Charlie Nicholas has given his predictions for all of this weekend’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…
SHEFFIELD UTD v LIVERPOOL
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 1-3
He said on Sky Sports’ website:“Liverpool are coming through these tests without playing brilliantly. The Sheffield United team I watched the other week at Everton impressed me with the energy and pace they play at. They do struggle for goals though. It has been quite a jump up for Oli McBurnie. He works hard and grafts, but you are looking for a goal return here.
“The Blades are well drilled and organised – when I saw them at Goodison Park, their two wing-backs were going up – I even saw the centre-half in the box – and they didn’t look like they were going to get caught on the counter-attack either. I can see Liverpool doing what they did at Chelsea here though. Sheffield United will be in their face and try to pin them back, but they need to worry about Roberto Firmino, and then the pace and skill of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. Liverpool will gradually grind the game down.”
CRYSTAL PALACE v NORWICH
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 1-0
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “I have talked for a while about Norwich. They are a good watch, with goals in them, but are a mismatch at the back. There is an aura of unpredictability about them. Crystal Palace do not score a lot of goals, but then again they should have nicked it last week against Wolves. It is time for Wilfried Zaha to get going and get his finger out. Gary Cahill has improved them but they do not have the runners or bodies through midfield. Roy Hodgson’s side should still have enough to come away from this one with three points, though.”
ASTON VILLA v BURNLEY
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 1-1
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “This is a great game but tough to call. Aston Villa should have got something from the Emirates but are too vulnerable at the back. When they go in front, they have Jack Grealish and John McGinn further forward. McGinn is great for his drive and energy – everything is done at such pace – but when it’s not working, he should play a bit deeper for 15 minutes or so and let Grealish stay further forward.
“Dean Smith still wants to play the game, even when his side are in front, which I admire. There is a difference at this level, and sometimes it is just small changes which are needed. They don’t need to change the personnel, they just need to change a position around five to 10 yards. If Grealish plays further forward, McGinn and Marvelous Nakamba can sit in there. Chris Wood delivered last week and could be a handful for Aston Villa’s backline. It might be more of a back-to-front job for Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels. This could be quite a physical game and one that is high in bookings.”
CHELSEA v BRIGHTON
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 3-1
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “The young stars are shining bright at Chelsea. They got a chance against Grimsby and Callum Hudson-Odoi got a new contract, played and scored too, so everything looks to be on the up. But you have to remember that they lost their last Premier League game, are mid-table so far and you don’t know what will happen next. Graham Potter had a great start to the season and was in a bubble but reality has hit. Leandro Trossard is injured, Anthony Knockaert has gone and they don’t have the width any more. Tammy Abraham’s pace will be too much for them here.”
BOURNEMOUTH v WEST HAM
The score Charlie Nicholas has predicted for this game is: 2-2
He said on Sky Sports’ website: “This is the best group West Ham have had in the Premier League. Manuel Pellegrini has bought well; they are aggressive at the back, have a great balance across the park and have a very consistent goalkeeper in Lukasz Fabianski. Is it motivation for both these sides following their Carabao Cup exits? Despite the changes, that will wind them up for the weekend so we should get a good game. I like Sebastian Haller – he has got a great touch and looks a permanent goal-threat. I cannot separate these two.”
Take a look at more of his predictions on the next page.