Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
Neither team has much form to show although Palace picked up an impressive 2-0 away win against Burnley on Saturday. The Cherries went down 3-2 to a rejuvenated Spurs outfit with 2 late goals giving the scoreline some respectability. Based purely on form, you would have to lean toward a home win here but I think Bournemouth will come out of their slump and nick this one in a high scoring affair.
Palace 2, Bournemouth 3
Burnley v Man City
Just when it looked like Burnley had turned the corner, with two wins on the spin, they slumped to the above-mentioned home defeat to Palace. Man City continue to suffer for their lack of quality in defence and teams have started to pick up on that. They are very imbalanced, and while they are a constant threat, opposing teams now feel that they can get something at the other end if they catch City on the break. Burnley will certainly aim to do that … keep it tight at the back and hope to counter or score from set pieces. That said, it’s difficult to beat against Man City even without Sergio Aguero.
Burnley 1, Man City 2
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Chelsea have hit a bit of a wobble after a great run. This was always bound to happen with a young team and it will be up to Frank Lampard to keep their heads up. Villa were really good value for their 2-2 draw at Man United and are a solid outfit. Chelsea may have been guilty of complacency against West Ham but I can’t see them repeating the same mistake especially with Tammy Abraham expected back.
Chelsea 2, Villa 0
Leicester v Watford
Two crucial VAR decisions contributed to contrasting results for these two teams at opposite ends of the table. Leicester benefitted from a late winner, initially ruled offside but overturned by VAR, while Watford should have seen Southampton’s crucial equaliser erased for a handball in the build up. Leicester finished the game week in second while Watford are bottom with their manager Quique Flores sacked as a result. It’s very difficult to see past a comfortable home win here.
Leicester 3, Watford 0
Man United v Spurs
Jose Mourinho takes his perfect record since taking over at Spurs to his former club Manchester United. It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction the Old Trafford crowd gives him after his poor spell in charge of their team. As is often the case with the arrival of a new manager, Spurs have received an immediate lift in fortunes. Defensively, they still seem to vulnerable having conceded 2 goals per game since Jose took over. Man United, for the most part, still look pretty flat so I see Spurs taking this one.
Man United 2, Spurs 3
Southampton v Norwich
A big six pointer between two teams who have both recently recorded 2-2 draws with Arsenal and gathered 4 points from their previous two games. This mini revival for both teams along with the worst two defences in the league make this one a very tricky one to predict. One thing that should not be too difficult to predict is that there will be goals. Norwich play an attacking style leaving the door open at the back while the Saints just can’t seem to defend any kind of pressure at all.
Saints 3, Norwich 2
Wolves v West Ham
Wolves are unbeaten in 9 EPL games in a row but West Ham will be buoyed by their shock away win over Chelsea. West Ham won’t have much time to dwell on their victory as Wolves don’t give away much, especially at home having not lost in their last 15 home EPL games. I am looking for a low-scoring home win here.
Wolves 1, West Ham 0
Liverpool v Everton
The Merseyside derby always produces some drama. Everton would have loved to have gone into this one with a little confidence from an away draw at Leicester … unfortunately for them VAR decided that wasn’t to be. Marco Silva is really on his last legs (we have been saying that for a while now) and is probably hanging on to his job due to the crowded fixture list and also the fact that Everton have got a very tough run of games ahead. Liverpool keep edging games by the odd goal – the sign of a champion, but also a minor concern for Jurgen Klopp. Anfield is a fortress so Everton fans should not hope for much.
Liverpool 2, Everton 0
Sheff United v Newcastle
The Blades have drawn 4 of their last five, while the Magpies have proven a very tough nut to crack this season. This was typified by their draw with Man City on Saturday. Most teams would have rolled over conceding a late goal to City but Newcastle kept fighting and managed to get a very late goal of their own to share the spoils.
Sheff United 1, Newcastle 0
Arsenal v Brighton
Brighton have lost three games on the bounce but in fairness to them those losses have come against Man United, Leicester and Liverpool. Arsenal have drawn 4 of their last 5 and to be honest looked no better under Freddie Ljungberg than they did under sacked Unai Emery. Norwich could easily have beaten them with a bit of luck. For starters, Ljungberg needs to start Pepe instead of Mesut Ozil to inject a bit more energy into their attack. Brighton won’t make it easy but I think Arsenal at home should edge it.
Arsenal 2, Brighton 0