Premier League fixtures return after the trials and tribulations of last weekend’s FA Cup third round ties.

Once again the Leader’s sports writers go head-to-head to predict the outcome of all ten top-flight games.

With three points for predicting the correct score, or one for the correct match outcome (win/lose/draw), let us know your thoughts on this weekend’s action.


NICK HARRISON: Chelsea should be up for the battle of the ex-champions, especially after resting most of their first team in the FA Cup no-score bore at Norwich. The only thing Conte is missing is a genuine goalscorer because Morata looks dreadful at the moment. Now back him to score a double tomorrow! 3-1

TOM NORRIS: Conte’s Chelsea have proven that they can turn it on when they want to and this game is one to impress in. Leicester have been impressive under Puel and with Vardy back they could cause some problems for the hosts. 1-1

DAN HEALD: Conte’s Chelsea have lost their way this season and there’s a Costa-shaped hole in their attack. It’s early days, but Morata hasn’t delivered and Puel’s Leicester’s are potent enough up front to take a point. 2-2


NH: Hodgson wants six or seven signings in the January window but he should have enough in his squad to see off a Clarets’ side, whose purple patch in the Premier League may just be coming to an end. 2-1

TN: Burnley are slowly but surely finding their level. Talk of Europe was pie in the sky, but they are a tough nut to crack as they showed at Old Trafford recently. Palace have been much improved under Hodgson. 1-2

DH: My initial cynicism about Hodgson’s appointment at Palace was misplaced. He's done sterling work to transform their fortunes and deserves all the credit for their revival. Winless in five, Burnley have hit their first barren spell of the season and could struggle here. 2-1


NH: Huddersfield are good at home while you just don’t know what West Ham team will turn up. The Hammers frustrated Spurs but will they be more gung-ho tomorrow? If Arnautovic is fit, they may just sneak it. 1-2

TN: The Hammers certainly have enough ability to grab a win in Yorkshire, but do they have enough goals? Carroll and Arnautovic will make a difference for Moyes’ men. Huddersfield are keeping their head above water and their home form is key. 2-2

DH: Has Moyes rediscovered the winning touch that deserted him at United, Sociedad and Sunderland? Maybe. The Hammers have improved massively under his guidance and can take a point from a defensively-solid Huddersfield side lacking in firepower. 1-1


NH: Benitez is another manager who is desperate to make new signings but nothing much ever seems to happen on that front at St James’ Park. Maybe the return to form of Perez will help their bid to beat the drop. Three points at home to relegation rivals Swansea would do very nicely. 2-1

TN: This is a win-win for Rafa. Newcastle pick up three points – as they should – and they ease their relegation worries, while defeat means Benitez focuses on a lack of transfer activity and stresses the importance of strengthening his wafer-thin squad. 1-0

DH: The 1-0 win at Stoke eased the growing pressure on Benitez whose January transfer budget will no doubt remain in limbo as long as takeover talks are ongoing. The Swans have it all to do in the next four months and look relegation certainties to me. 2-0


NH: If there was a topsy-turvy league, these two would be front-runners. Watford look brilliant at their best but could this be the day when Southampton finally click and come away with a much-needed away win? 2-2

TN: Southampton have become the victims of their own success. Buy good players cheap and flog them on at a big price. The Saints need to spend some of that money now, though. Watford are consistently inconsistent. 2-1

DH: Since whipping Everton in November, the Saints have failed to muster a league win and four points from nine games since then has left them in freefall. With home advantage, Marco Silva’s unpredictable Hornets can prolong Southampton’s misery. 2-1


NH: Goals will be at a premium at The Hawthorns where West Brom need to start performing in the second half of the season. Hughton’s doing a superb job at Brighton and will steer his Seagulls to a point. 1-1

TN: Oh dear! The odds on this being last on Match of the Day must be very short indeed. Regardless, the Baggies have to win this one against a team expected to be in the relegation mix. 1-0

DH: Pardew’s a combustible character and he must be seething at his side’s failure to win a league game since taking charge. That record could end against a well-organised but dull Brighton side. 1-0


NH: Wembley Stadium hasn’t been the best of temporary homes for Tottenham and Everton could add to the Spurs’ fans frustrations. Allardyce will head to London with a system that Kane, Eriksen and Co will need to be in top condition to break. 3-1

TN: Big Sam knows how to grind out a result. Didn’t get to manage England in a competitive game at Wembley, so this is his chance to show what magic he would have brought there. It’s a tough sell, right? 2-0

DH: Contain and nullify has been the Allardyce approach to games against the top six. Spurs will have to be patient to get between the densely-packed lines of Everton’s defence and midfield but should just have enough. 2-1


NH: The Gunners have been involved in most of the entertaining games so far this season. Their trip to the South coast could be another. Bournemouth can’t defend and neither can Arsenal, whose boss Wenger at last has a genuine excuse to drop the inconsistent Iwobi. 2-2

TN: There is talk of Wenger getting rid of some fringe players this month and he needs to go and get some real quality from somewhere if he wants to appease the fans. Bournemouth will give it a good go in-front of their supporters, but they lack real quality. 1-3

DH: Arsenal can destroy teams who try to match their expansive attacking style. Eddie Howe will surely adopt a more cautious approach but the Gunners need a win to put their FA Cup horrorshow behind them. 1-3


NH: The game of the weekend and one Liverpool can win. What better way to get over the disappointment of Coutinho’s departure by ending City’s unbeaten run. Salah will be back but Mane will be the main man. 3-2

TN: Mouth-watering. Liverpool felt hard done by when Mane saw red at the Etihad, so Klopp’s men will have a point to prove. Coutinho’s absence will be felt the most in this game with the emphasis now solely on Salah. The City bandwagon will roll on. 1-2

DH: The league’s top goalscorers go head-to-head, so there has to be goals. City’s class is spread throughout their squad unlike Liverpool’s which is concentrated heavily among their forwards. Van Dijk’s arrival will improve the Reds but it won’t be enough at Anfield. 1-3


NH: What better game for United fans to enjoy an all-out-attacking performance and a glut of goals against a Stoke side who have the look of a Championship outfit. Lukaku to bag a double in a comfortable win. 4-0

TN: Stoke are a poor side in awful form. A trip to Old Trafford is not quite as daunting as it was five months ago, but Lukaku savours these games. With Pogba and Lingard close by this only ends one way. 3-0

DH: Mourinho could hardly have wished for a better fixture this weekend. The Portuguese has cut a forlorn figure in recent weeks and his childish spat with Conte has clearly agitated him. Lingard’s been superb of late and can run riot here against a Potters side in disarray. 4-0.