Watch Tottenham vs Liverpool, Bournemouth vs Watford and Aston Villa vs Man City live on Sky Sports this weekend
Thursday 2 April 2020 10:23, UK
Charlie Nicholas returns for his latest round of predictions ahead of a big weekend of Premier League action, including Tottenham vs Liverpool on Saturday Night Football.
It is a cracking game. Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko are out. Jose Mourinho never makes injuries an excuse, but he knows they are in a struggle with the injuries, which he has come out and said. That sounds like an excuse! Liverpool are rolling along like a beautiful train.
Every player is thriving, but not everyone is playing brilliantly. Jurgen Klopp was spot on when he said they could improve. If the front three hit form at the same time they will blow teams away.
But Jose has always been the manager who will get a result from this sort of game. He will block the wide areas and will highlight where the real dangers lie. He may play Lucas Moura down the middle and Heung-Min Son out the left, and try to bring in players to counter-attack and block the path of the full-backs.
It will not stop the title march; it may deflect it for a while but I think Liverpool will be happy with a point from this. It will be an away performance from Tottenham in this one, but it is the only way you can stop them.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (13/2 with Sky Bet)
It is an interesting game, because of the league situation. It involves two of the bottom three, and a win is gigantic for either side. In my opinion, it will get one of them out of the bottom three.
Watford are knocking on the door with a bit of belief and form. Bournemouth are really struggling though. Eddie Howe has not found a solution yet, which he normally does.
He has had to abandon his balance to score goals. That's what made Callum Wilson an interest of Chelsea, and made Bournemouth a real threat going forward with the likes of Ryan Fraser and Josh King.
They have lost their direction in that way, so he might go more on the front foot on this occasion. Watford will play a structured, counter-attacking style of game with a bit of physicality, but Bournemouth will nick it.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (9/1 with Sky Bet)
I don't see any real issues for Manchester City in this one. They were strong at Old Trafford, and that was without Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero in the starting line-up. The only issue I have, I am not saying he is playing badly, is with Raheem Sterling, and he seems a little out of sorts with his touch.
Just watching him, he could have had a hat-trick against Man Utd. Someone is going to take a thumping and get hurt soon, and I have a feeling it is going to be this weekend for Aston Villa. They may be back in the groove - Aymeric Laporte is back in training and Aguero is fit and ready, so they are starting to look like they will kick on.
We are into the New Year now and City will want to close the gap as well as progressing in the Champions League. Kevin De Bruyne has been up there with Sadio Mane this campaign. What a player he has been. I think Villa be on the wrong end of a hiding.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 0-5 (16/1 with Sky Bet)
It is a tough transition for Arsenal at the moment. There is a heartbeat in the team, and certainly more togetherness than what there was. It has a long way to go before it is fixed, but they are grafting away for Mikel Arteta.
He is working them harder at this stage of the season, physically, than what they would like, but they were a lazy team. They didn't understand what teamwork was, and because of that, Arteta has said they needed to work harder on the basics.
They have not got their mojo back, but there has been a couple of clean sheets, albeit fortunate ones, but he is getting a response. Crystal Palace are a better team away from home, so they will be happy to knock it back to front. Wilfried Zaha is getting tipped up to move once more - would that disturb them? It did last time, and I am hoping it does again. I am expecting Arsenal to squeeze and cause a lot of trouble for Palace.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-2
It is another one of the awkward Chelsea home games where they find it hard to break them down. Most of the time, Burnley have been exactly that, but I do not see the resolve that was once there. I can see the frustration in Sean Dyche at the moment. He would like to change it at the back but is limited with choices. They have been good over the years but there is a lull at the moment.
Chelsea have to prove something. They have had a little rest which might do them some good. Burnley are in a fight at the moment and with the way the table sits, they still have quite a bit of work to do.
If the front pair don't score, they won't score from anywhere else. That seems to be missing in the Premier League, and is why they are sitting four points above the drop zone. I don't recall Burnley ever conceding so many goals.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Charlie knows best?
A hefty 42.1 per cent of Super 6 players have predicted the same scoreline as Charlie Nicholas (2-0), when they have previously struggled at home against the more awkward teams. Will you go against the grain, with £250k at stake? Play for free here.
In all honesty, Everton's game against Liverpool was like Leeds against Arsenal. Everton should have been three up and they fell apart in the second half. This was due to a lack of desire and spirit at Anfield. They caved in, and Duncan Ferguson would have hounded them if he was still in charge.
It was quite embarrassing to be beaten by the side that Liverpool put out. Carlo Ancelotti would have had stern words, but when you look at what Everton have got, the balance is not right. They play an attacking midfield - Theo Walcott has been playing better, Richarlison is a threat and scores goals, so I get that side of it.
Is the balance at the back right? I don't think it is. Brighton like to get on the ball, and again, as well as they have played, they are the same as Burnley, just four points above the drop. They are one point behind Everton, but Ancelotti needs a reaction and that is the only reason I am going for them to win.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Everton to edge Brighton?
Although 31.2 per cent are backing 2-1 like Charlie, over 45 per cent of Super 6 players believe Everton will win and keep a clean sheet against Brighton. What score will take your fancy with £250k up for grabs? Play for free.
Southampton are much improved. They have got themselves a little gap and somehow sit in 12th currently. Leicester have been taking the setbacks but responded with decent wins at West Ham and Newcastle considering the circumstances. There may be some trouble surrounding the fitness of Jamie Vardy but he should be OK.
All of the talk regarding James Maddison has been suggesting that other clubs are in for him, but they have not been talking about his game as such. He struggled against Liverpool. I am not dismissing them both, because when they play well, Leicester play really well. Southampton are dangerous away from home and they have the belief back again.
Danny Ings was probably the Player of the Month in December. It is hard to throw him in when you have some of the players from the big teams in and around, but he has 13 goals for the campaign. Nathan Redmond has found some form on top of that. I am tipping Leicester to edge it, but I do think Southampton are on the turn.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-0 (7/1 with Sky Bet)
I have a feeling this may be the game I get at the weekend. Normally this would be the banker of the weekend. I feel Manchester United will win, but after seeing how poor they were against Arsenal, Wolves, and then the embarrassingly shocking performance against Manchester City, it will be a close-run clash.
Anthony Martial is back, Jesse Lingard got a game under his belt, and Marcus Rashford scored again. Just with the presence in attack, United will win, but this is not going to be as easy as what you might think.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer especially, although I credit him for the way he handles situations regarding media and what not, if he does not get the results he is out anyway, so he accepts the position he is in. They will get over the line but at the back, United are poor also which means Teemu Pukki or Todd Cantwell could score.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)
To dare is to do?
Manchester United were embarrassed by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, and it has been reflected in the selection percentages. One in 10 Super 6 entrants are backing a draw at Old Trafford, and more pressure to be heaped on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Play here for free.
I have been singing the praises of Newcastle but now they have hit a brick wall. Steve Bruce needs a couple of loans but I don't think he will get the money for a purchase, unless they sell a player to earn it.
They have a few injuries too so they are struggling. I have no idea who they will be targeting but they need players in, as they are in a bit of a free fall situation at the moment. Wolves are not overly glamorous but they are sitting in seventh, six points off the Champions League places, so they will want to get the job done and get away from it.
However, it is these types of games that Wolves struggle with, and I think they will struggle once more. They have played a massive amount of games - sometimes you get a rest but it is a mental fatigue as much as a physical fatigue, so they could come unstuck here.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (13/2 with Sky Bet)
Wolves to be ruthless?
Although Charlie has backed both sides to share the spoils, 81 per cent are backing a home win at Molineux, as Wolves look to propel themselves to a Champions League spot. With £250k on the line, what score will you predict?
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