Premier League predictions from the Leader sports desk

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Staff reporter

OUR Leader sports desk take a look at the weekend's Premier League action and run their eye over the big fixtures.

BOURNEMOUTH v SUNDERLAND

NICK HARRISON: I feel really sorry for Moyes because he has inherited one bad side at The Stadium of Light. They’re incapable of keeping clean sheets so their best form of defence is to attack – and that could just play right into The Cherries hands. 3-1

TOM NORRIS: The stats don’t lie, Sunderland are awful. Just two points all season shows that, but they are also the least hard working team in the division, which is inexcusable. The Cherries can take full advantage. 2-0

CHARLIE CROASDALE: The Black Cats have made the joint-worst start to a Premier League season and I can’t see it getting any better at Dean Court, Callum Wilson bagging a brace. 3-0

BURNLEY v CRYSTAL PALACE

NH: The Clarets seem to have got their act together and three points against an up-and-down Palace side is a real probability. Defour can pull the strings at Turf Moor where keeper Heaton and the Burnley back four will again be in great form. 2-1

TN: Just when Palace were looking like a competitive team they’ve hit another bump in the road, one that Dyche’s combative Burnley, certainly at fortress Turf Moor, can take full advantage of. 2-1

CC: Sean Dyche’s side are making decent strides and a home clash with Palace gives them a chance to secure another positive result. I’ll go for a score draw, Vokes and Benteke scoring. 1-1

MANCHESTER CITY v MIDDLESBROUGH

NH: Aguero and De Bruyne will have a field day against Boro – especially if they net an early goal. City could follow up their four goal Baggies haul with a few more at The Etihad. 4-1

TN: Getting an early goal would appear crucial, although City found a way to score three times against Barcelona without doing such. Aguero, Gundogan and De Bruyne should savour this one. 5-0

CC: Boro have really tightened up at the back in recent weeks but it’s a different test against the likes of Silva, Sterling and Aguero who can complete a home win. 3-0

WEST HAM v STOKE CITY

NH: Hughes said his side would come good and with The Hammers suffering a severe bout of homesickness, The Potters can come back from East London with all three points. 1-2

TN: A game both sides will fancy winning. Joe Allen has transformed himself from the Welsh Pirlo to the Welsh Lampard with goals and assists aplenty. Hard fought and ultimately ending in a draw. 1-1

CC: The Hammers were unlucky not to be leading at the break at Goodison last week and can improve further here to claim three points against the Potters. 2-1

CHELSEA v EVERTON

NH: Chelsea are getting better and better while this is a game where Everton can make a real statement and prove just how much they’ve improved. Koeman’s men scrambled a point at City but they’ll struggle against a Hazard-inspired Blues. 2-1

TN: Never has a change in formation worked as well as Conte’s shift to 3-4-3 with Chelsea. Hazard, Costa and even Moses have come alive and that doesn’t bode well for Koeman’s Toffees. 2-1

CC: Conte’s men have won four in a row and haven’t conceded a goal since the boss switched to 3-4-3 but I’m backing Koeman’s Blues to nick a point. 1-1

ARSENAL v TOTTENHAM

NH: There will be goals in this high-noon showdown. Kane’s supposedly back for the North London derby and loves scoring against The Gunners. These are the games Arsenal must win to back-up their title claims and they should sneak it. 3-1

TN: A midday showdown in north London. You’d expect this one to have plenty of action with Spurs looking to play catch up on the leading sides and Arsenal trying not to mess up their title push before the new year. 1-1

CC: Spurs are bang out of form, with four draws in their past four outings, and the likes of Eriksen struggling to make an impact. The Gunners will smell blood and Sanchez can fire them to victory. 2-1

HULL CITY v SOUTHAMPTON

NH: It’s all gone wrong for Phelan since he got The Tigers’ job on a permanent basis. The Saints need to bounce back after a poor show against Chelsea and it could be a chance for Hull to end their poor run. 1-1

TN: Southampton have to deal with heading to Hull on the back of a home clash with Inter Milan, which isn’t a fixture sequence many have had. If they can get their heads around this anti climax they should  win. 0-2

CC: If the Saints’ Europa League exploits haven’t taken too much out of them, they should prove too strong for Hull, who are sliding alarmingly down the table. Austin on target. 1-2

LIVERPOOL v WATFORD

NH: Liverpool live on the box again so sit back and enjoy some more goals. Not having the hardship of playing Thursday night football in ‘yer-hopeless’ League is definitely paying off for Klopp’s attacking side. 4-1

TN: It’s hard not to enjoy the way Liverpool are playing at the moment. Klopp’s men attack with not much regard for basic defending, which is fine by me. Watford may find this one an eye-opener. 3-1

CC: Klopp’s men are irresistible going forward and I can’t see the Hornets stopping the Reds juggernaut from rolling on at Anfield, Firmino and Mane on target. 3-0

SWANSEA CITY v MANCHESTER UNITED

NH: They’ve got good attacking players but a one-man strikeforce doesn’t really work for The Swans. United will be tight at the back but surely this won’t end up as another 0-0 bore. Swansea do raise their game for the bigger sides and I’m going for a home win. 2-1

TN: Not quite the spectacle it would have been a few years ago, but still plenty of intrigue. Can United end a disappointing run of results with a convincing win? Or will Bob Bradley prosper? Potentially neither. 2-2

CC: Surely Ibrahimovic is going to start scoring soon! The giant Swede did everything but score against Burnley last week and can help cast aside The Swans. 1-2

LEICESTER CITY v WEST BROM

NH: West Brom normally bounce back with a good defensive display after a hammering the week before. Leicester away is not easy and The Foxes should have enough to win  despite their Euro excursions. 2-1

TN: With Leicester’s focus on the Champions League they may take their eye off the ball here. Pulis loves a challenge and after Liverpool and Manchester City, he will welcome a trip to the reigning champions. 1-1

CC: The Baggies have a bit more quality then they are given credit for and Chadli can help them secure a point against a Foxes side who have been hit and miss this season. 1-1

See full story in the Chester Leader

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