⛅️ Friday Forecast: Tuchel's first test, Liverpool's Blades nightmare

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OneFootball

Alex Mott

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The Premier League title race may not be as intriguing as we envisaged but there’s still so much to play for going into this 26th round of fixtures.

Let’s take a look at the most fascinating games this weekend.


Game of the weekend 💪

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Thomas Tuchel has been Chelsea boss for exactly one month now and it could be argued that this is his first proper domestic test (apologies Tottenham fans).

The Blues host Manchester United on Sunday with the chance to get back into the top four after sliding down the table under Frank Lampard’s stewardship.

With just two goals conceded since Tuchel’s arrival, this has been a return to form based around a water-tight defence and the impressive Mateo Kovačić.

United on the other hand have been scoring goals for fun – they’re the division’s hottest attack having netted 53 so far this term, including 16 in their last four Premier League outings.

Bruno Fernandes has proved himself to be one of the most influential players anywhere in Europe over the past 12 months but could well have N’Golo Kanté to deal with at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

It’s a mouth-watering prospect and just one of the many individual battles that should light up this always stellar occasion.

📊 Fun fact: Manchester United are undefeated in their last 19 away matches while Chelsea are undefeated in 10 out of 11 home games.

🔮 Our prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

Chelsea 0
Manchester United 0
Full time

Potential upset 😨

Sheffield United vs Liverpool

How the tides have turned for both Sheffield United and Liverpool.

This game last season would have seen the Premier League’s biggest surprise package taking on the champions-in-waiting.

Fast forward 12 months though, and the Blades are rock bottom of the division having won just three games all campaign whilst the Reds are on their worst run of form for 98 years.

Chris Wilder’s men have seen a relative upturn in form recently though and were unlucky not to claim a draw in their last game against Fulham after some woeful refereeing.

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For the Merseyside outfit, they are coming off the back of a famous defeat to their city rivals Everton last weekend and will also be without captain Jordan Henderson after a groin injury.

All the ingredients are there for Jürgen Klopp’s nightmare to continue.

📊 Fun fact: Liverpool have conceded 35 goals in the Premier League so far this season, more than they did in the entirety of last term.

🔮 Our prediction: Sheffield United 1-0 Liverpool

Sheffield United 0
Liverpool 2
Full time

Easiest 3️⃣ points

Manchester City vs West Ham

Harsh on West Ham, perhaps, but Manchester City could be taking on Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan this weekend and we’d say it’s an easy three points.

City are humming right now, they are the best side in Europe, they are the would-be Premier League winners, playing better football than at any time during Pep Guardiola’s reign.

The Citizens are now on a remarkable 19-game winning run and are just eight victories short of the Guinness world record set by Welsh side The New Saints in 2016.

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And who would possibly bet against them reaching that astonishing milestone?

It’s the Hammers this weekend – a Hammers side that are better than at any point since Carlos Tevez was leading their line – but even in the midst of this purple patch, surely won’t have enough to stop City and their runaway momentum.

📊 Fun fact: West Ham have lost 10 of their last 11 meetings at the Etihad Stadium.

🔮 Our prediction: Manchester City 4-1 West Ham

Manchester City 2
West Ham 1
Full time

Too close to call 🤔

Tottenham vs Burnley

“Mine and my coaching staff’s methods are second to nobody in the world.”

So said José Mourinho after Tottenham lost to West Ham last weekend to heap more pressure on the Portuguese manager and lead to large swathes of supporters calling for his head.

And quite right too, many would argue.

Spurs have won one Premier League game in six and can’t even give the ‘Harry Kane is injured’ excuse.

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The north London side have been woeful of late and now host a Burnley team who aren’t exactly pulling up trees either.

Sean Dyche’s men were abysmal in their 0-0 draw at home to 10-man West Brom in their previous fixture and have won only one game in seven.

📊 Fun fact: Burnley are looking for their first top-flight win at Tottenham since 1974.

🔮 Our prediction: Tottenham 0-0 Burnley


🔥 Your Fantasy Football captain should be …

Harvey Barnes (Leicester)

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Leicester host Arsenal on Sunday as one of the Premier League’s most in-form teams and in Harvey Barnes have one of the division’s hottest forwards.

Barnes has been a revelation this term, evolving from a pace-merchant with so-so end product to a rapid forward with laser-sharp finishing.

The 23-year-old is on nine goals for the campaign now, including three goals in his last five games.

Leicester City 1
Arsenal 3
Full time

The Gunners defence should be petrified for the weekend.