Premier League week 18 – Fixtures and predictions

Premier League week 18 – Fixtures and predictions

Manchester City strengthened their position as Premier League leaders when they followed up their derby defeat of Manchester United with a 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City on Wednesday.

The Sky Blues face another big test on Saturday as they host Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium.

The chasing pack will be hoping to pounce should City finally drop points after a 15-game winning run in the league.

Second-placed United take on West Bromwich Albion on Sunday at the Hawthorns, Chelsea host Southampton on Saturday and Liverpool visit Bournemouth.

Star Match:

Manchester City vs Tottenham

In October 2016, Tottenham became the first side to beat City in the 2016-17 season with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.

The loss kick-started a rotten run of form for the Sky Blues that saw them fall away from title front-runners to also-rans.

It is possible Spurs could repeat the trick this year and end a run of 25 unbeaten games in the league for City that stretches back to April.

However, even if City are beaten by the north London outfit—and it is a big if given the Manchester side’s stunning form—Pep Guardiola’s team does not look likely to capitulate this season.

The worst outcome for City from Week 18’s matches in the Premier League is that their lead at the top of the table could be cut to eight points. But there is also the chance they could extend it to 14.

Having lost the derby last weekend, United can afford nothing less than all three points against West Brom.

The Baggies are struggling in 17th place in the Premier League table but were able to hold Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Wednesday.

United will need to be wary of a stout rearguard action from Alan Pardew’s side, and Romelu Lukaku could be the key.

He got back to scoring ways in the Red Devils’ 1-0 defeat of Bournemouth on Wednesday and, although he has taken criticism for not performing against the bigger sides, West Brom are the type of team Lukaku could dominate.

Liverpool have dropped out of the top four after two frustrating draws on the bounce, and Jurgen Klopp’s side will be desperate to return to winning ways against Bournemouth.

Eddie Howe’s side are in poor form having not won in five matches, but they did take four points off Liverpool last term, including a remarkable 4-3 comeback win at the Vitality Stadium.

Full Fixtures and predictions:

Saturday, Dec. 16

12:30 p.m. Leicester City vs. Crystal Palace (2-1)

3:00 p.m.  Arsenal vs. Newcastle United (1-1)

3:00 p.m. Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Burnley (0-1)

3:00 p.m. Chelsea vs. Southampton (3-2)

3:00 p.m. Stoke City vs. West Ham United (2-2)

3:00 p.m. Watford vs. Huddersfield Town (2-1)

5:30 p.m. Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (3-1)

Sunday, Dec. 17

2:15 p.m. West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United (0-2)

4:30 p.m. Bournemouth vs. Liverpool (1-2)

Monday, Dec. 18

8:00 p.m. Everton vs. Swansea City (2-0)

Culled from Bleacherreport.

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