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Hindsight's Premier League Predictions

BEST OF ENEMIES: Arsene Wenger (left) and Jose Mourinho

TWO FALLEN giants meet at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. Manchester United play host to Arsenal in the first top-flight fixture after the international break.

Both will be eager to take the points in order to peg back rampant league leaders Liverpool. Neither team is in the best form but as is the norm with this fixture almost anything could happen - and probably will! Key men could be David De Gea in the home goal and Gunners playmaker Mesut Ozil.

All matches at 15.00 unless otherwise stated

Saturday, November 19

Man United - Arsenal 12.30
Might just be worth staying in for this one! Home boss Jose Mourinho has a very public dislike for a man that he has taunted with the moniker of ‘specialist in failure.’ Arsene Wenger is less vocal about the duo’s antipathy but it would be fair to say that he won’t be sending his rival a Christmas card. The hosts, in sixth place in the table, will be without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic but big money signing Paul Pogba could be pivotal to the home cause. Home side edge it.

Crystal Palace - Man City
Palace will have to get their defending together if they are to avoid another defeat. Liverpool visited Selhurst Park last month and put four past Alan Pardew’s hapless defenders. Central defenders Scott Dann and James Tomkins will chiefly be responsible for shackling the likes of Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling. I do not expect the Palace duo to be up to the task. Three more points for Pep’s men.

Everton - Swansea
The last time Everton took to the field they were trounced 5-0 by a rampant Chelsea. No doubt Toffees’ boss Ronald Koeman tore a strip off a few of his players after the capitulation at Stamford Bridge. I expect Swansea to lose this fixture just because the home side owe their manager – and fans – a performance. American Bob Bradley has not yet managed to get his side to win during the early days of his tenure. More disappointment is coming his way

Southampton - Liverpool
The Saints will be still reeling having suffered shock defeat to relegation- threatened Hull just before the international break. They will have to be on their toes on Saturday when they face the league leaders who are scoring goals for fun just now. While the Reds’ strikers grab the goals and headlines the midfield duo of captain Jordan Henderson and Emre Can are chipping in with goals and also providing a defensive shield for the defensive. The question is: can the Anfield side maintain their red hot form and deliver a PL crown? Time will tell. Draw.

Stoke - Bournemouth
The home side are unbeaten in five and will fancy their chances of another victory. Wilfried Bony is in the goals again so the Cherries will have to watch out. All credit to the Stoke hierarchy, who when things were not going well at the start of the campaign, stuck with manager Mark Hughes. They are now being rewarded for that faith with City climbing the table. Bournemouth were beaten by a lowly 10-man Sunderland in their last match. Cherries pipped again.

Sunderland - Hull
What a fillip the backs-to-the-wall win at Bournemouth would have been for the Black Cats. Key to that win was Jermain Defoe, as ever, and giant forward Victor Anichebe. There has to be expectation that they can see off a Hull side that also look like they are in for a bleak midwinter despite their impressive home win against Southampton. The away side’s cause will not be helped with the news that striker Abel Hernandez has been ruled out for a month with a groin injury. Happy days at the Stadium Light come the final whistle.

Watford - Leicester
The Hornets will look to sting the ailing champions at Vicarage Road. Both sides were hurting after their matches against Liverpool and West Brom respectively. Watford were annihilated 6-1 by the Reds at Liverpool while the Foxes were shot down by the Baggies just before the international hiatus. Captain Troy Deeney will look to keep Wes Morgan and Robert Huth on their toes. Can anyone tell me what’s happened to last term’s cunning Fox Jamie Vardy this term? Honours even.

Tottenham - West Ham 17.30
Capital punishment will be meted out in north London on Saturday evening. Unbeaten Spurs will look to take all three points having seen their ambitions blighted by six draws already this term. The Hammers are just above the relegation zone but they don’t need to overly panic. Players are returning from injury and they have tweaked their playing system which has built confidence. Andre Ayew and the highly consistent Michail Antonio will prove a handful to the Cockerels defence. This promises to be an electric affair at White Hot Lane. Points shared.

Sunday, November 20

Middlesbrough - Chelsea
Boro are proving to be obdurate with PL survival top of their agenda. Away points at Arsenal and Man City are admirable but they’ll have to work their socks off again to keep Chelsea at bay. The away side are second in the table and looking good at present. The Voice of Sport earmarked them as potential champions in August and they are certainly in the title mix. Blues win again.

Monday, November 21

West Brom - Burnley
hese two sides have already proved that they can put noses out of joint. West Brom hurt the champions at the King Power Stadium last time out while the Clarets have already beaten Liverpool and Everton and held Man United. I think that home advantage will just see West Brom edge this but they will have to match Burnley’s tremendous work ethic in order to get anything out of this game. What is certain is that both managers – Tony Pulis and Sean Dyche – will have their troops suitably fired up.

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