So here are Dan’s Premier League predictions for this weekend’s games. With Chelsea and Man City squaring off can the Gunners leapfrog the Blues into Fourth place?
Saturday – 12.30
Bournemouth 2-3 Liverpool
With Eddie Howe’s ethos to play the game the right way this should play into Liverpool’s hands. They have a chance to go temporary top and put maximum pressure on City going into their evening date with Chelsea. Klopp puts too much emphasis on squad rotation this time of year and I think it will cost him over the Christmas period.
Arsenal 4-0 Huddersfield
A win at Old Trafford would have signified a change in mentality. Although a draw is not a bad result it does feel like a missed opportunity given, we might never get a better chance to win there. Emery’s task after a physically tiring week is not to take the visitors lightly. Stay professional, get the three points and everyone gets a well-deserved week off. I say this is the game where we will finally be leading at half time.
Burnley 1-0 Brighton
Complaints over their over physicality from Klopp will be music to Sean Dyche’s ears as it shows at least his players are responding which they haven’t been doing. Brighton somehow won against Palace, playing the majority of the game with 10 men. Physically and mentally that might have taken something out of them .
Cardiff 1-0 Southampton
At a time when Southampton fans needed a lift their owners produce an appointment with little imagination. Of course, there are examples where names not known in this country have done well in this League but having lost their identity in the last couple of years, now’s not the time to be hiring on the cheap, which seems to be the criteria. Arriving in December with lots of fixtures coming up, with his new side in the bottom three means this is not an ideal time to be implementing new ideas. He might experience a brand of football in Wales he hasn’t seen before.
Man United 2-0 Fulham
Man United’s standards have fallen so low that they are now being complimented for working hard against Arsenal. Given the history of the club that’s quite patronising. Imagine if they actually win a game?
West Ham 2-1 Palace
It’s not often I question the attitude of a Roy Hodgson side but the manner of how they lost in midweek was a setback, one that undermines how well they had played last weekend. I’m happy that Perez got a brace for West Ham on Tuesday. He never really was given a chance by Arsene Wenger and subsequent loan moves seemed to suggest the striker had lost his way. The Hammers have plenty of firepower but need to get them all into their team.
Chelsea 1-1 Man City
Liverpool will be thinking this is the few weekends on paper where City could realistically drop points. Mentally it could be huge for City to get through this round of fixtures still top of the table. I’m not sure how much Chelsea believe they can beat the Champions but with Hazard you always have a chance . Maybe as a neutral I want this to be a draw just so we get a title race this year
Leicester 1-2 Spurs
The excuse coming out of Spurs is they lost the North London Derby due to tiredness having had to play a huge a Champion’s League tie days before. That’s their fault for not recruiting anyone in the summer. The transfer window is a huge part of managing your club especially with a coach who every December complains about fixture congestion. His temptation might be to rest key names for the Nou Camp. Given that, this is not a game you want before a must win clash with Barcelona.
Newcastle 2-1 Wolves
I hope Mike Ashley is serious about the Toon being sold by Xmas. If not, he’s waited for his club to finally be getting results just to raise his fans hopes and dash them. As rightfully happy Wolves were to beat Chelsea, they need to ask why they can get going for the big sides but not have the same attitude/desire for games like this.
Everton 1-1 Watford
It’s becoming a recurring theme to talk about how well Everton have played and how unlucky they are. They are struggling to turn possession into goals and should be thinking about buying a natural goal scorer in January. Silva has nothing to prove to his former employers. Watford have sacked so managers who did well for them it was hypocritical for them to expect a young coach not to be tempted to jump to a bigger club.