Last weekend Dom Kureen secured a second successive tie in the third instalment of Premier Predictions, ending all square at 9-9 with internet super stud The True Geordie.
*All matches kick off at 3pm, Saturday unless otherwise specified.
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace
The Eagles are no pushovers under Neil Warnock and in the shape of Yannick Bolasie possess one of the season’s most unpredictable, captivating attackers. City are on such a roll that it’s difficult to see them dropping points at home to the relegation battlers and they should experience a comfortable afternoon.
Comfortable home win for City even with some of their top stars absent through injury. Neil Warnock is doing a good job at Palace, but the Champions will be too strong at the Etihad.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United
United appear to have rediscovered the happy knack of winning ugly under Louis Van Gaal, with their potent strike force and exceptional goalkeeper leading the way. Although Aston Villa are a different proposition with Benteke fit, they still won’t be able to hold off their in-form opponents.
Villa have been much improved recently, with the return of Benteke and Agbonlahor likely to give United’s makeshift defence some problems, but with Van Persie looking like his old self and confidence high among Van Gaal’s squad I think a draw is on the cards.
Hull City vs Swansea
Hull’s woeful recent form has been compounded by the premature termination of Hatem Ben-Arfa’s (disastrous) loan spell from Newcastle. The Swans aren’t the best travellers though and will succumb to Steve Bruce’s men, who should just have enough to secure a much needed success.
Hull are struggling and Swansea are looking better after an indifferent patch of form. Wilfried Bony is always a danger and will have too much movement for a somewhat static Hull defence who have been shipping goals aplenty recently.
Queens Park Rangers vs West Bromwich Albion
Amazingly ALL of QPR’s 14 league points thus far have been secured at Loftus Road, a tally that should be increased against an inconsistent Baggies team. The talismanic Charlie Austin has a niggle, but I expect him to recover and nab another brace.
With Bobby Zamora leading the line, the Hoops should have enough to see off West Brom. Rangers may be without Austin due to injury, and with Vargas and others looking dangerous and Joey Barton bossing the midfield will continue their excellent run at the intimidatingly tight Loftus Road ground.
Southampton vs Everton
The Saints have endured five consecutive defeats in all competitions, slightly negating their exceptional and unexpected start to the campaign, although they do still occupy a top-six berth. Everton are beginning to pick up, albeit not quite at the level of last season. This should have bags of entertainment and a well earned point apiece.
Southampton seem to be slipping away from their lofty perch and tumbling towards a more realistic league position. Everton’s solidity and efficiency will keep them comfortably in the top half of the table with Lukaku always a danger to any opposing defence.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Burnley
Spurs finally released the shackles in mid-week, thumping Newcastle United 4-0 to reach the semi-final of the League Cup on Wednesday. Burnley have been much improved in recent outings, but rely heavily on the goal poaching of star youngster Danny Ings. This one will be full of goals and defensive blunders.
Despite better results recently, Burnley will struggle to stay in the top division and opposing the top six sides will test their mettle to the full. Spurs, inconsistent as they are, have too much quality on home soil to slip up against the Clarets.
West Ham United vs Leicester City
Big Sam is blessed with an embarrassment of attacking riches now that Andy Carroll has returned from his latest spell on the sidelines. Despite their lackadaisical showing in the last couple of months, my instincts tell me that The Foxes are due a big performance and £7.2m front man Ulloa due a goal or two, so they might just take a point.
The Hammers are flying at the moment with Big Sam getting them organised in their new formation. Andy Carroll looks to have come back with a vengeance and can be a nightmare for any defence with his aerial prowess. Leicester are desperate for points and appear to be firmly rooted to the foot of the division. I cannot see them getting anything bar another morale sapping hiding from this game.
Newcastle United vs Sunderland
Newcastle’s injury list grows by the week, with them now down to a single senior goalkeeper, 21 year old Jak Alnwick, who was terrible against Spurs in mid-week. Sunderland lack inspiration, but have dominated the Tyne-Wear derby in the past few seasons; Darryl Janmaat to score, ex-Mackem Jack Colback to be heckled by away fans throughout and Connor Wickham to head home an 82nd minute equaliser!
The Tyne-Wear derby is always hard fought and this will be no different The Geordies look to have a goalkeeping problem through a spate of injuries, though with Sissoko back and looking sharp, they will trouble the Sunderland defence. I just think this has a draw written all over it, with neither side wishing to surrender bragging rights.
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Liverpool’s defence was once again exposed in the League victory against Bournemouth, with only the Cherries’ profligacy in front of goal aiding a clean sheet for the Reds. Steven Gerrard’s legs have gone, but his set pieces remain untarnished, and with 5 foot 10 Matthieu Debuchy deputising in central defence Liverpool will exploit the Gunners’ deficient back line.
With my heart ruling my head on this prediction, I see Liverpool building on their performance against Bournemouth (and their 52-pass opening goal) and if their dodgy defence, in particular Sakho, can keep a grip on Sanchez then they should just about scrape a home win against the inconsistent Gunners.
Stoke City vs Chelsea
Chelsea responded well to their first defeat of the season with a routine 2-0 home victory against Hull City last weekend and Capital One Cup success on Tuesday night. The Brittania Stadium is once again beginning to resemble a fortress for The Potters, and although they’ll give a decent account of themselves here Chelsea will slice through them on a few occasions.
A forecast more from heart than head. The Potters will always make it difficult for anyone at who visits the Brittania, but if anyone can undo them then it’s Chelsea (much as I hate to admit it!) I’m hoping that my friend Crouchy will manage to give the Blues… the blues.
Let us know your thoughts and stay tuned to Kureen to find out if Dom can finally nab the victory he craves, or either he or Kelvin can defeat DJ Rees’ 11 point tally from week one!