With no festive fixtures on Xmas Eve, this round of Saturday action is a blockbuster with 9 whopping games to predict.
Action includes Everton vs Chelsea, Burnley vs Spurs then ending with an unusual Saturday night game, as Leicester host Manchester United.
Everton vs Chelsea (12:30pm)
Everton come into this fixture unbeaten under Sam Allardyce whilst Chelsea have won their last three league games, since losing 1-0 at West Ham on 9th December.
Antonio Conte might of won his three meetings with the Toffees by a 10-0 aggregate score but this will be a tougher test.
With Alvaro Morata out, Michy Batshuayi is expected to start but for me, the Belgian doesn’t look like he got the quality needed to beat an in form Everton side.
That leaves Eden Hazard and Willian as the Blues’ strongest threat against a team with three clean sheets in last five games.
Both teams have decent fixtures in the next eight days but I can see Everton just having the extra firepower needed.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Chelsea
Jake predicts: Everton 1-1 Chelsea
Result: Everton 0-0 Chelsea
Brighton vs Watford (3:00pm)
Brighton halted a disastrous run this month with a goalless draw at home to Burnley last time out.
Watford meanwhile have lost their last three, having drawn at home with Tottenham three weeks ago.
Watford have ruled this fixture recently down in the Sky Bet Championship, with five wins and five draws in last ten meetings.
The last top flight meeting here between these sides finished 1-1 on New Year’s Day 1983. It also was the only other previous season that these teams played one another in top flight.
Brighton tends to let the opposition dominate play at the Amex as demonstrated in the graph below from Footstats.co.uk
The Seagulls however have a better disciplinary record with no reds, whilst the Hornets have seen red in each of their last three games.
Add in Brighton’s precarious league position and this is one of those must win games, if want to avoid relegation.
Ultimately, this should be tight but I expect Brighton to just nudge through and take the Xmas trimming points.
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Watford
Jake predicts: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Watford
Result: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Watford
Manchester City vs Bournemouth (3:00pm)
Manchester City are still unbeaten domestically and will have a fresh squad, after resting several players in the Carabao Cup.
Bournemouth meanwhile look to be entering an injury crisis after Jermain Defoe went off injured on Wednesday at Chelsea.
Defoe now joins five other Cherry players in the physio room, including; Harry Arter, Joshua King and Tyrone Mings.
Since this fixture became a Premier League tie in 2015-16 season, Man City have won all five games so far.
Their aggregate goal win is 17-2 but the last two meetings saw the Citizens net twice in both.
On paper, this will be a landslide win and that is how I am going to predict this.
Prediction: Manchester City 5-0 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Manchester City 3-0 Bournemouth
Result: Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth
Southampton vs Huddersfield (3:00pm)
Both teams are firmly in midtable making this a tasty battle.
Southampton have fared better away from home this season whilst Huddersfield are at best when at home.
With the boot on other foot, this could be a tricky game with not much to scream about.
There is however some history here because Huddersfield won their last trip to Southampton in September 1971.
Since then, the Saints have reigned with a 13-1 aggregate score and (W5, D1, L2) to show for their efforts.
Charlie Austin has been in form, scoring on last four starts and his record against the Terriers is great too.
In his last seven appearances against Huddersfield, Austin has netted four and assisted once.
On paper, there isn’t much to separate them with Southampton’s poor home goal average of 1.2 goals to Huddersfield’s 0.78 away.
Given that the Terries put four past Watford last weekend, I just fancy them to have edge here because confidence will be strong.
Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Huddersfield
Jake predicts: Southampton 0-0 Huddersfield
Result: Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield
Stoke vs WBA (3:00pm)
Stoke manager, Mark Hughes needs a win here if going to stand any chance of keeping his job.
West Bromwich Albion meanwhile know that victory will move them out of drop zone, depending on other results and send the Potters tumbling into the bottom three.
This is also a big occasion because this is the 100th top tier league meeting in this fixture.
Both teams come into this in shambolic form, so hopefully the fact that this is the centurion meeting will lift things.
Stoke have won just once (2-1 vs Swansea on 2nd December) whilst the Baggies haven’t won since end of August.
West Brom however have won four of last six clashes between these sides and only suffered one loss this decade at the BET365 Stadium.
This probably isn’t going to get the spectators in Christmas spirit but can see West Brom performing a Xmas miracle and end their winless run here.
Prediction: Stoke 0-1 WBA
Jake predicts: Stoke 1-2 WBA
Result: Stoke 3-1 WBA
Swansea vs Crystal Palace (3:00pm)
Swansea face their first game since sacking Paul Clement on Wednesday against Crystal Palace, who they beat in his first game as manager nearly 12 months ago.
The Swans have taken just seven points since returning from the October international break, leaving them rock bottom.
Palace meanwhile have taken 17 points from same period and are now out of the bottom three.
Luckily for Swansea however, their record in this fixture is fantastic after winning the last five clashes.
Their home record is also excellent with the Eagles’ last win coming in March 2009.
A downside is that they have the worst home record with just seven points out of a possible 27.
Having Leon Britton in charge will certainly be a confidence boost because Palace have drawn more than won.
In end, I can see that motivating the Swans to three vital points.
Prediction: Swansea 2-1 Crystal Palace
Jake predicts: Swansea 1-2 Crystal Palace
Result: Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace
West Ham vs Newcastle (3:00pm)
West Ham have appeared to turn a corner in recent weeks with stronger performances.
Newcastle meanwhile are on a downwards spiral, having not won sine end of October.
They however have lost their last two games by 1-0 results.
Like Stoke vs WBA, this is the centurion top flight clash but the Hammers have won their last two meetings here.
Switching to dugout, David Moyes and Rafa Bentiez used to go head to head in Merseyside derbies. Benitez came out better with a (W7, D2) record so will be hoping for same here.
On paper to me, this doesn’t look exciting but the Magpies need a win because the last time they lost 12 of opening 19 games, they were relegated.
For that reason, I fancy them to get a win here, especially after scrapping their Xmas party to try and get a result here.
Prediction: West Ham 0-1 Newcastle
Jake predicts: West Ham 2-0 Newcastle
Result: West Ham 2-3 Newcastle
Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur (5:30pm)
Burnley are flying high and face Tottenham Hotspur in what could well be an early Europa League spot showdown.
After Arsenal drew with Liverpool in FNF, a win for either team would send them fifth and in sight of Champions League football.
The Clarets haven’t beaten Spurs since a 4-2 victory in May 2010. Tottenham however haven’t taken back to back away wins at Turf Moor in nearly a century.
Just to add another stat into mix, the last time that Burnley were above Tottenham in league before meeting saw them win 3-2.
Turf Moor however hasn’t seen many goals this season with an goal average of 0.78 per game, so don’t expect a thriller here.
Burnley have lost just two of their nine home games this season and four of those wins have come by 1-0 results. Only once, have they won 2-0 and two matches ended in draws.
A real positive is that Tottenham have struggled on the road so far with a (W4, D2, L4) record.
That will only bolster a Burnley side, who can take advantage of Tottenham’s inconsistency.
Given that Spurs’ last away win came in late September, I can’t see them turning up and winning against a strong Burnley side.
For that reason, I am backing Burnley and plus its time for someone else to get in on action.
Prediction: Burnley 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Jake predicts: Burnley 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Result: Burnley 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester vs Manchester United (7:45pm)
Jose Mourinho will want a reaction from his Red Devils here, after losing 2-1 at Bristol City to end their Carabao Cup reign in midweek.
Leicester also crashed out but on penalties to Manchester City but are on a decent run in the league.
Manchester United dominate this fixture with just one loss in last 17 meetings, that being the 5-3 defeat here in September 2014.
This game however could see Jamie Vardy become the first Leicester player to hit 50 PL goals.
His first also came against this opposition and so did his record 11th consecutive league goal during the 2015-16 season.
United’s last run of four consecutive wins started here in February. Could their current run end here with victory?
Both teams will be expected to field a strong regular first team here but I fancy United to hit back with a win here.
Prediction: Leicester 1-2 Manchester United
Jake predicts: Leicester 1-0 Manchester United
Result: Leicester 2-2 Manchester United