BOURNEMOUTH

Today
15:00
Vitality Stadium

V

WEST HAM

Bournemouth managed to turn the tables last weekend and somehow earn a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, despite playing the entire second half with ten men. To be honest they could have been a fair few goals down at the break, but they somehow avoided that and their defence improved dramatically in the second half.

The Cherries remain without a win in 2017 though, with them drawing three and losing six of their nine outings in all competitions since then. This puts them 14th in the Premier League table, just five points above the drop zone and facing the rest of the season without the injured Callum Wilson.

The hosts’ main issue recently hasn’t been in the attacking department though. Defensively they have been awful, conceding 24 goals in their last nine matches. This, along with their decent attacking spells, means that nine of their last 12 matches have seen at least three goals scored in total.

West Ham haven’t been shy going forward recently either. They lost 2-1 against Chelsea on Monday to make it three wins, two draws, and two defeats for them in their last seven matches. This has lifted them to 11th in the Premier League, and they will still be hoping to achieve a top half finish this season.

The Hammers’ defence is still struggling though. There have been a total of 29 goals in their last eight outings in all competitions, resulting in all but one of them having at least three goals scored in it.

Away from home they actually perform better than at the London Stadium. they have won three of their last five matches on the road and scored an impressive 11 goals in the process, and six of their last nine away games have seen at least three goals scored.

WESTHAM WIN 2-1

HULL

Today
15:00
KCOM Stadium

V

SWANSEA

Hull’s chances of Premier League survival took another hit last time out as they lost 3-1 away to Leicester, continuing their vein of awful away form even under new manager Marco Silva. This extends their winless streak to three matches in the Premier League.

They have made notable improvements since the turn of the year though, winning four, drawing two, and losing five of their 11 matches and getting themselves to within four points of the Premier League safe zone. They remain second from bottom though, and they will need to do more if they are to escape the bottom three in an increasingly competitive relegation battle.

At home they are a much better side though. They are unbeaten in six home matches in all competitions and have won four of them. They still concede regularly, with just two clean sheets in their 16 home games in all competitions all season. However, they have started to perform at the other end of the pitch as well and have only failed to score once in the last 11 games.

Swansea are a transformed side under Paul Clement though. They beat Burnley 3-2 at home last weekend to make it four wins and two defeats from their last six matches. This includes games against Liverpool, Southampton, Manchester City, Leicester, and Chelsea too, so it’s not exactly been an easy run of fixtures for them.

This excellent showing has pushed them up to 16th in the Premier League, and they now have a five point cushion before they hit the bottom three. They are one of the most in form sides in the bottom half of the table as well, so we can expect to see that cushion grow ever more comfortable.

Away from home they have only won two of their last 12 league games though, and even since their resurgence they still seem to be suffering defensive problems. They haven’t kept a clean sheet on the road since their opening game of the season, although they have scored in eight of their last ten.

SWANSEA WIN 1-0

EVERTON

Today
15:00
Goodison Park

V

WEST BROM

Everton’s unbeaten streak came to an end last week as they faced the in form Tottenham, losing 3-2 in the end in an utterly fascinating game of football at White Hart Lane. Everton shouldn’t feel too discouraged though, as they were playing one of the most in form sides of the Premier League.

Prior to that match Everton had won six and drawn three of their previous nine Premier League matches, pushing them up to 7th in the table despite a poor run of form towards the end of 2016. They are now five points adrift of Manchester United in 6th but four points clear of the 8th placed West Brom. A win on Saturday would see them go seven points clear of the chasing side and put them in a very strong position for finishing 7th or above.

The Toffees main focus in recent times has been scoring goals – and lots of them too. They have notched 23 league goals in their last ten matches, and at Goodison Park that figure is even more impressive. They have notched 15 goals in their last four home matches in the league, winning all of them after their disappointing loss in the Merseyside derby. That remains their only league defeat of the season there.

It won’t come as a surprise who has been key to this success either! Romelu Lukaku has netted 18 of Everton’s 44 league goals this season and has scored seven goals in his last four home appearances. Backing him to score anytime at 5/6 looks by far the best choice for our goalscorer predictions.

West Brom also saw their unbeaten streak end last weekend, although they will be far more disappointed considering it came at home against the out of form Crystal Palace. They have now won three, drawn two, and lost one of their last six outings in the Premier League.

EVERTON WIN 2-1

LIVERPOOL

12th March
16:00
Anfield

V

BURNLEY

 

Liverpool showed what they are capable of last weekend with a convincing 3-1 victory at home to Arsenal, to give them just their second Premier League win of this calendar year. The questions around their motivation against the lower teams remains in place though.

They have beaten both Spurs and Arsenal and drawn with Chelsea at Anfield recently, but defeats to the likes of Leicester, Hull, Wolves, Southampton and Swansea suggest that their minds go wandering unless they’re playing one of the big teams.

This has resulted in a very poor run of form for Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool have won two, drawn one, and lost five of their last eight matches in all competitions, leaving them 4th in the Premier League but four points adrift of 2nd placed Spurs and 14 behind Chelsea at the top. Arsenal and Manchester United are both within a win of them as well.

Even at home Liverpool have only won two of their last seven games in all competitions, largely thanks to their shambolic defending at times. They have only kept six clean sheets in their 18 home games in all competitions, including just one in their last six.

Burnley do have a shocking away record though and are now winless in five matches. They haven’t won an away game all season and have lost 11 of their 13 Premier League away days. Their home form is keeping them in a comfortable 12th position in the Premier League, but away from home they just seem to lack that determination to defend.

They have started to find the net when travelling though, scoring in each of their last six matches in the Premier League. However, keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool away from home isn’t going to be an easy task.

LIVERPOOL WIN 4-1

 

FA CUP QF

MIDDLESBROUGH

Today
12:15
Riverside Stadium

V

MANCHESTER CITY

Middlesbrough fell to yet another Premier League defeat last weekend at the hands of Stoke, pushing them into the bottom three and leaving them three points from the safety of 17th position. It’s no surprise given their recent performances in the league, but in the FA Cup they have largely been afforded favourable ties until now.

Their overall form has seen them win two, draw three, and lose four of their last nine matches in all competitions, with both victories being in the FA Cup. Those wins against Accrington Stanley and Oxford United followed on from a win at home to Sheffield United.

All of these saw a few goals or more go in, but that hasn’t been Middlesbrough’s style in their league football. They have shown to be a very defensive side and have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last 12 matches in all competitions. Unfortunately for them their attacking play doesn’t complement this.

Manchester City couldn’t find their own rhythm in midweek as they drew 0-0 at home to Stoke, missing out on the chance to go 2nd in the Premier League and leaving them behind Spurs on goal difference.

This does extend their unbeaten streak to ten matches in all competitions, seven of which have been wins. This includes a stunning 5-3 win against Monaco in the Champions League, but they face a trip to the in form French side on Wednesday so one of Pep Guardiola’s eyes could be firmly fixed on that.

Away from home Manchester City are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions, but their one failure to win during this spell did come in the FA Cup as they were held to a goalless draw at Huddersfield Town.

MANCITY WIN 3-0

ARSENAL

Today
17:30
The Emirates

V

LINCOLN CITY

Arsene Wenger’s future was cast into further doubt in midweek as they were subject to another humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich. Going into the second leg The Gunners needed a miracle after losing 5-1 in Munich, and a glimmer of hope appeared when Walcott scored the opener. It didn’t last long though, and by the end of the evening they walked off the pitch on the end of a 10-2 aggregate loss to the German giants.

This makes it two wins and five defeats in Arsenal’s last seven games in all competitions, which has sent them crashing out of the Champions League and also out of the Premier League top four, although they do have a game in hand on Liverpool above them.

At the Emirates they have only lost four times in all competitions this season though and have won five of their last seven matches there. In the FA Cup they have rarely looked threatened either, beating Sutton United, Southampton, and Preston North End so far. It’s also unlikely that Arsene Wenger will take any chances with a weak team, considering the aggression he faced on Tuesday.

Lincoln City have defied all the odds to make it to this stage of the competition. They knocked out Burnley away from home in their last round, and prior to that beat Brighton, Ipswich, Oldham, Altrincham, and Guiseley. Now they are the lowest ranked team still in the competition, and they might have afforded themselves a shred of hope after Arsenal’s midweek catastrophe.

Whilst Arsenal were 5-1 down at home to Bayern Munich, Lincoln City were leading Braintree 4-0 away from home, extending their unbeaten streak to ten matches in all competitions. Eight of these have been victories, leaving them six points clear at the top of the National League and looking well on track for promotion.

Lincoln City may be in the better form of the two sides, but it’s important to remember the sheer difference in class. Arsenal won’t be leaving too many players out as they look for a confident performance to try and move past their midweek humiliation, so I can see a hammering on the cards here.

ARSENAL WIN 2-1

TOTTENHAM

12th March
14:00
White Hart Lane

V

MILLWALL

Harry Kane put in another masterclass up front for Tottenham last weekend as he notched two in a 3-2 win for the hosts against Everton. This makes it three wins from their last four matches in all competitions, since back to back defeats against Liverpool and Gent.

Their European campaign may be over, and they are ten points adrift of leaders Chelsea in the Premier League title race, but the FA Cup is still well within their sights as they look towards the end of the season.

So far they have dispatched of Fulham, Wycombe Wanderers, and Aston Villa in the cup, scoring an impressive nine goals and conceding three at the other end. All of these conceded goals came in a thrilling match at White Hart Lane against Wycombe, and with this now being Spurs’ only real chance of silverware this season, I’m not expecting Mauricio Pochettino or any of the players to be taking it lightly on Sunday.

Millwall have been phenomenal in the FA Cup so far. They knocked Leicester out with a late goal in the last round, making it three Premier League sides they have eliminated from the competition. It followed on from wins over Watford and Bournemouth, but the fact that all of those games were at The Den is a huge factor here.

The crowd at that intimidating stadium really does act as the 12th man, and whilst the travelling fans are bound to make plenty of noise, the atmosphere at White Hart Lane will be much more pleasant for Tottenham.

Add to this the fact that Spurs have won 12 of their last 13 home games in all competitions, scoring 38 goals and conceding nine, and you realise the scope of Millwall’s task. The visitors have only won one of their last six away games as well.

Dele Alli found his way onto the score-sheet again against Everton last weekend, and considering the dominance Spurs are likely to have on Sunday, I would expect him to find himself in scoring positions more than a few times against Millwall. He has scored 14 goals for Spurs this season and eight of them have come at home, so he looks the best value for our anytime goalscorer predictions at 4/5.

SPURS WIN 3-1

CHELSEA

13th March
19:45
Stamford Bridge

V

MANCHESTER UNITED

Chelsea’s stroll towards the Premier League title continued last week with a 2-1 win away at West Ham leaving them ten points clear of 2nd placed Tottenham and with just 11 games left to navigate in the league season.

Their lack of European football certainly seems to have helped them, along with the brilliance of Antonio Conte’s management. They are now unbeaten in ten games in all competitions and have won eight of them, including comfortable FA Cup victories over Peterborough United, Brentford, and Wolves.

At Stamford Bridge they are even better though. They have failed to win just once all season, and that came all the way back in September. Since then they have won 12 games on the bounce, scoring 38 goals and conceding just six at the other end.

Obviously their FA Cup fixture list hasn’t been too demanding up to now, but the same can be said of defending champions Manchester United. The visitors have beaten Blackburn Rovers, Wigan, and Reading in the lead up to this match.

Manchester United played as recently as Thursday in the Europa League, when they faced a lengthy trip over to Russia to draw 1-1 with Rostov. They have the second leg on the coming Thursday as well, so the fixture congestion is certainly starting to add up. In fact, they have played 16 games already in 2017, whereas Chelsea have only played 11 times.

Away from home Manchester United have won eight, drawn three, and lost one of their last 12 matches in all competitions, but none of these games came against a side as good as Chelsea. The hosts have been demolishing all comers at home since their switch to a back three, with Liverpool, Everton, Spurs, and Arsenal all falling victim to them at Stamford Bridge. Manchester United were humiliated 4-0 there in October as well.

DRAW 2-2