MANCHESTER United’s trip to Liverpool is always one of the biggest matches of the season. The clash at Anfield is one of the highlights of a weekend that also includes a tricky encounter for Arsenal at Stoke.
Each week, ESPN FC’s club bloggers will preview their match and give a prediction. Do you agree or disagree? Have your say below by voting in the match poll.
LIVERPOOL vs. MANCHESTER UNITED
LIVERPOOL: Louis van Gaal has suddenly discovered how to be entertaining after the 3-3 draw with Newcastle. Liverpool have few fit defenders and let Exeter pass them twice — so a goal-feast on Sunday, right? Wrong. Both sides will be so tense and anxious to avoid defeat it’ll be extremely tight and cautious.
Prediction: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United — Steven Kelly.
MAN UNITED: Judging from their 3-3 draws earlier this week, we could hope the clash at Anfield will involve lots of goals. Both teams showed encouraging signs going forward in midweek but were appalling in defence. Van Gaal figures to want to tighten things up and the price of not conceding is not scoring too many.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United — Scott Patterson.
STOKE vs. ARSENAL
STOKE: Stoke face old foes Arsenal, who will be looking to pass the Britannia test to further their title credentials. This could well be another game for the False No. 9 formation, with Bojan Krkic causing the Gunners all manner of problems in their last visit.
Prediction: Stoke 2-0 Arsenal — James Whittaker.
ARSENAL: Failure to take all three points at Liverpool on Wednesday night is disappointing and frustrating. Arsene Wenger’s team must turn that into something positive at a ground that is traditionally difficult for them. They simply have to respond to show their title credentials and the return of Alexis Sanchez might help in that regard.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Arsenal — Andrew Mangan.
CHELSEA vs. EVERTON
CHELSEA: It’s a case of one step forward and one step back as highlighted by Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with West Brom. That said, Chelsea are certainly capable of raising themselves if needed and they will need to against an impressive Everton side. Former Blue Romelu Lukaku has been rampant in front of goal and will be eager to prove a point. Hopefully, Diego Costa will have a suitable response.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Everton — Phil Lythell.
EVERTON: Defensive improvements continued in midweek as Everton became the first visiting team in almost a year to keep a clean sheet at Manchester City, but the Blues are winless in 20 league visits to Stamford Bridge and must rediscover their attacking edge. A third successive league draw this month seems more likely.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Everton — Luke O’Farrell.
MAN CITY vs. CRYSTAL PALACE
MAN CITY: Manuel Pellegrini’s side are in decent form, with only one loss in their last six — but only three wins in that time, too. However, the Eagles haven’t scored in the Premier League since mid-December (knowing City, there’s a fair chance that run might end Saturday).
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Crystal Palace — David Mooney.
CRYSTAL PALACE: If ever there was a time to put Manchester City defenders in your fantasy football team this is it. Crystal Palace haven’t scored in their last four Premier League games, look blunt going forward and have injuries to most of their attacking players.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Crystal Palace — Jim Daly. – ESPN FC