West Ham Vs Liverpool, Today 3:45pm,
My Prediction: Hammers...1 Reds...1
The Hammers haven’t lost a game since November 22 but its way too many draws that is seeing them stall in the middle of the table. After 19 matches West Ham have drawn 8 times and won 7. Manager Slaven Bilic must be disappointed that players like Andy Caroll haven’t stepped up to the plate this season. Their early season form was largely due to the prolific Diafra Sakho but his injury in early December will see him rejoin the side most likely in March. They’ve managed to hang in there without Sakho but the goals aren’t flowing as much as they were early in the season.
On Monday they did, however, manage to beat the Southampton side that thrashed Arsenal last weekend but that was their first win since late October. Liverpool, meanwhile, have been blowing hot and cold all season. Even with German tactician Jurgen Klopp in charge, they’re winning some games but losing odd ones as well. Their recent 3-0 loss to Watford was as confusing as Arsenal’s loss to Southampton. But the Reds have won both their Christmas time matches and are 7th in the standings equal on points with Man United in 6th. The Reds are over reliant on Christian Benteke right now but that isn’t a bad thing as long as he stays fit. They are, however, registering slim 1-0 victories. I think this game will be all square. With West Ham just a point behind Liverpool, it shows that their seasons are actually more similar than we realise.
Arsenal Vs Newcastle, Today 6pm,
My Prediction: Gunners... 2 Magpies...0
As long as Arsenal remain focused and free of any new injuries then we are good to go! The Gunners were shocked last Saturday over the Southampton result and I think that awakened something in the squad. The boys were beginning to get just a little over confident and that thrashing reminded them that they couldn’t take their feet off the peddle. Arsenal are annoyingly taking too long to settle into a match and I think manager Arsene Wenger needs to change his pre-game pep talk. We needed centre back Gabriel Paulista to rescue us in the first half against Bournemouth and we really should have killed that game rather early; but it took a bit too long. Newcastle have been strange this season. They’ve lost their last two matches against West Brom and Everton; but before that, they beat Liverpool and Spurs. So they seem to be stepping up against bigger sides and will be hoping to pull a surprise here. They’re in the relegation zone but those are the most dangerous teams to play in the second half of the term. If the Arsenal squad remain focused this shouldn’t be a difficult one.
Man United Vs Swansea, Today 6pm,
My Prediction: Red Devils... 1 Swansea...1
You have to go back seven matches, that is November 21 to find the last time Manchester United won a game. That was a 2-1 victory over Watford. Losses to Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke dominated their December but I must say they played rather well against Chelsea. I think they were just unlucky against The Blues on Monday because they had one too many near misses. I think the lack of a motivation boss in Louis Van Gaal has frustrated even the most talented United players. We all know that Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial can do better but they need to relax. They need to put their poor form behind them and focus on the next game. Somehow it isn’t working for them this season. Sir Alex had a way of making the boys focus heavily on the next game but clearly LVG isn’t an inspiration at all. Even though I keep posting on social media that “LVG Must Stay,” that’s just me being mean. In reality, LVG is not a bad manager; but like Jose Mourinho, he isn’t a match for the current United set up. If they want to move up the standings, LVG needs to leave. But what do I care? Swansea are having a really poor season and sit one spot above the relegation zone. On paper, this is United’s game; but in reality it’s tough to tell.