This is a very important match week. The results it will produce will shape the Premier League’s top 4 and will very much decide on who will be playing in the EFL Championship next season.
West Ham vs Leicester City
I don’t believe in David Moyes appointment as Hammers manager. There is nothing against him, he has a proven record at Everton. However, West Ham need young manager with the vision who is capable to transform the team and to make them playing an exciting attacking football, while keeping them solid in the back. Look at what Marco Silva is doing for a club which doesn’t have the Hammer infrastructure. David Moyes might make West Ham a bit more stable and they might be safe this season, but this is all this Hammers’ team could achieve.
Crystal Palace vs Stoke City
If Palace don’t win this one, we can consider them as a “Championship side”. Stoke aren’t that far from the relegation zone and they need to win points. If we look at the Crystal Palace squad they have enough quality to start winning games and survive, but I don’t know if Hodgson can make it with them. Stoke are hard to project as they just don’t turn up for some games. It looks like that Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is in form for them and if he has enough chances, he’d score.
Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton are capable of holding any Premier league team to a draw no matter where they play – home or away. However, in this particular Seagulls’ visit to Old Trafford, they find out that what the world “class” means in football. There’s nothing else to project but a win for the Joe’s United. We can criticize Man United a lot for the way they play. However, Mourinho knows what he is doing and his teams never had any serious issues winning such games. I don’t even need to go deeper and analyze both teams as it should be an united win.
Manchester United to win: 2:0
Newcastle United vs Watford
Watford is a team capable of winning at Saint James’s park. Newcastle had a good start of the season and the challenge now for them is to win their home fixtures in order to keep their mid-table position. The Magpies have lost at home against Bournemouth in the beginning of November and now they need to win. I think that Watford will score at least once at St. James’s park and Newcastle need to net 2 goals to win this game:
Swansea City vs AFC Bournemouth
Swans are in trouble. They have managed to keep their Premier League status last year with a late run of wins. This time would be a bit different and I think that this game is one of their last chances to change the course of their 2017/18 season. Unfortunately Swans do not score enough goals, so despite that their defence is not among the worst in the league, it is hard for them to win games.
The Cherries have underperformed at the start of the season, but now they look very much like the team they were last season, a team very hard to beat. I would like to tip the Swans to win this one, but I cannot depreciate Bournemouth.
Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion
Spurs should be able to win this game even if they leave Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Delle Ali. I mean it. At the same time West From have never been afraid to play against Spurs and they have won a lot of points on their visits to North London. It is interesting what kind of performance the Baggies can put at Wembley under the care taker manager Gary Megson. He hasn’t managed for quite some time and it is a challenge for him to get back to the game on an away fixture against Spurs.
Tottenham to win: 2:0
Liverpool vs Chelsea
This game is hard to predict as Chelsea are capable of beating any team in the world, at any point of the season. It just depends on what kind of Chelsea side would turn up at Anfield. Since 2013 Liverpool have lost two home fixtures against the Blues and draw 4. The Reds haven’t experienced a home win against Chelsea for a long time. I think that now one would blame the Jurgen Klopp team if they draw that one as well.
Chelsea are dangerous team playing in the counter attack with Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. Liverpool are defensively volatile with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan. To be honest I’d say that even a bottom side Premier League team should have a better central defensive duo that the one that played against Seville, if they want to survive in the league. Saying something that Liverpool are going however with this defense is already a cliche.
At the same time Jurgen Klopp is right that defending is not just about the back four it is a team performance. The Liverpool defensive midfielders and actually the whole midfield is responsible for the goals Reds conceded against Sevilla this week. Chelsea are much better offensive team that Sevilla and ion they have a good day, I don’t see Liverpool winning.
Southampton vs Everton
I feel for Everton’s caretaker manager David Unsworth who has said that “players need to take responsibility – senior players, foreign players, young players”. Unsworth was well known as a player for his strong character. The Toffees have been trashed by Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League by 1:5. When I manager says anything like that, it means a lot. Could anyone project before the start of the season that a team led by Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen and Kevin Miralas would struggle at the bottom of the Premier League table?
The Toffees have been preparing under Ronald Koeman to chase for top 5, but now they see themselves at the bottom of the Premier League. I don’t think that this team is prepared to fight at this side of the table against the relegation sides, they just don’t know how to do it. It might sound as ridiculous projection, but if the Toffees do not win two of their next three fixtures – away against Southampton and at home against West Ham and Huddersfield, they will find themselves sharing the last three positions of the table with Swansea and Crystal Palace.
Southampton to win: 2:1
Burnley vs Arsenal
This is a must win game for Arsenal and if they win it, they will keep progressing in the Premier League towards a top 3 finish. burnley are very good this season and Sean Dyche should take all the credit for transforming a club with limited resources into a top 10 side. Whoever underestimates The Clarets would be lucky to gate away with a draw.
Arsenal have been very unlucky to loose against Manchester City and their win against Spurs shows that they are in a good form. Despite the loss against FC Koln in the UEFA Europa League, the Gunners have topped the group and have major another trophy to fight for. I think that they have a too much class in their squad and it will help them to win at Turf Moor.
Arsenal to win: 1:2
Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City
Pep Guardiola has recently said that he doesn’t believe that Man City are capable of finishing the season without a loss. However, I’m sure that at this time of the season, he also believes that City will be crowned Champions in May 2018. The Sky Blues can go past Huddersfield and this is the most likely outcome of the game. The Terriers has beaten Manchester united at home in October, but I don’t think that they have a solution against teams who are as good on the ball as the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea or Liverpool.
Manchester City to win: 1:3