Will Liverpool stay close to Manchester City in the title race? Will Spurs stay above Arsenal in the table?
Cardiff City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
I admire Wolves for the attacking football they play, but they aren’t a stable team who’s ready to climb the Premier League table and establish themselves as close to the top as possible. This is their first Premier League season and we’d expect hem them to be a little bit unpredictable. The Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said that his team needs individual consistency and cannot afford “to have players up and down on their performance”. He does not have any new injury concerns and his best players are available for selection.
Cardiff City are fighting for their lives and considering their resources The Bluebirds are as good as they can be. They deserve a lot of credit for their efforts. Josh Murphy is available for Cardiff. He was on the bench against Everton. He is key player for Cardiff, so he’d expected to feature against Wolves.
Last season in the Championship Wolves won 0:1 at Cardiff while the Bluebirds won 1:2 at Molineux. However, both teams are in the Premier lEague now and the point will be very important for both of them.
Crystal Palace vs Burnley
Crystal Palace have been better on their visit to Old Trafford than most analysts expected and they have deserved to get a draw. The points they have won is very important and kept them above the relegation zone. Burnley on the contrary, despite playing very well at home against Newcastle, lost and are now going to London to play against a very motivated side.
Scott Dann, Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham are on the injury list for Palace. Stephen Ward and the goalkeeper Nick Pope are not available for Burnley.
I looks to me that Palace will win that one:
Crystal Palace to win: 2:1
Huddersfield Town vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Few weeks ago it looked like Huddersfield simply don’t have a team good enough to win games and to keep their Premier League place for another season. However they have beaten Fulham at home, then drawn at home against West Ham then picked up 3 point at Molineux, where most people didn’t expect them to draw or win. This is what Premier League is about. It is not just being a better team than your opponents, it is also about to be more motivated one. Now Huddersfield welcome Brighton a team who has a similar capacity and who is also fighting to stay in the top flight. Brighton have won one of their last three visits against Newcastle by 0:1 and lost two 3:1 against Everton and 2:1 against Cardiff City with the latter one meaning that, they are quite unpredictable. Huddersfield will be very motivated to win this game, but the draw looks a very likely result to me.
Leicester City vs Watford
I don’t know who’s team is the better one at the moment. In fact not the Foxes and the Hornets look to be at the same level. They are capable of going forward, score goals and win games against any team in the league and both of them aren’t stable enough in the back.
Time Cleverly, Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat are available for selection. And this gives more options to Javi Garcia to strengthen a squad who’s already good enough. The striker Adalberto Penaranda is the only absence from the Hornets squad.
The of the important players in the Leicester squad are out. James Maddison is suspended while Harry Maguire is still struggling with an injury. I think that the Foxes can make it without Maddison but Maguire is really important figure in their starting line up.
Both teams are not ones that enjoy drawing games as both managers play to win. We need to keep in mind that Leicester usually win their home games against Watford. However, this is a fixture which looks like a possible draw to me. Despite that I’ll be traditional in my projection.
Leicester to win: 2:1
Manchester City vs AFC Bournemouth
No one expects Bournemouth to get something out of this fixture. City scored 16 goals against Bournemouth since 2016 and conceded only one. Whoever suggests that Bournemouth can get a result at Etihad, is simply playing against all odds. It is not a game that Man City will loose, even if Bournemouth find a way to make this fixture a hard one for the Pep Guardiola’s team.
Man City to win: 2:0
Newcastle United vs West Ham United
The Hammers drawn twice on their last two visits to Leicester City and Huddersfield. The have improved a bit under Mauricio Pellegrini, but now are going to St James’s Park to play against a Newcastle side which is unbeaten in 3 consecutive games.
I thought that Newcastle will not be able to return to winning ways and they are one of the team with the highest chances to get relegated this season. However, it looks like that having Rafaela Benitez as manager was the best decision that the Magpies boss have made after he has bought the club. He needs to match Benitez expectations in terms of bringing better players to the club. Otherwise it will be hard even for Benitez to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
Newcastle to win: 2:1
Southampton vs Manchester United
This looks like a win for United to me. The Jose Mourinho’s team is underperforming in the Premier League, but Southampton are not in a good moment and they probably need to buy players during hte January transfer window and to strengthen their squad.
Alexis Sanchez is doubtful and Victor Lindelof is out for United, but Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba are available to be included into the united’s starting eleven. Matt Targett is doubtful for the Saints while Ryan Bertrand and Danny Ings are not available.
Manchester united to win: 0:2
Chelsea FC vs Fulham
Claudio Ranieri has made an instant impact and The Cottagers, but I don’t think they are prepared to get something out of their visit to sTamford Bridge. Chelsea have recently lost some points and I believe that they will win this one, not matter who plays and who doesn’t.
Chelsea to win: 2:0
Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur
This is big game as it always was. However, this one is not just another North London derby. The result will be important for the progress both teams are making towards top of the table. For Arsenal it is a step forward in their efforts to reclaim their place in the Premier League’s top 4. For Tottenham it is a test on whether they will keep their theoretical chances to chase for the title. Spurs are only 5 points behind the leaders Manchester City and if City slip, they’ll be able to close the gap to 3 or even to 2 points.
I think that this game will be very much about strategy. If Arsenal disrupt the Spurs passing and close the flanks, they will be in a good position to win the game. If they show defensive vulnerabilities and surrender possession to the Tottenham’s midfielders, they will suffer. So, for Arsenal possession will be important, but at the same time their strikers must be clinical, as they will not have a lot of chances to score.
Liverpool vs Everton
Liverpool have been unconvincing in the Champions League this season and lost all three away games. Now they need to beat Napoli by two goals to get out of the group. Reds look like a more stable team this season compared to the last one. However, their game is much more predictable. As a result of that, it take more effort for them to win their games.
Everton are in a good moment of their development under Marco Silva and will give the Reds a fight. The Toffees have nothing to loose as their record at Anfield isn’t very good. They have drawn twice within their last 6 visits and lost 4 times.
For Liverpool, it is very much about how they will approach this game. If they start well and their strikers use the opportunities they will have, the Klopp’s side will win the game.
Liverpool to win: 3:1