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Premier League predictions: Arsenal to cruise past Chelsea, Liverpool woe?

Arsenal's clash with Chelsea is the pick of the Premier League matches this weekend, while there's a huge match at the bottom as Bournemouth travel to Sunderland.

Each week, ESPN FC's club bloggers will preview their match and give a prediction. Do you agree or disagree? Have your say below by voting in the match poll.


ARSENAL: This is a rare chance for Arsenal to inflict some pain on Chelsea. Their recent record against their London rivals is dismal but the Blues are at a low ebb and, yes, even fighting relegation. Oh, and Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are back.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea -- Tom Adams

CHELSEA: Games against Arsenal are normally ones to look forward to, but with the midfield in such chaotic form and Diego Costa suffering from a shin injury, it is hard to be optimistic. Upbeat Arsenal will be desperate to beat their London rivals on Sunday as they dream of a rare title win. Sadly, it's hard to see beyond a home victory for the Gunners.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea -- Phil Lythell


MAN UNITED: Louis van Gaal's men have shown a little more resilience in the Premier League in recent weeks with two wins and two draws in their past four, but this could be a frustrating afternoon for the home side, who were beaten by Saints at Old Trafford last season.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Southampton -- Musa Okwonga

SOUTHAMPTON: The rivalry between Southampton manager Ronald Koeman and fellow Dutchman Van Gaal adds extra spice to this fixture. Koeman got the better of his old adversary last season as the visitors won a league game at Old Trafford for the first time in more than 20 years.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Southampton -- Alex Crook


NORWICH: The Canaries have lost the past two but there is a buzz around the club after a double deal for Wolfsburg defender Timm Klose and Everton's Steven Naismith. City are also unbeaten in five at home in the league. Liverpool will have to be at their best.
Prediction: Norwich 1-1 Liverpool -- Paddy Davitt

LIVERPOOL: With just one point from the past available nine, Liverpool need to get back on track this Saturday at relegation-threatened Norwich. Goals are proving hard to come by, so a clean sheet would be most welcome for under-pressure goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, whose new five-year deal was not universally welcomed by supporters.
Prediction: Norwich 0-1 Liverpool -- Dave Usher


WEST HAM: The Hammers looked lacklustre in their 2-1 defeat to Newcastle last week and Slaven Bilic's side are still hampered by injuries to key strikers. Manchester City have wobbled at times this season but should have enough current form to ensure the home side don't complete a league double. 
Prediction:  West Ham 0-2 Manchester City -- Peter Thorne

MAN CITY: Manuel Pellegrini's men are in the ascendancy with Sergio Aguero and David Silva at last gaining power. Defensively, too, there are signs of life with two consecutive clean sheets for the first time since September. Revenge for the scarcely believable home defeat early season is on the cards.
Prediction: West Ham 1-3 Manchester City -- Simon Curtis


CRYSTAL PALACE: All Crystal Palace fans want this weekend is a goal, even if it comes off the backside of an opposing player and crawls past the line. It could be a tough ask against an in-form Spurs.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham -- Jim Daly

TOTTENHAM: After a mini wobble against Leicester in the league, Spurs look to be back to something like their best after comfortable wins against Sunderland in the league and Leicester in their FA Cup third-round replay. Confidence will be high at Spurs, with Palace in a run of poor form.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Tottenham -- John Crace


EVERTON: One win and 11 points dropped from winning positions in the past nine matches has Roberto Martinez's men buried in midtable. Swansea, winless in their 21 league meetings with the Blues, would appear ideal opponents for an Everton side needing to improve on three wins in 13 at Goodison Park.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Swansea -- Luke O'Farrell

SWANSEA: A rejuvenated Swansea are playing to impress new head coach Francesco Guidolin and face a free-scoring Everton side that have been struggling to find wins, if not goals, having not won a league match since Boxing Day. Everton have home advantage, but battling Swansea have four clean sheets in six games.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Swansea -- Max Hicks


LEICESTER: Having failed to beat Bournemouth (0-0) and Aston Villa (1-1) this is exactly the type of game Leicester must win if they are to remain in the chase for a Champions League spot. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have yet to score in 2016.
Prediction: Leicester 2-0 Stoke -- Ben Jacobs

STOKE: Stoke's defence has often struggled against pacy opposition and in that respect, the trip to Leicester will arguably be their biggest test of the season. A deeper back line and the return of Xherdan Shaqiri, though, will give the Potters hope of a positive result.
Prediction: Leicester 2-2 Stoke -- James Whittaker


SUNDERLAND: Sam Allardyce's men follow most steps forward with at least one in reverse. The defence is so porous that Bournemouth could exploit any lapse in concentration, despite Callum Wilson's continued absence. Jermain Defoe remains Sunderland's best match-winning hope but it may be tight.
Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Bournemouth-- Colin Randall

BOURNEMOUTH: The visitors are hoping to put some space between themselves and the drop zone. Eddie Howe's team are full of confidence after thrashing Norwich 3-0 in their past game for their biggest Premier League win yet. Benik Afobe will be the main threat up front.
Prediction: Sunderland 0-1 Bournemouth -- Steve Menary


WATFORD: Quique Sanchez Flores' side have looked utterly miserable in their previous two outings. In theory, a home game against Newcastle is the perfect opportunity to put their recent woes behind them, but this could be a nervous couple of hours. New signing Nordin Amrabat should get a chance to impress.
Prediction: Watford 2-1 Newcastle -- Michael Moruzzi

NEWCASTLE UNITED: The club's Premier League form has picked up in the past two games after taking four points from a possible six against Manchester United and West Ham. However, the seriousness of their plight was underlined when Swansea's 1-0 win against Watford plunged Newcastle back into the bottom three. It makes the trip to Watford a must-win.
Prediction: Watford 0-2 Newcastle-- Lee Ryder


WEST BROM: The hosts will want to bounce back against local rivals Aston Villa following a poor performance in their 3-0 defeat at Southampton. After netting in the FA Cup third-round win against Bristol City in midweek, Salomon Rondon will be looking to start a scoring run against one of the league's worst defences.
Prediction: West Brom 1-0 Aston Villa -- Matthew Evans

ASTON VILLA: This Midlands derby is always a spiky affair but Saturday's showdown at the Hawthorns carries extra significance. Expect a tight contest -- as a Premier League fixture, this has never been won by either team by more than a goal. It's unlikely to be a high-scoring match either. Villa are the lowest scorers in the league and West Brom only have four more in the "goals for" column.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Aston Villa -- Kevin Hughes

Who do you think will come out on top? Leave your predictions in the comments section below.


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