It won’t be easy for the big names to collect all three points this weekend, as Mark Young predicts close wins for Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton and Newcastle United to feel the full wrath of a revitalized Liverpool. Speaking of Klopp’s men, Sander Westerveld is our guest predictor this week…
Stoke 1-1 Manchester City
Manchester City headed back to the top of the Premier League last week during a 3-1 win over Southampton.
A visit to the Britannia is next up for the table toppers as they face a stubborn Stoke side in Saturday’s lunch-time kick off.
Both sides will be going into this weekend on a high after qualifying for the semi finals of the Capital One Cup midweek but one pressing concern for City will be the fitness doubts of Sergio Aguero. The Argentinean seems to be struggling to get a run in the team at the minute with niggling little injuries but one positive could be that David Silva made his return on Tuesday night.
Stoke’s main man so far this term has been Jack Butland with his points winning performances having him touted as a possible challenger to Joe Hart’s England number one jersey. Stoke hadn’t conceded a goal in three games before their ten men lost at Sunderland last week but were back to their clean sheet best against Sheffield Wednesday in the cup.
The Potters have been solid whilst City have been struggling for consistency so that could well cancel mean the teams cancel each other out.
Sander Westerveld’s Prediction: Stoke City 1-2 Manchester City
Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland
A thinly populated Arsenal squad host Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The last two games in the Premier League, away at Norwich and West Brom have only yielded a single point for the stuttering Gunners. That on top of injuries to Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Laurent Koscielny, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla has put a huge spanner in the works for the Gunners’ title charge this season. Arsene Wenger’s side also has a must win Champions League fixture away in Greece in mid eek so team selection could well be driven by this.
On the other hand what a difference a week can make for the Black Cats! Two wins in two means that Sunderland are bouncing for the first time in months but despite Arsenal’s problems they should win at home to their relegation threatened opponents but not without a scare.
Sander Westerveld’s Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland
Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth
Chelsea were back to their defensively sound selves at White Hart Lane last Sunday and will need the same solidity at home to Bournemouth on Saturday evening. The Blues were rigid and played with a false nine in their 0-0 draw against Tottenham and have now only conceded once in November in all competitions.
This is looking more like the Chelsea side that stumbled over the finish line last season but are struggling for goals and struggling to field a striker. Diego Costa has been out of form and out of favour whilst Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy were not available last weekend. Willian has been Chelsea’s creative force this season from free-kicks and open play and could be the difference this weekend.
Bournemouth managed to claw a point from 2-0 and 3-2 down in injury time at home to Everton last weekend which could provide a huge amount of momentum but they are up against a very stubborn side this weekend and it could be a contender for the last game on Match of the Day.
Sander Westerveld’s Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth
Newcastle United 1-3 Liverpool
Newcastle United Vs Liverpool is one of the standout fixtures in Premier League history with goals galore expected.
They will be even more expected this Sunday as one team has been scoring goals on the road and once can’t keep goals out.
Newcastle conceded five away at Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace on Saturday and are in serious danger of relegation as it stands.The Magpies can’t defend and were lucky to get away with a clean-sheet away at Bournemouth in a 1-0 win.
Liverpool’s last away match in the Premier League ended in a 4-1 thrashing of Manchester City and Newcastle could be on the end of a hiding from Jurgen Klopp’s side on Sunday.
The Reds did travel to Southampton for a mid week cup tie but that won’t effect another bad day at the office for their North East opponents.
Sander Westerveld’s Prediction: Newcastle United 0-2 Liverpool
Everton 3-2 Crystal Palace
Monday Night Football promises to be a superb match as Everton welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park for the final fixture of game week 15. Both teams have scored five goals in the last week with Palace’s coming in their humbling of Newcastle at Selhurst Park.
The Toffees scored three away at Bournemouth but struggled to keep their lead but eased to a 2-0 victory in their mid week cup excursions against Middlesbrough. Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku have been in fantastic form and all scoring goals and would really fancy their chances of scoring again against Pardew’s Palace.
The Eagles won last time they were on Merseyside away at Liverpool with Yannick Bolasie in form then and last weekend. Bolasie is a huge threat but Palace and their inspirational winger will struggle to keep the Toffees out. Expect a thriller.
Sander Westerveld’s Prediction: Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
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