Saturday 23 December 2017 14:20, UK
Who is going to come out on top in the Premier League this weekend? Paul Merson is back with his predictions.
On Friday night, red-hot Liverpool travel to Arsenal looking to make it five away wins in a row, live on Sky Sports Premier League, before Everton host Chelsea in Saturday's early kick-off. A busy Saturday culminates in a tantalising clash between Leicester and Manchester United from the King Power Stadium.
Who is the 'Magic Man' tipping to win this weekend? Read on to find out...
So hard to predict with these two. One thing you can be sure of is there will be goals. Some big games fizzle out, but this isn't one of them. More often than not it delivers.
Arsenal still make chances, they are just not putting the ball in the back of the net, and Liverpool, of course, are dangerous on the counter. Going forward they are immense, but defensively they aren't as strong. Arsenal could wipe the floor with Liverpool, and vice versa. Horrible game to predict.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
It was a lovely goal that won it for Chelsea against Bournemouth. To overcome a setback like that late equaliser and then still win the game takes some doing. That will give them a real lift coming into this. Extra time would have been a killer.
Everton have improved a lot, but they are due a slip up having put so much into recent matches. This is the sort of game that Chelsea will step up for.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (11/1 with Sky Bet)
I watched Brighton against Burnley and I thought they were unlucky. They were outstanding for parts of that game. They missed the penalty, and the confidence just seemed to drain away from them.
Poor discipline is hurting Watford. Three sending offs on the trot - you are not going to win too many games with 10 men. Manchester City might be able to get away with it, but Watford won't. The games seem to be catching up with them at the moment.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)
At first, I thought 'what score do you want?' One thing for sure is that City are going to win, but it is just a matter of how many. That was a real kick in the teeth at Chelsea. Earlier this season, though, Bournemouth have changed the way they played on a few occasions and nearly got a result, so I don't think it will be a huge win for City.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
So hard to predict. Huddersfield can't score an away goal for toffee and then go and score four at Watford. Southampton were excellent in the first half against Arsenal, but have been pretty poor since. However, I think Southampton are better than they have been recently. You have to play Charlie Austin. When he came off the bench against Chelsea he was the only one who looked like scoring. He puts the ball in the back of the net.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
This is absolutely huge, for both. Whoever loses this, you'd think they are going to be in for long, hard season. These are the games you have to win. Stoke got absolutely ripped to shreds the other day, by one of their rivals, 3-0. Two nervous teams who cannot afford to lose. West Brom only started playing well at 0-2 against Manchester United. Anyone can play when two goals down, with the pressure off.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (9/2 with Sky Bet)
What a mess at Swansea. Why now, to have a change of manager, just before the Christmas break? They'll have no time to work with the players and try and improve anything. I like Paul Clement, I don't think it was him upsetting all the players. At the end of the day, the manager always gets the blame, but you have to ask whether those players are good enough to play in the Premier League. Some of those players have won a competition.
Palace are playing well and I can't see anything other than an away win. I look at Swansea's players and can't see what they are going to do.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (22/1 with Sky Bet)
Newcastle put in a good performance against Arsenal and were unlucky. You look at games like that and think 'if you can play like that against Arsenal, why not against clubs lower down the league?' You have to do it week-in-week-out, against teams around you.
West Ham are playing really well. They were outstanding against Stoke. I am not sure Newcastle will be able to handle Marko Arnautovic. David Moyes is doing a great job.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (8/1 with Sky Bet)
I watched Burnley last week, and in the first half, they just let Brighton play, and got away with it. Then, in the second half, they came out and played. Brighton played them off the park early on. Maybe the wheels are starting to come off.
Eric Dier is an issue for me. He has looked very shaky in the back four. He is better in midfield. Sometimes he is too casual. I am going to go Tottenham. Last week they came up against a machine, but they need a big win, and this could be it.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (12/1 with Sky Bet)
Football is weird, isn't it? Bristol City beat a strong Man Utd team in midweek after Crystal Palace had hammered in-form Leicester. United are better than what they are showing. There is still a lot more to come from them.
Teams like Leicester have to work so hard to win a football match, and the match against Man City in midweek will have taken a lot out of them. These top teams can play in second gear and win a football match. This just feels like one of those games.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (7/1 with Sky Bet)