Mark Young also predicts Everton to bounce back from their disappointing draw at Chelsea, while Aston Villa can only manage a point from goal-fest at West Brom.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham were really impressive in their FA Cup Third Round replay away at Leicester and will be hoping for more of the same at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side won 2-0 with a much changed side, and now come up against an Eagles team who are suddenly low on confidence. Palace are yet to win a Premier League game since Christmas, and are seriously missing a key attacking outlet in Yannick Bolasie. The pacey winger had encapsulated everything that was positive about Alan Pardew’s side leading in to December, but his injury has hit them hard.
Without that threat in attack, Spurs should be able to keep them out, especially with Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen rested for the mid-week trip to the Foxes, and with Harry Kane up front and on form, it could be back to the drawing board for Alan Pardew.
Leicester City 1-1 Stoke City
Leicester City face Stoke City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday in a contest between two of the season’s surprise packages.
Leicester are legitimate title challengers, but their ambitions were dented by a draw at Aston Villa last week. The Foxes have been fantastic so far, even continuing to pick up results despite Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez yet to score in 2016; a win at White Hart Lane and two draws in the league since the turn of the year have shown Claudio Ranieri’s side to be able to cope without their main men firing.
Stoke will feel like they deserved a victory at home to Arsenal last Sunday, but a goalless draw is still a positive result for Mark Hughes’ ever-improving side. The Potters are becoming the entertainers of the Premier League, with Marko Arnautovic being particularly impressive. Ryan Shawcross has added considerable steel to the back line since his return from injury, and they could pick up another big point this weekend.
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Aston Villa
A Midlands derby is on the cards for West Brom and relegation threatened Aston Villa at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
The Baggies are coming off the back of a victory away at Bristol City in their FA Cup Third Round Replay thanks to a Salomon Rondon winner. Tony Pulis will be disappointed with his side’s loss at Southampton last weekend, but Albion drew at Stamford Bridge and beat Stoke to start the year.
Aston Villa have had a good start to 2016, but are still ten points adrift of safety and really need to start picking up wins in the league; it is hoped that their victory in the FA Cup against Wycombe will build confidence after a draw at home to Leicester. Rémi Garde has made Villa a more solid outfit, but form gets thrown out of the window in these kind of games, and a surprisingly entertaining goal-fest could well be on the menu in the Black Country on Saturday afternoon.
Everton 4-2 Swansea City
Everton will be seething with how they managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory at Stamford Bridge last weekend, but will have to focus on Swansea this weekend.
The Toffees suffered thanks to a 98th minute offside John Terry equaliser against Chelsea last Saturday, and have had all week to let it settle in. Everton had taken the lead in stoppage time but let it slip; the second time this season that a last-minute equaliser has seen the Toffees draw 3-3 away from home. Undoubtedly, Roberto Martinez’s side are fantastic going forward thanks to Romelu Lukaku and his supporting cast, but are very questionable at the back.
Swansea will fancy their chances of denting the Toffees’ defence after their victory against Watford on Monday, but it may not be enough as Lukaku and co will fancy themselves against the Swans.
Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
A year ago, Arsenal versus Chelsea would have had huge implications for both teams at the top of the table, but this season, things have changed for the Blues. Chelsea’s last minute equaliser at home to Everton earned them only their 25th point of the season and leaves the reigning Premier League champions in 14th position in the table.
The Blues can’t seem to defend and have only had one shining light in Willian in attack this season, with too many players diving for cover with the chips being down. Guus Hiddink’s side are four points clear of the relegation zone; an unbelievable sentence to be writing after last season, but that is their harsh reality.
They travel to the Emirates to face an Arsenal side who once again feel that this could be their season, but have also found the Blues a tough nut to crack – even this season.
Chelsea will need to keep the Gunners out, but doubts remain over the availability of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil, leaving Arsene Wenger with very few options going forward. He’ll be relying on Olivier Giroud, who has been very hit and miss in big games in the past, but has really stepped up this season when his side has needed him.
Chelsea are battling to get clear of the bottom of the table whilst the Gunners have loftier ambitions, but both may have to settle for a point on Sunday as the creativity could well be lacking.
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