Week 19 of the Premier League is here, as the festive season continues with another 10 games coming your way just two days after Boxing Day. Madness.
This week could help to define the season of plenty of teams, as another full slate of matches takes place on New Year’s Day in the PL.
I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out…
BASICALLY, FREE MONEY
Manchester City vs. Burnley – (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
The Citizens have won nine-straight in all competitions and although brave, Burnley will struggle to create chances at the Etihad. Easy home win, even without a striker.
Manchester City 3-0 Burnley
QPR vs. Crystal Palace – (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
The R’s have won all 17 of their points at home this season as Loftus Road has become a fortress. With 12-goal Charlie Austin on fire and Palace’s defending nothing short of comical, expect a home win.
QPR 3-1 Crystal Palace
Newcastle vs. Everton – (Sunday, 11:15 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
Everton are in a slump, but so are the Magpies. The only difference here is that Newcastle are at home and the Toffees have plenty of injury concerns with Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka out. Surprisingly comfortable home win.
Newcastle 3-1 Everton
DON’T TOUCH THIS…
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United – (Sunday, 7 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
Spurs and United are both grinding out wins despite not being their best. That is a good sign, but they may cancel eachother out at White Hart Lane. Score draw.
Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United
Stoke City vs. West Bromwich Albion – (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
The Potters have been so inconsistent this season, so it would be just like them to see out 2014 with another disappointing home performance after their superb win away at Everton. West Brom must defend better. Could go either way.
Stoke City 2-2 West Brom
West Ham United vs. Arsenal – (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
Too close to call between the London rivals, as West Ham and Arsenal sit fifth and sixth respectively. The Gunners have more firepower, but the Hammers have been formidable at home this season.
West Ham United 1-2 Arsenal
Aston Villa vs. Sunderland – (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
The draw specialists in the league (Sunderland have 10, while Villa have six) will not buck the trend here. Stay well clear from picking out a winner after both suffered Boxing Day defeats.
Aston Villa 1-1 Sunderland
“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”
Liverpool vs. Swansea City – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Despite the Reds on somewhat of a resurgent streak, that could end against the Swans who lost 2-1 in the League Cup at Anfield earlier this season. Garry Monk’s men are up to eighth after two-straight wins, while Liverpool are in ninth with just one defeat in six. Brendan Rodgers may not have a Happy New Year after his old club comes to town though…
Liverpool 1-2 Swansea City
Hull City vs. Leicester City – (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
The Foxes are due a win but their luck just isn’t in right now. They battered Spurs but came away with a ninth loss in their last 10. As for Hull, they beat Sunderland away for their third win of the season. Will over-confidence be an issue at the KC Stadium on Sunday? Quite possibly. Long-awaited win for Leicester.
Hull City 1-2 Leicester City
Southampton vs. Chelsea – (Sunday, 9:05 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
This one has the making of an upset. Saints have easily dispatched Everton and Palace in their last two, and a packed house at St Mary’s to see out 2014 may work in their favor. Chelsea slipped up away at Newcastle, and Saints’ three-man defense may hold out for a precious win. Despite fourth playing first, this would be a huge upset.
Southampton 2-1 Chelsea