x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Chelsea boost top four hopes with Tottenham triumph as Manchester City close in on title while Liverpool and Arsenal win: Premier League predictions

In other matches, West Ham United and Newcastle United will boost their hopes of beating the drop with victories

Chelsea will look to Eden Hazard to inspire them against Tottenham Hotspur. David Ramos / Getty Images
Chelsea will look to Eden Hazard to inspire them against Tottenham Hotspur. David Ramos / Getty Images

After a three-week break for some times, and two for others, the Premier League is back for the final stretch of eight games that will complete the 2017-18 season.

Here is a look at the fixtures and what to expect from the action.

Liverpool will look for more goals from Mohamed Salah at Crystal Palace. Lee Smith / Action Images via Reuters
Liverpool will look for more goals from Mohamed Salah at Crystal Palace. Lee Smith / Action Images via Reuters

Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 3

Why? Palace got a big win at Huddersfield Town before the international break to alleviate some of the pressure on them, but Liverpool will be too strong for them with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane continuing to prove too hot for most defences to handle.

______________

Read more

Omar Yabroudi: The Emirati with an eye for footballing talent at Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Exclusive: Vincent Kompany on the 'incredible' evolution of Manchester City with Abu Dhabi's backing

Wilshere, Young and Pope are in; Hart, Rose and Welbeck miss out: England World Cup squad predictions

______________

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy will be their main goal threat at Brighton. Andrew Yates / Reuters
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy will be their main goal threat at Brighton. Andrew Yates / Reuters

Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Leicester City 1

Why? Brighton have done superbly to be in a position where they are six points clear of the relegation zone with eight games to go. Chris Hughton's men are tough to break down but this could well end up as honours even with Jamie Vardy in good form for Leicester.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, centre. Peter Powell / EPA
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, centre. Peter Powell / EPA

Manchester United 2 Swansea City 0

Why? United are not firing at full cylinders but despite Swansea being rejuvenated the pace of Marcus Rashford and the strength of Romelu Lukaku should mean that Jose Mourinho's men maintain their grip on second place in the Premier League.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez will be confident of three points against Huddersfield Town. Anthony Devlin / PA via AP
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez will be confident of three points against Huddersfield Town. Anthony Devlin / PA via AP

Newcastle United 2 Huddersfield Town 0

Why? Rafa Benitez has done a fine job of ensuring his players forget the off-the-field problems at Newcastle with a gritty season that should see them clinch survival comfortably. Another three points against Huddersfield should all but make them safe.

Junior Stanislas was Bournemouth's match-winner against West Bromwich Albion. Tony O'Brien / Action Images via Reuters
Junior Stanislas was Bournemouth's match-winner against West Bromwich Albion. Tony O'Brien / Action Images via Reuters

Watford 1 Bournemouth 1

Why? The past three league fixtures at Vicarage Road between the sides have ended in stalemates and this could be a fourth in a row. Javi Gracia has stabilised Watford's fortunes, though they come into the game after hefty losses to Arsenal and Liverpool, while Bournemouth all but clinched another season in the Premier League with their win over West Brom two weeks ago thanks to Junior Stanislas's late winner.

Ashley Barnes, right, is in good form for Burnley. Gareth Copley / Getty Images
Ashley Barnes, right, is in good form for Burnley. Gareth Copley / Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion 0 Stoke City 2

Why? West Brom are effectively doomed already and it is now a question of just how few points they go down with. With Ashley Barnes in good goal-scoring nick at presence Burnley should pour more misery on their opponents here.

Marko Arnautovic and West Ham United have had a tough time of things of late. John Sibley / Action Images via Reuters
Marko Arnautovic and West Ham United have had a tough time of things of late. John Sibley / Action Images via Reuters

West Ham United 1 Southampton 0

Why? Things went as badly wrong as they could for West Ham two weeks ago with the pitch invasion from fans and heavy defeat to Burnley. West Ham, with Marko Arnautovic particularly, do still have a little more quality then Southampton and they can give Mark Hughes a losing start as Saints manager.

Pep Guardiola will look for Manchester City to take a step closer to winning the Premier League title at Everton. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Pep Guardiola will look for Manchester City to take a step closer to winning the Premier League title at Everton. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Everton 0 Manchester City 4

Why? After 19 days without a game Pep Guardiola's men return to action looking to take a step closer to their third Premier League title in seven years. With Gabriel Jesus back to full fitness, and Kevin de Bruyne impressing for Belgium in midweek, they should have too much for Everton.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil in action. Eddie Keogh / Reuters
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil in action. Eddie Keogh / Reuters

Arsenal 3 Stoke City 0

Why? Stoke desperately need the points in their bid to avoid relegation. But Arsenal have built up some confidence with their Europa League success over AC Milan and Mesut Ozil will fancy his chances of doing some damage to the Stoke backline.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Andrew Yates / Reuters
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Andrew Yates / Reuters

Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Why? Chelsea realistically must win to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League and they can do it against a Tottenham side they beat in August in the league. Eden Hazard will be again the man they look to for inspiration as Tottenham look to soldier on without Harry Kane.