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Pressure abounds at summit

Stoke 1 Man City 1

Despite the imposing scoreline, Manchester City were less than impressive in disposing of Southampton 3-1 last weekend. Manuel Pellegrini’s moneybags are struggling defensively in the continued absence of Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart. I am backing Mark Hughes’ clever Potters - Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Afellay to push the title favourites the full distance.

Watford 2 Norwich 1 `

Along with Leicester, Watford are my surprise team of the season. The Hornets work hard for each other and possess one of the best strike duos in the league. Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney are a force to reckon with especially when they are playing at home. I am backing them to overcome Norwich in what should be a close encounter.

Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 0

Chelsea are primed to unleash pent up frustrations on Bournemouth. Diego Costa’s childish petulance at White Hart Lane masked what was a gutsy performance from the champions. Bournemouth play an open attacking game that I think will come unstuck at Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard should break his scoring duck.

Newcastle 1 Liverpool 2

Odds are shortening on Steve McLaren to become the next manager to receive his marching orders. A dreaded vote of confidence from the club chairman is an indicator patience is running thin at St James Park. Roberto Firmino, James Milner and the returning Phillipe Coutinho will prove too mych for Newcastle United.

Swansea 2 Leicester 2

Swansea manager Gary Monk finds himself under pressure after a dismal run of form that has seen the Swans win just two of their last ten fixtures. Jamie Vardy could yet extend his goal scoring run against a team that seems devoid of ideas. I am however backing Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew to ensure the home team pick up at least one point.

Arsenal 1 Sunderland 0

This is not a good time to face Sunderland. The Black Cats have rediscovered the kind of grit that had deserted them in the final weeks of Dick Aocaat’s reign. On the other hand, Arsenal are struggling with injuries, with Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny the latest to enter the treatment room. I am backing the Gunners to win it very, very late.

West Brom 1 Spurs 1

Tony Pulis’ gutsy Brummies are buoyed by four points from clashes against high flying Arsenal and West Ham. Solomon Randon and Saido Berahino will continue their fine form as they stop Spurs from breaking into the top four. I still expect Mauricio Pochettino’s hard running Londoners to maintain their unbeaten run.

Man United 2 West Ham 1

Diafra Sakho joined the treatment table at Upton Park, compounding problems already faced by Slaven Bilic, who is already without Dmitri Payet and Ener Valencia. The onus is on Andy Carroll to take the fight to United. Sadly for Bilic, I cannot see him shaking off the attentions of Chris Smalling who has developed into one of the league’s top three defenders.

Southampton 2 Aston Villa 0

Everton 3 Palace 2

SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR

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