Sunday sees Liverpool head to Bournemouth looking close the gap to Chelsea to just a solidary point and a NW derby between Everton and Manchester United. The FA Cup will see nine ties take place albeit one live match in full which will get a prediction unlike the rest.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool (1:30 KO on Sky Sports 1)
Bournemouth come into this battle with plenty of confidence after nicking a goal at Arsenal, last Sunday. The Cherries will need to keep up their impressive performances against top sides and Liverpool will be the perfect opponents to play.
If they reproduce the performance that they did against Tottenham Hotspur in late October, they will have a great chance of winning the match. One thing that will need to be significantly improved is their clinical finishing in the final third in order to grab a first ever win over their visitors.
Jürgen Klopp’s side will be looking to avoid further injuries after a nightmare few weeks, which has seen Phillippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana pick up injuries. They will however be buoyant by Lallana’s return to training and I can see him being on the bench in case they need saving against an impressive Eddie Howe team.
The game itself should be fun because both teams will be looking to carve the opposition open. Divock Origi will be looking to start ahead of Roberto Firmino but has been a better striker late in the second half. Can Klopp afford to risk playing things tight then sending on Origi for the last 20 minutes to find the winner against such a difficult side in Bournemouth?
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Liverpool
Result: Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool
Everton vs Manchester United (4:00 KO on Sky Sports 1)
Everton come into this game in nightmare form having slumped disastrously since late September with the 2-0 win over West Ham at the end of October being their only decent performance because the other games have been either all over the place in defence or scrappy.
Manchester United are also in similar form but like Everton, are producing the goals yet allowing the defence to set them back every time. The 3-1 midweek win over West Ham will be a relief for Jose Mourinho heading into this clash. Henrik Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial will both be looking to start after wowing in the League Cup on Wednesday night.
Given how both clubs have been performing, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a dull match with the winner coming towards the end so that the losing team can’t force a way back and level the score. The fact that the Red Devils played mid week will give the Toffees a fitness edge that may well count in the latter stages of the second half.
Prediction: Everton 1-0 Man Utd
Result: Everton 1-1 Man Utd
Curzon Aston vs AFC Wimbledon (12:00pm KO on BT Sport 1)
This match up could be a classic with AFC Wimbledon blowing hot and cold in recent matches. All their wins in recent weeks have seen them score five goals. They have four draws from November with two being 2-2 and the other pair being 0-0. Either way, Curzon Aston will have a great chance to get something from this game given the Dons’ topsy turvy performances, score line wise.
The Nashs will be in fine form after seeing their last three games postponed. I definitely expect them to be ready and up for this match after having plenty of training time unlike the Dons’.
I am expecting this match to be competitive and tight given the contrasting fortunes of both sides in recent weeks and could see plenty of goals as a result.
Prediction: Curzon Aston 2-2 AFC Wimbledon