So with the FA Cup quarter-finals boasting 5 Premier League teams, there are just 4 Premier League games being played this weekend – perfect for someone who is starting this at 3:20 pm on Friday and hungover.
Saturday 11th March
Bournemouth vs West Ham
Well at least Bournemouth didn’t lose last weekend, yet no win still in 2017. But what a strange game it turned out to be against Manchester United. They managed to get themselves a point out of a game where they were quite unfairly down to 10 men for the entire of the second half. Also shoutout to Boruc, he was blindingly brilliant in net for Bournemouth. However, they are going to pay a price for that now. With Andrew Surman picking up an automatic 3 game suspension and Tyrone Mings picking up a 5 game suspension for his alleged “stamp” in the same game Bournemouth’s squad will be stretched to its limits in a testing time for this club. This run with Mings and Surman could define their season, either survive comfortably or be dragged into a relegation scrap.
West Ham, on the other hand, are 6 points clear of the host and are in that dangerous part of the season where they have not a lot else to play for so Slaven Bilić’s will need to keep them motivated for a strong finish to the season. He is without a few player’s and he will be waiting on late fitness tests to see if Winston Reid, Alvaro Arbeloa and José Fonte. Not an ideal situation for Slaven, but he will have the boost of Michail Antonio returning from suspension.
Bournemouth haven’t won in 8 Premier League games and they have conceded a minimum on 2 goals in their last 5 home games. Not looking good here for Eddie and his men. But I think that with both teams out of form it’s the perfect time in the season for Bournemouth to grab their season by the scruff of the neck and get the win but West Ham’s threat in the air will be a problem. My bet for this game would be over 2.5 goals, 3.5 goals if you are feeling brave.
Hull City vs Swansea
Think the one thing I have learnt with Hull is that you shouldn’t give out too much praise too early. I had praised Hull and Marco Silva when I first started this blog thing and in recent weeks they have looked less like the side that was so good against Liverpool and more like a Hull City of old. They haven’t won in three matches and have managed to find themselves back in the relegation zone. You do have to feel for Marco Silva, who is missing no less that nine player’s due to injury including key players like Ryan Mason, Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson. However, there is hope for Hull, they are at home this time out where they have fared far better this season and Swansea away from home, have not been especially watertight ship when it comes to stopping goals flooding in. They have conceded at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 away league games. Swansea did what I said they would do and win their game against Burnley – just. Fernando Llorente seems to be a powerful threat and is leading the line effectively for Paul Clement’s side.
Honestly not sure which way this one will go and I can see this one ending in a stalemate, although I could see Swansea snatching this one away from Hull, so draw or Swansea would be my bet.
Everton vs West Brom
Both these teams lost last time out, more surprisingly West Brom who fell victims to Crystal Palace! I have a feeling the end of the season could be a horrible one if your team is down there with just a few games to go. However back to these two teams. Everton were stopped in their tracks by Spurs last weekend and will be wanting to return winning ways and revert back to the more attacking style of play that Koeman has had Everton playing this season. Koeman decided that he was going set his team up with a slightly more defensive shape against Spurs naming 4 central midfielders, which to be fair was a probably a wise decision.
West Brom’s loss to Crystal Palace was a shock and meant their run of 5 games without a defeat came abruptly to an end. Pulis will be looking for his team to bounce back from the latest result but may find it difficult against an Everton team that has won it’s last 4 home Premier League matches and last 3 of those they have been leading at half-time and then gone on to win the game.
I would think that Pulis and West Brom will be looking at back-to-back losses here and Everton should go on to secure the win.
These previews are getting shorter and shorter. Might have to stop drinking altogether…
Sunday 12th March
Liverpool vs Burnley
The only Premier League game on this Sunday and everyone has been saying that this is a game that could be a potential banana skin for Liverpool. But I just cannot see it if I’m honest. Yes, Burnley will not be as stupid as Arsenal were when they visited Anfield, but again you cannot look at Burnley’s away form and think that they can actually cause an upset here, surely not?
Liverpool deserve credit for the way they played against Arsenal in the first half last Saturday and as poor as Arsenal were, Liverpool were brilliant. I did highlight in my previous preview, the attacking options that Liverpool have especially from midfield. Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum were superb against Arsenal and Arsenal’s midfield just couldn’t deal with them. For Liverpool fans sake they will just hope that they can replicate this on Sunday.
To be fair to Burnley they were extremely unlucky to not get a point to add to their 2 away points against Swansea on Saturday. But the underlying fact is that they are just awful away from home but I’m sure Sean Dyche will have a game plan that he believes will work and get the desired result. History is not on Burnley’s side, however. They have not won at Anfield since 1974 and of course as I seem to mention most weeks they are yet to win away from home this season in the league.
Liverpool all the way here and I would be putting Liverpool to win to nil to increase the odds. Burnley to score 3 now.
Well this wasn’t my best effort so far and I do apologise for that, but I’m hanging so give me a bit of slack.
Enjoy your weekends, Skeelsy x