x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 December 2017

Premier League predictions: Chelsea crush Palace but Manchester United unable to beat Liverpool

This week Graham Caygill gives his predictions of the results of the Premier League, seeing wins for Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Romelu Lukaku will be expected to score against Liverpool, but will not have the support of Paul Pogba. Paul Ellis / AFP
Romelu Lukaku will be expected to score against Liverpool, but will not have the support of Paul Pogba. Paul Ellis / AFP

Liverpool 1 Manchester United 1

Why? United have injury problems with no Paul Pogba or Marouane Fellaini in midfield, while Liverpool are coming off a poor run of five points from their past four matches and have suffered a further blow with no Sadio Mane for six weeks. They will look to Mohamed Salah for inspiration, while United will look to target Liverpool’s brittle backline through Romelu Lukaku. With neither side at full strength, a point will do both sides fine.

Chris Wood, centre, has been impressive for Burnley. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters
Chris Wood, centre, has been impressive for Burnley. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

Burnley 1 West Ham United 0

Why? Burnley have been the surprise early package of the season, sitting in sixth place. They don’t score many, though Chris Wood has proved impressive leading their offensive line, but they crucially don’t concede many either. They should just edge a tight game with West Ham.

Eden Hazard will have more responsibility this weekend. John Sibley / Reuters
Eden Hazard will have more responsibility this weekend. John Sibley / Reuters

Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 3

Why? No goals and no points. It has been a rough old start for Palace and it will not get any better with the champions in town. They may be without Alvaro Morata but Eden Hazard, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi will compensate for his absence and be too much to handle for Roy Hodgson’s side.

Kevin de Bruyne, centre, scored against Chelsea earlier this season. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo
Kevin de Bruyne, centre, scored against Chelsea earlier this season. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo

Manchester City 4 Stoke City 0

Why? City have been sensational so far this season and it says a lot about their squad depth that they hardly missed a beat in winning 1-0 at Chelsea despite being without Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany. With Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva in excellent form in midfield it is hard not to see more goals flying in at the Etihad Stadium.

Swansea City 2 Huddersfield Town 1

Why? Huddersfield were given a reality check of life in the Premier League by the thrashing they received from Tottenham Hotspur and how they react to that will be interesting. Swansea have been solid without getting the results they deserve, and they will hope their forward combination of Tammy Abraham and Wilfried Bony can finally click and produce goals.

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Tottenham's Harry Kane has probed unstoppable lately. Carl Recine / Reuters
Tottenham's Harry Kane has probed unstoppable lately. Carl Recine / Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur 4 Bournemouth 1

Why? Tottenham have still not won in the league at their temporary home of Wembley Stadium. But that should change against a low in confidence Bournemouth, who will struggle to handle in-form Harry Kane who already has 15 goals to his name in club and international football this season and will expect to add to that tally here.

Alexandre Lacazette will lead Arsenal's forward line. Tony O'Brien / Reuters
Alexandre Lacazette will lead Arsenal's forward line. Tony O'Brien / Reuters

Watford 1 Arsenal 2

Why? Watford have begun well under Marco Silva with 12 points in seven games. They have struggled defensively though against the more established sides, shipping in three to Liverpool and six to Manchester City and Arsenal’s forward line of Alexandre Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez will cause them problems. Arsene Wenger’s men to edge this encounter.

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Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Everton 0

Why? Brighton have won their past two home games as Chris Hughton’s side establish themselves in the top flight, while Everton are struggling with three defeats from their last four. Ronald Koeman’s side need some stability and a point at Brighton will not be a bad result.

Southampton 1 Newcastle United 1

Why? Southampton have failed to convince with only one win so far this season and they need players such as Nathan Redmond to re-find last season’s form to inspire them. Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle have not found goals easy to come by, but he has set them up to be tough to beat and they should not leave St Mary’s empty handed.

Leicester City 2 West Bromwich Albion 1

Why? Leicester have played some good football without always getting the points they deserved, and Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki have been in good form in front of goal. They could be the difference maker in this encounter.