Premier League Matchday 15: Mourinho Returns To Manchester8 min read
A full programme of Premier League fixtures midweek with the Merseyside derby and the return of Jose Mourinho to Old Trafford the highlights.
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
Palace ended a three-game losing run with a win and clean sheet – their first in seven – at Turf Moor on Saturday. Wilfried Zaha has scored in his last couple of games for the Eagles and it would be no surprise if he were the difference between the teams when Bournemouth visit Selhurst Park on Tuesday.
Eddie Howe’s side have lost their last three in the league and a 3-2 result at Spurs at the weekend may have flattered the Cherries who scored two late goals courtesy of Harry Wilson.
Tip: Palace to win
Burnley v Manchester City
Manchester City lost the lead twice, and dropped two more valuable points, at St James’ Park on Saturday in a game which will be remembered for four high-quality goals.
Burnley have now lost four of their last six league games although they did have 15 attempts at goal against Palace at the weekend. I expect the Clarets to score against the champions midweek, but expect Pep Guardiola’s side to take all three points.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Chelsea struggled to break down West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and a worrying trend is that they have now failed to pick up a single point this season when falling behind in the Premier League.
Jack Grealish was again outstanding for Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday when they picked up a well-deserved point. Frank Lampard’s side were not at their best against West Ham at the weekend, but I think they will return to winning ways in an open clash with chances at both ends.
Tip: Chelsea to win and over 3.5 goals
Leicester City v Watford
Leicester were another leading side below their best – against Everton – at the weekend, but they picked up a much-needed three points at the King Power Stadium and currently sit second in the table.
Watford lost at St Mary’s at the weekend and they have now won only one of their last 18 Premier League games. It was no real surprise to see the Hornets part company with Quique Sanchez Flores for a second time on Sunday. I expect to see a comfortable win for the Foxes.
Tip: Leicester -1
Manchester United v Tottenham
United shared four goals and the points with Villa on Sunday and it would not surprise me if we saw a similar result midweek when Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford for the first time since being sacked as United manager 12 months ago.
Both teams have scored and conceded in their last four games while Spurs have shipped two goals in all three fixtures since the Portuguese boss replaced Mauricio Pochettino in north London. It promises to be a terrific occasion and one I see finishing with honours even.
Tip: Game to finish in a scoring draw
Southampton v Norwich City
A vital win for Southampton at home to Watford at the weekend and I expect to see the Saints follow up against a Norwich side who may feel aggrieved that they had to settle for a point on Sunday from the visit of Arsenal.
The Canaries have picked up four points in their last two league games but they need to be wary of Danny Ings who has scored 7 of the Saints 15 league goals so far this term and is finally having an injury free run. Long may it continue.
Tip: Southampton to win 2-1
Wolves v West Ham
A great result for West Ham at Stamford Bridge at the weekend, but I think Wolves will have too much quality for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in a low-scoring affair at Molineux.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have not lost in the league since mid-September and have been outstanding in Europe so far this term. They are taken to keep all three points.
Tip: Wolves to win
Liverpool v Everton
The 234th Merseyside derby sees Liverpool – with an 8-point lead at the top of the Premier League – entertain an Everton side one place and two points above the relegation places. Safe to assume a routine home win for the Reds? Think again.
The Reds will not be taking their Merseyside rivals lightly and Jurgen Klopp will be well aware that Everton could, and probably should, have taken a point at Leicester on Sunday against Liverpool’s nearest challengers in the table.
Liverpool, surprisingly, have yet to keep a clean sheet at Anfield so far this season, but I expect the Reds will be celebrating a 94th Merseyside derby win against the Blues.
Tip: Liverpool to win and both teams to score
Sheffield United v Newcastle United
A terrific point for Newcastle at home to Manchester City on Saturday while the Blades maintained their unbeaten Premier League away record with a valuable point against a good Wolves side at Molineux.
The Magpies were ordinary in their last away game at Villa Park but I think we will see a more spirited and energetic side at Bramall Lane. I can’t split the teams.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw
Arsenal v Brighton
Arsenal are without a league win in six – their worst record for over eight years – after their 2-2 draw at Carrow Road on Sunday, but I expect them to arrest their recent poor run when Brighton are the visitors on Thursday.
Freddie Ljungberg takes charge of the Gunners for the first time at the Emirates and the next permanent manager of Arsenal – whoever that might be – must address their ongoing defensive frailties.
Tip: Arsenal to win and both teams to score
Michael’s midweek treble: Chelsea, Leicester and Southampton