Merson's predictions: Manchester City to beat Bournemouth
Last Updated: 12/02/17 9:41pm
Paul Merson offers his predictions for another crucial round of fixtures at the top and bottom of the Premier League.
Bournemouth host high-flying Manchester City on Monday Night Football, and here is what Merson has tipped...
Bournemouth v Man City - Monday Night Football from 7pm, Sky Sports 1 HD
Bournemouth let in too many goals for my liking. They're letting three or four goals in every week virtually. I cannot see anything other than a Manchester City win here.
I know it's early days but Gabriel Jesus' start has been nothing short of incredible. Some of the things he does on the ball are unbelievable - he is light-years ahead of any young player I've seen. Bournemouth simply won't be able to cope with him, or the other City attackers.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (9/1 with Sky Bet)
Arsenal v Hull - Saturday from 11.30am, Sky Sports 1 HD & Sky Sports Mix HD
This is typical Arsenal. They will win 3-0, everything will be great again and Arsene Wenger will be the best manager in the world. The pressure is on, though, as if they lose this game I don't see how he can keep his job. It would be that toxic that I couldn't see him staying. Hull are doing very well but Arsenal tend to beat these teams.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (7/1 with Sky Bet)
Burnley v Chelsea - Super Sunday from 12.30pm, Sky Sports 1 HD
When you talk about Burnley, you are talking about one of the best home records in the Premier League - that is some going as not many would have said that at the start of the season. Chelsea's record against teams outside the top six is imperious, though.
Swansea are the only team outside those top clubs to get a point off Chelsea - Antonio Conte's men have put the so-called lesser teams to the sword. For as much as I admire Burnley I cannot see past Chelsea, they will have too much for them.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (11/1 withSky Bet)
Swansea v Leicester - Super Sunday from 3.30pm, Sky Sports 1 HD
I said it a few weeks ago and I'll say it again, Leicester are going to get relegated. The biggest story in football history is going to turn into the biggest embarrassment in football history. If they go down, shockwaves will go around the world, it is unbelievable. But this is where they are, this is Leicester.
I might be wrong but I cannot see a way out for them. Swansea are a decent team, they have the best player in the bottom half of the league in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Paul Clement has bought well. On their day Leicester can beat teams, but those days aren't coming quick enough.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)
Man Utd v Watford - Saturday, 3pm
Watford have had a couple of good results but it's hard to look past United at Old Trafford. If they sorted out their finishing they would easily be in the top four.
When you fail to find the net a couple of times it's unlucky, but now it has to be classed as bad finishing.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)
Middlesbrough v Everton - Saturday, 3pm
Everton are flying and Middlesbrough just don't seem to score enough goals, at home or away. Boro have to come out and try and win this game in front of their own fans. They are in a bit of trouble and teams are catching up with them.
That could be their undoing, though, chasing the game against this in-form Everton side could be very dangerous.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (18/1 with Sky Bet)
Stoke v Crystal Palace - Saturday, 3pm
The performance Palace put on against Sunderland was shocking. You can lose games, everybody does, but you cannot capitulate to the league's bottom side at home in the manner Palace did against Sunderland. The way they fell apart so quickly was worrying.
Sam Allardyce has learnt very quickly that this job is a lot harder than it initially looked. Over the last calendar year, Palace have been bordering on atrocious. The one positive is that the only man who can get them out of danger is currently in charge. I never go against Stoke at home and Palace's recent form hasn't done anything to change my mind.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Sunderland v Southampton - Saturday, 3pm
You could argue that Southampton are on the fringes of the battle for survival. If Bournemouth are then Saints have to be, given the fact they're on the same amount of points. If Sunderland win this game they are in with a real chance of surviving. They looked together at Crystal Palace and got a great result, they will be brimming with confidence.
Sunderland's main problem has been consistency but they've now gone two games without conceding. Things could well be starting to click. Southampton may have an eye on the EFL Cup final, so if Sunderland are able to turn this game into a battle then I see them getting a win which really puts the cat among the pigeons.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (18/1 with Sky Bet)
West Ham v West Brom - Saturday, 3pm
You simply cannot predict which West Ham team will turn up. One day Manchester City rip them to shreds and then the next they're tearing Southampton apart. West Brom are turning into one of those teams you would struggle to go against. Tony Pulis has built a really good team and they are, in my opinion, the best of the rest outside of the top six, which is quite an achievement.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Liverpool v Tottenham - Saturday, 5.30pm
This is a big game for both these sides' respective seasons. Liverpool are out of the title race now and they've done an Arsenal, going out of everything in the space of two weeks. If they're not careful they could be out of the race for the top four - they have to win!
A Tottenham defeat would more or less hand the title to Chelsea but could put Spurs' own aspirations at risk. If they lose and the other teams win, all of a sudden they're in a battle for the top four. It can change that quickly. Liverpool have to win and Tottenham have to make sure they don't lose, with that in mind I see Spurs denting Liverpool's season further.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
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