EPL Week 17 Predictions: Premier League Picks, Key Players and Fixtures

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IDecember 11, 2017

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on December 10, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Premier League leaders Manchester City travel to struggling Swansea City in Week 17 of the 2017-18 season.

Elsewhere, Manchester United will hope to bounce back from defeat to City when Bournemouth visit Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Arguably the pick of the fixtures is Arsenal's trip to West Ham United. The Hammers have struggled this season, but they beat champions Chelsea on Saturday and will head into the game with confidence.

Read on for the fixtures in full, predictions for each match and a closer look at three players who could be crucial in midweek. 

        

Premier League Week 17 Schedule

Tuesday, December 12

Burnley vs. Stoke City (1-0)

Crystal Palace vs. Watford (1-1)

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea (1-2)

           

Wednesday, December 13

Newcastle United vs. Everton (1-1)

Southampton vs. Leicester City (2-2)

Swansea City vs. Manchester City (0-3)

Liverpool vs. West Bromwich Albion (4-0)

Manchester United vs. Bournemouth (2-0)

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (2-0)

West Ham United vs. Arsenal (2-2)

        

Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Huddersfield Town at Emirates Stadium on November 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Arsenal have looked vulnerable defensively in recent games, particularly against Manchester United and Southampton, and will need Laurent Koscielny to organise and command the back line at London Stadium.

Per FourFourTwo, manager Arsene Wenger has said there is only a "little chance" of Shkodran Mustafi being fit to face the Hammers, meaning Per Mertesacker may continue.

Koscielny has been far from his best in recent weeks and his below-par displays have been explained by Football.London's Charles Watts:

HITC's Muhammad Butt said the Frenchman is not suited to the club's current formation:

Arsenal could switch to a back four for the trip to West Ham, but whichever lineup they do go for, they will need a vast improvement if they are to take home all three points.

          

Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United reacts at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on December 10, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barra
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

After defeat in the Manchester derby on Sunday, Jose Mourinho's side will need to bounce back, and the pressure will be on Romelu Lukaku to provide the goals.

After a superb start to his United career, the Belgium international has scored just once in his last six outings for the Red Devils.

The striker was guilty of errors before both City goals on Sunday, twice giving the ball away in the box, and also missed a glaring chance to equalise late on, when he was denied by goalkeeper Ederson from close range.

Football writer Liam Canning said his performance was not good enough:

The return to fitness of Zlatan Ibrahimovic also suggests Lukaku's place in the team is under threat if he continues to fail to find the back of the net.

However, a strong performance against Bournemouth would do a lot to silence his critics and restore the striker's confidence ahead of the busy festive schedule.

         

Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace reacts after missing a penatly during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on December 9, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfie
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Christian Benteke was the villain of the piece on Saturday after fluffing a stoppage-time penalty as Crystal Palace missed the chance to pick up all three points against Bournemouth.

Luka Milivojevic had already scored from the spot for Palace, but Benteke took a weak kick that was easily saved by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Benteke is still to score for Palace this season, but his actions were defended after the game by television presenter Chris Kamara:

The results leaves Palace bottom of the table, but Benteke will want to make amends against Watford at Selhurst Park on Tuesday.

Marco Silva's Hornets side have hit a sticky patchhaving gone three games without a win, and a first goal of the season for Benteke would help placate supporters infuriated by his weekend miss.

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