Michael Owen has made his predictions for the festive round of Premier League fixtures which include Arsenal’s trip to Norwich City, Manchester United’s clash against Newcastle United and Chelsea’s match against Aston Villa.
The Gunners head into the game having won each of their last four matches in all competitions, including impressive victories over Leeds United and West Ham United.
Mikel Arteta’s side currently find themselves in fourth place in the league table with 32 points from their opening 18 games – four points above fifth-placed West Ham who have played a game less.
Meanwhile, bottom of the table Norwich are in desperate need of a win if they want to keep up with their relegation rivals, having failed to win any of their last five top flight fixtures.
Manchester United will be playing for the first time in over two weeks when they head to St James’ Park after the Red Devils had to postpone their games against Brentford and Brighton due to a Covid-19 outbreak with the camp.
United are yet to lose under new interim boss Ralf Rangnick and have almost a fully-fit squad to chose from, with Paul Pogba the only player expected to be unavailable.
Much like Norwich, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side are also in desperate need of three points after conceding 11 goals in their last three matches against Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City.
The Magpies currently occupy 19th place in the table and have only won one of their 19 games so far this campaign.
Chelsea have won just one of their last four Premier League matches, with their recent form seeing them drop from first in the table to third – behind City and Liverpool.
The Blues have had a string of injury and Covid-19 problems, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz all missing at least one game during that poor run.
They take on Villa, who have revitalised themselves under new boss Steven Gerrard, guiding the Villains to four wins in his opening six games in charge.
Elsewhere, league leaders Manchester City taken on Leicester City, Brighton welcome Brentford and West Ham host Southampton.
Liverpool vs Leeds, Wolves vs Watford and Burnley vs Everton have already been postponed due to Covid-19.
Owen believes that United will have too much quality for Newcastle, while he also predicted the remaining fixtures for BetVictor.
West Ham United vs Southampton
West Ham have also had a short break in the Premier League, and recently had a couple of disappointing results, most notably the defeat to Arsenal, where they didn’t really turn up.
Still, they are in the top four race and a week or so off should recharge the batteries.
Southampton haven’t won since the start of November and the mood around the squad can’t be good.
They’ve blown leads to Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in that time and the pressure is mounting.
They are well-coached and always stay in games, but I’ve worried about the quality in this side all season.
I can see West Ham getting back to winning ways here.
Prediction: West Ham United 2-1 Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace
Slowly but surely, Antonio Conte is putting his stamp on this Spurs side.
They look more organised already and the whole atmosphere around the club seems better.
There’s more energy and optimism and he’s given the place a real lift.
Crystal Palace are having a good season and Patrick Vieira will be pretty happy with the start his side has made.
With a huge clash to come against Norwich next week, could they take their eye off this one?
This looks like a routine win for Spurs. They haven’t been scoring many but they’ll have more than enough here.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace
Norwich vs Arsenal
After a good start to his tenure, Dean Smith has seen his side struggle in their last few games.
The one positive I suppose, is that this the last of the harder games for him.
Norwich’s next few after this are more winnable and will go a long way in determining their future.
Arsenal continue to get better and better and are possibly the ones to beat for that 4th spot.
Every time I watch them it’s the youngsters who take my eye, Saka, Smith Rowe and Odegaard.
I also really like what I’m seeing from Martinelli in recent weeks. He’s got great energy; his movement is fantastic, and he seems to have a knack for scoring goals. Trust me, you can’t buy that!
This should be comfortable for Arsenal.
Prediction: Norwich 0-2 Arsenal
Manchester City vs Leicester City
It looks like Man City are taking control of this title race to me. Liverpool will look to keep pace with them but the form that City are in, they’ll take some stopping.
Defensively they look so solid, mainly because teams just don’t get the ball against them.
The likes of Joao Cancelo and Rodri just get better and better every time I watch them and De Bruyne looks like he’s getting back in form.
Things aren’t quite right with Leicester at the minute. They’ve been inconsistent all season but to be fair, they’ve been desperately unlucky with injuries.
They were superb in that 4-0 win over Newcastle in their last, but how will they perform here?
I can only this going one way. Leicester might nick a goal, but City will win.
Prediction: Manchester City 4-1 Leicester City
Source: Read Full Article