The Premier League treats us to a full midweek fixture list across Tuesday and Wednesday, with some teams more rested than others after FA Cup fourth round action.
Will that make all the difference with several big games at both ends of the table?
Here are our Premier League predictions for Gameweek 24…
PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS
Tuesday 29th January, 19:45 unless stated
ARSENAL VS CARDIFF CITY
Case for the home side: For all their recent troubles, Unai Emery’s side is still a force to be reckoned with against smaller Premier League sides at the Emirates. With a game against Man City just around the corner, Arsenal need to be on the front foot in this one.
Case for the away side: It’s going to be a sombre night for Neil Warnock’s side following the events of last week. Expect them to redouble their efforts to try and pull off a surprise result in this one using the grit and determination that has served them well so far this season.
Verdict: The Gunners to prove just too strong at the Emirates. 2-0
FULHAM VS BRIGHTON
Case for the home side: This is surely a last throw of the dice for Fulham, who are fast running out of home games to help salvage their situation. Against a travel-sick Brighton side they need to fly out of the blocks.
Case for the away side: The results haven’t been there, but the Seagulls are improving on the road and remain dangerous from set-pieces. Florin Andone’s pace could cause the Cottagers trouble.
Verdict A smash-and-grab for the Seagulls. 1-2
HUDDERSFIELD VS EVERTON
Case for the home side: A fresh start, the new manager bounce – whatever you want to call it, Huddersfield will be looking to call upon it. With over a week to work with his new charges, Jan Siewert will be hoping to make an instant impression.
Case for the away side: Marco Silva is a man under pressure, but Everton have a knack for pulling out a result for the Portuguese boss just when he needs one. He won’t get many better chances against a toothless Terriers side.
Verdict: A reality check for the Premier League’s latest addition in the dugout. 1-2
WOLVES VS WEST HAM
Case for the home side: Nuno’s side might just be meeting West Ham at the right time, with the Hammers back to the Jekyll and Hyde form that characterised their slow start to the season. If the wrong West Ham side turns up, expect Wolves to take full advantage.
Case for the away side: Wolves can occasionally fluff their lines on home soil against middling opposition, and the Hammers have more than enough attacking quality to exploit that if Nuno’s size freezes under the Molineux floodlights.
Verdict: This one could be entertaining – but back the home side to hold firm. 2-1.
MAN UTD VS BURNLEY, 20:00
Case for the home side: Eight from eight, players having fun, need we say more? We’ll have whatever Ole’s having – as it’s having the desired effect.
Case for the away side: Sean Dyche’s side never play to the script – and there’s few other teams in the Premier League you’d back more than the Clarets to play spoilers and sabotage an extended winning streak with a disciplined, backs-to-the-wall performance.
Verdict: Ole to move one step closer towards that perfect 10. 2-0
NEWCASTLE VS MAN CITY
Case for the home side: Rafa Benítez lives and breathes for this kind of game. For all his current frustrations, expect him to keep a calm head and drill his Magpies side to stay disciplined defensively against a City side scoring goals for fun.
Case for the away side: City look like they are hitting their stride as the race for the title intensifies, racking up a number of impressive victories in recent weeks. If they claim an early lead, will the Magpies have anything in reply?
Verdict: Pep’s magic start to 2019 to continue. 0-2
Wednesday 30th January, 19:45 unless stated
BOURNEMOUTH VS CHELSEA
Case for the home side: The Blues have come unstuck plenty of times before against Eddie Howe’s cavalier Cherries side and this will be a character test for them – particularly if they don’t approach the game with the right mentality at the Vitality.
Case for the away side: Will the arrival of Gonzalo Higuaín be the answer to Maurizio Sarri’s prayers? If he can get the most from his trusted Napoli henchman, Chelsea should improve their consistency.
Verdict: A tough night for the Blues but they should squeak through. 1-2
SOUTHAMPTON VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Case for the home side: It’s baby steps but Ralph Hasenhüttl is beginning to stamp his authority at Southampton. If he can finally crack Saints’ inconsistency at home, they have more than enough to pull away from danger.
Case for the away side: Roy Hodgson’s side comes into this one with real momentum after seeing off an injury-hit Spurs side in the FA Cup. After two league defeats, he’ll be hoping that confidence will carry through to their scrap against relegation.
Verdict: Honours even at St Mary’s for two improving sides. 1-1
LIVERPOOL VS LEICESTER CITY, 20:00
Case for the home side: With no FA Cup run to trouble them, Liverpool’s players have enjoyed a much-needed break from action. Expect them to be fit and fired up to retain their Premier League against a Foxes side already with very little to play for.
Case for the away side: For all the question marks surrounding Claude Puel’s tactics, his Foxes team is capable of scoring. They have enough attacking threat to trouble the meanest defence in the Premier League.
Verdict: Klopp’s side to flush out the Foxes. 3-1
SPURS VS WATFORD, 20:00
Case for the home side: He might not start, but the return of Son Heung-Min from Asian Cup action is just the lift that Spurs needed after their most disappointing week of the season so far. Can he drag them over the line against a dangerous Hornets side?
Case for the away side: They’ve crept up relatively unnoticed, but Watford’s consistency under Javi Gracia suggests they more than deserve their current billing as the ‘Best of the Rest’. This wouldn’t have been the home fixture Mauricio Pochettino would have handpicked.
Verdict: Some much-needed relief for Poch. 2-0
All image sources from PA Images
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