Another weekend, another round of Premier League fixtures.
And, as ever, Michael Owen has given his latest set of predictions.
The biggest game of the weekend sees fifth-placed Chelsea welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge – a match that could have a big say on who secures a top-four finish.
Owen, the former United striker, suspects the teams will have to share the spoils.
‘Arguably the game of the weekend, Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge with a fantastic away record,’ Owen told Bet Victor.
‘If this were a few months ago, I’d have fancied United to take advantage of Chelsea’s attacking style on the counter.
‘However, since Thomas Tuchel has arrived, all that has changed. Chelsea have a solidness about them and are a real throwback to what we saw when Jose Mourinho arrived there all those years ago.
‘With that in mind, I expect Chelsea to give up some territory, which won’t suit United at all. I’m predicting a real tactical battle, and in the end, I think we may end up with a stalemate.’
Another of Owen’s former sides, Liverpool, are in action against rock bottom Sheffield United.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have slipped to sixth in recent weeks after a poor run of form, but Owen is expecting them to get back to winning ways on Sunday night.
‘It’s just not happened for Liverpool this season,’ added Owen. ‘The Reds have had far too many injuries and blown hot and cold for much of the campaign.
‘This has meant it has been so hard to find any momentum, and their recent poor form at home has really compounded it all.
‘However, it was only a few weeks ago when we were waxing lyrical about the performances of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in a fantastic away win against West Ham.
‘Liverpool look more comfortable on the road just now, and if they can recapture anything like the form we saw at the London Stadium, I think they’ll secure the three points.’
Arsenal, meanwhile, will travel to Leicester City in a bid to keep their hopes of securing European football through the Premier League alive.
But Owen thinks third-placed Leicester will emerge victorious in this one.
‘There were differing fortunes for both these sides in Thursday’s Europa League fixtures,’ said Owen. ‘I was surprised to see Leicester crash out but was equally impressed by Arsenal’s fight-back against Benfica.
‘I think if you asked Brendan Rodgers privately, he’d agree that UEFA Champions League qualification is the priority for the Foxes this season.
‘It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Arsenal will most likely have the majority of the ball, and I think that could play into Leicester’s hands.
‘As I’ve previously mentioned, Messrs Barnes, Maddison and Vardy are all playing fantastically just now, and if they’re on song again, I think Leicester will win an entertaining contest.’
Owen is expecting Pep Guardiola’s table toppers Manchester City to beat high-flying West Ham but thinks Jose Mourinho’s Spurs will slip up against Burnley.
‘The Hammers will be tough to beat, however, I don’t think there’s any side in the country that can match Manchester City on current form, so I think the points will be going their way again,’ said Owen.
He added on Burnley: ‘The Clarets have previous form for going away from home and getting results as the underdog – just ask Liverpool.
‘I think they could take something again here against a Tottenham side that are struggling to find any rhythm domestically.’
In the other fixtures, the former England international expects Newcastle to draw with Wolves, Everton to beat Southampton, Fulham to edge Crystal Palace, Aston Villa to defeat Leeds and Brighton to beat West Brom.
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Author: Metro Sport Reporter