There are some great fixtures this weekend and it won’t be easy getting predictions right in this one. Like most people Manchester City let me down for our McLeans treble. I know a lot of coupons went by the wayside on that one. Anyway here goes and good luck.
Aston Villa v Liverpool
No early games in the Premiership this week all three o’ clock starts. And what an opener here. Aston Villa v Liverpool. Liverpool five games without a defeat against an Aston Villa side who just can’t score goals. They have only hit 12 goals all season in all competitions. No wonder they are in trouble and no wonder the natives are far from happy. 12 goals. It’s the worst total of any team in all four divisions. Villa have no wins in 6 games and only scored one goal in tat period. The only way they can win a game is to try and sneak a goal and then put everyone behind the ball including the team bus.
Liverpool despite their decent run still don’t convince. Balotelli is back. That’s enough about that. Sterling is back from a break and he will play and I think he will cause problems for Villa. I think Liverpool just might have enough but it won’t be pretty.
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Here we have two sides sitting in 17th and 15th in the league and yet confidence will be high in both camps. Palace have won both games under Alan Pardew and they will be buzzing. So too Burnley. I tipped them to win last week and they did. They lost to Spurs in the Cup but still grabbed two goals and led at one stage so they too will be happy enough. Out of the bottom three they now have players who can score goals. Danny Ings is a threat and he has a little bit of luck on his side as well.
It’s eight games since Palace won an away game and both theses sides concede goals.
I can see goals in this but I also like Burnley at Turf Moor. They take no prisoners there so I’m going for another home win for them.
It will be tight.
Newcastle v Southampton
The search for a new manager at Newcastle goes on. John Carver is still in charge and he has done a decent enough job but it remains to be seen if he is the number one choice. I don’t think so.
Newcastle have one win in eight games. Not good enough.
Southampton have 39 points from 21 games which is a club record and they will be full of confidence after wins at United and Ipswich in the cup. Victor Wanyama is out injured and that is a blow.
He and Steve Davis play well together and he will be missed. I think they could struggle because of that. The Saints are looking for three wins in a row and a win at Newcastle for the first time in 12 visits. They normally beat Newcastle at home but away to Newcastle they tend to struggle..
Despite a lack of wins Newcastle have only suffered one defeat at home in their last nine games..
Leicester v Stoke
If the bottom side are to get out of their troubles then they need to be winning games like theses. Stoke have gone back this season. They were awful against Arsenal.
It’s a real cup final for Leicester who really need to take all three points in this none. I wouldn’t be putting the house on it but I think the home side might just get over the line.
QPR V Man Utd
Normally this would be a sure fire three points for the away side but I’m not so sure. United are very good up front but still lacl so much at the back. They were not poor at home to Southampton and there is trouble at Old Trafford with Falcao. His agent says he might leave. So be it. I don’t think he’s the player he was. Let him go. The problems for United are not up front but at the back.
QPR are very good at home but terrible away from home. They are even falling out with their fans with reports of trouble after last week. Harry Rednapp has laughed off suggestions that he is abut to be sacked.
Not a great back ground to be facing into a gamed with United and yet I think QPR will respond because of it.
Charlie Austin is a goal threat and United will be pinned back for long periods in this game.
There will be many backers for United but I’m going for QPR to get something.
Swansea v Chelsea
Chelsea were ordinary enough against Newcastle last week but they still won and didn’t concede. They are still streets ahead of most of the teams in the Premiership. And if everyone wasn’t against them as suggested by Mourinho how much further ahead would they be?
Swansea sold Bony who is their best strike option but he is missing anyway as he is at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Swansea will be hard to beat but Chelsea are just too good for them.
Spurs v Sunderland
The games just keep coming for Spurs who are really beginning to find their feet.. Jermain Defoe is a good buy for Sunderland. The former Spurs striker can score goals. At Spurs he hit 143 in 366 games. He may play against his old club in this one but even with that Spurs look to be too strong.
Citizen Kane is having a great season and he will take some stopping. Spurs have let me down in the past but not in this one.
West Ham v Hull
Of all the teams at the bottom the one which is struggling the most I feel is Hull. They appear to have problems all over the place and it’s hard to make a case for them for any sort of revival. West Ham are having a great season by their normal standards. They scraped past Everton in the cup and that will give them a boost. They have no league wins in their last four games so they will want all three points in this one.
I think they will get them. They have too many options on and off the bench.
Man City v Arsenal
In many ways the big game of the weekend. Arsenal and Sanchez have won plenty of games already this season but those victories tend to happen against the lesser sides in the league. City are a step up in class. Yes they too can have their moments but City are the more consistent side. They last lost in the league back in October to West Ham.
I tipped City to retain their title at the start of the league and for long periods that looked a real long shot but they are starting to make a decent fist of it.
Even with Sanchez I can’t see Arsenal winning this one.
Everton v West Brom
The Monday night on offer is a vital clash for both theses sides. Everton are but a pale shadow of last season. Only one league win in the last nine shows they are under some pressure. They did lose the cup game to West Ham mid week but it was a game they could easily have won. I am sure they aren’t too concerned abut the result in truth.
When you lose on penalties there is no real winner if you know what I mean. Tony Pulis is one of those miracle workers. When he worked his magic with Palace he tended to grab one nil wins. Any win is vital in the fight against relegation so the chances are away from home he will adopt a very defensive approach.
I think that will happen here. Not too sure it will be a pretty affair. It will be very close but I’m going for Everton to squeeze home.
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