Match of the Week
Man City 3-1 Arsenal
Manchester City will welcome Arsenal to the Etihad this weekend, desperately needing a win after their midweek loss to Newcastle. The loss widened their gap between 1st place Liverpool to 5 points. They will be thankful to Leicester, however, for digging out a draw against Liverpool at Anfield – saving City from the threat of a seven-point gap,.
Arsenal, meanwhile, has risen to fourth place on goal difference thanks to Bournemouth’s humiliation of Chelsea on the south coast. Desperate to return to the Champions League next season, Arsenal needs a result against City to stave off threatening Chelsea and Manchester United sides.
The primary concern in City’s lineup lies between the sticks. After suffering a deep cut against Newcastle, Ederson is questionable for Sunday's match. If he is unavailable, the onus of shot-stopper will be placed on 20-year-old Aro Muric.
For Arsenal, injuries continue to ravage their already weakened defense. Though Koscielny is back training, Bellerin, Holding, and Sokratis remain out with injuries. Also, Mkhitaryan and Maitland-Niles are questionable for the match. Look for Ozil to be dropped once again as has been common for Emery to do in big games.
A severely weakened Arsenal backline will have a daunting task staving off Pep’s barrage of attackers including Sterling, Jesus, Sane, and Aguero. Expecting a response from his side, Pep will send his men out looking for the kill.
City’s attack will prove too strong for Arsenal’s woeful defense and – unless the Gunners can catch the Mancunians sleeping as Leicester, Palace, and Newcastle have done – should take the match by a comfortable margin.
Saturday, February 2nd
Tottenham 1-0 Newcastle
After completing impressive comebacks against both Fulham and Watford in recent weeks, Tottenham goes again against a weak Newcastle side. Though Newcastle pulled off an impressive 2-1 win over a sluggish Manchester City, the Magpies will have a difficult time at Wembley on Saturday.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli remain sidelined with injuries meaning that Llorente will lead the line. Tottenham will win a difficult match against a defensive, but unthreatening Newcastle side.
Chelsea 3-0 Huddersfield
Huddersfield travels to west London as the worst team in the Premier League sitting deep in 20th place. A match against Chelsea will not help their chances of escaping the drop.
Chelsea, who have struggled to produce goals and results since early December, will relish the chance to secure a comfortable win at their home ground. If Chelsea wishes to return to the Champions League places, these are the matches they must start winning.
Look for Hudson-Odoi to start in a much-changed Chelsea side as Sarri finally makes adjustments to his struggling but stubborn formation. Also, Higuaín will have his Stamford Bridge debut and will likely mark the occasion with his first goal for his new club.
Everton 2-3 Wolves
Everton’s poor form is likely to reappear against a Wolves side that has been in fine form in recent weeks. This clash is expected to be evenly contested, but Santo’s team will use their good results of late to propel them to victory in an exciting mid-table clash.
Brighton 0-1 Watford
Brighton, who have yet to win in 2019, will look for their first 3 points against a Watford side whose unbeaten run was ended by Spurs earlier in the week.
Watford should bounce back from their midweek miseries with a win against Brighton this weekend.
Burnley FC 1-1 Southampton
Two resurgent sides collide in this relegation riddled clash at Turf Moor. Burnley finds themselves 4 points clear of the drop zone and is undefeated in their last 5 matches. However, Hassenhuttl’s Southampton will prove a difficult test for the Clarets.
The two sides will cancel out each other’s attacking barrages resulting in a draw.
Crystal Palace 1-0 Fulham
Palace has been decent of late and, though Zaha is out due to suspension and new signing Batshuayi is unlikely to appear, they will put out a confident display against Fulham. Look for Palace to edge this low table clash against a Fulham side that looked impressive against Brighton in midweek.
Cardiff City 1-1 Bournemouth
After an incredible performance against Chelsea in midweek, Bournemouth, who were struggling before Wednesday, will use their momentum to put out a good performance against Cardiff.
However, the cherries have lost 7 straight matches on the road and face a Cardiff side that desperately needs a result.
Sunday, February 3rd
Leicester 1-2 Man United
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men will look to return to form against a Leicester side that has stymied top 6 contenders Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man City in recent weeks. United will likely rely on Martial and Lingard to exploit the foxes on the counter. Claude Puel’s Leicester looked strong against Anfield and even had the opportunity to grab 3 points. Puel will deploy a cagey Leicester side that will frustrate Manchester United. The Reds will likely rebound with a close victory as their pacy attack returns to its form of weeks prior.
Man City 3-1 Arsenal
See the comments at the top of the article for the breakdown.
Monday, February 4th
West Ham 0-3 Liverpool
After a stuttering performance against Leicester at Anfield in midweek, Liverpool will return to form. The reds will respond to their title charge at the London Stadium. Look for the Reds to put on a resurgent performance against a West Ham side that have been fierce competition against top 6 teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, and Man United at home.