Football News: Premier League Match Preview Sunday 13th May 2018

Premier League Match Preview Sunday 13th May 2018
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Sunday 13th May 2018


All kick offs at 3pm


Burnley v Bournemouth


Barnes (arm injury expected return 9th July) out
Wood (foot injury) late fitness test
Mee (shin injury expected return 1st June) out
Arfield (calf strain) late fitness test
Defour (knee injury expected return 16th July) out
Brady (knee injury) out

There is absolutely nothing to play for, expect for Sean Dyche not wanting to end such a great season on a low note following a 5-0 defeat last weekend.
Most important player: Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The Icelandic international is one of the Clarets more creative players.


Arter (Achilles injury expected return 1st June) out
Stanislas (knee injury expected return 1st August) out
A Smith (MCL injury expected return 1st June) out

Potentially a top 10 finish is up for grabs, which would be a great end to the season for a club which was battling relegation at the midway point. At least they have a little something to play for.
Most important player: Charlie Daniels. At times he has been the main attacking outlet.


Defining Battle: with so little for either team to play for, this is a chance for Sean Dyche to show he can get his team to play some exciting attacking football.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 2-0
Ed003 - 2-2
Ed004 - 1-0
Ed007 - 2-1
Ed018 - 1-0
Ed025 - 1-1
Ed033 - 1-0



Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion


Ward (ankle injury) slight doubt
Wickham (groin strain expected return 1st June) out
Sako (broken ankle expected return 18th August) out
Dann (ACL tear) out
Puncheon (PCL tear) late fitness test

Considering the start they had the Palace fans will just be glad to be safe and not care about having nothing to play for. This will just be a big party for the Eagles to celebrate another season in the Premier League.
Most important player: Ruben Loftus-Cheek. It is the last chance for Loftus-Cheek to earn a place in England's World Cup squad.


Barry (knee injury expected return 1st June) out
Morrison (Achilles injury expected return 1st June) out

Despite the near-miracles Darren Moore has performed, he still was unable to rescue the Baggies from the drop. That has left their final game to be another meaningless Premier League match.
Most important player: Matt Phillips. He is the key member of the team's attack.


Defining Battle: two solid defensive teams who rely on a couple of players to create something in the final third. The only real question left is if the relegation has taken the heart out of the WBA team or not. They can still win Moore a long term job, if they continue their fine form.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 1-1
Ed003 - 16-0
Ed004 - 3-1
Ed007 - 2-1
Ed018 - 1-1
Ed025 - 1-2
Ed033 - 2-1



Huddersfield Town v Arsenal


Kachunga (ankle injury expected return 1st June) out
Williams (broken ankle) out
Hefele (knee injury) late fitness test

Another party for the fans with a team that was expected to be dead and buried. Nothing riding on the match, just a chance for the fans to enjoy the moment.
Most important player: Alex Pritchard. He has been a big part of the Terriers survival.


Koscielny (Achilles injury expected return 22nd December) out
Ozil (back injury expected return 1st June) out
Elneny (ankle injury expected return 1st June) out
Cazorla (plantaris injury expected return 1st July) out
Mavropanos (suspended) out

While this is a big goodbye for Arsene Wenger, there is more to this game than just that for the Gunners. They have been poor away all season, but particularly bad since the start of 2018. This is their last chance to improve things and give Wenger a good send off.
Most important player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon striker has scored goals for fun since signing for Arsenal.


Defining Battle: A chance for the Huddersfield team to return to their high press style that worked so well for them last season. Arsenal always struggle when put under pressure.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 1-1
Ed003 - 0-12
Ed004 - 1-2
Ed007 - 1-2
Ed018 - 1-2
Ed025 - 1-1
Ed033 - 1-2



Liverpool v Brighton & Hove Albion


Mane (knock) late fitness test
Gomez (ankle injury expected return 9th July) out
Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee injury) out
Lallana (hamstring injury) late fitness test
Matip (thigh injury expected return 1st July) out
Can (back injury expected return 26th May) out

Finally a game with something riding on it. Apparently it is as good as a trophy these days finished in the top 4, at least according to Arsenal and now Spurs. Personally I find it a bit uninspiring, but it would ensure LFC compete in the Champions League again next season, after reaching the final this season.
Most important player: Sadio Mane. He has been excellent in recent weeks.


Brown (ACL injury) out
Sidwell (back injury) out

Safe from relegation, the Seagulls can go out without fear and play their game. If results go the right way for them, they could jump a few places up the table with a win. Either way, they have done well just to survive to play in the Prem again next season.
Most important player: Shane Duffy. As an ex-Everton player, Duffy will want to win this game more than most.


Defining Battle: Brighton are exactly the kind of opponent Liverpool hate facing, they play a deep lying, packed defensive line and look to hit on the counter. With nothing on the line for them, they have no reason to come out and open up, leaving it up to Liverpool to find a way to break them down.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 3-1
Ed003 - 33-0
Ed004 - 3-0
Ed007 - 2-0
Ed018 - 2-1
Ed025 - 1-0
Ed033 - 2-1



Manchester United v Watford


Fellaini (muscle injury expected return 1st June) out
Lukaku (ankle injury) out

With second place already certain, their focus is entirely on next weekend's FA Cup final and ensuring no one important picks up an injury.
Most important player: Alexis Sanchez. If he even plays. Who knows what kind of side Mourinho will go with other than the man himself?


Britos (knock) late fitness test
Femenia (knock) late fitness test
Gray (knock) late fitness test
Carrillo (groin strain) late fitness test
Okaka (thigh injury) out
Cleverley (hamstring injury expected return 1st June) out
Kaboul (fractured metatarsal expected return 1st June) out
Chalobah (knee injury) late fitness test
Hoban (ACL injury) out
Capoue (personal reasons) major doubt

Difficult to know which Watford will turn up tomorrow, as always they have a whole slew of injuries and the players only seem to be there for their own reasons rather than to play for the team or the manager. With no guarantee that half the squad will even be at the club next season, it is difficult to see what the players have to motivate them to perform. It is no wonder they are so inconsistent.
Most important player: Will Hughes. Finally beginning to justify some of the hype he was getting at Derby County.


Defining Battle: this could turn out to be any kind of game. Two teams with nothing to play for facing each other to end the season. It could be that Man Utd look to refine their tactics for next weekend's FA Cup final, or Mourinho could be cautious and try and avoid injuries.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 2-0
Ed003 - 3-117
Ed004 - 3-1
Ed007 - 2-0
Ed018 - 1-0
Ed025 - 3-0
Ed033 - 1-0



Newcastle United v Chelsea


Clark (knee injury 1st June) out
Atsu (knee injury 1st July) out
Kenedy (ineligible to face parent club) out
Slimani (suspended) out

The season has tailed off since Newcastle achieved safety, with nothing left for them to play for, their only motivation is to give the fans a great day out. However there is one man there with a reason to desperately want a result there, Rafa Benitez, who still feels hard done by over his treatment by Chelsea fans during his spell there.
Most important player: Matt Ritchie. His wing play will be more important than ever without Kenedy on the opposite flank.


Courtois (back injury) slight doubt
Drinkwater (calf strain expected return 1st June) out
Luiz (knee injury expected return 1st June) out
Ampadu (broken ankle) out

They have to win if they are to finish in the top 4, and hope that Liverpool lose. It is not out of the question, Liverpool's recent form has been suspect to say the least. They just have to ensure they meet their target and hope luck is with them.
Most important player: Olivier Giroud. He has transferred his knack of scoring important goals after joining in January.


Defining Battle: the Toon will lack a bit of shape with former Chelsea winger Christian Atsu out injured and Kenedy unavailable to face the team he is on loan from. That leaves a big gap down the flanks for Chelsea to exploit.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 0-1
Ed003 - 0-2
Ed004 - 0-2
Ed007 - 0-2
Ed018 - 0-2
Ed025 - 0-2
Ed033 - 0-1



Southampton v Manchester City


Bednarek (head injury) late fitness test
Lemina (tight hamstring) late fitness test
Davis (Achilles injury) late fitness test

Saints are pretty much safe, but they could mathematically go down if Swansea win and they lose, both games by sizable margins. Though there is little chance of Swansea racking up a big score, there is always the possibility that record-chasing Man City could do so. This game could get tense, if Swansea are winning and they are losing, then it will be up to the players to rise to the challenge.
Most important player: Alex McCarthy. It might be all down to him to save the season, unlikely, but still possible it does come to that.


Aguero (knee injury expected return 1st June) out

Records are there to be broken, and Man City have been trying to break as many as possible this season. A win gives them 100 points and every goal adds to the 105 goals record total they have already notched this season.
Most important player: Gabriel Jesus. He will want to end the season on a high as it has been a difficult one for him personally, due to injuries.


Defining Battle: this is all about what Mark Hughes decides to do. Does he just look to defend and see the game out, hoping not to concede too many and that Swansea fail to win. Or does he go for it and give it a go at catching City off guard?


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 1-4
Ed003 - 11-2
Ed004 - 1-2
Ed007 - 1-1
Ed018 - 1-2
Ed025 - 1-0
Ed033 - 0-2



Swansea City v Stoke City


Bartley (knee injury) out
Fer (Achilles injury) out
Bony (ACL injury) out

Swans have to win and win well to have any chance of survival. They have thrown away their chance of getting clear of the relegation places with a series of poor performances. All or nothing now.
Most important player: Anyone and everyone who can score goals. It is all about getting that win.


Martins Indi (groin strain expected return 1st June) out
Stafylidis (fractured rib expected return 1st June) out
Choupo-Moting (groin strain) late fitness test
Jese (compassionate leave) out

With absolutely nothing to play for, it will be interesting to see how they perform now they are down. They have a chance of helping out previous manager Mark Hughes by putting in a performance, but will they?
Most important player: Badou Ndiaye. He has been a ray of light in an otherwise dismal season.


Defining Battle: this is a game that will suit Paul Lambert's defensive tactics, as Swansea have to attack. Stoke can sit back and look to counter in behind in the gaps they leave.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 2-0
Ed003 - 0-1
Ed004 - 2-1
Ed007 - 2-2
Ed018 - 1-1
Ed025 - 2-0
Ed033 - 1-0



Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City


Trippier (knee injury) late fitness test
Wanyama (thigh injury) late fitness test
Dier (illness) slight doubt
Aurier (tight hamstring) late fitness test
Dembele (ankle injury) late fitness test
Winks (ankle injury) out

A meaningless friendly to end the season with. They have top four in the bag and there is nothing, in essence, for them to play for other than to send the fans home happy.
Most important player: Harry Kane. Still chasing the Golden Boot.


Dragovic (shoulder injury) late fitness test
Simpson (groin injury) late fitness test
Huth (ankle injury) out
Chilwell (ankle injury) out
Ndidi (hamstring injury expected return 6th June) out
Amartey (hamstring injury) out
Schmeichel (ankle injury) late fitness test
Okazaki (ankle injury expected return 1st June) out
James (Achilles injury expected return 1st June) out
Silva (knock) slight doubt
Albrighton (suspended) out

With so many players potentially missing, it could actually help the Foxes, as so many of the players do not seem to be playing for Claude Puel.
Most important player: Riyad Mahrez. He can win a game almost on his own if he is in the mood.


Defining Battle: two more teams with nothing to play for that can go out and put on a show. Whether they actually will or not remains to be seen and it will come down to the manager's ability to inspire them.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 2-0
Ed003 - 3-0
Ed004 - 3-0
Ed007 - 3-1
Ed018 - 2-2
Ed025 - 3-0
Ed033 - 1-0



West Ham United v Everton


Hernandez (knee injury) late fitness test
Antonio (hamstring injury expected return 18th August) out
Collins (hamstring injury) late fitness test
Reid (MCL injury) out
Byram (ankle injury) out

With safety assured, there are still a lot of players in the Hammers squad who have their futures to play for. Then there is the manager, who will not want to lose against his former team, so he will want his players up for this one.
Most important player: Marko Arnautovic. He has been the key to West Ham's upturn in form.


Walcott (calf muscle strain) slight doubt
Rooney (knee injury expected return 1st June) out
Calvert-Lewin (back injury) out
Holgate (ankle injury) late fitness test
Sigurdsson (knee injury expected return 1st June) out
Mangala (knee injury) out
McCarthy (broken leg) out

Despite getting decent results of late, Sam Allardyce has once again managed to turn a fanbase against him with his comments and arrogance. The more people complain about his style of play, the worse it becomes to watch and the more he tells them it is actually entertaining watching a team barely register a shot. Allardyce is also very fond of twisting facts to suit his agenda, keen to point out he rescued a struggling Everton from the depths of 16th place. If only the last game before his arrival had not been a 4-0 win which lifted Everton to 13th, perhaps he might even be able to pull that one off. If he had even attempted to try and understand the ethos of Everton Football Club or just credited his predecessor, caretaker manager David Unsworth, with creating a platform for him to build on, things would be different.
Most important player: Phil Jagielka. His return from injury has made the defensive line look so much more solid.


Defining Battle: the main battle will be between the fans, who hates which manager more? David Moyes, once a hero to the Toffees, left under a cloud and Allardyce made himself hated at West Ham in almost the exact same way he is now doing at Everton. This could well be the most disliked pair of managers in English football right now.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 0-0
Ed003 - 1-1
Ed004 - 1-1
Ed007 - 1-1
Ed018 - 1-2 and a new contract for Allardyce.
Ed025 - 0-0
Ed033 - 0-1




Editor's Predictions Table
1. Ed002 - 249 points
2. Ed033 - 247 points
3. Ed018 - 245 points
4. Ed007 - 236 points
5. Ed004 - 228 points
6. Ed025 - 225 points
7. Ed003 - 210 points


*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 12th May 2018 (not including results for that day)

Written by Tris Burke May 13 2018 05:47:17