World Football

EPL Week 28 Predictions: Projecting Top Performers and Biggest Surprises

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Jordan Henderson of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with his team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on February 23, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2014

Week 27 was a wacky week. Liverpool barely earned a win against Swansea. Tottenham was defeated by Norwich City. Chelsea's late goal against Everton left the Toffees with an undeserved loss. West Ham smashed Southampton.

So, what will Week 28 have in store for us? Who will emerge as the top performers? What will the week's biggest surprises be?

Let's find out.

 

Schedule and Predictions

Premier League Week 28
WhenHomePredictionAway
Saturday at 10 a.m. ETEverton2-0West Ham
Saturday at 10 a.m. ETFulham0-2Chelsea
Saturday at 10 a.m. ETHull City1-1Newcastle
Saturday at 10 a.m. ETStoke City1-2Arsenal
Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ETSouthampton2-2Liverpool
Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ETAston Villa1-1Norwich City
Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ETSwansea City2-1Crystal Palace
Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ETTottenham2-0Cardiff City

 

Top Performers and Biggest Surprises

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08:  Adam Lallana of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on February 8, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Yes, I believe Southampton will earn a draw against Liverpool. The Saints haven't been as stingy on defense as they were earlier in the year, but this is a team that has drawn Manchester City and Arsenal at home.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have five wins, four draws and four losses on the road, a solid away record but hardly making them unbeatable away from Anfield.

Luis Suarez will break his five-game scoreless streak in this one, but Adam Lallana and company will surprise the Reds and earn the draw.

It's hard to envision any other upsets this week, however, though of course that doesn't mean they won't occur. Everton and Tottenham should hold serve at home, while Arsenal and Chelsea will be favored on the road against inferior competition.

Speaking of Arsenal, the Gunners desperately need Mesut Ozil to get back on track. The German star was one of Europe's most consistent performers earlier this season but has really fallen off of late. That seemed to be the motivation for Arsene Wenger giving him an off day last week, along with an extended break.

From John Cross of the Mirror:

Mesut Ozil has been given an extra break to recharge his batteries.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger gave all of his players two days off following the victory over Sunderland to try and give the whole squad a much-needed breather.

Gunners midfielder Ozil went back to see family and friends in Germany and is due to return to Arsenal's training headquarters on Tuesday. He hopes to be fit for Saturday's trip to Stoke.

He'll contribute two assists in this game, with Olivier Giroud scoring one and Jack Wilshere making the rare appearance on the scoresheet in the other.

With Jose Mourinho on damage control and his strikers liking lacking confidence after he said he had "no striker" in a comment he thought was off the record, don't be surprised if Chelsea's forwards once again disappoint versus Fulham

But no harm, no foul, because Eden Hazard will cover them with a brace.

But the most surprising brace will come from Wilfried Bony. The surprise won't be due to Bony's form—he has 10 Premier League goals this season—but rather because it will be his second straight brace, as he tallied twice in a wild, 4-3 loss to Liverpool last week.

Michu who?

Christian Eriksen's recent fall from grace has mystified Spurs supporters and neutral observers alike. Check this out from Bleacher Report UK:

Eriksen's fall from grace has certainly surprised Denmark's coach, Morten Olsen, to the point he publicly commented on the situation via Sky Sports:

Was it a surprise to see him left out? Yes, very much. But I accept what my colleague chooses and I don't know what happens in training. Nevertheless, when Christian has played he has shown he is a player who can make the difference. He is a creative player and he can play in different positions and Tottenham have used him in different roles.

If he doesn't have a very good day he can always perform for the team because he works very hard, and that's very important when you play 40 or 50 games in a season. I've seen most of his games for Tottenham and I think he has done very well.

Everyone who comes to the Premier League has to adapt to the different pace of the game. He has had a great technical and tactical education, but the next stop after that is to play in one of the top leagues in Europe. The name of the game in England is speed.

He has shown from the beginning, though, that he is the kind of player who can do well in England.

Luckily, this covers my Eriksen prediction both ways. Either he'll play and be one of the week's top performers with a goal and an assist, or Tim Sherwood will continue to bench him, a pretty surprising development that nobody can quite explain.

 

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