As we head into game-week 16 of the Premier League, Leicester City are flying high, Manchester United are suffering a mini-crisis and manager-less Swansea face Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad.
Here are my predictions:
Norwich 1-2 Everton:
Everton are showing the form and promise they’ve showed glimpses of over the last couple of seasons. Lukaku is proving a real handful for any defence, whilst Ross Barkley is fulfilling his potential, scoring 5 goals and providing 4 assists in 15 appearances.
Norwich are yet to impress this season, being underwhelming for the majority of the season. They show good attacking intent, but will succumb to Martinez & Co.
Crystal Palace 2-2 Southampton:
Two sides that know how to attack. Palace boast the skilful duo of Zaha and Bolasie, with an excellent player in Cabaye behind to dictate the play. The saint’s on the other hand have the creative and wonderful Dusan Tadic and the ever-impressing Pelle up front to ensure they get the goals they need.
Manchester City 3-0 Swansea:
After Garry Monk was sacked this week, and Manchester City topped their Champions league group convincingly, the ball is in City’s court. They trump Swansea in ability, confidence and form. Only one winner today.
Sunderland 1-1 Watford:
Sunderland had a disastrous start to the season, but have improved dramatically over the past few weeks, beating Stoke and Palace and pressuring Arsenal at the Emirates.
Whereas Watford boast the impressive duo if Ighalo and Deeney, who have contributed 20 goals between them this season.
West Ham 0-1 Stoke:
Stoke were extremely impressive against Manchester City last year – Shaqiri, Arnautovic and Bojan showing their real quality.
West Ham have been one of the most improved sides this season, and showed last week they know how to defend in their 0-0 draw with Manchester United. Winston Reid however is out of the game, that’s why I see Stoke nicking a win late-on.
Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United:
There’s no choice but for Manchester United to go all out attack this week. They don’t boast their usual impressive defensive qualities, with Smalling, Darmian and first-team left-back, all out through injury or suspension.
Bournemouth are coming off a impressive win against Chelsea last week, and have the home advantage. On a pitch clearly not at the level of Old Trafford I can see United resorting to route-one football with Fellaini up top.
Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal:
A great week for Arsenal, progressing to the Champions League knock-out stages for the 13th year running. Aston Villa on the other hand are struggling with only 6 points in 15 games.
Giroud’s mid-week heroics and the ever-improving form of Mesut Ozil, The Gunners will ease past Villa. Joel Campbell will grab himself a goal.
Liverpool 0-0 West Brom:
Tony Pulis will go to Anfield, hoping for a point and a point is exactly what he will get. Pulis is known for his defensive solidarity and Liverpool are still yet to find their strongest team.
Another week of finding themselves as a team will result in a boring, 0-0 draw.
Tottenham 3-1 Newcastle:
Undefeated since the opening day of the league, Mauricio Pochettino has improved Spurs immensely, trusting his young players, such as Deli Alli, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela being 3 stand-out players at White Hart Lane.
Newcastle are as random as ever this year, they could go from playing like Barcelona one week, to a league 2 side the next week.
The only plus side of the Magpies season is the impressive form of Georginio Wijnaldum. The young Dutch star has been stellar for Newcastle this season, scoring 7 and assisting 2.
Tottenham will inevitably be too strong for Steve McClaren’s side and will dominate the match.
Leicester 1-1 Chelsea:
I think this seek is Chelsea’s week to get a result. Usually, a result for Chelsea would be win, but seeing as Leicester are flying high at the top of the league, a result away at the King Power stadium would be great for Mourinho’s side.
On the other hand, drawing to an under-performing Chelsea side would be disappointing for Raineri’s men. Mahrez and Vardy have run riot this year and will be looking to get on the score-sheet against a Chelsea side in poor form.