It was a stellar week forSky Sports’ Paul Merson as he predicted the outcomes of nine out of 10 of last weekend’s Premier League matches, including four perfect scores.
The ‘Magic Man’ is looking to continue that blistering form as he gives his predictions ahead of another important weekend at the top and the bottom of the Premier League…
Chelsea v Manchester United
Chelsea will be fully focused on not losing the game. Jose Mourinho will set up to contain Manchester United. He’s done it before and, with the title on the line, he’ll do it again.
The pressure will certainly be off Manchester United. They have a bit of a free swing at Stamford Bridge but this game will be a real test of how far United have come under Louis van Gaal. They have certainly improved but this will be a real test against a Chelsea side that has been the best team in the country by a mile this season.
I think this will be a tight game and I can see it finishing in a 1-1 draw. Chelsea will definitely settle for that!
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1
Manchester City v West Ham
Manchester City have to win. They cannot afford another slip up. It’s a cup final for Manuel Pellegrini and his side. It’s all gone pear shaped for the champions but they have to turn it around here. And I think they will.
West Ham are the perfect opposition at the moment. Sam Allardyce’s men are on a bad run themselves, having just won one of their last 11 matches. However, they are in no danger of relegation and will not trouble the European places, so if City cannot pick up three points here there will be serious questions to answer for Pellegrini and his squad.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0
Newcastle v Tottenham
The flip-flop derby! These two sides might as well be on the beach. In all seriousness, I think Tottenham will prevail here. However, if they do win I don’t think it’s a great result. It’s getting to the stage of the season where I don’t think too many teams want to finish fifth or sixth. The Europa League is a huge distraction for the teams that qualify.
That being said, Newcastle are in a bad place at the moment. They need to win a football match quickly. It seems like they’ve been on 35 points since Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace. They are on a run of five straight defeats in the league and Spurs can condemn John Carver’s men to a sixth.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2
Crystal Palace v West Brom
I watched Palace last week and they were sensational. They were in Brazil’s colours and Alan Pardew’s men played like the Samba Boys at Sunderland. The Eagles are flying at the moment and this will be a very hard game for West Brom.
Tony Pulis’ side have hit a sticky patch in recent weeks. They need a result quickly because they are in huge danger of being sucked into the relegation battle. Unfortunately for them I can’t see them getting the win they need against an in-form Palace.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0
Everton v Burnley
Burnley have got a good run-in which will give them hope of survival. When I watch Burnley they work really hard for Sean Dyche. They work their socks off for the cause every week but I don’t think that will be good enough to get all three points at Goodison Park. If Danny Ings doesn’t fire for Burnley then you worry about where their goals will come from.
Everton are a good side who shouldn’t be where they are in the league. They’ve turned around their form in recent weeks and will have too much for Burnley.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1
Leicester v Swansea
I’ve said all along Leicester will get out of the relegation zone. Compared to Burnley, Nigel Pearson’s side create plenty of chances and they have more players who can find the back of the net. For that reason I fancy their chances against Swansea and I really think they can survive the drop.
The fact Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis is out injured helps their chances. Without the Frenchman It’s going to be a difficult task for Garry Monk’s side, so I’m going for a home win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1
Stoke v Southampton
I don’t see too much between these two teams. There are just four places between them, with Southampton in sixth and Stoke in 10th.
Mark Hughes’ men are very strong at home but Saints are pushing hard for Europe and will be up for the challenge. This one is too difficult to call. Hughes and Ronald Koeman will be sharing the spoils come Saturday evening.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1