Liverpool vs Man United is the headline clash in this week of fixtures
Arsenal go into this weekend at the top of the table with 43 points.
They are though closely followed by Leicester, who are only second on goal difference. Both sides will be looking for wins this weekend to try and claim that top spot, while Man United, West Ham and Tottenham will all too be hoping they can get a result in the race for a top four spot.
There are a plethora of other games on offer this weekend too and here are our predictions and previews for each one of them.
Tottenham vs Sunderland
In this midday kick-off, Spurs will be hoping that they can snatch three points against a Black Cats side who are battling against relegation. Mauricio Pochettino’s men come into this game on the back of a defeat to high-flying Leicester, but they will be hoping they can get back on track with a win this weekend. It won’t be easy though – Sunderland will be hoping to grab a third straight win, that could potentially lift them out of the relegation zone and with Jermain Defoe in a superb run of form, he could come back to haunt his old club. New signing Dame N’Doye though will have to watch from the sidelines, as he is unable to feature, with the club still waiting for his work permit.
Despite Sam Allardyce’s side currently being on a good run of from, I think Spurs will be too strong for them here and although it certainly won’t be easy for the home side, I think they have what it takes to get a win.
Prediction – Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland
Bournemouth vs Norwich
Lewis Grabban could start against his former club as Bournemouth take on Norwich. The striker joined the Cherries on Monday and don’t rule out the possibility of him featuring at some point for the home side. Matt Ritchie though is fifty-fifty for the tie but Eddie Howe and the rest of Bournemouth’s fans will no doubt be hoping he recovers in time and plays a part. Norwich will feel full of confidence that they can get a result though too, with the Canaries having won their last two away trips to Dean Court, despite going a goal down in both games and they are also unbeaten in their last six meetings with the club.
I expect that run to go on but I can’t see it being a win for them here though. Bournemouth seem to be adjusting better to life in the Premier League than Norwich and both sides could cancel each other out here.
Prediction – Bournemouth 1-1 Norwich
Chelsea vs Everton
This one is bound to be an interesting match. Guus Hiddink has rejuvenated the Blues since taking over, while Everton will be desperate to get some points from this game and they will feel as if they can. It’s the home side though who seem to have the advantage according to the stats – Chelsea have won four of the last six meetings against Roberto Martinez’s men and they are also currently on a five-game unbeaten run that they will not want to come to an end. Interestingly too, in the last six times the two clubs have faced each other, there has not been a single draw. I expect that to be the case again here, with the Stamford Bridge side coming out on top.
Prediction – Chelsea 2-1 Everton
Man City vs Crystal Palace
Another interesting game that will be taking place this weekend is Man City against Crystal Palace. City are challenging for the title, while Palace are also having a superb year and find themselves right towards the top of the league. Both will want some points from this game and of the two sides, I expect Manuel Pellegrini’s side to get them. They have won nine of their last ten games against Alan Pardrew’s men in all competitions and they are also undefeated in 17 of their last 19 home Premier League games – I really can’t see that run ending here.
Prediction – Man City 2-0 Crystal Palace
Newcastle vs West Ham
Newcastle will be feeling on top of the world after managing to hold Man United to a draw in midweek in the dying embers of the game but West Ham are also on a decent run of form and it won’t be easy for either side here. The Toon will be hoping that they can start to get a good string of results together but this fixture against the Hammers might put paid to those hopes – the away side have managed to keep a clean sheet against Newcastle in five of their last seven games against them and they’ve also won their last three Premier League matches. With Steve McClaren’s side still struggling, I can see West Ham taking advantage.
Prediction – Newcastle 0-1 West Ham
Southampton vs West Brom
Southampton and West Brom are both currently languishing right in the middle of the table. Both sides will be eager to win to try and push towards the top half of the league and it’s Ronald Koeman’s side who I give the edge to in this one. Despite not quite reaching the feats of previous years so far this season, Saints have still performed quite well at times and average better possession, better pass accuracy and more shots per game than the visitors. Add in the fact that the Baggies have also failed to win their last five away matches in the Premier League and it makes me believe Southampton will get the win.
Prediction – Southampton 2-1 West Brom
Aston Villa vs Leicester
Aston Villa managed to snatch only their second win of the whole season in their last game against Crystal Palace but they will face what should be a much tougher challenge here in Leicester, who are having probably the best season they’ve had for a long time, if not ever. Villa’s style of play in the last game was much better than in recent matches and it looked promising – the question is whether or not they can continue to play well against the Foxes and whether they will be able to overcome a side who are doing so well. I don’t believe they can and I think they could be brought back down to Earth on Saturday night.
Prediction – Aston Villa 0-2 Leicester
Liverpool vs Man United
Arguably the one to watch this weekend, as the two fierce rivals go head-to-head at Anfield. It’s a totally different scenario to the last time these two sides faced – Jurgen Klopp is now sat in the dugout for Liverpool, while Louis Van Gaal appears closer and closer to the sack despite leading United to a three-game unbeaten run.
All eyes could also be on Steven Caulker, who could be in line to make his first start in a Reds shirt since his surprise loan move earlier this week. As for United, Schweinsteiger is doubtful and Carrick is definitely out, which means Fellaini or Herrera could get a start in the middle of the pitch.
It is also one to watch as many believe a defeat for the Red Devils could lead to the end of LVG’s time at the club. If that is the case, then I think Van Gaal’s time is up, as I can see Liverpool sneaking a win here – they have done well against top sides like City under Klopp and he could do it again to their local rivals here.
Prediction – Liverpool 2-1 Man United
Stoke vs Arsenal
Stoke have had a quality season so far, as have Arsenal and both sides will do battle on Sunday in what promises to be an intriguing game. The last two times the sides have met in the Premier League, it is the away side who have come out on top, with the Gunners steamrolling to 2-0 and 3-0 victories.
However, I don’t feel it will be as easy for Arsene Wenger’s side this time out, with Stoke performing superbly this year. They have currently claimed 10 points out of a possible 16 in their last six games and can come into this game feeling rather optimistic. However, in my eyes, I can see Arsenal claiming victory.
Prediction – Stoke 1-2 Arsenal
Swansea vs Watford
The Monday night fixture this week sees Swansea face Watford, with the home side a shadow of their former selves. Newly-promoted Watford though are doing much better than the Swans and seem to be adapting to Premier League life rather nicely, just like Bournemouth.
The home side will hope that things can change here, with the side currently on a three-game winless run. However, the away side aren’t much better with the away side having also gone four games without a win. It’ll be close – Swansea aren’t a team that quits even when they are losing, while Watford have been able to cope with the best of teams this year. In the end, I think it could be a stalemate.
Prediction – Swansea 1-1 Watford