Premier League Preview And Predictions: Chance For Liverpool?

This week we take a look at some of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures, including a key game for Liverpool as they travel to Crystal Palace, and a huge 6-pointer at the bottom of the table when Leeds faces Southampton.

This Week’s Premier League Fixtures

Fulham v Wolves
Everton v Aston Villa
Leeds v Southampton
Leicester v Arsenal
West Ham v Nottingham Forest
Bournemouth v Man City
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea

Leeds V Southampton

This is a massive game. The bottom 2 face each other with just a point separating them. A win for either side could move them out of the bottom 3 depending on other results, a draw benefits neither side.

Leeds is really struggling. They still have not been able to bring a manager in and so Michael Skubala will take charge again. The longer Leeds does not bring a manager in, the more trouble they will find themselves in, but they need to make the right appointment to help them in the short term.

Last time out, Leeds suffered a horrendous 1-0 loss against relegation-threatened rivals Everton, allowing them to jump outside of the relegation zone, whilst Leeds dropped to 19th. The most worrying part about this game for Leeds is the fact that they did not manage a single shot on target. It is inexcusable for a side fighting relegation to go to another team in the bottom 3 and not even test the goalkeeper.

Leeds has a chance to put things right against Southampton, by any means necessary. On current form, Leeds are probably the worst team in the league, and it shows. They need to start picking up points against the teams around them, as Southampton, Everton and Bournemouth all picked up wins last weekend.

Who would have expected Southampton to go to Chelsea last week and pick up a win? This is why the Premier League is the best league in the world. Anyone can beat anyone on their day, and Southampton deserved their win.

Name a better duo than James Ward-Prowse and free kicks. This man is an unbelievable talent when standing over a dead ball. He scored yet another free kick against Chelsea, taking his goals tally to 6 for the season. A free kick for Ward-Prowse is essentially a penalty for Southampton, and the longer he can keep this up, the more chance Southampton have of staying up.

Southampton is another side without a manager at the moment. Ruben Selles took charge of their win over Chelsea, and if he picks up another win here, he could find himself with the job permanently. Like Leeds, Southampton needs to appoint the right manager for the short term, to help them pick up points instantly.

This game is absolutely crucial to both sides chances of staying up this season. I am expecting an end-to-end game with both teams going all out for the win. A raucous home crowd could help push Leeds over the line here, and if either side is to win, it will be by a slender margin. A draw here for me.

Prediction: Leeds 1 – 1 Southampton.

West Ham V Nottingham Forest

This is another big game at the bottom end of the table. West Ham has fallen into the bottom 3 by a single point, and Forest have climbed out of the relegation zone but is still within touching distance.

West Ham followed up their impressive draws against Newcastle and Chelsea with a disappointing 2-0 loss against Tottenham Hotspur. Despite taking 56 minutes to concede the first goal, West Ham was never really in the game. They managed just one shot on target, whilst only attempting 6 shots in total.

This game could have been seen as a free hit for Moyes and West Ham. It would have been difficult for them to turn up and win, but the performance could have been much better. A few weeks ago things looked better for West Ham when they beat Everton, but fast forward 3 games and they are back in trouble.

David Moyes has a knack for keeping teams up, and West Ham is too strong of a team to go down this season, but at the end of the day it is a results business, and they are struggling to beat teams these days.

To add to West Ham’s misery, the European competitions have been starting again, meaning they will be playing on Thursday nights in the Europa Conference League. Will their players have the fitness to play on Thursday nights in Europe and then back in the Premier League on a Sunday? Only time will tell.

Forest on the other hand has been brilliant lately. At one point they looked like a team that would 100% be getting relegated. Yet they have transformed their fortunes. They look like a very difficult team to beat at home and have even held some of the bigger clubs to draw at their ground.

Despite a turnaround in form after the World Cup break for Forest, they only sit 5 points above the relegation zone, so they cannot afford to let this form slip. If they could turn their horrendous away form around, they could find themselves safe within a few matches.

Last time out Forest earned a 1-1 draw at home against Man City, with Chris Wood scoring his first goal for the club, with Forests’ only shot on target in the game. Whilst some would say they were lucky to get a point, they held on against a City team full of attacking stars. Yes, City deserved to win the game, but Forest dug in defensively and kept themselves in the game, and got their reward at the end.

This is a difficult game to call. West Ham is struggling to win games, yet Forest is so poor away from home. Will West Ham finally be able to get a much-needed win on board or will Forest start to pick up away from home? It is hard to tell, and this could go either way. I am going to stick my neck out and predict a slender Forest win here.