We’ve got seven matches in two days, and that’s just a tiny appetizer for what’s in store during the double game week!
With three draws and a one-goal loss in their past four games, Brighton is playing tough. But it’s not going to be easy, since Manchester United comes in having won seven of its past eight league affairs. Something’s got to give, and the Seagulls will hope that Romelu Lukaku’s injury keeps the Red Devils’ offense down.
Stoke v. Crystal Palace (early game)
In 19th place with only two games left — compared to three games each for the 14th through 18th sides — Stoke simply has to win this game. Are you backing the Potters’ desperation, or the Eagles’ form? After all, the visitors have suffered only one loss in their past six games, and they’re flying high following last weekend’s 5-0 romp over Leicester.
The 17th place Swans arrive with plenty of need for a result, but they’ve won only twice on the road all season, with neither of those coming in 2018. Is a draw the best that Swansea can hope for as they visit Dean Court, or will the Cherries be more hospitable?
The Foxes head home after their most lopsided loss of the season, the aforementioned 5-0 drubbing at Selhurst Park. With Marc Albrighton banned (red card) and Mahrez-to-Man City rumors re-emerging, 15th place West Ham would love to take advantage, but the Hammers have their own chemistry problems. They’re coming off a 4-1 home loss to the Citizens that featured a dust-up between striker Andy Carroll and manager David Moyes. Can either side reverse the bad juju, or do they merely cancel each other out?
Mired in an absolutely horrid away spell, the Hornets will be glad to head back to Vicarage Road, where they’ve lost only once in their past seven games (three wins, three draws). The Magpies, on the other hand, have just one win in their past six away trips (three losses, two draws). If geographic form holds, we’re looking at joy for Watford, or maybe a draw.
While Albion is desperate to crawl out of the 20th spot, this doesn’t look good on the surface. West Brom is the worst home team (only two wins at the Hawthorns) against the second best away squad (10 victories on their travels), while Tottenham also has plenty to play for, looking to hold off Chelsea’s charge and cement a Champions League spot.
Peel away the outer layer of this onion, though, and you’ll find that West Brom has responded brilliantly under caretaker manager Darren Moore with two away wins (including ManU at Old Trafford!) and a pair of home draws (including CL finalist Liverpool!) in their past four games. Meanwhile, following a three game winless stretch (one loss, two draws), Spurs looked downright shaky in their Wembley Watford win. From that lens, would anybody really be shocked to see more Moore magic?
Everton v. Southampton (late game)
Continuing a theme — DESPERATION! — the Saints could certainly use a result here. Again it seems like three points are a tough task, since the Toffees have 10 wins at Goodison this season, compared to only two away victories for Southampton. However, if you believe in the power of necessity, the visitors have much more to play for than the much cozier, mid-table home side. If you’re rolling with Dusan Tadic, that’s certainly the ticket you’re looking to punch.
Did you remember your early deadlines? Which games are you watching and what players are you backing for success in the opening two days of the double game week? Join in the chat below!