Premier League Week 32 Preview

By Matt Jones29 March 2018
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Twenty-eight years is a long time ago isn't it? 1990 that it is. Players who were born in that year playing now would be described as "coming to the end of their peak years."

Twenty-eight years is also a long time not to win at a particular stadium, especially when there have been league games between the two sides in every campaign. To not have an early red card dictate the course of a match, to not have a lucky goal go in, to not have a few favourable refereeing decisions in your favour—it's quite remarkable.

Yet Tottenham Hotspur haven't won at Chelsea since 1990. They have a chance to end that torrid run on Sunday, and if they can do so will be in prime position to secure a Champions League berth at the expense of their rivals.

Here's a look at what to expect. Bet on each match at BMR’s green-listed bookmakers.

Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

What's going to excite us between now and the end of the season, then? The race to avoid the drop in the Premier League? Definitely. The race to finish second behind Manchester City? Probably.

This match at Selhurst Park will further both of those narratives, as Crystal Palace, still far from safe in the lower reaches of the table, take on a Liverpool side seeking to beat Manchester United and Spurs to second place.

After a run of four successive losses, Palace earned a crucial three points at Huddersfield two weeks ago, giving them breathing room in 16th place. The return of Wilfried Zaha has obviously been crucial to their upturn in form and he's the type of player that'll give this Liverpool defence issues.

However, the Reds have frightening firepower and in Mohamed Salah the league's standout performer at the moment. His quartet of strikes against Watford were the icing on a masterful display, as Liverpool bounced back expertly from the loss to Manchester United.

With a Champions League showdown with Manchester City to come in midweek, there's a chance they may take their eye off the ball a little here. Still, it's difficult to see how Palace will contain the likes of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino over the course of an entire match. 1-2 (8.50 Unibet)

West Ham United vs. Southampton

This is one feels huge at the bottom of the table, as the outfit in 17th, West Ham, host the team in 18th, Southampton, with just a couple of points separating the two sides with eight games each to play.

Typically, a relegation threatened team would be delighted to be in West Ham's position here. When you're in the mire, home games are golden and especially matches in front of your own supporters against a direct rival. Usually this would be a hostile atmosphere for the visitors.

Yet you sense Southampton will be relishing this one more than their opponents, as the previous game at the London Stadium not only saw West Ham crash to defeat against Burnley, but it was punctured by a number of supporter protests. Those in claret and blue won't relish walking out onto that pitch again.

With that in mind, Saints will know a fast start is vital here under the guidance of their new manager Mark Hughes. Something as small as an early spell of prolonged possession may be enough to stir a toxic atmosphere; an early goal may prompt anger from a number of fans.

Hughes will surely get a reaction from his players after he replaced Mauricio Pellegrino, and you feel the team will at least be more organised and more aggressive. At the moment. that may well be enough to beat this West Ham side in this environment. 0-1 (8.00 William Hill)

Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Media darlings? Bottlers? On their way to greatness? Whatever you think of Tottenham, it's hard to deny that this is a talented team with obstacles to overcome. Chelsea on Sunday at the Bridge is one.

Although the away woes of Spurs in recent years at the top six have been well documented, the torrid time at the expense of their London rivals far outstrips the recent progression under Mauricio Pochettino. Tottenham head to Stamford Bridge as a better side than Chelsea, and the manager will be keen to see them play with an accompanying swagger.

Even without Harry Kane. The England international is obviously a big miss for Spurs, although in Son Heung-Min they have a footballer in the form of his life. The South Korean's elusiveness, technique and finishing ability will give the Chelsea back three headaches.

While Spurs supporters will face this fixture with some degree of trepidation given their atrocious record in it, Chelsea fans will feel confident their players will find a way past Tottenham. Given they sit five points behind their rivals in the table, it's feels pretty vital that they do exactly that.

Antonio Conte's team have struggled for consistency as of late and will certainly need to raise their game from what's been on show in recent weeks if they're to avoid defeat. But somehow, some way, Chelsea always manage to frustrate Tottenham. 1-1 (7.00 William Hill)

Brighton vs. Leicester City

Brighton won't feel totally safe yet, even with a six-point gap to the bottom three as things stand. Chris Houghton will see their form at the Amex Stadium as their way out of trouble, and Leicester will be aware of how strong the Seagulls are on the south coast. The visitors were much improved in their 4-1 win at West Brom and should have enough to earn a draw. 2-2 (17.00 William Hill)

Manchester United vs. Swansea City

Following their Champions League exit against Sevilla, a glumness has accompanied Manchester United despite their progression into the last four of the FA Cup. Here they face a Swansea City team on the charge under Carlos Carvalhal, although the Welsh side are still just three points from the drop zone. It's tough to see anything other than a professional job from the hosts. 2-0 (6.00 William Hill)

Newcastle United vs. Huddersfield Town

The weekend's other big game at the bottom of the table sees Newcastle with a brilliant chance to pull well clear of the drop and potentially plunge Huddersfield deep into trouble. While the latter are three points ahead of Saints having played a game more, Newcastle can move to 35 points with a victory. At home, you'd back them to do get through this one. 1-0 (6.00 Paddy Power)

Watford vs. Bournemouth

Fresh from a chastening experience at the hands of Salah before the international break, Watford's defence should have a much more straightforward afternoon against Bournemouth. At the moment, neither of these two teams have anything to really play for, and while an entertaining game should be on the cards it's unlikely to mean much come the end of 2017-18. 2-2 (15.00 William Hill)

West Bromwich Albion vs. Burnley

It's seven losses in a row for West Brom now, who are surely dead and buried at the bottom of the table regardless of what they can muster here. Sean Dyche and Burnley will see this as a chance to cement their grip on seventh in the Premier League and given they're simply a much better side than the Baggies, will add another three points to their impressive haul. 0-2 (16.00 BetVictor)

Everton vs. Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has never beaten Everton in his managerial career, so it's all going to be good for the Toffees on Saturday, isn't it? Probably not. After a three-week break, City's stars will be itching to take to the field again and a win will give them the chance to secure the title against their Manchester rivals next weekend. 1-3 (11.00 William Hill)

Arsenal vs. Stoke City

With no realistic hope of finishing in the top four this season now, this match is a much bigger game for Stoke City than Arsenal. The Potters are in danger of being left behind a little at the bottom of the table after their loss to Everton last time out and while the Gunners have been inconsistent this season, they'll have to much quality for Paul Lambert's side. 2-0 (8.00 Ladbrokes)