It’s time for round 34 in the Premier League, with 10 games being played over the next three days.
This week’s round of games includes two massive ties at either end of the Premier League table. This includes a relegation battle between Watford and Norwich City, plus a resurgent Arsenal seeking European qualification as they face-off at home against Leicester City.
We’ve made five bold Premier League predictions, putting our expertise to the test and covering the top games from July 7 to July 9.
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea, July 7
Crystal Palace put their feet up against Leicester City on Saturday and lost 3-0. In their last two games, both of which were defeats, Palace only had five shots on target, four of which came in the 0-1 loss to Burnley.
Chelsea, who surprisingly lost 3-2 to West Ham United previously bounced back against a relegation-threatened Watford on Saturday. Winning 3-0 in a game that could have seen Chelsea score seven.
With five games remaining, Chelsea looks strong and will have far too much intent against a Palace team who have nothing left to play for in the Premier League.
Prediction: A one-sided game where Chelsea cut through Palace at will, but poor finishing leaves the game looking much closer than it was. Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea.
Watford vs. Norwich City, July 7
Watford fans are still waiting for their team to wake-up in the Premier League. In four games since the restart, Watford has only earned one point from 12. This poor form has seen eight goals conceded and two scored, leaving them one point above the relegation zone.
Norwich City has done even worse than Watford. They sit at the bottom of the Premier League, six points from their nearest relegation rivals, and seven points behind Watford. Incredibly, they have conceded nine goals and scoring none. With only five games left, Norwich City fans know a win against Watford keeps the chase for Premier League survival alive, a loss and they’re all but mathematically relegated.
Prediction: At some point, Watford will wake up and get a few points to retain their Premier League status, but it won’t be against Norwich. Watford 1-2 Norwich City.
Arsenal vs. Leicester City, July 7
If you want goal-mouth action, Arsenal vs. Leicester City is the game to watch. Arsenal is a team in form, with four consecutive wins, including an impressive victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Amazingly, if Arsenal beat Leicester, they’ll only be three points behind fifth-place Manchester United. Considering their form, Arsenal could be a real contender for Champions League qualification, especially as Leicester City have only picked up five points from four Premier League games since the restart.
What gives this game potential is that Leicester City’s goalscoring machine Jamie Vardy finally found his shooting boots in a 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace. If Leicester plays with two strikers, Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho expect a high scoring game as both teams will focus on their attacking strengths rather than stifling opponents.
Prediction: Iheanacho will start and Leicester City will score two, but Arsenal will bounce back. Arsenal 2-2 Leicester City.
Sheffield United vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, July 8
Before the COVID-19 lockdown, Sheffield United were a team no one in the Premier League wanted to face. It’s now five games since the restart and their fear factor is on the way back, with performances and results improving.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were also looking formidable, with three consecutive wins before being outplayed by a resurgent Arsenal in a 0-2 loss on Saturday. The big concern for Wolves fans is that Arsenal silenced Adama Traore, one of the Premier League’s most in-demand talents. Without him, the team has looked ineffective. The big question is this: How will coach Nuno Espirito Santo use Traore against Sheffield United?
Prediction: Wolves need to win or their hunt for Champions League places is over. They’ll get a result but it won’t be convincing. Sheffield United 1-2 Wolves.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester United, July 9
Aston Villa is stuck in the Premier League’s bottom three, one point beneath Watford. In their last game, they lost to Liverpool but were on top for 71 minutes against the Premier League Champions. More impressively, Villa had nine attempts, three on target. These stats show they’ve started to attack, which has been the team’s biggest criticism since the restart.
While Villa is fighting for Premier League survival, Manchester United look unstoppable and destined for the Champions League next season. They’ve impressed in every game since the restart, scoring lots of goals, including five against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday. Their team is on fire and not even a haphazard David DeGea in goal seems capable of knocking them off their perch.
Prediction: Every stat points to a convincing Manchester United win but Aston Villa needs something fast. They stood tall against Liverpool for 71 minutes, against Manchester United expect a Villa miracle. Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United.