It's Matchweek 26 in the 2021/22 Premier League, meaning it's time for football gambler to bring you this weekend's Premier League Match Predictions.
The Premier League welcomes back the new Club World Cup champions, Chelsea, who take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Blues look out of the title race, but Liverpool are nine behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand. If the Reds win their game in hand, they would be 6 behind, and just within range if City were to have a blip.
That looks highly unlikely though.
Elsewhere, Manchester United's 1-0 win over Brighton put them back in fourth. United fans won't be overly confident of finihsing fourth though. The Red Devils were far from convincing when beating the Seagulls 1-0 last Tuesday.
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Premier League Matchweek 26 Match Predictions & Betting Tips
West Ham v Newcastle - Saturday 12.30pm
The Hammers have been a bit up and down lately, but aren't what they were earlier in the season.
That's not a criticism, as the standard David Moyes' side set earlier in the season was extremely high. It's more that West Ham have levelled off.
Newcastle have won three matches in a row.
The main catalyst to their improvement has been Keiron Trippier, who now it emerges could be out for the rest of the season.
This is major blow to the chances of Eddie Howe's team in their fight to stay up.
But if they are to beat the drop, they can't be relying on just one player.
I think Newcastle will now have the self belief to take the game to West Ham, but I don't see them winning at the London Stadium.
It's a choice between home win and draw, and I'm going for the home win.
- Verdict - WEST HAM
Arsenal v Brentford - Saturday 3pm
The Gunners had a rough time in January, but have since managed to return to winning ways with a 1-0 away victory at Wolves.
A home match with struggling Brentford is the ideal fixture for Arsenal to win two on the bounce and get some momentum going again.
Brentford stopped the rot last weekend by drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace.
The draw ended a run of five successive defeats for the Bees.
That said, Brentford are no longer playing with the swagger they started the season with and now look in danger of being dragged into the relegation battle.
Arsenal also owe Brentford one from the opening weekend of the season, and I can only see a win for the Gunners here.
- Verdict - ARSENAL WIN
Aston Villa v Watford - Saturday 3pm
Last Saturday at Newcastle, Steven Gerrard's team folded in a manner I've not seen since his arrival at Villa Park.
Even in defeat under Gerrard, Villa have impressed. Not last Saturday though.
As for Watford, 2 points from their last 33, and not even a goal since Roy Hodgson took charge.
Last week I mentioned that the lack of goals wouldn't be Hodgson's biggest concern, as Watford needed to stop shipping goals.
But at some stage of proceedings, Watford needs to start winning games, and obviously scoring goals.
They can't go much longer like this, but sadly for Watford fans, I don't see their fortunes changing at Villa Park.
- Verdict - ASTON VILLA WIN
Brighton v Burnley - Saturday 3pm
Graham Potter's Brighton are back to the way they were in the first couple of months this season.
The pre Christmas struggles are now behind them, and they look the part again.
On Tuesday, I felt they were incredibly unlucky to leave Old Trafford with nothing.
As for Burnley, I thought they were also unlucky in losing 1-0 to Liverpool last weekend.
The Clarets fought hard and never made things easy for Klopp's team, but ultimately they didn't get anything from the match.
In recent weeks Burnley have picked up credible draws with Manchester United and Arsenal, but they now need wins, and there is little sign of them arriving.
I can only see a win for Brighton here.
- Verdict - BRIGHTON WIN
Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Saturday 3pm
The new Club World Cup champions Chelsea are back in action away at Crystal Palace.
The Blues have now won every major trophy available to them under the ownership of Roman Abramovic, although I don't see a Premier League title coming their way this season.
As for Palace, they are on a bad run of form at the moment. That said, they do remind me a lot of Brighton pre Christmas (sorry to fans of both clubs for that blasphemous remark), in that their performances are better than their results are.
Coming off a trip to the UAE, Chelsea may well be revived, rather than tired, although who really knows.
I think it's got to be an away win for me though.
- Verdict - CHELSEA WIN
Liverpool v Norwich - Saturday 3pm
How's your luck if you're Dean Smith.
You get Norwich out of the bottom three and back in with a shout of staying up and along comes back to back matches against Man City and Liverpool.
As for Liverpool, Diogo Jota is out injured, but apart from that, they are back to full strength.
If Liverpool can win their game in hand on Man City, they will be 6 points behind.
They are almost close enough to cash in on any unlikely City mistakes.
So, they can't afford any slip ups in matches like this, and I don't see them slipping up here either.
- Verdict - LIVERPOOL WIN
Southampton v Everton - Saturday 3pm
The Saints are on a roll at the moment. In their last three matches against Man City, Spurs and Man Utd, they have picked up 5 points.
Southampton also have a strong home record this season.
Opponents Everton got themselves a much needed win over Leeds last weekend.
Leeds are poor though, and although I expect Everton to improve under Frank Lampard, I still don't see them having enough to beat Southampton at St Mary's.
A draw is possible, but on current form I have to go for a home win.
- Verdict - SOUTHAMPTON WIN
Man City v Spurs - Saturday 5.30pm
These days I dread predicting Tottenham matches, as I don't know which version of Spurs will turn up.
Thankfully that's irrelevant this week as they are going to lose regardless.
Yes, all of a sudden things have gone wrong at Tottenham again, and we are all now thinking maybe it wasn't Nuno's fault after all.
Maybe there is a serious underlying problem at Spurs.
Either way, I can only see them losing again.
- Verdict - MAN CITY WIN
Leeds v Man Utd - Sunday 2pm
Marcelo Bielsa's team have so far just kept themselves a win or two away from the relegation fight.
Last weekend's defeat to Everton was a bad loss though, and fans must really be getting worried now.
As for Man Utd, they sneaked a win against Brighton on Tuesday, although were far from convincing.
I do think Leeds are the ideal side for Ralf Rangnick's team to be playing.
They don't make life difficult enough for their opponents, and I can only see that same trend continuing on Sunday.
- Verdict - MAN UTD WIN
Wolves v Leicester - Sunday 4.30pm
Wolves have been in great form recently. They didn't dwell for too long on the home defeat to Arsenal, and bounced back with an excellent 2-0 win away to Spurs on Sunday.
As for Leicester, they have been hard to predict this season.
I have seen signs of tightening up their defence recently, I particularly thought in their last two games against Liverpool and West Ham they looked better organised.
Wolves don't score many, and only Liverpool have stopped the Foxes scoring lately.
I'm going for Leicester to claim an unlikely draw.
- Verdict - DRAW
Thanks for reading our Premier League 2021/22 Matchweek 26 Match Predictions.
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