Paul Merson's predictions for Chelsea vs Liverpool, Arsenal vs Manchester City and other Premier League GW21 fixtures

GW21 could turn out to be a pivotal one in terms of the Premier League title race
GW21 could turn out to be a pivotal one in terms of the Premier League title race

Brentford vs Aston Villa

Brentford v Manchester City - Premier League
Brentford v Manchester City - Premier League

Aston Villa have done really well since Steven Gerrard's arrival. Brentford, on the other hand, are in a precarious positon, but that said, they can put all the talk of potential relegation to bed with a positive result. They've lost three games on the bounce and before they know it, it could be four or five so this is a really important game for them.

Both teams have enough quality and will cause each other a handful of problems, so they could well end up sharing the spoils.

Prediction: Brentford 1-1 Aston Villa

Southampton vs Newcastle United

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

If Allan Saint-Maximin doesn't feature, I don't think Newcastle United will get much out of the game. Southampton won't blow them away, but they should have enough to get all three points at home if the Frenchman misses out. If he plays, I think Newcastle will get at least a point but if he doesn't, I think the home side will go on to win this one.

Prediction 1: Southampton 1-1 Newcastle United (if Saint-Maximin plays)

Prediction 2: Southampton 2-0 Newcastle United (if Saint-Maximin misses out)

Leeds United vs Burnley

Newcastle United v Leeds United - Premier League
Newcastle United v Leeds United - Premier League

If Leeds United get all their injured players back and manage to put away their chances in front of goal, they should be fine. Burnley, on the other hand, are struggling badly and are already in deep trouble, but we'll have to wait and see what they do against Manchester United later today.

Leeds are still creating a lot of chances, so I expect them to record a narrow home win in the Premier League.

Prediction: Leeds United 1-0 Burnley

Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion

West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

I was at the Chelsea game last night and felt Brighton were absolutely outstanding - they gave Chelsea a footballing lesson. If they play like that once again, they'll beat Everton comfortably. That said, Brighton could've been absolutely slaughtered against Southampton - they could have conceded ten the other day but the game finished 1-1!

Brighton are a bag of Revels - if a good one turns up, they will get three points against Everton.

Prediction: Everton 0-2 Brighton

Chelsea vs Liverpool

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League
Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League

If I'm going purely based on what I saw of Chelsea against Brighton, I can't see anything but a Liverpool win. I was shocked by Chelsea's performance last night - they were lethargic, slow and had nothing good to show after 90 minutes of football.

Liverpool are also coming on the back of a damaging defeat in terms of the Premier League title race against Leicester City, but they were really good in the first half at the King Power and it could have been a different story had Mohamed Salah converted his penalty. Fair play to Leicester City, though - they defended for their lives with a depleted squad and came away with all three points.

I believe both teams are already out of the Premier League title race, but it could be the final nail in the coffin for whoever loses this one. There's really no point in a draw, as they need to close the gap at the top to stay in contention.

Chelsea have scored 3+ goals in nine different #PL matches so far this season ⚽️Only Liverpool (10) have done so more often than the Blues!#CHEBHA

If Reece James misses out for Chelsea, it's anyone's best guess who Thomas Tuchel deploys at right-wing back. Christian Pulisic played there and it didn't quite work out. The wing-backs are a big part of their team and with Ben Chilwell out for the rest for the rest of the season, it could get very difficult for Chelsea.

This is an important game for the home side. If they lose and Arsenal somehow shock Manchester City, Chelsea are fighting for top four again - that's how quickly things can change in the Premier League.

Pace at the back is Chelsea's Achilles heel, which is why I'd fancy Sadio Mane to get the nod once again. Jurgen Klopp could call upon Roberto Firmino, but I think the Senegalese winger will start and look to return to form.

Prediction: Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool

Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

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

You just don't know what you're going to get with Manchester United. They were so fortunate against Norwich City and were never going to beat Newcastle United away from home, so this will once again be a hard game for them. That said, I can totally see how it's going to pan out for them.

They'll beat Burnley and Wolves and people will say their manager is unreal and all that, but based on what I've seen so far, I don't see them finishing in the top four. Manchester United are a long way off now and if they somehow manage to get to fourth, it'll be a great season for them.

Cristiano Ronaldo did not create a single chance against Newcastle.

In terms of their team, I strongly believe Cristiano Ronaldo should be left out of the team. It won't happen, but Edinson Cavani should take his place upfront with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in contention to play on the wings.

Something's just not right there. I think there is a lot going on behind the scenes and it doesn't look good for them. That said, they'll probably win this one, but it won't be pretty.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-0 Wolves

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Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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