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The New Year brings a fresh set of Premier League fixtures with another blockbuster gameweek of football.

Everton vs Leicester kicks off 2019 on New Year’s Day with Cardiff taking on Tottenham in the evening match. The large majority of the fixtures come a day later including Newcastle vs Manchester United and Chelsea vs Southampton.

But the tie of the gameweek comes on Thursday as Manchester City host league leaders Liverpool, looking to bring the Reds’ unbeaten start to an end.

We’ve had a look at the fixtures and had two of the Squawka team come up with predictions:

Everton vs. Leicester

Harry Edwards: Leicester may have shocked Chelsea and Manchester City in consecutive games but the Foxes were brought back down to earth with a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff. Everton have also failed to show signs of good form under Marco Silva this season, winning just one of their seven games in December. 1-1 draw.

Chris Smith: This is a clash between two of the Premier League’s most unpredictable sides, with Everton lost 6-2 at home to Tottenham, before following up with a 5-1 win over Burnley and a 1-0 defeat to Brighton. It’s a similar story at Leicester, who impressively beat Chelsea and Man City before falling at home to Cardiff. Both sides are laced with firepower and defensive frailties, so expect plenty of goals. 3-2 Everton.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Lucas Digne has been a good replacement for Leighton Baines at Goodison Park, providing more crosses (155) than any other player in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal vs. Fulham

HE: Arsenal were appalling against Liverpool on Saturday, so a game against Fulham may just be the best medicine. The Cottagers have been slowly improving under Claudio Ranieri, but still look destined for the drop with the worst defence in the Premier League showing no signs of preventing goals. 3-0 Arsenal.

CS: Arsenal really were terrible against Liverpool, weren’t they? Yes, Liverpool are almost unstoppable at the moment, and yes, Arsenal are plagued with defensive injuries but the way they played themselves into trouble time and time again was a sight to behold. A home tie against Fulham should be a welcome break for Unai Emery, who will desperately be seeking to close the five-point gap on fourth-placed Chelsea. The Cottagers have never beaten Arsenal on their own turf and although Ranieri has helped Fulham keep a clean sheet in two of their last three games, it’s hard to imagine that running continuing. 3-0 Arsenal.

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PLAYER TO WATCH: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was starved of service by his teammates but didn’t exactly help himself either, registering just 13 touches of the ball during the 71 minutes he was on the pitch. But the forward will be a man on a mission against Fulham looking to add to his 13 league goals – the joint-highest in the division.

Cardiff vs. Tottenham

HE: Tottenham will be wounded after their defeat to Wolves while Cardiff flying following a dramatic win over Leicester. But normal service should be resumed when Spurs travel to Wales, though Cardiff will make it tough for the visitors. 1-0 Spurs.

CS: A goal up against Wolves after 22 minutes, and still 1-0 up in the 71st minute, who would have seen a 3-1 defeat coming for Spurs on Saturday? With Liverpool demolishing Arsenal in the late kick-off, this Wembley defeat has proved to be extremely costly for Pochettino in the title race, leaving Spurs nine points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side. However, you can’t keep a good team, or a good manager down; Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and co. will be out to set the record straight on Tuesday and even after their 1-0 away win over Leicester, Cardiff will struggle to contain Tottenham. 3-1 Spurs

PLAYER TO WATCH: Harry Kane may seem like an obvious choice, but the Spurs and England striker is absolutely on fire at the moment. His goal in the defeat to Wolves drew him means he is level with Mohamed Salah and Aubameyang in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot and Kane will see a game against Cardiff as a real opportunity to pull clear of his rivals.

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Bournemouth vs. Watford

HE: What is going on at Bournemouth?! Talks of Europa League for the Cherries seem far away after two wins and eight defeats from their past 10 Premier League games. Watford, meanwhile, look to be slowly getting back on track after a slump of their own. It will be a close won, but the Hornets may just edge it. 2-1 Watford.

CS: After leaking nine goals in their past two defeats away to Tottenham and Manchester United, Bournemouth probably can’t wait to face mid-table Watford at home on Wednesday. The Cherries had a great start to the season but have now slipped to 12th in the Premier League table, while have just been unable to string a real run together this season. The Hornets are ninth, however, and will ask real questions of a struggling Bournemouth side. 1-1 draw.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Callum Wilson has scored eight Premier League goals already this season and a game against a Watford side that has kept one clean sheet in 10 games will look like a nicely wrapped, late Christmas present to the England international.

Chelsea vs. Southampton

HE: Chelsea had a hard-fought win against Crystal Palace last time out and can expect a similarly tough test against Southampton. But, despite showing improvements under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton are still some way off being a unit and can be pulled apart as Man City showed at the weekend. 2-0 Chelsea.

CS: Chelsea absolutely passed Crystal Palace to death on Sunday, completing 690 passes and having a 65.8% share of possession. The fact they only ran out 1-0 winners is a mystery, but they should have more success against Southampton at home on Wednesday. Ralph Hasenhuttl has certainly improved the Saints – not hard considering the mess left behind by Mark Hughes – but it is still clear that he hasn’t had ample time to work with his squad over the busy festive period. Southampton’s high-press is still very sporadic meaning Eden Hazard could be in for a fun afternoon indeed. 4-1 Chelsea

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PLAYER TO WATCH: Eden Hazard (101) created more chances in 2018 than any other Premier League player and, if Southampton persist on pressing their opponents so high up the pitch, that will leave acres of space behind their back line for the Belgian to exploit.

Huddersfield vs. Burnley

HE: Burnley earned just their fourth win of the season against West Ham and could add another to kick 2019 off in the best possible way. Huddersfield have been woeful this season, and look to be on their way back down to the Championship having lost their past seven games. 2-0 Burnley.

CS: It hasn’t been a good first half of the season for these two, has it? Huddersfield go into Wednesday’s game on a run of seven straight defeats, last winning 2-0 away to Wolves in November. Meanwhile, Burnley have gone from air-tight in 2017/18, to absolutely wide open so far in 2018/19, conceding 41 goals so far – only Fulham (43) have let in more. However, Sean Dyche’s side pulled off a priceless 2-0 win over West Ham on Sunday and will head into their game against Huddersfield far more confident for it. 2-1 Burnley.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Johann Berg Gudmundsson has been Burnley’s key man this season, being directly involved in more goals than any other Clarets player (two goals, four assists).

West Ham vs. Brighton

HE: West Ham were shocked by Burnley at the weekend but should prove too much for a Brighton side who are yet to really build up a run of good results. The Seagulls’ win over Everton was their first since the start of December but it was a poor match and not reflective of the overall play. 1-0 West Ham.

CS: Another of the Premier League’s most unpredictable sides, West Ham look like world-beaters one week, then totally useless the next. This was personified when Felipe Anderson inspired the Hammers to a 2-1 comeback win at Southampton, before losing 2-0 against Burnley on Sunday. Brighton, meanwhile, have gone totally under the radar and totally dispelled any fear around them suffering ‘second-season syndrome’. The Seagulls currently sit 13th in the table and will be buoyed by their 1-0 win over Everton recently, which followed an impressive 1-1 draw with Arsenal. 2-2 draw.

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PLAYER TO WATCH: Felipe Anderson has found form at the right time for West Ham, scoring seven goals in his past 10 league games.

Wolves vs. Crystal Palace

HE: It has been a weird season for Wolves, accompanying some big results with poor defeats. But Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have been in some good form recently and should have too much for a Crystal Palace side who rolled over without much challenge against Chelsea on Sunday. 2-0 Wolves.

CS: Wolves are the ‘best of the rest’ at the moment, sitting in seventh and bouncing after their 3-1 away win at Tottenham Hotspur. In Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, they have two of the league’s most cultured ball-players, while the pace and trickery of Helder Costa could prove too much for a Crystal Palace side that seem to invite pressure as a result of being so toothless up front. 2-0 Wolves.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Matt Doherty has been in fine form for Wolves at right-back this season, with only Watford’s Jose Holebas (eight) directly contributed to more Premier League goals this season than Doherty (seven) among defenders.

Newcastle vs. Manchester United

HE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is enjoying life back at Old Trafford and I fully expect it to continue against Newcastle. The Magpies have looked lost in recent weeks and, after crumbling against an attacking Liverpool side, can expect to get turned over once more. 4-0 Man Utd.

CS: Newcastle have won just four of their opening games this season, but Rafa Benitez’s tactical acumen has meant they have managed to grind out draws and lift themselves to 15th in the table. However, a tie against a United side refreshed under Solskjaer is likely to be a bridge too far; Man United will likely turn the Magpies over, but in much more comfortable fashion than their 3-2 comeback win at Old Trafford earlier this season. 2-0 Man Utd.

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PLAYER TO WATCH: Paul Pogba has found form once more under Solskjaer, with the Frenchman being directly involved in seven goals since the Norwegian took over – more than any other player.

Manchester City vs. Liverpool

HE: The big one. Pep Guardiola has admitted the title race will be all-but over if Man City lose to Liverpool on Thursday, and this should be motivation enough for his players. City were unlucky not to have beaten Liverpool at Anfield and, after the Reds ended their own unbeaten start last season, revenge is on the cards. 2-1 Man City.

CS: Hands down the game of the season so far, Manchester City simply must win here and that could play right into Liverpool’s hands. With 21 goals in their last six Premier League games, Liverpool have started blowing teams away in the same fashion as the end of last season and have opened up a seven-point gap between themselves and their hosts. City will inevitably attack, but if Liverpool manage to score, the game could become incredibly stretched, allowing Liverpool’s famed front three to wreak havoc on the break. 2-2 draw.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Mohamed Salah has found form after a slow start to the season, scoring in each of Liverpool’s past three Premier League games.

The post Premier League predictions for all 10 matches this gameweek appeared first on Squawka News.

Source : Hitng.info
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