The predictor: Wins for United, Chelsea as Arsenal draw

Saturday Villa 0-1 Man Utd 5pm Manchester United are said to be back to the Fergie days of winning games without playing well. They sketch results and the table is all that matters. Against Liverpool, they were outplayed but they still won 3-0. The script has been the same for several other fixtures in their last six games, all of which they have won.
Phillipe Coutinho weaves his way past Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey in the 5-1 win at Emirates that is now a distant memory. (Net photo)
Phillipe Coutinho weaves his way past Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey in the 5-1 win at Emirates that is now a distant memory. (Net photo)

Saturday

Villa 0-1 Man Utd 5pm

Manchester United are said to be back to the Fergie days of winning games without playing well. They sketch results and the table is all that matters. Against Liverpool, they were outplayed but they still won 3-0. The script has been the same for several other fixtures in their last six games, all of which they have won. Radamel Falcao is still that player who can only manage 25 minutes while Angel Di Maria remains injured. But does Van Gaal really care given De Gea is imperious between the sticks? Aston Villa will want to open up the Spanish defender at Villa Park but it will be a hard call.

S’mpton 2 - 2 Everton 5pm

The Saints are going the Swansea way. At the start of the season, the Swans were the side chasing Chelsea. And then they lost to the leaders, then another. And another. Now in they are in ninth place. Southampton’s woes started when they drew 1-all with Aston Villa on November 24. Since then, they have forgotten what it means to win a game and last week’s defeat at Turf Moor to lowly Burnley capped up the terrible form they are in. Now in fifth place, the Saints face Everton, another struggling side. The hosts have a full squad but the Toffees will be without forward Kevin Mirallas although Ross Barkley is back to fitness.

PSG 1-2 Montpellier 6pm

Paris Saint Germaine are playing a funny game of treading behind Olympique Marseille. When the leaders lose, PSG does the same, when they draw, the champions do just that. But they will be first on the pitch today at home to Montpellier on the back last week’s defeat away to Guingamp. The bad form could just get worse with this game.

Bremen 1-0 D’mund 4pm

Two sides you could call Bundesliga giants are battling it out in a foot of the table clash. With just 15 points from 16 games, Dortmund are only better than Freiburg and Bremen, both of whom have 14 points. Jurgen Klopp has run out of ideas and all he does now is give wry smiles. I am tempted to believe his side can beat Bremen today but it is a hard call as the German league takes winter break.

Roma 3-1 Milan 9.45pm

AS Roma are desperate not to lose ground on leaders Juventus when they host AC Milan today. The sixth-placed visitors under Philipo Inzaghi have slowly picked up on from the shambles the sinkhole they dug for themselves three seasons ago but a visit to Rome will be daunting for a side that is considering offloading Spanish flop Fernando Torres in January after the striker failed to impress on his loan spell.

Sunday

N’castle 1 - 2 S’dland 3.30pm

Just one more defeat and people are going to forget that the Magpies are that side with a fairy-tale story of languishing at the foot of the table then turning around to even stop Chelsea’s pretence of invincibility. Heavy defeats to Arsenal and Tottenham in the League Cup have showed that winning the manager of the month can be daunting. That is Alan Pardew’s fate and defeat to Sunderland will leave the Magpies back to their old struggling form.

L’Pool 0 - 0 Arsenal 6pm

Brendan Rogers is under pressure to turn the tides before the pretenders in Liverpool sink with the ship they built from Southampton, but after losing to City, Chelsea and United, the Reds are in the same boat that the Red Devils were in last season when they were losing to all the top sides except Arsenal. It is solely for this reason that I believe the injury-plagued Arsenal will be happy to return to London with a point today. Forget the memories of the flying Kop side that left The Emirates in shambles with four goals in 28 minutes last season. To Liverpool, last season is a distant memory.

Monday

Stoke 1 - 2 Chelsea 10pm

Britannia Stadium serves chilled lettuce to visiting sides. The Potters are a tough side to play on their home turf and it gets worse when you factor in their playing style. They have done to the two Manchester clubs and overran Arsenal, left Liverpool looking as good as a third-tier side and now Mark Hughes is dreaming to do it on Chelsea. But these are things Mourinho already knows. Cesc Fabregas returns from suspension and will give the Blues the push they need against the tough tackling side. Chelsea can pip the Potters.

Other fixtures

Saturday

Spurs 3-1 Burnley 5pm W. Ham 2-0 Leicester 5pm
Lorient 1-2 Nantes 9pm Schalke 3-2 Hamburg 4pm A’burg 2-0 Gladbach 4pm

Sunday

Inter 1-3 Lazio 9pm
Torino 2-3 Genoa 6pm
Marseille 3-0 Lille 3pm
Bilbao 1-2 Atletico 10pm

*Seaman is a Liverpool fan

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