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January 22, 2019

Burnley are in for a long evening as Chelsea seek to widen the gap at the top

ON POINT: Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas celebrates after Chelsea bag all points at Crystal Palace. Photo/Reuters
ON POINT: Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas celebrates after Chelsea bag all points at Crystal Palace. Photo/Reuters

Chelsea Vs Burnley Today 6pm,

My Prediction: Blues..3 Burnley...0

 Poor Burnley! Punished by Manchester United 10 days ago only to find yourselves facing the really mean league leaders! After their sneaky victory over Everton last week in the league; Chelsea were accused by Toffees boss Roberto Martinez of swaying the decisions of the referees. What an ill-tempered match in which Chelsea won the battle, but football lost. I like watching fair play and I’m not so sure about that game. The fact is that The Blues know they are on the home stretch and they will do anything, no matter how un-sportman-like it is to win the title this season. Midweek, they weren’t very convincing against PSG in the Champions League but they got a vital away draw. Manger Jose Mourinho knows what they must do to win the league and he’ll do it! This little matter of Burnley will be like a tiny pimple on an already rough complexion. No need to go into details; it is written!

Crystal Palace Vs Arsenal, Today 6pm,

My Prediction: Palace... 1 Gunners.... 3

 Crystal Palace are a really weird team. They were one up against Liverpool last week until half time and then conceded twice without reply in the second half. They don’t know who they are. Palace have only lost three games in the last ten in the league and you would have expected them to step up in a tournament that has in the past seen mid level teams take the glory. But they couldn’t withstand the power of Daniel Sturridge. And this evening, they can’t withstand the power of Olivier Giroud. Arsenal’s performance against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup last week, summed up their first six weeks of the year—a solid performance. The Gunners are on a high; they are playing well and we have Gabriel to seal the holes at the back. Why can’t we sail through this game; particularly if Liverpool could. Manager Arsene Wenger needs that 4th spot and this is when to get it; when Southampton will probably draw with Liverpool. I’m confident here; very confident.

 Swansea Vs Man United, Today 6pm,

Swans...... 1 Red Devils.....3

Just like Crystal Palace, Swansea is another strange team. Strange because they get rare wins against teams like Southampton; who many have struggled to beat this season, and they lose 2-0 to West Brom. And they completely struggle against the big teams. They lost 5-0 to Chelsea last month, 4-1 to Liverpool in December and 2-1 to Spurs also in Dec. They are literally in the top ten because they do not make mistakes against smaller sides. Man United are on fire with an easy win over Preston in the FA Cup behind them and no Champions League matches to worry about. Their players are surprisingly beginning to gel; which is very odd considering the coach still isn’t sure about what he is doing. The fact that United have lost just one game—against Southampton­—in their last ten, is proof that they are picking themselves up and getting on with the job of climbing up the standings. This is one prediction that I hope I get wrong.

 Southampton Vs Liverpool Sunday 715pm

My Prediction: Saints...2 Reds..... 2

Liverpool are on a roll! Whether it’s luck or not; it’s working in their favour. The last game they lost was 10 games ago against Manchester United on the December 14. They have been winning or drawing since then, and are even maintaining that streak in the FA Cup and Europa League. Players like Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho have held things together and with the return of Daniel Sturridge, Brendan Rodgers’ troops have taken things a notch higher. They are 7th in the standings; just four points off a Champions League spot. Southampton meanwhile have managed to hang in there; in our Champions League spot by a whisker. Two losses in ten games ain’t bad but Arsenal and Liverpool are gaining ground on them. The Saints were knocked out of the FA Cup by Crystal Palace in a five-goal thriller three weeks ago that ended 3-2. So now they only have the league to worry about. I believe Ronald Koeman’s men are getting fatigued and will soon drop out of a European slot. Adam Lallana makes his first return to St Mary’s since his uncomfortable departure and says he isn’t expecting the fans to welcome him. This will be an interesting tie and I think the Saint’s will hang on to get a point, mostly because they are home, than for any other reason.

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