Newcastle v Wolves
Newcastle have lost their last three games, but they’ve had some tough fixtures, so I don’t think Eddie Howe will be too alarmed. What he will be alarmed at, is the way they collapsed in the second half against Spurs, especially after they had shown a lot of improvement defensively.
Wolves have been inconsistent of late, but they showed their quality in that first half against Villa. They’ve still got a slim chance of finishing in the top six, but they’ve been dropping too many points recently for me.
This looks like a draw. Newcastle are only a few points away from safety, and a point here would be a good result.
Everton v Manchester United
Wednesday’s defeat to Burnley was a disaster. The pressure and mood around the club can’t be good at all right now, Frank Lampard has a massive job on his hands. I’ve said it all along, Goodison Park will determine Everton’s destiny this season. They’ll need every point they can get at home.
It says it all that United’s draw against Leicester last week wasn’t even surprising. Their form has just been so inconsistent, and it feels like this season is just drifting away. The lack of goals in the side is a worry. With all the attacking quality they have, they shouldn’t be struggling to put it in the net.
I think the fans will really be up for this, they know how much trouble this side is in. Goodison can be such a difficult place for away teams when the fans are like that. I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
Arsenal v Brighton
Arsenal to win 2-0
It may not seem it, but this game is massive for Arsenal’s season. That defeat to Palace was a shock, but they were well-beaten. They looked in control of fourth position, so it will be interesting to see how they respond here.
As for Brighton, they look like a side with nothing to play for. They’ve been virtually safe for weeks and their form has really taken a hit. They need to start scoring more goals.
Given Brighton’s struggles in front of goal recently, this should be straightforward for Arsenal. I’m going for 2-0.
Southampton v Chelsea
Chelsea to win 2-1
It’s been a difficult few weeks for Southampton but they got a point at Elland Road, thanks to their talisman, James Ward-Prowse. We all know how good a set piece-taker he is, but the consistency at which he is scoring from them is unbelievable.
Thomas Tuchel was far from happy with the performance against Real Madrid. After that defeat to Brentford last week, there’s some pressure on this side now. I think we’ll see a response from Chelsea here though.
I don’t think much will split these two, but I think Chelsea will edge it. I’m going for 2-1.
Watford v Leeds
Watford were solid at Anfield and competed well for large parts of the game. They didn’t have much of the ball, but there was a decent shape to the side and were hard to beat. Roy Hodgson has definitely improved them defensively, but for them to have any chance, they need to put a few more away at the other end.
As for Leeds, it’s been a good few weeks for Jesse Marsch. It may have only been a draw against Southampton, it could have been more, but it was a decent point, nonetheless. Leeds aren’t far off safety now.
I can see another draw here. I don’t think this will have loads of goals, 1-1.
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Aston Villa to win 2-1
Villa need a big performance. Their recent form has been too inconsistent for Steven Gerrard’s liking, particularly with the quality of players he’s got at his disposal. That first half against Wolves last week wasn’t good enough, I’d expect a response here.
I really like what I’m seeing from Spurs going forward. I don’t think anyone expected this when Conte took over, but they look a real threat. Even at the back, there’s been some improvements. Romero has caught my eye; I think Conte will mould him into a top defender.
That being said, I still fancy Villa. They need a big performance and I think they’ll get it, 2-1.
Brentford v West Ham
West Ham to win 1-0
Brentford’s 4-1 win over Chelsea last week must surely be one of the results of the season. They didn’t have much of the ball, but they were so clinical in the final third. A big part of that, is obviously Christian Eriksen. He’s given this side more quality and composure.
After Arsenal’s slip-up against Palace on Monday, West Ham still have a glimmer of hope of finishing in the top four. It’s still unlikely, but David Moyes will be targeting winning every game and seeing where that takes them.
For that reason, I’m going for West Ham. I think this will be a really even game, but West Ham will scrape it 1-0.
Leicester v Crystal Palace
Leicester played well at Old Trafford last week, and probably could have won it. It’s easy to forget how good this side can be, it’s just not quite happened for them this season. They’ve still got loads of quality in this team.
Things keep getting better for Patrick Vieira and Crystal Palace. He must have been delighted with the performance against Arsenal. I think he’s done a brilliant job and this side looks transformed from the one that played last season. There’s youth, flair and pace all across this side.
I can’t see a winner in this game. 1-1.
Norwich v Burnley
Burnley to win 1-0
This one is huge for both. For Norwich, things look bleak. They’ve just not scored enough goals all season. Pukki is a reliable finisher, but they don’t create anywhere near enough chances. I can’t fault the effort of this side for the most part, but they lack just that little bit of quality.
What a huge result that was for Burnley against Everton. Sean Dyche said before the game that it wasn’t a season-defining game, I disagree! Burnley needed to win that game and to win with a late winner will give this side so much belief moving forward.
That’s why I’m going for Burnley here. I think this side still believes that they are going to stay up, and they know they need the win here. 1-0 Burnley.
Man City v Liverpool
Liverpool to win 2-1
The biggest game of this season, I can’t wait! I thought City played well against Atletico in midweek, it’s obviously never easy or particularly enjoyable playing against Simeone’s side. However, I think City aren’t quite firing on all cylinders in the final third, they haven’t been as prolific of late.
It was a good game in Lisbon against Benfica and Liverpool probably deserved that 3-1 win. It was probably an ideal warm up game for Liverpool, Benfica tried to take the game to them. I’ve been saying it since he signed, Luis Diaz belongs in this side. He’s given this side even more threat and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he played a big part in this one.
This game could go either way, but I’m going for Liverpool. I think they’re going into this with a bit more momentum than City and they have a little bit more attacking spark and threat. 2-1 to Liverpool!