Predictions: Leicester to add to Chelsea’s misery, Arsenal set for a reality check and Manchester United to bounce back

There are some banana skins waiting for the big London teams this weekend, with Mark Young predicting yet another defeat for Chelsea and Arsenal to drop points at Villa. Mark has tipped both Manchester clubs to win, but also reckons that Palace will restore some pride amongst the capital’s clubs, whilst former England Women’s goalkeeper Rachel Brown has other ideas…

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Mark’s prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Southampton

Selhurst Park is the venue for Crystal Palace’s fixture against Southampton on Saturday with both coming off the back of 1-1 draws.

Palace will be the happier of the two sides with their point at Goodison Park on Monday night considering that Southampton could only draw with troubled Aston Villa at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

Things seem to be clicking for the Eagles in recent weeks, other than their 1-0 loss at home to Sunderland in November, but the Saints have taken the opposite turn.

The last week wasn’t great for the south coast club as their 6-1 hammering at the hands of Liverpool was backed up by that disappointing draw last weekend.

Palace are yet to concede from a set piece and are yet to have a registered striker score for them in the league, but with the return of Wilfried Zaha they should have more balance and Alan Pardew can get another victory against another former club this weekend.

Rachel Brown-Finnis’s Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-0 Southampton
Mark’s prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Swansea City

Manchester City, fresh from topping their Champions League group midweek, will host manager-less Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium this week.

The Citizens won their final group game against Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-2 on Tuesday night and – thanks also to Sevilla’s defeat of Juventus – City topped their group to give them top seeding for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

It has been a turbulent week in South Wales as Garry Monk left the club on Wednesday, with David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers among the names tipped to take over at the Liberty Stadium.

This weekend’s fixture couldn’t come at a worse time for the Swans, with everything up in the air and with the club only a single point above the relegation zone.

Swansea may make it tough for City, but the favourites to win the Premier League should come away with three points the week after their defeat at the hands of Stoke.

Rachel Brown-Finnis’s Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Swansea City
Mark’s prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Manchester United

Bournemouth will be coming off the back of a massive win at Stamford Bridge last week as they are set to host Manchester United.

The Cherries were fantastic in their victory against the struggling Chelsea and were well worth their 1-0 win and have battled to four points against two tough sides in Everton and the Blues.

Next up is Manchester United to visit the Vitality Stadium after a bad week for the Red Devils.

Another goalless draw at home to West Ham was followed up by an early Champions League exit with a 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg.

Injuries are piling up at Old Trafford and Louis van Gaal is under real pressure, but they should have enough to beat the Cherries on Saturday evening.

Rachel Brown-Finnis’s Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Manchester United
Mark’s prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Arsenal

Aston Villa looked like a solid outfit last weekend as they gained a draw away at Southampton, but this weekend sees the visit of Arsenal to Villa Park after their jubilation of Champions League qualification with a 3-0 win away at Olympiakos.

Olivier Giroud netted a hat-trick in a fantastic performance and it should be a catalyst to provide huge momentum for their Premier League title tilt.

Arsenal’s last two away games (at Norwich and West Brom) have only yielded one point and that will need to improve, but Remi Garde’s Villains will be no pushovers.

It’s been two draws and one defeat in three games for the Frenchman so far and there is a feeling that another point could be in the offing.

Rachel Brown-Finnis’s Prediction: Aston Villa 0-3 Arsenal
Mark’s prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea

Chelsea travel to table toppers Leicester City on Monday night in a fixture that feels a little bit upside-down.

Last season’s champions Chelsea are struggling in the bottom half of the table, while Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes are sitting pretty at the top of the league.

It’s been a strange season in the Premier League and those two teams show that more than anything, but the in-form Foxes are well in with a chance of cashing in another three points.

Jamie Vardy’s terrific goal-scoring record ended against Swansea, but Riyad Mahrez stole the show with a hat-trick and is a huge difference maker.

Chelsea were well worth their midweek victory against Porto, but Jose Mourinho could be under even more pressure as the Foxes could gain another huge win.

Rachel Brown-Finnis’s Prediction: Leicester City 3-3 Chelsea
Follow Mark on Twitter @markyoung1988

Read more from Mark here

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