The final Premier League weekend before Christmas gets underway tomorrow and there are some tasty looking encounters to savour.
Manchester City host Crystal Palace in the first game of the weekend while Sunday see’s Newcastle face Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby before the game of the weekend as Arsenal take on Liverpool at Anfield.
Chelsea go away to Stoke on Monday night in what should be another exciting, and dramatic weekend of action.
Here are 10 bold predictions ahead of this weekend’s games:
1. Frank Lampard to score twice against Crystal Palace
Manchester City have the chance to go joint-top of the table with Chelsea if they can beat Palace on Saturday. Former Blues star Lampard has been in fine form of late and he should be played in a more advanced role against the Eagles as a result of City’s mounting injury list. That should see Lampard involved with most of the goalmouth action and we predict that the 35-year-old will net a brace in this one.
2. David De Gea to make at least five saves against Aston Villa
After making a huge 8 saves in United’s 3-0 win against Liverpool last weekend, David De Gea is arguably in the best form of his life. He will make another five at least against Villa on Saturday as United will stretch their winning streak to seven.
3. At least 8 cards issued in the Hull vs. Swansea game
Swansea travel to Hull looking to turn things around after losing three of their last five, but the Tigers have been in much worse form, and are without a win in nine. The Swans have had more red cards than any side in the league (4) and both teams will be fighting to turn things around so don’t be surprised to see plenty of fouls, and as a result bookings.
4. QPR to be out of the relegation zone on Christmas Day
Harry Redknapp’s side have not earned a single point away from home. That is staggering. But thankfully they’ll be at home when they take on West Brom this weekend and a win should see them go into Christmas Day outside of the bottom three. The R’s have won their last two at Loftus Road and they should make it three on Saturday.
5. Southampton fail to score at home against Everton
The Saints are on a very slippery slope. They’ve lost their last four in the league and were knocked out of the League Cup by Sheffield United on Tuesday night. Everton travel to St Mary’s in stuttering form but they will pick up just their second away clean sheet of the season as the Saints fail to score in front of their own fans for the first time since August.
6. Harry Kane to get a hat-trick against Burnley
Tottenham take on Burnley on Saturday and man of the moment Harry Kane will continue to impress by netting a hat-trick against the Clarets. Burnley have turned things around of late and their 1-0 win against Southampton last week will see them arrive at White Hart Lane in full confidence. But the ‘Hurrikane’ has been unstoppable for Spurs and will give Spurs fans an early Christmas present.
7. West Ham to relegate Leicester City five months early
This one might sound a bit farfetched but Leicester will go into Christmas Day at the bottom of the Premier League table as West Ham will win their third home game on the bounce. Only two teams have avoided relegation when being bottom at Christmas in the past 22 years and it doesn’t look good for the Foxes.
8. At least two red cards in the Tyne-Wear derby
Newcastle take on Sunderland in the first of two games on Sunday and it should be another feisty encounter. The Magpies lost 4-0 in the League Cup to Spurs on Wednesday but they have won their last four home games. Sunderland haven’t won in six and these two will battle it out in another exciting derby game. There have been 30 yellow cards and 4 reds in the past six meetings and we’ll see at least two reds on Sunday.
9. Liverpool to score an own goal in loss to Arsenal
Liverpool are in trouble. The 3-0 loss at Manchester United last week was their seventh of the season and they’ve won just two of their last eight in the league. Arsenal travel to Anfield looking to avenge last season’s 5-1 defeat and a vulnerable Liverpool defence won’t help itself by netting an own goal on their way to defeat.
10. Eden Hazard to score a hat-trick at Stoke
Eden Hazard tends to struggle away from home. But can he do it on a cold Monday night in Stoke this week? Yes. The Belgian winger has three goals and one assist in his last four and is playing some fine football. He netted away at Derby on Tuesday night and will get three on Monday as Chelsea remain top for Christmas.
What are your bold predictions for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures?