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Premier League: Predictions for matchday 26

Friday 24th February 2017
After a two-week break, during which we witnessed some dramatic scenes in the FA Cup, action from the English top flight returns this weekend. In the next set of Premier League fixtures, Middlesbrough travel to Selhurst Park for a crucial relegation scrap, while Leicester City welcome Liverpool in their first game of the post-Claudio Ranieri era.

Predictions



Hull City v Burnley



Hull City look a decent outfit since Marco Silva arrived; the Tigers made some important signings in January and are now just one point away from escaping the bottom three. Silva's side entertain Burnley next, a team yet to record a league victory away from home. Sean Dyche's men have been excellent this season, they look certain to survive the drop, but after their shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Lincoln, the Clarets will struggle to pick up points at Hull on Saturday.

Prediction: Hull City 2-0 Burnley


Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough

It is a high-stakes contest taking place in south London as 19th plays 16th. Crystal Palace have lost eight of their last ten Premier League games, with Sam Allardyce yet to make his customary impact. The Eagles next opponents, Middlesbrough, sit just three points above them. Aitor Karanka's side are also struggling, they haven't won in nine league games, and if they don't begin to find the net, relegation beckons. It will be a close game, but surely ‘Big Sam' will eventually turn things around?

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Middlesbrough


Everton v Sunderland



Ronald Koeman's ideas are beginning to take effect, as Everton have collected 18 points out of the last 24 available, and the club should aim to compete with the ‘big six' in the near future. Their next opponents, Sunderland, are experiencing major problems and find themselves at the foot of the table. David Moyes' side must improve, but a trip to Goodison Park is a daunting prospect. With Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley to contend with, expect more misery for the Black Cats.

Prediction: Everton 3-0 Sunderland


West Bromwich Albion v Bournemouth



This clash features two teams in contrasting form. West Bromwich Albion are unbeaten in their last four games, they remain relentless and a top half finish is firmly in sight - which would count as a significant feat for Tony Pulis' side. While on the south coast, Bournemouth are disintegrating and rapidly falling down the table. Although the Cherries defence is in disarray, having conceded two goals or more in their previous six games, they are still capable of causing problems in attack.

Prediction: West Brom 2-2 Bournemouth


Chelsea v Swansea City

Chelsea's lead at the top was reduced from ten points to eight, but that won't cause any distress for Antonio Conte's men who remain the most well-balanced team in the division and will provide a stern test for a resurgent Swansea City. Paul Clement's arrival saw results instantly improve, with Gylfi Sigurdsson playing a crucial role, to take the Swans four points clear of the drop zone. However, Chelsea will be too strong at Stamford Bridge and should move a step closer to the title.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Swansea City


Watford v West Ham United



Watford's accomplishments this season have gone under the radar, but to go from being one of the relegation favourites to sitting 13th in the table is impressive. The Hornets can climb higher this weekend with a victory over West Ham United. After a dismal opening to the campaign, Slaven Bilic's side are slowly returning to the form they remain capable of producing, and they will be aiming to end the season positively. There won't be much to separate these two mid-table teams.

Prediction: Watford 1-1 West Ham


Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City



Elimination from the Europa League, after losing comprehensively to Liverpool in their last league outing - is Tottenham Hotspur's season in danger of fading away? Mauricio Pochettino's side are developing, but Spurs have hit a bad spell and need to put things right when they take on Stoke City. The Potters are just doing enough to meet expectations; however, they have failed to find their peak. This could be a scrappy contest, with Harry Kane's scoring ability proving the difference.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Stoke City


Leicester City v Liverpool

A new era awaits the reigning Premier League champions, as the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri follows the club's dramatic fall from grace. Leicester City are perilously close to the relegation zone and must now fight for survival, beginning on Monday night. Although Jurgen Klopp witnessed the recent self-destruction of his team, with Sadio Mane's absence a key factor, Liverpool still retain hopes of a top four finish. So both clubs enter this game under pressure.

Prediction: Leicester City 1-3 Liverpool
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.

 

 


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