Paul Merson's predictions for Manchester United vs West Ham and other Premier League GW 14 fixtures

The Premier League is back this weekend
The Premier League is back this weekend

It's been an eventful week in European football, and the Premier League is now back with another set of fixtures over what is set to be an exciting weekend. With the World Cup break looming large now, every team in the competition has big games coming up.

We have a few important fixtures in the Premier League this weekend, with plenty of action at both ends of the league table. The likes of Manchester City and Arsenal have been in impressive form this season and will need to battle it out for the top spot ahead of the World Cup.

Chelsea and Liverpool did well in the Champions League this week, but Tottenham saw their late winner chalked off. Harry Kane was offside, wasn't he? There was a lot of controversy, but I don't know what they were moaning about.

With only three weeks left until the World Cup break, the Premier League's big names will be intent on a strong finish to this phase of the season. Here are my predictions for this weekend's round of matches.

Leicester City vs Manchester City

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League
Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League

This is going to be a hard game for Manchester City. I know where Leicester are in the Premier League table but you never know which Leicester you're going to get. They wiped the floor with Wolves last week and they've got good players. But they did lose to Bournemouth, and I don't know which Leicester will turn up this week.

We all know how good Manchester City are, but Leicester have done well against Pep Guardiola's teams over the years. The thing with Man City is that they're a brilliant team, but they do give you chances.

When Man City were 2-1 up against Brighton last week, if you'd have asked me who was going to score the next goal, I would've backed Brighton. You can hurt Man City, but you've got to pick the right pass.

Leicester aren't great at the back, but they play a certain way and that can hurt Pep's team. They're in a false position in the Premier League team at the moment and have played well, but they've been inconsistent.

I think there are a lot of goals in this game. If the wrong Leicester turns up, Man City will wipe the floor with them. If the right one turns up, it's game on. I think Leicester can do well this weekend.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-2 Manchester City

Newcastle United vs Aston Villa

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League

If Aston Villa's players turn up, this will be a good game. They turned it one against Brentford last week. Unai Emery will try to get them to be solid in his first game, but I don't think he'll have enough time.

Emery's a good appointment for Aston Villa. He's worked in the Premier League before with a big football club, and he knows his opponents. He's left a very good team in Villarreal - we saw that last year. If you want to win La Liga, you need to beat Villarreal - they're one of those teams. This appointment is a big coup for Aston Villa.

Newcastle are playing as well as anybody at the moment. They outplayed Tottenham last week, and they've been absolutely outstanding this season. Newcastle should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Newcastle United 3-1 Aston Villa

Bournemouth vs Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Tottenham haven't had a great week. They were a goal away from virtually qualifying for the knock-outs in the Champions League. They were well beaten by Newcastle and Manchester United, and they couldn't win against Sporting Lisbon at home. I wouldn't be surprised if Harry Kane got a hat-trick against Bournemouth. That's Tottenham at the moment, and it's quite worrying.

Antonio Conte always plays a three-at-the-back formation, and you need to have top-draw wingbacks with this system. Tottenham have one of the best forward pairs in Kane and Son, but there's no ammunition behind them. You're only as good as the people who give the ball to you.

Tottenham play with three defenders and three holding midfielders. They need a passer in their midfield. The two wingbacks that are supposed to step up in the final third aren't good enough. If Tottenham had Reece James, Chilwell, and Cucurella, they wouldn't be a million miles away from being a solid top-four team.

Prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Chelsea

AC Milan v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League
AC Milan v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea got a good result in the Champions League, and they played some good football as well. There was one move in that match where they moved from one end of the pitch to the other - wow! Had they scored, it would've been their best goal in a long time.

Brighton played well against Manchester City last week, and I thought they would score their second goal at one point. They played out a 0-0 draw against Nottingham Forest before that, and they're very unreliable at the moment.

I'm not sure how many changes Graham Potter will make this week, and the outcome will depend on whether his team can gel together. Chelsea are more solid at the moment and should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Chelsea

Crystal Palace vs Southampton

Crystal Palace v Southampton - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Southampton - Premier League

I watched Crystal Palace at Everton last week, and I don't see how they're going to win an away game. They have a lot of flair players in the team, and that's always nice to see. But I was a fan, I'd be worried about their away form.

Palace are playing at home this weekend, and they've got too much going forward. They should be able to get the better of Southampton on Saturday.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-0 Southampton

Brentford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brentford - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brentford - Premier League

I don't know how Wolves are going to win a match. They can't score goals, and they can't keep clean sheets either. It's a worrying time for Wolves at the moment.

I thought Brentford were unlucky the other day. If they play like they did against Chelsea, they should be able to win this game. There are a lot of teams like this in the Premier League at the moment. They're a bag of rebels. So many teams have been up and down, and I'm not sure who's going to get relegated this season.

Prediction: Brentford 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Fulham vs Everton

Leeds United v Fulham FC - Premier League
Leeds United v Fulham FC - Premier League

Fulham have been absolutely outstanding so far. They've come up from the Championship and they've already won half the points they need to stay in the Premier League.

People have said that Mitrovic can't score goals in the Premier League, and he's proving them wrong. He couldn't score because he was working on scraps. Fulham are playing good football now, and Mitrovic is doing well for himself.

I watched Everton last week - it's the best I've seen them play in a long time. They looked like the Everton of old - hard to beat, and in your face. This is a hard game to call. Fulham started their Premier League season better, but Everton are catching up now.

Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Everton

Liverpool vs Leeds United

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Nottingham Forest v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Liverpool pulled off a brilliant performance against Man City. They then endured a shocking result against Forest and went on to beat a good footballing team in Ajax. Jurgen Klopp must be pulling his hair out. Liverpool have been very consistent under him in recent years, but they've been up and down this season.

Fabinho has played a lot of matches this season. I do like him, and I'm not sure what the problem is there. If Liverpool are to be a success, they need him at their best. A lot of what he does goes unnoticed. If you've watched Liverpool over the years, you'll know that the midfield three made everything happen. They're struggling without a settled midfield.

Darwin Nunez has been a bit stop-start this season, but I think he'll be a success. My only worry is his link-up play - he didn't even see Mohamed Salah's run against Man City and when you play for a team like Liverpool, you need to be able to pick those passes. What I do like about him is that he doesn't shy off. He missed a sitter the other day, but he still scored after that. It might take him some time, but he'll come good for Liverpool.

Leeds are struggling, aren’t they? I like Jesse Marsch and I think he works hard, but Leeds keep shooting themselves in the foot. I expect Liverpool to win this game comfortably.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Leeds United

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest

Arsenal FC v FK Bodo/Glimt: Group A - UEFA Europa League
Arsenal FC v FK Bodo/Glimt: Group A - UEFA Europa League

Mikel Arteta has been quite clever with Arsenal. He has played four solid defenders at the back - Ben White, Tomiyasu, and the two centre-backs. Thomas Partey plays in front of them - he's played for one of the most disciplined teams in world football in Atletico Madrid. Arteta's told the rest of the team to go out there and express themselves, and it's worked wonders for his side.

Granit Xhaka is playing for Arsenal now like he does for Switzerland. I used to watch him play for his national team and wonder why he couldn't play like that for Arsenal. He has turned up now, and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. He plays for his manager, and he's always been one of the first names on the teamsheet.

I know they suffered a bad result the other day against Southampton, but they didn't lose - that's a big compliment. Last season, they would've lost that game. If Arsenal are at the top of the Premier League table come the World Cup break, it'll be a massive feat.

Nottingham Forest will sit back and play ten men behind the ball, but I think Arsenal will have too much for them. The earlier they find the back of the net, the bigger the final score will be. Forest are going to play one way and one way only, but I think Arsenal should be able to win this match.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Nottingham Forest

Manchester United vs West Ham United

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

Manchester United are doing well at the moment and I like what the manager has done. They were outstanding in the first half against Chelsea, and they played well against Tottenham. I did say that it would be a big week for United, and they did well.

Erik ten Hag had to do something about Cristiano Ronaldo. After such a great performance, everyone in the dressing room would've been watching the situation. Ronaldo just can't do what he did. Man's a legend, but you've got to set an example. That was a long walk, and he would've known exactly what he was doing.

Ronaldo missed the game against Chelsea, and Manchester United didn't have a forward to bring on in the second half to change the game. They didn't lose that match, and I think Ten Hag got away with it in the end.

West Ham are a funny team and can be hard to beat, but they haven't got going yet this season. They can hurt you as they did with Liverpool, and this could be one of those games where the West Ham of last season turns up. On current form, however, I don't see it. Man United are playing really well - the football's good, the energy's good, and I think they'll win this game.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United

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Edited by Paul Merson