Monday 29 February 2016 09:03, UK
Sky Sports' Paul Merson is back to look ahead to another round of Premier League fixtures, including Arsenal's trip to Manchester United, Tottenham v Swansea and West Brom's clash with Crystal Palace.
Also on Merse's radar this weekend is Southampton v Chelsea, Leicester v Norwich City, West Ham v Sunderland and Watford v Bournemouth.
It proved to be a tough round of predictions last time out with the Magic Man managing just two correct scores and one correct result.
|Sunderland 2-1 Man Utd||1-2|
|Bournemouth 1-3 Stoke||2-1|
|Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford||2-2|
|Everton 0-1 West Brom||3-0|
|Norwich 2-2 West Ham||2-1|
|Swansea 0-1 Southampton||0-1|
|Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle||3-0|
|Arsenal 2-1 Leicester||2-1|
|Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool||1-0|
|Man City 1-2 Tottenham||1-1|
Scroll on to see who Merson is tipping this week…
Manchester United v Arsenal - 2.05pm, Super Sunday
Both sides have had European commitments in midweek but I'm not looking too much into that. I'm not sure their midweek exertions will have much of an effect and I see Arsenal coming out on top.
They are the favourites with the bookmakers and I can understand why when you look at the recent form of both teams. Olivier Giroud is the man I'm backing to score first with Arsene Wenger's side enhancing their title claims with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet Odds 17/2)
West Brom v Crystal Palace - 5.30pm, Saturday Night Football
West Brom got a great result at Everton but it shocked me to see them lose to Reading in the way they did. However, I don't see them going down because of the Tony Pulis factor. He knows how to keep teams in the Premier League and he will do it again this season.
Crystal Palace's league form has been a worry but their win over Tottenham in the FA Cup would have given them a lift. However, I'm going for a 1-1 draw again as Pulis does not lose too many against the sides in and around him. And first goalscorer? Jonas Olsson.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet Odds 9/2)
Leicester City v Norwich City - 3pm
These are the games I worry about for Leicester. They are the matches that will define whether they win the league or not. Norwich will go to the King Power Stadium and sit with 10 men behind the ball. They are not going to the Leicester of last season where Norwich would have thought, 'We can go there and beat them'. They are the league leaders.
This is the problem Leicester will have. Can they break down sides with 10 men behind the ball? However, I do think Leicester will win this game. Norwich are on a bit of slump so I think Claudio Ranieri's men will win 2-1 and I fancy Jamie Vardy to open the scoring.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet Odds 7/1)
Southampton v Chelsea - 3pm
Chelsea took a bit of a pasting when these two sides met in the reverse fixture but they've turned things around since then. This will be a good test to see how far they've come. Southampton have looked solid and kept a few clean sheets in recent weeks. It's a very hard game to call as I don't see too much between the sides. I'll go for a 1-1 draw with Gary Cahill scoring the first goal.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet Odds 5/1)
Stoke City v Aston Villa - 3pm
I can't see anything but a Stoke win. When you look at the league table and their recent results, Aston Villa look doomed.
Mark Hughes' side hit form with an excellent result at Bournemouth and I can seem them scoring three without reply against Villa. I'm backing Marko Arnautovic to score the first goal.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Sky Bet Odds 10/1)
Watford v Bournemouth - 3pm
Bournemouth are struggling at the moment. They rested a lot of players for the FA Cup tie against Everton, putting all their eggs into the Premier League basket. Sometimes I watch Bournemouth and wonder how they are down at the bottom. They play good football, create chances but maybe they are just a bit soft centered. They haven't really got that destroyer type in the middle of the park, who unsettles teams.
It could be a nice time to play Watford. They've got the FA Cup to focus on and they are pretty much safe. They might look at it and think one more win would make them safe but it would take a massive dip from them to send them down. For this one I'm going with a 1-1 draw with Matt Ritchie scoring the first goal.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet Odds 5/1)
West Ham v Sunderland - 12.45pm
It will be a tough return to Upton Park for Sam Allardyce. Sunderland have dug in in recent weeks and got some very good results but West Ham are a very good side. Dimitri Payet is in outstanding form and firing on all cylinders for Slaven Bilic's side. I think Sunderland will struggle to cope with him so I'm backing him to score the first goal and West Ham to win 3-1.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Sky Bet Odds 14/1)
Tottenham v Swansea City - 2.05pm, Sunday
I worry for Swansea because I don't think they are defensively very good. Francesco Guidolin has come in and is having to adapt to the Premier League. He started off alright but now they are on a bit of a slippery slope towards the relegation zone.
On the other hand, Spurs are flying in the league and they can pick up another three points in front of their home fans with a 2-0 win. I'm backing Harry Kane for the opener.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Sky Bet Odds 9/2)
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