30th December 2016

Hull City vs Everton (20:00pm)

The first set of New Year’s matches comes on the 30th when relegation battlers Hull City host an Everton side who are finally starting to return to form.  Hull City’s winless run continued as they were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City on Boxing Day to extend their run to 7 games without wins.  This sees them remain at the bottom of the table with extended pressure being put onto manager Mike Phelan, they have 12 points to their name and are 4 points away from the drop zone.  Furthermore, they have no gone three consecutive matches without a goal and conceded 10 goals in their last 4 outings.

Everton however, are finally starting to find their form again despite a narrow loss at the hands of their bitter rivals Liverpool.  Everton put up a strong performance on boxing day, seeing off former Premier League Champions Leicester City 2-0 with goals coming from Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku to give Everton their first win away from home in 7 games.  They now find themselves in 7th place in the league with 26 points to their name, 7 points behind 6th placed Manchester United.

Prediction: I think that Everton will add another away win to their tally in this outing to the KCOM stadium to give their fans a good amount of optimism for fixtures in the new year.  2-0 Everton.

31st December 2016

Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion (15:00pm)

1 point is what currently separates 8th placed Southampton and West Bromwich Albion when they face off at St Mary’s on New Years Eve.

Southampton will be looking to redeem themselves after their humiliating defeat at the hands of Spurs on Wednesday evening when they were destroyed 4-1, despite going ahead just 1 minute in.  However, their failure to deal effectively with strong Spurs attacking players such as Dele Alli and Heung Min Son was what saw their undoing.  Wednesday’s defeat to Spurs was only their second home loss of the season, the only other for them coming against Premier League front runners Chelsea.

West Brom come into this match following a late 1-0 defeat to the Gunners on Boxing Day.  They come into this match following 2 consecutive defeats where they have failed to put any goals past their opposing side.  However, could they be forgiven for these defeats seen as they were at the hands of two top quality sides, Arsenal and Manchester United?    However their away form has been fairly form has been fairly poor with them only picking up 2 wins in their 9 games away from home this season.

Prediction:  I can’t really see this match going either way, both teams are coming in off of defeats.  However I think Southampton could win if you factor in West broms poor away record this year, for that reason, I think that Southampton should come out of this match with a minimum of one point.

Burnley vs Sunderland (15:00pm)

Burnley gave their fans wanted they wanted this Christmas after beating Middlesbrough late on thanks to a goal in the 80 minute by Andre Gray.  This match gave them their 6th win of the season, all of those wins coming at their home fortress Turf Moor.  It is clear that their home form will be something that they will rely on come the end of the season to ensure that they stay in the Premier League next year.  Burnley currently find themselves 14th in the Premier League with 20 points to their name after 18 games.

Sunderland’s supposed finding of form was short lived after they lost out to Manchester United in a 3-1 defeat on Boxing Day, giving them an even deeper hoel to get out of in order to avoid relegation.  They did show some improvement over their last few matches with a  few wins, however their away form is what has left them down.  Away from home the Black Cats have lost 7 of their last 9 with the other 2 being a win and a draw.  They currently find themselves at 18th in the Premier League with 14 points to their name, 2points away from safety.

Prediction:  I think Burnley’s good home form should contribute towards them achieving a win over Sunderland in the fixture on New Years Eve.  2-1 Burnley.

Leicester City vs West Ham United (15:00pm)

Leicester City fans are worried at the moment for a good reason…  Last season they were Premier League Champions, now they are looking at the potential of going back down to the Championship.  On boxing day they were humbled 2-0 at the King Power Stadium by Everton, to leave a sour taste in the mouths of all Leicester City fans.  Off the back of that defeat they have now dropped down to 16th place in the table with them being just 3 points above the drop zone and winning only once in their last 9 Premier League.

West Ham are slowly starting pickup form with them beating Swansea 4-1 in their game on Boxing Day to give them their 3rd straight win and leave them unbeaten in 4 games, is this the Hammers finally turning around their season?  Off the back of this good run West Ham have been able to move themselves up to 11th place in the league with 22 points to their name.

Prediction:  West Ham I believe will come away with the win in this game, taking advantage of Leicester’s terrible form throughout their title defence this season.  2-0 West Ham.

Manchester United vs Middlesbrough (15:00pm)

Manchester United have finally found their form and have picked up 4 consecutive league wins in their past few outings with them thrashing Sunderland 3-1 in their last match.  Jose Mourinho had a tough start to his premiership at Manchester united with many draws and them being outside of the top 5 come Christmas time.  However they ended their drawing ways and finally have started to pick up wins in the league.  As well as this Super Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic is on top form, scoring in all 5 of Manchester United previous 5 fixtures.  They currently find themselves at 6th in the table with 33 points to their name, 3 points behind 5th placed Spurs.

Middlesbrough missed out on a needed point after losing narrowly by 1 goal to nil in their last fixture against Burnley on Boxing Day.  Coming into this away game against Manchester United, Middlesbrough are without an away win in their last 8 away games, with their last away win being against Sunderland on the second game of the season.  As of recent form they come into this match having lost 3 of their last 4 games and more than likely going to 4 of their last games losing this next match to United.  Middlesbrough find themselves at 15th in the table with 18 points to their name, 4 above the drop zone.

Swansea vs Bournemouth (15:00pm)

Relegation candidates Swansea City are taking on fellow strugglers Bournemouth in another of the New Years Eve fixtures.

Swansea suffered a dreadful 4-1 defeat on Boxing Day at the hands of West Ham to end Bob Bradley’s reign as manager of Swansea after just 85 days in charge of them.  The Swans have managed to pick up only 8 points from their 10 fixtures in the Premier League and are coming into this match against Bournemouth off the back of 3 consecutive defeats.    They currently find themselves second from bottom of the Premier League with 12 points.

 

Bournemouth come into this game having lost 3-0 to Chelsea on Boxing Day on their Christmas visit to Stamford Bridge.  This makes it 3 consecutive away defeats for Bournemouth  and in each of those away fixtures they have conceded at least 3 goals.  Bournemouth currently find themselves at 12th in the league table with 21 points to their name.

Prediction:  I see a bore draw between these two sides on New Years Eve.  Nothing more to say than that.  1-1.

Chelsea vs Stoke City (15:00pm)

In form Chelsea look set to continue their winning streak and easily see off a struggling Stoke City side in their next fixture on New Years Eve.  Chelsea have now extended their winning streak to 12 games after they destroyed Bournemouth 3-0 in their previous game. In their last 10 games they have netted 23 goals and conceded only twice, a great record.  Their home record this season has been great for them, with them taking 24 out of a possible 27 at Stamford Bridge.  They currently find themselves at the top of the table with 46 points after 18 games, 6 points clear of second placed Liverpool.

 

Stoke City suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool on tuesday.  Despite starting the game well and taking the lead, they eventually got hammered by Liverpool, with the match ending 4-1.  Stoke are now without a win in their last 4 league games and find themselves at 13th place in the table.

Prediction:  It goes without saying that Chelsea should go and easily win this New Years Eve clash over Stoke to extend their winning running to 13 games.  3-0 Chelsea.

Liverpool vs Manchester City (17:30pm)

The game of the day for sure.  Liverpool and Manchester City are set to take on each other at Anfield on New Years Eve.  In their last game Liverpool destroyed Stoke City in a 4-1 win to extend their home unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions, this includes 8 home games in the league, their home form is the 3rd best in the league so far this season with them gaining 20 points out of a possible 24 at home.  Liverpool going into this game currently find themselves in 2nd place with 40 points to their name, 1 point above their opponents Manchester City.

Manchester City are returning to form after 2 consecutive losses on the trot against Leicester City and Chelsea a few weeks back.  However following those defats, the citizens find themselves on a 3 game winning streak, scoring 7 goals conceding only once in them 3 games.  Furthermore Manchester City’s away from is the 2nd best so far this season in the league with them achieving 21 points from their 9 away games they have played.  They currently find themselves at 3rd in the league with 39 points to their name 1 away from Liverpool.

Prediction:  This should be a closely knit affair between these two sides, but Liverpool having their home fans behind them should be enough for them to seize a much needed win from this match. 3-2 Liverpool.

1st January 2016

Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur (13:30pm)

Watford and Spurs face each other for the first time this season when they face off on New Years Day.  Watford come into this match having drawn 1-1 with Crystal Palace  in their last fixture.  Before that match they were on a losing streak with a number of consecutive defeats without scoring.  The Crystal Palace game I believe has given their side some renewed confidence.  Furthermore their home form will give them more confidence with them being beaten only once at Vicarage Road in their last 8 games their.  Watford currently find themselves at 10th place in the league table with 22 points to their name after 18 games.

 

Tottenham picked up an excellent win on Wednesday evening after thrashing Southampton despite some nerves at the start when they went 1-0 down through Van Djik.  Spurs have now extended their winning run to 3 games after the Southampton game and are continuing to put pressure on their London rivals Arsenal who sit one place above them in 4th.  Spurs currently stand in 5th place with 36 points to their name

Prediction:  Spurs should pick up a nice away win on New Years Day to give them a solid start to the new year extending their own winning streak to 4 games. 2-0 Spurs.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace (16:00pm)

The last game of the New Year kick off is Arsenal, Crystal palace in the first London derby of the year.

Arsenal come into this game after a hard fought victory over West Bromwich Albion where they picked up a win late on through Olivier Giroud to give them a crucial 3 points.  Arsenal before hand were on a run of 2 consecutive defeats and needed to return to form and achieve a 3 points to continue to stay above their arch nemesis.  Arsenal currently find themselves at 4th place in the league with 37 points to their name 1 point above Spurs.

Sam Allardyce narrowly missed out on achieving his first win in charge of Crystal Palace after conceding a goal late on to Watford on Boxing Day during his first game in charge of palace.  However their much improved performance in this game can give the Eagles some confidence as they go into a tough new year fixture against Arsenal.  Crystal Palace currently find themselves in 17th place with 16 points to their name, 2 points above the dreaded drop zone.

Prediction:  Despite hopes for Crystal Palace to achieve a win, it is unlikely to happen especially seen as the Gunners are returning to form after achieving a win in the Christmas period.  Furthermore the match is at the Emirates Stadium giving Arsenal a home advantage.  2-0 Arsenal.