Merson's predictions: Arsenal to beat Leicester before Spurs hold Man City on Super Sunday
Last Updated: 13/02/16 6:28pm
The Premier League title race approaches a potentially defining weekend, and Sky Sports' Paul Merson looks ahead to the mouth-watering round of fixtures which sees the current top four face off on Super Sunday.
Up first, leaders Leicester travel to the Emirates Stadium looking to continue their remarkable rise against an Arsenal side hoping to keep their hopes of a first title in 12 years alive.
Aston Villa then look to boost their unlikely bid for survival against Liverpool before the title race takes centre stage once again as second-placed Spurs travel to Manchester City.
Last week's predictions
|Man City 1-3 Leicester||3-1|
|Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich||1-1|
|Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland||2-1|
|Newcastle 1-0 West Brom||2-1|
|Stoke 0-3 Everton||2-2|
|Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace||1-1|
|Tottenham 1-0 Watford||3-1|
|So'ton 1-0 West Ham||2-2|
|B'mouth 0-2 Arsenal||2-2|
|Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd||3-2|
It proved to be another tough round of predictions last time out with the Magic Man managing just one correct score and two correct results. Scroll on to see how who Merson is tipping this week…
Arsenal v Leicester - 12pm, Super Sunday
Arsenal have to win this game for me but they are set up perfectly for Leicester, exactly the same as Man City were last week. Arsenal will have loads of the ball and then bang, Leicester will hit them on the counter. Leicester absolutely slaughtered City so Arsenal have got to be careful. They are nowhere near as good a team as Arsenal but they play a certain way which can majorly hurt them.
This game will come down to how the first 25 minutes pans out. If Arsenal score early I fancy them to run away with it but if they don't I fancy Leicester. Arsenal will continue to bomb forward for a goal and that plays right into the hands of the league's best counter attacking side. However, having said that, Arsenal's class should prevail, but it wouldn't shock me one iota if Leicester won.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 7/1)
Man City v Tottenham - 4.15pm, Super Sunday
If I'm being honest, I don't see Spurs winning this game. They haven't got pace on the counter like Leicester have so I'm unsure how they'll hurt Man City. I don't see them losing the game though, they'll get a draw which is still a great result ahead of a favourable home game against Palace next week.
Spurs have conceded 10 goals in their last two trips to the Etihad but this Tottenham team is a completely different animal under Mauricio Pochettino, this is one of the best sides they've had in years. Man City will no doubt cause Spurs problems too but I don't see either side running away with a game which is relatively well matched.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Aston Villa v Liverpool - 2.05pm, Super Sunday
This game is all about timing and this is perfect time for Aston Villa to be facing Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp's team have just been beaten over 120 minutes in the FA Cup and they've got the Europa League coming up on Thursday - for me their only chance of qualifying for the Champions League. Liverpool have to put all their eggs into one basket with the Europa League so I see Villa winning on Sunday.
If Villa can win this game, and reduce the gap to five or six points, then suddenly they're back in with a slim chance of staying up. Liverpool have been poor when defending set plays and that is where Villa look a threat, I fancy Joleon Lescott to bag the winner.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds 9/1)
Chelsea v Newcastle - 5.30pm, Saturday Night Football
Newcastle played really last week against West Brom and could have won by four or five. But, in the end, it was only 1-0 and West Brom had a chance to equalise late on, so it's worrying they didn't put the game to bed. Chelsea are a different side now the players want to have a go, they have really picked up under Guus Hiddink.
I've got to take Newcastle's dismal showing at Everton last week into consideration though, so I'm backing Chelsea here. Newcastle's away form has a greater influence than their impressive home performances.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Sky Bet odds 9/1)
Sunderland v Man Utd - 12.45pm, Saturday
Manchester United have turned the corner, I've been impressed. They looked really good at Chelsea and thoroughly deserved a draw at least. Sunderland, meanwhile, will have felt they did well against Man City, despite losing, and then they got a lucky draw at Liverpool if I'm being honest. We will have to see whether the speculation surrounding Louis van Gaal's future affects United but they seem to have turned the corner and I expect them to win at the Stadium of Light.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds 15/2)
Bournemouth v Stoke - 3pm, Saturday
I've watched Stoke a couple of times recently and they've gone! They've lost their last two games 3-0, teams at the bottom of League Two don't even do that - that is some going. I thought Bournemouth showed Arsenal too much respect in the first half on Sunday but they did improve after the break. I fancy them to win here as long as they put in a similar display as they did against the Gunners.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Most popular Super 6 prediction: 2-1)
Crystal Palace v Watford - 3pm, Saturday
I'm covering this game for Soccer Saturday and I fancy there to be goals. Despite drawing at Swansea last time out, Palace have got to start winning games to stop the rot. Neither side are in particularly good form if I'm being honest and they're both probably cup teams now, being a win or two away from all-but securing their Premier League status for next season. Watford's front two will be exciting as always and Palace always have a go wherever they play so I predict a Desmond.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2 (Most popular Super 6 prediction: 1-1)
Everton v West Brom - 3pm, Saturday
This is one of my bankers of the weekend. West Brom played 120 minutes at Peterborough where they struggled in fairness. Tony Pulis has got to decide whether to play Saido Berahino or not, they need to start scoring goals and he is their only viable option. Albion need results fast to avoid being further sucked into a fight for survival.
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Everton, meanwhile, have won their last three games 3-0, they've tightened things up at the back and going forward they are very, very good. Stoke haven't received a hiding at home like the one Everton dished out in many a day, they were unbelievable and it would have been six or seven had it not been for Jack Butland. I fancy Everton to make it four 3-0 wins on the spin
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Most popular Super 6 prediction: 2-0)
Norwich v West Ham - 3pm, Saturday
This game is another prime example of how the timing of football matches can affect the outcome. Norwich will have looked at the fixtures and probably wouldn't have fancied themselves against a West Ham side that has been flying this season.
However, when you consider the Hammers played 120 minutes in midweek, have an eye on the next round of the cup and probably can't qualify for the top four, then this the best time ever to play them. West Ham have got a great chance to win the FA Cup and have bigger fish to fry so I fancy Norwich to nick a vital win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Most popular Super 6 prediction: 1-2)
Swansea v Southampton - 3pm, Saturday
Southampton have really turned the corner. For Fraser Forster to do what he's done and keep five clean sheets is some going in a league where so many chances are created. You have to ride your luck to keep clean sheets in this league but take nothing away from Southampton - their dogged display against West Ham with 10 men was brilliant. I don't see Swansea scoring if I'm being honest, they've been so uncertain at the back I just see Saints winning.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-1 (Most popular Super 6 prediction: 1-2)