BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is here to give us his predictions ahead of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.
Manchester United vs Southampton
Manchester United to win 2-1
After those dropped points against Burnley on Tuesday, the pressure is on Ralf Rangnick’s Man United. They played quite well at Turf Moor, but they didn’t take their chances and didn’t put Burnley out of sight. The number of goals they’ve conceded due to individual mistakes this season has been alarming.
Southampton probably had their best performance of the season against Spurs. They completely deserved the win and showed loads of character to come from behind twice. Hasenhuttl coaches this side so well, and they executed their pressing game brilliantly.
This is far from an easy game for United. Rangnick and Hasenhuttl know each other so well, so there are no secrets here. I am going for a narrow 2-1 United win.
Watford vs Brighton
Brighton to win 1-0
The confidence around the Watford camp can’t be good, and they desperately need a positive result. I think Roy Hodgson will improve this side, but the stakes are so high at the minute. The big worry for Watford would be that the goals have completely dried up over the last couple of months.
Graham Potter must have been disappointed to see his side lose in the FA Cup to Spurs last week. Still, they are unbeaten in six in the league and are having such a good season.
I don’t think there will be many goals at Vicarage Road, but I can see Brighton edging it 1-0.
Brentford vs Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace to win 2-1
This could be a difficult second half of the season for Brentford. They’ve been struggling of late, and they must be starting to look at the teams below them. The hope for them will be if Christian Eriksen can return to near his best level.
Palace have drawn several games this season which they should have won, Wednesday’s draw to Norwich was the latest. They had plenty of chances and to sum it up, Zaha scored a wonder goal and then missed a bizarre penalty. Palace are in a decent position, but they’ll want to get more points on the board.
Only two points separate these two in the league, but I think Palace are a level above Brentford. I think they’ll get the win here.
Everton vs Leeds
Everton to win 2-0
A first Premier League game in charge at Goodison for Frank Lampard and Everton need the win here. It’s been a disastrous run of form, and the performance away at Newcastle on Tuesday wasn’t good enough. Frank will need time to implement his style at Everton, and a win here would help.
Leeds probably should have claimed all three points against Villa, but it was an entertaining point. Dan James was the star of the show, his energy really setting the tempo for that Leeds performance.
Leeds have had issues at the back all season, and I don’t see it getting better here. I think Lampard will get a first Premier League win as Everton boss.
Norwich vs Manchester City
Manchester City to win 3-0
Norwich had a battling draw against Palace on Wednesday. They’re on their best run of form all season and although it’s still an uphill task for them to stay up, they are giving themselves a chance.
It was another comfortable win for City in midweek against Brentford. I’m sure Pep will want to keep winning and get this league wrapped up as early as possible, so they can concentrate on the Champions League.
Norwich have scored 14 in the league, the fewest, City have conceded 14, also the fewest. A comfortable 3-0 City win here.
Tottenham vs Wolves
Spurs must be the most unpredictable side in the league. I really fancied them to go on a good run and threaten for the top four, but they were poor against Southampton. Conte doesn’t look happy, and the pressure is on him and his squad here.
Bruno Lage will have been disappointed to go out of the FA Cup last week, but Wolves can really focus on their top-four push now. They’ve got the second-best defence in the league, and I think they’ll have a strong finish to this season.
This is a big game for both. I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
Newcastle vs Aston Villa
That was a huge win for Newcastle against Everton. The fans were brilliant and all of a sudden, there’s a bit of optimism about the place. Kieran Trippier has been a standout since he joined, and he was superb again. He could prove to be one of the signings of the season.
Speaking of signings of the season, Philippe Coutinho is looking like the man who starred for Liverpool. His linkup with Jacob Ramsey has been evident since his first game, and those two shone against Leeds. Ramsay continues to catch the eye. He took his goals brilliantly, but it was his movement for the goals which really impressed me.
This should be a good game. I can see both sides scoring and I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
Burnley vs Liverpool
Liverpool to win 2-0
Burnley’s 11th draw of the season was a good one, and they competed well against Man United. This is another tough game for Sean Dyche’s side, and any points here would obviously be a bonus. A lot is expected of Wout Weghorst, and he was dangerous against United.
Mane and Salah are back, and Liverpool could go on a good run of form now. To lose those two to AFCON and not drop any points in the league, Jurgen Klopp will be delighted. The return of Harvey Elliott is also a real bonus, he was playing well at the start of the season
Burnley will compete and try to frustrate Liverpool, but Liverpool will have too much quality here. 2-0 to Klopp’s men.
Leicester vs West Ham
West Ham to win 2-1
Make no mistake, this is a massive couple of weeks for Leicester. It’s been a frustrating season, and they were really poor in that FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.
West Ham haven’t been playing well in the last few games, but the win over Watford was vital. The race for that 4th spot is heating up, and West Ham can’t afford many more slipups.
Two sides who are desperate to get the win, this should be a good game. I think West Ham will add to Leicester’s struggles and get the win here. 2-1.