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Premier League Matchweek 28 Preview and Predictions

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After last week’s 7-3 predictions record, the confidence is back again!

With Leicester City losing, the race for the top four became a little tighter and clubs might start thinking finishing in third place is a real possibility. Already making a move, Manchester United jumped back into fifth place after their convincing win.

This weekend there are only eight games, as the Carabao Cup final has postponed two matchups. Let’s see who will be claiming points this weekend.

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Norwich City vs Leicester City (Friday, 3 p.m. EST)

With 11 games to go, if Norwich City wants to remain in the league they must stop dropping points at home. However, just because they must, doesn’t mean they will. Sloppy play from the back continues to haunt them. Making matters worse is their top goal scorer, Teemu Pukki, hasn’t scored in the last four games.

Leicester City won’t let a slip-up against Manchester City derail what has been a positive season. Surprisingly, they’ve gone the entire month of February winless so far, but Norwich City presents the perfect opportunity to claim the first win of the month. In the end, James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, and Youri Tielemans will be too much for Norwich City to handle.

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Prediction: Leicester City 3, Norwich City 1

Brighton vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. EST)

Did Brighton save their season last week drawing at Sheffield United? They’ll be hoping to use that shocking result as motivation to avoid relegation. While they’ve done a good job of getting a point occasionally, they haven’t won yet in 2020. With last week’s result fresh in their minds and a winnable game looming at home, perhaps this will be the first taste of victory this year.

Crystal Palace is also confident, as they were able to grind out a 1-0 result against Newcastle and claim three points. Offensive firepower is lacking, however; Palace has only scored three goals in its last four matches. There aren’t any relegation concerns now, and with reports that manager Roy Hodgson is set to sign a new contract, the club will be eager to build on last week’s win.

Prediction: Brighton 1, Crystal Palace 1

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Bournemouth vs Chelsea (Saturday, 10 a.m. EST)

Fans are starting to get nervous on the south coast of England that maybe Bournemouth can’t stay up this season. After two straight losses, the club is now two points clear of the drop zone. Averaging less than a goal a game, they must start to get better production out of Joshua King and Callum Wilson. However, a point could mean the world to them right now, so they could set up defensively in this match.

Having lost midweek in Champions League 3-0 to Bayern Munich, Chelsea can fully turn their attention to the Premier League. A return of Tammy Abraham to the starting lineup should provide a much-needed boost. Manager Frank Lampard appears to have shifted his lineup to a back three which has seen Marco Alonso and Reece James provide energy and pace down the flanks. If Bournemouth comes out determined to claw their way to a point, does Chelsea have the creativity to break them down?

Prediction: Bournemouth 1, Chelsea 2

Newcastle vs Burnley (Saturday, 10 a.m. EST)

Newcastle are a confusing team, as they struggle more times than not. While they set up well defensively, it’s the offense that has let them down. After signing Miguel Almiron and Joelinton to bolster the attack, it is still the old veteran JonJo Shelvey that leads the team in goals. The problem is, Shelvey himself only has five. Maybe it’s time for Newcastle to play more attacking football before the relegation zone creeps up behind them.

Four wins out of five have seen Burnley climb up into 10th place in the table. Manager Sean Dyche continues to push the right buttons with his squad. Lately, the good thing is the goals seem to be coming from everywhere. Five goals in the last two games from five different scorers is the kind of production that instills belief throughout the entire squad. Sitting at 37 points and only four out of European places, is Burnley really going to continue making noise?

Prediction: Newcastle 2, Burnley 2

West Ham vs Southampton (Saturday, 10 a.m. EST)

Not sure how, but somehow West Ham needs to pick themselves up after letting a late lead evaporate at Anfield. That would have been just the kind of result that could have propelled them out of relegation. If they aren’t careful, it’s the kind of heartbreaking loss that could carry over into another loss. The pressure is fully on and they know it, but can they stop it?

Southampton was able to right the ship last week claiming all the points. Shane Long got back on the scoring sheet just in time to allow the Saints to breathe a little bit easier. At 34 points, they shouldn’t have to worry about the relegation battle but a slip-up against West Ham could change that.

Prediction: West Ham 2, Southampton 2

Watford vs Liverpool (Saturday 12:30 p.m. EST)

Will Watford be the latest team to suffer defeat to the league leaders? It’s hard to find something to suggest Watford can claim points in this matchup. It’s time for veteran Troy Deeney to step up after the team has managed just five goals in the last six. Even so, is it enough to outscore Liverpool?

Coming off a thrilling late victory last week, Liverpool is that much closer to lifting the trophy. Sadio Mane has come on as of late scoring two in two games. Meanwhile, striker partner Mohamed Salah has chipped in with four in four. In a season in which virtually nothing has gone wrong, Watford can’t claim any points, right?

Prediction: Watford 0, Liverpool 3

Everton vs Manchester United (Sunday 9 a.m. EST)

Everton will be eager to get back on the pitch and improve after last week’s loss to Arsenal. Arsenal was able to cool them off after a recent good run of form. Everton has all the ingredients to make a run up the table, but they must beat a proven team. It’ll be up to the players to prove progress is being made rather than just beating up on the league strugglers.

Manchester United finally won consecutive league games for the first time since Dec. 26 and Dec. 28. At the moment things couldn’t be any better. New signee Bruno Fernandes has slid into the team seamlessly. The club is getting positive results in all competitions and is now on pace to make next season’s Champions League. Before things ease up though, they must navigate a tricky three-game stretch starting at Goodison Park.

Prediction: Everton 1, Manchester United 2

Tottenham vs Wolves (Sunday 9 a.m. EST)

Manager Jose Mourinho has a challenging task of instilling confidence during this difficult period. Right now it is hard for them to score goals. Injuries are understandable, but at the same time, they have the likes of Lucas Moura and Dele Alli capable of producing more. Unfortunately for the Wolves are the last team you want to see while struggling.

Life is completely different over in West Midlands, England. Their top scorers are producing as Diogo Jota found the net twice while Raul Jimenez added another last time out. A recent good run of form has seen them advance to the last 16 in Europa League while also climbing the table sitting just outside the top four. Wolves will certainly be aiming to continue that climb while denting Tottenham’s aspirations.

Prediction: Tottenham 0, Wolves 2

Table positioning is key at this point in the season. By next week we’ll be at only ten games remaining so we’re about to find out who is willing to fight. How will the table look by next week?  Enjoy the games this weekend and come back next week for another round of previews and predictions.

Follow me on Twitter (@LockoftheDay1) for more great Premier League content!

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