Premier League Predictions
With the help of our trusty AI-powered supercomputer, we give Premier League predictions across the matches in each gameweek.
Premier League Predictions: MD 28 Quick Hits
TOP OF THE TABLE: No new manager bounce for Crystal Palace as Arsenal create English Football League history
BAD AT THE BOTTOM: Three defeats for the bottom three
SURPRISE OF THE WEEK: Supercomputer FINALLY turns on Leicester, backs Brentford to emerge victorious.
If there’s one thing looking forward to the international break more than anything else, it’s the Opta supercomputer.
Our fabled machine has been pulling triple overtime, what with UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, PGA Tour AND March Madness all converging into one week of chaos. It really does beg the question – won’t somebody please think of the computers?
Quite where supercomputers go for their holidays, we’re not sure. But with its bags packed and ready to go, we fired up the predictions for a shortened weekend of Premier League action.
Immediate attention turns to the Friday night game at the City Ground which can only be described as a ‘happy hunting ground’ for Nottingham Forest this season. Twenty of their 26 Premier League points have come in home games, the highest percentage in the competition this season (77%). The supercomputer doesn’t see them adding to that haul this time around though, with Newcastle United (43.4%) the favourites to take the victory. Simon Jouny has more on what we can expect to see played out by the River Trent.
Don’t set your alarms too sharp on Saturday with no ‘early’ kick-offs, leaving us with a slate of 3pm games to enjoy and we might, finally, be now at the point where the supercomputer has turned on Leicester City.
Yes, last week it boldy stated that the Foxes would defeat Chelsea and ended up with proverbial egg on its mainframe. It proved to be their 16th Premier League defeat of the season, the most league defeats Brendan Rodgers has suffered in a single campaign in his managerial career. And now our models sees it only getting worse with Brentford (40.2%), who are unbeaten in nine home games (W5 D4), set to move them one step closer to their single season record for league defeats in a season (18, 2016-17).
The bottom three are all in action. And that might be as good as it gets for the basement dwellers, with the supercomputer seeing none of them emerge victorious in their respective games.
Southampton (20.3%), arguably, have the toughest task against Tottenham Hotspur (54.0%). Since their return to the Premier League in 2012, the Saints have won just two of their 10 Premier League home games against Spurs (D3 L5), with Antonio Conte’s side looking set to complete an EPL double over them for the seventh time.
Leeds United (31.3%) have the most hope of pulling off a result on their travels to Molineux, but Wolverhampton Wanderers (39.3%) return to form on home soil is proving difficult to overlook. Wolves have won three of their last four home league games (L1), more than they had done in their previous 12 (W2 D3 L7).
And Aston Villa (50.9%) will move themselves further away from the cut-off mark of the relegation battle against Bournemouth (22.2%), but don’t be surprised if the winning goal comes late on. All four of Aston Villa’s Premier League goals against the Cherries have come in the second half of matches – Unai Emery has also seen his team score in all 13 Premier League games he’s taken charge of too.
The Premier League was a very different place on 26th November 1994. 28,115, erm, packed out Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea face Everton, the first time that the new ‘North End’ of the ground was open for spectators. Of the 24 players who took the field that day – 15 of them were English (including Chelsea player/manager Glenn Hoddle) and when adding in the rest of the British Isles, only four players came from outside of ‘This Sceptred Isle’.
It was also the last time that the Toffees defeated the Blues away from home in the Premier League, courtesy of a Paul Rideout header. And 28 games later, our supercomputer doesn’t see that changing with Graham Potter’s side the heavy favourites (54.1%) – Ollie Hopkins had a much longer session with the machine to look into this tie.
Just the one game on Sunday to look forward to briefly, with Arsenal needing to lick their wounds following their UEFA Europa League exit on penalties against Sporting CP. ‘Gonclaves…from the halfway line’ and all that.
They had been hoping to welcome back legendary player Patrick Vieira once again, but his sacking (on St. Patrick’s Day of all days) might mean there will be some ‘caretaker manager’ bounce from the Eagles. A 54.6% chance of victory for the Gunners suggests otherwise though.
Premier League Predictions: MD 27 Quick Hits
BOLD PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: Leicester City to outfox Chelsea at home to end the Blues’ mini-revival.
WINS AT THE TOP: All top six sides predicted to win this weekend.
BIG WINNERS AT THE BOTTOM: West Ham get the vital win in the claret derby versus Aston Villa.
I walked in for my weekly meeting with the supercomputer expecting them to be cock-a-hoop after nailing last weekend’s big call in somewhat emphatic fashion.
It must have been hard for the machine to read all the comments on social media questioning their ability and methodology. Perhaps that’s what resulted in the outburst following the final whistle.
@optaanalyst Having predicted Liverpool would beat Manchester United, the supercomputer now has this to say to all the haters. (And how that result affects our season long Premier League prediction). #PremierLeague #football #fyp #soccer #foryou #epl #foryoupage #manchesterunited #mufc #liverpool #lfc #manutd #liverpoolfc #ynwa #tips #funny #meme ♬ original sound – optaanalyst
Or, as one user on social media aptly put it…
“We live rent free in the supercomputer circuit board”Anonymous Instagram user
Instead, it was a quiet and sombre machine I was greeted by. Only the odd bit of muttering.
‘The Foxes will be celebrating tooooo. The Foxes will be celebrating toooooo. The Foxes will be celebrating tooooooo’.
It seemed very confusing to the eye, but the black armband tied around the keyboard (#nicetouch #respectfulgesture) made me realise why. Our own supercomputer was mourning the loss of 1990s British TV legend Mystic Meg.
I turned to my colleague in the hallway and whispered ‘Wasn’t she an astrologer? All horoscopes and such like. That’s just nonsense?’
‘You know what the predictive industry are like when they lose one of their own. Just imagine what it’s going to be like with Uri? Just get on with it, get the predictions and let the grief set in.’
And so, it’s to the early kick-off on Saturday and last weekend’s big triumphant winners once again being predicted to take victory, although it’s not quite as surprising that Liverpool are being made favourites (68.3%) to see off Bournemouth. The real question is whether we’re going to be staring at another 9-0 triumph like earlier in the season at Anfield. Thankfully, Matt Furniss is on hand to offer us a full breakdown of what we could see at the Vitality Stadium.
There’s a couple of tight ties in the 3pm kick-offs on Saturday that really could be a toss-up. A stunning victory over Borussia Dortmund in midweek for Chelsea (35.1%) hasn’t been enough for the supercomputer to move away from their perennial favourites Leicester City. That’s right, despite the defeat at the hands of Southampton last weekend, our Opta prediction is believing that, indeed, the Foxes (36.2%) will be celebrating toooooo.
The Blues are winless in their last 10 competitive away games, a run they haven’t suffered the like of since January 2001 B.R. (before Roman). But how can the Foxes, who themselves are on a four-game losing streak in all competitions, pick up the victory here? Simon Jouny has a more detailed look at what might occur at the King Power.
For two relegation threatened clubs, the supercomputer is giving them some hope of victory but ultimately expecting them to fall short.
Everton start the day in the relegation zone and are expected to stay there come the final whistle with Brentford (38.8%) continuing their impressive form against the Toffees, whom they are unbeaten against in three Premier League matches so far. They’ve only managed to pick up more points against West Ham (nine) than the seven they have against Sean Dyche’s side, although he won three of his four league games against the Bees when managing Burnley.
Leeds United are only ahead of Everton on goal difference in the league table, and welcome Brighton to Elland Road knowing the Seagulls are unbeaten in their last five Premier League away games (W3 D2). Perhaps that’s why the supercomputer is backing Roberto Di Zerbi’s side (36.4%) in yet another squeaker, although Leeds’s last three games have all ended in 1-0 wins for the home side. (W1 L2). Spooky.
A shortened slate of Saturday games sees two more blowouts on the cards, especially with the way Tottenham (66.8%) FEAST on promoted side in the Premier League, having won 28 of their last 31 Premier League home games against them – Nottingham Forest standing little chance of withstanding their onslaught. Whilst Crystal Palace’s miserable run in the league that threatens to drag them into a relegation battle looks set to continue against Manchester City (62.1%). Ollie Hopkins took the lead for us in giving this one a closer look.
The City win will put some pressure on Arsenal the following day, but Mikel Arteta’s side are expected come through the challenge presented by Fulham unscathed (43.7%). It does feel a fairly low win probability for a side who are top of the table and taking on a team they have the highest win rate against for any opponent they’ve faced 20+ times in the competition (71%, 22/31). Perhaps it was those struggles to see off lowly Bournemouth that has the supercomputer wary of being nearly stung again.
No such worries for Manchester United (61.3%) against Southampton though, expecting to continue an unbeaten run against the Saints that currently stands at 14 meetings in all competition (D7 L7). But certain Premier League matches stir memories of certain Premier League moments – am I saying David de Gea is about to produce a Massimo Taibi tribute? No, although it would be great if he donned the underappreciated goalkeepers’ trousers. Matt Le Tissier the scorer there…makes you think, doesn’t it?
The big result of the weekend is expected to come at the London Stadium on Sunday, with West Ham pulling themselves away from the relegation mire (43.5%) with victory over Aston Villa. They’ve won their last five in a row in the Premier League against the Villains and are unbeaten at home in 2023 (W2 D1), conceding just one goal. Could Danny Ings come back to bite them? He’d be the first player to score for and against the Villains in the same Premier League campaign if he does find the back of the net.
And it finally looks like Newcastle’s disappointing run of form is going to come to an end. They’ve lost their last three in all competitions, having lost just twice in their first 29 this season. But in the battle of fewest goals conceded (Newcastle, 17) against joint-fewest goals scored (Wolves 19) – Eddie Howe is looking set to celebrate (41.9%).
Premier League Predictions: MD 26 Quick Hits
BOLD PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: Liverpool to beat Manchester United in Sunday’s big game.
WINS AT THE TOP: Arsenal and Manchester City maintain a status quo at the summit.
BIG WINNERS AT THE BOTTOM: Everton make most of Leeds and West Ham defeats to move out the relegation zone
Our friends in the United States are preparing for the sporting event they call ‘March Madness’. So mad that it runs all the way through to the start of April. Mad hey?
Well, the Premier League is also setting up for its own month of madness, mayhem, and manoeuvrings (and that’s just the M’s) before an international break (remember them?!) brins everything to a crashing halt.
There’s plenty of questions at both the top and bottom of the table to answer and, luckily, our supercomputer is raring to spring into action, although it has asked for more direct queries this week. So let’s begin with the early Saturday game?
“Will Manchester City put pressure on Arsenal at the summit?”
Quite emphatically, yes. The supercomputer can’t look past anything but a rather comfortable victory for Pep Guardiola’s side against Newcastle United (71.8%), with the Magpies having just a 9.5% chance of winning their first away game against the Cityzens in 13 Premier League attempts.
We do have a much deeper look at the game at the Etihad elsewhere on the site, but it could be a day of milestones for two Man City stars. Maybe Ederson will lock in his 100th clean sheet in the competition (although he has been stuck on 99 for the last five games), whilst Kevin de Bruyne just needs two assists to make it 100 in the Premier League, the fifth such player to pass through the century. Want to know the others? Go check out the preview – it’s all there for you.
“Ok, will Arsenal then re-establish their five points lead at top?”
Not quite as emphatically, but yes, they will. Bournemouth have never kept a clean sheet against the Gunners in the Premier League and our supercomputer doesn’t believe that will change at the Emirates on Saturday, with the Gunners the comfortable favourites to win (67.6%).
No real surprises there when looking at the history books. Arsenal have won all six of their home games against Bournemouth in all competitions by an aggregate score of 17-2. There’s only one team that the Gunners have a better 100%-win record at home against in all competitions – Gainsborough Trinity (8/8). And as you’ll all be now wondering, there’s just the 10,383 spots that separate those two sides in the Opta Power Rankings. Unfortunately, the supercomputer won’t give us a prediction for Curtis Woodhouse’s side match with Guiseley this week. But as I know people from Guiseley – UP THE HOLY BLUES.
“What should we be looking out for in other the Saturday 3pm kick-offs?”
There are no real surprises to come in the Saturday afternoon games. Tottenham Hotspur are favoured to come out on top (45.4%) in the battle of the sides who pretty much always must have their names shortened to fit in graphics against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
38 characters between their full names, but none bigger in this one than Harry Edward Kane. He’s scored the opening goal in seven different Premier League games this season, more than any other player, and Spurs have gone on to win all of them without conceding a goal. If he notches his 19th goal of the campaign as the opener, then Wolves fans can maybe be forgiven for heading for the exits early.
Chelsea’s five-game winless run is expected to come to an end against Leeds United. Back in the 1970s, grown men would have rubbed their hands with glee at the sight of these two sides going into literal battle.
But with Leeds having clinched just six points away from Elland Road this season, even though the Blues have won just two of their last 15 in the competition – Graham Potter should have a smile brought to his face here with the supercomputer giving them a 57.5% chance of picking up the victory.
Elsewhere Brighton (38.9%) and Aston Villa (41.7%) are being made favourites to take the victory in close games against West Ham and Bournemouth respectively. Intriguing for the fight at the foot of the table, which brings us onto the big question of the day.
“You’re picking Leicester again, aren’t you?”
And with good reason. Southampton are winless in their last eight Premier League home games (D2 L6) and the predicted win for the Foxes (48.8%) is going to create a little bit of unwanted history – it will be the first time they’ve lost six consecutive home games in their league history.
Still, if the Saints do pick up the victory it’ll be the first time they’ve achieved a league double over Leicester since the 2007-08 season in the Championship – although that Che Adams double back in August feels an awful long time ago now, especially following the midweek FA Cup humiliation against Grimsby Town.
“Ok supercomputer, Sunday. How many teams from Merseyside do you have winning?”
That’s right. Our supercomputer is going for perhaps the biggest non-Leicester City related surprise of the season here (and I’m not talking about Everton beating Nottingham Forest – 38.2% chance of doing so and with it moving out of the bottom three).
Yes, at Anfield on Sunday, our supercomputer is giving Liverpool a 55.3% chance of taking the victory against Manchester United. Even the draw is being made a heavier favourite (25.3%) than of the Reds Devils securing three points on the road.
If you’re looking at a long, deep insight into how this match might play out – it’s worth heading across to Matt Furniss’ preview of the game elsewhere on the site. Me, I’ve just got to try and pick up the pieces whilst hiding from the social media catcalling about how the supercomputer has come to this decision.
@optaanalyst There’s a SURPRISE in our Premier League predictions for this weekend’s matches! Here’s what the supercomputer sees happening in Gameweek 26. #premierleague #fyp #football #foryou #soccer #foryoupage #epl #footballtiktok #soccertiktok #liverpool #lfc #manchesterunited #mufc #manutd #tip ♬ original sound – optaanalyst
The history books section of the library is always the place we must turn to understand this reasoning. And recent trips to Anfield haven’t gone well for United. Six games without a win in the Premier League there, and when you add in their Europa League tie – they’ve only scored ONCE in their last seven trips to face Liverpool.
Should that overpower the fact United have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games? And the fact they’ve won more points than any other side (23) since the resumption of the competition following the World Cup break? Probably not. But these four successive Premier League games without conceding for the Reds, mixed with that history, is proving an intoxicating mix.
“And what about the Monday night game?’
Four points separate Brentford and Fulham in the table coming into the weekend, but it’s the Bees who will be buzzing following the game. For a side who are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games (W5 D6), it’s somewhat surprising that they’ve won just one of their last nine London derbies in the league (D6 L2), but the supercomputer sees them emerging with the win on this occasion (46.0%).
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