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Manchester City overtake Leicester; Manchester United-Chelsea stalemate – EPL predictions

Each week, The National Sports Editor Thomas Woods predicts the outcomes of the English Premier League, this week foreseeing Manchester City overtaking Leicester City at the top, a resounding win for Arsenal and Manchester United and Chelsea in a stalemate. Here are his results for the season.

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Manchester City 2 Leicester City 0

Why? Leicester’s 2-0 win at home to Liverpool on Tuesday looked comfortable on paper, but they were troubled by the visitors and their opening goal, Jamie Vardy’s cracker, came against the run of play. Liverpool mistakes also contributed to their defeat. City, at home and on form, should win with ease.

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Aston Villa 0 Norwich City 0

Why? Two teams with relegation worries, two teams who don’t score many. This will be a nervous, scrappy draw that suits Norwich more.

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Liverpool 2 Sunderland 1

Why? Sunderland have been steadily improving while Liverpool are hard to trust at the moment with their only win in five a 5-4 victory at Norwich. Even so, the home side should still be able to get three points. Jurgen Klopp might pick Christian Benteke for a match like this, especially if Sunderland are happy to sit back, with Roberto Firmino dropping deeper to get more of the ball.

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Newcastle 2 West Bromwich Albion 1

Why? Newcastle have made some clever signings in the winter transfer window and have no excuse for not avoiding relegation this season. Games like this, at home against an uninspiring West Brom side, are ones they should be winning.

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Stoke City 1 Everton 1

Why? Everton have only won three times on the road, they are draw specialists and these two teams are similar enough to cancel each other out.

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Swansea City 1 Crystal Palace 0

Why? Swansea can put more daylight between themselves and the bottom three as they face a side who haven’t won in seven games and have lost five in a row. Emmanuel Adebayor, who could start for the first time for Palace, is the wild card here – his height and ability will trouble any defence if he is in the right mood.

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Tottenham 1 Watford 0

Why? Tottenham are on a roll but this will be a tougher game than their last home match, a 4-1 win over Sunderland. The game earlier this season at Vicarage Road was a cracker and either side could have won.

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Southampton 2 West Ham United 1

Why? This is a big chance for Southampton to draw within two points of sixth-placed West Ham. Charlie Austin should get a chance from the off after starting the first two matches since his move from QPR on the bench. His eye for goal could decide this one.

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Bournemouth 0 Arsenal 3

Why? Time for Arsenal to unleash some frustration after a run of four games without a win which has seen them drop to fourth in the table. We’ve seen some fine away performances from them this season, notably a 5-2 thrashing of Leicester. This will be another.

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Chelsea 0 Manchester United 0

Why? Perhaps the most interesting game of the weekend, because of the differing form of both sides. Chelsea are on the up, but it is still hard to see them creating a bundle of chances against a United side who can keep it tight at the back. Key players? Eden Hazard and Anthony Martial. Hazard can bother most defences, but is he 100 per cent fit? And Martial’s pace on the break could end up being United’s best weapon.

Published: February 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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