- Everton face a tough task against a dogged Crystal Palace
- Man City look to recover from last weekend’s disappointment
We’re in the final third of the season and things look set for Champions-elect Liverpool who have a record 22-points lead at the top.
The FA has finally given players a chance to rest, with only four games this weekend Matchweek 26. The Early kick-off sees Everton welcome Crystal Palace at 2:30pm (CAT) on Saturday 8th February 2020. And on Sunday 9th February 2020, Man City take on West Ham as they aim to get back to winning ways in preparation for Real Madrid in the UCL. Login at Betensured to see the experts weekend predictions across the major leagues.
Everton vs Crystal Palace
- Everton form: LWDDW
- Crystal Palace form: DDDLL
Everton now look like a cohesive unit under Carlo Ancelotti, and this was shown in the 3-2 comeback win against Watford. Since his appointment, they have picked up 15-points in 8 matches, leaving them 4-points behind 5th placed Tottenham. Carlito has turned Goodison Park into a fortress, where they are unbeaten in the last 5 matches and conceded only 3-goals. This is particularly evidenced by Mason Holgate who has transformed into a gallant composed Center-Back. Toffees should handle Roy Hodgson’s side who can’t find goals.
The Eagles on the other hand are experiencing a downturn in form, as defeat to Sheffield meant 6 PL matches without a victory. The great start to the season leaves them in a healthy position so no cause for concern. However they need to start scoring goals, which means relying on Ivorian Wilfried Zaha. Expect a win for Everton with few goals.
Brighton vs Watford
- Brighton form: DLDLD
- Watford form: WWDLL
The Seagulls continue to play some nice football but they exemplify the saying ‘good for nothing.’ They have just (1) win in the last 10 PL matches. With all their football, they are 15th position in the table, just 2-points off relegation. After missing a good opportunity to beat an abysmal West Ham, they face a tougher opponent in Watford, who pose a different challenge. The Hornets will not make this an easy contest.
Watford suffered their first back-to-back defeat under Nigel Pearson and they are looking to get back to winning ways to jump out of relegation zone. They make it difficult to score them when playing Away and utilising Delofeu on the counter has helped free up space- but it is clear they have struggled without Senegal international Ismaila Sarr. This should be an even game, but Watford will try to knick a scrappy win.
Sheffield Utd vs Bournemouth
- Sheffield United form: LWDLW
- Bournemouth’s form: LLLWW
Chris Wilder’s side earned a massive 3-points against Crystal Palace to move ahead of Man Utd- they are 5-points off top 4 and a win will send them to 5th position for a week. Their manager’s remarkable tactical knowledge has seen the pre-season relegation favourites now fighting for Europe. The Blades should secure a win against Bournemouth
Bournemouth meanwhile are still in trouble despite their back-to-back victories. Their Away form is a joke- they have lost 4 out of last 5 matches and scored just (1) goal. Last season’s wonder Ryan Fraser is without a goal involvement in the last 14 matches and that sums up the teams’ form. This plays into Sheffield Utd’s hands nicely, as their defence need not worry too much about the attacking threat.
Chris Wilder’s side will continue their defensive football, with new signing Sander Berge adding dynamism and a robust edge to their midfield. They should see out a win, but expect few goals in this match.
Man City vs West Ham
- Man City form: WWDWL
- West Ham form: LDLLD
Defending champions Man City were dealt a heavy blow in the 2-0 loss to Tottenham that put them out of the title race. But they have 2nd place to fight for with Leicester. They also have other cup competitions coming up, especially the Champions League. Still, West Ham should be an easy tie for Guardiola’s men if the manager can listen to his players and stop rotating the team. The Sky Blues simply need to plug the hole in the defence. So with Laporte returning for this tie, there might be a cleansheet here.
Sterling is out with a hamstring injury, which means Aguero and Mahrez are the ones to watch. Europe’s best attack have scored an average of 2-goals in the last 5 matches at Home and have won 3 of those games.
The Hammers are back to square one after the 4-0 win against Bournemouth renewed hope. But what did they really expect from out of touch Moyes? The meltdown against Brighton extended their winless run to 5 PL games and now they are 18th. The Hammers have lost 4 out of the last 5 Away, conceding 9-goals.
Man City will set up as usual, operation attack, while West Ham are expected to park the bus. The reverse fixture saw a 5-0 demolition, so expect goals in this one, especially in the Second Half. It should be a comfortable evening for the Citizens.
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