X

EPL Predictions: Picks, Top Players for Week 18 Premier League Fixtures

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 17, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City confronts the Manchester City fans after they throw objects at the pitch during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Leicester City have the chance to cut the gap to Premier League leaders Liverpool to seven points on Saturday when they take on defending champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool are away at the FIFA 2019 Club World Cup and do not return to Premier League action until Boxing Day when they travel to Leicester to face the Foxes at the King Power Stadium.

Everton kick off Week 18 action against struggling Arsenal at Goodison Park, while there is a key clash at the bottom of the table as Aston Villa host Southampton.

Manchester United travel to Watford on Sunday, while Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho takes on former club Chelsea in Week 18's final fixture.

      

Week 18 Fixtures and Picks

Saturday, December 21

Everton vs. Arsenal: 12:30 p.m. GMT/7:30 a.m ET (Everton)

Bournemouth vs. Burnley: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET (Draw)

Aston Villa vs. Southampton: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET (Villa)

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Sheffield United: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET (Draw)

Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET (Palace)

Norwich City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET (Wolves)

Manchester City vs. Leicester City: 5:30 p.m. GMT/12:30 p.m. ET (Man City)

          

Sunday, December 22

Watford vs. Manchester United: 2 p.m. GMT/9 a.m. ET (Man Utd)

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea4:30 p.m. GMT/11:30 p.m. ET (Spurs)

     

Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne heads into Saturday's match full of confidence after destroying Arsenal last time out in the Premier League with two goals in a 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.

The Belgium international has been back to his very best this season, and if he continues the form he showed against the Gunners it will prove to be a tough afternoon for the high-flying Foxes:

Goal @goal

What is there left to say about Kevin De Bruyne? 🚀 https://t.co/7LRCEbpv53

De Bruyne's ability to take control of matches from the middle of the park is unrivalled in the top flight, and his tally of eight goals and 14 assists for club and country in 2019-20 highlights his attacking threat:

UEFA EURO 2020 @EURO2020

🇧🇪 Kevin De Bruyne this season 🤯 ⚽️8⃣ 🅰️1⃣4⃣ 👕2⃣4⃣ (club & country) #EURO2020 https://t.co/zjZofCxOjQ

The 28-year-old is on a strong run of form in front of goal. He has six goals in his last seven appearances for Belgium and Manchester City and was praisedl by manager Pep Guardiola after his performance against Arsenal:

The Sun Football ⚽ @TheSunFootball

"Not a normal human being" Pep Guardiola praises Kevin De Bruyne after his brace against Arsenal https://t.co/aPGjsET7p5

The Premier League title may already be beyond Manchester City this season, but in De Bruyne they still possess one of Europe's best players who has the quality to damage Leicester's slim title hopes.

      

Harry Kane, Tottenham

Tottenham can leapfrog Chelsea and move into fourth place in the Premier League with victory on Sunday and will fancy their chances against a Blues team struggling for form.

Frank Lampard's men have lost four of their last five Premier League games and have been vulnerable defensively, particularly away from Stamford Bridge:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Kepa Arrizabalaga has played more Premier League away games in 2019 without keeping a clean sheet (16) than any other goalkeeper. The wait goes on... https://t.co/my5ILqoObw

Tottenham striker Harry Kane may be licking his lips at the prospect of taking on a shaky Chelsea back line and adding to his tally of nine Premier League goals in 2019-20.

A goal for the England captain would see him hit a rare landmark for Tottenham:

Premier League @premierleague

⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ @HKane has scored 9 #PL goals this season and could become the 1st player to score 10+ in 6 straight campaigns for @SpursOfficial since Robbie Keane #WOLTOT https://t.co/iV6ppjfgx4

Mourinho has spoken of Kane's importance to the team, describing him as "fundamental for us" and explaining he will not be rested over the busy Christmas schedule, per Sky Sports.

The 26-year-old has four goals in his last two home games for Tottenham, and it would be little surprise to see him add to that tally and extend Chelsea's current miserable run.