Updated: Jan 4
Everton (H) vs West Ham United (A)
Head to Head: Everton 26 wins West Ham 9 wins 13 draws
Everton have Richarlison back for the match against the Hammers but are still without James Rodriguez, Allan & Lucas Digne. David Moyes is looking for his first win at Everton since he left his managerial role in 2013. The Toffees have made a habit of winning against the Hammers having won more games (26) and scored more goals (86) versus the Hammers than any other premier league side. If they win, the Toffees will have 5 straight wins in the premier league since April 2014 when they won 7. Prediction: Everton 2-1
Manchester United (H) vs Aston Villa (A)
Head to Head: ManUtd 35 wins Aston Villa 3 wins 12 draws
Both teams are in the top 5 in the premier league and are unbeaten in their last 5 games. ManUtd are getting some incredible returns from playmaker Bruno Fernandes who is single-handedly willing the Red Devils to some fantastic results which sees them in 2nd place. Indeed, the Red Devils have lost only 3 of their matches since the Portuguese midfielder made his debut in Feb 2020 (W18 D8). The Villains have been super organised at the back this season and Anwar El Ghazi has benefited with Dean Smith's change in formation to 4-2-3-1 from the 4-3-3 since Ross Barkley's injury. The Dutchman can become the first Aston Villa player to score in 4 consecutive matches since Christian Benteke in April 2013.
Prediction: ManUtd 3-1
Tottenham Hotspur (H) vs Leeds United (A)
Head to Head: Leeds 10 wins Spurs 8 wins 6 draws
Spurs have fallen off after their spectacular start to the season. The Hotspurs last won on Dec 6 against their London rivals Arsenal but since then have had 2 draws & 2 losses and need to recapture their early season form to bounce back. Leeds were at their swashbuckling best against West Brom with 4 first half goals that ended the contest last week for the Baggies early on. The Peacocks can be damaging in full attacking mode but have also defensive frailties exposed by top sides like the 6-2 drubbing against Manchester United.
Prediction: 2-2 draw
Crystal Palace (H) vs Sheffield United (A)
Head to Head: Crystal Palace 2 wins Sheffield United 2 wins
Neither team has won in their last 5 matches in the premier league but Palace have been a bit better thanks to Wilfried Zaha. The Eagles forward has 8 goals so far this season and could better his tally of 10 goals overall in the 2018/2019 season which would be only the 2nd time he would reach double figures in his career. The Blades won both matches against the Eagles last campaign. The last time the Eagles lost 3 consecutive games in the league to Sheffield United was April 1973. Prediction: Sheffield United 1-0
Brighton & Hove Albion (H) vs Wolverhampton Wolves (A)
Head to Head: Brighton 1 win 3 draws Wolves 0 wins
Brighton remind me a lot of Bournemouth in the premier league. They play an attractive brand of football but eventually succumb to the defensive frailties that style of play exposes them to counter-attacks from the opposition. Raul Jimenez might make a comeback after his absence from a head injury and so could Wily Boly, Leander Dondecker & Marcal which would give Wolves manager Nuno some options for a squad that has struggled to string together a consistent campaign as they did last year. Tariq Lamptey is still out for Brighton but Neal Maupay has scored 15 goals since the start of last season, 9 more than any other Brighton player but only 2 out of his last 9 have come at home.
Prediction: Wolves 1-0
West Bromwich Albion (H) vs Arsenal (A)
Head to Head: Arsenal 16 wins West Brom 4 wins 4 draws
The Gunners could move further away from the relegation zone and win 3 matches in a row for the first time this season with a win against the Baggies. The Gunners could see Willian, Gabriel & David Luiz all return. The Baggies were smacked for 5 including 4 in the first half by Leeds last week and another defeat. Arsenal have scored in all 24 of their games against West Brom, the best 100% scoring record by one side against an opponent in the competition history. Prediction: Arsenal 2-0
Burnley (H) vs Fulham (A) ppd
Head to Head: Fulham 2 wins Burnley 1 win 1 draw
Fulham will have break a long standing record of not having won a game at Turf Moor against the Clarets in all competitions (30 games and counting) stretching back to April 1951, a run of 30 games. The Cottagers have drawn their last 4 games in a row and with Burnley having scored just 9 goals to Fulham's 13, this could be a game that Fulham could capitalise on and bag a relegation 6 pointer win. Prediction: Fulham 2-1
Newcastle United (H) vs Leicester City (A)
Head to Head: Newcastle 11 wins Leicester 10 wins 5 draws
Newcastle will be without Allan Saint-Maxim while Leicester will welcome back Wesley Fofana & James Maddison, who both missed the last match against Crystal Palace. Cengiz Under will also be available after recovering from a hamstring problem. Newcastle are in 15th position and while currently safe, a loss would certainly see them in relegation territory danger. Manager Steve Bruce hasn't won any of his 7 home matches against Leicester in all competitions (D4, L3) while Jamie Vardy has been involved in 6 goals in his last 7 premier league matches against Newcastle, scoring 5 and assisting 1.
Prediction: Leicester 3-0
Chelsea (H) vs Manchester City (A)
Head to Head: Chelsea 26 wins ManCity 13 wins 7 draws
While Manchester City come into this game unbeaten over their last 5 games, preparation for manager Pep Guardiola has been thrown in doubt after a positive Covid result for 3 first time players, in addition to Kyle Walker & Gabriel Jesus. While the names of players have been withheld, City will undoubtedly miss the trio with a number of fixtures upcoming in the first month of 2021. Oliver Giroud is the man in form for Chelsea and has continued his rich goal-scoring form. Frank Lampard will be keen to arrest a slide in form at Stamford Bridge having lost his last 3 away games. Look for Sergio Aguero to play an important role for the Citizens. Prediction: 2-2 draw
Southampton (H) vs Liverpool (A)
Head to Head: Liverpool 22 wins Southampton 10 wins 10 draws
The Saints will be without first choice GK Alex McCarthy who has tested positive for Covid19. Fraser Forster will deputise in his place. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will have an unchanged team and could also start Thiago from the start after the Brazilian midfield came through unscathed in his first game back from injury last week. The Saints have the enviable record of having beaten all 6 PL winning sides defending their PL title in the following season. If they beat Liverpool, they will be the first team to beat all seven PL champions in the following season after the PL title. With Danny Ings slowly finding his way back to form and Theo Walcott finally playing to his potential and creating opportunities, the Reds manager will be looking for his team to start well with the Reds unbeaten their last 8 matches against the Saints (W6 D2) and keeping a clean sheet in 6 of those matches. For Southampton, striker Danny Ings has been directly involved in 38 goals (31 goals, 7 assists) since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-0
Last Week: 4 out of 8
Overall season: 73 out of 153
Prediction Success: 47.7%