Paul Merson's Premier League predictions, including wins for Liverpool and Arsenal
Last Updated: 31/12/16 1:55pm
Paul Merson returns with his New Year's Premier League predictions including Liverpool v Man City and Arsenal v Crystal Palace.
Six teams are in action in the 3pm games on New Year's Eve - including Chelsea v Stoke and Manchester United v Middlesbrough - before Liverpool host City in the late kick-off.
The first day of the New Year is heralded by Tottenham's trip to Watford in the first of a Nissan Super Sunday double header, before Arsenal host Crystal Palace.
But who is Soccer Saturday pundit Merson tipping for New Year's points? Having got NINE correct results - including two perfect scores - last time out, here are his latest predictions...
Burnley v Sunderland (Saturday, 3pm)
I like Burnley at home. They'll give anybody a game and will make it difficult. They had a great result against Middlesbrough despite it not being the best game. They took Arsenal to the 90th minute and gave Man City a game. 19 points at home is phenomenal.
Sunderland got beaten by Man Utd, which is no disgrace, but with Burnley at home - if they win this they won't be far off from being safe. However, if their home form starts to turn then they are in major trouble.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)
Chelsea v Stoke (Saturday, 3pm)
I think Chelsea have been different class - and were brilliant against Bournemouth again. To do what they've done, I think a 13th straight win is definitely on the cards.
Stoke have to get lucky. They took the lead against Liverpool and Joe Allen should have scored really, and if he does then it's 2-0 - but Liverpool go down the other end and it's 1-1. So they need luck and get the ball into the box. I don't think Liverpool would be able to live with Peter Crouch but they have to get far enough up the pitch to pose them problems.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)
Leicester v West Ham (Saturday, 3pm)
No Jamie Vardy again for Leicester, while West Ham had a great result at Swansea. I'm going with a West Ham win - I watched them against Hull at home and they were absolutely rinsed, but won 1-0 when it could have been four for Hull.
All of a sudden they go to Swansea and the players want the ball. There's no pressure on them at Leicester, but there is for the hosts.
With Andy Carroll up front, West Ham are a completely different team. These wins have given them confidence and all of a sudden they're flying - while Leicester are struggling at the moment.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (28/1 with Sky Bet)
Man Utd v Middlesbrough (Saturday, 3pm)
Paul Pogba looks a player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been different class, and Jose Mourinho has found what he wanted with this team. I don't see anything except a United win, they're on a roll and I see that continuing.
You'd say Chelsea have guaranteed top four already, but the others - there's five teams for three places. United are on a run, Spurs are back to their best, Arsenal scraping wins - United definitely aren't out of it.
Though I do see United or Spurs winning the Europa League, which would also secure a Champions League spot, as they are the two strongest sides in the competition with Shakhtar behind them, so they both have that last resort.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Southampton v West Brom (Saturday, 3pm)
Southampton started really well against Spurs, pressing high and making it hard for them. Tottenham scored from nothing and for Southampton, they couldn't play much better, Spurs were yet to get going, but it was 1-1. It disheartened the Southampton players, and the red card [for Nathan Redmond] was very harsh at best and Spurs ran away with it.
West Brom have been bang unlucky, they should have got results at Chelsea and Arsenal, and now they need to get something at Southampton otherwise people will start asking questions. West Brom are decent, they've had some strong games so I'm going to go for a draw.
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PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Swansea v Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm)
I don't get this situation at Swansea. This is their biggest game of the season in my opinion. If they lose then they can say goodnight, they haven't got a manager. The place is in disarray - if you look back, they would get managers in who adopted the style of the former manager and it was a lovely club.
All of a sudden, they're in a sticky situation and they've panicked like mad. To go into a game like this, which is winnable, and they've got no manager. I'd understand if they were playing United or Chelsea and thought they wouldn't get much out of the game, but this was a must-win.
I'm going with a Bournemouth win, the way they opened up Chelsea at times, I dread to think what they could do to Swansea. No manager, biggest game of the season - unreal.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (18/1 with Sky Bet)
Liverpool v Man City (Saturday, 5.30pm)
You didn't see City's 3-0 win over Hull coming after 60 minutes, and I don't see how they can live with Liverpool's attack. I think Liverpool will win quite comfortably.
City have world-class players but for me, I don't think they know what they're doing. I look at them and I think they're just waiting for something to happen and if Liverpool go in front, I think they will run away with it.
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Forget the last 20 minutes against Hull, before that it was average from City. If you play like that against Liverpool, the game will be over by then. They don't look comfortable.
Liverpool go out and attack and they can score bundles of goals. The defenders at City aren't good enough - he's left out John Stones and the others haven't been as bad. For me, I don't see anything but a Liverpool win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (16/1 with Sky Bet)
Watford v Tottenham (Nissan Super Sunday, 1.30pm - Live on Sky Sports 1)
I saw Watford against Crystal Palace and they looked pretty abject. For Tottenham, going 1-0 down at St Mary's and then to play the way they did - chipping away - they looked brilliant. Dele Alli looks back to where he was last year.
With Alli, he's one of those players who Spurs needed to get back to where he was last season, when he won all of those accolades, and he has in the last two games - there's no doubt about that.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (11/1 with Sky Bet)
Arsenal v Crystal Palace (Nissan Super Sunday, 4pm - Live on Sky Sports 1)
I worry for Arsenal. They fall over the line against West Brom, thanks to Olivier Giroud. But the good thing I like about them, if they're struggling, they put the ball into the box - unlike the last few years when they played it around like a power play in ice hockey, going from side to side.
At least they put it in for Giroud and have a Plan B. But I see Palace causing them major problems, Arsenal won't be able to live with Christian Benteke and they have pace as well.
It will take Sam Allardyce a while to get used to Palace, but two away games in a row is perfect because he doesn't have the pressure of having to win a match.
Sam is someone who will win, lose draw, win, lose, draw, and before you know it, they'll be out of trouble. For me, this is his biggest job in club football so far. It's a great job, especially with the calibre of players he has at his disposal. He can't believe his luck.
Arsenal have to win. Look at the table. They lose two games on the trot and they're fighting for fourth, and they were 1-0 up in the first one they lost, about to go top of the league. Draws are just no good anymore, because these teams are ruthless and will run away with it.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-2 (25/1 with Sky Bet)