Michael Owen gives us his Premier League week 13 preview including Arsenal v Newcastle and the huge clash between Chelsea and Man Utd.
Arsenal v Newcastle
Arsenal to win 2-1
Arsenal welcome Newcastle at lunchtime, looking to put right what turned into a disastrous 90 minutes last week at Anfield.
Before that match, the Gunners were going along nicely. They look like a team that will do fine against sides outside of the top six, but at the moment, lack that extra bit of quality against the bigger sides.
Eddie Howe will be back in the dugout after testing negative, so that could provide a much needed shot in the arm for his side.
This could be closer than the league table suggests, although I think the home side will edge it.
Liverpool v Southampton
Liverpool to win 3-0
Liverpool brushed aside Porto at Anfield midweek, and back on home soil, you’d expect nothing less than three points. Southampton have been in decent enough form, but their defeat to Norwich last week will have been hugely disappointing.
This will be a challenge on another level, and with Sadio Mane starting to fire, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him notch against his former side in a comfortable victory.
Norwich v Wolves
Wolves to win 1-0
What a start that was for Dean Smith! That’s back-to-back wins for the Canaries, the first time they’ve achieved that in the Premier League since 2016.
The introduction of Billy Gilmour to their starting XI definitely paid off, and I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if he’s involved again.
Wolves have won five of their last seven, with last week’s win against West Ham exactly what the doctor ordered after tasting defeat against Crystal Palace.
I see another tight game in prospect, although I have been impressed by the way Bruno Lage’s side have found ways to win this season. With that in mind, I’m just favouring the visitors.
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
A 1-1 draw
I was lucky enough to share the park with Steven Gerrard and Patrick Viera on plenty of occasions, so I’m looking forward to seeing both face-off at Selhurst Park.
They left it late, but Steven Gerrard got off to the best possible start as Aston Villa manager last weekend. However, Villa’s record on the road has been really poor his season. The Villans have lost five of their last six on their travels, a bad habit to get into. Palace may be undefeated in their last seven, but they need to convert those draws into victories having drawn five of those.
I think a draw could be on the cards again. That would probably be seen as a point gained for Villa as they continue to build under their new manager. It’s 1-1 for me.
Brighton v Leeds 2-0
Brighton to win 2-0
Brighton have been great this season. however, they’ll be disappointed to lose out late at Villa Park last weekend. That said, they’re well above their expected points total for the season, and up against a Leeds side that simply isn’t firing, they’ll be confident of adding to that total.
Graham Potter’s side have been excellent at the back thus far, and I fancy them to keep it going at the Amex.
Brentford v Everton
Everton to win 2-1
Goals have been on the menu all season long for Brentford and up against an Everton side that are blighted with injuries and suspensions, they’ll be quietly confident of getting something here.
That said, it’s a new kind of pressure when you are fancied to win, not something the home side have been used to since their promotion to the Premier League. I’m not surprised to see some people fancying Brentford in this one, but I think Everton’s experience could be vital here and think they can take the points home.
Manchester City v West Ham
Man City to win 3-1
It was a stroll in the park for City at home to Everton last weekend, and they’ll need more of the same here to keep up with pacesetters, Chelsea. West Ham are tough opponents. They can be hard to break down, and in attack, Michael Antonio is a handful.
I’m expecting a good game here. City should be on a high after an excellent midweek win against PSG, and with the wind in their sails, I think they’ll notch up another three points.
Leicester v Watford
Leicester to win 2-1
Leicester welcome Watford to the King Power, looking to get back on track after a poor start to their Premier League campaign
It’s hard to gauge what you’re going to get from Watford. Their 5-2 win away to Everton was fantastic, but equally, their 5-0 loss to Liverpool was so poor.
For the home side, the Europa League came as a welcome distraction, and I think that win could be their springboard to better things. It’s a Leicester win for me.
Burnley v Tottenham
Tottenham to win 1-0
The conundrum that is Tottenham Hotspur continued as they slumped to a, let’s face it, humiliating defeat to Mura midweek. Some of those players really need to look in the mirror, and who knows what Antonio Conte makes of it all.
They simply need a reaction, but this is another tricky one. Burnley aren’t conceding many just now, but equally, they aren’t scoring a lot. If Spurs best players turn up here, they should win the match. I’m giving them another chance and think they will do just that by the smallest of margins.
Chelsea v Manchester United
Chelsea to win 3-1
Super Sunday sees Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge. Michael Carrick got the desired reaction from his players midweek, although this is a bigger test.
Chelsea were awesome against Juventus. They’re defensively rock solid, something that you must be if you have aspirations of winning the title. I think Carrick will play the likes of Van de Beek and Sancho again here, but Chelsea, for me, are just too strong. I’m siding with the Blues to take all three points.