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Premier League preview & predictions: Gameweek 21

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We hope you’ve not gotten bored of the football yet, because there’s only one day between one Premier League gameweek ending and another beginning.

That’s right, it starts all over again on Saturday, with plenty of scores to be settled in England’s top flight. Scores like 1-1, 2-1 and maybe even 5-3 if we’re lucky.

The headline clash is Manchester United’s trip to Arsenal, which takes place on Saturday evening. The other nine games have their merits, but if they don’t, do not stress – we’ll let you know.

So, let’s get underway with 90min’s preview and predictions for gameweek 21 of the Premier League.

Everton vs Newcastle

Rodriguez scored his first goal since October against Leicester
Rodriguez scored his first goal since October against Leicester | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 12:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Goodison Park
TV channel? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US)

Everton had little of the ball in their 1-1 draw with Leicester on Wednesday. James Rodriguez netted the opener on the night and is slowly coming back to the fore, having endured a barren run of form not helped by a knock.

They defended reasonably well but were undone by Youri Tielemans’ strike, though Jordan Pickford might have done better on another day.

Newcastle’s form has been miserable of late. They were recently defeated 2-1 by Leeds to extend their losing run to five consecutive Premier League games. There are difficult games against Southampton, Chelsea and Manchester United coming up, too.

It’s hardly surprising, but we’re going to go with a Toffees win here.

Prediction: Everton 3-0 Newcastle

Crystal Palace vs Wolves

Wilfried Zaha
Zaha was back among the goals against West Ham | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Selhurst Park
TV channel? Sky Sports (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

There are other games at 3pm on Saturday, and in all honesty unless you support either Palace or Wolves you should cast your eyes elsewhere. Sorry, not sorry.

Palace did at least play their part in an entertaining clash with West Ham on Wednesday, ultimately losing 3-2 to a very good West Ham. Wilfried Zaha was on the scoresheet that night, taking his league tally to nine goals for the season.

The Eagles have just one win in their last nine league games, though still hold a ten point buffer over the relegation zone.

Wolves have been disappointing this season, evidently lacking the threat of Diogo Jota, who joined Liverpool in the summer, and Raul Jimenez, who suffered a horrible head injury at Arsenal. They’re winless in their last seven league games.

There are a fair few injury issues for both teams, too. Sure, it might throw up a magical 4-3 on the day, but that seems unlikely.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolves

Manchester City vs Sheffield United

Ilkay Guendogan, Phil Foden
Ilkay Gundogan starred in City’s win at West Brom | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Etihad
TV channel? Sky Sports (UK), fuboTV (US)

Are Manchester City going to run away with the league? It’s beginning to feel a little like that, isn’t it?

City have won all but three of their games in all competitions since a 2-0 loss to Tottenham back in November. That’s a lot of games, and they’ve barely conceded during that time, too.

Sure, Kevin De Bruyne is injured and there’s no out and out striker bagging goals, but Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden are all starting to contribute. The 5-0 win over West Brom showed such a gulf in class between the two teams it was genuinely awkward to watch at times.

Sheffield United are making a fist of a great escape down at the bottom of the table, upsetting Manchester United at Old Trafford with a 2-1 win. Kean Bryan and Oliver Burke got on the scoresheet to earn Chris Wilder a priceless win, but they are still ten points off 17th placed Brighton.

Two wins in their last three ain’t bad, but it’ll likely be two in four come Saturday evening. And it probably won’t be a draw, either.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-0 Sheffield United

West Brom vs Fulham

Sam Allardyce
West Brom were swatted aside by City on Tuesday | Michael Regan/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Hawthorns
TV channel? BBC Sport (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

18th vs. 19th. Sam Allardyce vs. Scott Parker. West Brom vs. Fulham. A staple fixture of Premier League fixtures in years gone by, though not as regular nowadays. It probably won’t be next season, unless both of these sides magically sort themselves out.

West Brom won’t cite defeats to Manchester City as the reason they got relegated if that ends up being the case, but a home fixture with fellow relegation contenders Fulham is a game they certainly need a point or three from.

We’re yet to truly see the ‘solid’ Allardyce outfit the former England boss is renowned for, the Liverpool draw aside, though they did show their attacking claws in the surprise 3-2 win at Wolves.

Fulham have become harder to beat over the past month, though draws haven’t been enough to pull them out of the relegation zone. That spark in attack is still missing and probably won’t be present on Saturday, either.

Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Fulham

Arsenal vs Manchester United

Mikel Arteta, Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin
Arsenal won at Southampton last time out | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Emirates
TV channel? Sky Sports (UK), fuboTV (US)

Arsenal were supposed to be battling relegation for the rest of the season, though a spike in recent form has lifted them up to the table. So much so that a late Champions League charge isn’t unthinkable. It’s unlikely, but hardly impossible.

Manchester United had a brilliant run of form that established them as Premier League title challengers, but just as fans were beginning to trust Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side a smidge, they went and bloody lost to 20th placed Sheffield United.

So, what a great time for them to meet in the Premier League, eh?

The Gunners actually hold the edge over their rivals in recent clashes, winning three of the last four, though the Red Devils have been unbeaten away from home in the top flight for over a year. Something’s got to give, eh?

Solskjaer will revert to his strongest XI having rotated in midweek and ought to get a big response from his side. We may see new signing Martin Odegaard in action for Arsenal, but his first game may end in defeat.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

Southampton vs Aston Villa

Jack Grealish
Grealish’s Villa somehow lost to Burnley on Wednesday | James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? St Mary’s
TV channel? Sky Sports (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

On the face of it, this is one of the more intriguing battles of the weekend. Both Southampton and Aston Villa are unquestionably well managed by Ralph Hasenhuttl and Dean Smith, but recent losses have worsened their respective league positions.

The Saints have faced Arsenal twice in the past week, winning in the FA Cup and losing in the Premier League, and have only emerged victorious in one of their past seven top flight games. Danny Ings remains as big a threat as ever, mind, and he’ll be looking to build on his seven league goals so far this term.

On the other hand, Villa fans must have been tearing their hair out watching their defeat to Burnley.

The Villans were so clearly superior to their opponents and created chance after chance, but the lack of a clinical touch hampered them and they were sucker punched in a 3-2 defeat at Turf Moor.

This ought to be a fascinating encounter filled with goals and decent enough fare if you’ve got little going on this Saturday night.

Prediction: Southampton 2-2 Aston Vila

Chelsea vs Burnley

Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel’s spell at Chelsea started with a draw with Wolves | Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 12:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Stamford Bridge
TV channel? BT Sport (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

The Thomas Tuchel era got off to the most boring of starts on Wednesday as Chelsea drew 0-0 with Wolves at Stamford Bridge.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss went with an experienced lineup, omitting the likes of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham from his XI. There was plenty of possession for the Blues, but little cutting edge. In truth, there wasn’t too much to take away from Tuchel’s first game in charge.

It’s probably the wrong time to face a resurgent Burnley, too.

The Clarets stunned Liverpool at Anfield and came from behind to beat Aston Villa too, wins that have taken them nine points clear of the relegation zone. Scoring goals had been an issue, but three against a defensively frugal side Villa ain’t bad, is it?

With Chelsea still to find their feet under their new boss, don’t be surprised if the Clarets nick a point at Stamford Bridge.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Burnley

Leicester vs Leeds

Youri Tielemans
Hiya, Youri! | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 14:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? King Power Stadium
TV channel? Sky Sports (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

This will be a fun one.

Leicester remain in the title hunt, though they couldn’t convert their dominance at Everton into a win, having to come from behind to draw at Goodison Park. They desperately missed Jamie Vardy in that game, too. Ayoze Perez is a decent backup, but he’s just not Vardy.

James Maddison and Harvey Barnes have been in excellent form recently which has compensated somewhat for Vardy’s absence, and they’ll be the main threats again when Leeds come to town.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side arrested a poor run of form to beat Newcastle 2-1, though it must be said the Magpies helped them out a fair bit with some ignorant defending at points.

United’s gung-ho attacking style will play into Leicester’s hands, the Foxes being an efficient counter attacking outfit. Without Vardy there’s less conviction over their strike force, but if they can take their chances they should come out victorious at the King Power Stadium.

Prediction: Leicester 2-1 Leeds

West Ham vs Liverpool

Sadio Mane
Liverpool were victorious at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 16:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? London Stadium
TV channel? Sky Sports (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

So West Ham are kinda brilliant, aren’t they? Who saw that one coming?

David Moyes’ side briefly held a top four spot following their victory at Selhurst Park, which was their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions.

Tomas Soucek is scoring goals, Declan Rice is impressing in midfield and Michail Antonio is making a nuisance of himself up front. Things look genuinely rosy for the Hammers now ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the London Stadium.

The Reds bounced back from a tough run with victory at Tottenham on Thursday, picking their opponents apart to run out 3-1 winners.

Their weakened central spine will be given a much sterner examination by the Hammers. Joel Matip is expected to be sidelined further, and the likes of Soucek and Antonio might get some joy in what promises to be an entertaining fixture.

Prediction: West Ham 2-2 Liverpool

Brighton vs Tottenham

Harry Kane
Kane is expected to be sidelines for a few weeks at the minimum | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 19:15 (GMT)
Where is it being played? AMEX
TV channel? Sky Sports (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

The final match of the gameweek sees Brighton host Tottenham at the AMEX.

The Seagulls have had the same problem all season – they’ve failed to convert good possession and great chances into goals. Plain and simple. Their failure to be ruthless when opportunities fall their way has cost them, and all it will take is a win for one of West Brom and Fulham for Brighton fans to start panicking.

Tottenham recorded a first loss in nine games when they went down 3-1 to Liverpool, with things compounded by Harry Kane picking up his annual injury.

Brighton may give Spurs enough opportunities on the counter to snatch a win, but this may not be the scintillating end to the gameweek in terms of match quality we might have hoped for.

Prediction: Brighton 0-1 Tottenham

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