I may have missed last week’s games and a prediction for Brentford’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on Monday night for this round of predictions, but the predictions return as we almost reach the halfway point of the season. Below are my nine predictions for the games from Tuesday to Thursday night.
|Premier League predictions – week 17||My prediction|
|TUESDAY, 3 JAN|
|Arsenal v Newcastle||3-2|
|Everton v Brighton||1-3|
|Leicester v Fulham||1-2|
|Man Utd v Bournemouth||2-0|
|WEDNESDAY, 4 JAN|
|Southampton v Nott’m Forest||1-1|
|Leeds v West Ham||1-0|
|Aston Villa v Wolves||1-0|
|Crystal Palace v Tottenham||1-2|
|THURSDAY, 5 JAN|
|Chelsea v Man City||0-4|
All games kick off at 19:45 GMT unless otherwise stated
TUESDAY, 3 JANUARY
Arsenal v Newcastle
Newcastle were unlucky not to beat Leeds last time out, and despite weathering a storm at the end of their game with Brighton, Arsenal blew them away.
The Gunners are now seven points clear at the top of the table, and they are coping with every problem that gets thrown at them.
It will be the same again here. Newcastle are well organised defensively, but Mikel Arteta’s side are so impressive going forward.
Arsenal’s other two league games in January are against Tottenham (away) and Manchester United (home).
At the end of this month, we will have a much better idea about whether they can go the distance in the title race, but at the moment they look like they mean business.
My prediction: 3-2
Everton v Brighton
The sooner that Brighton’s World Cup winner, Alexis Mac Allister, is back in action for them the better but they do have another key midfielder, Moises Caicedo, back from suspension for this game, which is a big boost.
Everton got a great point against Manchester City but they really need a home win now to follow that up, and I am not convinced they have enough firepower to get it.
My prediction: 1-3
Leicester v Fulham
I like the way Leicester play and it was working very well against Liverpool until Wout Faes scored those two spectacular own goals, which was a bizarre way to lose.
Fulham, in contrast, were arguably a bit lucky to beat struggling Southampton last time out and I thought Marco Silva’s side were pretty lackluster – if they play like that again here, Leicester will win comfortably. But I reckon they’ll perform better this time around.
My prediction: 1-2Embed from Getty Images
Man Utd v Bournemouth
I am a bit concerned about where Bournemouth are heading – they have lost six of their past seven league games and conceded two poor goals from set pieces against Crystal Palace.
With five successive wins in all competitions, Manchester United are heading in the opposite direction.
It obviously helps a lot that Marcus Rashford is playing so well at the moment, but Erik ten Hag is doing a very good job and they are a team that looks full of confidence.
My prediction: 2-0
WEDNESDAY, 4 JANUARY
Southampton v Nottingham Forest (19:30)
Southampton have lost all three league games under Nathan Jones and have the worst home record in the Premier League – they have taken only six points from a possible 24 at St Mary’s Stadium, and haven’t won there since August.
But Nottingham Forest are the top-flight team with the worst record on the road – they have picked up only two points from eight away games, and scored only once.
Forest were great at home to Chelsea on Sunday and deserved to beat them but, for some reason, they don’t seem able to play that way away from the City Ground.
Both teams are desperate for a win to climb out of the relegation zone, but it’s hard to make a case for either of them to come out on top – I’m going for a draw.
My prediction: 1-1
Leeds v West Ham
Leeds gave Newcastle a decent game last time out, and defended well to get a draw. I would say the way they play suits West Ham, but I don’t see the Hammers improving here.
David Moyes’ side have lost their past five Premier League games while only scoring twice and that lack of goals is probably their biggest problem.
So, I am writing them off here – although I’ve been wrong about them many times before.
My prediction: 1-0
Aston Villa v Wolves (20:00)
We’ve already seen an improvement from Wolves under Julen Lopetegui. They lost to Manchester United last time out but they ran them very close and played with a bit of purpose, and I am expecting that to continue here.
I like what Unai Emery is doing with Aston Villa too and it will be interesting to see his approach here. They are also a well-drilled side, and this should be another close game in which I expect Villa to come out on top.
My prediction: 1-0
Crystal Palace v Tottenham (20:00)
This is a game between two teams who are both so inconsistent it is hard to know exactly what to expect.
I really don’t have a clue whether Tottenham will turn up, but if they don’t win then I do know that their manager Antonio Conte will have an excuse ready – it’s never his fault, is it?
I don’t think Spurs have been good enough all season and I can understand why their fans have been so frustrated when they phone up to complain about Conte’s style of football either on talkSPORT.
Crystal Palace’s performances have also been very up and down and although they got a good win against Bournemouth last time out, there is no guarantee they will follow that up here and carry the same attacking threat we know they possess.
In fact, it’s far more likely they will find a way of stuffing this up, regardless of how well Tottenham play.
My prediction: 1-2
THURSDAY, 5 JANUARY
Chelsea v Man City (20:00)
I like Graham Potter and I want him to do well but if you were a Chelsea fan you would be worried about what you had seen under him so far.
His side were lucky to escape with a point against Forest on Sunday but the result isn’t the problem, it’s more the manner they got it.
I am a Potter fan but I am not seeing any style or identity from his team at the moment, and they will need to put up much more of a fight against City.
I think Pep Guardiola’s side will play with some anger and take out some of the frustration of their draw with Everton here. Chelsea will pose a threat on the break, but they could be overwhelmed at the other end.Embed from Getty Images
My prediction: 0-4
So there you have it – my nine predictions for the Premier League’s fixtures this game week.
Do you agree with me? Or have I got it all wrong this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our Twitter page, @OverTime_Online, and let’s wait and see what happened come Thursday night.