Kevin Doyle on Arsenal v Man United and New Year’s Day Premier League games
Newcastle United v Leicester City, Wednesday, 15:00
Newcastle are a tough team to predict. They can win a big match one week, and then the next they lose. Steve Bruce has done a great job having been under a lot of pressure at the start of the season.
Many Newcastle fans weren’t happy with the appointment after Bruce’s stint as Sunderland manager and not being very successful in the recent years. But he has shown what he’s capable of, with the team mid-table is doing better than a lot of people expected.
I don’t see Newcastle having enough to beat what is a steady Leicester team. Confidence is key when it comes to football, and Leicester are a confident side who keep going and play well.
They are under no pressure whatsoever, no one has expected them to be where they are, and no one sees them staying there. With Jamie Vardy doing the business for the squad and having just had a baby, I can see him out for a baby celebration in this game!
Prediction: Newcastle United 1 Leicester City 3
Southampton v Tottenham, Wednesday, 15:00
Southampton have had a real upturn in form in the last six weeks. With Danny Ings and Shane Long playing very well together and scoring plenty of goals. Both guys had been rested up over Christmas and replaced with Che Adams and Michael Obafemi, and they made no difference!
Saints went on to play as they do and scored goals. The goal-scoring return of Ings against Crystal Palace could prove vital, for what had been a struggling Southampton side lacking a decent striker.
Tottenham Hotspur are leaking goals under Jose Mourinho which is not like him, he is usually very good at making his team a solid unit. I am interested to see if Christian Eriksen is going to be around for much longer and if he will be playing or not with talks of him leaving.
I think Southampton will have enough to get something out of this game. They are in decent form and are confident.
Prediction: Southampton 1 Tottenham 1
Watford v Wolves, Wednesday, 15:00
I had said in my blog last week that I wouldn’t be surprised if Watford got the win last weekend, and they only went and won it 3-0! They caused a shock winning 2-0 against Man United not so long ago and this really gave them a kick start.
Nigel Pearson is a manager who has been in this position before with Leicester and successfully helped them beat the drop. So, he is used to that ‘fighting’ position.
I think Wolves are feeling very hard done by with a couple of VR decisions not going their way. They have played a lot of tough games over Christmas and they also put a lot of energy into that Liverpool game and I think they might be running out of steam.
I would not be surprised to see Watford getting something from this game. They have shown in the past that when they change managers, they are able to survive.
Prediction: Watford 1 Wolves 0
Man City v Everton, Wednesday, 17:30
New Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has started off well and the team seem to be building confidence. However, but with Man City playing at home it could be tough for the Toffees. City have not been playing at their best, they just can’t seem to get into a good run of form which is unusual.
Also, with talks of Pep Guardiola leaving at the end of the season, I can tell by the way he talks and his body language that this could be his last year there.
This may have seeped down to the players and could be the reason as to why they have not been performing at the level they have in previous years.
Prediction: Man City 2 Everton 2
Arsenal v Man United, Wednesday, 20:00
This is such a tough game to call and definitely the game I am most looking forward to watching!
Everyone thinks Man United are doing great at the moment, but they go on a run of beating difficult teams and then lose silly games like they had to Watford. Going to Arsenal, this team is hard to judge.
They had seemed to be doing well in their game against Chelsea last Sunday. But then conceded two late goals in the last ten minutes which is tough on the team psychology.
However, they had shown more signs of spirit and attacking threat which could benefit them facing what is a very up and down Man Utd team.
Prediction: Arsenal 2 Man United 1