Dom Kureen experienced his first victory of the season on Boxing Day, defeating legendary soccer utility player Jonathan O’Shea by 7 points to 5 by predicting seven correct outcomes without an exact result.
Now on a roll, the home predictor takes on Hollister CEO, former Torquay United youth team winger and devout Manchester United supporter Damian Clark – a man who resembles a youthful Lewis Hamilton.
*A correct outcome gains one point, an exact result three points. All games kick off at 3pm on 28th December unless stated.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
Two teams that score and concede freely should contest an open, attractive match at White Hart Lane. Harry Kane is this season’s undisputed champion of scuffed strikes that somehow find the net. Man United will be boosted by the return of Luke Shaw, and with Falcao, Rooney and Van Persie all hitting their stride, a draw seems about right.
Harry Kane’s impressive form looks set to continue for Spurs, but with the home team’s lacklustre defence, United’s attacking power will make the difference on the day. The Red Devils have an outstanding record at White Hart Lane and Van Gaal will want maximum points to keep their faint title hopes alive.
Southampton vs Chelsea
Saints have been miserable against the league’s elite, usually losing by a few goals. Chelsea seem to have swiftly recovered from their only defeat of the season against Newcastle, with captain John Terry inspiring a quartet of victories since. JT might not trouble the scorers this time, but Diego Costa is worth backing to net a couple.
Southampton have rekindled the form that propelled them towards the top of the table, highlighted by the excellent win against Crystal Palace that ultimately cost Neil Warnock his job. Mourinho’s troops have ridden their luck at times – this could be the day that it catches up with them.
Aston Villa vs Sunderland
Two middling teams seeking retribution for Boxing Day losses. It was the Mackems’ 3-1 home reverse to struggling Hull City that will have hurt the most, deflating most of the positive kudos that a 1-0 Tyne-Wear derby victory had brought previously. Benteke’s presence should give the Villains the edge in what promises to be the bowling shoe ugly encounter of the day.
Benteke’s goals have been priceless for the Midlands side, and with Sunderland not getting the rub of the green against Hull to suffer defeat despite playing well, it makes for an evenly contested, open game of football.
Hull City vs Leicester City
The Tigers’ away win at the Stadium of Light was priceless, and perhaps a major reason why gaffer Steve Bruce didn’t join Neil Warnock in receiving his P45. Neither team exactly screams confidence. Leonardo Ulloa looked back to somewhere near his best against Spurs, unfortunately for The Foxes he alone can’t stop the rot.
Nigel Pearson and Leicester’s miserable run will continue at the KC Stadium. The transfer window needs to be used wisely if they want to avoid being cut off from the rest of the division. Hull will feel confident of another three points to pull them away from the drop zone.
Manchester City vs Burnley
Man City have been irresistible since opting to use the Spanish Euro 2012 tactics of playing without a striker. The Burnley defenders are barely equipped to stop James Milner, let alone the likes of Navas, Silva and Yaya Toure. Danny Ings has real quality about him, but won’t get the service to make a difference today.
David Silva is likely to get on the score sheet again, the diminutive Spanish international looks to be in menacing form. Burnley will need to be at their very best for 90 minutes and hope that one or two City players take them lightly if they’re to salvage anything from this game.
Queens Park Rangers vs Crystal Palace
There seemed little logic to booting out the stale Neil Warnock during such a hectic period of the season, other than if Palace have somebody lined up (which it doesn’t seem like they do.) Harry’s Hoops have been dynamic at Loftus Road, with Charlie Austin filling his boots, the former Poole City striker will enjoy facing this dishevelled bunch.
With Warnock’s departure just over 24 hours ago, Palace will be hoping for a fresh start, and there’s no better way to achieve that than by beating fellow relegation battlers in this London derby. QPR have been in good nick recently and will need to maintain that to gain a point against a rejuvenated Palace.
Stoke City vs West Bromwich Albion
Stoke have reverted to type recently, utilising Peter Crouch as a loan target man, with the lightning footwork of Victor Moses and Bojan Krkic either side. The Baggies are quite an industrious team, but could really use a Bojan of their own to take some of the offensive burden from the shoulders of reportedly Tottenham-bound Saido Berahino.
With Stoke’s organisation at the back and the flair of Bojan, who seems to have finally found his feet after years of European under achievement, they will be too strong for a West Brom team whose manager’s future is in the balance. Berahino’s goals have dried up, as has the visitors’ creativity around the penalty area.
West Ham United vs Arsenal
Andy Carroll and co. will fancy their chances against a depleted Gunners defence, who were forced to slot left-back Nacho Monreal into a central defensive role against QPR a couple of days ago. Olivier Giroud’s senseless red card stretches Arsenal’s reduced ranks further; despite putting in a decent shift I can see them being out muscled in this one.
A tough London derby, with both teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Carroll will be in the mood to pile some post-Christmas misery upon Arsenal, but with Sanchez in mesmeric form it will be the visitors who hold out for three crucial points.
Newcastle United vs Everton
A bizarre campaign thus far for Newcastle has recently witnessed six victories on the spin followed by four consecutive defeats. Ayoze Perez is a real find and the only Toon player to shine during Friday’s defeat at Old Trafford. Everton’s home reverse at the hands of Stoke was yet another blip in a soul sapping season – two side who need a win will have to settle for a point.
Two teams who could have mixed fortunes this season. Everton are yet to hit the standards set last season and Newcastle’s inconsistency has cost them in recent weeks. This one has draw written all over it.
Liverpool vs Swansea City
Liverpool scraped a one goal win at Turf Moor on Friday, having gained a last-gasp point against Arsenal the previous weekend. It seems as if the Reds are picking up momentum, with Raheem Sterling leading from the front. Swansea aren’t great travellers and despite Bony’s presence they’ll succumb to the home side’s new found spirit.
Liverpool’s lacklustre summer transfer dealings have hurt them this season. With Luis Suarez sold, Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Daniel Sturridge have barely troubled the scorers. As a result Brendan Rodgers has been forced to switch Sterling to a central role. Victory for Swansea will see them climb six points above their hosts in what has been a steady season for Garry Monk’s charges thus far.
The Premier Predictions league table is still led by DJ Rees. Dom’s win means that he now resides in mid-table, while Jonathan O’Shea is unfortunate to bring up the rear, having been the victim of a spate of underdog victories during Boxing Day’s matches.