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Paul Merson's predictions for Liverpool vs Aston Villa and other Premier League GW 16 fixtures

Paul Merson
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Arsenal vs Southampton

Everton v Arsenal - Premier League
Everton v Arsenal - Premier League

This is a huge Premier League game for Arsenal. These are the games they have managed to win this season. You don’t really know what you’re going to get with Southampton. One minute they’re good, and the next, they’re not.

I think Aubameyang will start again this weekend, but he needs to work hard. His form has taken a dip. Arsenal have a lot of youngsters at the moment and as captain, he needs to set an example. When he works hard, Arsenal are very good, and that shows how the youngsters look up to him. He’s the catalyst for the team and the young kids in the squad respect him.

6 - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has failed to score in each of his last six Premier League appearances, his longest such run in the competition. It's his longest goalless league run overall since a 14-game spell from February to August 2014 with Borussia Dortmund. Concern. https://t.co/4zhPM8Uy0a

Mikel Arteta will realize that this is a crucial game. If they win this fixture, it puts them in a nice position. They can kick on after this game and have a few nice fixtures coming up. I’m going to go with an Arsenal victory this weekend.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Southampton


Norwich City vs Manchester United

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Manchester United rested many of their key players in the Champions League this week. They’ve gone a couple of games without defeat and it now seems all rosy again at Manchester United. We’ve seen this a lot, with both Manchester United and Arsenal – they go on impressive unbeaten runs.

Ralf Rangnick loves Mason Greenwood 🤩 🔥 https://t.co/WV5gIc5Uq8

If United win this game, they’re right back in the top-four hunt. They’ve had a set of challenging games over the past month, but what follows hard fixtures? Easy fixtures. Premier League fixtures come quickly over Christmas and I don’t think Manchester United will have much of a problem against Norwich.

Prediction: Norwich City 1-3 Manchester United


Burnley vs West Ham United

West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League
West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League

Burnley are a hard team to beat and they most likely won’t go down this season. A lot depends on Maxwell Cornet’s fitness this weekend. He wreaked havoc against Newcastle and I thought Burnley would go on to win. After he picked up his knock, their attack disappeared.

This is another big game for West Ham. They got a massive result against Chelsea last week and have been excellent this season. West Ham have a big team and have been very strong at set-pieces. You need to defend well when you go to Burnley and I think David Moyes will pick up another victory here.

Prediction: Burnley 0-2 West Ham United


Leicester City vs Newcastle United

Newcastle United v Burnley - Premier League
Newcastle United v Burnley - Premier League

Newcastle have got to realize the importance of this game. At the start of the Premier League season, you’d think this would be a tough game for them. Now, you’re going to Leicester expecting to score at least one goal.

There’s no point playing for a draw – Newcastle need to have a go, score goals, and hope their defenders keep it tight. They’re in trouble at the moment and they need to make this game count. Leicester are all over the place at the moment but with Newcastle’s problems this season, Brendan Rodgers should be able to lead his team to a victory.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Newcastle United


Brighton & Hove Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Tottenham’s Europa Conference League game has been called off this week, and nobody’s sure when the match is going to be played. They’ve already had a postponed game against Burnley. They’re playing in the Carling Cup this month and have a Premier League midweek game next week - there are not many gaps left in the calendar.

I’ve got to go with a Brighton victory here. With the number of players Tottenham are missing at the moment, Conte will find it hard to win this Premier League game. I think I would’ve gone with Brighton anyway – they’re a decent team and are as good as anybody from box to box. If the game does go on, I’d back Brighton to win it.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur


Crystal Palace vs Everton

Everton v Arsenal - Premier League
Everton v Arsenal - Premier League

Crystal Palace are in a situation where they’re playing well but can’t seem to win a game at the moment. They keep playing well and losing – that worries me, because when they do start playing badly, they’ll definitely lose.

Injuries have been a massive concern for Everton in the Premier League. Calvert-Lewin is a big miss for them, and I’d make a little bit of an excuse for them because he does improve Everton. They’ll be a different team when he’s back, but will they be able to keep him?

I don’t think Everton are very good at the moment. They were very fortunate to win the Arsenal game, and I don’t think they’ll be able to defeat Crystal Palace this weekend.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Everton


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