The International break is over and the Premier League has returned with game week twelve. BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen has given us his latest tips and insights into all ten matches this weekend.
Chelsea to win 2-1
Leicester City v Chelsea
This should be a fantastic game and a brilliant one to kickstart the return of the Premier League. Leicester have been too inconsistent this season, but I think they’ll return from the break energised. They are still a very good side when they play at their best, as shown when they beat Man United 4-2 here.
Thomas Tuchel was furious to drop points at home to Burnley last time out. The Blues were leading and cruising, but you are always vulnerable if you don’t get that crucial second goal. It’s a big week for the club with games at home to Juventus and Man United to follow, so I’m expecting a good performance here.
There’s not much to separate these two but I think Chelsea will narrowly edge it. I’m going for 2-1 Chelsea.
Match to end in a draw
Newcastle United v Brentford
It’s Eddie Howe’s first game in charge and it’s a huge one for the club. Newcastle are yet to win a game in the league and with a tricky run of fixtures looming, they’ll be targeting this one. Callum Wilson is critical to this team and now reunited with Eddie Howe, I’d expect even more from him.
Things are starting to go wrong for Brentford. That’s now four defeats in a row and the latest of those, to Norwich, was a damaging one. They made such a good start so it’s given them some breathing room but I’m sure people around the club will be worrying.
This is a vital game for both. Both sides will be desperate to not lose so I can see a draw here. I’m going for 1-1.
Match to end in a draw
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Burnley are now three games unbeaten and that was an outstanding draw against Chelsea. Sean Dyche’s side has a brilliant ability to stay in games and look like a hard side to beat again.
Palace haven’t lost since September, and they deserved that win over Wolves last time out. They are now closing in on the top eight and Patrick Vieira is doing a superb job. Considering that Palace have dropped four points this season to last-second equalisers, things could be even better.
With 11 draws between them this season, all signs point to another draw here. 1-1.
Brighton to win 2-1
Aston Villa v Brighton
A lot has changed since Villa’s last game and Steven Gerrard is now at the helm. I’m sure Stevie will be relishing his first job in the Premier League, but he’ll need to galvanise this Villa side fast. They’ve lost five in a row and the confidence isn’t there at the minute.
That was a strange game for Brighton against Newcastle. They started well and controlled large parts of the game but didn’t build on their lead. They looked like the Brighton of last season, lots of possession but not taking enough chances.
Villa are obviously struggling and I don’t think Steven Gerrard will have had enough time to turn things around. I fancy a 2-1 Brighton win.
Manchester United to win 2-0
Watford v Manchester United
Watford have scored in just one of their four games under Ranieri and that 5-2 win against Everton is looking more and more like an anomaly. They are firmly in a tough run of fixtures, and I don’t see things getting any better.
I thought Man United were disappointing against City in the derby. There was no desire, no drive in the team and it was all so easy for City. United were far too cagey and looked way behind their rivals.
This is an ideal game for them though. Watford are in poor form and are struggling to score. I can see a comfortable 2-0 United win.
Match to end in a draw
Wolves v West Ham United
Wolves were in a good run of form, so I was surprised they lost so easily to Palace. They didn’t really turn up that day. Still, new man Bruno Lage is doing a good job and I think Wolves are going under the radar this season.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games but what a result that was for West Ham against Liverpool. Forget the race for the top four, are West Ham now in the title race? The squad is settled and playing so well, my only concern is the lack of depth, mainly up top. If they can keep everyone fit, I see no reason why the Hammers can’t maintain this form.
This is a hard game for them though. I think Wolves are an underrated side at the minute and have a lot of quality. Molineux is never an easy place to go, so I can see a 1-1 draw here.
Southampton to win 2-0
Norwich City v Southampton
It’s been a strange couple of weeks for Norwich City. To get their first win of the season against Brentford, only to sack Daniel Farke was unusual, to say the least! Dean Smith has had an eventful couple of weeks too and two weeks after managing his last game for Villa against Southampton, he faces them again, only this time with Norwich!
Southampton continue to improve and that’s now back-to-back 1-0 wins. They don’t score too many, but they have three clean sheets in their last four in the league, which is impressive.
This is a good opportunity for another three points for the Saints. I’m going for 2-0 Southampton.
Liverpool to win 3-1
Liverpool v Arsenal
This fixture has produced some classics down the years, could we see another here? The Reds followed up that draw against Brighton with a defeat against West Ham and Jurgen Klopp was understandably not happy. They’ve had some defensive issues in recent weeks and that will need sorting.
That’s now three wins in a row for Arsenal and just one goal conceded in that time. This will be a major test of where they are though.
I fancy Liverpool to get back to winning ways here. I can see Arsenal scoring but I don’t trust their defence, 3-1 Liverpool.
Manchester City to win 3-0
Manchester City v Everton
City were very impressive in the derby win against Man United. They controlled the ball and the game, particularly in the last half an hour. I thought Kyle Walker was immense at the back, I don’t think there’s a better full-back pairing in the world than Cancelo and Walker currently.
Everton’s 0-0 draw against Spurs was uneventful. They had lost their last three, so it stops that run at least. They haven’t won in the league since September though and the pressure is beginning to build on Benitez.
It won’t get any better for them here. City are hitting their best form and I can’t see anything but a straightforward 3-0 win for the Citizens.
Tottenham to win 2-0
Tottenham v Leeds United
The International break came at just the right time for Spurs and has allowed Conte a couple of weeks to find his feet and work on the training ground. He’s a fantastic coach but he’ll need time to get his ideas across. Remarkably, Spurs have had the fewest shots in the league although I’m sure that will change.
Leeds are unbeaten in three but need to convert some of these draws into wins. They’ve got just one clean sheet in the league, no one has less.
I can’t see this being a good away trip for Leeds. I think Conte will look to kickstart his Spurs tenure here and his players will be really up for this. 2-0 Spurs.