Premier League Saturday Preview

The last Saturday football of the 2017 season takes place and once again the chasing pack will be doing what they can to close on leaders Manchester City.

Champions elect City are not in action until New Year’s Eve which means their 15-point lead could be cut.

Second placed Manchester United have just two wins in their last five games, and will be looking to bounce back to form at Old Trafford as they host Southampton.

Further slip-ups from United will allow Chelsea to take over in second as they welcome Stoke to Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool look to maintain their grip on fourth as Leicester travel to Anfield.

Carlos Carvahal takes charge of his first game as boss of bottom-of-the-table Swansea City – as they travel to Watford.

Bournemouth are looking to climb out of the bottom-three as they take on Everton at the Vitality Stadium – who could in-turn move into the top-eight.

Seventh placed Burnley travel across the Pennines to tackle Huddersfield.

The final game of the day sees Brighton take on a trip to the North East to face Newcastle United.

See below for a preview on each game, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray, super agent and former Manchester City ace Barry Silkman, our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

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AFC Bournemouth 15:00 Everton
Vitality Stadium

TEAM NEWS: Jermain Defoe, Brad Smith and Tyrone Mings all miss out for Bournemouth, whilst Charlie Daniels, Harry Arter, Junior Stanislas and Andrew Surman are all doubts. Yannick Bolasie and James McCarthy could feature, but Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley, Idrissa Gueye and Ramiro Funes Mori are out.
KEY FACT: Everton haven’t ended the year with a Premier League victory since 2013
MATCH ODDS: Bournemouth 5/4 Draw 11/5 Everton 9/4
bet365 Pick: Over 2.5 goals @11/10
ANDY SAYS: I can see Bournemouth grabbing the three points, but I don’t see a classic…1-0
GRAEME SAYS: Has to be Everton for me, Bournemouth just aren’t clicking…0-2
SILKY SAYS: Close game, and I think Everton will get something…1-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Wayne Rooney continues to be good value on the Index

Chelsea 15:00 Stoke City
Stamford Bridge

TEAM NEWS: David Luiz remains sidelined, but Andreas Christensen is set to return for illness. Ryan Shawcross is set to miss out, joining Bruno Martins Indi on the sidelines whilst Kurt Zouma is not eligible to face his parent club.
KEY FACT: Chelsea have won 25 points from a possible 27 in their nine Premier League home matches against Stoke 
MATCH ODDS: Chelsea 1/6 Draw 6/1 Stoke 14/1
bet365 Pick: Both Teams to Score @5/4
ANDY SAYS: Home win, Stoke just are not playing well enough…3-0
GRAEME SAYS: Have to side with Chelsea – Stoke are just not playing well enough…2-0
SILKY SAYS: Comfortable win for Chelsea, could be a big score…5-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Andreas Christensen is emerging as one of the best defenders on the Index

Huddersfield Town 15:00 Burnley
John Smith’s Stadium

TEAM NEWS: James Tarkowski will miss out through suspension, whilst Stephen Ward, Chris Wood, Robbie Brady and Tom Heaton are all injured. Scott Arfield and Nahki Wells are both in contention to face their former club.
KEY FACT: Burnley have lost only three of their 20 league meetings with Huddersfield since March 1971
MATCH ODDS: Huddersfield 11/8 Draw 21/10 Burnley 5/2
bet365 Pick: Burnley first team to score  @6/4
ANDY SAYS: A close call, have to go with a score draw…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: Burnley have a lot of players out, so I think Huddersfield might win this…2-1
SILKY SAYS: Can see goals in this one, but can’t separate the two teams…2-2
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: The only play in this game who is in the top-200 is Aaron Mooy

Liverpool 15:00 Leicester City

TEAM NEWS: Danny Simpson, Robert Huth and Matty James are sidelined, but Daniel Amartey is back from suspension. Jordan Henderson, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne are all out for Liverpool.
KEY FACT: Liverpool have lost three times to Leicester City under Jurgen Klopp
MATCH ODDS: Liverpool 3/10 Draw 5/1 Liverpool 10/1
bet365 Pick: Over 3.5 goals @Evens
ANDY SAYS: Comfortable win for Liverpool here, can’t see anything else…3-0
GRAEME SAYS: You have to go with Liverpool in this but won’t be a hammering…2-1
SILKY SAYS: Easy Liverpool win, could be a big win…3-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks good value at £1.32

Newcastle United 15:00 Brighton & Hove Albion
St. James’ Park

TEAM NEWS: Steve Sidwell is the only absentee for Brighton. Isaac Hayden could make the game but Florian Lejeune, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jesus Gamez will miss out. 
KEY FACT: This the first time Brighton have played a top-flight match in Newcastle
MATCH ODDS: Newcastle 23/20 Draw 11/5 Brighton 3/1
bet365 Pick: Newcastle to win @23/20
ANDY SAYS: Hard to see Brighton getting anything here, has to be a home win…2-0
GRAEME SAYS: Being at home, I would have to side with Newcastle…2-1
SILKY SAYS: A close game, would have to say a draw…1-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Mikel Merino at 73p could be a bargain

Watford 15:00 Swansea City
Vicarage Road

TEAM NEWS: Will Hughes, Miguel Britos and Isaac Success could all return, but Nathaniel Chalobah, Kiko Femenia, Younes Kaboul, Craig Cathcart and Thomas Hoban are all sidelined. Troy Deeney is suspended. Leon Britton and Kyle Bartley are both missing for Swansea.
KEY FACT: Swansea City have lost 1-0 in both of their previous two Premier League trips to Watford
MATCH ODDS: Swansea 4/6 Draw 14/5 Watford 5/1
bet365 Pick: Watford to win and Both Teams to Score @3/1
ANDY SAYS: I can see Swansea claiming a shock win here…0-1
GRAEME SAYS: I think Caravhal in his first game could claim a draw…1-1
SILKY SAYS: Home win for me, Swansea are poor…2-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: In the top-50, Richarlison is still one to watch

Manchester  United 17:30 Southampton
Old Trafford

TEAM NEWS: Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly are all injured, whilst Marcos Rojo is suspended. Anthony Martial has recovered from his knee injury. Southampton are without first choice full backs Cedric Soares and Ryan Betrand. Charlie Austin is suspended, although he was injured anyway.
KEY FACT: United have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Premier League matches against Southampton
MATCH ODDS: Man Utd 4/11 Draw 9/2 Southampton 8/1
bet365 Pick: Half Time Draw/Full Time Man Utd @11/47
ANDY SAYS: Home win, don’t see it being too convincing though…2-0
GRAEME SAYS: Southampton are really poor, easy home win…4-0
SILKY SAYS: United will be far too strong for Southampton, little doubt…4-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Marcus Rashford is riding high at number 15 on the Index

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