Premier League Predictions 13 – 14 December

By Mark Young

A huge weekend of Premier League action this weekend gives Mark Young and Sean Thorne from the Offside Rule (we get it!) pod an opportunity to add to a growing list of ‘nearly’ moments when predicting the outcome of football matches.

This weekend they tackle the huge game at Old Trafford, a Midlands Derby, a game that usually rains goals at the Emirates, A Super clash at Swansea and Man City’s return to domestic action minus Sergio Aguero.

United at last: Manchester United have won 5 in a row in the Premier League, including a 2-1 away win at Arsenal.

United at last: Manchester United are in form, having won 5 in a row in the Premier League, including a 2-1 away win at Arsenal. Whereas Liverpool will be reeling following their Champions League exit.

The Red Lion vs The Dog and Duck

Manchester United 3-1 Liverpool

As Gary Neville dubbed it on Monday night, Manchester United Vs. Liverpool could well be the Red Lion Vs. The Dog and Duck on Super Sunday. United laboured to a 2-1 victory whilst Liverpool have been struggling for goals, clean sheets and points all season long.

With both clubs struggling to keep goals out the key has to come down to the goal scorers. The Old Trafford club has two in superb form who thrive on the big occasion and one superstar itching to burst to life from the bench where as Liverpool have struggled to get strikers on the pitch.

Rickie Lambert has filled a void with Sturridge and the underwhelming Balotelli out on the sidelines. Fabio Borini is struggling for game time. Gerrard and Sterling have been out of form and Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren is a partnership at the back that needs work.

Another huge difference in the two teams is the form of the men between the sticks. David De Gea is fulfilling his undoubted potential and winning points on his own where as Simon Mignolet has struggled for any form in goal for the Anfield club.

Another huge difference in the two teams is the form of the men between the sticks. David De Gea is fulfilling his undoubted potential and winning points on his own where as Simon Mignolet has struggled for any form in goal for the Anfield club.
United are in a great run of results and not really form but will still get a result against their bitter rivals with the strikers proving the difference. Sunday could be the day that Falcao really arrives given the opportunity.

ST’s view:

Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool
I think United will make a statement against Liverpool. The Van Galvanisation of results will continue with a 6th straight win.

Best Odds (Source: Oddschecker 10/12)
Manchester United 17/20
Manchester United 3-1 14/1

Return of the sig. Gylfi Sigurdsson will be looking to put Spurs to the sword and Swansea will be looking at completing the sweep of North London clubs following their 2-1 win over Arsenal in November.

Return of the sig. Gylfi Sigurdsson will be looking to put Spurs to the sword and Swansea will be looking at completing the sweep of North London clubs following their 2-1 win over Arsenal in November.

Europe League Hangover Guaranteed?

Swansea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham’s travels to Turkey on Thursday night will have proved a distraction that Mauricio Pochettino and his charges will not have needed with a trip to Wales on Sunday on the cards.

Swansea will be disappointed that they lost at West Ham but are a different team in front of their home fans. They recently put Arsenal to the sword at the Liberty Stadium and will be looking to do the same to another North London club this weekend.

Spurs struggled to a goal less draw at home to Crystal Palace last weekend with form very much in and out and the fantastic Harry Kane looking a little laboured last time out. With all that being said Kane is still the spark that ignites Tottenham and they will believe they have a chance of beating Swansea. The big threat on the other side is a man with a point to prove to former employers. Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The Icelandic international returned to Swansea last summer from Tottenham having been deemed not good enough for a spot in the Spurs first team. Since then, he has scored goals, assisted more and keeps Swansea ticking. Wilfried Bony can’t help but latch on to his precise passing and that combination should be enough to see off Tottenham this weekend to send the club further into crisis.

ST’s view:

Swansea 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Can’t see anything other than a drab stalemate for this one. Gylfi Sigurðsson will get himself on the scoresheet against his former club.

Best Odds
Swansea 6/4
Swansea 2-0 13/1

Comeback. Pardew has lead Newcastle to 7 wins from 9 games and will be looking to pick up another win against a fragile Arsenal team.

Comeback. Pardew has lead Newcastle to 7 wins from 9 games and will be looking to pick up another win against a fragile Arsenal team.

The form team visits the crisis club

Arsenal 2-2 Newcastle United

Arsenal and Newcastle face off at the Emirates on the Saturday evening contest where a team in superb form faces a club in crisis. The difference being, Newcastle are in said form with the Gunners struggling after recent defeats at home to Manchester United and even more so their seemingly annual defeat at the Britannia Stadium to Stoke last Saturday.

Before Arsenal lost to Stoke, Newcastle had defeated the seemingly champions elect in Chelsea making it seven wins from a possible nine outings.

Despite the recent form of both sides, both sit on 23 points in sixth and seventh position in the Premier League table. That is brilliant for the Renaissance man Alan Pardew but worrying for Arsene Wenger.
Newcastle have it in them to get something from the Emirates as Manchester United and Hull City recently have.

They will struggle to keep Alexis Sanchez quiet but will also fancy themselves to score on the break with Moussa Sissoko’s pace and the finishing ability of last week’s two-goal hero Papiss Cisse.
It could be another tricky day at the office for Monsieur Wenger.

ST’s view:

Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle United
I don’t expect Newcastle to ease the pressure on Arsene Wenger, however Alexis Sanchez will save the point for Arsenal.

Best Odds
Draw 15/4
Draw 2-2 21/1

Star man. Christian Benteke's return has led a resurgence and it was his brilliant solo goal that got them the 3 points away to Palace.

Star man. Christian Benteke’s return has led a resurgence and it was his brilliant solo goal that got them the 3 points away to Palace.

Derby Day Six Pointer

West Brom 0-2 Aston Villa

Two wins from two for Villa mean that they go in to this weekend’s derby with West Bromwich Albion in fantastic form. It is no surprise that these results has coincided with the return from suspension of a reinvigorated Christian Benteke.

The top quality Belgian is at the head of everything good that the Villains do, holding the ball up, winning a huge amount of headers, assisting teammates and of course scoring goals. His solo effort at Selhurst Park last week was what he is capable of but will feel unlucky to not have scored at home to Leicester at the weekend.

Albion on the other hand are struggling for form and goals after a positive spell where everything Saido Berahino touched turned to goals. The English starlet started on the bench last weekend at Hull where Graham Dorrans also failed to convert a penalty kick. The troubles may well continue for Alan Irvine as Villa’s upward curve continues to gather momentum.

ST’s view:

West Brom 1-2 Aston Villa
An Alan Hutton header in the depths of stoppage time will clinch this one for Villa.

Best odds
Aston Villa 14/5
Aston Villa 2-0 22/1

Coping. Manchester City will be high on confidence following their 2-0 away win in Roma to secure qualification for the knock out stages of the Champions League. With David Silva returning they will be breathing down Chelsea's neck.

Coping. Manchester City will be high on confidence following their 2-0 away win in Roma to secure qualification for the knock out stages of the Champions League. With David Silva returning they will be breathing down Chelsea’s neck.

A tale of two Cities

Leicester 1-2 Manchester City

Manchester City travel to Leicester on Saturday, with confidence and momentum after qualification for the knockout phase of the Champions League guaranteed, after the win in Rome on Wednesday. The week didn’t start well after Sergio Aguero was carried off against Everton on Saturday. He is rumoured to be out for up to eight weeks depending on whom you read and a trip to Rome on Wednesday would have taken it out of City’s squad.

Vincent Kompany and David Silva are gaining fitness and Yaya Toure missed Wednesday’s encounter through suspension so he should be fit and firing which is terrific news.

The one concern that Man City don’t have is form. They are winning matches in the league and breathing down Chelsea’s neck and they should gain another hard thought victory over Nigel Pearson’s Leicester on Saturday. After failing to find the net for a number of matches they have scored first against Liverpool and Aston Villa but went on to lose both those games. That pattern may well continue on Saturday as City look to chase down Mourinho and co.

ST’s view:

Leicester 0-2 Manchester City
I think Leicester will put in a performance that will save them from a massacre.

Best Odds
Man City 8/15
Man City 2-1 17/2

Read more by Mark Young here!
Follow @markyoung1988

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