The premier league returns again following the FA Cup 4th round break for its week 23. Saturday will see a total of eight matches with the star match being the game between Chelsea and Manchester City and two on Sunday to complete the weekend round of fixtures.
For this week my prediction is as follows:
Hull city VS Newcastle united 1:45 pm
This game kicks off this week round of matches. It promises to be an exciting game but with Steve Bruce men seriously struggling for form and goals I don't think the home fans will have a wonderful lunch time as I see Newcastle winning this one.
Crystal Palace VS Everton 4 pm
If this game was to be played under the same condition as last season we all know what the possible outcome will be. But so much have happen between last season and now.
Crystal Palace are cruising under new manger Alan Pardew while Lukaku and Roberto Martinez are finding it difficult to replicate the magic of last season.
Nothing more can be a better morale boost for Crystal Palace than their FA Cup win over Southampton, and so I see them taking such form into this game and being the home team will also have a big impact on this game.
On the other hand with Everton knowing that they have to replicate last season form if they are to smell anywhere near Europe come August 2015, this game will have to be a starting point for them.
With all these in mind I see both teams cancelling themselves and sharing the point.
Liverpool VS West Ham 4 pm
No team have been so lucky with their runs of fixtures like Liverpool. The fixtures have been so kind to them which have seen them take maximum points in recent premier league games.
Their defeat to Chelsea at the FA cup must have hurt them a lot but they will take solace in their ability to see off West Ham and continue their race to European football come next season.
For West Ham, Andy Carrol and Stewart Downing may be at the form of their lives but I don't see them having any impact on the outcome of this game as Liverpool will pocket all three point and this may just be the day Mario Baloteli will come alive.
Man Utd VS Leicester City. 4 pm
As they say Lightening does not strike twice on a particular spot.
And this is the perfect way to describe this fixture.
Having lost 5- 3 from 2 goals up to this same opponent in September last year, United will know that they will have to take their chances and avoid making careless mistakes as they have the opportunity to close the gap between them and the top three while at the same time maintaining the gap between them and the teams below them.
With that I see United edging out Leicester this time around. So I go for a Man Utd victory at Old trafford.
Sunderland VS Burnley 4 pm
Fixtures such as this are always very difficult to predict but I will stick out my neck for a Sunderland win. Though credit must go to Burnley Fc and their Manager who have helped mastermind a sudden change in fortune for the club. In life whatever goes up must surely come down but what matters is how long it remains down.
Stoke City VS Q P R 4 pm
Stoke must have been struck hard by the injury to Kikic Borjan who sustained an injury in their FA Cup game after scoring a wonder goal to put his team in front.
What remains now is too see how Stoke city will cope in his absence and that of Mirame Diouf who is away at the AFCON.
The story is not much different for QPR who have found it difficult to win away from home this season.
I know Harry Redknapp must be wondering what could be the reason behind that.
I predict a draw for this one making it the second draw game of the weekend.
West Brom VS Tottenham
With countless stories on the papers concerning the future of Baggies star player Bernardinho West Brom will have to put up a fight in this game to prove to his agent that West Brom is a club with ambitions too.
And there cannot be any better opportunity to do that than with this particular fixture. Tottenham may be a top team but they are certainly not operating in the same frequcency as Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. So I see this as a perfect timing for West Brom to prove their ambition and keep suitors away a little longer.
This maybe a little bit difficult considering the form of Tottenham Hotspur but I see West Brom causing an upset in this one.
I go for a West Brom home win.
Chelsea VS Man city 6:30 pm
I will not be wrong if I describe this game as the biggest game of the season.
Unfortunately it is coming at a time when both squad cannot be said to be balanced, with City having to deal with the absence of their star Player Yaya Toure and new signing Wilfred Bony while Chelsea on the other hand have their squad in tact except for Diego Costa who is having a 3 match ban hovering around his head and Cesc Fabregas who is also out due to injury.
This are the kind of games Jose Mournho loves and he always comes out victorious and this will not be any different as I see them winning in front of their home fans and extending their lead at the top of the table to 8 points.
Arsenal Vs Aston Villa Sunday 2:30 pm
No one would be happier this weekend than Arsene Wenger; the man who seem to have been under pressure some weeks back can now be referred to as "The Happy one" as his team have now recorded 8 wins out of 10 matches and better still having all his top players at his disposal for selection against an Aston Villa team that have found the back of the net just 11 times this season in the league.
Villa may have booked a place in the next round of the FA Cup but I don't see them getting anything from this fixture.
And so I go for an Arsenal win.
Southampton Vs Swansea 5 pm
Southampton the surprise team of the season head into this game as the firm favourite as Swansea City have not been able to win a single game at Saint Mary's stadium for a very long time now.
That alone is enough reason for me to go with a victory for the Saints as they continue their march to European Football.