What absolutely will happen in the Premier League this weekend: Another Anfield classic, frustration for Moyes and more

Adam Hurrey takes a look at what is certain to happen in the Premier League this week.

It was another up-and-down outing for this highly specific set of predictions last weekend. Arsenal sprung something of a surprise by outrunning as well as outplaying Spurs in the derby, but Burnley’s 2-0 win over Swansea was right on the money.

Manchester United made lighter work of Newcastle than we boldly predicted, but there was a triumphant finish: Watford 2-0 West Ham and Brighton 2-2 Stoke turned out to be exactly that.

With a spring in our step, then, we get stuck in to week 13 of the Premier League season…

West Ham v Leicester

Put your mortgage on…

Some slight encouragement for David Moyes, a man in dire need of some good news. The days of the “new manager bounce” appear to have been ended by the sheer turnover of managerial jobs, but he’s had another week to remind his squad of their responsibilities.

Now, for a team generally accepted not to be running far enough or fast enough to survive in the Premier League, West Ham could do without a visit from all-energy Leicester. But, despite all the lack of goodwill coming Moyes’ way as he starts his latest bid to restore his reputation, he must have got some of the message through on the training ground this week.

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The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Retro indulgence

Rewind a full 20 years to 1) witness some early Frank Lampard long-range work, 2) ask yourself “whatever happened to Samassi Abou?” and 3) just enjoy a good, old barnstorming 4-3.

Crystal Palace v Stoke

Put your mortgage on…

A 2-2 draw, if for no other reason that these pair have managed four of them in their last ten matches combined. Also, Crystal Palace 2-2 Stoke just sounds right. It’s just a question of who throws the three points away in the process.

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Retro indulgence

Don Rogers, a man with the most 1973 name, 1973 hair and wearing the most 1973 football kit possible, scores ITV’s Goal of the Season for 1973. Against Stoke, funnily enough.

Manchester United v Brighton

Put your mortgage on…

Paul Pogba to steal the show. He was Man of the Match against Newcastle last week, on his return from two months out, with an almost effortlessly masterful midfield display. His footwork to create the first goal was delightful, and his gallop forward to score one of his own was just the sort of decisive spark United needed to break out of their mini-slump.

If anyone can turn the title race round – and it will take some doing – it’s Pogba.

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how it will pan out?

Retro indulgence

Absolutely only one place we can go here.

“…Robinson going forward strong, he’s inside the Manchester United penalty area, he finds Smith, AND SMITH MUST SCORE….”

“….and he hasn’t scored….”

Newcastle v Watford

Put your mortgage on…

Watford to widen the gap between The New Pretenders and the mid-table Forgettables. It’s not coincidence that, beneath the established and mega-rich usual suspects, the Premier League’s two most promising managers are lying in seventh and eighth.

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Sean Dyche’s work to bring Burnley within a point of the Champions League places, with a third of the season gone, has been superb. Marco Silva’s Watford would be even higher if not for some surprisingly erratic results, but they’re on the up again: Newcastle might not be able to handle them this week.

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Most likely headline in the morning paper

RAFA STIRS THE HORNETS NEST

Swansea v Bournemouth

Put your mortgage on…

Paul Clement to face some tough questions about his job security. Swansea aren’t exactly in freefall – three of their four successive defeats have been by a single goal – but it’s still a Championship-ward descent.

His signings – despite his elite contacts and aside from Tammy Abraham’s goals – haven’t worked out: Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony, in particular, might not have envisaged a relegation battle at this point in their respective careers.


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Bournemouth visit the Liberty Stadium having turned themselves round in recent weeks – a defeat by Eddie Howe here would be the most chastening yet for Clement.

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Retro indulgence

Back to 1990, when Swansea and Bournemouth probably weren’t even daring to dream about top-flight football (let alone one called “the Premier League”), and some classic Harry Redknapp chat on Saint & Greavsie…

Tottenham v West Brom

Put your mortgage on…

Spurs to have little mercy for an empty-looking West Brom. Gary Megson probably shouldn’t be presiding over a Premier League match in 2017, and it’ll take a lot more than him – and a few days – to shed the stifling Pulisian cocoon and turn West Brom into a butterfly.

Anyway, Spurs have some bouncing back to do.

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Retro indulgence

Back to Christmas 2005, and it was Nwankwo Kanu 2-0 Edgar Davids in the Ajax Old Boys Reunion Classic…

Liverpool v Chelsea

Put your mortgage on…

A barnstormer. A rip-snorter. A classic.

Liverpool can’t defend – that much is abundantly clear – while Chelsea need no encouragement to attack. At the other end, there remains a suspicion that Antonio Conte’s rotating defence is vulnerable to a bit of pace: Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane should take care of that.

This simply cannot be a cagey chess match….can it?

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Retro indulgence

It’s a fixture with such a dense recent history, with so much to choose from (ghost goals, slips, aggro by the bucketload), so – after some long deliberation – here’s Vinnie Jones scoring the best goal of his life for Chelsea in front of the Kop.

Southampton v Everton

Put your mortgage on…

Feeling really bad for David Unsworth. He might look like a prison officer who rules with an iron fist, but his caretakership at Everton has been a disaster. The sooner a permanent appointment is made, the better, but don’t expect any respite here.

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Retro indulgence

20 years ago, before he discovered his elbows, here’s a young Kevin Davies being the hot knife to the Everton defence’s butter at Goodison Park. Smooth as silk.

Burnley v Arsenal

Put your mortgage on…

Arsenal to pass another characters test. One week on from a stirring derby performance, it might be deemed Classic Arsenal to then surrender meekly on a late-November trip up North. Slowly, though, it feels like Arsene Wenger’s team are shaking off their reputation as easily-ruffled lightweights.

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The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Most likely headline in the morning paper

GUNNERS FIREPOWER WINS TURF WAR

Huddersfield v Manchester City

Put your mortgage on…

Huddersfield to have absolutely no answer to City’s attack – just like everybody else so far.

The match, according to Ceefax…

Is this how the match will play out?

Retro indulgence

20 years ago, Huddersfield went all Brazil 1970 on Manchester City. 16 intricate passes led to Rob Edwards rifling home an inch-perfect volley. They still talk about it up there, you know.

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