Ryan Liberty guides us through his weekend Premier League predictions as Liverpool and Everton meet in a massive Merseyside derby and Arsenal and Spurs compete for North London bragging rights.
Spurs v Arsenal
After Spurs’ display on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, whatever hopes they had of challenging for the Premier League went up in smoke. Spurs just couldn’t get going, their performance was flat but I suspect they will want to give a response come Saturday.
Can you believe that Arsenal have only won one of the last sixteen North London derbies? I could not believe that statistic when I read it. Unai Emry’s men will come into this game on a high after their positive midweek fixture, but I’m still not convinced by Arsenal’s defence.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Brighton v Huddersfield
Massive game for the bottom end of the table. Huddersfield got a really good result the other day but you still have to believe they will be relegated this season. 43% of Huddersfield’s total points this season have come courtesy of Wolves by the way, so I wouldn’t read too much into that result.
Brighton have to win this, if they don’t they’ll continue to slide down the table and eventually find themselves in a relegation scrap.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Burnley v C Palace
Sean Dyche will want a response from his side after their disappointing game against Newcastle, once again its consistency which costs most clubs in the League. Palace will be a tough opposition to host though. The Eagles lost to United but rinsed Leicester before that, I don’t think they played badly against United so this will be a tough game for the Clarets.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Manchester United v Southampton
Huge result for Southampton against Fulham, an absolutely massive three points. I’m not sure they will be able to pose much of a threat to United at Old Trafford though. United got a really good result at Palace midweek, especially when you look at their injuries. It’s one thing to have injured players, another to have them affect ‘main’ players.
A few people have said to me that the Saints will cause some problems for United, but I’m not sure I agree, I think its an easy win for Ole and the boys.
Prediction: 3 – 0
Wolves v Cardiff
What a season this Wolves side has had! There’s something like nine weeks to go until the end of the season and they find themselves sitting in 8thplace – to say that is a success would be the understatement of the season.
We all got a little excited about Cardiff, especially after their little run of victories. Well, reality has set in now, but fair play to them. The games against Watford and Everton were massive but they were smacked in both. I can’t see past a Wolves victory here though.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Bournemouth v Manchester City
Bournemouth were really poor midweek and so I can’t see anything other than a routine win for City. I know the Cherries perform on their own patch but I think the loss to Arsenal definitely put a dent in their confidence. I think Bournemouth will want to try and get at this City side – given their fans will demand a response – but that just plays right into City’s hands.
Prediction: 1 – 3
West Ham v Newcastle
West Ham really impressed me against City, they looked really compact and ensured they weren’t ever out of the game. Funny enough I was told on Wednesday by a mate of mine that he was scared of West Ham – albeit he was an Arsenal fan…
Newcastle have been brilliant, their new trio upfront have caused teams serious problems. I really enjoy watching this Newcastle side who play to score goals whilst still wanting to defensively sound, as opposed to their usually negative approach. I think this will be tight, if I was pressed for a winner I would back the ‘upset’ and go with Newcastle but I think a draw is most likely.
Prediction: 1 – 1
I didn’t see that Liverpool v Watford result coming at all, Watford go into that game really upbeat and full of confidence and then get absolutely blown away by a rampant Liverpool side.
Leicester have done great work getting Brendan Rogers in, he will want to truly give Leicester their counter-attacking identity back. I always enjoy backing a side to win the game with their new manager – that honeymoon period is often largely underrated.
Prediction: 1 – 2
Fulham v Chelsea
This should be an easy win for Chelsea. The manager said it right when he said they could be a great side, they’ve definitely looked themselves in the mirror and gone ‘okay let’s do this!’ The performances they’ve managed since getting humiliated by City have been brilliant.
Fulham, I don’t think, will threaten this game at all. Their meek and mild performance at St. Mary’s doesn’t give me much confidence to have any faith in them here.
Prediction: 0 – 3
Everton v Liverpool
What a derby this could turn out to be. Watford was a banana skin game (as I said in my last preview) but Liverpool go and blow them away, coming out 5-0 winners. They’ll start to believe they can do this – and why shouldn’t they?
Liverpool know that winning the League is – at this stage – completely in their own hands, all they need to do is keep winning games. We can talk about mental advantage or log pressure, but if I’m Liverpool, looking at the League table does nothing for me. Just keep doing the business on the pitch.
Everton shouldn’t be able to challenge Liverpool here, but the context in which this game is being played is intriguing. Everton need to win this for their own season, could you imagine the scenes if Everton go in front? Let alone win?
Prediction: 1 – 3