The busy festive fixtures start on Friday at the Emirates Stadium with a top of the table clash involving fourth and fifth place. There is a key relegation battle taking place at the Bet365 Stadium in what promises to be an action packed weekend.
Arsenal vs Liverpool
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Fourth-place Liverpool are away to Arsenal, who are a spot below in fifth-place in the star match of the round. In the reverse fixture played in August, the Reds completely outclassed the Gunners’, an outcome which coincided with the transfer of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal to Liverpool within a few hours of the aftermath of that thrashing.
Liverpool have a potent strike force which will definitely breach a shaky backline, while Arsenal’s attack could equally be devastating and we should expect goals at both ends between two teams who have conceded an equal number of goals (20).
Everton vs Chelsea
Venue: Goodison Park
Chelsea travel to a resurgent Everton side, who have won four of their last five league matches and appear to be enjoying a new lease of life under Sam Allardyce.
The champions have being inconsistent lately, a shock defeat at lowly West Ham United a pointer to their mixed season.
Everton are a different team to the side which lost at Stamford Bridge in August and the added strain of Chelsea’s midweek league cup involvement could see the Toffees physically prepared than their more illustrious opponents, though we don’t expect Chelsea to lose on a ground where they have often found joy.
Brighton vs Watford
Venue: American Express Stadium
Brighton host a sinking Watford team in a game which could go either way based on both teams form. The Hornets managed by Marco Silva started the season like a house on fire, but a run of four defeats in their last five games has seen them drop to 10th on the log.
The hosts have earned a reputation of being a side that draw a lot of games at home. Considering the reverse fixture was a goalless affair which saw Miguel Britos sent-off for a wild challenge on Anthony Knockaert, we expect to see goals in this fixture.
Manchester City vs Bournemouth
Venue: Etihad Stadium
League leaders Manchester City should make light work of a struggling Bournemouth on their way to earning what should be a 17th successive Premier League win.
Coach Pep Guardiola can afford to utilise a few of his fringe players who have struggled for game time this season, the likes of Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan coming to mind, as the Citizens look set for another domineering day in the office.
Stoke City vs West Brom
Venue: Bet365 Stadium
Mark Hughes might have one last opportunity to salvage his Stoke City job when he leads the Potters at home to 19th-place West Brom. Times are not the best for both sides, Stoke on an alarming slump which saw them bashed by West Ham in the penultimate round and now have gone 180-minutes without scoring a goal.
West Brom scored their goal first under Alan Pardew’s managerial reign against Manchester United, Gareth Barry the scorer but we still expect them to come short against Stoke City.
Swansea City vs Crystal Palace
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Manager less Swansea City are home to a much improved Crystal Palace team who are not totally clear of the drop zone. Bottom place Swansea City look destined for the drop this season, though they are just four points from safety.
We expect this to be a high scoring fixture, last season’s 5-4 result coming to mind. Swansea City’s last two games have seen four goals scored-eight in total-, while Crystal Palace last three successive league ties have produced a total of 10 goals, though we expect Palace to emerge victorious, a third successive victory which takes them further clear of the drop zone.
West Ham United vs Newcastle United
Venue: London Stadium
West Ham United are favoured to compound the woes of Newcastle United at the London Stadium on Saturday. The Magpies are winless in nine successive league games and it looks to get into double figures against a side who have picked up form and momentum in the past fortnight.
Andy Carroll, a former Newcastle United won’t be too pleased about slaying his former employers, but he will have to be professional in the discharge of his duties as the Hammers look poised to keep a fourth successive clean sheet, pick maximum points and extending their unbeaten run to four games.
Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur
Venue: Turf Moor
Sixth-place Burnley, parading the joint best defence in the league together with Manchester City and Manchester United are home to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Clarets are known not to be a high scoring team, while their opponents on the other hand are known to be loud scoring goals, but could be clipped against opponents who are renowned not to give much away in terms of conceding goals.
We expect a score draw to settle this tie, an exact replica of the reverse result at Wembley Stadium.
Leicester City vs Manchester United
Venue: King Power Stadium
Leicester City were brought back to earth after suffering a demolition at the hands of Crystal Palace at the weekend, ending a run of four successive wins. The Foxes’ welcome back Wilfred Ndidi as they face Manchester United in a tie which could go either way.
The Red Devils’ were knocked out of the league cup midweek but can count on the availability of Paul Pogba for the Premier League, his three match ban elapsed. We expect this game to produce the spark as both sides look vulnerable and a share of the points should be ideal.
Disclaimer- Predictions are just for fun, based on analysis. We do NOT sell or guarantee results.