Paul Merson's predictions for Manchester City vs Manchester United and other Premier League GW28 fixtures

Gameweek 28 could be an important one in terms of the Premier League title race
Gameweek 28 could be an important one in terms of the Premier League title race
Paul Merson

As we approach the business end of the Premier League season, games are beginning to come thick and fast as teams across England scramble to reach their respective goals. Gameweek 28 sees arch-rivals Manchester City and Manchester United lock horns at the Etihad Stadium in what could be an important fixture in terms of the title race, while Liverpool entertain West Ham at Anfield having lost the reverse fixture 3-1 in 2021.

Brentford's trip to Carrow Road could have serious implications with regard to the relegation battle, with Norwich City running out of time to secure their Premier League status. The likes of Everton and Leeds United are also in desperate need of points and currently run the risk of dropping down to the Championship.

Will Manchester United shock their cross-town rivals away from home? Will Jesse Marsch win his first Premier League game in charge of Leeds after replacing Marcelo Bielsa at the helm? Only time will tell.

Leicester City vs Leeds United

Leeds United Training Session
Leeds United Training Session

This is a different game of football with Jesse Marsch taking over the reins at Elland Road. A week or two ago, I’d have said Leicester City would win quite easily, but now, Leeds United have a chance. It’ll be interesting to see how the new manager conveys his ideas in a short span of time, because Leeds need points on the board immediately. With all due respect to Marcelo Bielsa, the managerial change had to be made as they were on a bit of a slippery slope in the Premier League.

📰 #LUFC are pleased to confirm Jesse Marsch’s backroom team that will be in place until the end of the season

Jamie Vardy is back for Leicester City and that could well turn out to be a huge boost, so I’m backing the home side to win this one.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-0 Leeds United

Burnley vs Chelsea

Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League
Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League

Due to everything going on with Roman Abramovich, this is going to be a harder game for Chelsea. I don’t know if it will affect them on the pitch, but it’s surely going to be a bit different for them. Four days ago, Abramovich handed the club over to his trustees, but now he’s actively looking to sell, which could lead to worrying times for Chelsea.

Statement from Roman Abramovich.

As for Burnley, after two wins and a draw, they suffered a bad result at the hands of Leicester City. Even a point would’ve been good, but they lost 2-0 and have been dragged straight back into the relegation dog fight. Despite everything that’s happening involving Chelsea’s owner, I still think they’ll have too much for Burnley and I fancy them to win this one comfortably.

Prediction: Burnley 0-2 Chelsea

Aston Villa v Southampton

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League
Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

Southampton are in a fantastic run of form and are playing some really good football at the moment. Aston Villa, on the other hand, have blown hot and cold in recent weeks, but they bounced back to winning ways in style with a 2-0 victory against Brighton the other day. They have some really good players and Ezri Konsa, in my opinion, is someone who always goes under the radar. I think he’s Villa’s best defender and has a bright future ahead of him. It’s probably a little early to speak about this, but it’ll be interesting to see if Villa exercise the option to sign Philippe Coutinho permanently.

I’m not sure if they will and I’m only saying that because they already have Emiliano Buendia, who is also a #10. I personally don’t think they can play together, but we’ll have to wait and see how the situation develops between now and the end of the season.

Prediction: Aston Villa 2-2 Southampton

Norwich City vs Brentford

Brentford v Newcastle United - Premier League
Brentford v Newcastle United - Premier League

I watched Brentford last weekend against Newcastle United and the game was over in 10 minutes after Josh Dasilva’s dismissal. I was doing the game for Sky and I wrote down ‘game over’ the minute he went off the pitch. Brentford can’t seem to win a game of football with 11 players on the pitch, how would they do so with 10?

Christian Eriksen coming on was quite the sight, it was pleasing to watch him take to the field again. I think he has to start this game behind Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo - it will allow the away side to really go for it and I do think he could emerge as the difference maker.

If Norwich City lose this, it’s curtains for them and that’s exactly what I think will happen.

Prediction: Norwich City 1-2 Brentford

Newcastle United vs Brighton

Newcastle United v Everton - Premier League
Newcastle United v Everton - Premier League

If you looked at Newcastle United’s fixtures four weeks ago, you’d have identified the game against Brighton as one of their hardest games, but now it looks like the easiest one on paper. Brighton have hit a bit of a brick wall in recent weeks, while the Magpies are on a roll and could be utterly and completely safe if they get three more points on the board. As I said earlier, I wouldn’t have fancied them for even a point a month ago, but now, I can’t see Newcastle not winning this game.

The crowd will be right behind them, which is always the case at St. James’ Park, so I expect them to get maximum points in front of their own fans. Eddie Howe has done a great job since taking charge - I think he’ll be kept at the club and backed adequately this summer once again after an impressive haul in the January transfer window.

Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Brighton

Wolves vs Crystal Palace

West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

I think Wolves will win this one. They’ve been unlucky in recent weeks and really need to bounce back after losing to West Ham United and Arsenal. Crystal Palace, on the other hand, are coming on the back of two good results in the FA Cup and the Premier League, but they aren’t playing too well at the moment.

I think Bruno Lage and co will secure all three points and give themselves a fair chance of securing European football at the end of the season.

Prediction: Wolves 2-1 Crystal Palace

Liverpool vs West Ham United

Liverpool v Leeds United - Premier League
Liverpool v Leeds United - Premier League

This is a massive football match in the Premier League. West Ham got a good result against Wolves in the Premier League, but Southampton knocked them out of the FA Cup. Liverpool are rolling along and I don’t think there is a team out there that can prevent them from scoring, so I think they’ll win and put major pressure on Manchester City as they prepare to take on Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

We keep pushing forward 👊🔴

Liverpool have a lot of options in midfield, but against West Ham, I’d pick Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliott. The 18-year-old is a bright young player and can pick a pass, I really like what I’ve seen from him so far. You don’t need three defensive-minded players, so I’d pick Elliott to play alongside the two experienced campaigners.

Joe Gomez is another player who has been talked about a lot in recent weeks, with his lack of game time an obvious issue at the moment. He won’t be short of suitors and the decision will ultimately be his at the end of the season, but I do think he should stay at Liverpool. They are a really successful team and will compete on all fronts next season, so he will play enough games.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 West Ham United

Watford vs Arsenal

Norwich City v Arsenal - Premier League
Norwich City v Arsenal - Premier League

Arsenal are flying at the moment, but Watford are really unpredictable and I always get the feeling that they have a couple more good performances left in them between now and the end of the season. You never quite know what you’re going to get from the Hornets, so this is a tough football match to call.

I stick to what I said at the start of the season and believe Arsenal will finish in the Premier League top four. Everyone around them is losing games - Manchester United couldn’t beat Watford last week, Spurs have been up and down in recent weeks and the likes of West Ham and Wolves have also been inconsistent. Arsenal have got the best chance and I think they will put themselves in an even better position this week with a hard-fought win.

Prediction: Watford 1-2 Arsenal

Manchester City vs Manchester United

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League
Everton v Manchester City - Premier League

Manchester City are going to win this game of football, easy. Last year, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in-charge, Manchester United would have had a chance with a lot of pace on the counter attack, but now, with Cristiano Ronaldo up front, they aren’t going to trouble their cross-town rivals due to his lack of pace.

I can’t see Manchester City not winning this game and if Manchester United decide to open up the football match, they could lose 3 or 4-0. I have no idea what they are doing at the moment and they’ve not got an identity, so these are worrying times for Manchester United.

The Premier League table since Ralf Rangnick took over:🥇 Manchester City [34 points]🥈 Liverpool [29 points]🥉 Manchester United [26 points]Rangnick's United have only lost 1 game in the league since his appointment. 🔴

Jack Grealish was good in the FA Cup, but unlike at Aston Villa, he is a small fish in a big pond at Manchester City despite the fact that he cost £100 million. That said, the cream always rises to the top, so I fancy him to turn it on at the business end of the season.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

I don’t know if Tottenham Hotspur are still in the top four race because they are so unpredictable, but Everton are in a relegation battle without a shadow of a doubt. They are in major trouble and their fans will want them to have a go this week, which will play to Spurs' strengths because they are a threat on the counter.

The result will depend on which version of Tottenham turn up. If it’s the team that played against Manchester City, they will get three points, but if the team that lost to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup comes to the fore, then Everton will win. This is a hard game to call, but I think Spurs will win and compile Everton’s misery.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Everton

Edited by Paul Merson


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