Premier League Predictions: Manchester United & Manchester City to cruise, Southampton to take the spoils vs Liverpool

With the FA Cup taking centre stage last weekend, it’s time for the Premier League to step back up and prove that it’s worth the monster television deal that was announced recently.

We have a couple of London derbies to preview, Wilfried Bony’s potential Manchester City debut, some ex-players going back to Southampton and Manchester United’s trip to Wales. This week impressionist Darren Farley gives the scores on the doors.

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Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

It was heartache for Crystal Palace on Valentine’s Day as Liverpool came from a goal behind to defeat Alan Pardew’s men at Selhurst Park. Arsenal showed no remorse when easing to a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at the Emirates on Sunday and will likely look to show the same to Palace this weekend.

The Gunners have hit an impressive run of form recently, despite their 2-1 loss at White Hart Lane. Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are all back to fitness, with the inclusion of David Ospina in goal a real boost to their defensive solidity.

Palace had been on a good run under Pardew since he took over but results have stagnated in recent times – with losses to Liverpool in the FA Cup and to Everton in the league. Arsenal should have just enough firepower to overcome Palace despite a European date with Monaco next week. Palace may score but look likely to just about miss out once again.

Darren Farley’s prediction

Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal

“I still feel Arsenal are lacking that bit of consistency and this is the type of game they can come unstuck in. Alan Pardew has started off really well and I can see Palace getting a draw here.”

Swansea 0-3 Manchester United

Another week of football and another week of criticism for Louis van Gaal – that yielded yet another victory. From one goal down at Deepdale, Untied won 3-1 against their League One opponents – with their Dutch manager praising the spirit of his team despite looking down and out.

One of the goalscorers on Monday night was Wayne Rooney who was back in his favoured position as a striker. His goal from the spot was not without controversy but he looked the most likely to make something happen for United. Robin van Persie could return for the game at the Liberty Stadium after scoring twice there last season.
Swansea will take heart from their victory in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season – Van Gaal’s first game in charge – showing the amount of work he had on his hands.

Since then, United have gone on to hit some great form, losing only in 19 games in all competitions since the beginning of November. United lead the chasing pack for Champions League qualification and with a toothless Swansea – now without Wilfried Bony – it should be a comfortable victory for the Red Devils on Saturday afternoon.

Darren Farley’s prediction

Swansea 2-1 Manchester United

“Van Gaal is getting away with it because of first season syndrome. He will be given time, unlike Senor Moyes, but United are painful to watch. That won’t be accepted next season, with the quality of attacking players he has been allowed to bring in. I can’t see a shock here … So that’s why I’m going for Swansea!”

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Manchester City 3-0 Newcastle United

Manchester City have had 10 days off since their battering of Stoke City last week. They’ll surely feel invigorated by the rest and also welcome back an old friend as well as a new face for the visit of Newcastle on Saturday.

Victorious Ivory Coast captain, Yaya Toure, returns after the ‘golden generation’ finally lifted the Africa Cup of Nations and with him he brings new signing Bony, who actually signed for the club over a month ago. They have a good match to welcome them back as Newcastle have been struggling and will likely be the sacrificial lambs to slaughter.

Newcastle have certainly struggled since Pardew left – despite glimpses from Remy Cabella and a credible draw at his new club – but this looks like a tough appointment for John Carver and a debut goal for Bony’s fully expected.

Darren Farley’s prediction

Manchester City 3-0 Newcastle

“I think this will be a straightforward win for Man City. Although if they don’t compete for the Premier League, I can see Manuel Pellegrini being handed his P45.”

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Ham

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham go head-to-head on Sunday lunchtime as Sam Allardyce and his team travel to White Hart Lane. Spurs have been very impressive recently with Harry Kane the star turn.

However, this stage of the season will be a real test for them with European football, Premier League action and a Capital One Cup final on the very near horizon. Spurs have struggled in the recent past to follow up a Europa League tie with a league win and that is likely to stay the same this season.

Fiorentina are the visitors on Thursday night and with a Champions League spot being offered to the winners of the Europa League, Mauricio Pochettino may feel that it is worth going for that but there’s a fine balance that is needed. West Ham were in cracking form up until last weekend when they lost 4-0 at West Brom in the FA Cup but Allardyce seems to have had the advantage over Tottenham in recent years and that could be set to continue – Kane in form or not.

Darren Farley’s prediction

Tottenham 2-1 West Ham

”Spurs are starting to adapt to Pochettino’s methods now and Kane is guaranteed to score in most games. West Ham have had a great start to the season but the wheels are starting to come off now and Andy Carroll will be a big miss.”

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool

Liverpool were accused of raiding Southampton last summer with their many acquisitions from the club but it could be the Saints that go marching on this Sunday. Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert all moved to Merseyside in the summer but only one of those seems likely to feature at St Mary’s.

Former Saints captain Lallana netted Liverpool’s winner at Crystal Palace last week and will surely be given a warm reception on his return to Southampton this weekend. But after hosting Besiktas in the Europa League on Thursday, a potential European hangover could be on the cards for the visitors.

The Merseysiders scored a 2-1 victory on the opening day at Anfield in a season where the Reds were supposed to thrive and Southampton struggle to survive.
They are now both battling for a top-four spot and despite no wins in their last two at home, the extra rest could work in favour of Ronald Koeman’s side to score a narrow victory.

Darren Farley’s prediction

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool

“Liverpool are looking very good now and gaffer Brendan Rodgers deserves massive credit for the change in the system. I can see Liverpool sneaking this one.”

Read more by Mark Young here!

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