The match every Premier League fans has been waiting for takes place this Sunday – as the two Manchester clubs face off at Old Trafford in a hugely important game, after the Merseyside Derby where Liverpool take on Everton under new manager Sam Allardyce.
Meanwhile champions Chelsea travel across London to take on West Ham, Spurs have a must win game at home to Stoke, while the Gunners will be looking to bounce back away to the Saints.
At the bottom, two of the promoted sides this season clash at Huddersfield, while the two Pl sides who are in the worst form this season clash – with both Swansea and West Brom looking for their first win since August and October.
Manchester United vs Manchester City
We’ve had to wait a while for it, but this Sunday the top two teams in English football clash finally clash. Guardiola’s City have been the main force this season – currently eight points ahead of their opponents, but haven’t quite been dominating teams the way they did earlier on. City have scraped their last three wins, with goals in the final few minutes in each game – adding to their first loss of the season in the Champions League. You could argue that Mourinho’s team is more in form – with a brilliant performance away to Arsenal last week. De Gea is proving very tough to score past, so it will be fascinating to see how City’s all-star attack will attempt to beat the Spanish keeper. This derby is set to be a huge game, but with Pogba out for United, and Silva potentially out for City, both sides will be without key men. I think this derby will be hugely entertaining, and see a close fought draw, with home advantage preventing a loss for the Red Devils.
Prediction: Man Utd 1 – 1 Man City
Liverpool vs Everton
Jurgen Klopp’s side are definitely looking the most in form in the League. Salah is the league’s top scorer, while the likes of Coutinho, Mane and Firmino aren’t looking bad themselves. Against Spartak Moscow, the Reds put on an attacking masterclass, hammering the Russian side 7-0, showcasing the attacking talent they have. Question marks still remain over their defence, so Liverpool fans will hope it won’t be tested this weekend in the Merseyside derby. Sam Allardyce faces a huge task in just his second game in charge for Everton. The Toffees have looked much better, winning their last two games, with Rooney looking particularly dangerous. To get anything from Anfield would be a success for Allardyce though, and I can’t see it happening with the form Liverpool are in.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 – 0 Everton
West Ham vs Chelsea
David Moyes hasn’t had the best of starts as West Ham manager, still looking for a first win. The former United manager though will be hugely proud of his team, after their performance at the Etihad. Moyes was not the fan favourite to become the new Hammers boss, so if results don’t pick up soon – it’s safe to say the West Ham faithful will let their feelings known. Chelsea on the other hand are looking good, with Hazard and Willian showing good form. Conte will be disappointed to miss out on top spot in the Champions League, and will wonder how his side failed to beat Athletico midweek. This should be a relatively straightforward win for the Blues, as they should have too much for a Hammers side with no confidence.
Prediction: West Ham 1 – 3 Chelsea
Tottenham vs Stoke
Ever since that memorable 3-1 win over Real Madrid, it’s not been far off a disaster for Pochettino and Spurs. They’ve just one wins in five in the League, and that being a scrappy 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Pochettino needs to turn things around fast, as Spurs are starting to drift away from the top four. At home to Stoke presents a great opportunity for some of these Spurs players to regain some form. Mark Hughes’s Stoke are having an underwhelming season so far. Victory at home to Swansea was vital, stretching away from the relegation zone. The Potters have still only managed four wins this season – and with some of the players they have at their disposal, they should be doing better. At Wembley it will be tricky though, so I can see Tottenham improving on previous performances.
Prediction: Tottenham 3 – 1 Stoke
Southampton vs Arsenal
Arsene Wenger will be frustrated with their home loss to United last weekend. The Gunners have been playing much better lately, and if it weren’t for an outstanding performance from De Gea, things may have been different for Wenger’s side. The Gunners look so much more threatening, with Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette looking much more threatening than earlier on in the season. The Saints meanwhile are looking comfortable in 11th, but fans still believe there is more to come. Pellegrino’s side still looks weak in attack, but will hope that Austin’s sudden return to goal scoring form will see them past Arsenal this weekend. Saints are usually poor at home, so I feel Arsenal may sneak a win here.
Prediction: Southampton 0 – 1 Arsenal
Burnley vs Watford
Both these sides have been the unexpected packages of the season – sitting in 7th and 8th place. Sean Dyche’s Burnley have been brilliant so far, and if it weren’t for a last minute penalty loss to Arsenal, the Clarets would be level on points with the Gunners. At Turf Moor Burnley are always difficult to beat, so it’s a tough ask for Marco Silva and Watford. The Hornets have also had a brilliant season so far, and sit just three points behind Burnley. Watford haven’t quite been as impressive as they were at the start of this season, but a win here would be a great achievement. It’s very difficult to score against Burnley – with the Clarets conceding just 12 goals – the third fewest in the league, but I expect a close fought draw.
Prediction: Burnley 1 – 1 Watford
Newcastle vs Leicester
After such a promising start to the season, results haven’t gone Benitez’s way, failing to win in their last six games – meaning the Magpies have dropped to 15th in the League. They still sit five points above the relegation zone, but fans will be concerned that if results don’t pick up soon they may have to face dropping to the Championship again. Claude Puel seems to have turned fortunes around for Leicester. Back to back wins, along with a return to form for Vardy and Mahrez has seen the Foxes rise to 9th. These sides have hugely contrasting form, but with Leicester’s attack looking more like their title winning attack, it will be difficult for Newcastle – even if they are at home.
Prediction: Newcastle 0 – 2 Leicester
Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth
Crystal Palace fans will be secretly pleased with how their side are performing at the minute. The Eagles haven’t lost in four, even if three have been draws, it’s a considerable turnaround for a side that failed to score in their first six matches. Roy Hodgson is slowly building confidence, but still faces a tough task of avoiding relegation. If they can keep their best players fit, they will stand a good chance. Bournemouth were looking much better, with results picking up – before another slight dip in form has meant they’ve failed to win in three. Cherries fans will still be satisfied being in 14th, but will know these sort of games against bottom clubs are must wins. At Selhurst Park, Palace will put in a good performance, but think this has a draw written all over it.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0 – 0 Bournemouth
Huddersfield vs Brighton
Terries fans will be wondering how they haven’t won in four matches. They’ve come up against top opposition, but will be frustrated to not have picked up anything, particularly against Man City – where they played superbly. Huddersfield usually perform well in front of their passionate fans, so it won’t be easy for the opponents this Saturday. Brighton have had a solid start to life in the Premier League too, but were well beaten by Liverpool at home – where they are generally quite tough to beat. Chris Hughton and Seagulls fans will still be delighted being in 12th, the highest of all the promoted sides. At home and without a win in four, I feel the Terries will put in a big performance.
Prediction: Huddersfield 2 – 1 Brighton
Swansea vs West Brom
Safe to say, this season hasn’t gone the way these two sides would of wanted. The Swans haven’t won since October, and are currently bottom of the League, having only scored eight goals – the joint fewest this season. West Brom meanwhile haven’t won since August – but fans are a little more hopeful now that they have Alan Pardew as their manager. This is a must win game for both sides, as both are in the worst form in the League. You feel whoever loses will have a long season ahead, meaning both sides may play not to lose. This is likely to be a low goal-scoring game, so I expect a draw.
Prediction: Swansea 1 – 1 West Brom