Today sees two Superweight Sunday clashes in the Premier League. First up is a seaside derby between Bournemouth and Southampton before Arsenal head to the Etihad for a crucial showdown with Manchester City. There is also QPR vs Aston Villa at noon for those who cant get enough football in their life.
Bournemouth vs Southampton (SS1, 1:30pm KO)
This meeting represents a massive opportunity for both sides to get themselves firmly in the Europa League running.
Bournemouth are currently on a impressive run in comparison to last season. They have managed to keep most of their squad fit and refreshed. Tuesday’s win over champions, Leicester will help boost morale heading into this local derby.
The Cherries are currently on a winning streak at the Vitality Stadium and will head into the game knowing that Southampton has mustered only three goals in their last seven league matches.
Southampton will be looking to kick start another Europa League charge now that they’re out of Europe. Their biggest problem however lies up front because they don’t seem to be getting many goals but are in the exact same situation that they were, this time last season.
Claude Puel will have to ensure that his side are set up properly when come to set pieces because their seaside rivals have been impressive at set pieces so far this season.
This match should be a humdinger with a move up to seventh on offer for the winner as we head towards Christmas.
It would be great if Bournemouth were to leap up to seventh because would give them a great platform to build on throughout the festive fixtures and into 2017. After all they’ve come through to reach the promised land and avoiding instant relegation, this would be a deserving present for everyone at the club and put a spring in their step ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Stamford Bridge.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Southampton
Result: Bournemouth 1-3 Southampton
Manchester City vs Arsenal (SS1, 4:00pm KO)
Manchester City are coming off the back of a morale boosting midweek home win over Watford.
Pep Guardiola will be pleased to have a victory under his belt heading into a crucial clash against Arsenal. The Citizens are however without Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero. Ilkay Gundogan’s injury adds to Pep’s worry because this City side is goal shy without any true leaders on the pitch.
With the blue side of Manchester, we never know what to expect because they were shambolic at the back away to Leicester last weekend before cruising to the win over Watford on Wednesday evening.
Arsenal are however hurting after a shock defeat on Tuesday night at Goodison Park to Everton. They will be keen to get back to winning ways immediately and views today’s trip as the perfect opportunity ahead of a tricky home match against West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day.
The Gunners last lost consecutive fixtures in April 2014 meaning that they will be difficult opponents to see off. They have managed to avoid defeat to City since a 6-3 thrashing in December 2013 so will surely be the favourites come kick off.
Both sides will give the match a real go but Wenger has the better squad available at the minute. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Gunners edged this meeting and gave their fans an early Christmas present.
Prediction: Manchester City 1-2 Arsenal
QPR vs Aston Villa (SS2, 12:00pm KO)
Both sides come into this game off the back of narrow midweek losses and will be looking to enter the festive period on a high.
Under Ian Holloway, QPR have lost their last four games and will view this meeting as a must win. Languishing in 19th means that a win is vital if they’re to gain belief in avoiding relegation.
Aston Villa had been resurgent under the leadership of Steve Bruce but have just started to falter again. Bruce will be looking to get back to winning ways ahead of a tricky festive period but history is against his side. The Villains haven’t won at Loftus Road in 25 years making today’s task even tougher.
Midfield is where the winner will be spending Christmas day regardless of today’s result which might put a damper on the atmosphere at the match
Prediction: QPR 1-1 Aston Villa
Result: QPR 0-1 Aston Villa