Merseyside & London derbies headline the action – Premier League Weekend Preview

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Another enthralling weekend of Premier League action awaits, with vital matches taking place up and down the country—including the Merseyside derby.

Liverpool roared back into form on Wednesday night, dispatching of Watford 5-0 at Anfield and retaining their one-point lead over Man City.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men face a stern test this weekend, with Everton awaiting in the Merseyside derby, hellbent on damaging their rivals’ title hopes.

The Reds should be too strong for their opponents, but derbies always have the potential to cook up something unpredictable.

Away from the much-anticipated clash, there are nine more top-flight games to look forward to, one of which directly impacts Liverpool.

 

Tottenham vs. Arsenal – Saturday, 12.30pm – Sky Sports

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 23, 2018: Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tottenham‘s title hopes have gone up in smoke in the last week, with back-to-back defeats to Burnley and Chelsea surely ending their dream for another year.

The main aim for Mauricio Pochettino and his players is to stay in third place, with a crucial north London derby on the horizon on Saturday.

Spurs are now only four points clear of Arsenal, so defeat to the Gunners would make things very interesting, even in terms of a top-four finish.

Pochettino’s men are still superior to their adversaries, however, and they will have too much.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal

 

Bournemouth vs. Man City – Saturday, 3pm

Bournemouth's Nathaniel Clyne (Image: Mark Kerton/PA Wire. )

Man City are not going away without a fight, which is no surprise.

The champions do not look entirely convincing at present, though, with injuries to key players testing what is an admittedly formidable squad.

They visit Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, in what could either be a spring stroll in the park or an awkward 90 minutes.

The Cherries will attack City, which is likely to play into the visitors’ hands, but they do have quality that can hurt the top teams.

Nathaniel Clyne will do his best to help out of his permanent employers but City should prevail.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-3 Man City

 

Brighton vs. Huddersfield – Saturday, 3pm

Brighton & Hove Albion's Pascal Gross (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images)

Brighton find themselves very much in the relegation mix, having seemingly been well clear of danger at one point.

They are only two points ahead of the drop zone, admittedly with a game in hand, making Saturday’s visit of bottom-placed Huddersfield vital.

The Terriers are essentially doomed, despite a late win over Wolves in midweek, but they can do their fellow strugglers a favour at the Amex.

It should a much-needed win for the hosts.

Prediction: Brighton 2-0 Huddersfield

 

Burnley vs. Crystal Palace – Saturday, 3pm

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 21, 2018: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Crystal Palace FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Two more teams who are not yet safe meet at Turf Moor, as Burnley entertain Crystal Palace.

Both are good enough to pull away from the pack in the remaining 10 games, but a few more bad results could lead to panic setting in.

This is unlikely to be a game you stay up to watch on Match of the Day, with Burnley dogged in style and Palace sitting back and looking to hit their opponents on the counter-attack.

A point apiece is likely—Sean Dyche and Roy Hodgson would arguably both take it.

Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Crystal Palace

 

Man United vs. Southampton – Saturday, 3pm

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 12, 2019: Manchester United's Paul Pogba during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Manchester United FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to impress at Man United, inspiring Liverpool’s rivals to a 3-1 win at Palace on Wednesday evening.

The fight for a top-four finish is becoming a thrilling one and United should add three more points to their tally on Saturday.

Southampton head to Old Trafford desperate for points, although the midweek win over Fulham has eased their nerves significantly.

Under Jose Mourinho, it was easy to envisage United drawing a game like this, but with Solskjaer at the helm that is unlikely.

Prediction: Man United 2-0 Southampton

 

Wolves vs. Cardiff – Saturday, 3pm

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 21, 2018: Wolverhampton Wanderers' captain Conor Coady during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wolves still sit seventh in the table, despite a shock defeat to Huddersfield on Tuesday.

There is a risk that their season could peter out a little in terms of intensity, although the lure of European football next season may prevent that.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s team host Cardiff on Saturday, with the Bluebirds occupying 18th place after two heavy home defeats in succession against Watford and Everton.

Wolves should be too good, but Neil Warnock is capable of springing surprises.

Prediction: Wolves 2-1 Cardiff

 

West Ham vs. Newcastle – Saturday, 5.30pm – BT Sport

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Wednesday, December 26, 2018: Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Saturday evening offering doesn’t look a classic on paper.

West Ham could be the first team to ‘hit the beach’ this season, sitting mid-table and with little to play for.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have enjoyed an excellent week, winning back-to-back matches and moving six points ahead of Cardiff.

Rafa Benitez is still doing a wonderful job, especially considering the off-field issues at St James’ Park, and his side may get something in east London.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Newcastle

 

Watford vs. Leicester – Sunday, 12pm – Sky Sports

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 26, 2015: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers during the Premier League match against Aston Villa at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On a day that sees Sky Sports host a triple-header of Premier League action, this is the match to avoid.

Watford‘s visit of Leicester has little riding on it as a contest, with defeat for either not proving too problematic.

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will take charge of his first game as Foxes boss, which does at least give the game a slightly interesting edge.

A draw sounds about right.

Prediction: Watford 1-1 Leicester

 

Fulham vs. Chelsea – Sunday, 2.05pm – Sky Sports

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 26, 2018: Chelsea's manager Maurizio Sarri during the pre-match warm-up before the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Prior to Liverpool’s trip to Everton, Chelsea face a derby of their own—if you’re really calling their clash with Fulham a derby!

Maurizio Sarri appears to have turned a corner, earning sympathy after the League Cup final farce involving goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and beating Spurs on Wednesday.

The Blues are red-hot favourites to get the better of Fulham at Craven Cottage, with Claudio Ranieri’s men close to being as doomed as Huddersfield.

An easy away win.

Prediction: Fulham 0-2 Chelsea

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