Premier League Predictions Week 12

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

Friday night heralds the start of another packed weekend of Premier League action as Leicester City visit London Stadium to face West Ham. 

The much-maligned David Moyes has a point to prove in his initial six-month tenure with the struggling Hammers, while Claude Puel admits he is still assessing the strengths of the squad he has inherited at the Foxes.

Spurs will look to atone for their below-par display in the north London Derby when they host a West Brom side with Gary Megson in temporary charge.

Man United can take out the frustrations of their midweek defeat in Basel against Brighton at Old Trafford, while Liverpool and Chelsea battle it out on Saturday evening.

Everton’s Europa League mauling by Atalanta doesn’t bode well for their trip to Southampton on Sunday, when Arsenal and Manchester City visit Burnley and Huddersfield respectively.

Once again the Leader’s sports writers go head-to-head and try to predict the outcome of all 10 top-flight games.

Tom Norris leads the way with 83 points so far this term, with Nick Harrison and Dan Heald languishing behind on 69 and 67 respectively.

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.

WEST HAM UNITED v LEICESTER CITY

NICK HARRISON: Two teams who are top of the Premier League under-performers league. Leicester have a new coach but they’re tactics are so easy to read. It’s up to Moyes boys to hunt The Foxes down. 2-2

TOM NORRIS: Who knew that Moyes wouldn’t make an immediate impact at West Ham? Leicester will really fancy this one with Vardy, Mahrez and Gray attacking the likes of Reid and Zabaleta at will. 1-3

DAN HEALD: Something’s not quite right at West Ham. The appointment of Moyes has done little to pacify anxious Hammers fans whose chants of “sack the board” spoke volumes. Leicester will not fear this trip. 1-2

CRYSTAL PALACE v STOKE CITY

NH: If Grant plays like he did in goal at Brighton, then Stoke haven’t got a chance. Palace boss Hodgson keeps moaning that his side deserve more and if they keep Shaqiri quiet, the three points could be all theirs. 3-2

TN: Palace need a result. And one look at the table would suggest that Stoke could do with one too. A point at Brighton wasn’t too bad for Hughes’ men, while Palace got the same from Everton. Hard not to back a draw. 2-2

DH: Palace boss Roy Hodgson felt aggrieved that a decent performance against Everton yielded only a point. Benteke’s return from injury is timely for Palace and can inspire a vital home win here. 2-1

MANCHESTER UNITED v BRIGHTON

NH: Can The Seagulls do what Rafa’s Magpies failed to last week and keep the United attack at bay? Pogba’s return and just the presence of Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford should be enough to inspire another four-goal show. 4-1

TN: The return of Pogba saw United hit the heights of the first few weeks of the season. With Pogba, Rashford and Lukaku in their ranks United will be far too strong for a Brighton side that conceded twice at home to Stoke. 4-0

DH: Paul Pogba’s absence has been keenly-felt at Old Trafford and the difference he made upon his return against Newcastle was tangible. Brighton showed their resilience by twice coming from behind against Stoke, but I feel they will fall short here. 3-0

 NEWCASTTLE UNITED v WATFORD

NH: Watford can cash in on Newcastle’s poor run of form as long as they keep it tight at the back. Richarlison gets into some great scoring positions and now he’s starting to turn those into key goals. Back him to get another. 1-2

TN: If Newcastle are to survive this season then their home form is crucial. Before the season started this looked like one Rafa’s men should win, but Watford and Richarlison in particular have been hugely impressive. 1-2

DH: Retaining the services of Marco Silva is paramount for Watford. He’s implemented a positive and expansive brand of football that Hornets fans and the club’s board should be thankful for. Newcastle will need to match the visitors’ enthusiasm here or will be beaten. 1-1

TOTTENHAM v WEST BROM

NH: Spurs need a win but they may have to re-invent their midfield to do so. Alli looks tired and why does Pochettino persist with Sissoko. Eriksen and Kane have to come to the fore against a Baggies side who will play with a bit more freedom now Pulis has gone. 3-1

TN: With Gary Megson in temporary charge, it’s no surprise the Baggies have got worse since he arrived in the summer. Called Pulis Megson his mate, but didn’t leave with him. Odd that. Spurs should run riot with Kane, Alli and Eriksen back to their best. 3-0

DH: The derby defeat to Arsenal heralded far too much questioning of Spurs’ title credentials. Every side has an off day and I expect Mauricio Pochettino’s men to atone for it against a Baggies side led by the less-than-inspiring figurehead of Gary Megson. 4-0

SWANSEA CITY v BOURNEMOUTH

NH: Everyone keeps saying that Swansea will get better. But week in, week out, they don’t and Clement’s job must surely be on the line in South Wales. The Cherries had their cake and ate it against Huddersfield and they could help themselves again tomorrow. 1-2

TN: Clement’s position is far from safe and that has to be a concern, but the players need to up their game. Bournemouth were ruthless in dismantling Huddersfield and it’s hard to see them not winning this one. 0-2

DH: You have to fear for Paul Clement at Swansea. Four successive defeats have left the club floundering and a fifth would surely see another managerial sacking. Callum Wilson showed his class last weekend and can fire Eddie Howe’s men to another win in South Wales. 1-2

LIVERPOOL v CHELSEA

NH: Good teatime viewing and probably good enough to ditch another tale of woe for Wales against the All Blacks in the rugger on the other channel. The Salah v Hazard show. And I’m going for the former to star at Anfield. 3-2

TN: This is more like it. Should be end-to-end. Salah, Countinho, Mane and Firmino will be tasked with trying to get the Reds’ defence out of trouble with Hazard and Morata in fine form for Conte’s Chelsea. 2-2

DH: Both sides were clinical last time out in their respective victories and it’s difficult to call a winner. I expect goals here and will err on the side of caution with a score draw. 2-2.

SOUTHAMPTON v EVERTON

NH: Everton are certainly showing battling qualities under Unsworth but have they got that little bit extra to return from St Mary’s with three points. All the pressure’s on The Saints and the Blues may just sneak it. 1-2

TN: Two of the least exciting teams in the division at present. Everton are very much a work in progress and it’s hard to see what Pellegrino brings to the Saints that Claude Puel didn’t. Don’t expect it to be exciting. 1-1

DH: The Saints looked ragged at times in their 3-0 reverse at Anfield, while Everton were fortunate to take a point at Palace. That said I think the Toffees need the points more here and can nick a narrow win. 0-1

BURNLEY v ARSENAL

NH: Burnley will be stretched to the limit by Arsenal for whom Ozil, Lacazette and Sanchez must show they are up for a fight. Class ultimately tells and The Gunners have enough of that. They’ve just got to show it at places like Turf Moor. 1-3

TN: This could be very interesting. Burnley are in good form and have nothing to lose, while the Gunners showed how good they can be againstSpurs. Can Ozil, Sanchez and co be bothered to do it at Turf Moor? 1-2

DH: The Gunners will provide a stern test of Burnley’s miserly defensive home record and, buoyed by their derby victory, can open up Sean Dyche’s side here in a rare defeat for the Clarets. 0-2

HUDDERSFIELD v MANCHESTER CITY

NH: The Terriers beat United at home but City are something else. Guardiola says Aguero and Jesus don’t work as a front pair but I would be surprised to see both of the star strikers get on the scoresheet in what will be another high-scoring win. 1-4

TN: It’s best if Huddersfield fans close their eyes for these 90 minutes. Yes the Terriers beat United, but City are purring at the moment. Sane, Sterling, Jesus, De Bruyne and Silva will be far too strong. 1-4

DH: Huddersfield’s 4-0 mauling at Bournemouth was hardly the best preparation for the visit of a free-scoring City side. At Leicester last weekend, Guardiola’s men showed they can be clinical as well as dominant and I expect more of the same here. 1-3

 

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

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