Man City 2 Man Utd 1
I have to confess I don’t like what I saw in Manchester United’s one-all draw with West Ham or in City’s goalless stalemate with Norwich. But I think the home side will rouse themselves and put their eternal rivals to the sword. Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero will prove the difference.
Southampton 1 Liverpool 1
Jurgen Klopp is beginning to stamp his mark on Liverpool but he will be the first to admit that the victory over Crystal Palace last time out was extremely fortuitous. Southampton will ask even tougher questions now that Graziano Pelle is back on form. All the same, I fancy the Kop to return North with a share of the spoils.
West Brom 1 Norwich 0
One more win will propel the Brummies to safety. Norwich sat back and gained a valuable point at home to Man City. I don’t think they have that luxury in this game. They will be caught on the break as they try to push forward. I am ignoring a strong temptation to call a goalless draw.
Tottenham 2 B’mouth 1
Eddie Howe’s Cherries are in fine form but so are Spurs. The North Londoners most impressive title challenge in 50 years is hinged on academy products Harry Kane and Delle Alli. I cannot recall a player developing his game at the speed of 19-year-old Alli. He is arguably already England’s most complete midfielder. I am going for a narrow home victory.
Newcastle 1 Sunderland 0
The Black Cats have bossed this English Premier League fixture over the last couple of years in no small measure due to the fact they come into it with new managers. It is Newcastle United’s turn to benefit from new Spanish coach Rafa Benitez’s presence on the touchline. Player for player, the Magpies are the better side. It will tell tonight.
Everton 2 Arsenal 2
Club majority shareholder Stan Kraonke touched a raw nerve when he claimed the club’s brand does not depend on winning trophies. It was a huge slap in the face for world football’s most patient fans. Everton come into the game on the back of seven days’ rest unlike Arsenal who negotiated a daunting trip to Barcelona. More dropped points for the Gunners.
Swansea 2 Aston Villa 0
Swansea are scoring goal; a crucial quality to possess at such a critical stage of the season. Villa, on the other hand, cannot buy a goal. All indicators are that Swansea will condemn Remi Garde’s Villains to their first relegation since 1987. Andre Ayew and Gylfi Sigurdsson will ensure home comforts.
Watford 2 Stoke City 1