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Merse gives his verdict on all the weekend's games

Reading - Paul Merson Posted 29th November 2012 view comments

As ever, you can follow all the Premier League action this weekend on Sky Sports.

We asked Soccer Saturday expert Paul Merson to look at the fixtures and give us his verdict on where the games will be won and lost.

Every week he'll be here on skysports.com to share his views on who he expects to be the winners and losers of the weekend.

Redknapp: can inspire QPR to their first win of the season, says Merse

Redknapp: can inspire QPR to their first win of the season, says Merse

So read on for his shouts and don't forget to let us know your views via the comments box...

Ford Football Special: West Ham v Chelsea
12.30pm, Sat, Sky Sports 2 HD

I think Andy Carroll can pick up some form now that he has scored a goal, but I also feel Kevin Nolan will play a big role.

He is so hard to pick up and with Chelsea's holding players, Oriol Romeu and Jon Obi Mikel, not great at tracking back, he could get a lot of chances at the edge of the box.

I always thought West Ham would do the best out of the promoted teams because they have got a really experienced manager in Sam Allardyce and Southampton (Nigel Adkins) and Reading (Brian McDermott) don't. That makes a massive difference in this division.

Benitez has been booed at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea have a big following away from home and they'll make themselves heard if things aren't going very well!

They haven't really looked like scoring in Benitez's first two games; sometimes you draw 0-0 and you have 20 chances but that hasn't happened with Chelsea. Everyone should have seen that happening, though, because their new manager is very defensive.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1

Ford Super Sunday: Norwich v Sunderland
3.15pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD

Norwich are a bit more organised now and bit more solid at the back, a change from earlier in the season when they were letting in fours and fives. You won't win any football match if you do that - even if you're Barcelona.

Chris Hughton has gone back to basics and said: 'Let's make ourselves hard to beat'. They have done that and they always have a chance in games because they have got players that can make things happen, like Wes Hoolahan and Robert Snodgrass in midfield and Grant Holt up front.

I thought Hughton did a good job at Newcastle and the way he has been able to pick Norwich up after a poor start shows what qualities he has. They are sitting in mid-table now and this is a much bigger game for Sunderland than it is for them.

I watched Martin O'Neill's team against QPR in midweek and they weren't very good at all. They had no spark.

Lee Cattermole went off very early and they missed him because he is a must in their side; he gets his team-mates and the fans going with his attitude, while Adam Johnson looked a shadow of what he was.

I think O'Neill is under pressure because of where they are in the league and because they have spent a lot of money on Johnson and Steven Fletcher. I don't think he will be sacked but it is probably the first time he has been under fire in his managerial career.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

Ford Monday Night Football: Newcastle v Wigan
7pm, Mon, Sky Sports 1 HD

I think Newcastle's run of four defeats on the spin is down to injuries. When they can get their best XI on the pitch they are a match for anyone but, like Everton and West Brom, if they are missing a few players they are going to struggle.

What will be worrying for Alan Pardew, though, is the sides they have lost to; they have been beaten at home by West Ham and Swansea, got well beaten at Southampton and, although, they could have nicked the match, they lost at Stoke on Wednesday.

Without being disrespectful, they are bottom-half teams and Alan would have looked at a lot of those games and thought: 'We are looking at seven points here, if not nine'.

Newcastle would rather be playing Wigan than Man United but Roberto Martinez's team can play on the day. Their football can be very good and I thought they were pretty unlucky against Man City in midweek.

However, we tend to say 'Wigan' and 'unlucky' in the same sentence a lot and if you keep being unlucky something's not right. I think they will lose again at Newcastle - but only just.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0

Arsenal v Swansea
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1

I think Arsenal will just about win this, but if Swansea go out with the confidence they showed against West Brom they will give Arsenal a massive scare. I think Lukas Podolski, if he gets over his virus, could be a big player for Arsenal; he seems to be settling in now and you don't play 100 times for a country as good as Germany if you're poor.

Fulham v Tottenham
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2

Tottenham got a good result in the week at home to Liverpool, but so did Fulham, who drew with Chelsea. I will go for the away team, though, because Brede Hangeland is still suspended for Fulham and Tottenham have Moussa Dembele back; the Belgian has started five games for Spurs this season and they have won them all.

Liverpool v Southampton
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

I will go for Liverpool because of the Luis Suarez factor but it won't be a walk in the park. I am a little bit more confident that Southampton will stay up now; they have picked up a few results and have a very good team spirit. But they should have beaten Norwich after going 1-0 up and dropped points like that can mount up.

Man City v Everton
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

I thought Everton were unfortunate to only draw with Arsenal in midweek, but they have only won one in eight now and they cannot finish teams off. Man City have a couple of clean sheets in the bank now, including a very easy one at Chelsea and they always have that bit of class that can finish teams off - like James Milner's strike against Wigan.

QPR v Aston Villa
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0

QPR were better than Sunderland the other day, but there was still something missing, and with Villa winning, Rangers have to win this game, while Paul Lambert's team will be okay with a draw. Villa are young but they do have a bit of pace in the team with Andreas Weimann and could be dangerous on the break - but the Harry Redknapp factor will get QPR the win.

West Brom v Stoke
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1

West Brom's defeat at Swansea was a case of 'Welcome back to the Premier League'. I thought they would win in Wales considering how well they were playing but they got a hiding. Stoke had a good result against Newcastle but there is something wrong there if you haven't won away for 16 games in the Premier League.

Reading v Man Utd
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3

Football is a funny old game and you can't count anyone out in the Premier League - just look at what Norwich did to Man United a couple of weeks ago. But Reading looked very poor at Aston Villa in midweek and I don't really remember them having a shot. I think Man United will get a comfortable win and stay top of the table.

Follow Saturday's football on Soccer Saturday from 12noon on Sky Sports News HD and then see extended highlights on Football First from 8.25pm on Sky Sports 2 HD.

Comments (3)

  • Page 1 of 1
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Micheal Molloy (Manchester United fan) says...

Hope you are wrong in the Chelsea game, Merse, as it would cost me ¿410. Apart from that, I like your predictions.

Posted 16:43 30th November 2012

Dave Stubbs (Stoke City fan) says...

Merse....nearly bang on but Stoke will carry on what we've been doing for the last 27 and showing the Baggies how it's done. That will be all.....

Posted 15:28 30th November 2012

Morgan Bonello (Manchester United fan) says...

Paul well done for your predictions. Just think that you will get them right

Posted 12:49 30th November 2012

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