Five of the top six play on an action-packed Sunday of football (Picture: Getty/Metro)The first silverware of the season will be decided on Sunday when Chelsea and Manchester City meet in the Carabao Cup final. Earlier in the day Liverpool make the short journey to Old Trafford for one of the most eagerly-awaited games of the Premier League season and one that could have a huge impact on the destiny of the title.
It looks set to be a pivotal weekend in the English domestic season and once again Brand Ambassador Michael Owen shared his thoughts on all the action exclusively with BetVictor…
Cardiff City vs Watford
Ben Foster has arguably been the Premier League’s best keeper this season (Getty)If Cardiff beat Watford on Friday it will be the first time the Bluebirds have won three top-flight games on the spin since 1961, but I think the Hornets will take the points at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Watford have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four Premier League games and they also won 1-0 at Loftus Road in the fifth Round of the FA Cup last Friday.
Javi Gracia’s side won the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road 4-2 back in December and I feel they will do the double over Cardiff for the first time since 2006 when both sides were in the Championship.
Michael’s prediction: Cardiff City 1-2 Watford
West Ham United vs Fulham
Fulham have not got the best of records in London derbies taking just one point from the last 36 available and have lost their last eight in a row.
West Ham are not in great form themselves – one win in their last seven Premier League games – but they were excellent in their last home game at the London Stadium when they held title favourites Liverpool to a draw.
Michael’s prediction: West Ham United 3-1 Fulham
Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane has returned to training and could feature against Burnley (Picture: Getty)Burnley are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games, but they have a modest home record against the big six taking just two points from the last 42 available.
Spurs have kept a clean sheet in their last three visits to Turf Moor, but this is a much-improved Clarets side who will test the title credentials of Mauricio Pochettino’s team. I feel Spurs will edge what promises to be a terrific game between two in-form sides and gain a club record 12th Premier League away win of the campaign.
Michael’s prediction: Burnley 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Bournemouth vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Bournemouth have won their last two Premier League home games without conceding but I feel they will have to settle for a point in what I expect to be a close affair.
I felt Wolves were very professional at Ashton Gate in the FA Cup on Sunday – scoring an early goal and then readily keeping the Robins at arm’s length.
Michael’s prediction: Bournemouth 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Newcastle United vs Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield have scored the fewest goals (14) and lost more games (19) than any side among the top five European Leagues this season and I expect United to add to the Terriers’ dismal record.
The Magpies have won their last two home league games and there will be many who think they were unfortunate not to take all three points from their trip to Molineux last time. I would be disappointed if the Toon Army were not celebrating another home win at the weekend.
Michael’s prediction: Newcastle United 2-0 Huddersfield Town
Leicester City vs Crystal Palace
Leicester are looking for a first victory in five games (Picture: Getty)Congratulations to Roy Hodgson who will take charge of Palace at the King Power Stadium and become the oldest person to manage a Premier League outfit aged 71 years and 198 days young.
Leicester are without a win in their last five league games and have lost their last three at home while Palace made calm, almost serene, progress in the FA Cup at Doncaster last weekend. I think the points will be shared from a low-scoring draw.
Michael’s prediction: Leicester City 1-1 Crystal Palace
Arsenal vs Southampton
Southampton have never won at Arsenal in 19 previous attempts in the Premier League (D5 L14) and I feel the Gunners will make it seven home league wins on the run against a Saints side who begin the weekend in the drop zone.
The south coast outfit are unbeaten in their last four away league games, but they have lost 17 points from winning positions so far this term and that might come back to haunt them at the end of the campaign. The Gunners to shade it.
Michael’s prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Southampton
Manchester United vs Liverpool
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces perhaps his biggest test as United manager (Picture: Getty)Manchester United have won seven of their last nine home league games against the Reds but they will be well aware what a chasing they got at Anfield in the reverse fixture – the last game of Jose Mourinho’s tenure.
United have been a revelation under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and easily brushed aside a disappointing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier in the week. Even a draw would see United’s boss set a new Premier League record for the number of points gained in the first 10 games of a managerial tenure – he is currently tied with Guus Hiddink on 25.
Liverpool would have liked to have taken a lead to Bavaria for their second leg Champions League clash with Bayern Munich next month, although it is possible that their Anfield clean sheet will be the deciding factor when qualification is decided.
The Reds have lost just one of their last 13 Premier League away games and I feel Sunday’s Old Trafford clash of the titans will end in an entertaining draw – a result that will take Liverpool back to the top of the division with 11 games to go.
Michael’s prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
Carabao Cup final: Chelsea vs Manchester City
Ahead of the Europa League second leg tie with Malmo Chelsea have lost half of their last 10 games in all competitions. They had previously lost 5 of their last 41 games and this is a massive game for all at the club, but especially Maurizio Sarri whose rigid inflexible tactics look almost old-fashioned compared to many of the top sides and their leading coaches.
Chelsea have beaten City already this season 2-0 at Stamford Bridge but they were outclassed in the Community Shield in the season curtain-raiser at Wembley and suffered a humiliating 6-0 loss at the Etihad earlier in the month.
I expect to see Chelsea raise their game back at Wembley and make it a final to remember, but I still back City to run out winners.
Michael’s prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City
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