Michael Owen has cast his eye over the latest round of Premier League fixtures, which include a thrilling north London derby.
Eighteen of the 20 Premier League sides are in action but Aston Villa and Newcastle United won’t be involved after their Friday night clash was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak for Steve Bruce’s Magpies.
But the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are all still involved.
There’s no doubting the match of the weekend: Arsenal travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the north London derby on Sunday afternoon.
‘Arsenal’s performance has dipped in recent weeks,’ Owen told Bet Victor, predicting a 2-1 win. ‘It’s been particularly noticeable that they’ve not had the same swagger at home as they’ve had in recent seasons.
‘Spurs have been playing well. They’ve adapted to Jose Mourinho’s style of play and could be in with an outside chance of winning the league. Jose has set up to play on the counter a lot this season, and I think they could further benefit if he opened up and went at teams a bit more.
‘Based on form I can’t see anything other than a Spurs win. They have talent throughout their team, and if they keep going at this rate, they could have a surprisingly big season.’
Manchester United, meanwhile, will be hoping to bounce back after their 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday night, but Owen thinks they will fall to a 2-1 defeat to West Ham.
‘Just as in previous weeks, it is very difficult to predict how Manchester United will perform,’ added Owen. ‘They blow so hot and cold.
‘Their opponents, West Ham, have the look of a decent side and are on the up just now. They have some quality players, and their recent home form has been very good.
Chelsea made no mistake in booking their spot as Champions League group winners by thrashing Sevilla 4-0 away from home and Owen expects them to continue marching on against newly-promoted Leeds.
‘This could be a cracker,’ said Owen. ‘Leeds are so much better when they’re playing against teams that come at them. You can see that sides are starting to realise this and giving them some respect. Everton tried it for periods last week, albeit Leeds caught them in the end.
‘The thing is with Chelsea, they can only play one way. They’ll attack Leeds, which should play into the visitors’ hands. However, although I think Bielsa’s men will get some joy on the counter, I reckon Chelsea will have just enough quality to see them take the points.’
Michael Owen Premier League predictions
Burnley 1-1 Everton
Man City 5-0 Fulham
West Ham 2-1 Man Utd
Chelsea 3-2 Leeds
West Brom 0-1 Crystal Palace
Sheff Utd 0-2 Leicester
Spurs 2-1 Arsenal
Liverpool 3-1 Wolves
Brighton 0-2 Southampton
Liverpool also secured their passage to the last-16 of the Champions League this week and Owen thinks they will have too much for Wolves on Sunday.
‘Wolves picked up an impressive win at the Emirates last week. Up until then, they hadn’t quite hit the heights of last season,’ added Owen. ‘They’ve had one or two injuries and now they’ll be without Raul Jimenez after he endured a terrible head injury.
‘I covered the Brighton game and without a few controversial decisions, Liverpool would have come away with all 3 points.
‘Arguably, Diogo Jota has been the signing of the season, so far. He comes into this in red hot form and I think it could be written in the stars that he scores against his former club.’