Starting this week, the MLSGB team will take it in turns to predict the Premier League results from each round of fixtures.
This week Ben Ashton gives his predictions for the final gameweek before Christmas:
Saturday 20 December 2014 (All kick-offs are 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated)
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace (12:45)
Man City have done well to make up some ground on Chelsea in recent weeks with a five-game winning streak, and they sit just three points off the pace now. It has been a satisfactory season so far for Palace and you’d expect them to defend from deep and attempt to hit their opponents on the break, but with just one win in ten, City should have enough to win this comfortably.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester United
Aston Villa will be disappointed with their derby defeat to West Brom last weekend having previously gone on a five-game unbeaten run. Meanwhile, United can’t seem to stop winning under Louis Van Gaal at the moment and it’s unlikely that we’ll see that run coming to an end at Villa Park.
Hull City vs. Swansea City
Hull City are now already in a situation where every game becomes a cup final and they will be scrapping for every point they can get. Swansea can blow hot and cold and you’re never quite sure which team will turn up for them. It should be a tight game and they’ll share the spoils.
Queens Park Rangers vs. West Bromwich Albion
The remainder of this season is not going to be comfortable for either of these sides as they look to avoid relegation and home form is going to be crucial. QPR should just edge this with the advantage of the home support.
Southampton vs. Everton
Southampton are in real danger of going into freefall – that’s if they aren’t already of course. So they will be desperate to avoid yet another defeat. As for Everton, they have failed for consistency and that’s why this one will probably end all square.
[The Saints need to bounce back this weekend]
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley
Spurs will be buoyed from their midweek League Cup win over Newcastle and that confidence should be enough to see them over the line against a Burnley side who’ll be reliant on their home form to stand any chance of survival this season.
West Ham United vs. Leicester City
West Ham have been one of the surprise packages this season and they face a Leicester side who have really struggled since their reasonable start to the campaign and now find themselves rooted to the foot of the table. The Hammers should have no problems in seeing off the Midlands side.
Sunday 21 December 2014
Newcastle United vs. Sunderland (13:30)
Despite two heavy defeats in North London in the last week, Newcastle should still be confident of overturning an average Sunderland outfit. They’ve only lost one game at home which came on the opening day against Man City and it’s unlikely that we’ll see that change this weekend.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal (16:00)
Liverpool have won only two of their last eight Premier League games and they’re really struggling for form. Arsenal have been the epitome of inconsistency this season so you never know how they’re going to perform. However, the Gunners are probably slight favourites for the win and should edge it.
Monday 22 December 2014
Stoke City vs. Chelsea (20:00)
Stoke are always a tough team to beat, but they won’t be able to deal with Chelsea’s attacking quality. Chelsea returned to winning ways against Hull last weekend as well as cruising into the last four of the League Cup against Derby midweek, so they will be full of confidence and the minor blip at Newcastle will be a distant memory.
What do you think will happen in the Premier League this weekend?