Time to take Leicester City seriously
Arsenal 3 Southampton 1
Arsenal need to wipe the poor January results out of their system. One point from trips to Anfield and Brittania, plus a home tie against bogey side Chelsea, is not fatal to their title aspirations. I would start Mohammed Elneny to provide cover for the central defenders, who are still reeling from the savaging handed to them by Diego Costa.
Leicester 2 Liverpool 1
Wasn’t in the least impressed by Liverpool’s Capital One Cup penalty shoot-out victory. The high octane, full-pitch pressing game is denying Kop players time to think. Claudio Ranieri has a right to dream. His Foxes have one game a week till the end of this season. This means they will be fresh for tough fixtures like this one.
Norwich 2 Tottenham 3
Alex Neil was aghast at the kamikaze defending that allowed Liverpool to grab a late winner at Carrow Road. Spurs carry a more potent attacking threat, though I feel Jan Vertoghen’s enforced absence means the Londoners will concede more than usual.
West Ham 2 Aston Villa 0
I feel for Remi Garde. He has given the Villains some bite but they remain extremely blunt in front of goal. On the other hand, Slaven Bilic’s Hammers are buzzing with Dmitri Payet, Enner Valencia and Marco Antonio all carrying a genuine goal threat. I am tipping the Londoners to win this game with something to spare.
Sunderland 2 Man City 2
Jermaine Defoe is one of those natural goal scorers, who guarantee you goals and I think he will find the net again. Sunderland are Man City’s bogey side, having won this fixture more often than any other run-of-the-mill club. City’s woeful away form, which has seen them win only one away fixture all season means I can’t back them.
Man Utd 1 Stoke City 1
Manchester United must re-discover their adventurous spirit or perish. Goalless half-time scorelines are becoming a sore to the eyes of Red Devils fans. I was impressed by the technical master plan, which allowed Stoke to win at Anfield in the Capital One Cup. I can see the Potters frustrating United’s blunt attack.
Watford 0 Chelsea 1
Chelsea play their best football in away matches when they field two holding midfielders to protect the back four. Obi Mikel, Nemanja Matic and especially Cesc Fabregas were fabulous in disposing of Arsenal last Sunday. Guus Hiddink’s unbeaten start will continue if they show the form exhibited at Selhurst Park and Emirates Stadium. Another close 1-0 victory is on the cards.
Everton 2 Newcastle 1
These are the ultimate Jerkyl and Hyde teams of the league. They win when you expect them to lose and vice versa. Transfer window signings Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend mean the Magpies will carry a more serious goal threat, but I cannot see them out-dueling Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley. This is a home win.
C.Palace 1-1 Bournemouth
There is a new man in town. It is Togolese international Emmanuel Adebayor and all eyes will be on him if he can start banging in the goals for Palace.
West Brom 1-1 Swansea