EPL: Matchweek 18

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Bolton Wanderers supporters dressed as Santa Claus watch from the stands during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers at Stadium of Light on December 18, 2010 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Ryan Liberty returns with his latest round of Premier League predictions, 

You can follow Ryan here…

Everton v Arsenal 

You look at this game and just have to go for the school of science to continue calling the class to order, haven’t you? Duncan Ferguson has been incredible – people often question the importance of a manager in a team, this is the result of one who knows how to get at his players! 

I agree with the sentiments of Jamie Carragher in mid-week, Carlo Ancelotti coming in just doesn’t seem like the right fit for Everton, incredible manager but not really the building sort. 

And then there’s Arsenal of course, Mikel Arteta…yeah, I just don’t think he’s ready to be fair. His time under Pep probably proves he’s a good coach but I’m not sure he’s a great manager (someone famous raised this question in mid-week) and I tend to agree.

Prediction: 2 – 1 

Aston Villa v Southampton 

Not really a game which could end up on the highlight reel, neither side have tasted victory in what seems like forever and if they weren’t playing each other I’m not sure I’d back anything to change. 

Don’t get me wrong, Villa have shown some seriously positive signs of late, Dean Smith’s side just haven’t had any luck in games. I think Villa believe they should be winning these games and will likely come away with all three. 

Prediction: 1 – 0 

Bournemouth v Burnley 

Bournemouth got a really impressive win last time out against Chelsea; they played some good football on the back of a rather lengthy streak of dismal displays. Burnley also bounced back earning a victory against Newcastle and with both sides likely to approach the game in largely opposing styles it could be quite an interesting encounter.

Prediction: 1 – 1 

Brighton v Sheffield United

Brighton have been a breath of fresh air this season, their approach to games has shown a confidence and positivity largely absent in recent years at the Amex. The Blades on the other hand haven’t been beaten away from home this season and whilst I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this will continue – I’m going to go against the grain. I just enjoy Brighton too much (and surely Sheffield lose eventually)

Prediction: 2 – 1

Newcastle v C Palace 

I know Palace have been decent this year, but St James’ has been a fortress. Back the Magpies! 

Prediction: 2 – 0 

Norwich v Wolves 

I really think that if Norwich is able to produce a performance similar to that against Leicester, they could get a result here. That point against the Foxes was very impressive. Wolves also played incredibly well against Spurs, so much so that I’ll come out and say I think Spurs got lucky last week…

Prediction: 1 – 1

Manchester City v Leicester

I think City have regained a bit of momentum and attacking prowess, they look prepared for teams to try and beat them on the counter with pace and skill and as a result I can’t see Leicester getting anything out of this game. Brendan Rodgers will be up for it much like his side but with only Vardy really offering any direct pace and intent I think a good bet could be City with both teams to score (don’t be shy). 

City have to still see the League up for grabs, they beat Leicester and the lead is only 11, Liverpool get beaten by Leicester on Boxing Day and suddenly its 8 and much like last year Liverpool stutter, stumble and slip. (I feel like I’d wink at the end of that sentence if I was talking to you – so there you go *wink*)

Prediction: 3 – 1

Watford v Manchester United

Why am I not confident about this game? Watford were really good at Anfield but for their kindergarten like finishing – wow it was bad. Their defence in particular was seriously competitive and in fact really impressive at times.

United still have something to prove in games such as these and for some reason or other I can see Watford getting something out of this game. I would love to be wrong but I think it could be a draw – and if you aren’t a fan or if you’re simply capable of actually betting against your own side, I would actually look at Watford on the double chance. 

Prediction: 1 – 1

Tottenham v Chelsea 

A win for Jose sends Spurs into fourth spot ahead of former club Chelsea. Chelsea have at times been very good this season but there are still occurrences when they aren’t quite there.

There’s certainly no love lost between these sides and it will definitely be a derby atmosphere in London, but I think its Spurs who come away with the bragging rights and points on Sunday.

Prediction: 2 – 1 

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