Liverpool v Arsenal @Anfield @6:30pm on December 29
The battle for the title and the quest for a top-four finish are the two clear goals for Liverpool and Arsenal when they clash for the 228th time this weekend.
The Reds are flying, top of the table and a six-point gap to Tottenham in second while Arsenal is fifth, two points from a Champions League place. With 19 matches to the end of the season, Jurgen Klopp’s side has all the parts working and minimal disruptions while Unai Emery is losing players like flies.
Will the Gunners have enough bullets to shoot down the Reds or will it be another canter in front of the Kop?
These matches have a history of high-scoring – this weekend’s duel should be settled by the odd goal.
Current Form: Liverpool [W-W-W-W-W]; Arsenal [D-W-L-L-W]
Head to head
03/11/18 PRL Arsenal 1 – 1 Liverpool
22/12/17 PRL Arsenal 3 – 3 Liverpool
27/08/17 PRL Liverpool 4 – 0 Arsenal
04/03/17 PRL Liverpool 3 – 1 Arsenal
14/08/16 PRL Arsenal 3 – 4 Liverpool
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
Tottenham v Wolves @Wembley Stadium @4pm on December 29
Spurs are raining goals at the moment – 11 scored in the last two matches and all the forwards in top form. Wolves have been steady and needed but they need more points on the road.
Ruben Neves could be restored to the starting XI while Dele Alli should be fit enough to also make a comeback. Without any summer transfer activity, Spurs are in an unlikely second position though the manager believes the squad to be strong enough to offer many more surprises. “The most important thing is the belief. It’s difficult to translate to the fans or to the media the genuine belief in the squad.”
But, the fans are starting to believe that anything is possible.
Current Form: Tottenham [W-W-W-W-D]; Watford [L-L-W-W-W]
Head to head
03/11/18 PRL Wolves 2 – 3 Tottenham
14/01/12 PRL Tottenham 1 – 1 Wolves
10/09/11 PRL Wolves 0 – 2 Tottenham
06/03/11 PRL Wolves 3 – 3 Tottenham
18/09/10 PRL Tottenham 3 – 1 Wolves
Prediction: Tottenham 1-2 Wolves
Crystal Palace v Chelsea @Selhurst Park @1pm on December 30
Another London derby and the question to ask is – which of the real two teams will show up? After deservedly beating Manchester City 3-2 last weekend, Palace followed that victory with a dour 0-0 against Cardiff while Chelsea followed their surprising 0-1 loss to Leicester City with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Watford.
Mauricio Sarri needs a new No.9 to ease the goal-scoring burden on Eden Hazard just as Palace need their strikers to start scoring. A very unpredictable encounter is in the offing.
Current Form: Palace [D-W-W-L-L]; Chelsea [W-L-W-W-D]
Head to head
04/11/18 PRL Chelsea 3 – 1 Palace
10/03/18 PRL Chelsea 2 – 1 Palace
14/10/17 PRL Palace 2 – 1 Chelsea
01/04/17 PRL Chelsea 1 – 2 Palace
17/12/16 PRL Palace 0 – 1 Chelsea
Prediction: Palace 1-2 Chelsea
Rangers v Celtic @Ibrox Stadium @1:30pm on December 29
The 415th Old Firm derby is one that has consequences and repercussions. For Rangers, who have suffered in the hands of Celtic recently – in their last six confrontations, they have conceded 15 goals while scoring just two for five losses and a draw – a win is a must.
A win on Saturday will take Steven Gerard’s men level on points in the Scottish Premiership, even though they will have played one game more than the defending champions. Rangers are battling a lot of injuries but Gerard has asked his players to feed off the Ibrox energy. “We have to try to use [the home crowd] to our advantage. We owe it to them to find 90 minutes, then we can go and rest.”
Current Form: Rangers [D-W-D-W-L]; Celtic [W-W-W-L-L]
Head to head
Sun 02/09/18 PRE Celtic 1 – 0 Rangers
Sun 29/04/18 PRE Celtic 5 – 0 Rangers
Sun 15/04/18 FAC Celtic 4 – 0 Rangers
Sun 11/03/18 PRE Rangers 2 – 3 Celtic
Sat 30/12/17 PRE Celtic 0 – 0 Rangers
Prediction: Rangers 3-2 Celtic
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