Having had a weekend of FA Cup followed by a couple of EFL Cup matches, it’s great to be back to the Premier League this weekend. There’s plenty of games to look forward to. The highlight is Manchester United’s first proper test, against Tottenham, under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
West Ham Untied vs Arsenal
Sat 12/01 at 12.30
Sitting mid table, West Ham have had a number of mixed results in recents weeks. Manuel Pellegrini will be looking to get his side back to winning ways after their draw against Brighton.
A huge question is, will Marko Arnautovic be playing, or even picked!!?
Arsenal will also be looking to get their away form back, having not won once in their last four away games in the Premiership.
In terms of team news, Samir Nasri is set to make his first return to the Premier League. Fabian Balbuena is also out having had knee surgery.
At the other end, Mesut Ozil and Hector Bellerin amongst others, are fit again after recovering from injuries.
This one is tricky to predict, so I’m going with a draw.
Brighton vs Liverpool
Sat 12/01 at 15.00
The pressure’s now back on Liverpool to keep putting in the results if they want to remain at the top of the Premier League. Man City showed their absolute class by stopping Liverpool in the teams last midweek meeting.
Can Brighton replicate a similar style? Probably not, but if they do, Liverpool will struggle without a new game plan.
Without Lovren and Gomez, central defending is still a worry for Liverpool. Glenn Murray will undoubtedly be looking to take advantage .
Brighton have their own injury list with Bernardo, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Jose Izquierdo and Mat Ryan all out of contention.
You’d be a brave man to bet against Liverpool considering what’s up for grabs. I know where my money is going!
Chelsea vs Newcastle
Sat 12/01 at 17.30
Chelsea host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening and fans will be relishing the return of Rafa Benitez who once managed the club.
Just 3 points ahead of Arsenal, Chelsea need to keep picking up points in order to remain in the top 4. Manchester United are flying and they could soon steal a top 4 spot. Wining has to be right at the forefront of Maurizio Sarri’s agenda when it comes to Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are in need of points to avoid slipping towards the relegation zone. It is so tight down there.
Newcastle will miss Jonjo Shelvey, Paul Dummett and Karl Darlow.
At the other end Alvaro Morata and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will have to sit this one out for Chelsea.
I can’t see Chelsea losing this one.
Tottenham vs Manchester Utd
Sun 13/01 at 16.30
The game of the weekend and if United win, it is tailor made for Solskjaer’s credentials as the prospective full time manager of Man Utd.
The game is certainly a test for the ‘new’ Man Utd and Tottenham will be anything but a walk over.
Tottenham are playing a full-strength side, welcoming back all the regular first team players.
Paul Pogba looks likely to return to Manchester’s starting line up after missing their FA Cup third round.
This is set to be a cracker and I can’t wait.
I’m going for a Tottenham win.
Manchester City vs Wolves
Mon 14/01 at 20.00
Monday night football kicks off with Man City hosting Wolves at the Etihad Stadium.
Man City have nothing to lose by winning and chasing down Liverpool. They will love the idea of beating the team that put Liverpool to bed on the 7th Jan!
Meanwhile Wolves will be keen to get back to winnings ways after their disappointing loss at home to Crystal Palace.
It looks as if Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany will miss this game both due to illness.
Wolves have no new injury concerns.
I’m going for the obvious (sorry Wolves fans!) Man City win.
Matched betting opportunities
As usual, there are some great matched betting offers available for this weekend’s games.
For more information on how you can benefit, check out our Premier League matched betting guide.