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Paul Merson's predictions for Manchester United vs Tottenham and other Premier League GW 12 fixtures

The Premier League features a round of midweek fixtures
The Premier League features a round of midweek fixtures

The games keep coming thick and fast in the Premier League, and we're all set to witness a round of midweek fixtures this week. People don't remember weeks like this at the end of the season, but these are the weeks that make a lot of difference.

Midweek games are massive. If you get no points, your season can turn upside down in a week. The past week shook up the Premier League table, and the narratives have kept changing this season. This is a big week for everybody.

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Arsenal rode their luck yesterday, and they got a result in the end. That's what you've got to do in the Premier League - it's not always plain sailing. It's great that Arsenal are not playing Manchester City this week - they've got winnable matches coming up and should be at the top of the Premier League table when the World Cup comes up.

I did say that I didn't see Manchester United beating Newcastle over the weekend. Manchester City have also got some difficult games coming up and they'll be happy with their break this week. Here are my predictions for what should be an intriguing round of midweek fixtures.


Brighton & Hove Albion vs Nottingham Forest

Brentford FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Brentford FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

I watched Nottingham Forest's game on Saturday and they're really struggling in the Premier League. They keep it tight at the back but they don't seem to score goals. Brennan Johnson missed a big penalty against Wolves, and you can't afford to do that at this stage.

I know Brighton also lost last week, but David Raya was outstanding for Brentford and you can't really moan about that. Brighton have been the better team this season and should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Nottingham Forest


Crystal Palace vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace - Premier League

I think Wolves will struggle in the Premier League, and they're in for a long season. They rely on their defensive work, and I don't see them outscoring teams even with Diego Costa in the side.

Crystal Palace and Leicester City - what a bad game that was! Wolves weren't great either, and I don't see a lot of goals in this match. I wouldn't even be surprised if it ended in a 0-0 draw. Neither team is free-flowing at the moment, and I think whoever scores the first goal wins this game.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers


Bournemouth vs Southampton

Southampton FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Southampton FC v West Ham United - Premier League

Bournemouth are doing unbelievably well at the moment, and they've got the points they need from teams that they should be beating. They got a really good result against Fulham over the weekend.

The name of the game for Bournemouth is to stay in the Premier League. If they win this match, they're already halfway there and we aren't even in November yet. It's been an amazing season so far for Bournemouth.

Southampton managed to get in front against West Ham, but they couldn't hold on. This might be the first time this season where everybody in the country would expect Bournemouth to win a game.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Southampton


Liverpool vs West Ham United

Rangers FC v Liverpool FC: Group A - UEFA Champions League
Rangers FC v Liverpool FC: Group A - UEFA Champions League

Liverpool seem to be back at their best. They worked their socks off against Manchester City, and that game would've taken a lot out of them. This is going to be a hard match. If they win, they've secured back-to-back victories and are back in the top-four race.

I did tell you that Mohamed Salah was going to be a better player with Firmino in the team, didn't I? How many runs did make from the outside to the inside yesterday? It worked a treat. Look at Virgil van Dijk yesterday - he's back to being an absolute Rolls Royce. He was up against the best centre-forward in the world yesterday and was outstanding at the highest level.

When Darwin Nunez came on, the worrying thing was that he didn't pass the ball to Salah. It's even more worrying that he didn't even spot Salah's run. They might play Carvalho or Harvey Elliott further up the pitch this week. With West Ham's injuries at the back, this might be a good time to help Nunez with his game. With him on the pitch, however, you won't get the best out of Salah.

I do expect Trent Alexander-Arnold to come back for this game. James Milner was brilliant - he was the oldest player on the pitch up against one of the youngest, and I can't express how good that performance was. I know Joe Gomez got Man of the Match - and rightly so - but for Milner at 30-odd years of age to play like he did against Phil Foden was unbelievable.

The Premier League's all about being athletic, quick, and strong, and Milner keeps playing at this standard for one of the world's top clubs - every kid should be looking up to him. He's a manager's dream.

Should Manchester City's goal have stood? You're asking someone who played in a day where that was nothing. If Mitrovic got his penalty against Bournemouth, Liverpool have a case, but I can see why Manchester City are moaning about it. It was a bit harsh because of how the game was going. In the past, I'd call it a home decision - if City were playing at home, the goal wouldn't have been disallowed. With VAR, it doesn't work like that anymore.

If you watched Liverpool play yesterday, you can't explain why they haven't played like that every week. If they were consistent, they'd be second in the Premier League table. The fans at Anfield were unbelievable. You've got to ask the players how they can put in a performance like that and then not show up in their other games this season.

This should be a good Premier League match. West Ham are not playing well at the moment and their season has been a bit stop-start so far. They do have the ammunition to hurt Liverpool and could make this a hard game. If Liverpool turn up, however, I'd back them to win this game.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United


Brentford vs Chelsea

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

I think Chelsea were lucky yesterday. Kepa had one of the best goalkeeping performances I've ever seen. I didn't think he had it in him, to be honest. After the amount of stick he's got, I'm really pleased for him.

This is going to be a hard game for Chelsea. If they play like they did against Aston Villa, Brentford will punish them. They can't keep conceding chances like that, especially against the better teams in the Premier League.

Chelsea are on a bit of a roll at the moment and they've got to ride their luck. They can't keep relying on Kepa to pull off performances like that. Mason Mount is scoring goals as well now, and that makes him a phenomenal player.

Both teams are finding their feet at the moment and have been a little weak at the back. I think Chelsea will make it to the top four this season and they should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Brentford 1-3 Chelsea


Newcastle United vs Everton

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

I thought Everton were a bit unlucky last week. They went to Tottenham with a gameplan, but you've got to make it count. You can't have the chances they had and then miss them. You're not going to get too many chances in an away game, and Everton should've scored in my opinion.

I do like what Everton are doing at the moment, but they've got to put their chances away. Newcastle have played well under Eddie Howe and should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Newcastle United 2-0 Everton


Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur

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

This is a hard game to call. Manchester United had a couple of good chances last week, and I don't think Newcastle picked the right pass at times.

I think Cristiano Ronaldo will play this game. I only say that because I know that Tottenham will play everybody behind the ball. Manchester United will need to put balls into the box, and Ronaldo is the best header of the ball in the world. I'd leave Jadon Sancho out this week and play Ronaldo, Rashford, and Antony up front.

If United don't win this game, they take a draw and a defeat on their trip away to Chelsea. They're facing two of the top four in their next two Premier League games, and it's a massive week for them. Liverpool could go bang-bang-bang for their nine points, and United could find themselves behind Liverpool by the end of the week. Manchester United have the hardest set of games out of everybody this week.

This is a must-win game for Manchester United, and I don't think that is the case for Tottenham. Antonio Conte will want to make sure his team doesn't lose this match, and he'll be the happier of the two managers with a draw. Tottenham will make sure they don't lose this match.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur


Fulham vs Aston Villa

Aston Villa v Fulham - Premier League
Aston Villa v Fulham - Premier League

Fulham need to win this game. They were well beat by Newcastle and they failed to beat Bournemouth as well. They're on a bit of a slide at the moment and they've got to break it this week. They're playing against a team in the bottom half of the Premier League table and they're going to have some hard games after this one.

I worry for Tyrone Mings against Mitrovic. If Fulham get the ball into the box, I think Mitrovic gets the better of him. Aston Villa are not great at the moment but they did do well yesterday, despite their defeat.

Aston Villa need to look at what Arsenal are doing at the moment as a blueprint. How many times could Mikel Arteta have been sacked over the past year? You can't just keep changing your manager. In my opinion, Villa need to give Steven Gerrard some time.

I thought Aston Villa were unlucky yesterday and were denied by some good saves from Kepa. There's not much to separate these two teams, and I'm going to go with a draw here.

Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Aston Villa


Leicester City vs Leeds United

Preston North End v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly
Preston North End v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly

I thought Leeds were unlucky against Arsenal, but they're now dropping down in the Premier League table. I'm worried for them at the moment - when you're near the bottom of the league, you cannot afford to miss penalties.

Leeds did well at Palace for 45 minutes, and they need to put 90 minutes together. They play at a hundred miles an hour, and I don't know how they're going to do that for a full game.

You'd expect Leicester to score goals at the very least but all of a sudden, they've been beaten by Bournemouth and have had a goalless draw at Palace. They've only scored one goal in their last two games and I expect to bounce back this week.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-0 Leeds United

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Edited by Paul Merson
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