Premier League and FA Cup Predictions
League and cup matters collide this weekend with a mix of Premier League and FA Cup action.
Here are our predictions for a busy few days of football…
PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS
Saturday, all 15:00 games
Bournemouth vs Newcastle
Case for the home side: Eddie Howe’s side ended their away hoodoo with a clinical three points against struggling Huddersfield. A win here would surely all but confirm another season of Premier League football.
Case for the away side: Rafa’s side showed huge fighting spirit in a dramatic comeback victory against Everton and will also know three points by any means here would end any talk of relegation.
Verdict: The Cherries to effectively end any relegation fears. 2-0
Burnley vs Leicester City
Case for the home side: Sean Dyche will be all too aware of the danger his side currently finds themselves in after slipping back into the thick of the relegation fight. If any game has ‘scrappy 1-0 home win’ all over it, it’s this one, with three points the only pressing concern. With other teams not playing, it’s a great chance for the Clarets to put some pressure on.
Case for the away side: Brendan Rodgers is off the mark after a comfortable victory over Fulham last time out, and has the luxury of picking from players with extra motivation to turn on the style as he starts his rebuilding work at the King Power.
Verdict: Scrappy 1-0 home win. 1-0
West Ham vs Huddersfield
Case for the home side: The Hammers can be infuriatingly inconsistent, but have generally looked comfortable at home in recent weeks against weaker opposition. Back that trend to continue here against shot-shy Huddersfield.
Case for the away side: In truth, every game remaining is now a free hit for Jan Siewert with a return to the Championship looking imminent. Terriers fans will be happy to see at least a goal with their side scoring only 15 in 30 games.
Verdict: A stroll in the park at the London Stadium. 2-0
Fulham vs Liverpool, 14:15
Case for the home side: Scott Parker may have been handed one of the hardest tasks in football but he did manage to get a tune out of this Fulham side in their unlucky defeat to Chelsea the last time they played at Craven Cottage.
Case for the away side: Liverpool hardly had to shift out of second gear to outwit German leaders Bayern Munich in the Champions League in midweek. Expect confidence to be sky-high against a Fulham side likely to gift-wrap the Reds chances.
Verdict: Klopp to go top and take advantage of Man City’s FA Cup distraction. 0-2
Everton vs Chelsea, 16:30
Case for the home side: Marco Silva will have read his Toffees side the riot act as they switched off against Chelsea. A response is the least he can expect from a Toffees side lacking a signature win against one of the ‘Big Six’ this season.
Case for the away side: The Blues were on autopilot for much of their Europa League tie against Dynamo Kiev and shouldn’t be overly fatigued for this one.
Verdict: Score draw as Sarri’s side stutters. 1-1
FA Cup Quarter-Finals
Watford vs Crystal Palace
Case for the home side: Watford have recent FA Cup history to settle with Palace after the Eagles edged them out to win the 2016 final and look the best outsider tip to enjoy a run-out at Wembley in May. Javi Gracia knows defeat here would be an opportunity missed after an encouraging season at Vicarage Road.
Case for the away side: Home isn’t where the heart is for Crystal Palace, who look far more dangerous away from home. They also have a point to prove after a drab derby defeat to Brighton,
Verdict: The Hornets to head to Wembley. 2-1
Swansea City vs Man City
Case for the home side: Swansea’s season all rests on this one game, with Graham Potter’s side safely ensconced in mid-table in the Championship. Can his young side play the game of their lives and pull off a shock against the Premier League champions?
Case for the away side: A 7-0 win over Schalke looks ominous for the Championship side. Regardless of what side Pep puts out, can the Swans show the defensive discipline to keep them at bay?
Verdict: The quadruple chase continues for Pep Guardiola. 0-3
Wolves vs Man Utd
Case for the home side: Nuno’s side has been fearless against more illustrious opponents this season. There’s little to suggest they will freeze under the pressure here.
Case for the away side: Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is steeped in FA Cup tradition. Lifting the trophy in May would surely end any doubts about his long-term future with the club he loves.
Verdict: A return to form for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side – although it might take more than 90 minutes. 1-2
Millwall vs Brighton
Case for the home side: An impressive midweek victory over high-flying Birmingham gives Millwall renewed hope coming into this one after a lean run of form in the Championship. They also have great cup pedigree with several high-profile giant-killings to their name in recent seasons.
Case for the away side: Back-to-back victories give Brighton momentum coming into this game, and with the way the draw has opened up, they may never have a better chance of reaching a first final since 1983.
Verdict: The Seagulls to see off a stubborn Lions side with a nervy win. 0-1
All image sources from PA Images
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