Paul Merson’s predictions for Manchester United vs Chelsea and other Premier League GW15 fixtures

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

We've had a very interesting weekend in the Premier League, and we've got some very big talking points - there always are in this competition. With only a few games left before Christmas, this is going to be a big week in the Premier League.

Arsenal have been excellent this season and will look to add to their lead at the top of the league table. Liverpool have some good fixtures coming up as well, and we have a title race on our hands.

Manchester City have a massive task on their hands this season. It's different when you're chasing only one team down. It's going to be difficult for City to catch up with two teams because they'll be relying on both sides to drop points.

The relegation battle is also beginning to heat up, with the likes of Sheffield United and Burnley fighting to remain in the top flight. Here are my predictions for this week's round of Premier League matches.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Burnley

Burnley v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Burnley v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

I thought Wolves did all right against Arsenal. They got blown away in the first 15 minutes when Arsenal were amazing, but they held their own and stuck in there. They're a good team and have joined the likes of Brighton and Brentford - if you beat them, it's a great result.

Burnley enjoyed a phenomenal result over the weekend, and their massive 5-0 victory against Sheffield United will fill them with confidence. I think Wolves should be a lot higher up in the league table, and I'm backing them to win this game.

Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Burnley

Luton Town vs Arsenal

Arsenal take on Luton Town this week
Arsenal take on Luton Town this week

This is David versus Goliath. It seems like a third-round tie in the FA Cup, and it's very unusual to see this in the Premier League. The gulf between these two teams is as big as you'll see in the English top flight.

Liverpool weren't ready when they faced Luton. They thought they could just turn up and win - you can't afford to do that. Arsenal have to turn up on Wednesday, and if they're professional and have got their heads turned on, they should be able to win this game very easily.

Prediction: Luton Town 0-3 Arsenal

Sheffield United vs Liverpool

Liverpool take on Sheffield United this week
Liverpool take on Sheffield United this week

I've heard that Sheffield's manager Paul Heckingbottom has got the sack. They had a shocker against Burnley the other day - there are ways to lose football matches. Bournemouth and Burnley were must-win games for them, and they got absolutely shredded by both teams.

Jurgen Klopp needs to keep going strong in the Premier League. He fielded a strong team yesterday and they managed to stumble over the line. They went to Luton and dropped a couple of bad points, and they can't afford to do that here. They need to sort out their form away from home.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is the best passer of the ball in the Premier League. When you need goals and you've got a lot of the ball, you need to put him in midfield. I don't think he's the greatest defender in the world, but when he's on the ball, there aren't too many who are better.

If Liverpool are on top of their game, I don't think they'll have any problems. They weren't at their best yesterday and nearly got stung at home by Fulham. They need to blow these teams away in the first twenty minutes.

Sheffield will try and make a battle out of this match, but I don't think they'll be able to pull it off. They're getting hammered by everybody, and I don't see anything but a Liverpool win here.

Prediction: Sheffield United 0-3 Liverpool

Fulham vs Nottingham Forest

Fulham FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League
Fulham FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League

Fulham have scored six goals in their last two matches in the Premier League. The pleasing thing for the Fulham manager is that they've started to score goals, but they have been conceding goals as well. That's the difference between the top teams and the mid-table teams - there's a happy medium, and it's difficult to achieve.

With three teams already down in the relegation zone, I think Nottingham Forest will get away with it this season. They're averaging less than a point per game at the moment, but they'll be all right.

I think both teams will survive in the Premier League this season. If Fulham keep scoring goals, they'll do well. I'm going to go with a draw in this fixture.

Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth

Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Bournemouth have done really well over the past week. They played Newcastle at the right time and got the win, and followed up with a victory against Sheffield. They also pulled off a draw against Aston Villa - I know they'll be disappointing because Villa equalised in the last minute, but it was an excellent result for them.

This is a hard game to call because Bournemouth have really picked up. When Eberechi Eze isn't playing, Crystal Palace are a different team. I think this game will also end in a draw.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Bournemouth

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Brentford

Brentford FC v Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League Summer Series
Brentford FC v Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League Summer Series

Brighton are a bag of rebels at the moment. They didn't win in six matches and then went on to win a couple of games, before playing a 10-man Chelsea side for a full half without making the most of it. That Chelsea result was particularly disappointing for Brighton.

Brentford are not doing well at the moment. I like Mbeumo - if he scored goals consistently, he'd be worth £70 million. The lad is an absolute handful - he's direct, pacy, selfless, and makes runs off the ball. He's just not a natural goalscorer - if he had that going for him, he'd be massive.

Teams in the Premier League have got used to playing against Brighton. The other teams used to have a go at them, and now they put 10 men behind the ball and hit them on the counter. Brighton have earned a lot of respect, and they'll need to find a solution now. I think they have enough firepower to win this game.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Brentford

Manchester United vs Chelsea

Manchester United take on Chelsea this week
Manchester United take on Chelsea this week

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Manchester United's game against Newcastle was one of the most one-sided matches I've ever seen in the Premier League. I thought it was embarrassing. I was shocked by the way United played and the lack of effort they put in.

Chelsea, on the other hand, got a great result. I didn't see them winning the game after they went down to 10 men, but they held their own, and fair play to them. Chelsea have the players to have a go at United, and I think this is going to be an exciting game.

Chelsea are a more settled team now - you know their starting eleven, and if you take away that bad half against Newcastle, they've been good recently. They have a few defensive problems, but they did very well against Brighton with 10 men.

Manchester United are one of those teams that turn up in these games. They've had two bad games on the trot, but they do have a knack for keeping their head just above the water. If they lose to Chelsea, Bournemouth, and Bayern, I don't see how Ten Hag keeps his job. I do think they'll beat Bournemouth, however, and they could do well against a Bayern Munich side that has already qualified for the Round of 16.

Chelsea haven't been great defensively, and Man United are all over the place. They let in three goals against Galatasaray and could've conceded 10 against Newcastle. I'm going to go in swinging with my prediction for this game - I expect a high-scoring draw.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-3 Chelsea

Aston Villa vs Manchester City

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League
Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

What a game! I expect Arsenal to beat Luton, and they could go six points clear at the top of the Premier League table. before this game kicks off. This is a massive game for City, and it could define their season.

Man City are going to the hardest place you can visit in the Premier League at the moment. Aston Villa have a brilliant record at home. How many times have City been in front this season before giving away a lead? They were relentless last season - if their opponents fell behind, City used to drain the life out of them. They're struggling to close out their games at the moment, and it's a worry for them.

Let's be honest - Ilkay Gundogan has been a massive miss so far. He's scored so many important goals for City, and they wouldn't have won the league without him. I thought it was phenomenal for them to let him leave on a free transfer, and it might come back to bite them.

I know that City turn up when they need to - that's why they're great. There's something missing this season, however, and Villa will cause them some problems. This is a huge game for Manchester City, and I don't see them winning it.

Prediction: Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester City

Everton vs Newcastle United

Newcastle United take on Everton this week
Newcastle United take on Everton this week

Newcastle have been absolutely phenomenal this season. I have a lot of respect for the way they've played. The manager's great and he improved people - that's the name of the game when you're a coach. They're getting the rewards they deserve.

Anthony Gordon's going to get a lot of stick at Goodison Park this week. He's been great so far, but he won't be too comfortable against Everton. Newcastle slaughtered United without a lot of their players, and I can't talk highly enough of them.

I'd be shocked if Everton got relegated this season. They've got a lot of X-factor results in them, and they did well against Villa away from home. Everton can be dangerous on their day and with the three promoted teams struggling in the Premier League, they should be able to stay up.

Everton are a funny team at home - they're beating as an away side at the moment. If they're able to create chances at home, they can cause Newcastle a few problems. I'm not sure if Newcastle can keep pulling off excellent performances every week, but they should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Everton 1-2 Newcastle United

Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Premier League

This is another difficult game - they're coming thick and fast for Tottenham. You've got to give credit where it's due - they did well against Man City yesterday. They fell behind and came back twice - fair play to them. You've got to ride your luck against City, and they picked the right passes on the counter.

Tottenham were bang unlucky against Chelsea. They've had a lot of injuries, and they've played against good teams during this period. You can't afford that against the top teams. If Arsenal had those injuries, they wouldn't have done well either.

Tottenham will take a lot of encouragement from the City game, but they'll need to step up here and get a result against West Ham. If they don't, the draw against City would've been a waste of time. I think this is a good week for Tottenham, and they should be able to defeat West Ham on Thursday.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 West Ham United

Quick Links

Edited by Paul Merson