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Another week another group of Premier League fixtures and perhaps a week that will decide who finishes in the top 4 already. With all four teams having a separation of at least seven points from the rest of the table, this could be the weekend for all four teams to break away. Additionally, all three relegation teams will be desperate to earn points this weekend. AND we have games through midweek next week?!? It truly is the start of the Christmas season.
Newcastle vs Manchester City
Manchester City will need three points if they hope to stay in the title race. Newcastle has had a stronger start to the season than many would have expected. Unfortunately for the Magpies, there isn’t much that looks to go their way in this matchup. City has the far better line up and Manager meaning City should secure the three points here.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1
Burnley vs Crystal Palace
Burnley enters on a two-match win streak while Palace has been struggling recently, getting just one point from their last six games. Burnley should be able to continue this run of form especially playing at home. Burnley’s attack has also found their form recently which should see them through this game.
Prediction: Burnley 2-0
Chelsea vs West Ham
A cross-town matchup for these squads, which is normally quite entertaining, and Chelsea appears to be the better team here. With this being a home game for the Blue’s they should secure the three points here. The young squad has been incredibly consistent and following a tough loss last week they will likely get back on track against the Hammers.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0
Liverpool vs Brighton
Liverpool puts their unbeaten season on the line at Anfield, but this shouldn’t be much of a sweat for the Reds. Brighton hasn’t been much of a threat to the big clubs this season and with this being an away match, this won’t be the spot to turn it around. The only problem for Liverpool will be Fabinho’s injury, but Jordan Henderson will be a fine replacement in the holding midfield role.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0
Tottenham vs Bournemouth
Jose Mourinho seems to have turned around Spurs’ fortunes. This will still be a mid-table battle and with someone like Eddie Howe on the touch-line for Bournemouth, this could be a battle. Still, Tottenham has the better squad and the better form so this should be a triumph at the Nike Stadium for Spurs.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0
Southampton vs Watford
Both these teams have been fixtures of the Premier League for years and it’s likely that one of them falls to the Championship after the season. Watford has always struggled early in the season and found a way to finish mid-table, and Southampton has been on a downward trajectory for years. Call it a gut feeling, but I have Watford securing three points in a thriller
Prediction: Watford 3-2
Norwich vs Arsenal
Following a poor run of form, Arsenal sacked Unai Emery early this morning, just 24 hours before the squad faces Norwich. The Gunners might have a fire under them now, which means they should walk away with three points, but honestly with Arsenal who knows anymore. Still, Norwich comes in on poor form so all looks right for Arsenal.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1
Wolves vs Sheffield United
Wolves will be fighting to get into the top 4 clawing for every point to catch the group ahead of them. They face Sheffield who comes off of a good showing at Old Trafford last week. The blades have had an impressive start to the season and will be looking to continue their rise up the table. This could come down to the squads in which case Wolves will walk away with the points.
Prediction: Wolves 2-1
Leicester vs Everton
Everton has been seeing a good run recently, but Leicester has been on that type of run all season. Leicester looks to be one of the new big boys and the Toffies shouldn’t pose much of a threat as the Foxes continue to run with the big boys at the top of the table.
Prediction: Leicester 3-1
Manchester United vs Aston Villa
The Red Devils have been playing better after a rough start to the season. Villa still looks to be having growing pains but they look safe from relegation at the moment. The problem is that Villa hasn’t shown growth since having a good run of form early. Old Trafford is an intimidation place to play and this should lead to a United victory.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-0
Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth
This is where I think Palace will turn around their poor form. The Eagles have a far deeper squad than Bournemouth and with a quick three day turn around for both teams Palace should be able to take advantage, especially with the game being played in London.
Prediction: Palace 1-0
Burnley vs Manchester City
City has a deeper squad, which likely means they will be able to rotate and probably still be stronger than Burnley’s top 11. City shouldn’t have much trouble, but Burnley’s defense has shown its strength against the top of the table. This will be a battle, but City’s depth should win the day.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0
Chelsea vs Aston Villa
If this weren’t Villa I would pick Chelsea to stumble here as they lack depth more than any of the other top six clubs, but Aston Villa shows no sign of upsetting a squad like Chelsea, especially at Stamford Bridge. This should be Chelsea at its most vulnerable, but Villa doesn’t have the team to capitalize on it.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-0
Leicester vs Watford
Leicester once again lacks depth but if Brendan Rodgers manages the rotation properly, which an experienced manager like him should, Leicester won’t have a problem. This is not the place where Watford should look to turn around their season as Leicester has one of the strongest squads in the Premier League this year. The Foxes should be able to defend King Power Stadium and earn three points.
Prediction: Leicester 3-0
Tottenham vs Manchester United
This is hands down the game of the week. Not only is it a battle of two of the top six but its Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford and you can be sure that we’ll see some great beef between the two sides. Both squads have hit a good run of form and have pretty even sides as well as managers. This appears to have draw written all over it, but it will be an exciting draw at least.
Prediction: Draw 3-3
Southampton vs Norwich
Another important match for Southampton in their relegation battle this season. Norwich has arguably the worst form in the league and that is what will decide the day. Southampton will likely get the three points against a struggling Norwich side.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0
Wolves vs West Ham
West Ham has more depth than Wolves, but that will be the lone advantage that the Hammers posses. West Ham will need the three points in this match but it will be an uphill battle against an inform Wolves side. Wolves have also been playing midweek fixtures all season so they should be able to take the three points in this matchup.
Prediction: Wolves 3-2
Liverpool vs Everton
The cross-town matchup has been a tough game for Liverpool over the past few seasons and this will likely continue, but so will Liverpool’s win streak in the derby. Liverpool has been playing midweek fixtures all season so they won’t skip a beat with this matchup. Still, this will be a far tougher matchup than many would predict.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0
Sheffield United vs Newcastle
Sheffield has proven to be a tough side to beat, utilizing a tough back-line Newcastle will have a tough time scoring. Sheffield also has the advantage off the touch-line and playing at home. All of this points to Sheffield having the advantage and should lead to a relatively easy three points for the Blades.
Prediction: Sheffield 3-0
Arsenal vs Brighton
A game at the Emirates against a mid-table side is exactly what Arsenal wants right now. Brighton doesn’t look to match up well with the Gunners and in a midweek fixture, Arsenal should have a clear advantage in this matchup. Once again there is a large problem and that is simply that we are talking about Arsenal. Still, the Gunners should manage to see out three points at home.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0