SURVIVAL BATTLE: Sinclair
Hindsight's Premier League Predictions is is association with Sky Sports:
[All matches start at 10am unless otherwise stated]
Saturday, November 21
WATFORD – MAN UNITED 12.45
Heurelho Gomes experienced a rare aberration against Leicester City when his error-strewn afternoon gifted the Foxes a narrow victory. Prior to his hapless goalkeeping, Gomes had been in wonderful form for the Hornets and having had the international break to introspect, the Brazilian will be hoping his performance was just a blip. As for United, they have discovered a new star within their ranks in the shape of Jesse Lingard. The forward has enhanced his reputation and he will be aiming to do so once more against Watford. Away win.
CHELSEA – NORWICH
Jose Mourinho’s troubles increased following yet another defeat against Stoke City. With the ‘Special One’ seemingly powerless in ending Chelsea’s slump in form, it is a case of when and not if the Chelsea hierarchy part company with their embattled manager. It has been an abysmal season thus far for the champions who are currently having a dalliance with relegation. Norwich, however, were victorious in their previous league outing and will set their sights on subjecting Chelsea to yet another miserable weekend. Hard fought draw.
EVERTON – ASTON VILLA
Gerard Deulofeu’s eye-catching form has been key for the Toffees this term. He has often been at the heart of Everton’s attack, with his sublime assist for Romelu Lukaku against West Ham a case in point. Much to my surprise, Aston Villa defensively held firm against Premier League leaders Manchester City. Remi Garde had an immediate impact as Villa kept their first clean sheet since their opening day win at Bournemouth. However, the real possibility of relegation still lingers at Villa Park. The Midlanders need goals from the likes of Scott Sinclair if they are to survive and I predict a comfortable win for Everton in this encounter.
NEWCASTLE – LEICESTER
Newcastle are finally back to winning ways and the performances of Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum have also caught the eye. The latter has been directly involved in eight of Newcastle’s 13 goals this season in the top-flight. Impressive. But not quite as impressive as Jamie Vardy’s imperious goalscoring form which has seen the England striker score in nine successive games. Vardy has been a revelation this season and I expect him to break the record and inspire Leicester to yet another win.
SOUTHAMPTON – STOKE
Southampton are currently unbeaten in their last six Premier League fixtures with Ronald Koeman’s men four points adrift of a Champions League spot. The club has developed a knack of signing unknowns and turning them into quality players with Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic at the forefront of their impressive recruitment. Stoke have implemented something similar with Jack Butland and Xherdan Shaqiri showcasing why they were bestowed as Mark Hughes’ marquee signings. This is a tough match to call, but I have a sneaky feeling Stoke will just do enough to win.
WEST BROM – ARSENAL
Despite a battling display, WBA could not prevent a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford last time out. The loss incidentally saw them drop to 13th in the league. As for Arsenal, they showed the characteristics of a title-winning side with a gutsy 1-1 against rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners are now level on points with Man City and have genuine chances of mounting a serious challenge for the top-flight crown. Mesut Ozil’s penchant for assisting goals has been a prominent feature and I expect this to take place once more at The Hawthorns. More success on the road for Gunners.
MAN CITY – LIVERPOOL 17.30
With Manuel Pellegrini’s men deprived of two strikers, in Wilfried Bony and Sergio Aguero, it remains to be seen who the City boss will deploy up front. A lack of a focal point leading the line against Aston Villa proved to be City’s downfall – and they can’t afford a similar performance against Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp endured his first defeat as Liverpool manager at the hands of Crystal Palace before the international break. I expect City to inflict a second defeat on the German.
Sunday, November 22
TOTTENHAM – WEST HAM 16.00
Harry Kane is starting to reproduce the goalscoring heroics we had become accustomed to last campaign. Precocious midfielders Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli have also caught the eye, which has gone down well among the White Hart Lane faithful. West Ham have often been victorious on their travels this term, but the three-month loss to injury of talisman Dimitri Payet is a huge blow for the Hammers. Narrow home win.
Monday, November 23
CRYSTAL PALACE – SUNDERLAND 20.00
An inspired Palace won 2-1 win during their last fixture at Anfield. It was even more pleasing to see the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Scott Dann get on the scoresheet – with the former hailing Alan Pardew’s tactics as a huge factor behind their win. Sam Allardyce should take note because his tactics have been anything but deserving of a win. The Black Cats will be reliant on veteran striker Jermain Defoe for vital goals. However, I can’t see Sunderland winning anytime soon, so the flying Eagles should have no trouble sealing three points.