Premier League Predictions | The Analyst
Premier League Predictions

Premier League Predictions

With the help of our trusty AI-powered supercomputer, we give Premier League predictions across the matches in each gameweek.

Matchweek 16

Premier League Predictions: MD16 Quick Hits

Home Wins: Erling Haaland goal frenzy to take down Bees
Away Wins: Man Utd to close out MD16 in style
Machine long shot: Leeds United to extend Tottenham’s bad run

So here we are, the final set of Premier League games before the 2022 World Cup begins. It’s a season like no other and you wonder just what the vibe will be across England’s sacred turf this weekend as myriad players contemplate potentially missing the big global jamboree. It will be a nervous 90 minutes for many, with the news earlier this week that Reece James would definitely miss out and the sad recent sight of Ben Chilwell pulling up. But, as the globe prays for a weekend of healthy hamstrings, we turn instead to a machine that simply never suffers any mechanical turmoil, the Analyst supercomputer. Send the Premier League into cold storage with a series of your finest predictions, old friend. 

Saturday lunchtime is potentially our final glimpse of Erling Haaland before he goes into Nordic hibernation for a few weeks. Norway – the last team to beat Brazil in a group game, did you know – are not at this year’s World Cup and that is the sort of twist of fate that will scare Brentford fans, who may well see Manchester City’s goal enthusiast try and go out on an insane high. A fourth hat-trick of the season? The Premier League’s first ever double hat-trick? City are rated at 80.7% and even that looks conservative. 

Bournemouth knocked Everton out of the League Cup in midweek and Everton’s reward is another trip to Bournemouth this weekend. Did they make a week of it and rent an Airbnb nearby? A nice walk down the Jurassic coast? Spot of lunch at Peppa Pig World? We simply don’t know, but we do know that the supercomputer has made this game the most even game of the weekend. Neither team are in great form; Bournemouth have done the near impossible and thrown away two goal leads in their last two league games, while Everton haven’t won any of their last seven Premier League games against promoted sides and have never won a league game in Dorset in their entire history. 2-2 draw then, perhaps. 

Liverpool close out part one of the season by facing Southampton at home. Like Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah doesn’t have to save himself for the World Cup, and neither does Roberto Firmino after he wasn’t selected by Brazil. That could be horrendous news for new Southampton boss, enthusiastic Nathan Jones, because Firmino has six assists against Saints in the Premier League, while Salah is poised to record his 100th goal involvement at Anfield in his 100th league appearance there for Liverpool. I can see the through ball already, I can see the rifled finish, I can see why the supercomputer rates Liverpool at a chunky 77.9%. 

For some reason Nottingham Forest hosting Crystal Palace conjures images of John Salako in a yellow away kit but that’s almost certainly not a sight we’ll see this weekend at the City Ground. Palace are a team on the rise, with three wins in their last four and the win predictor fancies them to do so again, collecting three points that could push Patrick Vieira’s team on to the periphery of the top six, a lovely place to spend an enforced World Cup break. 

England fans will glance nervously at Tottenham Hotspur’s encounter with Leeds United, knowing that Harry Kane, World Cup Golden Boot winner in 2018, just has to get through the game with ankles and other body parts intact. Crysencio Summerville, Rolling Stone’s album of the year 1974, is looking to score in a fourth successive Premier League game but Leeds haven’t won away to Spurs since February 2001, eight months before the Dutch youngster was born. So yes, Spurs are big favourites (67.5%) in this one but it also has the feel of a US-player-and-manager inspired shock win, perhaps not the only one Kane and Eric Dier will experience in the next few weeks.  

The 3pm games are rounded out by West Ham United’s game with Leicester City at London Stadium, a venue that has hosted global athletics but no World Cup games. Now, neither me nor the supercomputer are narrative experts, but with James Maddison (13 goals and nine assists in the Premier League in 2022), perhaps the biggest surprise in Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad, set to play, we really hope that he gets through the game unscathed. Play it nice and simple James (in the World Cup his first name will be pronounced in the same way as James Rodriguez’s) and see out a pleasant draw in a fixture the supercomputer rates as the second most even encounter of MD16. 

PL Predictions MD16

Two late Saturday games to give the nation a classic end to a classic day of classic Premier League football. They’re good ones too, with Newcastle looking to shut the top four door on Chelsea, followed by Arsenal attempting to go into Christmas top of the table, via a trip to struggling Wolves. Is the Graham Potter revolution wobbling? Two defeats in a row in the league suggests it might be, and should Eddie Howe’s in-form Magpies win this one it will be the first time Chelsea have lost three on the spin since the dark days of November 2015, when Jose Mourinho’s reigning champions spiralled into mayhem. The supercomputer backs Chelsea but can a cold machine truly sense the momentum building at St James’ Park? 

Wolves and Arsenal staged a two-part grudge match last season so the atmosphere at Molineux on Saturday night should be authentic. Arsenal have scored in all 16 Premier League games they’ve played against Wolves and few expect that to change with this version of Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s side have had five players create at least 20 chances in the Premier League this season, no other side has had more than three, so despite a fairly small squad, the first XI is deep in ability. Leicester won the league in 2016 with a supreme first choice team and not much below, so it can be done. 37 points from 14 games heading into the World Cup is more than any Arsenal supporter could have dared for, and it’s just there in front of them, with a 41.8% chance of happening. 

On to Sunday and Brighton – above their former manager Graham Potter heading into MD16 – take on Unai Emery’s work-in-progress Aston Villa, who briefly looked like they might knock Manchester United out of the League Cup on Thursday night. It’s another even game according to our favourite local win predictor model but surely Roberto De Zerbi’s unlocked Seagulls should win this one. Three Premier League wins a row would represent something that Potter never managed in his time at the club. These clubs started the season with English managers but perhaps bringing in a pair of brooding Euro-thinkers is the best thing that could have happened to both.  

We end MD16, and the first part of 2022-23, with Fulham against Manchester United at Craven Cottage. A fixture that lit up the 2000s and 2010s, with great goals, red cards and which once saw – in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford – David Moyes’ United put in an incredible total of 81 crosses, only to draw 2-2. Crossing the ball is regularly derided as uncool but this season Fulham have nine cross-assisted goals, more than any other side, so it can be a legitimate and trendy tactic. That said, if Aleksandar Mitrovic’s loose ankle is rested ahead of Serbia’s World Cup campaign then the visitors may well justify the supercomputer’s rating of 47.2%. Watch this one, enjoy it and maybe even cherish it. The Premier League supercomputer has shut down now. The machine must rest.  

Matchweek 15

Premier League Predictions: MD15 Quick Hits

Home Wins: Man City 🤝 Leeds Utd
Away Wins: Bees swarm Forest
Machine long shot: Villa to end long winless home run versus Man Utd

The rain keeps falling and the Premier League keeps rolling. Matchweek 15 is stacked with top fixtures and drenched in narrative. With just two games left to go before the league goes into hibernation for the World Cup, this is the time for Premier League clubs to ensure they go into the Great Pause in what Euro-coaches call “a good moment”. One thing that never goes into hibernation [after I adjusted its settings accordingly] is the famous Analyst supercomputer, ready to predict the outcome of games, leagues and World Cups alike. What does it think about MD15, you ask? Here we go, here we go, this is it. 

There’s no early game on Saturday so we plunge, like Dr Foster with that Gloucester puddle, into the 3pm kick-offs. Wolverhampton Wanderers against Brighton and Hove Albion is the longest fixture – in terms of letters – in English top-flight history. 43 characters, which is 7.16 for every goal Wolves have managed to score so far in the Premier League. Brighton are strutting around with their heads held high after defeating Chelsea in style last weekend but do the Seagulls ever serve up two monumental performances in a row? It doesn’t feel like it and thus the supercomputer makes Wolves narrow favourites while also making this the most likely draw of the weekend at 30.5% 

Nottingham Forest have a decent enough points total (nine) in their first season back in the Premier League – indeed, a win against Brentford will take them above Derby’s 2007-08 shocking haul of 11 – but omen specialists have noted that Steve Cooper’s side have a goal difference of -20 after last weekend’s 5-0 defeat at Arsenal, and that five of the six clubs to have had a goal difference of -20 or worse after 13 games have been relegated, with Southampton in 1998-99 the exception. Are Forest the new Southampton 1998-99? The win predictor model fears not and gives Brentford the biggest chance of an away win in the Premier League this weekend, at 50.5%.  

Manchester City at home at 3pm on a Saturday? A combination that strikes fear into southern sides skulking up the M6 to take their punishment. This week it’s Fulham, given a paltry 4.1% chance of winning by the supercomputer. But the west London outfit do know what it’s like to win at the Etihad, with 75% (yes, three) of their four Premier League wins against City coming at the former athletics stadium. But the most recent of those was in 2009, and a lot has changed since 2009.  

In 1990 Leeds and Bournemouth clashed on the south coast in an emotionally charged end of season second tier encounter. Will memories of that day linger as they meet 32 years later in what will be their first ever top-flight meeting? We simply don’t know. But what we do know is that this game will be a huge clash of styles; Leeds on the front foot and feverish, Bournemouth cautious and aloof. Both approaches can win football games but the supercomputer backs Jesse Marsch to back up the shock win at Anfield in MD14 with another one here.  

Saturday concludes with what the underlying numbers say is the luckiest defence in the Premier League taking on the luckiest attack in the form of Everton and Leicester City respectively. But they say you make your own luck in football, so does that mean Frank Lampard and Brendan Rodgers are doing just fine? You know what, they probably are. Both men were unfairly linked with the boot (the sack, the heave ho) earlier in the season but sometimes you just need to give managers time to manage. The supercomputer, itself a multitasking icon, makes Leicester narrow favourites in this one but then it usually does.  

PL Predictions MD15

On to Sunday and Chelsea and Arsenal players who struggle with early breakfasts will recoil at the news that the only two London sides to have won the Premier League will take to the field at 12pm (actually it’ll more like 11:55 am when they trot out) to entertain the nation. Arsenal are trying to win three in a row at Stamford Bridge (a venue where they’ve lost 6-0 in the Premier League era) for the first time since April 1974. The Gunners had a laborious but successful Europa League game on Thursday night against Zurich while Chelsea have been able to rest since Tuesday night. Could that blunt an Arsenal attack that has already scored 11 times in the opening 30 minutes in the league this season? The supercomputer certainly thinks so and gives Chelsea a 42.9% chance of sticking a big old stick in Arsenal’s title charge. 

West Ham United have taken four more points in Europe this season than they have in the Premier League but this weekend face Crystal Palace, who they haven’t lost against in four matches. Are there are two squads in the division who encapsulate the energy of ‘should be doing slightly better than they are’ than West Ham and Palace? Both are capable of playing some lovely stuff™, both are capable of losing 3-0 out of nowhere. Both sides are better at home, so the supercomputer rightly backs David Moyes’ Euro heroes in this one. 

Remember the other week when the model forecast that Liverpool and Manchester City had exactly the same chance of winning the big game at Anfield? Well, it’s only gone and done it again, this time with Southampton and Newcastle United in what those in the know call the owned-Kevin-Keegan-in-his-tight-perm-era clasico. At first it seems unlikely, given Eddie Howe’s side are officially on the march, and have the best defence in the division, but if there’s one team that can post a result and a performance out of absolutely anywhere it’s Southampton FC. October was Newcastle’s month, but will November? 

Aston Villa haven’t beaten Manchester United in the league at Villa Park since August 1995. Cristiano Ronaldo was ten years old at the time, Unai Emery was 23. Alan Hansen, meanwhile, was in his pomp, claiming that you “can’t win anything with kids”. Maybe so, but kids in 1995 have waited a long time to see Villa beat United at home and maybe, just possibly, this could finally be it. Emery’s first game in charge of the famous old club should have a party atmosphere and United, tired from a pyrrhic Thursday night victory over Emery’s first club Real Sociedad, could finally succumb. The supercomputer makes this one a lot closer than the league table suggests and I believe it. Something’s happening at Villa Park on Sunday, get involved.  

MD15 concludes as it starts, with a Big Six summit, as sometimes-troubled Liverpool travel to sometimes-troubled Tottenham Hotspur to play in their eponymous stadium. The list of star players absent from this game could probably win a major trophy by themselves, but it will be left to the others to try and win this game while not getting injured with the World Cup just a fortnight away. Mohamed Salah doesn’t have that worry, to be fair, and perhaps his freedom to go full throttle in this one will tip the balance towards a Liverpool team who looked semi-reborn in their win against Napoli. The supercomputer fancies the Reds to get their first win of the season in the driving north London rain and who am I, or you, to argue. 

Matchweek 14

Premier League Predictions: MD14 Quick Hits

Home Wins: Liverpool to prolong Leeds’ slump
Away Wins: Potterball to sink Brighton
Machine long shot: David Moyes to finally win away at a Big Four club?

Just three more rounds of games until the Premier League pauses for the World Cup, and, with unusual results popping up every week, we are living through one of the most unpredictable seasons for some time. In a world of chaos and disorder how blessed we are to have the Analyst’s supercomputer to cut through the mayhem and guide us. So, without further ado, let’s see what MD14 will bring. 

The machine was predicting Leicester’s recovery while feeble humanity was poring over set-piece goals conceded charts but even our supercomputer has to tailor its views on the Foxes when the Premier League champions come to town. Manchester City can deal what experts are calling a psychological blow to Arsenal if they win at the King Power because it will – however briefly – take them top. Leicester’s league games this season have seen 45 goals, City’s have seen 47. Both sides are overperforming their xG by a country mile too, so even if Erling Haaland is missing, expect plenty of net action, and expect the visitors to take all three points too. 

PL Predictions MD14

Bournemouth have scored five Premier League goals against Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Kane has scored seven Premier League goals against Bournemouth, so the win predictor model is more than happy to make Spurs hefty 58.2% favourites for this trip to the south coast. But after an education in how the offside law works on Wednesday, could Tottenham be in line to learn another truth? It never rains but it pours. Crisis club territory? 

The current Premier League crisis club are Wolves, still hunting for a new manager like Sauron looking for that neat ring he lost. Sometimes making football more complicated, with supercomputers for example, improves the game, but simple truths remain and none more so than having an effective striker gets you halfway to contentment. Brentford have Ivan Toney, who has six goals in his last seven Premier League appearances, and that’s why they’re the favourites (39.1%) to win this match.  

Like a medieval town suffering a crockery crisis, Brighton will welcome back their potter this weekend. But this particular Potter is coming back with his new business, an international firm with many spinning plates. Can Brighton shock their former boss? Can they even take the lead against Chelsea for the first time in a Premier League game? Can someone other than Leandro Trossard score for Roberto De Zerbi? We’ll find out on Saturday in a game where Chelsea ae favourites according to the supercomputer, but not massively so. It’s going to end 1-1 isn’t it. 

Crystal Palace (45.0%) are favourites to win against Southampton and can match a Premier League record if they do so from behind, as only the third team in the league’s history to do that in three successive home games. It’s something to cling on to. 

The supercomputer sneers at “games consoles” but even so, this is the first time Newcastle are playing a Premier League game while starting the day in the top four of the table since the PlayStation 4 came out a decade ago. Eddie Howe’s side have taken more points in October than Newcastle did in August, September, October and November combined last season and they’ll be het up and ready to tear into an Aston Villa side we can’t quite figure out. Was the big win last weekend a brief reaction to the end of the Steven Gerrard era or a sign of their true level? Right now there’s no tougher place to find out than St James’ Park. 

The supercomputer’s legendary “most even game of the weekend” takes place at Craven Cottage as Fulham (34.1%) face Everton (36.3). This will be Fulham boss Marco Silva’s first Premier League match against Everton since he left the club in 2019. He lost his two previous games against them before taking charge but since then he’s changed, we’ve changed and Everton have changed. Fulham are attempting to score 3+ goals in three top-flight games in a row for the first time since March 1966. Who won the FA Cup that year? Everton. What does it all mean? Absolutely nothing. 

That even game of MD14 is followed by a the most one-sided match of the weekend, as Liverpool take on Leeds United. The supercomputer, a keen fan of the UEFA Champions League, saw enough from Liverpool in Amsterdam in midweek to move past the win predictor-smashing events of the City Ground, Nottingham, last Saturday. This game is at Anfield too, where Liverpool haven’t lost in front of fans since 2017, while Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been involved in six goals in two home Premier League appearances against Leeds United. 80.1% for a Liverpool victory? Seems fine. 

Traditionalists will rejoice at the sight of only two games on Sunday, just as the Premier League’s creator, Keith Premier League, always intended. Even so, Arsenal are going for an all-timer of a record in their home game against Nottingham Forest, as only one side has ever won nine consecutive home games while conceding each time, Aston Villa doing so in their first ever nine games in 1888-89. That’s something Mikel Arteta’s men can match this weekend, with the supercomputer certainly confident they will win somehow, giving the Gunners a 67.6% chance of potentially annoying all Aston Villa fans who can remember the 1880s. 

The matchweek concludes with David Moyes trying for the 70th time to win a first Premier League away game at one of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. It’s Old Trafford this time, a venue where West Ham themselves haven’t chewed victory since 2007 but with the supercomputer only giving United a relatively cautious 47.7% chance, maybe this is it, this is the time it finally happens. Project Moyes. Your job now is to get behind the new paradigm. 

Matchweek 13

Premier League Predictions: MD13 Quick Hits

Home Wins: Manchester City at home at 3pm on a Saturday? Fear it.
Away Wins: Liverpool to axe down Forest
Machine long shot: Manchester United with a rare Stamford Bridge three-pointer?

Bring BACK Our GOALS, I text to a contact in the football industry. The Premier League – Our League – has dried up, serving up only 15 goals last weekend in MD11 and a mere 13 in MD12. That’s after MD9 and MD10 rolled out 36 and 34 respectively. What times they were, how soon they passed. With the World Cup now less than a month away, the stars and yeomen of the Premier League know they don’t have much time left to score memorable screamers for domestic dreamers. MD13, it’s over to you. And Opta supercomputer, it’s over to you too. 

The first ever live TV game of the Premier League era was Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest taking on Liverpool at the City Ground. It was a different time, and most people tuned in to see the bizarre sight of goalkeepers being unable to pick up the ball from a backpass after a crazy rule change from IFAB that was sure to ruin the game for good. Well guess what, it didn’t, and viewers on Saturday lunchtime may instead enjoy the sight of Alisson, the Liverpool goalkeeper, playing short passes in his own box, assisting goals and maybe even scoring them. We cherish glovesmen in 2022 in a way that people 30 years earlier didn’t or couldn’t.  

Dean Henderson, the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper, has let in 10 goals from long range this season so watch out for that, and watch out for Forest in general. A clean sheet at Brighton in midweek was progress but the supercomputer gives them only 5.6% of a chance of beating Liverpool, rising to 6.4% if they select Teddy Sheringham in the starting XI. 

Everton have scored only three home goals this season and on Saturday face Crystal Palace in what the win predictor model makes the most even game of the weekend. Frank Lampard and Patrick Vieira, midfield behemoths of the classical era, now reduced to scratching out three points as and when. A draw perhaps, firm handshakes, a slight smile, media duties, a weekend in October ticked off. 

Manchester City continue their terrifying residency at home at 3pm on a Saturday. So far this season they have welcomed Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Southampton to the Etihad in this timeslot. Three teams from the south who came timidly into the arena, and all let in four goals. Who have City got this week? It’s Brighton and Hove Albion, a (per Google maps) southern team who may well, yes, concede four goals. It literally wouldn’t be a surprise. Brighton duly join Forest as the two clubs with a less than 10% chance of winning this weekend. It is what it is. 

Saturday evening sees Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. On the opening weekend of the season Tactical Graham Potter went to Old Trafford and outwitted Erik ten Hag. Now he has the chance to do it again, albeit with a different squad in a different place with a different haircut. It’s a very difficult match to call, this, as both sides have played very well and very poorly at different points this season. Chelsea ambled to a 0-0 at Brentford in midweek, United swarmed around Tottenham Hotspur like sports ants. Yet historically Manchester United rarely win league games at Stamford Bridge, with just two victories in the last 20 there. Such epochal heft allows the supercomputer to back Chelsea at 47%. Are you reassured? I’m reassured. 

PL Predictions MD13

Sunday at 2pm continues its ongoing campaign to become the busiest slot of the week, MD13 shunting four fixtures into this functional roast dinner-tinged period. And if you’ve read the colour supplements then you’ll know that late on Thursday night the beleaguered manager of beleaguered club Aston Villa, Steven Gerrard, was sacked after a truly dismal display away at Fulham. The Stevie G midlands experiment is over and, as if the fixture computer is a sentient being, Villa are due to play Brentford, whose manager Thomas Frank is reportedly interesting the vacancy-fillers at Villa Park. So, an intriguing game just got more so, and the supercomputer can barely split them. Post-manager bounce incoming? 

Fulham, fresh from dancing around Aston Villa with their slightly improved Craven Cottage camera angle, travel up to another club in managerial distress, Leeds United. Jesse Marsch’s team fell to a defeat at Leicester and the travelling fans turned up their displeasure from a six to a seven or possibly an eight. Patrick Bamford has scored in all four of his league games against Fulham for Leeds and really needs to continue that form to help out his coach. The supercomputer is confident that this can happen but there’s the smell of narrative in the air once more. 

Talking of Leicester, they go to Wolves in a fixture that can often end 4-3. But that would be a surprise in a season when the home side can barely score – although they did benefit form Adama Traore’s first ever headed Premier League goal in midweek – and with Brendan Rodgers a little more sure of himself after his side kept their third clean sheet in four while beating Leeds. The supercomputer has always been more convinced about the Foxes than most humans and, as usual, is being proved correct. Leicester City are on the up. 

Arsenal can’t climb any higher in the league table because they are top, and go to Southampton with the luxury of a four-point lead, so we know that whatever happens, Mikel Arteta’s side will still be there next week. The Gunners now have a 20% chance of being crowned champions according to the supercomputer’s seasonal model, and, perhaps more importantly, a 96% chance of finishing in the top four. And a nigh-on-50% chance of winning at St Mary’s, which, let’s face it, is the sort of fixture you need to be ticking off when you’re being chased by Erling Haaland. 

The prime-time game on Sunday also has top four outcome intrigue running through it like jam in an arctic roll. Newcastle United, who have lost just once all season, are the only Premier League club to concede fewer than 10 goals in 2022-23. Even so, three points at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will still not take them above Spurs, a club in mini-crisis after a sobering defeat at Old Trafford in midweek. Yes, the league table, which never lies, shows that Antonio Conte’s cautious outfit are still in a position of strength, numerically at least.  

You can do all the analysis you like on football but so much of it is down to vibes. A win for Spurs here will not only justify the supercomputer’s confidence (57.9% Tottenham) but reset the club’s temporarily subdued fanbase. It’s a marathon not a sprint, but no-one enjoys getting stung by a wasp beneath the vest nine miles in. 

MD13 completes itself with a Monday night encounter between West Ham and Bournemouth, aka el clasico di early career of Harry Redknapp. The Cherries are unbeaten on the road since that 9-0 at Anfield, and technically West Ham are also unbeaten since losing at Anfield, but only because that happened a couple of days ago. David Moyes’ side were unfortunate to taste defeat against Liverpool and look to be hauling themselves back into functionality again. The win predictor model has the Hammers as the third biggest home favourites in this matchweek and it’s hard to argue with, especially as the Gary O’Neil bounce fades into the crisp autumn air like magician’s smoke. 

Matchweek 12

Premier League Predictions: MD12 Quick Hits

Home Wins: Liverpool resurgence to continue at home against Moyes’ boys
Away Wins: Chelsea to rule west London via Brentford win
Machine long shot: Spurs to savour a rare triumph at Old Trafford

It’s a midweek sports special in the Premier League as 18 of the competition’s clubs take part in football games under the floodlights. They’ll be illuminated brilliantly by powerful lamps, but what if us onlookers need some brilliant illumination ahead of the matches on what might happen? Then it’s time for the second-best use of electricity on the grid, aka the Opta supercomputer, to shine some light on proceedings. Remember on Friday it couldn’t separate Liverpool and Manchester City ahead of their clash and reality concurred, serving up one of the most pulsating, closely fought games of the season so far. “This is Anfield,” said Pep Guardiola. True, and this is the supercomputer. 

We ease into the matchweek on Tuesday with the current Premier League crisis club Nottingham Forest travelling down to the south coast to play Brighton. The win predictor strongly fancies the home side to get their first win under Roberto De Zerbi and end a spell that while not concerning for Albion, is starting to feel vaguely Brighton-y. It’s 35 shots without a goal in the last two games for the Seagulls so a game against the bottom side is just what the doctor ordered (if they let doctors schedule league fixtures to help clubs hit form, which, as far as we can tell, they don’t). 

Also on Tuesday is Crystal Palace against Wolves. Wolves have scored four league goals all season and have failed to score in their last four Premier League away games while Palace have been involved in more 0-0s since the start of last season than any other top-flight team. I mean, this game could be an absolute goalfest but I have my doubts, as does the supercomputer, which rates this as the most likely drawn game in MD12. And rightly so. 0-0 perhaps. 

PL Predictions MD12

On to Wednesday and there’s the iconic derbi di New Forest between Bournemouth and Southampton. It’s the location of the fastest EFL hat-trick (James Hayter, 2m 21s, February 2004) hosting the team who hold the record for the fastest Premier League hat-trick (Sadio Mane, 2m 56s, May 2015). The supercomputer can barely split these sides but with Bournemouth(!) on the division’s longest unbeaten run at the moment, it fancies the Cherries a smidgen more in a game destined to have a high proportion of fans who have seen a tiny horse on heathland. 

West London has more top-flight football teams than Liverpool or Manchester these days and two of them – Brentford and Chelsea – meet on Wednesday. Last season this fixture saw Edouard Mendy make six saves in one of the goalkeeping performances of the 2021-22 campaign, while Kepa made seven stops in Chelsea’s win at Aston Villa on Sunday. Goalkeepers; key fellas. Not that the noble art of glovesmanship stopped Brentford winning 4-1 at Stamford Bridge last season, though. Look, Brentford are a legitimate organisation and they could well spring Graham Potter’s first defeat as Chelsea boss, although the chances are they won’t, and that is reflected in the official view of the supercomputer too. 

Liverpool are strutting around the playground shouting, “Did you see that, did you see what we did to City?” and fair play, they defeated Manchester City. But it’s no good doing that if you don’t follow it up with another three points to really cement the Charge For The Top Four. Fortunately for shoutin’ Jürgen Klopp and his team, the supercomputer makes them the biggest chance of a win in MD12, with a 65.9% rating against West Ham. David Moyes has still never won a Premier League away game at Liverpool (or Arsenal or Chelsea or Manchester United) and this will be his 18th attempt at Anfield. It will be a sensation if West Ham get something in this one but like Alisson having as many PL goals and assists as Donny van de Beek, stranger things have happened. 

Newcastle have the joint-best defence in the Premier League, a status enjoyed by Everton a week or so ago and the two sides, both favoured by “Big” Duncan Ferguson, meet at St James’ Park. Newcastle used to be bad on Wednesdays (one win in 24) but now they are good. They used to lose at home a lot but now they don’t. They’re massively improved due to reasons and this game will be a real test for Frank Lampard, coming so soon after an insipid Saturday evening at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. If Newcastle want a bona fide crack at a top-four finish, these are the sort of games they need to polish off like a midweek dinner. 

Manchester United and Tottenham are two other sides with top-four ambitions and they clash at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Spurs have made a career of losing to United (38 times in the Premier League era alone) while Antonio Conte has lost all three Old Trafford games he’s brooded at as a manager. Yet there is hope for the London side. They have Harry Kane on a sensational streak; they have the same league record as Manchester City this season (W7 D2 L1) and they have the (narrow) backing of the supercomputer to win this week’s game. Surely if they are ever going to send out a message to Manchester United then this is the time. Although we thought that last season and Cristiano Ronaldo went and scored a hat-trick instead. 

Thursday sees Aston Villa travel to Fulham hoping to cheer their fans up a bit, although they have a lower win rate on Thursdays than they do any other day of the week in Premier League history, winning just two of 11 games, so that’s not ideal. What do you get from Fulham? No-one’s quite sure but they have scored at least once in their last eight games and will relish a chance to further cement themselves into the very heart of mid-table Britain. The second-highest chance of a draw according to the supercomputer and that feels right. 

Finally we have machine darlings Leicester City taking on the hard-running Leeds United squadron. Leeds are six without a win and Leicester are slowly, incrementally, subtly improving, with clean sheets in their last two home games. Look out for Harvey Barnes (please use his full name as per tradition), who has scored in each of his last five league games against Leeds, netting in all four of his Premier League appearances against them for the Foxes. Then prepare for MD13, which follows almost instantly. This season is a monster. 

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