the race for a Champions League, when Newcastle host Spurs, and two key clashes in the fight for survival, as Palace take on Everton, and West Ham travel to Bournemouth.

Check out my predictions for last week’s Premier League fixtures here!

This Week’s Premier League Fixtures

Arsenal v Southampton
Fulham v Leeds
Brentford v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Bournemouth v West Ham
Newcastle v Tottenham Hotspur

Crystal Palace v Everton

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Crystal Palace has really shocked me in recent weeks. I thought Hodgson would be a poor appointment, and each week he is proving me wrong. He is steering Crystal Palace well clear of the relegation zone, and with plenty of time to spare. If he continues this good form, will he be offered the full-time job? Or will Palace be looking elsewhere for their long-term future?

After thumping 5 past Leeds, Crystal Palace faced another game on the road, this time at the hands of Southampton, who are rooted at the bottom of the table. It posed a, potentially, tricky tie for Palace, but they handled it expertly, with Eze shining throughout. His two goals in the 2-0 meant that Palace returned home with all 3 points. It also meant that Eze is now their top scorer, edging past Wilfred Zaha, as he has now notched 7 for the season.

It will be interesting to see just how long Hodgson can keep this good run going. His side are full of confidence now, and his players are getting to showcase their quality on the pitch. They need to keep their heads level though. Even though they are now 9 points away from the relegation zone, they could easily get sucked back in.

On the other hand, Everton has been really disappointing as of late. When Dyche came in, I thought he would keep Everton up with a few games to spare, getting the best out of them defensively and making them hard to beat. After their last-gasp draw against Spurs, it has only gone downhill for The Toffees.

After their 2-0 loss against Man United, Everton had a chance to pick up some points at home when they faced a Fulham side who were struggling to pick up a win. It provided a great opportunity for Everton to climb the table, and put a few points between themselves and the bottom three.

They really did disappoint, however, as mistake after a mistake led to Fulham running out 3-1 winners, with Everton guilty of some really lax defending. They did not deserve anything from the game, and with other results going against them, they remained level with Forest, but the teams above them are starting to pull away.

With the form Crystal Palace are in, this should be a straightforward win for them. Everton will most likely go defensive here, and try to hit Palace on the break, but their defence is not strong enough to cope with that at the moment. A fairly comfortable home win here.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2 – 0 Everton

Leicester v Wolves

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Dean Smith had a free hit last week against Man City. Nobody expected him to go to The Etihad and pick up a point, let alone 3. The damage was done within the first half an hour, as City raced to a 3-0 lead, courtesy of a Haaland brace and John Stones’ first goal of the season.

The second half may have offered some hope to Smith, and to the Leicester fans, that they can stay up this season. They pulled one back through Iheanacho with 15 minutes to go and had two more brilliant opportunities after that. On another day, they could have done the unthinkable and brought the scores to 3-3, but it was not meant to be.

Dean Smith needs a good start now, especially in his home games. The team needs to come out motivated, and willing to fight. All defensive lapses need to be eradicated, and the team needs to start playing like an actual team. They showed enough in the second half against Man City to show that they might not be down and out just yet.

Wolves are slowly but surely edging closer to Premier League survival. They recorded a good win over Chelsea at home last week, and they have just recorded another home win, this time against high-flying Brentford, giving them a 7-point cushion between themselves and the drop zone.

I have been saying all season that Wolves need to get their strikers firing if they have any chance of staying up, and they certainly delivered in this game. Diego Costa finally got his first goal for the club, giving them a 1-0 lead at halftime. Hwang Hee-Chan doubled that lead with around 20 minutes to go, to ensure Wolves gained all 3 points.

Wolves now, like Crystal Palace, need to remain focused. They cannot afford to relax, as that 7 point gap could easily be depleted. They need to keep winning games, especially against those below them. I think they are safe now, but stranger things have happened in the Premier League before.

It is hard to call how this one will go, especially with it being Dean Smith’s first home game in charge. He will want to give the home crowd something to cheer about, and they need to put up a fight. Wolves may come into this game more relaxed than they should be, and I think they will pay for it, with Leicester just edging it.

Prediction: Leicester 1 – 0 Wolves

Bournemouth v West Ham

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Where has this Bournemouth side been all season? A few games ago, they looked like they were down and out. They couldn’t pick up a point, their defence was leaking goal after goal, and they were struggling to score. Now, all of a sudden, the penny has dropped, and they have been performing out of their skin.

In their last 4 games, they have beaten Fulham 2-1, lost 2-0 to Brighton in a game they could have got something out of, beat relegation rivals Leicester 1-0 away from home, and last week they travelled to and beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2. They were brilliant, and one man, in particular, stood out, Dominic Solanke.

His goal and 2 assist won Bournemouth the game, as he put in a man-of-the-match performance. The goal put him on 5 for the season, and he will be eager to get a few more before the end of the season. Ouattara finally got his first goal for the club. A 95th-minute winner away against a top 6 club is not a bad way to open your account.

Bournemouth is up to 14th and are 6 points clear of the relegation zone. Whilst their confidence will be high, they do need to be careful. One bad run of form between now and the end of the season could be disastrous for them. They need to keep picking up points.

West Ham continues to amaze me this season. After their win against Fulham, I expected them to lose against Arsenal. After 10 minutes of the game, it seemed I would be right, Arsenal scoring twice in quick succession to give them a healthy early lead. But West Ham fought back. A Benrahama penalty and a brilliant Jarred Bowen assist gave West Ham the draw they deserved.

It could have been even better for them, as they had enough chances to win the game, but they will be happy with a point against the league leaders, especially after being 2-0 down so early on. They then took this form with them into the Europa Conference League, beating Gent 4-1, setting up a showdown with AZ Alkmaar in the middle of May.

They are on a roll here, with 3 good results. They need to build on this and put some more points between themselves and the bottom 3. They are already 4 points clear and have a game in hand over the teams around them, but they need to be careful. These Thursday night games could cause fatigue and injuries.

This is another difficult one to call. Both teams are in relatively good form. Bournemouth has picked the perfect time to come into some form, and so has West Ham. We could have a really entertaining game on our hands here, which is why I am going with a score draw.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2 – 2 West Ham

Newcastle v Tottenham Hotspur

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Newcastle was on the wrong end of a thrashing last weekend. They travelled to face an informed Aston Villa, only to have Ollie Watkins put in his performance of the season against them.

Two goals and an assist from the English striker were more than enough to beat a tame, timid Newcastle side, denting their hopes of a top 4 finish. Luckily for Newcastle, results went their way, as Spurs were unable to pick up 3 points.

This is a huge game for Newcastle. If they win, they will more than likely finish in the top 4, and they can put that game against Aston Villa behind them. If they lose, it puts all the pressure on them, as Spurs can close the gap.

Tottenham Hotspur was also disappointed last week. They came up against Bournemouth, and lost 3-2 in the 95th minute, courtesy of Ouattara and Dominic Solanke. Spurs were at their creative best in a sense, generating 24 shots. But these were wasted, as they only landed 6 on target.

Spurs now need to be looking over their shoulder. Despite their challenge for a spot in the top 4 all season, there is a chance they may not even finish in the top 6. Aston Villa sits 3 points behind Spurs, and Brighton sits 4 points behind and has 2 games in hand over them. Liverpool also has a game in hand, and if they win that, will be 3 points off Spurs.

This should be a huge concern for Spurs. They have not exactly been impressive throughout the season, and if they continue dropping points like they did last week, there will be no Champions League football for them next year.

This is a huge game, and both sides are in dire need of 3 points. Newcastle needs them to stay clear of Spurs, who can go level on points with them if they win. Spurs need the points to catch up with Newcastle, and to try to put some distance between themselves and the 3 sides below them. This is going to be a very entertaining game, and I think Newcastle will come out on top.

Prediction: Newcastle 3 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur

Other Predictions

  • Arsenal 3 – 0 Southampton
  • Fulham 2 – 0 Leeds
  • Brentford 1 – 2 Aston Villa
  • Liverpool 4 – 0 Nottingham Forest

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