Michael Owen has given his predictions for the midweek round of Premier League matches and is tipping new champions Liverpool to suffer defeat.
‘With Liverpool already champions and City still playing with Cups on their mind, this is a difficult one to call,’ Owen wrote in his Bet Victor column.
‘However, I think the fact that City’s season isn’t yet over may give them the edge, and I expect them to deliver a message to Liverpool that they will be right there alongside them again next season.’
On Tuesday night, Manchester United will continue their push for a top-four finish against Brighton.
‘Brighton are slowly putting light between themselves and the relegation zone and despite fielding their youngest ever team in 107 Premier League games against Leicester City last time out, they did manage to pick up another valuable point,’ added Owen.
‘Manchester United continued their good form in the Premier League with a resounding 3-0 win against Sheffield United at Old Trafford, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to be building a team that can again compete for all the top honours.
‘The partnership between [Paul] Pogba and [Bruno] Fernandes is still in its early stages but I think that will be the difference between the two sides, and I fancy a comfortable 2-0 win to the Red Devils.’
Solskjaer said on Monday that he thought there were seven teams in contention to join Liverpool and Man City in the top-four.
Wolves already registered a win over Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime to move to within two points off fourth-placed Chelsea, but he expects Frank Lampard’s men to open that gap again in a London derby.
‘How West Ham will be hoping for a repeat of the scoreline when they met back in November at Stamford Bridge,’ said Owen. ‘On that day, West Ham finished 1-0 winners thanks to an Aaron Cresswell goal early in the second half.
‘However, I think Chelsea will burst West Ham’s bubbles and come away from the London Stadium with a 2-1 win to heap more trouble onto David Moyes’ shoulders.’
Arsenal have been up-and-down since their return but Owen is expecting a routine win over bottom-of-the-table Norwich.
Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions
Crystal Palace vs Burnley – Draw
Brighton vs Man Utd – Man Utd win
Arsenal vs Norwich – Arsenal win
Bournemouth vs Newcastle – Draw
Everton vs Leicester – Draw
West Ham vs Chelsea – Chelsea win
Sheff Utd vs Spurs – Sheff Utd win
Man City vs Liverpool – Man City win
‘Their opponents in this match don’t come any lower down the table than Norwich and I can’t really make a case for anything other than a resounding home win for Arsenal,’ said Owen.
While Sheffield United have stuttered since the restart, Owen expects them to put a dagger into Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League hopes.
‘Spurs haven’t been too impressive in their last couple of games but they’ve ground out results that keep their slim hopes of Champions League qualification alive,’ he added.
‘Harry Kane’s return to fitness is obviously a huge boost for them, especially now he’s back amongst the goals.
‘This is a very close game to call but I just fancy Sheffield United to get back to winning ways with a hard-fought 1-0 victory.’
Elsewhere, he expects Leicester vs Everton, Crystal Palace and Burnley, and Bournemouth vs Newcastle United to end in a draw.
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