The jam-packed football calendar continues into the new year as we gear up for another weekend of domestic action.
Saturday morning also marks the start of the January Transfer Window and while some clubs will be on the lookout for new faces, others will be desperate to keep hold of their prized assets heading into the second half of the campaign.
With all that excitement to come, this weekend’s fixtures also promise to serve up plenty of drama. Chris Wilder is running out of time to reverse Sheffield United’s fortunes, but their trip to south London could prove timely. Palace were one of just two sides the Blades did the double over last term, losing 1-0 both home and away against Wilder’s side.
Elsewhere, it’s a busy day of action in the Championship as the campaign reaches its midway point.
Below we run the rule over Sky’s Super 6 fixtures for Saturday, offering our predictions and tips.
Squawka prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Sheffield Utd
Crystal Palace welcome a Sheffield United side still chasing their first victory in the Premier League this season. Wilfried Zaha is in red-hot form and has already doubled his tally from last season, but this fixture pits together two sides who will be desperate not to lose and it could be cagey at Selhurst Park. Palace can perhaps consider themselves unfortunate to have failed to keep a clean sheet since the opening day and will hope to seize this opportunity against a Blades side averaging 0.5 goals a game.
Squawka prediction: Swansea 1-1 Watford
Watford edged past leaders Norwich to make a winning start to life under new manager Xisco Munoz on Boxing Day. They will arrive at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday feeling relatively refreshed a week on from that win over the Canaries, while the Swans were back in action on Wednesday night after a win at QPR on December 26. These are the two best defences in the Championship this season so expect a low-scoring affair.
Squawka prediction: Norwich 3-1 Barnsley
Barnsley picked up 18 points in December alone but usher in the new year with a gruelling test against a Norwich side desperate to bounce back from defeat to Watford. While Barnsley are marginally the form side, they are without a clean sheet in 10 league matches and the Championship leaders are due a big home win. Five of their six victories at Carrow Road this term have come by a single goal despite dominant displays.
Max Aarons next club (via Sky Bet):
- Manchester United 6/4
- Everton 9/1
- Arsenal 14/1
- Liverpool 18/1
Brentford P-P Bristol City
Squawka prediction: Birmingham 1-2 Blackburn
Birmingham have been pulled into the relegation picture after picking up just one point from a possible 15 in recent weeks. Aitor Karanka’s side have a home win percentage of just 18% and this week’s 4-0 drubbing by drop rivals Derby will have done little to lift the mood at St. Andrew’s. Meanwhile, no Championship side has scored more league goals than Blackburn, who have an average of 2.05xG away from Ewood Park this season.
Squawka prediction: Preston 1-0 Nottingham Forest
Preston welcome Nottingham Forest hoping to pick up a fourth victory on the spin after a recent push towards the play-off places. Only Derby have scored fewer goals than Nottingham Forest in the Championship this season, while Preston have kept four clean sheets in their last six league matches. Forest, after a mini-revival of their own, are unbeaten in four (drawing three) but have secured just six points on the road all season.
First goal tiebreaker prediction: 17 mins
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