Premier League Week 27 Preview
By Bookmakers Review08 February 2018
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Premier League Week 27 Preview

Only 12 games to go in the Premier League schedule for each side. And it's at this point in the campaign, especially when selecting three feature matches for previews like this, that you begin to look at the 10 games and ask "who is this one more important for?"

Manchester City vs. Leicester? Well, Riyad Mahrez aside perhaps, probably neither.

Swansea City vs. Burnley? Definitely the former.

Newcastle United vs. Manchester United? The former too.

When it comes to selecting the three standout games, you want the answer to the question to be "both." It's criteria that applies to three fixtures in particular, while the remainder of the games will also be previewed below. Bet on each at BMR’s green-listed bookmakers.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal

In reference to the earlier question, any north London derby is important for both sets of supporters, regardless of the circumstances.

Tottenham will bounce into this one. The last time they were at Wembley for a Premier League game they sashayed past Manchester United, and last weekend, somehow and some way, they managed to get out of Anfield with a point.

It's the latter result, a 2-2 draw in such chaotic circumstances, that feels more important for Spurs. Because just imagine: You have the chance to net a "winner" from the spot, it's saved and then you concede a "winner" at the other end. Morale would've plunged had Harry Kane not made amends with the final kick of the game.

You feel as though Arsenal should be wary of this Tottenham team, especially given they've been terrible away from home this season. Their last two matches outside of the Emirates Stadium have been losses to Bournemouth and Swansea City.

There's some reason for renewed optimism, especially after the Gunners cut Everton to ribbons a week ago. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was off the mark quickly, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan appears immediately liberated following his January move.

Still, it's in defence, in organisation and in concentration where Arsenal need to make strides if they are going to get anything under the Wembley arch. Spurs appear to be gearing up for a strong finish to the campaign, and will push their rivals a long way back in pursuit of the top four. 2-0 (13.00 William Hill)

Stoke City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

The fortunes of these two sides a week ago in the Premier League show just how vital positive results are at this point in the season.

Stoke were beaten by Bournemouth and find themselves in 18th place in the table. By contrast, West Ham were beaten by Brighton at the Amex Stadium last time out, propelling the latter up to 13th spot; the two sides who meet Saturday were on the same amount of points at the start of the weekend.

The congested bottom half also means things can change quickly and Stoke will view this fixture as an opportunity to chop down the gap to the Seagulls again.

After all, while they did slip to defeat against the Cherries last time out, there were some positive signs, as they battled and battled to keep hold of their early lead. Prior to that encounter, new manager Paul Lambert had been able to earn four points from his two home matches as well, ensuring the Potters at least stay in touch in the lower reaches.

In Brighton they will face one of the worst away sides in the top flight. Glen Murray's goal at Southampton in the recent 1-1 draw was their first goal in seven in Premier League matches on the road, and aside from back-to-back wins earlier in the campaign outside of the Amex Chris Hughton has found it hard to get a tune from these players.

Brighton were excellent at times against West Ham and crucially for them, Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross appeared to rediscover some sparkle. A tight game will be on the cards, and it'd be no shock to see spoils shared. 1-1 (6.50 Betfair)

Southampton vs. Liverpool

If Southampton supporters have a mind to boo their former players when Liverpool come to town on Sunday, then there's a fair chance they'll leave St. Mary's with a sore throat.

While Dejan Lovren is so often the man subjected to the most ire, the likes of Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana will also head back to their old club; Nathaniel Clyne is still injured. But you sense a special reception will be reserved for former skipper Virgil van Dijk, who agitated for a transfer in the summer and ambled through the early part of the season.

It'll be interesting to see how he responds to the stick he'll likely receive, especially given the world's most expensive defender has struggled to show his absolute best since arriving at Anfield. It was his error that allowed Kane to level the scores at Anfield last weekend.

St. Mary's should be abuzz too, as last time out the team picked up an enormous win at West Brom, ending a winless sequence of 12 Premier League games. The 3-2 victory would have invigorated this side, as they battled, attacked and scored some excellent goals.

Still, they're by no means out of the mire. Saints are two points clear of trouble and have failed to find any sort of momentum in 2017-18. Subsequently, if they can back up the three points against the Baggies with at least one here, everyone around the south coast club will be feeling much better about their survival prospects.

Liverpool will be itching to get onto the field for this one after the manner in which they let their lead slip away against Spurs. That'll most likely be to the detriment of the home side, who will be brought back down to earth after a rare win a week ago. 1-3 (15.00 Betfred)

Everton vs. Crystal Palace

Both teams come into this one a little battered and bruised. For Everton, the strains will mainly be mental after they were shellacked at Arsenal last week, while Palace have suffered a major injury blow, with Wilfried Zaha set for six weeks on the sidelines. The Toffees' home record should see them to a narrow win. 1-0 (7.00 Paddy Power)

Swansea City vs. Burnley

Swansea's resurgence in recent weeks has been startling, and the home supporters heading to the Liberty Stadium for this fixture will be delighted with the team's recent form. Burnley will be a tough nut to crack, especially after they showed renewed tenacity in their 1-1 draw with Manchester City last weekend. 1-1 (6.50 William Hill)

West Ham United vs. Watford

Despite the obvious good work done by David Moyes since taking over at West Ham, the team haven't quite been able to push themselves completely clear of relegation trouble; Watford have done now and were sensational in beating Chelsea 4-1 on Monday. They'll edge past their injury-plagued hosts in an entertaining tussle. 1-2 (12.00 Betfair)

Manchester City vs. Leicester City

A penny for Mahrez's thoughts here. While the Algerian won't be involved after his failed move to City and subsequent strike, his absence in recent weeks has hit Leicester hard, as they've earned just one point in their last two games. With him, you'd fancy the Foxes to unsettle City; without him, the exceptional league leaders will take another step towards glory. 2-0 (8.00 William Hill)

Huddersfield Town vs. Bournemouth

An excellent run of form since Christmas has erased any worries the Cherries have had over relegation and they head to Huddersfield having avoided defeat in their last seven games. Huddersfield are plunging closer and closer to the relegation zone by contrast and it's tough to see how David Wagner's side are going to get anything from this. 1-2 (10.00 Betfair)

Newcastle United vs. Manchester United

It was an understatedly positive weekend for Manchester United last time out, as they won and watched their top-four rivals — Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea — all drop points. Newcastle are doing just enough to keep their head above water at the moment, as they're a point clear of trouble in 16th. A loss here may see them in big trouble come the end of the weekend. 0-2 (8.00 William Hill)

Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion

There's a sense of crisis beginning to swirl around Stamford Bridge, with fuel added to the fury of manager Antonio Conte with an embarrassing loss at Watford on Monday. Chelsea are in desperate need of a positive result after two dismal displays; the division's bottom side visiting should be the perfect tonic. 2-0 (6.50 Ladbrokes)