SHEFF UNITED V WEST HAM
Consenus would surely favour the Blades over the Hammers here. That said, I feel like the “new manager bump” still has a few more games to play out and so am picking West Ham to nick this one. David Moyes got off to a dream start with his team’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth. I know that Sheff United present a far more difficult challenge but their home form hasn’t been as good as their away form and I feel they may be getting a little tired.
Sheff United 0, West Ham 1
CRYSTAL PALACE V ARSENAL
Three weeks ago, I would have said Palace all the way. Things change quickly in the EPL and with Mikel Arteta instilling a bit of discipline and fight into a previously very soft Arsenal team, I feel that they are due for a rebound in form. They showed signs of it in comfortably beating Man United and have all the tools to beat Palace – albeit a well-drilled, compact and difficult side to overcome.
Palace 1, Arsenal 2
CHELSEA V BURNLEY
The first question to ask is which Chelsea will turn up on the day? One minute they look a top quality side, the next they fold to supposedly weaker teams. That is the characteristic of a young, evolving team though I guess. Chelsea successfully appealed their transfer ban and Roman is now free to bust out the cheque book from his yacht. If anything this will push the current squad to perform, knowing that there will be increased competition for places ahead. Burnley have been poor for most of the season.
Chelsea 2, Burnley 0
EVERTON V BRIGHTON
Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival has certainly given Everton a lift. They are now looking up the table, rather than battling for relegation. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is on fire at the moment too. He can’t stop scoring. I think I say this every week, “Brighton are a good side”, but I don’t think they have enough to hold off Everton at Goodison Park.
Everton 2, Brighton 0
LEICESTER V SOUTHAMPTON
Things have improved a lot for Southampton since the last time these two met in the league. 9-0 to Leicester at Saint Mary’s. One prediction we can safely make is that we won’t have a repeat of that scoreline! Leicester will still win though. Saints are actually a better side away from home but I still think their defensive frailties mean they won’t be able to cope with the multiple threats that Leicester pose from Jamie Vardy, James Maddison and co.
Leicester 2, Southampton 1
MANCHESTER UNITED V NORWICH
Man United are going through yet another of their customary mid season dips. The problem for them is that these dips are becoming more and more frequent. It’s almost a case of one step forward, two steps back. Norwich though, for all their attacking guile, are a soft touch at the back. Old Trafford should be too much for them and I think they are red-hot favourites for the drop this year, as entertaining as they have been.
Man United 4, Norwich 1
WOLVES V NEWCASTLE
Newcastle are starting to unravel a bit after an excellent first half to the season. They have lost 3 on the bounce and have looked very unconvincing of late. Wolves are relentless and barely give anything away … especially at home.
Wolves 2, Newcastle 0
SPURS V LIVERPOOL
As predicted Jose Mourinho’s honeymoon didn’t last long. In their last two Premier League games, they have lost to Southampton and were fortunate to get a draw with Norwich. More alarmingly, they have not looked a threat at all. Added to his problems, Mourinho now has injuries to two key players to worry about, Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko. Liverpool have shown no signs of slowing down – even their B team rolled Everton in the FA Cup. Jose will no doubt park the bus, but that should be no problem for Liverpool.
Spurs 0, Liverpool 2
BOURNEMOUTH V WATFORD
Bournemouth could be in trouble. Injuries have taken their toll and confidence has been shattered. Their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of West Ham last week will not have helped. On the contrary, Nigel Pearson has Watford pumping. They look a real threat right now and should account for Bournemouth here. Their revival has been staggering and I expect it to continue.
Bournemouth 1, Watford 2
ASTON VILLA V MAN CITY
Villa would have been hoping for a more accommodating opponent than Man City following their surprise 2-1 away win at Burnley. Unfortunately they won’t get a chance to build on that this time around as Man City have Sergio Aguero back and look angry. They are out of the title race but Pep hates to lose and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went on an extended winning streak from here.
Villa 1, Man City 4