Arsenal have never finished lower than Tottenham under Arsene Wenger’s management but defeat in the North London derby could mean St. Totteringham’s Day is cancelled this year.
Wenger’s top four hopes are on the line at White Hart Lane while title chasers Chelsea face a tricky trip to Everton.
Predict the outcome of all the weekend’s matches …
TOTTENHAM: Four of the last five North London derbies in the Premier League have ended in draws. But Tottenham are enjoying their best run of league form since 1960 after winning eight consecutive top flight fixtures, and they have been particularly strong at home.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal — Ben Pearce
ARSENAL: Arsenal travel to their rivals looking to cap a week which has lifted pressure off manager Wenger, after wins over Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal and Leicester in the Premier League. But they find Tottenham in imposing form — they’ve won eight league matches in a row — and even the Gunners’ new 3-4-3 system is unlikely to disturb their pursuit of the title.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal — James Dall
EVERTON: Everton are running out of time and matches in their attempt to move above a now seemingly inevitable seventh place. But if nothing else, the visit of title-chasing Chelsea is a chance to avenge the embarrassing 5-0 defeat suffered in November’s corresponding fixture. A win would be Everton’s ninth in a row at home.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Chelsea — Luke O’Farrell
CHELSEA: This game has goals written all over it. Chelsea haven’t kept a clean sheet in 11 league games while Everton have been scoring freely at Goodison, where they have won their last eight. A repeat of the nine-goal thriller from the 2014-15 season could well be on the cards. Chelsea won the match and the league at the end of that campaign. Another victory on Merseyside could smooth the path to a similar outcome next month.
Prediction: Everton 3-6 Chelsea — Mark Worrall
MAN UNITED: Thanks to the draw at Manchester City, Manchester United are still in contention to finish in the top four. With that in mind, they have to pick up all three points against Swansea. Jose Mourinho’s team have struggled against weaker opposition at Old Trafford, though, and with a team depleted by injuries and suspension, Sunday’s game won’t be easy. Marcus Rashford will be the key player but his teammates will have to help him out more than they did against City. No doubt there will be plenty of chances for the home team but they have to break the trend and start putting them in the back of the net.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Swansea — Scott Patterson
SWANSEA: Swansea will be looking to build momentum after last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Stoke. Manchester United will have concentrated their efforts on their City rivals during Thursday night’s game, so they will not be at full strength to face the Welsh club. The likes of Hull, Bournemouth, West Brom and Stoke have ground out draws against United this season. Swansea will be hoping to follow suit.
Prediction: Man United 1-1 Swansea — Max Hicks
MIDDLESBROUGH: Boro picked up their first three points of 2017 in a slender 1-0 win against Sunderland in midweek. However, it’s surely too much to ask for them to get any kind of result against an on-fire City who are gunning for second place in the league.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-3 Manchester City — Catherine Wilson
MAN CITY: With Middlesbrough in the Last Chance Saloon this weekend, City can expect a decent test from a traditionally obdurate opponent. After yet another game dominated but not won against Manchester United, the name of the game for City is three points. A repeat of the FA Cup win is likely.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-3 Manchester City — Simon Curtis
LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s roller-coaster 2017 continued as they followed up two impressive away wins with a dismal home loss to Crystal Palace. Now they face a Watford side coming off a terrible loss of their own, against 10-man Hull City. Captain Troy Deeney was scathing of Watford’s performance at Hull and so Liverpool will need to be wary of a backlash and the opening minutes will be crucial. The Reds need to bounce back too, but this won’t be easy and they may have to settle for a point.
Prediction: Watford 1-1 Liverpool — Dave Usher
WATFORD: After a humiliating defeat to 10-man Hull City, Watford will be hoping for better against a stuttering Liverpool. The Hornets face a difficult run-in and despite being hammered 6-1 at Anfield earlier in the season, this fixture could represent their best chance of adding to their 40-point total. The reaction to going behind against Hull was a huge cause for concern and with no fresh injury concerns and safety assured; Walter Mazzarri will be desperate to prove he is the man for the job by delivering an improved performance here.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Watford — Mike Parkin
SUNDERLAND: Already doomed, if not yet mathematically, Sunderland can do little more than play for honour against Eddie Howe’s well-organised side. The equivalent game at Bournemouth last November brought their first Premier League victory under David Moyes but Wednesday’s tame defeat at Middlesbrough was more typical of a horrendous season.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Bournemouth — Colin Randall
BOURNEMOUTH: Having lost just twice in their past eight games, it’s hard to pick in-form Bournemouth to stumble at the Premier League’s bottom side. Sunderland did claim victory earlier in the season against the Cherries, which should give them confidence, but they will need more than that to beat Eddie Howe’s side this time.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-3 Bournemouth — Will Kent
CRYSTAL PALACE: Despite losing to Tottenham, there were plenty of positives for Palace to take from the game. A similar performance against Burnley should yield three points.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-0 Burnley — Rob Sutherland
BURNLEY: As Crystal Palace are one of the Premier League’s form sides and the Clarets are still yet to win away this season, it is hard to predict a Burnley victory. Momentum is with the Eagles and they are likely to pick up another three points to increase the growing nerves for Burnley supporters.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-0 Burnley— Jamie Smith
SOUTHAMPTON: Hull are hopeless away and Southampton cannot score at home so a goal-fest is not expected. If Claude Puel’s men play as well as they did in the first half of Tuesday’s 4-2 defeat at title-chasing Chelsea, they should win.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Hull — Alex Crook
HULL CITY: Hull travel to St Mary’s in hope rather than expectation. One point from a possible 45 away from the KCOM Stadium is a truly wretched return, but they should not want for confidence after last weekend’s odds-defying win at home to Watford. Southampton have little to play for and this might, just might, be the fixture that it finally comes together for the Tigers.
Prediction: Southampton 0-1 Hull City — Phil Buckingham
STOKE: With the Hammers seemingly as listless as Stoke at the moment, Saturday’s fixture perhaps isn’t one for fans of a nervous disposition. Under-fire Mark Hughes will be pinning all his hopes on the talents of Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic to secure a rare victory but frustration and defeat are more likely for a side who continue to gift games to the opposition.
Prediction: Stoke 1-3 West Ham — James Whittaker
WEST HAM: West Ham looked a much tighter and brighter outfit when playing a more fluid 3-5-2 formation against Everton. If Slaven Bilic employs the same tactic and uses Diafra Sakho up front, the Hammers might even be able to stagger through the important 40-point mark.
Prediction: Stoke 1-1 West Ham — Peter Thorne
WEST BROM: West Brom face Leicester City at The Hawthorns looking to end a barren run of four games without a goal. With Hal Robson-Kanu a doubt for the game, Tony Pulis will need Salomon Rondon to step up and end a scoring drought that stretches back to December.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Leicester — Matthew Evans
LEICESTER: Following a resilient loss to Arsenal, Leicester City will fancy their chances of taking something from West Brom — a place where they have won 3-2 on their last two visits. A point will do in the context of safety and if City defend as well as they did at the Emirates, despite cruelly losing 1-0, they won’t leave the Hawthorns empty-handed
Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Leicester — Ben Jacobs
Manchester United have dropped so many points at home this season against the division’s lesser lights so will be hoping to avoid a similar fate against Swansea, while Liverpool need a win away at Watford to ensure their bid for the top four remains on track.
How will those matches go? Have your say by voting in the polls and in the comments below.
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