Norwich 1 Everton 1
Everton have built up a five-match unbeaten streak but have drawn the last two games against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. When Toffees manager Roberto Martinez says he wouldn’t swap Romelu Lukaku with Jamie Vardy, I understand what he is talking about. The Belgian forward has built up a lethal striking partnership with Gerard Deolefeu and Ross Barkley.
Palace 2 Southampton 1
Throughout 2015, Crystal Palace have built a reputation as a good counter-attacking away side. If manager Alan Pardew can replicate this module at Selhurst Park, Palace could compete with Leicester City for the tag of surprise team of the season. I was disappointed by Southampton’s failure to beat Aston Villa last Sunday, so I am tipping the Eagles to prevail.
Man City 3 Swansea 1
Manchester City are still not defending like title favourites. All teams facing the Ettihad moneybags know their defense can be punctured, so Swansea, who won just one of their last eleven fixtures are good for at least a goal. Fortunately for Manuel Pellegrini, Royal Blues’ strikers were back to their lethal best in the Champions League match against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Sunderland 2 Watford 1
Sam Allardyce knows his way around the Premier League. I am one of those who have been forced to eat humble pie, courtesy of the energy in Black Cats’ displays since the 60-year-old Englishman took over. Sunderland should have led 2-0 at Arsenal last weekend, and I am backing them to overcome a very difficult to beat Watford.
West Ham 1 Stoke 1
West Ham created enough chances to win at Old Trafford last time round. Sadly for them, goal-scoring Argentine midfield dynamo Emmanuel Lanzini joined an injury list that already has Victor Moses, Diafra Sakho, Dmitri Payet and Enner Valencia. Buoyed by their 2-0 victory over Man City, Stoke will claim at least a share of the spoils.
Bournemouth 1 Man United 1
Wasn’t satisfied by Manchester United’s defensive work at Wolfsburg. Mounting injury problems, coupled with shyness in front of goal has forced me to tip Bournemouth to get something out of this game. Eddie Howe’s Championship winners played a good tactical game at Chelsea where they shocked the champions 1-0. There is nothing to suggest they can’t replicate that performance.
Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2
Arsenal’s mounting injury problems have been assuaged by the returns of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Theo Walcott. However, the Gunners are running on almost empty, yet they had a punishing Champions League fixture at Olympiakos. I am only tipping Arsenal to win because of Villa’s rotten luck. Remi Garde’s Villains are destined for the drop.
Liverpool 1 West Brom 0
Liverpool’s renaissance under Jurgen Klopp was brought to a shuddering halt at Newcastle United. Juggling Thursday Europa League action with the Premier League will be the main stumbling block to Liverpool’s Champions League aspirations. The quicker Daniel Sturridge builds up a partnership with either Christian Benteke or Divock Origi, the better for the 18-time champions. This should be a narrow win.
Tottenham 3 Newcastle 1
Tottenham Hotspur have the squad to break into the Champions League places. Spurs are young, energetic and hungry. With Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Ryan Mason and Delle Ali all breaking into Roy Hodgson’s set up, there is nothing to suggest they can’t improve their win ratio. If they can dismantle Newcastle, they will enter the top four.
Leicester 1 Chelsea 1
Chelsea are still rocking from last weekend’s shock and awe loss to newcomers Bournemouth. The champions usually bounce back strongly but the King Power Stadium is the last place you want visit searching for a face-saving result. The quicker the transfer window opens, the better for Chelsea. Defenders like Gary Cahill and John Terry are not equipped to handle the pace and trickery of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR