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Paul Merson's Boxing Day predictions

Paul Merson - Paul Merson Posted 24th December 2013 view comments

Hull v Man United (12.30pm, Boxing Day, Sky Sports 1)

Man United have won four games in a row in all competitions but I still don't think they've been really great.

People will say this is the start of United's notorious run in the second half of the season but they haven't got a vintage team at the moment.

A win for Tim: Merse says Sherwood will lead Spurs to victory over West Brom

A win for Tim: Merse says Sherwood will lead Spurs to victory over West Brom

United SHOULD beat Hull because they SHOULD beat most teams but Hull are decent at home - they have only lost once at the KC Stadium, let in just three goals, and beat a Liverpool side who are now smashing everybody out of sight.

Steve Bruce sets up his team well and will make it difficult for United but I think United will win this - though they are still not contenders to win the Premier League, for me.

PAUL PREDICTS: 0-1

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

This is a massive game and one that Villa have to win, in my opinion. If they lose, I think they could become one of the teams that get relegated; you always get a side that gets on a slippery slope and can't win a game for toffee and, with Christian Benteke out, Villa are in trouble.

If Villa don't beat Palace that will be four on the trot without a win and even though Palace have been brought back down to earth and are making bad mistakes, I think they will do enough to get a draw as Villa will really miss Benteke.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1

Cardiff v Southampton

It's brilliant for Cardiff and for football that Malky Mackay seems to be staying as you can't have people coming in and saying: 'You're sacked'. It's pathetic and cannot happen in the best league in the world - but football moves quickly and Mackay could be in danger again in a few weeks.

Southampton have hit a bit of a brick wall and are now letting in goals for fun when before they couldn't let any in, but they did well against Tottenham - and might not have lost if Emmanuel Adebayor wasn't playing - and I think they will get a draw here.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1

Chelsea v Swansea

Chelsea played like a Jose Mourinho side against Arsenal and I now think they are big players in the title race. Before that game I thought their chances were a bit iffy but if they play like they did at the Emirates they have every chance because they will stifle teams and get results. I don't see them getting anything other than a win against Swansea, either.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

Everton v Sunderland

Everton are flying along and getting great results but I don't think Sunderland are a bottom-of-the-table team and they should stay up. Everton will win this game but they aren't playing a group of no-hopers so I think this will be closer than a lot of people would expect.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

Newcastle v Stoke

Newcastle will win this. About seven weeks ago people were talking about them being in a relegation battle - and I was probably one of them - but they are flying along now and the game that probably changed things was the Tottenham one. They could have lost by at least six goals in that match but won it and haven't looked back. If they get all their players fit, they are a really good team.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

Norwich v Fulham

There always seems to be a relegation game each week and this is another one, but I think Fulham will win it. They have been alright under Rene Meulensteen - they were bang unlucky to lose 4-1 at Everton and they pushed Man City, too - and with the pressure being on Norwich, I am going to go for an away win.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2

Tottenham v West Brom

I know Tim Sherwood, having played with him at Portsmouth and he is a winner, so I'm glad he has been given a chance and I think he will do well as head coach and get a win against West Brom. Tim has put Adebayor back in the team which means Spurs can beat anybody - for three weeks! After that he will rest up, believe he is a great player and we won't see him again for three months. You can write his story every year.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

West Ham v Arsenal

This should be an away win but Arsenal have got to get out of this little run they're in - they've gone three league games without a win, plus that defeat to Napoli in Europe. West Ham will sit back and try to get a 0-0 but Arsenal should have too much for them.

PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3

Man City v Liverpool

I can only see one winner here. The bookmakers have got this horribly wrong as City should be 1/3 on as they are absolute certainties. City at home are phenomenal, while if you take Liverpool's great result at Spurs out of the equation, they got battered at Arsenal and well beat at Hull. I think they will get ripped apart by City.

PAUL PREDICTS: 4-1

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