Liverpool to win and both teams to score.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool 1-3
Liverpool’s late win at home to Tottenham on Wednesday means that they sit three points clear at the top of the Premier League. These are the types of results that win you championships, and when you consider that the Reds are still not at full strength, it’s a massive statement.
Crystal Palace drew 1-1 away at West Ham in midweek. The signs are there that Roy Hodgson’s men are on course for a better season than many expected, although when we did our pre-season predictions, I did have them down for a top half finish. They are tough to play against away from home and if they keep Wilfred Zaha fit, they should continue to do well.
History tells us that this has been a tough fixture for Liverpool. However, Palace have only won 2 at home all season and I think this will go the way of the away side.
Everton v Arsenal 1-1
With back-to-back wins, Everton have certainly turned the corner after a poor run of results. Wednesday’s away win against Leicester lifted the Toffees to 5th place, and up against an Arsenal side who look completely out of sorts, they’ll fancy their chances.
It’s now 6 matches since Arsenal won a Premier League match. Fifteenth in the table is simply not good enough and unless Mikel Arteta starts winning football matches, his tenure at the Emirates could be short lived.
Interestingly, there have been under 2.5 goals scored in Everton’s last 4 Premier League games. Arsenal have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 4 away league matches. So, the stats certainly point to a low scoring affair and I tend to agree. I think both managers would take a point here, so I’m going to side with a scoring draw at Goodison.
Manchester City to win and both teams to score.
Southampton v Manchester City 1-2
City travel to Southampton having slipped up at home to West Brom on Tuesday night.
They’ve probably left themselves too much to do in terms of the title race and I suspect that Pep Guardiola has his eye on the Champions League as their priority.
I have been waxing lyrical about Southampton all season. The Saints have been a joy to watch. Ralph Hasenhüttl is certainly making a name for himself and I’m in no doubt he’ll fancy his side’s chances here.
I think this will be tight. Sergio Aguero’s return is a welcome sight for City fans, and if he can pick up where he left off, I think that may be the difference.
Newcastle United to win
Newcastle United v Fulham 2-0
Unbeaten in their last two matches, Fulham should come into this brimming with confidence. Despite not being at their best, they got a point midweek against Brighton. Picking up points when not playing well is crucial if you want to stay in the Premier League, so there is still hope for the Cottagers.
They take on a Newcastle side that endured a late onslaught against Leeds at Elland Road. Up until Leeds got their 3rd, the Magpies were playing well.
This match is likely to be more suited to Newcastle, and if they can play like they did in the first half against Leeds, I think they’ll have too much for Fulham
Both teams to score
Brighton v Sheffield United 2-1
Sheffield United’s season seems to be going from bad to worse. They were poor against Manchester United on Thursday, and despite not being expected to get a result, defeat is never a good thing when you’re trying to build some confidence.
Brighton were held at home 0-0 against Fulham on Wednesday. The Seagulls have played well at times this season, but they really must start getting something from these matches.
The Blades arrive here having lost their last 8 away matches in the Premier League, and unfortunately for Chris Wilder and co, I think Brighton could add to that worrying stat.
Tottenham to win to nil
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City 2-0
Jose Mourinho almost executed his plan perfectly at Anfield on Wednesday. A late Liverpool goal means Spurs now sit 2nd in the Premier League, although I think most of their support will still be satisfied by that.
Leicester are becoming increasingly difficult to get a handle on this season. They can look excellent one week and really poor the next. The latter was the case midweek against Everton. They simply never got going.
Spurs have looked extremely professional this season. I think they’ll be patient here and wait for Leicester to come out. If that happens, Son & Kane are a force to be reckoned with. So, I’m siding with Tottenham to win and keep a clean sheet in the process.
Over 3.5 goals
Manchester United v Leeds United 2-2
What a great sight it is to see this match back on the fixture list. Leeds travel to Old Trafford in the Premier League for the first time since February 2004. That day the sides drew 1-1 and I think this will be another tight match.
Leeds are at their best when teams come at them. They are excellent at smothering sides and can really run the legs off you if given the chance.
I think United will need to be wary of that. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done his homework, he may approach with caution as they won’t want to get caught out on the counter-attack.
If that materialises, we could be in for a cagey start. However, it only takes one goal to light the touch paper in a derby.
I can’t help thinking back to Leeds match against Liverpool at the start of the season. If they approach this in a similar way, I think we could be in for an entertaining match with the sides ultimately sharing the points.
Aston Villa to win
West Brom v Aston Villa 0-2
A 1-1 draw at the Etihad wasn’t enough for Slaven Bilić to keep his job at the Hawthorns. Sam Allardyce takes the reins and his first match is up against a good Aston Villa side.
Villa claimed a classic smash and grab victory at Molineux last weekend. That’s what they are all about. If they can withstand pressure for long enough, they have all the tools at the other end to cause you problems. That said, they somehow failed to score against a determined Burnley side in mid-week, despite having 27 attempts at the Burnley goal!
With West Brom at home, the impetus will be on the Baggies to play on the front foot. If this happens, I think Villa will have too much with the likes of Grealish and Watkins on the counter.
A draw and under 2.5 goals
Burnley v Wolves 1-1
Burnley are almost at full strength after starting the season with a lot of injuries. They take on a Wolves side that managed to pull off a dramatic late win against Chelsea on Tuesday night.
Until then, Wolves had been struggling for goals, so to get two goals and all three points will be very pleasing for their supporters.
Overall, in terms of goals, both these sides have come up short quite a bit this season. I think that could be the case again here in a match where I reckon it will be honours even at full-time.
Chelsea to win and both teams to score
Chelsea v West Ham United 3-1
It’s been a tough week for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. They went into last weekend as genuine title contenders, but after back-to-back defeats, the Stamford Bridge faithful will have been left scratching their heads.
West Ham arrive here unbeaten in two. The Hammers have been difficult to play against this season, so Chelsea will have to be at their best if they are to win this.
The Blues are undefeated in 11 of their last 12 home matches. Interestingly, there have been over 2.5 goals in 5 of West Ham’s last 6 league matches. I can see goals on the menu again, and although Chelsea are wounded, I think they’ll get the result they need.