Premier League Matchday 21: First Win For Arteta?9 min read
Arsenal v Manchester United
Arsenal have yet to win under their new manager, although I think that will change when Manchester United are the visitors to the Emirates on New Year’s Day.
The Gunners bossed the first 45 minutes against Chelsea on Sunday and, although they faded in the second half, I expect them to build on their improved display against a United side who picked up three points and a rare clean sheet – their first on their travels in the league since February – at Turf Moor on Saturday.
This is a fixture that rarely disappoints, and I think the hosts will keep the points.
Tip: Arsenal to win and both teams to score
Brighton v Chelsea
Frank Lampard will have been disappointed by his side’s first-half display at the Emirates on Sunday but, ultimately, will have been delighted with back-to-back away wins from London derbies at Spurs and Arsenal over the Festive period.
The Blues have lost seven league games already this season, but I expect them to just do enough to beat a Brighton side who have won four of their last seven home league games.
Seagulls striker Neal Maupay has been a revelation so far this term, but I expect Chelsea to again win on the road.
Tip: Chelsea to win
Burnley v Aston Villa
Villa have only picked up four points from a possible 30 away from home so far this campaign and Dean Smith was angry and frustrated by their defeat at 10-man Watford at the weekend.
They are likely to face another severe test at Turf Moor midweek against a Burnley side who have had just two shots on target in their last three league games and scored just two goals in their last five. It promises to be tight and tense, but I feel the Clarets will keep the points.
Tip: Burnley to win
Newcastle United v Leicester City
Despite having 20 attempts at goal, Newcastle lost their first league game at St James’ Park since the opening weekend of the season against Everton at the weekend, but I think they will take a point when second in the table Leicester are the visitors at New Year.
Leicester made nine changes to the starting XI that lost at home to Liverpool on Boxing Day when they beat West Ham at the London Stadium last time out.
Only Liverpool (8) have won more games on the road than the Foxes (6) so far this term but the Magpies played with great passion and intensity against a resurgent Everton and can get a draw.
Tip: Game to finish in a scoring draw
Southampton v Spurs
Southampton have lost just two of their last eight league games, but they continue to pick up more points on the road than they do on home soil.
Spurs came from behind twice to get a draw at Norwich at the weekend and won the reverse fixture at the Tottenham Stadium 2-1 back in September despite playing for an hour with 10-men. I expect the visitors to take all three points at St Mary’s.
Tip: Spurs to win
Watford v Wolves
Having beaten Manchester City at Molineux on Friday Wolves gave Liverpool a real fright at Anfield less than 48 hours later and I believe they will have too much quality for Watford in a low-scoring game at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets have improved under Nigel Pearson of late and were too powerful for Villa at the weekend despite playing much of the game with 10-men. I believe Wolves will provide a much sterner test.
Tip: Wolves to win
Manchester City v Everton
City bounced back from their defeat at Molineux to beat Sheffield United on Sunday evening, but it was far from a vintage performance from Pep Guardiola’s side who will be severely tested by Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton, who had 22 attempts at goal at St James’ Park at the weekend.
Whether Ancelotti will play as attacking a side at the Etihad as he did against Newcastle remains to be seen and I expect to see the champions take all three points from what promises to be an open entertaining game with opportunities at both ends.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score
Norwich v Crystal Palace
Norwich begin 2020 at the foot of the Premier League table and, for the third home game in a run, they threw away the lead against Spurs at the weekend although they did pick up a much-needed point.
Fourteen of Palace’s 20 league games so far this term have been goalless at halftime and I don’t expect to see many goals at Carrow Road. Indeed, one might be enough for either side and I think the Eagles will edge it.
Tip: Palace to win
West Ham v Bournemouth
David Moyes begins his second spell as West Ham manager with a game with fellow strugglers Bournemouth at the London Stadium. The Hammers have only picked up seven points at home so far this season – the lowest in the division – after their latest 2-1 loss to Leicester at the weekend, but they can leapfrog the Cherries in the table if they pick up all three points.
The Cherries did win at Stamford Bridge recently, but they are struggling for goals – just two in their last six games – and I think Moyes can make a winning return to what is sure to be a nervous London Stadium.
Tip: West Ham to win
Liverpool v Sheffield United
Liverpool are unbeaten in 50 games in all competitions at Anfield and won their last 17 home league games.
Yes, they have ridden their luck at times, but you must admire their consistency and resilience as well as their undoubted class and I would be surprised if they didn’t start 2020 as they finished 2019 with a home win.
Sheffield United lost their unbeaten away league record at the Etihad on Sunday and they will feel they didn’t have the rub of the green against City, but I would be surprised if they were able to stop this Red juggernaut as they march on at the top of the table.
Tip: Liverpool to win to nil
Michael’s New Year treble: Burnley, West Ham and Liverpool