Arsenal v West Ham
Despite being much maligned, Arsenal have lost just three of their last seventeen league games. In fact, they are unbeaten in nine. The problem is, that they have drawn four of those nine. They seem to be almost entirely reliant on pieces of magic from Robin Van Persie. He badly needs his team-mates to offer him some support.
West Ham had a really dodgy spell under Gianfranco Zola but are now unbeaten in seven games, winning six of them. They played some great stuff against Hull the other night and in Di Michele and Carlton Cole they have a strike force at the top of their game.
This could be another difficult afternoon for the Wenger boys.
SoccerNews prediction: 1-1Aston Villa v Wigan
Aston Villa have opened up a five point gap to fifth placed Arsenal and ten points over sixth placed Everton. They are in a wonderful position to make a serious challenge for a Champions League place. In order to do that, they need to win games like this one.
Wigan got a well deserved draw against Liverpool during the week to end a two game losing sequence. They may have to face their old boy Emile Heskey who will be desperate to make it two in two for his new club, but if the cameo performance by his replacement Hugo Rodallega the other night is anything to go by, Wigan might not miss the big man too much.
The way Villa are grinding out results it is difficult to see anything than another three points for them.
SoccerNews prediction: 2-1Bolton v Tottenham
Two teams who got decent results in midweek but who both sit just three points above the relegation places.
Bolton got a draw at Blackburn but have only won once in their last nine games.
Tottenham dismissed Stoke with ease on Tuesday but they have only won three of their last twelve in all competitions.
I suspect this one could be close but I fancy RedknappÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s men to nick it near the end.
SoccerNews prediction: 0-1Fulham v Portsmouth
For Fulham two league defeats in a row have brought an end to a run of nine games without losing. However, six of those games were drawn and they failed to score in four of them.
Portsmouth are sinking. Another defeat in midweek, however unlucky Tony Adams says they were again, leaves them precariously placed just three points above the drop zone. Just two wins in twelve games in all competitions is worrying form for them.
I suspect that Tony Adams will be looking for excuses again after this one.
SoccerNews prediction: 2-1Hull v West Brom
Two of the promoted clubs go into battle at the KC Stadium. West Brom are rock bottom and Hull fans everywhere must fear that they will take over that spot fairly soon unless they can rediscover whatever it was they had at the start of the season.
Hull have lost their last six and have just one win in sixteen. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s relegation form in anyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s book. West Brom on the other hand have managed three wins in their last seven. Their main problem is that they have only won one game away from home and that was back in September.
I strongly suspect that both of these teams may end up being relegated but whoever loses this one, will be amongst the favourites to do so.
SoccerNews prediction: 0-1Manchester United v Everton
What can you say about the form United are in? Unbeaten in eleven without conceding a goal. Five victories in a row, scoring eleven goals. Top of the table by two points and a game in hand on their rivals. Current Premier League, Champions League and World Club champions.
Everton, however, will be no pushover. They are sixth in the league and are unbeaten in nine in all competitions. They too have a tight defence that has only conceded three goals in those nine games.
I fancy United to get the one goal they will need to pile the pressure on Chelsea and Liverpool.
SoccerNews prediction: 1-0Middlesbrough v Blackburn
Middlesbrough are another team in freefall. The board of directors have given manager Gareth Southgate a vote of confidence but another defeat here might just make them reconsider. Although we all think Southgate is a good bloke and a promising young manager, eleven games without a win and a place in the drop zone is not good enough.
Blackburn are still in trouble but they are unbeaten under Sam Allardyce and showed a spirit in their comeback from 2-0 down against Bolton to get a 2-2 draw, that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there before he arrived.
I think Blackburn might pile on the pressure for Southgate.
SoccerNews prediction: 0-2Stoke v Manchester City
StokeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new signing James Beattie got off the mark for the club during the week as did Manchester CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new signing Craig Bellamy. That is where the similarity ends however as BeattieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s was nothing more than a consolation in a 3-1 defeat and BellamyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s helped City to a 2-1 win.
Manchester City can only get better from here on in and I fully expect them to do so. Stoke are finding things a bit tougher now as teams have worked out how to play against them.
SoccerNews prediction: 0-2Liverpool v Chelsea
There are a lot of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbig gamesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ during a season and most of them are certainly not as important as the media try to have us all believe. However in this case, should Manchester United beat Everton, this game does become Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmust winÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ for both sides.
They may go into this game five points behind United having played the same number of games. Assuming United win their game in hand, eight points is too much of a gap.
These two teams very often cancel each other out and with neither team performing at their best, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect this game to be any different. The only winners here are likely to be Manchester United.
SoccerNews prediction: 0-0Newcastle v Sunderland
Sunderland have edged to three points above Newcastle in the table whilst the Magpies are only two points above the drop zone following WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s defeat at Manchester City.
With Sunderland in a decent run of form with only two defeats in their last seven league games, they may fancy their chances of getting a sweet derby victory at St JamesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Park. Newcastle are in freefall at the moment and the early promising signs of a revival under Joe Kinnear seem to be fading. Four defeats in their last five league games have them deep in trouble again.
I fancy Sunderland to achieve a rare double over their near neighbours.
SoccerNews prediction: 1-2