Our Premier League GW17 Predictions
15 Dec 2023
The games are coming thick and fast as we approach Christmas time in the Premier League. Here are our predictions ahead of another crucial round of fixtures.
Nottingham Forest vs Tottenham
Spurs got back to winning ways last weekend, comfortably dispatching a struggling Newcastle side. Ange Postecoglou couldn’t have hoped for a more positive result as his front three linked up expertly to effectively put the game to bed by half time.
The positivity around the Spurs camp will not be matched by Nottingham Forest, who are fighting for the future of their manager. Steve Cooper has been part of a remarkable rise, but recent form and a drubbing at the hands of Fulham meant that last week’s draw with Wolves has only extended this nervous period of his tenure.
Forest have real quality going forward but can’t be trusted at the back. The same could be said for this iteration of Spurs without some key defenders, but I believe the north London side will have enough to escape the City Ground with three points.
Score Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-3 Tottenham
Bournemouth vs Luton
These are two teams who have earned some plaudits from armchair Premier League fans in recent weeks. Luton have shown a battling quality to their game despite lacking technical ability to a Premier League standard within their squad. Spirited performances against high fliers Manchester City and Arsenal as well as the renaissance of Ross Barkley have given the Hatters hope that they can avoid the drop.
Bournemouth on the other hand have turned round their woeful start of the season and secured one of the biggest results in their history by demolishing Manchester United at Old Trafford. Andoni Iraola has been granted time to engrain his tactics into the squad and this has paid off thanks to the form of Lewis Cook, Ryan Christie, and Dom Solanke in particular.
Bournemouth being at home should give them the edge in this one, but Luton have shown that they won’t go down without a fight.
Score Prediction: Bournemouth 1-0 Luton
Chelsea vs Sheffield United
Chelsea are in a horrible state. The most damning fact about the Blues right now is that even after Everton’s 10 point deduction, the merseysiders are just six points away from the London side. Despite spending nearly £1bn Chelsea have been implored to enter the market again in order to solve their mid table malaise. Pochettino’s call for recruitments are actually warranted with his side still lacking in multiple areas. This season already feels like a write off and the charm of those long term super max contracts is starting to fade away with the realisation of how sticky the situation at the Bridge is.
Sheffield picked up their second win of the season last week and will be looking to build on that result against Brentford. Luckily for them there aren’t too many better teams to do that against right now than Chelsea. Personally I’m not convinced they have anything about them and it will come as no surprise if they succumb to even Chelsea’s flaccid attacking whims. Expect a return to their status quo of picking up losses in what is surely a swift return to the Championship.
Score Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Sheffield United
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace
Saturday afternoon sees Crystal Palace take the long journey up North to the Etihad, taking on Manchester City in a 3pm kick off.
With both sides arguably not in the best form, does Saturday have the makings of a league upset? Unfortunate not to take 3 points from Liverpool last weekend, Crystal Palace will be hoping to dig in to try and scavenge an unlikely result tomorrow, yet City will be looking to tighten the gap at the top end of the table in the title race. Having dropped to 4th and being 4 points behind Liverpool, Guardiola’s side have looked slightly off it over the past few weeks, and consequently have slipped down the table ever so slightly.
Still the bookies favourite to win the league however, it’s impossible to ever count Manchester City out. As much as I could see a draw being achievable for Palace, I think City will take this one for all 3 points.
Score Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Crystal Palace
Newcastle vs Fulham
The last few weeks have served as a humbling reminder that despite their new found wealth and brief Champions League stint, Newcastle are a long way away from truly rubbing shoulders with the big boys. The Magpies are on a 3 game losing streak, crashing out of Europe during the week and will no doubt look to reconcile that form at home this weekend. Still suffering from injuries, fatigued and low on confidence, Eddie Howe will need to rally his troops for what will be a competitive encounter.
Fulham are on the complete flipside coming into this game off the back of back to back 5-0 victories. It would be fair to say after a disappointing start to the season Marco Silva’s side are firing again. Alex Iwobi and Raul Jimenez are on fire in front of goal right now and will need to continue that hot form to leave St James’ Park with anything against a motivated Newcaste side.
Score Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Fulham
Burnley v Everton
In this clash at the bottom are two sides on an upwards trajectory. After a pitiful start, The Clarets are finally finding some form and impressively got a point against Brighton. James Trafford was key to that draw and if he keeps up that level of performance, he may keep his side in the league. Wilson Odobert has impressed with an 82% shot accuracy and a goal every 120 mins. Alongside players like Lyle Foster and Zeki Amdouni, they can cause problems if the Vincent Kompany way is on point. Finally, we may be getting that Burnley that tore up the Championship.
Everton, meanwhile have been very good. If not for that point deduction, they would be in the top half right now. Sean Dyche has got this team cooking, and they were at their best in a 2-0 win over Chelsea. Jordan Pickford continues to be brilliant and prove why he is the England no.1, while Abdoulaye Doucouré is a monster in the middle. While I have criticised The Toffees’ defence in the past, 3 clean sheets in a row are something to shout about. With 4 wins in 5, they are one of the division’s in-form sides.
Burnley can play good football, and as they showed against Brighton can give the top teams a fight. However, Everton are dangerous on the counter and full of confidence at the moment and will take all three points.
Score Prediction: Burnley 0-2 Everton
Arsenal v Brighton
In one of the weekend’s more exciting fixtures, The Gunners face a tough task against The Seagulls. Arsenal are once again in a title race but haven’t shown the excellent form that almost led them to a title last time out. They were beaten by Aston Villa at the weekend in a game they very much dominated, and probably should have at least had a penalty in. Despite the improvement in the form of Kai Havertz and sensational individuals like Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard, the North London side struggled to kill off games. As shown by their draw in midweek with PSV, Declan Rice is key to the defence. Without him or the amazing William Saliba, the shakiness of that backline makes them exposable.
Brighton have been a mixed bag this season, struggling to win games in the league but dominating in Europe. Both in their draw with Burnley and win over Marseille, they dominated and cut open defences but struggled to find that final finish. João Pedro has been key to many victories this season and he and Evan Ferguson will need to be on form. The Seaside team’s backline is looking a lot more solid and will need to be on point as I am still not convinced by Jason Steele.
Both these sides have failed to kill off games of late, so this will be a close one. Arsenal needs the win after last week’s defeat, and that combined with Brighton having less recovery time will get them over the line.
Score Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Brighton
Brentford vs Aston Villa
In the form of their lives and having a season not many imagined they would be having, Aston Villa visit Brentford this weekend for one of Sunday’s three 2pm kick offs.
Having finished top of their Europa Conference League group midweek, Aston Villa come into this game sat in 3rd place on 35 points, just two points behind league leaders Liverpool. Beating Manchester City and Arsenal 1-0 in back to back fixtures, the last Premier League game week saw them draw 2-2 to Bournemouth, a bump in the road somewhat. However, with squad rotation for their midweek fixture, I can only see this game going one way, and that’s an Aston Villa victory.
As good as Brentford are on their day, their extensive injury list for the is beginning to impact their play, and I don’t think they’ll have the guile to stop a hungry Aston Villa side in their bid to be part of a title race.
Prediction : Brentford 0-2 Aston Villa
West Ham vs Wolves
West Ham put to bed any lingering disappointment from last weekend’s destruction at the hands of Fulham by coolly seeing off Freiburg in a professional performance in the Europa League. David Moyes will be keen to get back to winning ways in the Premier League and will be hoping that the result in their last fixture was just a blip.
Wolves have impressed in moments this season but have not yet achieved consistency. However, Hwang Hee-Chan has been on fire this campaign, giving the midlands side a focal point that they so desparately need.
I can see this being a close game but West Ham will feel that they need this win more than their opponents, while home advantage should give them the edge.
Score Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Wolves
Liverpool vs Manchester United
The biggest fixture of the weekend comes in the final game, as bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester United face off at Anfield. Liverpool will be delighted with the first half of their campaign, sitting at the top of the table whilst still feeling as if there is more progress to be made in Jurgen Klopp’s first squad rebuild.
Manchester United on the other hand have had a week to forget. After being unceremoniously cast aside by Bournemouth last weekend, they were also dumped out of Europe by Bayern Munich at home in midweek. The energy seems to have been sucked out of this dressing room and the lack of any real leadership feels apparent.
Last season the scoreline got ugly quick in this game, and given how these two clubs are playing now, this tie could well go the same way. I expect a comfortable win for Liverpool to open up some serious conversations about the future of Erik Ten Hag.
Score Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Manchester United