Paul Merson's Christmas predictions: Wins for Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd

Generic Paul Merson image 10/08/2016

Paul Merson returns with his Premier League predictions ahead of a busy Christmas schedule.

Table-toppers Chelsea look for their 12th-successive league victory when Bournemouth travel to Stamford Bridge, with the chasing pack all looking to keep pace before the turn of the year.

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Before that, the festive schedule gets underway at Vicarage Road where Watford host Crystal Palace, the first of several key battles towards the bottom half of the division.

So without further ado, here is the Magic Man's expert guide through the busy Christmas schedule...

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Watch a preview of the Premier League's Boxing Day fixtures, including Man Utd playing hosts to Sunderland

Watford v Crystal Palace - Boxing Day from 12pm, Sky Sports 1 HD

Live Premier League

This is going to be a hard game. Both teams need to win. I just don't see it with Palace at the minute, they are a funny team. In fairness, Watford are exactly same! This is the sort of game where I wouldn't be surprised if either team won. With that in mind, I'm going to sit on the fence. I hope Troy Deeney can finally get his 100th Watford goal, he's been stuck on 99 for weeks! He's a goalscorer and if he scores first, Watford will get a result, of that I'm certain. If Palace do, they will hold on for the win.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)

Arsenal v West Brom - Boxing Day, 3pm

Flat-track bullies Arsenal win these games, don't they? West Brom have done well in recent weeks but they came unstuck against a very professional Manchester United side.

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West Brom 0-2 Manchester Utd

The Baggies could have got a result at Chelsea. They did well at Stamford Bridge and would have been well worth a draw. But I can't go against Arsenal when they play these teams.

PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Sky Bet odds 15/2)

Burnley v Middlesbrough - Boxing Day, 3pm

Burnley are a force against anybody at home, they will give anyone a game. Arsenal scored the winner with the last kick of their game at Turf Moor, Man City left it late too, which goes to show how difficult they are to play against. I see them beating Middlesbrough, with Sam Vokes on target for Sean Dyche's men.

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Middlesbrough 3-0 Swansea

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 10/1)

Chelsea v Bournemouth - Boxing Day, 3pm

If there were two players Chelsea would least like to play without, it would be Diego Costa and N'Golo Kante. That's what they're faced with against Bournemouth, but I still think they will be too strong. You're never too sure about Bournemouth: one minute they're getting slaughtered by Southampton at home and then before that they beat Liverpool and Leicester. Costa and Kante will be missed but Chelsea have picked up the habit of winning games.

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Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds 13/2)

Leicester v Everton - Boxing Day, 3pm

This is another big game for both teams. Leicester still find themselves in a relegation battle, with their inconsistencies costing them in recent weeks. I look at Everton and think they should be doing better than what they are, they've got the players to be doing a lot better. Jamie Vardy gave Ashley Williams the run around last season but with the FA upholding his suspension, I just can't see Leicester winning. Everton need to turn the corner and I see them doing so.

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Stoke 2-2 Leicester

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds 9/1)

Man Utd v Sunderland - Boxing Day, 3pm

Manchester United have well and truly turned the corner, they are absolutely flying. Sunderland had a big result against Leicester but followed that up with a hammering at Swansea. Swansea are not in the same class as United so I can only see one winner here.

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Sunderland 1-0 Watford

PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)

Swansea v West Ham - Boxing Day, 3pm

Swansea have to win this game, it's as simple as that. If you look at their last two home games they've scored three and four goals. I watched West Ham get the biggest run around ever the other day against Hull, if they'd have lost by four or five goals there could have been no complaints. This is a cup final for Swansea if they want to stay in touch at the bottom.

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West Ham 1-0 Hull

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 17/2)

Hull v Man City - Boxing Day from 5pm, Sky Sports 1 HD

Live Premier League

Draws are no good to teams at the minute, especially Manchester City. You just don't know about City anymore, the way they start games you think will they, won't they go at teams. Having said that there is something missing at Hull, have they got the quality to really hurt City? I fear for them against a City side you'd expect to have got a lot of confidence from beating Arsenal.

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Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal

PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (Sky Bet odds 7/1)

Liverpool v Stoke - Tuesday, Dec 27 from 5pm, Sky Sports 1 HD

Live Premier League

I like Stoke, they're a decent team and they probably should have got something from the game at Arsenal last week, they were bang unlucky. They threw three points away against Leicester but I suspect them to give Liverpool a good game. Liverpool have bounced back from their draw to West Ham well though, they should be just too strong for the Potters.

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Everton 0-1 Liverpool

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 15/2)

Southampton v Tottenham - Wednesday, Dec 28 from 7.30pm, Sky Sports 1 HD

Live Premier League

Spurs have got a hard Christmas schedule. If they come through this period with some positive results, they will be well in the mix. Southampton are another team crying out for a bit of consistency. They were comfortable in the end against Bournemouth and it was good to see Jay Rodriguez back among the goals but I'm not sure about them. I fancy Spurs to win at St. Mary's draws are simply no good to them.

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Bournemouth 1-3 Southampton

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds 9/1)

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