Global Sports : Merson’s Predictions

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Paul Merson expects Tottenham to follow up their north London derby win with a defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday, and can see Man City slipping up again at Stoke while Chelsea take advantage.
It’s Matchday 25 of the 2014/15 Premier League season and Merse is back to cast his expert eye over the midweek fixtures. Here’s how the former England international sees the 10 games going…
Arsenal v Leicester (Tuesday, 7.45pm)
After the north London derby defeat, Arsenal need to win, and it’s a perfect game for them. The battle for fourth place is perhaps more fierce than previous seasons.
Arsenal win these games, they just don’t always win the big games, and Alexis Sanchez returning is a boost for them. Leicester’s defeat by Crystal Palace will have knocked them. It’s hard to see anything other than a comfortable home win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Sky Bet odds 7/1)
Hull v Aston Villa (Tuesday, 7.45pm)
Villa and Paul Lambert have got to go to Hull and not lose, especially after Hull’s good result at Man City. Having been dropped for the game against Chelsea, Christian Benteke should be back for this one. I think Lambert knows that if he leaves him out again he’s got a death wish.
Benteke needs to score goals, that is what he’s there for. They probably had more crosses on Saturday than they’ve had for a while, and he wasn’t playing.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 9/2)
Sunderland v QPR (Tuesday, 7.45pm)
I just don’t see where QPR are going to win an away game this season, they just don’t have the pace. I think they’ll be relegated, especially with the games coming up.
Sunderland will be too good for them, and their new signing will keep them up comfortably with his goals at home. It was typical Jermain Defoe on Saturday, his strike against Swansea was brilliant, and I should think he’ll score again in this one.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds 7/1)
Liverpool v Tottenham (Tuesday, 8pm)
Liverpool were good against Everton and were unlucky not to win, and they’ve been playing relatively well recently. Even though Tottenham had a great result against Arsenal, it’s another big game, and that fantastic performance may take it out of them. You could see how much they were pushing for 90 minutes flat.
Harry Kane was superb against Arsenal. Will he ever play better than he’s playing now? I don’t know. But fair play to him, he’s on fire.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds 10/1)
Chelsea v Everton (Wednesday, 7.45pm)
Everton are struggling. I don’t think I’ve seen a more comfortable performance for Liverpool at Goodison Park. I don’t see anything other than a Chelsea win especially after the boost at the weekend with Man City not winning.
There’s still a long way to go but I think Chelsea will win the league. They’ve got a better attitude than Man City, who just turn up for the lesser games and think they will turn teams over.
PAUL PREDICTS 2-0 (Sky Bet odds 9/2)
Man Utd v Burnley (Wednesday, 7.45pm)
If you’re Burnley, you can’t keep going 2-0 up and blowing it. They’ve done it twice in the last two home games and got one point, that’s nowhere near good enough.
I don’t think Manchester United have been very good, I went for West Ham on Sunday and thought I was unlucky, to be fair. The strikers aren’t doing it for them, but they will still be too strong for Burnley at Old Trafford.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Sky Bet odds 10/1)
Southampton v West Ham (Wednesday, 7.45pm)
There’s not a lot between these two teams. Southampton are still up there, playing well, and they’ve had a bit of luck at the same time, but the games are reeling off now.
Before you know it, we’ll be down to single-figure games, and if they’re up there, they have a big chance. This is a test for both teams, who have been surprise packages this term.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Stoke City v Man City (Wednesday, 7.45pm)
This might be the final nail for Manchester City’s title hopes. If they draw, it could be nine points to Chelsea, who would have to lose three games and City win all their games. I don’t see that happening.
I don’t think Manuel Pellegrini truly understands lesser opposition. Jesus Navas probably had his best game at City against Chelsea, and then he’s on the bench against Hull. They were lucky against Chelsea, but look through their home games this season and the ones they haven’t won have been mostly against the lesser teams.
PAUL PREDICTS 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Crystal Palace v Newcastle (Wednesday, 8pm)
Palace are doing well and had a great result at Leicester. I don’t think they necessarily deserved to win, Leicester had their chances, but Alan Pardew has done fantastically and extinguished relegation talks.
I don’t think Newcastle have done the wrong thing in having John Carver in for the rest of the season. He’s right in referencing the number of star names they’ve had as managers that haven’t worked, and he’s a Geordie. They got booed off at the end of the draw with Stoke, but they were unlucky. It was a bit harsh.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 17/2)
West Brom v Swansea (Wednesday, 8pm)
This is a hard game to call. West Brom got out of jail the other day, scoring at the perfect time just before half-time but it could have gone either way.
West Brom need Saido Berahino starting games, especially at home at The Hawthorns. Pulis started positively but he doesn’t seem overly happy with the performances, even when they drew up at Everton. Swansea will cause them problems, but this is a draw.
PAUL PREDICTS 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 9/2)
Follow the midweek Premier League games on Soccer Special, see highlights on Match Choice and see all of the goals on Sky Sports News HQ from midnight.

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