Paul Merson's predictions for West Ham vs Chelsea and other Premier League GW 15 fixtures

Paul Merson has made his Premier League predictions for GW 15
Paul Merson has made his Premier League predictions for GW 15
Paul Merson

The month of December is as action-packed as it gets in the Premier League, and we’re back with another round of matches this weekend. The English top-flight has already featured a set of midweek matches this season, and the schedule will not get any easier as we move towards the end of 2021.

We’re 14 games into the Premier League season and as far as the top three is concerned, there have been no surprises. Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool are in a league of their own at the moment and are already widening the gap between themselves and the rest of the chasing pack.

👑 Your Matchweek 14 @budfootball Kings 💫

A relegation tussle also seems to be on the cards this season, with Newcastle, Norwich, Burnley, and Watford fighting for their places in the Premier League. We’ve already had a few big six-pointers so far and this weekend is unlikely to disappoint.

A solitary place in the Premier League top four is also up for grabs this season, and the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, and West Ham will need to get the most out of a packed schedule. Here are my predictions for the Premier League matches taking place this weekend.

West Ham United vs Chelsea

Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League
Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League

West Ham have gone backwards ever since they got into the Premier League top four. They can’t seem to win a match now – they’ve failed to win their last three games. This is a big game for West Ham, though, and they will be tighter at the back than they were against Brighton.

Chelsea got lucky against Watford this week and haven’t been at their best this week. I’d play Romelu Lukaku in this match – West Ham’s biggest threat comes from set plays and Chelsea could use a player of Lukaku’s build. Chelsea are not playing particularly well at the moment and this game could turn out to be a draw.

Prediction: West Ham United 1-1 Chelsea

Newcastle United vs Burnley

Newcastle United v Norwich City - Premier League
Newcastle United v Norwich City - Premier League

This is a massive game for Newcastle. It’s a cup final for them because, after this match, their fixture list starts to get messy. They’ve got visits to Liverpool, United, City, and Leicester coming up and they need a result here.

Burnley are a hard team to beat. They know how to keep it tight defensively, and I don’t think they’re going down this season. Burnley did well to get that 0-0 result against Wolves and will likely make sure that they don’t lose this game.

Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Burnley

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League
Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

Wolves have been up there in the Premier League this season but they don’t score goals. They’re not getting into the top four or five unless they start creating chances, and they certainly can’t afford 0-0 draws against Norwich and Burnley.

Liverpool are unstoppable at the moment, and they will score goals. If Liverpool score twice, can Wolves keep up with them? They have Mohamed Salah to contend with, and I think he’s currently the best player in the world. Wolves have been impressive, but I can’t look past a comfortable Liverpool victory here.

Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-3 Liverpool

Southampton vs Brighton & Hove Albion

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

This is a big game for both teams. I like Brighton but I think they’re back to where they were a year ago. They’re brilliant from box to box, but they keep missing chances. The way they play, they should be much higher up in the Premier League.

Brighton missed chance after chance against West Ham – they just can’t seem to put them away at the moment. Southampton also did well against Leicester this week, but I don’t think either team is ruthless enough to win this game.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Watford vs Manchester City

Huddersfield Town v Manchester City - Premier League
Huddersfield Town v Manchester City - Premier League

Watford are making it hard for big Premier League clubs, aren’t they? They wiped the floor with Manchester United, and they made Chelsea struggle this week. They have good counter-attacking players and will make it difficult for Manchester City this weekend.

Manchester City play brilliant football, but they need to finish their chances. I’m worried that they won’t be able to put teams away this season. I thought Bernardo Silva’s goal the other day was phenomenal. He’s been absolutely outstanding this season and is now the talisman of the team.

Can we talk about this finish from Bernardo Silva 🤤(via @ManCity)

Pep’s quite clever that way – one minute, De Bruyne’s the star of the team. The next, it’s Silva, or Sterling, or Mahrez. Watford could trouble them on the counter, but I think Manchester City will win this game.

Prediction: Watford 1-3 Manchester City

Leeds United vs Brentford

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Leeds scored a massive goal against Crystal Palace the other day, and it’s now opened up a gap between them and the bottom three. They were also given a bit of a helping hand by an incredible miss by Benteke, and they’ve managed to steer themselves towards safety.

I thought Brentford were poor this week – they got run ragged by Spurs. They did well in the Everton game but they haven’t been consistent enough in the Premier League. Leeds will be confident after their midweek victory and hold the upper hand in this game.

Prediction: Leeds United 2-0 Brentford

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League
Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

Manchester United managed a great result against Arsenal this week. Their new manager won’t be able to do too much for this game – he’ll have only one training session with his players. Ronaldo’s still scoring all the goals for Man United, and his 801-goal tally is unbelievable.

I’m sure Ralf Rangnick will also give Sancho a fair chance. He’s seen enough of Sancho in German football and United have paid a lot of money for him, so I’m hoping it pays off.

Ronaldo had the whole United team doing his celebration 🤣

United fans will turn up expecting their team to win this game, but Palace do have the players to hurt them. They’re a dangerous team, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they took something away from this Premier League game.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-2 Crystal Palace

Tottenham Hotspur vs Norwich City

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

Tottenham played well against Brentford, and some of their football was very good. The Premier League’s top-four race is going to be up and down this season, and Spurs are still in it. It’s going to change with every passing week and back-to-back wins make a big difference, particularly during Christmas.

Norwich had an opportunity against Newcastle’s ten men this week, but they needed a worldie to salvage a draw. Harry Kane’s going to start scoring for Spurs sooner or later, and I see a comfortable victory for Tottenham this weekend.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Norwich City

Aston Villa vs Leicester City

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League

I like Leicester, but they’re going through a rough patch at the moment. They’re conceding far too many goals and have been very poor defensively. Leicester are doing well going forward, however, and it bodes well for them that Maddison seems back to his best.

I reckon this will be a high-scoring game. Both teams will score goals, but Aston Villa are the better team defensively than Leicester at the moment and hold a slight upper hand this weekend.

Prediction: Aston Villa 3-2 Leicester City

Everton vs Arsenal

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal - Premier League

At the start of the Premier League season, the teams that we all thought would finish in the top four were Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United, in no particular order. Arsenal have lost to all these teams.

The way Everton are playing at the moment, however, Arsenal will back themselves this weekend. I think Rafael Benitez has about 90 minutes left at Goodison Park. When I played in the Premier League, Everton was one of the hardest places to win a match. The place was three-quarters empty this week, and Everton fans are clearly not having any more of Benitez.

Arsenal were unlucky the other day, and I thought they missed too many chances against United. They need to come back and win this game - they've been beating the teams they should be beating this season, and I think they’ll be able to turn the screws on Everton.

Prediction: Everton 1-2 Arsenal

Edited by Ashwin
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