ENGLAND – Former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker, Michael Owen, has predicted some of this mid-week’s English Premier League match-day 19 fixtures
Chelsea will battle Southampton at Stamford Bridge following a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in their last encounter.
Manchester United will host Newcastle United on Thursday, while Arsenal will face Bournemouth in an away Premier League fixture.
Providing his predictions, Owen was quoted by Metro UK as saying on Monday night:
Chelsea vs Southampton: “Frank Lampard’s decision to revert to a back three was vindicated in spades against Tottenham on Sunday when his side kept their first clean sheet away from home in the league so far this season.
“Two more goals for Danny Ings in Saints impressive 3-1 win at Villa Park at the weekend and the striker has now equalled his personal best (11) in a Premier League season – before Christmas!
“Chelsea’s new-look defence will have to keep a close eye on the inform striker, but I feel the Blues will edge a lively, entertaining clash.”
Leicester City vs Liverpool: “The top two go head-to-head at the King Power and Leicester will be looking to cut the gap at the top of the table against a Liverpool side who won the reverse fixture 2-1 at Anfield earlier in the season.
“The Reds added the FIFA World Club Cup to their Champions League Trophy in Qatar on Saturday while the Foxes were outclassed by Manchester City at the Etihad.
“I expect the league leaders to cement their place at the top-of-the-table.”
Man Utd vs Newcastle Utd: “United need to bounce back after a horror show at Vicarage Road although the game did signal the return of Paul Pogba who came off the bench and looked fit and sharp on his return from injury.
“I expect the French international to start against a Newcastle side who are unbeaten in eight at home but who continue to struggle to create opportunities on the road.
“Steve Bruce has done an excellent job in getting his side into the top half of the table at Christmas and they will leapfrog Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with a win at Old Trafford.”
Tottenham vs Brighton: “Both sides will be looking to bounce back after disappointing home losses over the weekend and I take Spurs to edge a low-scoring affair.
“Jose Mourinho will have been hurt by Frank Lampard’s tactical masterclass, and Chelsea’s superiority, on Sunday and he must do without the suspended Son Heung-Min for the visit of the Seagulls.
“Spurs need to win or the honeymoon period for Mourinho is over in north London.”
Bournemouth vs Arsenal: “Mikel Arteta takes charge of Arsenal for the first time at the Vitality Stadium with his side having played out their first goalless league draw in 77 games at Goodison Park on Saturday.
“The first shot on target in Bournemouth’s game with Burnley on Saturday produced a winning goal in the 89th minute for the Clarets and I think the Gunners will add more Christmas woe to Eddie Howe’s side.”