Chelsea 1 Man Utd 1
Chelsea is the only team in the division with a superior head to head record against Manchester United over the duration of the Premier League. That will count for something as the leaders thwart what is certain to be a ferocious onslaught by the on form record champions. I am calling a thrills filled goal scoring stalemate as Jose Mourinho meets his former master.
Man City 3 West Ham 1
All bad things come to an end. This is the exact message Manuel Pellegrini will be sending to his flummoxed outfit as they come to terms with their worst run in four years. Visitors West Ham United should provide welcome relief for the beleaguered Chilean as the Londoners are without strikers Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia.
Leicester 1 Swansea 1
Nigel Pearson’s Foxes have some momentum having won two games in a row for the first time in eons. But I think Swansea are one of the best coached sides and they will be good for at least a point. Bafetimbi Gomis and Gylfi Sigurdsson will be key.
Reading 0 Arsenal 2
North London is buzzing courtesy of Arsenal’s eight match winning run – their best spell since the Invincibles season. This is the perfect time for Arsene Wenger to take his Gunners side to Steve Clarke’s Reading. I can finally see the fledglings of a team capable of launching a title assault. There can only be one winner in this tie.
Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2
Liverpool welcome back Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard for this crunch tie. The Kop will need Skrtel to silence Belgian monster Christian Benteke, who has been unplayable since Tim Sherwood took over at Villa Park. I reckon it is written in the stars that captain fantastic Stevie G must play at Wembley in his final hurrah in a Liverpool shirt.
C. Palace 2 West Brom 1
Crystal Palace has the fifth best Premiership record since the year begun. Selhurst Park is thus the last place a team struggling against relegation ought to be visiting in the hope of garnering points. Alan Pardew’s Londoners are playing with freedom unbeknownst to them. Glen Murray and Yannick Bolasie will be the major threat as Tony Pulis visits his former charges.
Everton 1 Burnley 0
Everton have put together a four-match unbeaten run that has put paid to any lingering fears they might get dragged into a relegation dogfight. Relegation haunted Burnley are desperate for points but I can’t see them thriving at Goodison Park. Ross Barkley and Phil Jagielka will dominate this tie.
Newcastle 1 Tottenham 2
Two victories in 13 outings is not the kind of return John Carver was expecting when he was handed the caretaker role. Although Spurs are no longer playing with the intensity that saw them briefly challenge for Champions League qualification, I can see them edging this duel. It is Harry Kane’s chance to enhance his chances of claiming the Footballer of the Year gong.
Stoke City1 Southampton 1
Graziano Pelle was the most relieved man when his goal sealed victory for the Saints at St Mary’s last weekend. The Azzuri striker comes into this fixture with a fresh spring in his step. All the same, Ronald Koeman’s visitors do not carry a sufficient attacking threat to collect maximum points at the Britannia. A low scoring draw is in offing.
Before the game against Sunderland, Yannick Bolasie had only scored once all season long. Then he exploded for three goals in 10 minutes, becoming the first Palace player to bag a hat-trick in the Premier League. After the match, the Congolese winger said the extra work manager Alan Pardew puts in on the training ground has helped him gain more confidence.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor