Premier League Match Previews 2020/21: Matchday 26
Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips: Matchday 26
This season is gearing up to be the craziest season ever! Jose Mourinho has his lowest ever points tally in his managerial career, Everton won a derby game at Anfield for the first time since the last millennium and Jesse Lingard is on fire! Join us as we preview all the weekend’s games.
Match of the Day
Sunday’s big game is the clash between Chelsea and Manchester United. Chelsea could reduce the gap between the clubs to just three points. Anything but a win would severely damage United’s fading title hopes.
- Venue: Stamford Bridge
- Sunday 28th February 16:30
- Referee: Stuart Attwell
- Quick Glance OddsH: 23/20 D:12/5 A: 12/5
About the Game:
Thomas Tuchel has brought joy back to Stamford Bridge, enjoying a stellar start to his career in the capital city. His team extended their unbeaten run to eight games after a 1 – 0 win against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the round of sixteen in the Champions League. The impressive form has propelled the Blues to fifth, two points behind fourth-placed West Ham United. A remarkable turn of fortunes, Chelsea was ninth when they parted company with Frank Lampard. The German faces his second top-six opponent when they face Manchester United, after being victorious against Tottenham (1 – 0). Chelsea faces a tough schedule in the coming weeks; champions Liverpool are next then, Everton, Leeds United and Atletico Madrid in the return league.
Timo Werner is finding his confidence after ending a fourteen game drought when he scored and assisted against the Magpies in their last league win (2-0). Chelsea dropped points in their last game, a surprise 1-1 draw with Southampton. The draw salvaged by a Mason Mount penalty in the 54th minute. Mount was the man-of-the-match in that game, and his tally of five goals and six assists doesn’t reflect his influence on the team. The former Dortmund and PSG manager has reintegrated some big personalities into the side that were ghosted out during Frank Lampard’s tenure. Marcus Alonso, the best scoring defender, is already paying dividends, scoring in their 2 – 0 win against Burnley. Kepa Arrizabalaga, a £71.6million signing, was dropped last year by the former manager after mistakes. The Spaniard has been recalled to the side and delivered two shut outs. Their depth will be a big advantage to carry to the hectic schedule against resilient opposition.
This match will go a long way in helping us decide if Manchester United are serious title contenders or merely competing for the remaining three Champions League slots when City win the league. Ten points feels like a huge deficit for the Red Devils, who were top of the table for a while. Although Ole Gunnar Solskjear’s side has only lost two of the last nineteen games, since they lost three in the first six games, two wins and four draws in their last six is not the form of champions. This dropping of form has allowed City to march on, and Chelsea is also breathing down their necks, with just six points separating the two sides. The Red Devils have found the Blues an easy playmate in recent times, winning two and drawing three in the last five games. They did the double, amassing all six points in the league last season, although the Blues bundled them out of the FA Cup’s semi-final. They have enjoyed a free-scoring season with fifty-three goals in twenty-five games, seven less what they managed in 2012-13, which was their last title-winning season.
Bruno Fernandes has fifteen goals, numbers only bettered by Harry Kane and Thomas Muller. Marcus Rashford is the fourth-best scorer in the league since the start of last season, drenching forty goals since the start of last season. Daniel James has scored in back to back starts managing five goals in thirteen as many as he did forty-six games last season. On Thursday, United progressed to the last-16 of the Europa League, a 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad enough to see them through after winning the first leg 4-0. The big news from that game was the introduction of Shola Shoretire, who became United’s youngest ever player in Europe for United at 17 years and 23 days, beating the long-standing record set by Norman Whiteside in the 1980s. United have the proud record of featuring an academy player in every squad since 1937, a run that spans over 4,000 games. The youngster could feature from the bench in this game.
Prediction: Chelsea win, 1-0.
Rest of the Premier League Games
Coming up are our previews and Premier League betting tips for all the rest of the weekend’s action.
- Venue: Etihad Stadium
- Saturday 27th February 12:30
- Referee: Michael Oliver
- Quick Glance OddsH:11/50 D: 11/2 A: 11/1
About the Game:
In the last four games, Pep Guardiola’s army is marching steadily to the promised land after conquering big names; Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton, and Arsenal. They are ten points clear of Manchester United, who they will face on 7th March. The Citizens’ are unbeaten in the last twenty-five games, winning eighteen successive games in this run. The most expensive defence has yielded twenty-three clean sheets; fifteen of these have been in the league, conceding just two goals in the last ten games. The attack has also been overperforming, netting eighteen goals in the last six league games. Raheem Sterling has seven-goal involvements (five goals, two assists) in the last eight appearances. IIkay Gundogan is their best goal scorer with eleven goals, and De Bruyne their most prolific with ten assists despite missing a host of games. The form they are in this looks like a clean sweep for the league leader closing down on their third title in four years.
West Ham is the best team out of the rest, flying in 4th with seven wins in the last nine games. David Moyes side will be in great spirits coming into this encounter, having beaten top-six opposition Tottenham 2 – 1 in the previous game. Jesse Lingard has scored three goals in the last four games, as many as he netted in thirty-six appearances for Manchester United under Solskjear. Tomas Soucek has an exceptional eye for the goal as the Hammers’ top scorer. A tough run of fixtures against both the Manchester clubs, Leeds, and Arsenal will test their European football aspirations to the max, though. Their defence has been solid, keeping nine shutouts so far in the league. You would write them off on paper because of the form their league leaders are in, but the Hammers have become a reckoning force with the armoury to frustrate the big boys.
Prediction: Manchester City win, 2-1.
- Venue: The Hawthornes
- Saturday 27th February 15:00
- Referee: Lee Mason
- Quick Glance OddsH: 16/5 D: 23/10 A: 19/20
About the Game:
Sam Allardyce was full of praise for his side that produced an exceptional performance with ten men to hold on for a precious draw against Burnley. West Brom is in a tight spot, second from bottom, eleven points adrift of safety. Mike Dean was on the spot brandishing his 111th red card to Semi Ajay; he has issued forty-four more cards than any other referee. The Baggies kept their first clean sheet after fifteen attempts that dates back to November, displaying great organisation in their defence with a man less to allow just one shot on target. Matheus Pereira will have a chance to add to his five goals and three assists as their most reliable outlet. Mbaye Diagne, who was on target in their 1 – 1 draw against Manchester United, provides a lively focal point in their attack is also a dangerous prospect. Their desperation for result should make them have the desire to win this game.
Brighton has played some of the best football in the league this season and was on an impressive six games unbeaten run before they fell to Crystal Palace. The Seagull inability to score goals has contributed to their current predicament. Graham Potter’s side hasn’t scored more than one goal in the last eight games. They gave a magical performance enjoying seventy-five per cent possession, forcing thirteen corner kicks and shooting twenty-seven, one more than they did against Aston Villa in their previous game in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. Two great 1 – 0 wins against top-six opposition in Tottenham and Liverpool felt like a turning point to propel them away from the relegation zone. However, two draws and that recent defeat against Palace leaves them just four above resurgent Fulham, and they are at a high risk of being drawn into a top-flight survival scrap if they lose and results go the right way for Fulham. Neal Maupay has scored three goals in the last nineteen games, a poor return for a player who was on fire earlier in the campaign.
Prediction: A score draw.
- Venue: Elland Road
- Saturday 27th February 17:30
- Referee: Peter Bankes
- Quick Glance OddsH: 5/4 D: 13/5 A: 2/1
About the Game:
Leeds won the first game in this fixture against Villa by a comfortable 3 – 0 scoreline. They bounced back from two consecutive defeats against Wolves and Arsenal to beat Southampton 3 – 0. Marcelo Bielsa’s side has been impressive at home, keeping two consecutive clean sheets on their turf. Patrick Bamford has thirteen goals level with Harry Kane and Calvert-Lewin and has provided five assists. Tyler Roberts has registered two assists in three games, as many as he did in the previous forty. Injury has removed some shine off the decorated attacking side already missing Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo but have Mateusz Klich back fit. They don’t have the depth to have a credible challenge for a European spot and are safe at midtable in what looks like a comfortable place for their decorated Argentine manager.
Despite not claiming to have aspirations of qualifying for Europe, Aston Villa has a realistic chance to make the cut and secure Europa League football. They currently sit eighth with two games in hand that could send them to leapfrog to a potential sixth place. Villa, though, is finding it hard to match their impressive form at the start of the season. It could worsen if Jack Grealish fails to recover in time for this game. Their captain has started forty-eight league games and doubles up as their most lethal attacker with six goals and ten assists. The Three Lions midfielder will be a big miss with his side losing 2 – 1 to Leicester City in his absence. Dean Smith’s side averaged 1.5 points per game when their maestro is playing; that number drops to 0.9 when he isn’t playing, losing all three games without the Englishman since the start of last season. Ollie Watkins is their best goal scorer with ten goals and four assists.
Prediction: Leeds win.
- Venue: St James’ Park
- Saturday 27th February 20:00
- Referee: Mike Dean
- Quick Glance OddsH: 13/5 D: 9/4 A: 23/20
About the Game:
This fixture has yielded a 1 – 1 draw in each of the last four games. The Magpies are the closest to join the intensifying relegation hustle, with three points the difference between them and seventeenth placed Fulham. Steve Bruce’s side is on a poor run, winning just two and drawing two of the last fourteen games. They have the joint second-worst defensive record conceding forty-three goals alongside Leeds, Southampton and Crystal Palace. They have a negative seventeen goal difference that is only eclipsed by West Brom and Sheffield United, who occupy the bottom two positions. The attack has been crippled by injury to Callum Wilson, who has ten goals and five assists. They will be looking for inspiration from Miguel Almiron, who has four goals and Allan Saint-Maximin, with three assists. The Frenchman scored in the last game against Manchester United despite going down 3 – 1.
Wolves have won three and drawn one of their last four games in a remarkable recovery from an eight-game winless run. In Nuno Espirito Santo’s toughest season since their return to the top flight in 2018, they currently sit twelfth. Twenty-year-old Pedro Neto has been the spark for the side directly involved in five goals and four assists. Adama Traore was involved in their goal when a thunderous strike hit the crossbar and bounced off the back of Illan Meslier’s head for a precious 1 – 0 win against Leeds United. Rui Patricio put a man of the match performance, making seven saves to help his side keep a clean sheet and earn maximum points. The task of getting back to Europe looks massive without their injured maestro Raul Jimenez who is still sidelined with a fractured skull, and the team will be looking for inspiration from Traore once again.
Prediction: A score draw.
- Venue: Selhurst Park
- Sunday 28th February 12:00
- Referee: Anthony Taylor
- Quick Glance OddsH: 5/2 D: 11/5 A: 6/5
About the Game:
Crystal Palace was not prolific but effective in their recent 2 – 1 triumph against Brighton, scoring with the two efforts on target they managed in the entire game. They found a way to live without their Maestro Wilfred Zaha after consecutive defeats against Leeds and Burnley, where they failed to score on both occasions. Roy Hudson side has already matched their joint-best tally of thirty-two points after twenty-five games. The Eagles have won the last three consecutive games against their weekend opponents, scoring exactly two goals in the last four games. Ten points from safety should not be comfortable for Palace fans, knowing that Newcastle was in the same position two weeks ago but are now languishing close to the drop, just three points clear. They will lean on their impressive defence heroics that can soak up the pressure. At the heart of this army is former Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, who made nine clearances last time out. Jordan Ayew is sparkling in the assist department, registering his third in six games, one less he managed in seventy-two appearances previously.
Scott Parker’s side is starting to believe they can maintain their stay in the top-flight after gaining seven points in the past week to reduce the ten-point gap to Newcastle to just three. They are the closest to securing survival on current form, collecting eight points from twelve in the last four games. A precious 1 – 0 win against the bottom club Sheffield United boosting these hopes, and there are now three teams within six points of their reach. Lookman scored the only goal at the half-hour mark after dominating play for the game’s entirety against the Yorkshire club. Bobby De Cordova-Reid is the most influential player in Fulham’s attack, with five goals and one assist. Ademola Lookman has the best numbers of four goals and three assists. The trio is further boosted by the quality and creativity of Ruben Loftus Cheek and Mario Lemina.
Prediction: A score draw.
- Venue: King Power Stadium
- Sunday 28th February 12:00
- Referee: Paul Tierney
- Quick Glance OddsH: 3/2 D: 12/5 A: 9/5
About the Game:
Brendan Rodgers side has taken seven of the potential nine points in the previous three games, and Leicester City is four points clear of fifth-place Chelsea as they continue their quest for Champions League football. They will be determined to go over the line after missing out on last season qualification on the last day of last season after a 2 – 0 defeat to Manchester United, having spent much of the campaign in the top four. James Maddison has been involved in nine league games, with Jamie Barnes scoring and assisting in their 2 – 1 win against Aston Villa. Harvey Barnes has been involved in nine goals (six goals and three assists) in eleven games scoring outside the Crystal Palace and Manchester United boxes. Suffering a 0-2 defeat against Slavia Prague that knocked them out of the Europa League in mid-week might well prove to be a blessing; the Foxes can now concentrate more on the league.
The Gunners have struggled to hit top gear, losing all six points to the league leaders Manchester City this season and falling to a 1-0 defeat against them last weekend. The London outfit have not found solace in this fixture against Leicester, losing twice and drawing once in the last four games. Poor form of just one win in five games in the league leaves Arteta’s side elevenths with more defeats (eleven) than the ten wins they have gathered. Champions League qualification is within eleven points, but they haven’t shown the hunger to end their three-year hiatus from the completion. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat trick against Leeds United in their 4 – 2 win that followed the 1 – 0 defeat against Manchester City. Mikel Arteta has been playing Martin Odegaard, Bakayo Saka, and Emile Smith Rowe, which provides the service for their captain to improve his tally of eight goals. Arsenal scraped through in their tie against Benfica mid-week. A 3-2 win sees them progress after going 2-1 down in the tie.
Prediction: Leicester win.
- Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- Sunday 28th February 14:00
- Referee: Kevin Friend
- Quick Glance OddsH: 8/5 D: 3/1 A: 11/2
About the Game:
Tottenham was limited to two shots on target, succumbing to a traumatising 2 – 1 at the London Stadium against West Ham in their last league game. Gareth Bale (who seems to be hitting better form, providing an assist in the game), and Heung-Min Son, both hit the top of the crossbar in that game. The London outfit has now lost five of the last six league games with the only points picked up was in their 2 – 0 win against relegation battling West Brom. Jose Mourinho’s job could be on the line suffering eight defeats, the most since the 2015-16 season while in charge of Chelsea, where he was sacked after nine defeats. The Portuguese manager has collected eighty-one points (four less than Mauricio Pochettino in his last fifty games), the lowest tally after fifty games (23 wins, twelve draws, fifteen defeats). The two-time Champions League winner sees his side nine points behind fourth-placed West Ham and needs to get a result and ease the pressure. In Europe, they secured passage to the last 16 in the Europa League in mid-week. A 4-0 win against Wolfsberger meant a 8-1 aggregate win.
Sean Dyche’s side was uninspiring going forward in their last league game, a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich, in which they were limited to just one shot on target. Defending hasn’t been a worry for the Clarets, who have kept twenty-four clean sheets since the start of last season, only bettered by Manchester City, who have managed thirty-one shutouts in this period. They are on a good run, unbeaten in the last four, winning one and drawing three. Burnley needs to show desire to earn their first point at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium, having been battered 5 – 0 at the stadium last time. The Lancashire side will have a week-long rest without midweek responsibilities and will be fresh to feature. They will regret not getting maximum against West Bromwich, as they are now just six points from the drop zone. After facing Tottenham, they play against Leicester City, Arsenal, and Everton in the next four.
Prediction: Tottenham to win, Over 2.5.
- Venue: Bramall Lane
- Sunday 28th February 19:15
- Referee: Jonathan Moss
- Quick Glance OddsH: 7/1 D: 4/1 A: 9/25
About the Game:
Sheffield United have had an injury-plagued season currently without eight of their big players. A side that boasted the fourth-best defensive record last season has so far lost twenty of their twenty-five matches this season and kept just one clean sheet. The Blades will quietly fancy their chances against the defending champions, who are on a four-game losing streak. They, however, would have a lot to worry about themselves, too, with four defeats in the last five failing to score in the last two games. Rhian Brewster will hope to impress his former employers, however the teenager is yet to score in twenty appearances in red and white. The young Englishman managed eleven in his previous loan spell and can still rebuild his career with thirteen games still left to play. Sheffield United are fourteen points from safety and yet to surpass the record lowest points of eleven in the league. David McGoldrick is the team’s top-scorer on just five goals and one assist.
Liverpool has drifted far from the standards they have set in the Premier League in the last three seasons. From the top of the table to a distant fifth, the defending Champions are in danger of dropping out of the European football race. Despite being plagued by serious injuries, the Reds are a well-established side with huge financial muscle that can afford great depth in their side. Jürgen Klopp side has struggled to be relevant without their regular starting eleven and has been shy of making bold changes to the side that conquered Europe and England over the last two years. Despite this, Mohammed Salah has been on good form, netting seventeen goals, but their leaky defence has prevented them from making the most of his excellence. Diogo Jota is available for selection to improve his nine goals in seventeen games and was on target when the two met in October. They have hit rock bottom, four home defeats in a row for the first time since 1923. Three consecutive home defeats overshadow what was an unbelievable sixty-eight game unbeaten run at home. Klopp employed his eighteenth defensive pairing of the season in Nathan Phillips, and Ozan Kabak which shows great the troubles defensive troubles for the champions.
Prediction: Liverpool win.
- Venue: Goodison Park
- Monday 1st March 20:00
- Referee: Martin Atkinson
- Quick Glance OddsH: 23/20 D:5/2 A: 23/10
About the Game:
Calvert Lewin has two goals and two assists in his last three appearances. An exception breakthrough season for the England international under Carlo Ancelotti has helped turn the fortunes around for Merseyside’s blue side. A morale-boosting win against Liverpool at Anfield for the first time since 1999 will be a huge psychological lift to rekindle their Champions League dream. They are three points short of fourth-placed Chelsea, having played one game less to tie them at the final Champion League slot if they win. Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane were flawless to keep out the Liverpool attack who were relentless at times to keep a memorable clean sheet on a historic day. They hope to continue their impressive home form of eight wins in twelve away games against the Saints. James Rodriguez is also one to watch, providing the most assists for his side in all competitions, managing eight.
The Saints are on a worrying eight-game winless run, losing seven and drawing one, although that draw did come against a high-flying Chelsea. In their last game, a 3-0 loss to Leeds, their top scorer, Danny Ings, started from the bench and was introduced in the sixtieth minute but failed to affect the game. Oriol Romeu limped off injured to add salt to their wounds, and he will be a big miss for them at Goodison Park. Southampton has failed to score in four of the last five away as many goalless performances as they did in the previous thirty-one on the road. They have had some joy in this fixture in recent times, winning two, losing two, and drawing one in the last five games. Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping his side repeats their 2 – 0 heroics in the reverse fixture in a game where Ings produced two assists for James Ward Prowse and Che Adams. They are in dire need of a result as they are slowly being sunk to the danger zone and are just eight points away from the dropzone.
Prediction: Everton win, over 2.5.
Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*
|West Bromwich v Brighton||Draw||23/10||3.30|
|Leeds United v Aston Villa||Leeds to win||23/20||7.09|
|Newcastle United v Wolves||Draw||11/5||22.70|
|Leicester v Arsenal||Leicester to win||6/4||56.76|
|Tottenham v Burnley||Tottenham to win||1/2||85.14|
Bookie of the week: Our Pick
Bet365 are our bookie of the week. To find out everything you could want about bet365, you can read our bet365 review.
* All our selections are provided for entertainment only and should only be used for informational purposes. Whilst we use our experience and knowledge to help inform you to make a considered bet, we are not responsible for any losses that may arise from actual results being different than predicted.