West Ham v Spurs
There will be plenty of eyes on this London derby – Mourinho’s first game in charge of Spurs and potentially Manuel Pellegrini’s last game in charge of West Ham. Neither team would have expected to have found themselves languishing in the bottom half of the table at this point. Managerial changes usually give teams a lift – at least short term as players look to impress their new manager – so expect Spurs to end their miserable away run of form and inflict more pain on the Hammers.
West Ham 1, Spurs 2
Arsenal v Southampton
Another matchup between two underperforming teams and under-fire managers. Ironically there is already media chat about ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino taking over from Unai Emery at Arsenal. That would certainly be a twist in the tale. It won’t happen this week though as the Gunners will easily roll over a Saints team that has completely lost confidence, picking up only 1 point in their last 5 games.
Arsenal 3, Southampton 0
Bournemouth v Wolves
You never really know what you will get from Bournemouth. One minute they are banging goals in the next minute they are on a goal drought. They have failed to score in 3 of their last 5 games and have only picked up one win in their last 6. Wolves are on a mini revival, which was expected of a team of their quality. I see this revival continuing with an away win.
Bournemouth 1, Wolves 2
Brighton v Leicester
Brighton are another inconsistent side having won 3 and lost 3 in their last 6 games. Unlike in previous seasons, when they could be a bit dour, they have played with attacking flair under Graham Potter. This style may leave them a little exposed at the back against a strong side like Leicester. For all their endeavour, it’s difficult to see past an away win here.
Brighton 1, Leicester 2
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Liverpool look unstoppable this season and one of Jurgen Klopp’s biggest challenges will be to shield his team from complacency. Former Liverpool boss, Roy Hodgson, is a master at preying on any perceived weaknesses in opponents. Palace are on a miserable run though and really don’t have the weapons to either contain or pose a threat to this rampant Reds team.
Palace 0, Liverpool 2
Everton v Norwich
Norwich have completely imploded since their memorable win over Man City a few months ago. Their defence has continued to leak goals at an alarming rate while goals at the other end have completely dried up. This is never a recipe for success. Teemu Pukki, who set the season alight with his goals has not found the back for 7 straight games now. Everton picked up a much-needed win over Southampton in the last round and should have no problems easing past Norwich in front of the Goodison faithful.
Everton 2, Norwich 0
Watford v Burnley
While the Hornets picked up their first win of the season in the previous round, it was Burnley’s big win over West Ham that was the more impressive. Burnley are very much a confidence team and that win should give them the lift they need to go on a run now. Watford have found goals hard to come by this season, and for that reason I think Burnley will need just one to get the over the line in this fixture.
Watford 0, Burnley 1
Man City v Chelsea
This should be a really fun game to watch from a neutral perspective. Both teams play exciting attacking football and have plenty of goals in them. Neither of their defences would be considered world class so expect plenty of goals. Man City will be under more pressure than Chelsea though as any more slip ups will hand the title to Liverpool. Chelsea’s young team will have the chance to prove themselves against one the best in Europe and should be up for the challenge.
Man City 3, Chelsea 2
Sheff United v Man United
Sheff United continue to disprove the doubters week in and week out. Brammal Lane would be one of the last places that under pressure Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer would choose to take his team at this point in the season – especially with Pochettino rumoured to be lined up as his replacement. Man United tend to struggle away from home – their only away win coming at Norwich.
Sheff United 1, Man United 1
Villa v Newcastle
Two evenly matched teams with Villa perhaps a bit unlucky with where they currently find themselves, just above the relegation zone. Steve Bruce has defied the odds and moulded a gutsy Newcastle team that does not fear anyone. I think Villa edges this one though.
Villa 2, Newcastle 1