Paul Merson has made his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures, including Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea, Arsenal’s clash with Newcastle United and Liverpool’s match against Southampton.
United go into the match at Stamford Bridge on the back of just one win in their last seven Premier League matches to leave them teetering in eighth place in the table.
Caretaker boss Michael Carrick looks set to take charge of his first Premier League match after guiding United to a crucial 2-0 win over Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday.
This could be Carrick’s last game in charge of the team, with Ralf Rangnick reportedly close to taking over on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have started the season in fine form, having only lost one top flight match in their opening 12 games to find themselves top of the table and three points above Manchester City in second.
Elsewhere, Arsenal welcome struggling Newcastle to the Emirates, with Eddie Howe’s side the only team in the top flight not to register a single win in their opening 12 matches.
Third-placed Liverpool entertain Southampton, with the Reds looking to continue the form they showed in the 4-0 win over Arsenal last weekend.
Also this weekend, Sean Dyche’s Burnley host Tottenham Hotspur, high-flying West Ham United travel to the Etihad to take on Manchester City and Brighton welcome Leeds United.
Merson believes that Chelsea will have too much firepower for United, while also predicting all of the weekend’s other Premier League matches for Sportskeeda.
Arsenal vs Newcastle United
I would expect Arsenal to get back on the horse against Newcastle. They proved that they’re flat-track bullies last weekend.
They’ve played a game apiece against the top three and they’ve been completely and utterly blown away this season. It is a worrying sign, but they have been winning games that they are expected to win.
Newcastle didn’t get a particularly great result against Brentford the other day, but they did have a good game.
Their fans want to see good football from them, but I don’t see them troubling Arsenal this weekend.
Arsenal were on a 10-game unbeaten streak before Liverpool ended their purple patch.
Newcastle showed signs of improvement against Brentford but will find it difficult to keep Arsenal at bay.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle United
Liverpool vs Southampton
I don’t see Southampton being able to live with Liverpool this weekend.
Jurgen Klopp had a bit of a blip against West Ham, but his side came back strongly with a comfortable 4-0 victory against an in-form Arsenal side last week.
Liverpool have far too much quality for a Southampton side that failed to get the better of Norwich in their previous game.
Klopp should be able to guide his team to another comprehensive victory this weekend.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
Norwich City vs Wolves
This is a massive game for Norwich. They managed a great result against Southampton last week and this could be a crucial must-win game for them.
They have the home advantage, a new manager, and a feel-good factor – Norwich will certainly put up a fight.
Wolves have gone under the radar this season, to be honest. This is a hard game for them, and a difficult one to predict.
Wolves were excellent against West Ham but could find it more difficult against a Norwich side that has won back-to-back games in the Premier League.
Prediction: Norwich City 1-1 Wolves
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa
I watched Aston Villa play under Steven Gerrard last week, and I thought they were quite fortunate in the end.
If Gerrard wasn’t their manager, the fans would’ve been a bit frustrated with that performance.
They scored two late goals against Brighton, and now they seem to have got their confidence back.
I love the way Crystal Palace have gone about their business so far.
They’re scoring lots of goals, and Patrick Vieira has got them playing very well at the moment.
Steven Gerrard needs more time to get his team to play the way he wants.
Patrick, on the other hand, had more of a chance to get his team together and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Aston Villa
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