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Paul Merson's Premier League predictions - Week 13

Paul Merson - Paul Merson Posted 28th November 2013 view comments

Chelsea v Southampton (4pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1)

Chelsea missed a trick in Basel in midweek. They qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, but they need to concentrate on the home game against Steaua in order to win the group. If they'd beaten Basel then they could have rested players for that match, which would have been very welcome with so many games in December.

Chelsea: Merse expects joy for the Blues on Super Sunday

Chelsea: Merse expects joy for the Blues on Super Sunday

Southampton did alright against Arsenal, even though Artur Boruc gave them a leg-up and they didn't look like scoring and getting back into the game. Teams like Arsenal are comfortable on the ball and that negates Southampton's pressing game - so a lot will depend on how quickly Chelsea can move the ball. Jon Obi Mikel plays the holding role and if Southampton can get around him and pressure him then they could have a bit of joy. However, if he moves the ball forward quicker than usual to Oscar and Eden Hazard then they will run riot in between the midfield and defence. Chelsea don't have such an amazing home record for nothing - and I don't see Southampton breaking that record.


Hull v Liverpool (1pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1)

Hull are very well-organised, but I just don't see them scoring enough goals. From the back through to the edge of the opposition penalty area they are a very decent side and they all know what they are doing, but up front they just don't look like scoring - and that's why I can't see anything but a Liverpool win here. Liverpool will score - Hull aren't going to be able to keep Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez quiet - and that will be the difference. Brendan Rodgers isn't in a position to rest players because they've picked up just four points from their last three games and they definitely can't afford to let that become four points from four games. He has to play his first XI and they will do the business.


Newcastle v West Brom (5pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1)

Both of these teams had indifferent starts to the season, but both of them have picked up of late. People were wondering if West Brom were going to turn out to be a one-season wonder, but they look good now. The only worry for me is that they have played well in the last two games against Chelsea and Aston Villa and didn't win either of them. If they lose this then it will be two points from three games which seems ropy. This will be a good game, but I'm just going for Newcastle because they've got more matchwinners in their squad. Loic Remy has proved to be an excellent finisher and Yohan Cabaye is a great player as well.


Man City v Swansea

This is a banker home win. I don't see anybody stopping Man City at the Etihad and they can rip anybody apart in their home games. Their forward players - Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo - are playing so well it's scary and Swansea have got no chance going there after a Europa League game on Thursday. They just aren't going to be able to live with this City team at the moment.


Tottenham v Man Utd

I thought Manchester United were poor against Cardiff and I don't expect them to beat Spurs. They had a great result in midweek in Europe against the team that are second in the Bundesliga (so don't try and tell me the German league is the best in the world...), but I fancy Tottenham on Sunday. I know they lost 6-0 last week, but I thought they played reasonably well in the first half and should never have been 3-0 down. They gave Man City a goal headstart in the first 14 seconds and they were always up against it. This game depends on whether Andre Villas-Boas puts two up front and goes for it or whether he plays the way he usually does. And by the way - talk of him getting the sack is a joke. That would be a huge mistake. I really think Tottenham will win this game, especially if Robin van Persie doesn't play.


Aston Villa v Sunderland

I can understand why Paul Lambert left Andi Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor on the bench against West Brom - if they weren't fully fit it would be better to have them come on and change the game than start. But I can't understand the method of playing Christian Benteke in the hole. If you're a centre-half it's a dream to see him dropping off into midfield. Fair play to Villa because they were out of that game and battled back for a draw. As for Sunderland, how long will they keep getting such bad luck? The Wes Brown red card is the worst sending-off I've seen in football. I don't usually back Villa at home, but Sunderland need to have a go and that could play into Villa's hands.


Cardiff v Arsenal

This is the start of a massive week for Arsenal. They are playing Saturday-Wednesday-Sunday against Cardiff away, Hull at home and Everton at home. If they can take nine points then they will be in a fantastic position. I fancy them too and I think they will beat Cardiff. Arsenal are very good on the ball against teams that close down - as we saw against Southampton last week - and their swift movement should be too much for Cardiff. My mate Dai won't like me saying that though!


Everton v Stoke

I am doing this game on Soccer Saturday and I think it will be a good game. Stoke got a good result against Sunderland last week and I think they deserved it, despite the dodgy red card. Meanwhile, Everton should have beaten Liverpool from 3-2 up. I think David Moyes would have shut up shop when they took the lead and I think Roberto Martinez needs to be more cute and canny sometimes. He likes to play open and free-flowing football and that gives other teams a chance to get back in the game. I would expect Everton to just win this.


Norwich v Crystal Palace

I watched Crystal Palace last week against Hull and I was well impressed with them. They made the wrong decisions in the final third a number of times, but otherwise they were good and were worth the win. However, I like Norwich and they are a better team than a lot of people give them credit for. I think this is a must-win game for Chris Hughton at home and I reckon they will do it.


West Ham v Fulham

This is a massive game for both teams, but I do think West Ham will be ok this season, I say that because they've got Sam Allardyce in charge. He has been in this situation too many times and I have no worries about them going down. In fact, I expect them to beat Fulham because Fulham are bordering on shocking away from home. Every time they kick off on the road it feels like the other team will have the points. I have to go for a home win.


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