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Weekend Preview and Predictions

@0riginalfooty takes a look at the weekend’s fixtures for the 21st round of Premier League football. Last time out we got four out of ten predictions right and one correct score. Will we do better this week?

Saturday

Sunderland vs Liverpool (12:45)
Sunderland are continually proving themselves to be difficult to beat, although they don’t win enough games. Liverpool slipped up against Leicester in their last match and were very lucky to even get a draw after earning some very dubious penalties. Sunderland have enough about them to get a point.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Liverpool

Burnley vs QPR (15:00)
This is a big game for both these teams. A win will do great damage to their relegation rivals and allow the other breathing space. Burnley fought hard for a point against Newcastle while QPR dropped two points against 10-man Swansea. The R’s are yet to pick up a point on the road this season but they will know how important it is not to lose this match and I think they can get a draw.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 QPR

Chelsea vs Newcastle (15:00)
Chelsea’s remarkable loss to Spurs was completely unexpected and nobody would have thought that they would concede five goals in a single match this season. Newcastle were also involved in a goal fest against Burnley and will have confidence coming into this game having beaten Chelsea earlier in the season. Having said that, Chelsea rarely lose two league matches in a row and normally make a statement to their rivals after defeat. A comfortable home win.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle

Everton vs Man City (15:00)
Everton are close to scooping the prize for most disappointing team of the season and if they continue this form, they could get relegated. I’ve been expecting them to turn things around for a while but they look shot of confidence and are really struggling. City, on the other hand, pulled level with Chelsea at the top of the table and will believe they can regain their title. Everton’s misery will go on.
Prediction: Everton 0-3 Man City

Leicester vs Aston Villa (15:00)
This is another big game at the bottom of the table. Leicester have clawed their way back into contention after appearing dead and buried a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Villa may be sitting in 12th but they are struggling in front of goal and face a tough run of fixtures against three of last seasons top four in their next three matches. Paul Lambert is coming under increasing pressure from the fans and will be desperate for all three points here. They might be playing Leicester at the wrong time, though, and The Foxes are good value for at least a draw.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Aston Villa

Swansea vs West Ham (15:00)
The Swans have lost top scorer Wilfried Bony to international duty and that will prove a huge miss. There’s a good chance that he has played his last game for Garry Monk’s side and will join Man City in this transfer window. West Ham dropped two points in what should have been a comfortable win against West Brom but they have enough to get a point from this one.
Prediction: Swansea 1-1 West Ham

West Brom vs Hull (15:00)
This is another huge relegation matchup this weekend between two struggling sides. Hull pulled off a good victory against Everton in their last league match, while The Baggies fought hard for a point away at West Ham. Only a point separates the two teams but West Brom have Tony Pulis in charge now who oversaw a comfortable FA Cup victory last weekend and he has a knack of earning good results.
Prediction: West Brom 3-2 Hull

Crystal Palace vs Spurs (17:30)
Alan Pardew takes charge of his first league game against London rivals Spurs who demolished Chelsea in their last match. The Eagles will be up for this game and Selhurst Park should be rocking and I fancy Palace to nick a point.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Spurs

Sunday

Arsenal vs Stoke (13:30)
The Gunners were very poor in their last fixture against Southampton and Wojciech Szczesny is under pressure following a very poor performance and for being fined for smoking in the team’s showers. The Potters did well against Man United and beat Arsenal earlier in the season. Stoke will be confident of attacking Arsenal’s defence but Arsenal are generally strong at home and should have too much for them.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Stoke

Man United vs Southampton (16:00)
This is a battle between two sides who believe that a top-four spot is achievable this season. United have dropped points in recent weeks and the gap between them and their rivals has shrunk. Southampton, on the other hand, have battled back into contention after a poor run of form and Ronald Koeman is confident that they will be fighting at the top of the table for the rest of the season. This could go either way and should be an entertaining game but I’ll sit on the fence and predict a draw.
Prediction: Man United 2-2 Southampton

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Weekend Preview and Predictions

@0riginalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the 17th round of Premier League football. Last weekend we got seven out of ten predictions right and three correct scores. Will we do better this week?

Saturday

Man City vs Crystal Palace (12:45)
City may not have been at their best last weekend but they still ground out a result and head into the Christmas period in good form. Palace picked up another point towards safety last weekend but will be second best here. This should be a comfortable win for the home team.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Crystal Palace

Aston Villa vs Man United (15:00)
Villa may have lost last weekend but they looked in control until Kieran Richardson got sent off and they performed admirably with 10 men for 70 minutes. United have won six on the spin but haven’t played particularly well in many of those fixtures. Winning when you’re not playing well is a good sign but Christian Benteke is a different kettle of fish to most other strikers in the league and he will put a lot of pressure on United’s weak backline. Having said that, United’s strikers are starting to find the back of the net and should be able to outscore Villa.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-3 Man United

Hull vs Swansea (15:00)
Hull are in terrible form and are showing few signs of turning it around. Swansea saw Spurs leapfrog them last season and now sit in ninth, which is roughly where I’d expect them to finish this season. Hull desperately need to win their home games but Swansea should have too much for them.
Prediction: Hull 1-2 Swansea

QPR vs West Brom (15:00)
QPR suffered yet another away loss to Everton last weekend but teams really struggle to go to Loftus Road and get a result. West Brom recorded victory over their local rivals last weekend but were by no means convincing given that they had a man advantage for the majority of the game. QPR’s home form is what will keep them up this season and they should drag West Brom back into trouble here.
Prediction: QPR 2-0 West Brom

Southampton vs Everton (15:00)
Southampton have now lost five in a row and are suffering a small crisis. The loss to Burnley was really disappointing for Ronald Koeman’s team and their squad is being stretched very thin during the Christmas period. Everton, meanwhile, look like they’re about to kick on and then suffer a surprising result – they are really lacking consistency. A draw looks probable here.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Everton

Spurs vs Burnley (15:00)
Spurs have suddenly began a climb towards the top-four and are only two points behind their main rivals Arsenal who face fellow rivals Liverpool later in the weekend. Burnley earned a magical win over Southampton and pulled themselves out of the relegation zone. Away from home they look more vunerable, however, and Spurs should take advantage of one of their main rivals dropping points and win here.
Prediction: Spurs 3-1 Burnley

West Ham vs Leicester (15:00)
West Ham are proving to be the surprise package of the season but there appears to have been some unrest in the camp this week over their wage structure. Sam Allardyce was rightly furious at certain members of his squad demanding a pay rise when they are yet to achieve anything this season. Leicester, meanwhile, are now five points away from Burnley who are just above the relegation zone and I’ll be surprised, if they don’t win before the New Year, if Nigel Pearson keeps his job. This should be a comfortable victory for The Hammers.
Prediction: West Ham 2-0 Leicester

Sunday
Newcastle vs Sunderland (13:30)
This derby matchup should provide entertaining viewing and Newcastle’s goalkeeping woes aren’t helping them. They suffered a heavy defeat to Spurs and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup but their league form is still stronger than their rivals. Sunderland drew yet again last week but the fans will want a victory here, which may leave spaces for Newcastle to exploit.
Prediction: Newcastle 3-1 Sunderland

Liverpool vs Arsenal (16:00)
This is a vitally important match for both these clubs. Arsenal need to keep pressure on Manchester United and keep distance between themselves and Liverpool while Liverpool desperately need to close the gap on their top-four rivals. Arsenal are certainly in better form following their 4-1 victory over Newcastle and pressure is really mounting on Brendan Rodgers. While Liverpool are in the bottom half, they are still only five points behind The Gunners and this is a great opportunity to really close that gap. Having said that, Arsenal will see it as a chance to put Liverpool’s top-four challenge to rest and I think they’ll have too much for The Reds.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

Monday
 
Stoke vs Chelsea (20:00)
This is a game Man City will be looking at and hoping that Chelsea will slip up. Stoke are known for being solid at home but have been less consistent there this season. Chelsea are still viewed as favourites for the title and won’t give Manuel Pellegrini an early Christmas present by losing here.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2  Chelsea

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the tenth weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got four out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week? 

Saturday

Newcastle vs Liverpool (12:45)
Alan Pardew’s men recorded an excellent midweek victory over Manchester City in the League Cup and are looking a far more solid outfit. Liverpool also earned a League Cup win, although it was fairly unconvincing. The atmosphere in the northeast is far more positive and their side are picking up results. Liverpool are on a similar points total to all their top-4 rivals despite their poor start to the season and they should nick all three points here.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool

Arsenal vs Burnley (15:00)
The Gunners returned to winning ways last weekend but were rather gifted the three points by some hopeless Sunderland defending. Burnley are still awaiting their first win of the season and it seems unlikely that they will get anything from this one.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Burnley

Chelsea vs QPR (15:00)
Jose Mourinho will have been very disappointed that his side didn’t hang on to secure all three points against United last weekend but won’t be too concerned by the visit of their west London rivals. QPR earned a good win over a hapless Aston Villa side on Monday night and Harry Redknapp will have been pleased to see Charlie Austin finding the back of the net.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 QPR

Everton vs Swansea (15:00)
The Toffees have turned their form around and are right back in the frame for the all-important top-four places. Swansea also returned to winning ways and have two more points than their opponents this weekend. Garry Monk’s side won’t make it easy for Roberto Martinez’s team but Everton should find a way through.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Swansea

Hull vs Southampton (15:00)
Hull have recorded two excellent recent draws against Liverpool and Arsenal and confidence will be high amongst the group. Southampton, on the other hand, have been the best side in the league other than Chelsea and there is talk of them being surprise contenders for a top-four berth. Whether they can maintain their form over the course of the season remains to be seen but they should be able to beat Hull this weekend.
Prediction: Hull 1-2 Southampton

Leicester vs West Brom (15:00)
Leicester’s form has been getting gradually worse since their excellent start to the campaign and they are in danger of sliding into the relegation zone should results go against them this weekend. The Baggies have been in decent enough form but were fortunate to earn a point against Palace last weekend. This should be quite an open and entertaining game and I’m backing both sides to share the spoils.
Prediction: Leicester 2-2 West Brom

Stoke vs West Ham (15:00)
The Potters have lost twice to Southampton in this past week but gave a decent account of themselves in both matches so should come into this match feeling fairly confident. The Hammers find themselves riding high in fourth place and have played some excellent football this season. West Ham will probably enter this game as slight favourites but Stoke are generally good at home and should be able to get a point here.
Prediction: Stoke 1-1 West Ham

Sunday

Man City vs Man Utd (13:30)
This is the biggest game of the weekend and one that shouldn’t disappoint. City have made a sluggish start by their lofty standards and United look very open at the back. Their defensive deficiencies should be exploited by the likes of Sergio Aguero, although United will fancy their chances of getting at City’s back line. It should be an end to end all-out attacking display from both sides with plenty of goals but City will expect to win.
Prediction: Man City 3-2 Man Utd

Aston Villa vs Spurs (16:00)
Villa are in free-fall and don’t look like scoring any time soon. Benteke looks off the pace and Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor are offering little going forward. Spurs suffered a poor defeat to Newcastle last weekend and their lapses in concentration at the back don’t appear to have been stamped out by Mauricio Pochettino. Having said that, Villa are the team everyone wants to play at the moment and Spurs should blow them away.
Prediction: Aston Villa 0-3 Spurs

Monday

Crystal Palace vs Sunderland (20:00)
Palace played well for large spells of the match against West Brom last weekend and will have been disappointed to let a two-goal lead slip late on. Sunderland, meanwhile, are full of errors at the moment and are gifting victory to opponents. They were improved at the back against Arsenal, errors aside, but look toothless going forward and Palace can scrape a victory.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Sunderland