Charlie Nicholas has given his predictions for all of the midweek’s Premier League fixtures and it’s fair to say there are some eye-catching scores.
The former Celtic, Arsenal, Aberdeen and Scotland footballer currently works as a pundit for Sky Sports and most every weekend appears on the Soccer Saturday show to commentate on games and get involved with debates. See what he went with below and on the next few pages…
CRYSTAL PALACE v BOURNEMOUTH
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 1-1
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “You would expect Crystal Palace to kick on a bit now after their win at Burnley. All of a sudden they have an impressive side but be warned, Palace are still unpredictable. Everybody is looking at them in the table and thinking they are doing well – they are only two points off Tottenham in fifth and Wolves in sixth place.
“They have good spells and have bad spells, just like Bournemouth. They are also unpredictable so it is a hard call. The inconsistencies of each of these teams will cancel each other out. Palace can get themselves in a great position to look like a top-half team but I am not convinced they have enough with the lack of goals they score.”
BURNLEY v MAN CITY
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 1-3
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “It’s the Premier League and the title race is far from over for Manchester City. Liverpool are not dynamic and we know what the festive season can do to a team. They don’t need to be beaten but in three games you can drop six points – it is what happens in this league.
“Manchester City will not have given up hope yet. Like Liverpool, they are not playing well. Gabriel Jesus is a different player to Sergio Aguero. Bernardo and David Silva have gone quiet but Kevin De Bruyne is bringing them through at the moment. Pep Guardiola is worried about the defence and so he should be.
We know how tough it is going to Burnley. The front two are a real handful, although it doesn’t sound as though it was too good at the weekend. Burnley will have a go at City though as their defence is frail, but Guardiola’s side will be hard to stop on the counter-attack. The defeat to Crystal Palace doesn’t help Burnley so will they risk going forwards? City will pick them off eventually.”
LIVERPOOL v EVERTON
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 2-0
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “I watched the Liverpool match for Soccer Saturday at the weekend and in the end, they deserved to win. But the three points didn’t come without a struggle. They were hanging on at the end and the defensive frailties were highlighted once more.
“Alisson will miss the derby match and his replacement Adrian was a bag of nerves when he came on. Liverpool do not have the same rhythm of last season but they do know how to get results, and got there in the end on Saturday.
“Meanwhile, Everton lost this fixture last season to a last-minute Divock Origi goal. Marco Silva, who is another manager in serious danger, is saying that he has no interest in talking about his job. He knows what is in store, but he may be out soon. I am just not sure how soon.
“If they get beat by three or four I think it will be over for Silva on Thursday. What happens after that? Does David Moyes come in and save the day or do they twist and go with Eddie Howe to build a project? It’s a big call for the decision makers at Everton.
“This game is a different scenario though – it’s the derby. The two sides will not be thinking about anything that’s to come around the corner. Liverpool will want to rub Everton’s noses in it. Everton will park the bus, but Liverpool will be comfortable.”
MAN UTD v TOTTENHAM
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 2-2
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “Soccer Special is going to be an excellent show on Wednesday with six games on for all six of us to watch over.
We are all looking forward to it and Wednesday. This is the reason why because this is a stunning game. We have Jose Mourinho’s return to Manchester United to look forward to.
Will Jose get stick? They didn’t dislike him at Old Trafford. They may not have liked his style and knew deep down that the players went about his ideas the wrong way, mainly Paul Pogba. He had problems with Luke Shaw but Jose has always been honest and up front. He did win trophies and got them a Champions League spot so he will not get bombarded.
“I might be wrong but we have a Tottenham team that are three weeks ago would have gone with their heads down – a draw will have delighted them and left them relatively pleased, but Man Utd are there for the taking if Tottenham want it..
It is strange how things come up. Tottenham are the favourites at Old Trafford. They do not get results against the big teams, but United nowhere near at the moment. I think United will be upbeat for this one as if they have a point to prove, so it will be interesting. Jose will fancy the job though.”
CHELSEA v ASTON VILLA
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 2-1
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “Chelsea have had the stumble that we’ve been predicting would come. A lot of players are not getting the game time they want, but he needs the youngsters in the squad to perform. We have not seen much of Callum Hudson-Odoi recently, while Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have had a couple of knocks to deal with. This tells you how the squad is being stretched. Chelsea will be up and down for the remainder of the season in my opinion.
“Meanwhile, Aston Villa impressed at Old Trafford, and that is exactly where you want Jack Grealish to be playing. I want him just off the left and attacking the defence. To be honest, I think Villa are better than what the table suggests, but I cannot trust them defensively, and for that reason I think Chelsea will edge this one.”
Take a look at more of his predictions on the next page.