Paul Merson's predictions for Man City vs Manchester United and other Premier League GW27 fixtures

Manchester City vs Manchester United is the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend
Manchester City vs Manchester United is the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend

The 2024 Carabao Cup final was a really good contest as Jurgen Klopp's new-look Liverpool side prevailed with two minutes left on the clock in extra time, thanks to a towering header from Virgil van Dijk. Chelsea played well for parts of the game and finished the second half stronger, but I think Mauricio Pochettino got it wrong with his substitutions - which kind of allowed Liverpool to come back into the game in extra time.

Caoihmin Kelleher had a great game and thwarted everything that came his way, while the rest of Liverpool's young players also got the job done for Klopp. They featured once again against Southampton last night and proved that it wasn't just a one-off, fair play to Klopp for giving them a go! That is some doing for a manager.

In terms of the Premier League, the Manchester derby is the standout fixture of the weekend, but there are a handful of other games to look forward to that could shape both ends of the league standings.


Newcastle United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

Newcastle went to Arsenal and got absolutely battered as I predicted. They had a great result in the FA Cup in midweek but are set to play against Man City in the quarterfinal, so that's the end of their cup run, you could say.

Wolves, on the other hand, are a very underrated football team and have been a good team to watch under Gary O'Neil. I think there will be goals in this one but I think Newcastle will just nick it at home. I'm only saying that because while Wolves are a good team, they are at their best when they aren't expected to win, which isn't necessarily the case here.

The Magpies got into the top four last season and that came as a huge surprise. In terms of their performances in the current campaign, I'm not really shocked with their current predicament as they collectively overachieved last season, so everyone knew it would be impossible for them to keep that up. We shouldn't judge them based on that as we all knew that wasn't going to happen again!

Prediction: Newcastle United 3-2 Wolves


Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace

Ange Postecoglou
Ange Postecoglou

This is a nice game for Tottenham as Palace have a new manager in Oliver Glasner and are set to be without Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, without whom they've really struggled this season. Spurs play a certain game and this would have been a dangerous game if both Eze and Olise were fit, but without the pair, Palace don't have enough firepower to secure a positive result.

Ange Postecoglou's side have to win this game as Aston Villa have ramped it up a little bit in recent weeks, so I think they'll get a comfortable win in front of their home fans.

Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Crystal Palace


Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

People might say it's a blessing in disguise for Forest to get knocked out of the FA Cup, but I don't agree with that. As far as Liverpool are concerned, they have a lorry load of injuries with a handful of young kids featuring regularly for them, but sooner or later, it might be a game too far for the young lads.

This is a hard game, but I think Liverpool could have a bunch of senior players back in the squad for this one, with Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo expected to play some role in this game. I doubt Klopp will rush his key players back, especially with the Manchester City game on the horizon, but he'll have them on standby in case this game doesn't go as planned.

Their young players have been outstanding so far, but they can't play against Man City, with all due respect to them, so it remains to be seen how Klopp approaches this game in terms of his selection. Nonetheless, I'm going for a Liverpool win, but this is not going to be straightforward for the Reds.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-2 Liverpool


Brentford vs Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino

Brentford have a decent record against Chelsea and are in a spot of bother after Everton's points deduction was reduced to six. Their squad has been reduced to its bare bones due to injuries, so I think Chelsea will get the job done here.

In terms of their hopes of staying up, I think Ivan Toney's return to the team will get them over the line. He's only going to get fitter as the season goes on, while the rest of the players will get tired, which is a massive advantage.

Prediction: Brentford 1-2 Chelsea


Everton vs West Ham United

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

Everton got an absolutely massive boost earlier this week as their points deduction was reduced to six from 10, which will allow them to play without fear between now and the end of the season. They aren't safe yet, but their situation isn't as bad as it was before, so they just have to ensure they don't lose too many games.

Sean Dyche and Co. have some nice fixtures coming up and Goodison Park will be absolutely bouncing ahead of this game. I think they will make it count and secure a massive win that will take them another step closer to Premier League safety.

Prediction: Everton 2-1 West Ham


Fulham vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Roberto De Zerbi
Roberto De Zerbi

Fulham were by far the better team against Manchester United and deservedly got a stoppage-time winner through Alex Iwobi. Brighton, on the other hand, are so up and down and a funny little team - they are absolutely impossible to predict. Roberto De Zerbi's side are a pundits' nightmare, they make you look so silly!

Neither of these two sides is playing for anything in terms of the Premier League, so I think they will cancel each other out.

Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Brighton


Luton Town vs Aston Villa

Unai Emery
Unai Emery

I'll go for an Aston Villa win here as they are a solid, well-coached side at the moment. Luton will cause teams problems at home and have been really good at Kenilworth Road this season, but their confidence will be shot after conceding six against Manchester City and Elijah Adebayo's absence will be a huge factor as well.

I think Manchester United are a million miles off the race for a top-four spot at the moment, so it's between Tottenham and Villa. At the moment, I think I'll go for Villa to secure UEFA Champions League football next season as Spurs are too open at the back for my liking.

Prediction: Luton Town 1-2 Aston Villa


Burnley vs Bournemouth

Andoni Iraola
Andoni Iraola

I was shocked by Bournemouth's loss against Leicester City in the FA Cup. They are pretty much safe in the Premier League so it was the perfect time for them to have a right swing at the FA Cup, but they blew it! If they lose this one, their season kind of fizzles out and people could forget how impressive they were in the middle of the campaign, which is unfortunate for Andoni Iraola and his team.

After Everton's points deduction was reduced to six, I think it's curtains for Burnley and Sheffield United. It's not like Burnley aren't trying, but they don't have the players to make their brand of football work, and the gulf of class between these two sides and the rest of the Premier League is absolutely massive.

If Dominic Solanke is fit for this one, I think Bournemouth will get all three points.

Prediction: Burnley 1-2 Bournemouth


Manchester City vs Manchester United

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

If Rasmus Hojlund was fit, I'd have given Manchester United a chance in this game as the away side would have had a lot of pace in attack with the Danish striker playing alongside Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford. Now that Hojlund is out injured, I think it would be one-way traffic in favor of the home side. I actually think Manchester United are going to the Etihad Stadium in damage-limitation mode - so I'm going to be kind and go for a 3-0 home win but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a lot worse.

Erling Haaland scoring five goals away from home against a Premier League side in the FA Cup is not normal, but we tend to take him for granted. I can't put into words how extraordinary a feat that is - it was mindblowing and I mean it. He's absolutely ruthless in front of goal and doesn't care if he scores a tap-in or a diving header, that's what I love about him!

I personally think Liverpool's game against Forest is a harder one to call than this one, so I'm going for a comfortable home win.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United


Sheffield United vs Arsenal

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta

I can't see anything but an Arsenal win here. After successive defeats to Fulham and West Ham United in late 2023, I thought the Gunners' title challenge would fizzle out, but they've been absolutely magnificent since the turn of the year and are scoring goals for fun!

Again, I'll stop at three, but I think it could be any scoreline here. Arsenal have a good balance to their team and will look to score early as they have in most of their games in recent weeks.

Prediction: Sheffield United 0-3 Arsenal


Quick Links

Edited by Paul Merson