Liverpool v Manchester United
Liverpool to win 2-0
What a game this should be. I thought some of Liverpool’s football, particularly in the first half, was superb. Thiago was the star man for me, he was so classy and barely gave the ball away. Luis Diaz was a threat throughout and was a problem for a top full-back, Cancelo, all day.
It was another Cristiano Ronaldo inspired win for Man United. The worry would be how difficult they made it for themselves. Norwich are bottom of the league but caused United problems. They can’t be relying on Ronaldo every week.
I’d fancy Liverpool against any side right now. There’s so much confidence in the side and Klopp has so many options at his disposal. I’m going for a 2-0 win.
Chelsea v Arsenal
Chelsea to win 2-1
Chelsea look back to their best. They had a dip in form, but the last few performances have been much better. I wouldn’t say they were at their absolute best against Palace, but they controlled the game and made it look like a routine win. I loved Mason Mount’s goal, a brilliant touch and finish inside the box.
The pressure is mounting on Mikel Arteta and Arsenal. After Spurs dropped points earlier, to lose away to Southampton was a disaster. That’s now three defeats in a row. The glaring worry is the lack of goals, could letting Aubameyang leave in January come back to haunt them?
I have to fancy Chelsea here. I think we’ll see an improved performance from Arsenal, but it won’t be enough. 2-1 Chelsea.
Everton v Leicester
Everton to win 1-0
Everton had the weekend off, which will probably be a good thing. Frank Lampard will have had some time on the training ground with the players, and I’d expect them to be sharp for this one. The little break should do the likes of Calvert-Lewin, who is not long back from injury, some good.
Brendan Rodgers was very disappointed to see his side lose against Newcastle. They had plenty of the ball, but they didn’t create enough. They conceded a couple of preventable goals, no wonder he was frustrated.
I’m leaning towards Everton. They have a lot more to play for than Leicester and need every point they can get at Goodison. 1-0.
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
Newcastle to win 1-0
For Eddie Howe, that win over Leicester virtually guarantees safety. He’s done a brilliant job, I actually think it’s gone under the radar. Defensively, he’s really improved things and that’s been a huge factor in their recent form. Five home wins in a row, St James’ is becoming a fortress!
Patrick Vieira must have been disappointed with what he saw against Chelsea. They didn’t play badly, but they didn’t really threaten Chelsea. Palace have a lot of good attacking players, it’s surprising they didn’t create more. Conor Gallagher’s energy and quality was a massive miss in midfield.
Manchester City v Brighton
Manchester City to win 3-1
Despite the defeat, I’m sure Pep Guardiola will have been proud with the effort he saw from his side. Being three down at half-time, it would have been easy for his side to let the match drift away. they didn’t and made a real game of it in the second half.
What a couple of weeks in North London it was for Brighton! To follow up that win at Arsenal with a win at Spurs was so impressive, you never quite know what Brighton you’ll get. They deserved the win against Spurs, every credit to them.
I don’t think this will be as good an away trip though. Brighton may score, but City will get the win. 3-1.
Burnley v Southampton
Burnley to win 1-0
I couldn’t believe that Burnley sacked Sean Dyche. It came out of nowhere, and still doesn’t really make sense. The players were shocked by it, so they deserve a lot of credit for the way they got a point against West Ham.
I’m not sure there’s a more unpredictable side in the league than Southampton. They lost 6-0 against Chelsea the week before, and then beat Arsenal 1-0 the following week! Ralph Hasenhuttl must be as confused as anyone as to why his side are so inconsistent.
This is a massive game for Burnley, and one of their more winnable remaining fixtures. Even with Sean Dyche leaving, I fancy Burnley to get the win. 1-0 Burnley.