Michael Owen gives us his Premier League week 14 preview.
Newcastle v Norwich
Newcastle to win 2-0
Bottom club Newcastle need to pick up fast. They may be the richest side in the league, but without reinforcements in January, it’s hard to picture them not in a dogfight for survival come May.
They welcome fellow strugglers, Norwich, to St James’ Park here. The visitors have seen a slight upturn in form, and with a bit of luck, could’ve landed all three points at Molineux on Saturday.
I think this one will be tight. All in all, I think it might take Eddie Howe a bit of time to get his ideas across, but in front of a packed home crowd, I think they might just get the result they crave here.
Leeds United v Crystal Palace
A 1-1 draw
With only two wins this season in the Premier League, it’s safe to say Leeds are yet to hit anything like the heights they reached last season.
They have another tough evening in prospect, as Crystal Palace can make things awkward. There’s been a real lack in front of goal for the home side this season, and I think that could hinder them again. Palace are drawing a lot of games, and I reckon another point here will be looked upon as one well earned. It’s 1-1 for me.
Southampton v Leicester City
Leicester City to win 2-1
Leicester fired in four at home to Watford at the weekend. Jamie Vardy and James Maddison were both in excellent form, and up against a Southampton side that looked out of sorts at Anfield, Leicester should fancy their chances.
We know how good the Foxes can be, and although we’ve not seen it enough this season, I think they might be about to turn the corner.
I’m expecting a decent match, and I think the Foxes will nick the points. It’s 2-1 at St. Mary’s for me.
Wolves v Burnley
Wolves to win 1-0
Wolves will have been disappointed to come away with just a point in their 0-0 draw with Norwich at the weekend. Despite looking threatening, they haven’t managed to convert near enough this season. They host a Burnley side who are proving, once again, to be one of the hardest sides in the league to break down. So, it comes as no surprise that I see a low scoring affair here, although I do feel Wolves have just enough quality to take the points.
Watford v Chelsea
Chelsea to win 2-0
Watford host Premier League leaders Chelsea at Vicarage Road where Claudio Ranieri will face off against his former side.
The Blues were held at home last time out against Man Utd, so will be all too aware of Manchester City and Liverpool breathing down their necks.
Whilst the Hornets have improved under Ranieri, this is a whole different test. I don’t think there will be a lot in it, although I do expect the visitors to make the short trip home with all three points in the bag.
West Ham v Brighton
West Ham to win 2-1
Brighton have been excellent this season. Their fans booing the team on Saturday after their 0-0 draw with Leeds may have not impressed Graham Potter, however, it could be seen as a back-handed compliment with their standards now much higher than in previous seasons.
That said, this trip to the London Stadium is a tricky one. We all know how well the Hammers have progressed under David Moyes, and despite a small downturn in form, European qualification is certainly on the agenda for his side again. I see another close one in prospect but think the Hammers’ have just enough to get the job done.
Everton v Liverpool
Liverpool to win 2-1
The Merseyside Derby returns with Liverpool aiming to get revenge after Everton’s triumph at Anfield earlier this year. That was in the middle of a bad period for the Reds, and now with Van Dijk back fit along with a return to top form from Trent Alexander-Arnold, this should be a lot tougher for the visitors.
The Reds can’t stop scoring at the moment, and if Messrs. Salah and Mane are in the mood, I think they’ll notch up another victory.
Aston Villa v Manchester City
Manchester City to win 3-1
It’s two from two for Aston Villa under Steven Gerrard. The vibes coming out of Villa Park have been overwhelmingly positive since Gerrard and his team arrived from Rangers, but this will surely be their acid test against a Manchester City side that are in great form.
I can see Villa putting up a good fight here, however, City just have too much going forward, so I think they’ll win by a couple of goals.
Tottenham v Brentford
Tottenham to win 2-0
Spurs have had almost a week to put their embarrassing defeat away to Mura in the Europa Conference League behind them after their weekend’s game against Burnley was postponed. Brentford are the visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, and they’ll be buoyed after their weekend triumph against Everton. I think they’ll have a go here, but if Antonio Conte has his side well drilled, which I think he will, I think Spurs can pick them off on the counter. It’s 2-0 to the home side for me.
Manchester United v Arsenal
Manchester United to win 2-1
Manchester United v Arsenal is a fixture that always grabs newspaper headlines, and with the introduction of Ralf Rangnick, this is sure to be no different. It’s still hard to grasp what Manchester United are in terms of style of play, but I do believe the German will have them far more organised, especially at set plays.
For Arsenal, there’s definitely been improvement here, although to be honest, I do think they’re slightly behind Manchester United when you look at the sides pound-for-pound. With that in mind, I’m going for a home win for the Red Devils.