Since last weekend's fixtures, we've seen another managerial change in the Premier League, this time at Leeds.
I feel it’s been clear for some time now that things were going wrong under Marcelo Bielsa.
Yes, the Leeds fans love him, I get that. But generally in top level football these days, there is no room for sentiment, and I'm surprised the Argentine lasted as long as he did.
Love him, the fans may well do, but I think they would be loving him in the Championship next season had he stayed.
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Moving on, and this feels like it could be a pivotel weekend at the top of the table. If Liverpool can beat West Ham on Saturday evening, then it’s over to City on Sunday, who face neighbours Manchester United at the Etihad.
The Red Devils don’t have a bad record at the Etihad of late, and this match offers them a great chance to throw a spanner in the works and blow the title race wide open ….. for Liverpool.
Right, enough of that, let’s get on with our match predictions for matchweek 28, starting with Leeds, who might finally have a defence this week when they visit Leicester in the early fixture on Saturday.
Leicester v Leeds - Saturday 12.30pm
Leeds have a new boss in Jesse Marsch, so will we see an immediate new manager bounce?
Couple that with the fact that whenever we think Leicester are back on track, something goes wrong and they lose again.
So surely this points to a win for Leeds?
Well, the Foxes got their much needed win on Tuesday night, winning 2-0 away at Burnley. This was a great result for Brendan Rodgers’ team, especially given the run Burnley has been on of late.
Leicester were getting uncomfortably close to the relegation battle, and if Burnley had won this match, they would have only been 3 points behind the Foxes.
The win gives Leicester some breathing space, and now they also have Jamie Vardy back, with the striker scoring on his return.
All things considered, I don’t see Jesse Marsch being able to turn things around that quickly, so I have to go for a home win.
- Verdict - LEICESTER WIN
Aston Villa v Southampton - Saturday 3pm
Villa has been inconsistent of late. They got back to winning ways last Saturday, winning 2-0 away at Brighton. Goals seem to be the key for Villa, they seem to be playing okay, but just not picking up the results.
As for the Saints, they are in great form. Their home form is far superior to their away form though, and this match is at Villa Park.
All three results are possible here, so I’m going for the draw.
- Verdict - DRAW
Burnley v Chelsea - Saturday 3pm
The Clarets got themselves a good point away at Stamford Bridge in November.
Their recent mini revival came to an abrupt end on Tuesday, when they lost 2-0 at home to Leicester. The Chelsea match isn’t really the game Burnley need to be focussing on though, they play Brentford away the following Saturday.
As for Chelsea, they’ve only played one match since winning the Club World Cup, and they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in that fixture. They’ve also won in the Champions League and FA Cup, and lost to Liverpool on penalties in the Carabao Cup, since returning.
The Burnley fixture will be a test for them, but it’s one I think they will win.
- Verdict - CHELSEA WIN
Newcastle v Brighton - Saturday 3pm
Newcastle are 14th in the table, but they are still only 4 points clear of the drop zone. They are in a remarkable run of form now, with four wins from their last five matches, and they haven’t lost in the league this year!
They really need to keep cashing in whilst in good form, and with Brighton having lost three on the spin now, this is surely the best time to be playing them.
I wouldn’t be too quick to write the Seagulls off though. They arrested their slide before, and I won’t be shocked if they get something at St James.
I’m going against the form here, and I’m expecting a draw.
- Verdict - DRAW
Norwich v Brentford - Saturday 3pm
A quick look at the table suggests Norwich are the team more desperate for the win, but I’d argue it's the other way around.
The Canaries are four without a win and have lost their last three, but they look like they’ve still got some fight left in them. Whereas Brentford look down and out.
They’ve lost seven out of the last eight, and have just 1 point from that run of matches. If the Bees don’t stop the rot here, they could really be en route back to the Championship.
They certainly can’t afford to lose this one. A defeat here would further demoralise them, and could see them sitting just outside the relegation zone with confidence at rock bottom.
It’s hard to have much confidence in Norwich either, but I’m taking them to scrape a victory here.
- Verdict - NORWICH WIN
Wolves v Crystal Palace - Saturday 3pm
Every weekend there seems to be two or three of these awkward looking predictions. The league table suggests a home win, but Wolves have lost their last two, while Palace has 4 points from their last two matches.
Wolves didn’t look too bad against West Ham last Sunday, and they were unlucky to lose to Arsenal the previous Thursday.
As for Palace, they followed up their 4-1 win over Watford with a 1-1 draw at home to Burnley. I’ve claimed for a while that the Eagles are playing better than their results have suggested. But will that be enough to win away at Wolves?
I am tempted to go for the draw here, as maybe Wolves are in a sticky spell. But overall this season, Bruno Lage’s side have been pretty solid, so I’m taking them to bounce back with a win.
- Verdict - WOLVES WIN
Liverpool v West Ham - Saturday 5.30pm
Last Sunday’s win over Wolves was a big one for the Hammers. The 3 points keeps them in the hunt for 4th place, but Arsenal - who are level on points - do have three games in hand.
I did think the Hammers looked a bit leggy, and Jarrod Bowen now looks a bit off colour having had an excellent run of late…… watch him go and score now!
As for Liverpool, all of a sudden they are the in-form team, and the Premier League title looks far more likely than it did just two to three weeks back.
The Reds just seem to be in the zone, and their form will be putting some pressure on Pep Guardiola and his City team.
I can only see Liverpool’s remarkable run continuing, and they will also feel that they owe the Hammers having lost 3-2 at the London Stadium last November.
- Verdict - LIVERPOOL WIN
Watford v Arsenal - Sunday 2pm
I wrote Watford off last Saturday, and in hindsight, this was a huge mistake, as they were playing their bunnies. Yes, the Hornets got a draw at Old Trafford.
The 0-0 scoreline means they’ve taken 4 points from the Red Devils this season.
As for Arsenal, they’ve won their last three matches, and along with the fixtures elsewhere this weekend, this match represents a great chance for them to go 4th in the table again.
Watford won’t make it easy, and they will have taken great heart from last Saturday’s hard earnt draw.
But do teams in Watford’s position usually get more than 1 to 2 points from back-to back matches against Man Utd and Arsenal? Exactly!
- Verdict - ARSENAL WIN
Man City v Man Utd - Sunday 4.30pm
The pressure is on City in this one. They’ve not had a great home record against United under Pep, only winning one out of six at the Etihad since the Spaniard took over.
Assuming Liverpool beat West Ham on Saturday, City will only be 3 points ahead going into this fixture, so they know they can’t afford to be complacent.
They will also have been rocked by their 3-2 home defeat to Spurs a couple of weeks back, a result that will also have given United hope.
And what of United! Well, they couldn’t beat their bogey side Watford last Saturday, but they did win their two previous to that draw.
Who knows what you’re going to get from Manchester United. Their form is all over the place.
Knowing what’s at stake in this match should mean City are focussed though. Therefore, I’m going for a rare home win for Pep’s team over his neighbours.
- Verdict - MAN CITY WIN
Spurs v Everton - Monday 8pm
Finally, the unpredictable Spurs against the struggling Everton. Spurs did beat Leeds convincingly last Saturday, but even I could see that coming.
Before that, Antonio Conte’s men lost to Burnley, while before that, they won 3-2 at the Etihad.
As for Everton, they are in a bit of a hole. They have shown some fight in their last two home matches under Frank Lampard, and they can consider themselves unlucky not to get a point at home to Man City last Saturday.
Away from home has been different for the Toffees though. In their last three away matches, they have lost to Southampton (2-0), Newcastle (3-1), and Norwich (2-1).
I have to say they are going to lose again, surely!
- Verdict - SPURS WIN
Thanks for reading our Premier League 2021/22 Matchweek 28 Match Predictions.
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