After a Saturday full of surprises, there are four more Premier League fixtures to complete before 2018 is out on this final Super Sunday of the year.
The action kicks off at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace meet Chelsea in a London derby before West Ham then head up to Burnley as Manchester City go south to Southampton.
Manchester United then completes the year’s action as they face Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea (12:00pm)Embed from Getty Images
For Chelsea, victory here would create a three way fight for second (for two hours at least) as Crystal Palace aim to move eight points clear of the drop.
Funnily enough, Palace played another member of the ‘Big Six’ here last year in this exact same slot where they got a goalless draw. Repeating that this time around however will be much tougher given that Chelsea have won both meetings this calendar year despite both coming at Stamford Bridge.
The last time that such a scenario happened was in 1990 when this fixture was played five times across all competitions, with Crystal Palace winning the fourth clash 2-1 here.
Now fast-forward to the present and Palace are unbeaten in their last three league matches at home but lacked those finishing touches in midweek’s goalless draw with Cardiff.
Chelsea meanwhile have been unpredictable this month domestically and in my opinion, the majority of players didn’t seem sharp and clinical enough at Watford in midweek apart from Eden Hazard and Willian.
Another sluggish performance here then I can see Palace making it consecutive home league wins over the Blues.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Chelsea
Jake predicts: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea
Result: Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea
Burnley vs West Ham United (2:15pm)Embed from Getty Images
After a Boxing Day thrashing, this is an absolute must win for Burnley who need to start finding some momentum fast.
Burnley’s attack has been largely void since West Ham won the first leg 4-2 in mid October, with only the performances against Liverpool and Tottenham springing to mind.
Add in the fact that they have netted only five goals since that game with four coming at home, then I wonder if its time for a refresh at Turf Moor despite Sean Dyche’s successes over the years because attack and defence has really been a shambles for much of this season.
West Ham meanwhile are starting to become a dangerous team with midfield their key strength, when Felipe Anderson and Grady Diangana both are on form which is a concern here.
Given that Burnley have conceded eight goals in last two outings, I can just see their defence getting ripped apart by the Hammers if Anderson is on tune here.
Prediction: Burnley 0-3 West Ham United
Jake predicts: Burnley 2-0 West Ham United
Result: Burnley 2-0 West Ham United
Southampton vs Manchester City (2:15pm)Embed from Getty Images
Following Spurs’ shock home defeat by Wolves, Manchester City can return into second here and seven points off Liverpool if beat Southampton at St Marys.
That task does look easy with four consecutive wins on bounce against the Saints, who however do now have a new man in Ralph Hasenhuttl and beat Arsenal a fortnight ago.
Southampton however let a one goal lead over West Ham slip in midweek but given City’s injury crisis and games coming thick and fast, I can see Southampton adding more insult to the Citizens if can tighten up and deliver sucker punches on the counter.
Prediction: Southampton 2-1 Manchester City
Jake predicts: Southampton 1-2 Manchester City
Result: Southampton 1-3 Manchester City
Manchester United vs Bournemouth (4:30pm)Embed from Getty Images
With an eight-way scrap for sixth currently separated by just seven points, this is a massive six pointer for the hopes of both teams.
Manchester United have impressed so far under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but both wins have come against teams fighting relegation, so this will be a proper test of where they are currently at.
Saying that, their play is strong enough to beat those around them with Paul Pogba particularly involved in majority of United’s chances and netted two goals himself in midweek.
Bournemouth meanwhile are getting stronger with every game instead of just relying on flanks. Lacklustre defending from crosses however was their ultimate downfall in midweek at Spurs which is something that United could look to exploit, if start playing more crosses than they have done in recent games.
A draw therefore is probably a good possibility here given United’s passing style but their attack has been second to none in past two games, so am going for a narrow home win.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Manchester United 3-0 Bournemouth
Result: Manchester United 4-1 Bournemouth