Premier League Matchday 18 Preview – Prediction + Tips 2017/18

It’s all change again in the top four after the midweek games, with Liverpool dropping out in place of Tottenham, after the Reds failed to beat West Brom and Spurs eased past Brighton. Arsenal too could only manage a draw, with the Gunners dropping way down to seventh place, as Burnley’s excellent season continues and they rise to sixth.

This weekend the action starts at high-flying Leicester, who will come up against another team in great form of late, Crystal Palace. Sunday features two games, with West Brom hosting Manchester United and Bournemouth hosting Liverpool. Everton and Swansea round off the action on Monday night, with a match at Goodison Park.

Match of the Day

Another game, another routine win for Manchester City. Their win against rivals Manchester United last week, followed by a comfortable win against Swansea, leaves the Citizens with an eleven point gap at the top of the table and it looks increasingly unlikely that anyone will catch City. Tottenham have finally re-found winning ways after an extended shaky patch. That has not been without cost for Spurs, as they have only just made it back into the top four and are a massive eighteen points behind their opposition here.

Manchester City v Tottenham
Manchester City Form Guide WWWWW
Tottenham Form Guide DLDWW
  • Venue: The Etihad
  • Saturday 16th December 17:30
  • Referee: Craig Pawson
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 8/15 D: 15/4 A: 5/1

About the Game:

Few probably expected it to go any other way, but City emerged comfortable winners on Wednesday night against Swansea. David Silva is currently pulling the strings for the Citizens, as his two goals brought his tally to four in the last three games. That win was the 15th in a row, which saw City break a Premier League record.

Pep Guardiola said in midweek that defensive injuries might force him to dip into the transfer market in the January window. Long-term injuries to Benjamin Mendy and John Stones, along with Vincent Kompany’s susceptibility to injury, apparently has Pep worried. Though he perhaps shouldn’t be. City kept a clean sheet on Wednesday and while that was against one of the league’s worst attacking teams, they haven’t conceded more than one goal in a game since the end of October. City have faced and beaten everyone in the top seven except for Tottenham. If they manage that here, surely that’s a statement of just how deserving this City team is of being champions.

Bet on the match of the week between Manchester City and Tottenham at Coral

Tottenham have put together back to back wins after a very shaky period which saw them lose three and win just one game through November and the end of October. A win on Wednesday against Brighton has seen them finally make it back into the top four, but it’s tight and any slip-up will likely see them slip right back out of the Champions League qualification places.

This will be a massive test defensively for Spurs. Worrying then, that both Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez are unavailable, via injury and suspension respectively. Alderweireld especially has already been a huge loss for Spurs, as his absence from the team rather unsurprisingly coincided with the bad run of form and conceding more goals. Up-front, Harry Kane has lacked consistency this season, but the striker does have four goals in his last five matches, along with twelve for the season. City’s defence is not impenetrable and he may fancy his chances to score here. Deli Alli was rested for the midweek match and should slot back into the team, though Heung-min Son is in great form and deserves a spot. Spurs relish the big games and currently in the Premier League, this is as big as they come.

Prediction: Manchester City win – When will City’s winning streak end? It has to end somewhere, but with Spurs in so-so form and missing key defensive personnel, we don’t think City’s winning run will end here.

Rest of the Premier League Games

Once again, there’s a full fixture list over the weekend, with the action starting at the King Power and ending at Goodison Park on Monday night, with Everton versus Swansea.

Leicester v Crystal Palace
Leicester Form Guide DWWWW
Crystal Palace Form Guide WDDDW
  • Venue: King Power Stadium
  • Saturday 16th December 12.30
  • Referee: Martin Atkinson
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 19/20 D: 5/2 A: 10/3

About the Game:

Leicester are in absolutely fantastic form and won convincingly on Wednesday against Southampton. That’s four wins in a row for the Foxes, who have beaten high-flying Burnley and Tottenham in that span. Riyad Mahrez is excelling as he seems to have been granted a more free-role by Puel, with the Algerian scoring and creating goals. With home advantage, Leicester will be expected to win again.

Palace too are on a great run, with Tuesday’s late win against Watford their sixth match unbeaten. The Eagles are struggling to keep a clean sheet though, which could trouble them here. Both Mamadou Sakho and Joel Ward are out through injury, meaning despite their good form, Palace will do well to earn anything in this match.

Prediction: Leicester win – Leicester are in great form and Palace’s defensive injuries could be crucial.

Arsenal v Newcastle
Arsenal Form Guide WWLDD
Newcastle Form Guide LDLLL
  • Venue: The Emirates
  • Saturday 16th December 15:00
  • Referee: Stuart Attwell
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 2/7 D: 11/2 A: 10/1

About the Game:

Arsenal dropped points again on Wednesday after managing a draw against a resilient West Ham. Wenger’s decision to rest top-scorer Lacazette looks, in hindsight, like an oversight, as the Gunners lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. He should be straight back in the team in a match in which Arsenal must win.

Newcastle struck both posts in the first half of Wednesday’s match against Everton, but couldn’t find the net, as they fell to another defeat. That’s their seventh defeat in eight games, as it becomes painfully apparent that without investment in January, Newcastle are in big trouble. They need points, but Arsenal have lost just one home match all season, suggesting this won’t be the game where Newcastle will end their baron run.

Prediction: O 2.5 goals – Arsenal must win and with home advantage they should have no troubles to win comfortably.

Brighton v Burnley
Brighton Form Guide LDLLL
Burnley Form Guide LWLWW
  • Venue: AMEX Stadium
  • Saturday 16th December 15:00
  • Referee: Chris Kavanagh
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 13/8 D: 2/1 A: 11/5

About the Game:

Brighton were lacklustre against Spurs on Wednesday and slumped to defeat. That was the third loss in a row for the Seagulls who could be soon pulled into the relegation battle. With things tightening at the wrong end of the table, Brighton now sit just three points above the last relegation place, despite currently being in 13th place. They’ll need to end this run soon though, but are up against one of the league’s best defences.

Burnley’s phenomenal season continued on Tuesday, where, after soaking up a lot of pressure, they eventually edged out opponents Stoke to earn another 1-0 victory. That win put Burnley temporarily in the top four, which is testament to the job being done by Sean Dyche. Burnley have been a match for anyone this season and with confidence at an all-time high, a loss here would be a surprise.

Prediction: U 2.5 goals – Brighton are struggling for goals while Burnley have one of the best defences in the league.

Chelsea v Southampton
Chelsea Form Guide DWWLW
Southampton Form Guide WLDDL
  • Venue: Stamford Bridge
  • Saturday 16th December 15:00
  • Referee: Roger East
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 4/11 D: 17/4 A: 9/1

About the Game:

Chelsea bounced back after a shock loss to West Ham with a routine win against Huddersfield. Álvaro Morata missed the match through a back injury and it’s not clear if the striker will be back in time to feature in this one. Never mind though, as Eden Hazard slipped into the number 9 role with great effect in the last game and will likely do so again, should Morata not be available.

Southampton are another team on a poor run of late. Defeat against Leicester on Wednesday was their fourth game without a point and the Saints have just one win in eight games. This is a tough test for any team, let alone one that is out of form. Chelsea’s defence hasn’t exactly been rock solid of late and Charlie Austin exposing any weaknesses looks to be the Saint’s best chance here.

Prediction: Chelsea win + BTTS – We expect Southampton to nick a goal here, but Chelsea should have what it takes to win and keep the pressure up on the leaders.

Stoke v West Ham
Stoke Form Guide LLWLL
West Ham Form Guide DLLWD
  • Venue: bet365 Arena
  • Saturday 16th December 15:00
  • Referee: Graham Scott
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 5/4 D: 12/5 A: 5/2

About the Game:

Stoke were somewhat unlucky to lose against Burnley on Tuesday, but nevertheless, that defeat was the fourth in five games for the Potters, who have slipped down the table over the last month. A match against fellow strugglers West Ham looks good on paper then, but the Hammers have proved tricky opponents even for the league’s elite of late.

West Ham seem to have finally steadied the ship and earned a win and a draw against Chelsea and Arsenal in their last two. Now come some winnable fixtures for the Hammers, though the caveat is that West Ham usually perform better against the bigger teams. Chicharito featured towards the end of the last match and nearly won it for the Hammers late in the game. His return could be key as West Ham look to match their newfound defensive solidity with goals.

Prediction: U 2.5 goals – West Ham are solid under Moyes and their setup is designed to give away as few chances as possible.

Watford v Huddersfield
Watford Form Guide WLDLL
Huddersfield Form Guide LLLWL
  • Venue: Vicarage Road
  • Saturday 16th December 15:00
  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 3/4 D: 11/4 A: 17/4

About the Game:

Watford will be both gutted and shocked at losing Tuesday’s match against Palace. Leading up until the last minutes of the game, a red card for Tom Cleverley led to two goals for Palace and defeat for Watford. Watford have played some great football under Silva this season, but they have been careless at the back and this has cost them many times.

Huddersfield offered little against Chelsea and the scoreline could have been even tougher on the Terriers. This will be another tough test against a team that loves to attack. Huddersfield’s best chance will be to expose Watford’s tendency to lose concentration at the back.

Prediction: Watford win – Losing concentration at the back cost Watford three points in the last game and Marco Silva will not allow that to happen again in a very winnable game for the Hornets.

West Brom v Manchester United
West Brom Form Guide DDDLD
Manchester United Form Guide WWWLW
  • Venue: The Hawthorns
  • Sunday 17th December 14:15
  • Referee: Anthony Taylor
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 11/2 D: 10/3 A: 4/7

About the Game:

West Brom earned a hard-fought point against Liverpool in midweek, though it was thanks in some part to a wrongly disallowed goal for the Reds. That draw put the Baggies out of the relegation zone on goal-difference alone, while earning anything here will be a big ask. Another defensive performance is on the cards.

United edged past Bournemouth on Wednesday to at least try to maintain the pace of Manchester City. Romelu Lukaku ended his goal-drought to score the winner, with United keeping another clean sheet. This will likely be another match in which the opposition will sit back, so the onus will be on United to take the game to West Brom.

Prediction: Manchester United win – With Lukaku finally finding the net again and United needing to keep pressure on the league leaders they shouldn’t slip up here.

Bournemouth v Liverpool
Bournemouth Form Guide DLDDL
Liverpool Form Guide DWWDD
  • Venue: Vitality Stadium
  • Sunday 17th December 16:30
  • Referee: Andre Marriner
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 6/1 D: 15/4 A: 1/2

About the Game:

Bournemouth’s good form of November already seems a distant memory as they lost again on Wednesday, meaning they’ve taken just two points out of the last twelve. Thanks to a terrible start to the season, the Cherries sit just two points above the relegation zone. This will be another tough match against top opposition, but Bournemouth can take inspiration from West Brom’s draw against Liverpool in midweek, as they try to do the same.

Liverpool dropped points again and will blame a wrongly disallowed goal for the draw with West Brom, although in truth they were poor throughout the match. Liverpool played pretty much a full-strength team and will have to try to breakdown another resolute defence here. Unless they improve in all aspects from the last game, they could struggle once again.

Prediction: Liverpool win + U 2.5 goals – Liverpool will have to win here to not drop further off the pace. They should improve from the last match, but a win won’t be easy.

Everton v Swansea
Everton Form Guide LWWDW
Swansea Form Guide DLLWL
  • Venue: Goodison Park
  • Monday 18th December 20:00
  • Referee: Jonathan Moss
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 8/11 D: 3/1 A: 4/1

About the Game:

Everton’s great form under new manager Big Sam continues as the Toffees edged to victory against Newcastle on Wednesday. Everton are unbeaten in their last four league games and this is another very winnable match. Swansea are struggling and Everton should be able to play slightly more attacking than they have in recent games.

Defeat to Manchester City was almost inevitable, but Swansea are now rooted to the bottom of the table. Away to in-form Everton doesn’t look too great for Swansea’s chances, but then again, the Swans are coming up short against most opponents lately. Goals have been Swansea’s biggest problem, so facing an opponent with three clean sheets in their last four perhaps doesn’t bode so well for their chances here.

Prediction: Everton win – Everton have improved massively under their new manager as the individual talents of the players begins to bring results.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
Manchester City v Tottenham Manchester City win 8/15 1.53
Leicester v Crystal Palace Leicester win 19/20 2.98
Brighton v Burnley U 2.5 goals 19/40 4.41
Stoke v West Ham U 2.5 goals 3/4 7.71
Everton v Swansea Everton win 8/11 13.33

Place a bet on these selections at Coral

Bookie of the week: Our Pick

Coral are our bookie of the week. To find out all you need to know about Coral you can read our Coral Sport 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.

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Betting tips and previews matchday 18 Premier League

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