After FA Cup took over last weekend, the Premier League is back with six 3pm matches.
The relegation battle takes centre stage with action including; Newcastle vs Swansea, Watford vs Southampton and WBA vs Brighton & Hove Albion.
Chelsea vs Leicester
Antonio Conte’s men come into this game off the back of two consecutive 0-0 draws in cup competitions, making this a tough match in a month packed with Saturday – Wednesday – Saturday fixtures.
Leicester meanwhile also drew 0-0 in their last outing at Fleetwood Town, but made several changes to squad.
Since the Premier League era began, Chelsea have lost just once at home to the Foxes, who have a tough record against the ‘Big Six’ since returning to the top flight in 2014.
A part of me does wonder if those draws in past week will hinder Chelsea’s confidence against a fresh Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.
In the end, I fancy Leicester to win purely because their first team had a near fortnight off so will be fresher and ready to win this.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Leicester
Jake predicts: Chelsea 2-2 Leicester
Result: Chelsea 0-0 Leicester
Crystal Palace vs Burnley
Burnley’s last trip to Selhurst Park saw them pick up their first away win last season.
Since then, they have gone from strength to strength but are winless in last six games across all competitions.
Crystal Palace meanwhile have a (W2 D2 L2) record from that period, so will be tough opposition here for the Clarets.
Luckily for Sean Dyche, the Eagles are without seven players due to injury.
Omens also seem to be favouring the away team, who have lost just once in nine top flight meetings with Palace.
Throw in their improved away form and we might just have a clear winner.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Burnley
Jake predicts: Crystal Palace 1-2 Burnley
Result: Crystal Palace 1-0 Burnley
Huddersfield vs West Ham
Both teams are currently above the drop zone but sit four and two points off the bottom three, making a win here important in strengthening their survival bid.
The last meeting saw West Ham register their first win of season but John Smith Stadium has been the Hammers’ bogey ground.
Despite Huddersfield not hosting this fixture since 1971, the East Londoners lost 10 of their last 12 trips there.
West Ham however have the better momentum, having taken five points from last four league games to the Terriers’ three.
On gut instinct, I am going to call this West Ham’s way purely because the momentum is with them at minute.
Prediction: Huddersfield 0-1 West Ham
Jake predicts: Huddersfield 2-0 West Ham
Result: Huddersfield 1-4 West Ham
Newcastle vs Swansea
Swansea are currently rock bottom but new manager, Carlos Carvalhal won here last season with Sheffield Wednesday.
With the relegation battle so tight between 9-20th, a win here is going to be key for both sides.
Newcastle have struggled at home, taking just a solidary point since November so need to raise their game here.
Swansea meanwhile have just three away points from same period, winning last time out at Watford from behind.
Given how awful the home/away form of these clubs have been lately, I am expecting not much here but if Carvalhal delivers another half time lashing, expect one winner.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-1 Swansea
Jake predicts: Newcastle 1-0 Swansea
Result: Newcastle 1-1 Swansea
Watford vs Southampton
A pitful run of four draws last month have seen Southampton slide towards the relegation zone, only sitting outside on goal difference.
Here, they come up against Watford, whose home form has faltered with just seven points from past two months.
This match however has been high scoring of late with 34 goals from last eight meetings at Vicarage Road. 19 of those goals have come from the Hornets to Southampton’s 15 so expect a goal fest here.
Watford’s home goal average currently stands at 1.27 whilst the Saints has an alarmingly poor away goal average of 0.7 goals per game.
Both teams however has been outscored by visitors or hosts respectively.
With this being Watford’s first away game of 2018, I am going to back them use the new year to get their home form back to how it was pre stumble.
Prediction: Watford 2-1 Southampton
Jake predicts: Watford 2-1 Southampton
Result: Watford 2-2 Southampton
West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion
West Brom ended their 20 match losing streak last weekend against Exeter City in the FA Cup.
They now host Brighton & Hove Albion at home, which will be a positive step forward with their 100% home record over the Seagulls.
Baggies manager, Alan Pardew meanwhile has won all his meetings with Chris Houghton so will be confident of another win here.
In all honesty, the stars seem to be aligning with West Brom and I can see them getting that first home win since the opening day.
Prediction: WBA 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Jake predicts: WBA 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Result: WBA 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion