Premier League Predictions 29-30 November
Last weekend was a close run encounter between Mark Young and Kait Borsay, as Mark selected three out of five results correctly but Kait took the spoils (just about) after two correct results and one correct score – from Manchester United’s win at the Emirates Stadium.
This week, Kate Partridge steps in to take Kait’s place, as five huge Premier League fixtures are profiled and predicted.
A Europa Style Hangover
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Everton
It’s a return to Premier League action for Tottenham and Everton at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon, to round off what will surely be another weekend of thrills and spills from England’s top division. Tottenham have struggled when returning from European action, but it may suit them – psychologically at least – that the Toffees have also played on Thursday evening.
Spurs have been winning ugly of late and relying on a bit of luck to get them over the line, but with Harry Kane now leading the line, Spurs are attempting to play to his strengths, with creativity from behind him and balls into feet. Erik Lamela is becoming ever more inspirational in a Spurs shirt and despite struggling to score a league goal this season; he’s making a bigger impact than most. There are question marks over the defence but there is no doubting the man between the sticks in Hugo Lloris.
Roberto Martinez takes the Europa League seriously and with a relatively thin squad, White Hart Lane on Sunday may be a bit sticky for the Toffees.
Best Odds (Source: Oddschecker 26/11)
Match Result: Tottenham – 13/10
Correct Score: Tottenham 2-0 – 13/1
1-1. A Europa League hangover will affect both teams who like to attack and could be susceptible in defence. Everton have drawn five of their 12 games so far this season, and there’s very little between the two sides.
Second Vs Third on the South Coast
Southampton 2-1 Manchester City
Second placed Southampton take on third placed, and current champions, Manchester City at St Mary’s on Sunday – in one of the most intriguing encounters of the season. Southampton have been fantastic this season and one of the only teams to keep in relative touch with Chelsea at the top of the table and with all the ins and outs over summer, it is a remarkable achievement by Ronald Koeman and his side. A slip up in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park wasn’t a disaster for the Saints but their minds may have been on Sunday’s monstrous clash.
Manchester City came from a goal down to beat Swansea last week and thanks to the genius of Sergio Aguero, they beat Bayern Munich to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Aguero will once again be at the forefront of all things for City on Sunday but Southampton, who have the best defence in the Premier League – conceding only six this season – should be able to contain Aguero, although even with limited chances he can be lethal.
City will fancy themselves to score but the confidence is running through Koeman’s Saints and it is hard to see Alderweireld, Fonte and Forster allowing too much past them. Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle will be given room to play in, as City will undoubtedly go for the win, and their link-ups could just about nick this one to keep City’s revival short lived.
Match Result: Southampton – 23/10
Correct Score: Southampton 2-1- 11/1
2-3. Manchester City’s victory over Bayern Munich and Sergio Aguero’s 17 goals in 18 appearances could combine to kick-start their stuttering domestic campaign, and test Southampton’s watertight defence.
From Nightmares back to dreams?
Manchester United 3-1 Hull City
As we edge towards December, the last couple of weeks have proven one thing, the Manchester United players are buying in to Louis Van Gaal’s philosophies, highlighted by a 2-1 victory at the Emirates last Saturday. United were outplayed by their counterparts but for the first time in a long time, they won without playing anywhere near their potential, and will now see the festive season as a way of consolidating their top four position. Injuries seem to be on the rise but Ander Herrera and Johnny Evans played a reserve game this week and Radamel Falcao is back in full training.
The returning defence may struggle to get into the starting line-up if Chris Smalling, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair keep their places – after a fantastic performance last week. The in-form Wayne Rooney will be licking his lips at taking on a Hull defence that looks bereft of confidence, despite a positive opening hour against Tottenham last week.
Gaston Ramirez was sent off before Hull buckled to the Tottenham attack however, as Hull’s nightmares came true last week, the nightmare of the last 18 months for Manchester United will soon be changing to dreamy normality, with a routine victory on Saturday.
Match Result: Manchester United – 1/3
Correct Score Manchester United 3-1 – 11/1
2-0. Hull are in freefall, their confidence is low and they struggle to see out potential victories, while Manchester United are finding their feet, philosophy and system, and their many casualties are on the mend. Victory for LvG.
The Form Team Fracas
West Ham United 3-1 Newcastle United
What a season it has been so far for West Ham and Newcastle, as sixth hosts fifth at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday – and strangely enough that isn’t a typo. Newcastle are on a run of six straight wins whilst West Ham’s recent good form came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Everton last weekend.
The Hammers have been brilliant, with their summer signings all playing extremely well. There are injury doubts with Valencia, Sakho and Downing however, but it could potentially be a case of ‘curse of the ex’ for the Magpies this weekend. Ex-Magpie Andy Carroll will line up against his former club – if the injuries stay as they are – and is always a handful when he has a point to prove. Kevin Nolan could also play, and former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce will be looking forward to ending ex Hammers boss Alan Pardew’s recent touch of gold.
There will be a lot of familiar faces on show for both sets of fans, but West Ham seem to have that bit more creativity from all over the pitch – from their midfielders to Cresswell and Jenkinson at full back – and if other results go their way, top four could be where they sit going into December.
Match Result: West Ham – 23/20
Correct Score: West Ham 3-1 – 18/1
2-1. Andy Carroll to score against his former side. West Ham’s creativity to have the edge over Newcastle, despite their confident turnaround in fortunes. Though a close game if the Hammers are hit by injuries.
Saturday lunch time’s shocker
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Arsenal
The Premier League weekend kicks off with Arsenal’s trip to the Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime. Arsenal are a club in ‘crisis’ at present, as they seem to lose leads whilst playing well and when they miss chances to take the lead, they end up losing games.
It is quite a predicament for Arsene Wenger, as his patched up defence continues struggle with anyone they come up against, because Nacho Monreal and Per Mertesacker are a partnership set up to fail. Injuries are also mounting for Wenger, with Walcott suffering a setback, Wilshere reportedly out for three months and Wojciech Szczesny a doubt after coming off injured against Manchester United.
All of those points will be exactly what has Albion hotshot Saido Berahino looking forward to his lunchtime date with the Gunners. Berahino has been in terrific form this term and he holds the key to piling more misery on Arsenal – who have also got to contend with Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Alexis Sanchez will be lively once again whilst Olivier Giroud’s goal scoring return last time out is worth being confident about. But that isn’t Arsenal’s problem, it’s that defence and a dwindling midfield that is!
Match Result: West Brom – 18/5
Correct Score: West Brom 2-1 – 14/1
1-2. Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud will stretch Albion’s defence. The Baggies haven’t beaten Arsenal for over four years but Saido Berahino will challenge a post-European Gunners defence. Close, but advantage visitors.
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