We’re fresh off FA Cup weekend and ready for another blockbuster gameweek of Premier League football.
The weekend begins with Wolves hosting Leicester in a mid-table clash, and in the 3pm’s Liverpool look to extend their lead atop the table and Manchester United will be aiming to make it seven straight wins against Brighton. A London derby closes the day as Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates. Sunday sees Manchester City and Spurs on the road, taking on Huddersfield and Fulham respectively, as they look to keep pace with the Merseysiders’ incredible form.
We’ve had a look at the fixtures and had two of the Squawka team come up with predictions:
Wolves vs. Leicester
Muhammad Butt: Wolves are two points behind Leicester in the league and they know a win will propel them into the top half, and given Leicester have won just once in their last four matches, that’s what you can expect. 2-1 Wolves.
Will Eldridge: Both sides have lost two out of the last three Premier League matches but only one manager is coming under increasing pressure, with Claude Puel losing fan confidence as the season continues goes on. 1-1 draw.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Ricardo Pereira averages more tackles per match (4.2) than any of his Leicester teammates.
Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace
MB: Liverpool are flying high right now. The Reds rebounded from their loss to City and FA Cup elimination by beating Brighton. Now Palace have often given them trouble so they won’t blow the Eagles away, but they should win. 1-0 Liverpool.
WE: The Reds will want to continue their reign at the top of the Premier League but Palace have a decent away record at Anfield since promotion in 2013. A potential shocker? 1-2 Crystal Palace.
PLAYER TO WATCH: James Tomkins averages 6.1 clearances for the Eagles per 90 minutes. Expect at least this on Saturday.
Bournemouth vs. West Ham
MB: The Hammers are in a great mood after beating Arsenal at the Emirates, and whilst you’d expect them to come crashing down in this game as a result, the extra quality in the side should allow them to build some momentum against beleaguered Bournemouth. 1-3 West Ham.
WE: The south coast side are not in fantastic form while West Ham defeated Arsenal 1-0 in their last outing. Four points separate these sides with a win for Bournemouth potentially enough to drag them back into the top half. 2-1 Bournemouth.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Nathan Ake is the man you want on the ball, with the Dutchman racking up a pass success average of 87.9% so far this campaign.
Manchester United vs. Brighton
MB: Manchester United have won all six of their games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and it’s unlikely that Brighton will be able to stop their momentum, particularly as The Red Devils will be keen to avenge their defeat from earlier in the season. 2-0 United.
WE: King Ole is still running riot with the Red Devils since his appointment at the end of last year. Brighton are in poor form so expect this to be another victory for the Old Trafford side. 4-1 United.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Marcus Rashford has been directly involved in nine goals in the last nine matches across all competitions (six goals, three assists).
Newcastle vs. Cardiff
MB: Cardiff will travel up to Newcastle desperate not to lose, whilst Rafa’s men will be full of spark after their extra time FA Cup replay win against Blackburn. Expect the home side to triumph in a tight contest. 2-1 Newcastle.
WE: The reverse fixture at the start of the season was a bore draw. In such a key match, this will either be a classic must-win match or another snooze fest. 3-3 draw.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Salmon Rondon has averaged a goal every two games across the last 10 fixtures. He had only scored one goal beforehand this campaign.
Southampton vs. Everton
MB: Southampton have been improved under Ralph Hassenhuttl, but Everton are finding ways to win matches. The Toffees are a side full of talent but they will probably be held on the south coast. 2-2 draw.
WE: Last weekend’s impressive away performance at Leicester City will fill the Saints with confidence. The Toffees will be a tough opponent with Marco Silva’s men able to compete with most on their day. 1-2 Everton.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Lucas Digne has provided the most crosses in the Premier League this season with 175.
Watford vs. Burnley
MB: Burnley are in good form, winning four matches on the spin. But Watford’s win over Crystal Palace plus the fact that the game is away from Turf Moor (where three of Burnley’s wins have come) does hint that the Hornets could sting Dyche’s men. 2-1 Watford.
WE: The Hornets are currently the best of the rest but Sean Dyche’s Burnley have won the past three matches. Expect a close one. 1-1 draw.
PLAYER TO WATCH: James Tarkowski has made the most defensive blocks (34) this season with Ben Mee a close second (29).
Arsenal vs. Chelsea
MB: All logic points to Chelsea dismantling a ramshackle Arsenal side and then winning by, like, an Eden Hazard brace (one penalty, one worldie). So of course what will actually happen is the Gunners will fire the Blues into the sun. 3-1 Arsenal.
WE: An exciting London derby that is vital for both sides. Arsenal are six points behind the Blues who, with an away victory, will surely make it almost impossible for the Gunners to drag themselves back into the top four this campaign? 2-2 draw.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Maurizio Sarri’s side have come too close to scoring too often this year, with both Marcos Alonso and Willian hitting the woodwork five times each.
Huddersfield vs. Manchester City
MB: Manchester City are far, far too good for Huddersfield to contend with, even after David Wagner’s departure. 0-5 City.
WE: The Terriers go into this tough fixture without their main man. David Wagner’s departure will make this far worse for the home side who will hope to keep the goals conceded to a minimum. 0-4 City.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jonas Lossl has made 12 punching clearances this campaign but will need more than his trusty gloves to get him through this match.
Fulham vs. Spurs
MB: Fulham have lost three on the spin and Spurs are an excellent side who will be determined to bounce back from their loss to Manchester United. They won’t find it easy without Harry Kane, but Pochettino will find a way. 0-2 Spurs.
WE: Another London derby that will be played without Mr Kane. Fulham desperately need the points with Spurs hoping to prove they are a side capable of competiting with their main man. 1-3 Spurs.
PLAYER TO WATCH: He may be their top goalscorer (8) but Aleksandar Mitrovic just can’t keep himself in line. He has been caught offside 23 times this season, more than anyone else.