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Paul Merson's Premier League predictions - Week 10

Paul Merson - Paul Merson Posted 31st October 2013 view comments

Cardiff v Swansea (3.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 and Sky 3D)

When the fixture list came out in July the first game I looked for was Arsenal v Tottenham because I used to play in North London derbies and I know what they are like. However, this was the second fixture I looked for because I can't wait to see it. This is a massive match with so much at stake and I don't think I've seen a South Wales derby in the top flight in my lifetime. I really can't wait for this game to kick off.

Villas-Boas: are his side too slow with the ball to beat Everton?

Villas-Boas: are his side too slow with the ball to beat Everton?

Swansea have had a stop-start season, but seem to have picked up with a couple of good results in the last couple of weeks and I think they will get a draw on Sunday. We could get to a stage where neither of these teams will want to lose and nobody will want to make the mistake that costs his team the game. As a neutral, I want an early goal because that will give us lots of action but if it gets to 60 minutes all square then things could get a bit nervy and drizzle out. I don't think we will see any red cards though because if you look at the players on each team they are not really like that. Swansea are a nice football team and Cardiff play good football, so I don't see it boiling over. I think this will be tight.


Everton v Tottenham (12.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1)

Tottenham have been winning games, but they haven't been impressive. Their football is quite slow and mundane and they don't move the ball with a high tempo. They didn't move it quickly against a well-organised Hull team last week and that meant they had time to get two banks of four behind the ball and make life difficult for Spurs.

Andre Villas-Boas has criticised the fans for not getting behind the team enough and I think he's right and wrong. Maybe he thought because they won the game against Hull last week that he could speak out, but there was no need to say it and you don't want to upset the fans. You have to have action in a game to get fans going and I don't think there's enough tempo to their game and they don't score a lot of goals. That means that other team are always in the game and that's why I think the advantage will lie with Everton at home. Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley will get in good positions and can sneak it for Everton.


Arsenal v Liverpool (5pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1)

After watching Arsenal against Chelsea in midweek we learned that Arsenal don't have another centre-forward apart from Olivier Giroud at the moment. I feel sorry for Nicklas Bendtner because he hasn't played much and struggled against Gary Cahill and David Luiz with Arsenal not getting a lot of ball forward. That game showed how much they rely on Giroud and if he gets injured they will struggle to score enough goals. People talk about Aaron Ramsey's goals, but a lot of those have come from Giroud holding the ball up. Others can come in for one or two games, but they will struggle to win the Premier League without Giroud.

In contrast, Liverpool have got Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge - plus Philippe Coutinho to come back in. This should be a very good game and it's very hard to call because with the two stars up front, Liverpool are always in a football match. I don't think there's much between these two teams and whatever happens in the two games between the sides may determine who finishes higher. They're both in with a shout of the top four and they will be very close together at the end of the season. It will be very close in this game as well.


Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle had a damaging defeat to Sunderland last Sunday and then they went out of one of the only competitions they can win in midweek. To be fair, they did alright against Man City in the Capital One Cup but I don't see them beating Chelsea. They played a reserve team against Arsenal and still had 11 internationals on the pitch. I don't see anything but a Chelsea win.


Fulham v Man Utd

Just before their two second-half goals against Stoke you were thinking Man United were out of the Premier League title race and a top four finish might not be on. But what happened next was good and was like the old Alex Ferguson days. They came from behind like they used to and that was a big moment and this is another big game against a Fulham team that is struggling. Fulham have won at the right time at certain stages this season but they were shocking against Southampton; they made them look like the Harlem Globetrotters! Away win surely?


Hull v Sunderland

I like Hull. I've watched a lot of them this season and they are arguably the most organised team in the Premier League apart from Southampton. I watched them against Tottenham last week and they were very comfortable; it took a shocking decision from the referee to deny them a point and they were never going to lose that game otherwise. Sunderland had a great result in the North East derby last week, but I think Gus Poyet would take a draw if he could. I think Hull might just edge it.


Man City v Norwich

I don't think Norwich are playing too badly at the moment. They lost 4-1 against Arsenal, but at 2-1 it looked like they were getting back in the game. In the game against Chelsea they looked like the team that was going to go on and win it when it got to 1-1. Last week they had 31 shots against Cardiff and couldn't score and against Man United in the Capital One Cup they suffered another bad decision and ended up losing 4-0. I don't see them winning against Man City, but I do see them doing ok. If City have one eye on CSKA Moscow then they could slip up because Norwich are not a bad team. They're not where they should be in the table right now.


Stoke v Southampton

Stoke were bang unlucky against Man United last weekend. If Marko Arnautovic hadn't got injured then they would have gone on and won the game in my opinion because he has plenty of guile and when the game opened up I think he would have picked United off. However, Southampton look good and keep on impressing me week-in, week-out. Last season this would have been a home banker because Stoke would have gone long and negated Southampton's squeezing game, but with Stoke rolling out from the back I see it being much tighter. Southampton will cause them problems.


West Brom v Crystal Palace

I see nothing but a West Brom win here because they are a decent team and, if I'm being honest, I can't really see where Crystal Palace are going to get another win from. People are talking about Tony Pulis going in there and he is a very good manager, but he likes to go from back to front a lot of the time and they have got no big centre-forwards. Look at Marouane Chamakh for example... he is not a big target man who will put himself about. I think Chris Coleman would be a better shout because he's a club legend and that gives you a bit more time because the fans are likely to stick with you longer.


West Ham v Aston Villa

Aston Villa can't seem to win at home and they really should have last week. They dominated Everton for the first 20 minutes and if they'd scored their penalty and their good chances then they would have won. Instead they went 1-0 down and ended up collapsing. West Ham will have to come at Villa because their fans will think they should win the game and that will play into the hands of the away team. For that reason I'm going for an away win.


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