Premier League Match Previews by @OurLogie
Whilst the rest of Europe takes a winter break the good old Premiership continues on its merry way with four games in under a week.
A vital crucial time for all clubs already we heard several leading managers complain about no break at this time of the year. Most other leagues in Europe don’t play as many games when you take into account cup matches with replays. That’s another thing which they tend to avoid in all the other leagues. Supporters say it’s tradition but there is a growing opinion that there should be some sort of compromise introduced. All that is for the future we can only deal with what’s in front of us.
Chelsea v West Ham
This is the early kick off in London on St Stephen’s Day with first against fourth. West Ham are fourth in the Premiership for the first time since 1985. They beat Leicester 2-0 last time out and Chelsea won at Stoke to stay ahead of Manchester City by three points. Every time that Chelsea have led at Christmas they have gone on to win the title Interesting?
Last season West Ham came to Stamford Bridge and played out a 0-0 draw. Jose Mourinho took the opportunity to say it was watching 19th century football from the Hammers. The West Ham fans won’t forget that in a hurry. They arrive this time with a much more potent attack with so many more options. Having said that they have only won three games away from home this season and this will be a massive task.
West Ham have won four and drawn one in their last five so they arrive at the leaders in good form but they are up against a Chelsea side who just don’t do defeats at Stamford Bridge.
I think it will be areal battle but I think that Chelsea will prove too strong.
Burnley v Liverpool
On paper this should be an easy win for Liverpool but I wouldn’t bet on it. It’s 18th against 10th but Liverpool are a team who are still way off being anywhere near the best. Yes to be fair they do look to neat to turning the corner but they are a side who remain unconvincing. Liverpool are far from being good and their manager Brendan Rodgers still has a long way to go.
Under Brendan Rodgers they have yet to win a Boxing Day fixture so history beckons you would think.
10TH spot is the lowest Liverpool have been in their history in the Premier League at this stage of the season. They go into this game with only four clean sheets this season but they are facing a side who find it very hard to score. Danny Ings has been involved in 50 per cent of all their goals this season. So it looks quite simple. Keep him quiet and it should be easy.
But this is a local derby and all of Burnley will be up for this one. Burnley are no great shakes but they will battle all the way. Remember they did beat Southampton at Turf Moor a short time ago.
Most people will tip Liverpool but I’m going for an early Christmas box for Burnley fans and a draw.
Crystal Palace v Southampton
I have gotten seven out of ten for the past two weeks in the Premiership but it’s game like theses that can make or break your predictions. This is one of the hardest to call of all this Boxing Day. After a very poor run Southampton bounced back in style to take Everton apart so the confidence levels will be back up there once more. They are away to a Palace side who are a different animal at home. They have the best supporters on the block and they always make noise at Selhurst Park. How Chelsea could do with them.
It’s 17th against 5th and you really should be backing the away side. Palace haven’t had a win in five games and I don’t think they will win this one either. Palace tend to concede goals and they are facing one of the best defences in the Premiership.
I don’t like this fixture.
Everton v Stoke
Yet another one to make you think long and hard. Everton are just not as good as they were last season. Stoke battled all the way mid week against Chelsea but they lost in the end. Everton were well beaten by Southampton..
It’s not often that Stoke lose two in a row and this could easily be a draw but I’m going for a home win. I think Everton will bounce back and take all three points.
Leicester v Spurs
Boxing Day fixtures are always a pain to predict and this fixture is one of those. In the past few months Spurs have made a habit of nicking results at the death. A sign of a good team? I’m not so sure.
Leicester are in deep trouble and if they are to get anything from ther Christmas period this could be it with two away games coming up. Leicester have lost 9 games out of their last ten and they can’t buy a victory.
This fixture all the same could mean that little bit more to the struggling side and I’m going for a draw in this one.
I don’t think ti will be pretty but there you go.
Man Utd v Newcastle
Some Man United fans I know were raving after their 3-0 win over Liverpool but the result against Villa brought everyone down to earth. They were the part of my treble which let me down last week. They played most of the game against ten men and yert they still couldn’t win. A friend of mine was at the game and he thought United were very ordinary and he also thought like everyone else that every time Villa attacked the United defence looked vulnerable.
Newcastle have hit a bad patch. Three defeats in a week and the last one again their nearest and dearest Sunderland. Sunderland won 1-0 and yet they did look the better side by far. Newcastle are struggling again and I can United causing them problems up front. Newcastle won this fixture last season but I don’t see a repeat.
United to win to get the Festive period off on a good foot.
Sunderland v Hull
The boost which Sunderland will have received after the win over Newcastle will have been something else. Training will have been buzzing this week. Hull are a different story. With the manager falling out with players on a very public basis it doesn’t bode well for team spirit.
Hull haven’t tasted victory in ten games and Steve Bruce is under sever pressure.
I think Sunderland who played well against Newcastle will be looking for three more points here. It will not be easy but I think they will pull it off.
Swansea v Aston Villa
Villa did well to get a deserved draw against United despite being down to ten men. The red card for Agbonlahor was rescinded which will only add to their sense of hurt. He is a decent striker but Wilfred Bony is better and Swansea need to start picking up more points before he heads off the Africa Cup of Nations.
I always fancy Swansea at home and this is no different.
West Brom v Man City
2-0 up at QPR and still West Brom lost. Not good for the confidence that I would suggest. They are facing a City side who for a time were at the top before Chelsea beat Stoke. City have won their last eight games. Make it 9.
My tip for the title are back in good form.
Arsenal v QPR
The London derby is the late game on Boxing Day so you wonder will he players enjoy Christmas even more? Not so sure.
QPR are a very good side at home and awful away from Loftus Road. They have lost all 8 away from home this season. It’s the Charlie Austin show for them. He has hit 11 goals whilst the rest sit back and admire.
Arsenal still have a long way to go if you ask me but they will be too good in this one.
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