Fulham vs Wolverhampton
I was impressed by the way Wolves played against Liverpool. They have went out to the pitch to outplay Liverpool. Wolves have been a bit unlucky that they haven’t opened the scoresheet. Who know whether Liverpool would win this fixtures if they had to come from behind. Wolves are a much better team than Fulham and if they have a good day, they would win.
Fulham have slightly improved under Claudio Ranieri, but they need to win 3 or 4 games in a row to take themselves out of the relegation zone.
Wolves to win: 1:2
Burnley vs Everton
It is a not good moment for Everton to visit Burnley, who are a team desperate to win some points. The Toffees have just been beaten badly at home by Tottenham. They have lost 2:6 and honestly I have no idea whether they can recover from this awful result. It was so bad that Everton are now on negative goal difference. On top of that Burnley know how to play against the Toffees as they have won 2:1 against them at home last season as well as in season 2016/17.
Robbie Brady is available for selection for Burnley while Winger Aaron Lennon, goalkeeper Nick Pope and left-back Stephen Ward are absent. Midfielder Steven Defour is also unlikely to featured against Everton.
Idrissa Gana Gueye is back in the Everton squad and Yerry Mina is expected to return in the starting eleven. Andre Gomes will miss the trip to Burnley, however.
Crystal Palace vs. Cardiff City
Palace have just recorded a heroic 2:3 win against Manchester City at Etihad. They are still very close to the relegation zone and now they welcome Cardiff in a game which is actually a “6 pointer as whoever wins will know only get all the point, but will also damage the opponents’s chances to keep their Premier League place.
The win at Manchester could be the first one of 2 or 3 wins in a row for Palace. They are at home now and they are in a good condition.
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate are expected to return for Crystal Palace, but Martin Kelly is doubtful. Christian Benteke remains injured, but it looks like Palace are blue to score goals without him.
Joe Bennett is expected to be back for Cardiff City, Jazz Richards is doubtfull due to hamstring injury, while Danny Ward is not available.
Crystal Palace to win: 2:1
Leicester City vs Manchester City
King Power Stadium is one one of the places where I would expect the Pep Guardiola’s men to drop some points. Unfortunately for them they have just lost 3 at home and more points dropped will damage a lot their chances to win the Premier League title.
On the contrary Leicester have just won 3 points at Stamford Bridge where no one expected them to do so. Jamie Vardy was again the likely hero for the Foxes. Claude Puel should decide on whether to start with Jamie Vardy, which will be the striker’s second start in five days. He has just recovered from a groin issues.
Matty James and Daniel Amartey are long terms absentees for the Foxes. Fernandinho might be available to play for Manchester City after missing the home loss against Crystal Palace. David Silva has returned to training, but he’s not yet ready to play. Defenders Vincent Kompany and Danilo are also doubtful, while Benjamin Mendy and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo are injured.
Now they welcome the champions in a good condition and will give them a fight. However, I still think that City will win.
Manchester City to win: 1:2
Liverpool vs Newcastle United
Newcastle’s visit to Anfield looks like easy 3 points Liverpool, at least in theory. The Toon are better on the road than in home, however. Rafael Benitez are capable of putting a strong defensive performance against the Reds and he will. So, the Liverpool strikers would better be clinical on Boxing Day if they want to keep the 4 point gap between them the Manchester City.
The injuries are a bit of a worry for the Liverpool at the moment as they have only two center halves available. So it is up to the Jurgen Klopp’s men to make this game easy with an early opener or to struggle until the 90th minute. One of the players who have been instrumental for Liverpool to get into the Premier League’s top stop Virgil van Dijk said:
“There is a long way to go. It’s a position that everyone wants to be in and we are in it at the moment. That’s the only thing it is and we need to keep going. The next game is Newcastle United on Wednesday and then Arsenal and Manchester City, so it can change but we are not going to think about that. We take it game by game.”
It os obvious that Liverpool prepare for a 10 days which possess both the biggest opportunity and the biggest threat for them. Each of the teams they play – Newcastle, Arsenal and Manchester City are capable of spoiling stopping Reds.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to return to the match day squad. Naby Keita is also close to be fit and Jurgen Klopp is about decide whether to put him on the bench or not. Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are expected to return at the end of January or February.
Newcastle will be without Ki Sung-yueng Joined the South Korea team for the Asian Cup. Jonjo Shelvey has a thigh injury, while Isaac Hayden is available to play. Ciaran Clark has had an ankle problem and the game against Fulham, while Federico Fernandez is available to play again. The goalkeeper Karl Darlow is still not recovered from an elbow injury.
Liverpool to win: 1:0
Manchester United vs Huddersfield
Huddersfield look like they are going back to the Championship, while Manchester United seem to be revitalized after the 1:5 away win at Cardiff. The United players look happy to see Mourinho go and they have obviously changed their attitude under Ole Gunar Solskjaer.
Huddersfield have a long list of injured players. One of their most important players Aaron Mooy is missing. Tommy Smith, Danny Williams and Abdelhamid Sabiri aren’t expected to be in the match day squad.
However, Jonathan Hogg should be available to play at Old Trafford after he missed the game against Southampton. The midfielder Rajiv Van La Parra is likely to return into the squad.
I can’t project anything but a win for the Red Devils, despite that I don’t expect the Terries to throw the towel.
Man United to win: 2:0
Tottenham vs AFC Bournemouth
Spurs have just blown Everton at Goodison Park by winning 2:6, one of their bigger wins on the road. Now they welcome a good Bournemouth side, who has just ended a run of bad results by winning by 2:0 at home against Brighton.
Bournemouth lost five time on their previous six meetings against Spurs in the Premier League and have drawn once – a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium in 2016.
Dele Alli is doubtful, while Moussa Sissoko could be rested by Mauricio Pochettino. Eric Dier is set to miss the game while Victor Wanyama and Serge Aurier are doubtful.
Lewis Cook, Adam Smith, Dan Gosling are not available for Bournemouth.
I think that Spurs will keep winning at lest until they welcome Chelsea on 8th of January.
Tottenham to win: 2:0
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal
Brighton are very strong at home and Arsenal fans should be worried about this fixture and they better win it as the next one is a visit to Anfield. Last season Brighton won this fixture by 2:1.
Shane Duffy is expected return in the Brighton’s starting eleven and to replace Lewis Dunk. They usually play together but Dunk is suspended for the Arsenal visit. Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Jose Izquierdo are injured.
Mesut Ozil will probably play again after missing a number of fixtures. Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin are not available for the Gunners. Unai Emery could probably include Shkodran Mustafi i the squad if he has recovered from his hamstring issue. Henrikh Mkhitaryan who has had a ankle injury has to be assessed before the game.
The Gunnners have dropped 3 point at St. Mary’s Stadium by loosing 3:2 against Southampton and I thin that if they are about to keep fighting for a top 4 finish, they can’t afford to loose this one.
Arsenal to win: 1:2
Watford vs Chelsea
The Hornets have recorded a great 0:2 win against West Ham at London’s stadium and demonstrated that they are a team capable of winning against anyone in the Premier League. Chelsea on the opposite lost their home game against Leicester by 0:1, a fixture no one expected the Blues to loose.
Will Hughes, Andre Gray, Sebastian Prodl and Adalberto Penaranda are still sidelined for Watford.
Maurizio Sarri can decide on recalling Olivier Giroud to his starting eleven and if he does so Eden Hazard is expect to be given a more free role in the Chelsea’s team. Alvaro Morata has recovered from a knee injury and would be included into the match day squad. Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek may start the game or at least be in the match day squad. Andreas Christensen is still out due to a hamstring injury.
I think that the Blues will bounce back at Vicarage Stadium and will get all the points.
Chelsea to win: 1:3
Southampton vs West Ham
The Saints have won two consecutive game under their new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl and I would not be surprised if they win another one. However, for any reason I have a feeling that the injury hit Hammers would get something out of this fixture.
A good news for West Ham is that one of their star players, the striker Marko Arnautovic is probably fit enough to either start the game or be put on the bench. Southampton are without midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand aren’t also likely to play.
A good news for West Ham is that one of their star players, the striker Marko Arnautovic is probably fit enough to either start the game or be put on the bench. However Fabian Balbuena and Javier Hernandez have joined on the Southampton’s long injury list. The Saints are still without Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Cedric Soares, Jack Wilshere, Ryan Fredericks, Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini. Ryan Bertrand is also unlikely to play. Lucas Perez will be assessed before the game.
Jack Wilshere, Ryan Fredericks (both ankle), Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Carlos Sanchez (knee), Winston Reid (knee) and Manuel Lanzini (ACL) remain long-term absentees.