Michael Owen’s predictions, including Manchester United v Chelsea and Carabao Cup final

The visit of Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday and the Carabao Cup Final between Arsenal and Manchester City later in the day are the highlights of another wonderful weekend of action.

Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor.

Leicester City v Stoke City

Leicester City have only lost one of their eight Premier League home games under Claude Puel and I expect them to improve on that record against a Stoke City side who begin the weekend just one place off the foot of the table.

Stoke have gone eight away games in the Premier League without a win although they did play well in the first half at the Vitality Stadium in their last away game. Jamie Vardy has scored in three of his five Premier League games against the Potters including in the last two at the King Power Stadium.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Stoke City

Bournemouth v Newcastle United

Eddie Howe’s side host Newcastle at Dean Court (Picture: Getty)Bournemouth have won their last three Premier League home games, but I feel they may have to settle for a point against a Newcastle side who defended well and took their opportunity in a terrific win against Manchester United last time.

The Cherries will make club history – a fourth successive home win in the Premier League – if they beat United but I feel the Magpies will take a point back home from the south coast.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Newcastle United

Brighton v Swansea City

Glenn Murray is one of Brighton’s key players for the remainder of the campaign (Picture: Getty)Swansea have won 14 points in seven games since Carlos Carvalhal took charge at the Liberty Stadium and if there is to be a winner at the Amex I feel the Swans might take all three points.

Only three Englishmen (Kane, Sterling and Rooney) have scored more Premier League goals than Brighton’s Glenn Murray (8) has so far this season and the striker has found the back of the net with three of his last four shots.

His goals between now and the end of the season will play a crucial part in the Seagulls’ fight to maintain their Premier League status.

Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Swansea City

Burnley v Southampton

Mauricio Pellegrino is under pressure at Southampton (Picture: Getty)Turf Moor averages just over two goals per game in the history of the Premier League and I expect to see another tight, close affair at the weekend.

If we are to see a goal that might be enough to split the teams and it is worth noting that the Clarets have only picked up five points from the last thirty on offer.

Prediction: Burnley 0-0 Southampton

Liverpool v West Ham

Mohamed Salah will be bursting with confidence ahead of the clash with West Ham (Picture: Getty)West Ham went 45 games without a win at Liverpool before August 2015 but they are unbeaten in their last three ahead of the Hammers’ visit to Anfield.

That said the Reds have scored four in their last two Premier League games against the Irons and it should be noted that West Ham boss David Moyes is without a win in 14 previous visits to Anfield as a manager with Everton, Manchester United and Sunderland. I cannot see past a home win.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 West Ham

West Brom v Huddersfield

Alan Pardew’s side have lost their last four matches in all competitions (Picture: Getty)A must win game for bottom-of-the-table West Brom who go into the weekend five points adrift of Stoke who are one place in front of the Albion.

The Baggies have had their share of Great Escapes in the past and they will never give up, but I think they need to gain all three points to have a realistic chance of survival and I feel they will.

The atmosphere is likely to be a very tense and an early goal might calm the nerves for the locals at the Hawthorns.

Prediction: West Brom 1-0 Huddersfield

Watford v Everton

Everton’s squad have been training in Dubai (Picture: Getty)There were five goals and a missed penalty in the reverse fixture at Goodison back in November and I think both sides will find the back of the net at Vicarage Road.

The Blues have shipped at least four in their last two away league games and you have to go back to February 1961 for the last time Everton conceded four or more goals in three successive away league games. I would suggest Sam Allardyce has been working on the Blues’ defensive shape and system in Dubai where the players enjoyed some warm-weather training last week.

Prediction: Watford 1-1 Everton

Manchester United v Chelsea

Willian has scored three goals in two matches for the Blues (Picture: Getty)Chelsea will be looking to do the double over Manchester United for the fourth time in Premier League history at Old Trafford, but they were beaten 4-1 at Watford in their last away league game and they remain vulnerable at present despite the brilliance of Eden Hazard and Willian.

I do not expect to see many goals in what promises to be a tight tense affair – on and off the pitch.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

Crystal Palace v Tottenham

Can Crystal Palace stop Harry Kane scoring at Selhurst Park? (Picture: Getty)Crystal Palace have lost their last five Premier League games against Spurs and Harry Kane has scored twice and had one assist in his three Premier League appearances at Selhurst Park. Eagles’ boss Roy Hodgson needs to find a way to keep the England striker quiet but that is easier said than done.

Spurs have picked up more league points than any other side so far in 2018 (15) and are the only side unbeaten in the Premier League so far this year. Palace have only kept one clean sheet in their last 27 London derbies and Spurs are likely to be too classy for the hosts on Sunday.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Tottenham

League Cup Final

Arsenal v Manchester City

Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola come face-to-face at Wembley (Picture: Getty)The first time these clubs have met in a major final although Arsenal have beaten City on the two previous occasions they have met at Wembley in the 2014 Community Shield and last season’s FA Cup semi-final.

Pep Guardiola has only lost one of his six previous major finals and I think City can bounce back after their shock reverse to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup earlier in the week.

I expect to see chances at both ends but it is City to land their first but not last piece of silverware this season.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City

Michael’s weekend wager: Leicester West Brom and Liverpool at 7/2

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

MORE: Paul Pogba not good enough to have Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side built around him

Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions including Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City

The Champions League returns this week with four mouthwatering Round of 16 ties featuring three Premier League teams. Ahead of the games BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions…

Basel v Manchester City

Basel have never gone further in the competition than the Round of 16 and I expect Man City to have one foot in the quarter-final after their midweek tie at St Jacob Park.

City have only won one of their six away games in the Champions League knock-out stages and are yet to keep a clean sheet in those half a dozen ties, but they are likely to have too much class and goals for the Swiss side.

Man City won 5-1 at the weekend, with Sergio Aguero scoring four (Getty)Basel will take heart from the fact they have won four of their last five home Champions League games against English sides, but City are slowly coming to terms with the competition and, having reached the semi-final last term, will be looking to improve on that record this spring.

Prediction: Basel 1-4 Manchester City

Juventus v Tottenham

Harry Kane warmed up for the tie with a goal in the North London derby (Getty)Juve are unbeaten in their last 22 home Champions League games and kept nine clean sheets in their last 14 Champions League games in the Juventus Stadium. Spurs, however, are one of only four teams unbeaten in the Group Stages and I feel they can score in Turin.

Harry Kane has been directly involved in over half of Spurs’ goals in the competition with six goals and two assists from the team’s 15 goals. This really is an evenly balanced tie and I expect to see both sides find the back of the net in what promises to be a fascinating game.

Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Tottenham

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Porto v Liverpool

Mo Salah’s brilliant form continued at the weekend with a goal and an assist against Southampton (Getty)Liverpool are back where they belong in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2008/09 season. The Reds are unbeaten in four previous ties against the Portuguese champions and I think they will make it five on Wednesday.

Liverpool scored 23 goals in their six group games but I expect Porto to play a cagey game in the hope of taking a clean sheet back to Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side are a confident selection to qualify for the last eight, but it would not surprise me if they had to settle for a draw in the first leg midweek.

Prediction: Porto 1-1 Liverpool

Real Madrid v PSG

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick at the weekend (Getty)Real Madrid have reached the semi-finals in the last seven seasons and last year they became the first side to lift the Trophy since 2010 who had not finished top of their group in qualifying for the knockout stages.

This is, arguably, the most eagerly anticipated matchup of the last 16 but I expect the Whites to take a lead back to Paris given the French side have lost four of their last six games on the road in the Champions League.

I note Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick at the weekend and this Madrid side know how to peak at the right time – I expect to see a home win.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 PSG

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

MORE: Hector Bellerin reveals why Alexis Sanchez fell out with Arsenal’s players

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Tottenham v Arsenal

Tottenham entertain Arsenal in the North-London Derby on Saturday in what is the pick of this weekend’s Premier League action. Before things get started with that clash at Wembley, BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions for all 10 games…

Tottenham v Arsenal

Spurs lost the reverse fixture 2-0 at the Emirates earlier in the season but I think they can get revenge for that loss against an Arsenal side who still have to prove they can be as effective on the road as they are at home.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made a promising home debut against Everton last weekend and has scored four goals in his four previous games against Spurs when with Borussia Dortmund.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on his Arsenal debut (Getty)Premier League leading scorer Harry Kane has six in six against the Gunners and I think it will be the hosts who keep the points in what promises to be an entertaining clash with plenty of opportunities at both ends.

Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal

Everton v Crystal Palace

Does Sam Allardyce know his best XI? (Getty)Palace have not lost at Everton in their last four Premier League visits and the Eagles have actually won more times at Goodison (4) than at any other ground in the Premier League. The Blues need to bounce back after an abject performance at the Emirates and, worryingly, I am not convinced Sam Allardyce knows what his best XI is.

Two former England managers in opposition and I feel they will share the spoils at Goodison.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace

Stoke City v Brighton

Brighton have only scored six times away from home in the league this season, three of those came at West Ham, and haven’t scored a goal in their last four visits to Stoke. I would be surprised if there were many goals in the Potteries but suggest my old club will edge a low-scoring affair.

Prediction: Stoke City 1-0 Brighton

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Swansea City v Burnley

Swansea have improved out of all recognition under Carlos Carvalhal and they will certainly not be lacking in confidence having beaten Liverpool and Arsenal at the Liberty in recent weeks.

The Swans put eight past a hapless Notts County in the FA Cup on Tuesday and Burnley are without a win in their last nine games.

The Clarets did show against City at Turf Moor last week however that they are capable of giving anyone a game and I expect to see a tight, close affair, but if there is to be a winner I think the Swans might keep the points.

Prediction: Swansea City 2-1 Burnley

West Ham v Watford

Watford impressed in a 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday (Getty)West Ham are unbeaten in their last four home games but Watford were sensational against a below-par Chelsea on Monday and I feel they can get a point at the London Stadium.

I enjoyed watching the Hornet’s mix of pace and power at Vicarage Road earlier in the week, but Watford have only picked up five points from the last 30 on the road and this game has a draw written all over it.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Watford

Manchester City v Leicester City

Jamie Vardy is in a fine run of form (Getty)City are unbeaten in their last 25 home league games, but they have had their share of injuries of late although both Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane are likely to be available to Pep Guardiola sooner rather than later.

Jamie Vardy has scored in his last three league games. He has some way to go to match his record run of 11 in the Foxes’ title season of 2015/16 but I feel Claude Puel’s side will score at the Etihad. That said it might not be enough to take a point.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-1 Leicester City

Huddersfield v Bournemouth – Sunday

Huddersfield have lost their last two home games by a three goal margin and go into the weekend in the relegation zone for the first time this season. Only Spurs and Manchester United (12) have picked up more points in 2018 than Bournemouth but I expect the Terriers to show their true colours against the Cherries in a game of few opportunities.

Prediction: Huddersfield 0-0 Bournemouth

Newcastle United v Manchester United – Sunday

Paul Pogba will hope to return to the starting XI (Getty)Two of my former clubs go head-to-head and I feel United will take the points at a ground where they have won more away Premier League games (12) than at any other club.

The Magpies are without a win in their last eight Premier League home games but, surprisingly, Jose Mourinho has never won a league game at St James’s Park in six previous attempts.

Paul Pogba was left out of the United side against Huddersfield at Old Trafford last weekend but I expect the Frenchman to be back in the starting XI and a winning side at the weekend.

Prediction: Newcastle United 1-2 Manchester United

Southampton v Liverpool – Sunday

Mohamed Salah is now up to 20 in the Premier League (Getty)Congratulations to Mo Salah on reaching 20 goals in his debut season in the Premier League with the promise of many more to come.

Virgil van Dijk returns to St Mary’s for the first time following his big-money January move and is likely to start. Liverpool have won both Premier League games he has not played in since he became eligible for the Reds, however, and not won either game he has started.

Saints begin the weekend just two points above the relegation places despite winning at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Sadio Mane is another former Southampton player and the striker has scored six goals in his last five games at St Mary’s. I expect to see goals with Liverpool getting more than their fair share and giving Jurgen Klopp his 50th Premier League win in his 95th game in charge of the Reds.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Liverpool

Chelsea v West Brom – Monday

Antonio Conte saw his side well beaten by Watford last time out (Getty)Chelsea have won all three-league games against the Baggies since Antonio Conte took over and a month ago, you would have thought this was a banker home win. The champions have conceded seven goals in their last two league games against Bournemouth and Watford, however, and looked completely out of sorts at Vicarage Road on Monday.

Conte will demand his side bounce back against an Albion side who go into the game bottom-of-the-league. The Chelsea faithful will demand three points and an emphatic victory and I think the Blues will keep the points.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 West Brom

More: Manchester United FC

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including wins for Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool

With Liverpool having inflicted a first defeat on Manchester City last weekend there is a glimour of hope for the chasing pack. All the contenders are in action over the coming days and BetVictor brand ambassador has predicted how they will get on…

Brighton v Chelsea

The 1-1 draw with Norwich (before Chelsea won on penalties) in the FA Cup followed three successive 0-0 draws for Chelsea but the good news for Antonio Conte and Blues’ fans is that Brighton have lost their last seven games against Chelsea in all competitions. I expect the visitors to take the points.

Antonio Conte has seen his side struggle recently (Getty)The Seagulls have been tough to beat, especially at home, this season but their two home defeats have been at the hands of City and Liverpool and they have failed to score in eight of their last 12 league games. They lack the class of the west London outfit.

Prediction: Brighton 0-1 Chelsea

Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Alexandre Lacazette and his Arsenal team-mates will have to pick up the slack with Alexis Sanchez leaving (Reuters/John Sibley)John Salako scored the winner – at Highbury – the last time Palace beat Arsenal away back in 1994 and I think the Gunners will keep the points despite the fact that the Eagles have been on an impressive run since Roy Hodgson took charge.

When the sides met in the reverse fixture back in December, Alexis Sanchez scored a brace but it looks as if the Chilean will join Manchester United between now and the end of the window.

Arsenal are entering a period of transition but they still have some quality attacking players and they can keep all three points in what should be an entertaining derby.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace

Burnley v Manchester United

Paul Pogba is in top form (Getty)Manchester United have only conceded one goal in their last nine visits to Turf Moor and I expect Jose Mourinho’s side to have too much pace and class for the Clarets who have not won in their last six Premier League games.

United have scored at least twice in their last five away league games and Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku were back to their best against Stoke earlier in the week. The pair might be the difference between the sides at Turf Moor.

Prediction: Burnley 0-2 Manchester United

Everton v West Brom

Things haven’t been going swimmingly for Sam Allardyce (Getty)Everton have scored just once in their last five Premier League games and have only had four shots on target in that period. This is a big game for both clubs and I am looking forward to the home debut of Cenk Tosun who had just scraps to feed on at Wembley last weekend.

The Baggies have won their last two games including breaking their barren league run last weekend and I expect to see a tight, close affair, which might be decided by a single goal.

Prediction: Everton 1-0 West Brom

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Leicester City v Watford

Watford’s 23 Premier League games so far this season has seen 75 goals scored and I would be surprised if we did not see a number of goals at the King Power Stadium.

The Hornets have only picked up five points from the last 30 on offer and I think things are likely to get worse before they get better for the Hornets.

Prediction: Leicester City 3-2 Watford

Stoke City v Huddersfield

Paul Lambert takes charge of his first game (PA)Paul Lambert will take charge of his first Stoke City game at the weekend and I expect the Potters’ to keep all three points against the Terriers, despite the fact that the hosts have now conceded more goals (50) than any other side in Europe’s big five leagues.

Stoke have some quality players in their ranks, however, and a new manager can often have a galvanising effect on the players who will all want to impress their new boss. Lambert failed to win any of his last 10 games when he last managed in the Premier League at Villa (February 2015) and he will be eager to make a winning start.

Prediction: Stoke City 1-0 Huddersfield

West Ham v Bournemouth

Another game where I expect to see goals given the teams have scored 23 times in the five previous Premier League games between the clubs.

The Hammers have scored 15 times in their last six league games and David Moyes deserves plenty of credit for turning the club around after a difficult start. It will be 364 days at kick-off since the Irons last won back-to-back in the league, but I think they can beat the Cherries despite them showing their mettle when coming from a goal down against Arsenal last weekend.

Prediction: West Ham 3-1 Bournemouth

Manchester City v Newcastle

Pep Guardiola will be hoping to get another lengthy run started (Getty)City are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games against Newcastle and I expect Pep Guardiola’s side to bounce back after their Anfield defeat.

City remain unbeaten in their last 23 home league games but, one could argue that the Magpies are a better side on the road this season than at St James’s Park. Rafa Benitez’s side are looking for a third successive away Premier League win for the first time since 2001 when they were managed by the late great Sir Bobby Robson.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Newcastle

Southampton v Tottenham – Sunday

Mauricio Pochettino returns to his former club (Getty)Spurs have won their last two on their travels and they looked back to their very best when giving Everton a 5-0 hiding at Wembley last weekend.

Former Saints’ boss Mauricio Pochettino is unbeaten at St Mary’s since he left the club at the end of the 2013-14 season whilst Saints have not won in their last 10 league games. I cannot see past a Spurs win.

Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Tottenham

Swansea v Liverpool – Monday

Can Mohamed Salah continue his incredible form? (Getty)This game pits the side with the fewest home league goals (6) so far this season with the side with the most goals on the road in the division (29) and I agree with the formbook – an away win.

I was asked earlier in the week if I was surprised with the inclusion of Loris Karius for the Reds over Simon Mignolet for last weekend’s visit of Manchester City and I must admit I was. I think Jurgen Klopp looks upon Karius as the future of the club and a better distributor of the ball with both hands and feet than the Belgian international. There looks little between the pair as shot-stoppers but Karius is perhaps more of a modern ‘sweeper’ and I look forward to watching his development.

Liverpool won the reverse fixture 5-0 at Anfield earlier in the season and the Reds have scored at least twice in their last six away league games.

Just to put the game into some context Mo Salah has scored 18 times from 44 shots on target so far this term. The Swans have scored 14 times from 52 shots on target.

Prediction: Swansea 1-3 Liverpool

More: Manchester United FC

Michael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

Michael Owen warns Liverpool off signing Riyad Mahrez as a Philippe Coutinho replacement

Riyad Mahrez has been linked with Liverpool (Reuters)Michael Owen does not believe Riyad Mahrez is the right player to replace Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool.

The Reds have been strongly linked with the Leicester attacker following the departure of their Brazilian talisman.

Jurgen Klopp is on the lookout for attacking reinforcements and it’s known that Mahrez is open to leaving the Foxes having put in a transfer request over the summer.

Some reports even suggest Liverpool are already in talks to sign the Algeria international.

More: Football

Coutinho has joined Barcelona (Reuters)But former Anfield striker Owen is not convinced Mahrez has the right attributes for Liverpool – or where he would fit in.

‘I was asked this week if I thought Riyad Mahrez, who has been linked with a move to Anfield, would be the ideal replacement for Coutinho but I couldn’t agree,’ he told BetVictor.

‘As good a player as Mahrez is, he might not possess the pace or work ethic that Jurgen Klopp might be looking for and I wonder where he would fit into the starting XI – certainly not instead of the brilliant Mo Salah on the right side of the front three.’

More: Liverpool FC

Mahrez has been in excellent form this season, with seven goals and seven assists in the Premier League.

It’s thought Leicester would want around £50million for the former PFA Player of the Year winner.

MORE: Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Liverpool v Man City

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Arsenal v Liverpool

Christmas is just around the corner and the games in the Premier League are coming thick and fast.

Ahead of the latest round of top-flight fixtures BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen picks out his festive crackers and Christmas turkeys – including from the Friday night clash between Arsenal and his former side Liverpool…

Arsenal v Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the first team in top-flight English football to have won four successive away league games by three or more goals and I think Arsenal will find the Reds potent attacking threat too hot to handle on Friday.

Mohamed Salah has been the stand-out performer in Liverpool’s incredible attack (Getty)Arsenal have won 13 of their last 14 home games in the Premier League and will be desperate for revenge having been thrashed 4-0 in the reverse fixture at Anfield. The Gunners may score in the first game of the festive period – I just think Liverpool will score more in what promises to be a real Christmas cracker.

Congratulations to Mo Salah who became the first Premier League player to reach 20 goals in all competitions so far this season. He has been quite magnificent for the Reds so far this term.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Liverpool

Everton v Chelsea

Wayne Rooney was on target as Everton beat Swansea in midweek (Reuters)Everton have lost their last three Premier League games against Chelsea by an aggregate of 10-0 and this will be a real examination of the Blues’ recent improvement under Sam Allardyce. The Toffees have had their fair share of luck in recent games but 13 points out of their last five league games shows just how far this young Everton side have come in the last month or so.

That said Chelsea have already beaten Everton three times in 2017 and scored ten times in their last three visits to Goodison. Antonio Conte’s side can take the points back to the capital.

Prediction: Everton 0-2 Chelsea

More: Football

Brighton v Watford

Brighton have only scored once in their last five games and that was a disputed penalty in their 5-1 home beating at the hands of Liverpool. Watford have had a player sent off in their last three Premier League games and no side has ever received a red card in four consecutive league games.

The Seagulls have only lost one of their last eight home league games – that 5-1 home defeat to Liverpool – and this is a game I am sure Chris Hughton will expect rather than hope to get a positive result from. The Hornets’ form has cooled in recent weeks after a terrific run, but I expect them to pick up a point at the Amex in a score draw.

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Watford

Manchester City v Bournemouth

Manchester City came through their League Cup tie with Leicester in midweek on penalties (Getty)Record-breaking City were sensational against Spurs in a high-quality game last weekend and it is hard to see Bournemouth ending City’s run of sixteen successive Premier League wins.

The last English manager to win at the Etihad was Harry Redknapp back in May 2010 and I don’t think Eddie Howe will buck that trend at the weekend. A win over the Cherries and City will be just three wins short of the longest ever winning run in one of Europe’s big five leagues which currently stands at 19 by Pep Guardiola’s Bayern side between October 2013 and March 2014.

Kevin De Bruyne was outstanding against Spurs last weekend and arguably, The Player of the Year in the first half of the season looks overpriced to find the back of the Bournemouth net.

Prediction: Manchester City 5-0 Bournemouth

Southampton v Huddersfield

After seven successive defeats on the road Huddersfield bounced back with an emphatic success at Watford last weekend, but I think they will struggle against a Southampton side who are certainly due a win having only picked up a couple of points from their last 15 on offer. Saints struggle to keep clean sheets, but I will be surprised if they aren’t too good for the Terriers on this occasion.

Prediction: Southampton 2-0 Huddersfield

Stoke City v West Brom

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is under mounting pressure (Getty)Stoke have lost their last three and they will be desperate to get back to winning ways in this local derby. Given the visitors are without a win in their last sixteen Premier League games this looks a gilt-edged opportunity for the Potters but I’m not so sure.

The Baggies are unbeaten in their last six against Stoke in the Premier League and this is likely to be a tight, close, nervous affair between two sides low in confidence. One goal might be enough.

Prediction: Stoke City 1-0 West Brom

Swansea City v Crystal Palace

The corresponding fixture finished 5-4 last season but Swansea have only scored ten times in their 18 Premier League games so far this term and they may be meeting this improving Palace side at just the wrong time. The Eagles are unbeaten in their last seven, won 3-0 at the King Power last weekend and have the excellent Wilfried Zaha at the top of his game. In contrast Swansea don’t even have a manager after the sacking of Paul Clement.

Prediction: Swansea City 0-1 Crystal Palace

West Ham v Newcastle

David Moyes and Rafa Benitez during their time together on Merseyside in charge of Everton and Liverpool respectively (Getty)West Ham have kept clean sheets in their last three Premier League games and I think they can make it a miserable Christmas for the Toon Army given the Magpies go in to the game having lost their last four.

There wasn’t much love lost between Rafa Benitez and David Moyes when they were managing Liverpool and Everton respectively and the former Reds boss is unbeaten in his last nine Premier League encounters against Moyes. I think the Hammers will edge what promises to be a tight low-scoring affair although the hosts will miss their influential suspended midfielder Manuel Lanzini.

Prediction: West Ham 1-0 Newcastle

Burnley v Tottenham

James Tarkowski of Burnley is suspended and that could make a big difference (Getty)Few would have thought at the start of the season that Burnley would be ahead of Spurs in the table going into the busy festive period. The Clarets have been a revelation so far this term and have kept six clean sheets in their last eight home Premier League games, but I think Spurs can end a run of five games on their Premier League travels without a win.

Burnley are likely to be without defender James Tarkowski, who has been charged retrospectively with violent conduct following a clash with Brighton’s Glenn Murray at the weekend, and that will be a big blow to the Clarets.

Prediction: Burnley 0-2 Tottenham

Leicester City v Manchester United

It’s a case of Pogback for Manchester United (Getty)United have won their last three away from home in the league but have actually conceded in their last five and I think there will be goals in the King Power. The Foxes weren’t able to stop the City juggernaut in the League Cup midweek and they will do well to get something from the visit of United who have their talisman Paul Pogba available following his recent three-match ban.

It promises to be an open entertaining contest – United might shade it but I will be surprised if both sides don’t find the back of the net.

Prediction: Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United

More: Manchester United FC

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Man City v Spurs and West Brom v Man Utd

Manchester City gained a record 15th successive win in the Premier League at Swansea in midweek and Pep Guardiola’s side entertain Tottenham in the big game of the weekend on Saturday.

BetVictor brand ambassador and former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen makes his prediction for that game and the other nine Premier League clashes taking place over the next few days.

Leicester City v Crystal Palace

Palace have failed to score in 10 successive away Premier League games and you have to go back to 1950 (Manchester City ironically) for the last time a top-flight English side failed to score in 11 games on the road. Palace are unbeaten in their last six in the Premier League – courtesy of a couple of goalless draws on the road as well as strong home form – but they are meeting a Leicester side who have scored seven times in two away wins this week and are at the top of their game at present.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Crystal Palace

Arsenal v Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez hasn’t had much to smile about in recent weeks (Getty)Arsenal have won their last nine Premier League games against Newcastle and they are likely to make that 10 at the weekend given the Magpies have picked up just one point from their last eight league games – the worst record in the division.

Rafa Benitez has never won at Arsenal in the Premier League and these are worrying times for my former club who face a difficult game at West Ham next weekend before they entertain Manchester City over Christmas.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United

Brighton v Burnley

Burnley recorded yet another win in midweek (Getty)Burnley have won six of their last eight league games as their excellent start to the campaign shows no sign of letting up, although I feel they may have to settle for a point against a Brighton side who have lost their last three.

The Clarets have only conceded 12 goals so far this term yet have allowed the opposition a league-high 279 shots. Brighton will be desperate to arrest their current slide and I think they will get a draw on the south coast.

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Burnley

Chelsea v Southampton

Willian and Eden Hazard in action for Chelsea in midweek (Getty)Southampton were well-beaten at home to Leicester midweek and things are likely to get worse for the Saints at Stamford Bridge at the weekend. Eden Hazard has been involved in seven goals in 10 starts against Southampton and it will be interesting to see if Antonio Conte again plays without a recognised striker if Alvaro Morata fails to recover from his back injury in time.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Southampton

Stoke City v West Ham

Stoke have kept just two clean sheets so far this term which is a concern whereas West Ham have picked up just three points from their last 27 on offer on the road. The Hammers have done tremendously well to keep two clean sheets and pick up four points from the visits of Chelsea and Arsenal this week, but the question is can they maintain that recent improvement now they are away from the London Stadium.

Prediction: Stoke City 0-1 West Ham

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Watford v Huddersfield Town

Watford have now lost 13 points from winning positions in the Premier League after surrendering the lead to Crystal Place midweek. The Hornets are ravaged by injury and suspensions for the visit of Huddersfield, but they have a deep squad and I expect Marco Silva’s side to return to winning ways.

The Terriers have lost their last five away Premier League games by two or more goals and have failed to score in any of those games – I expect that run to continue at Vicarage Road.

Prediction: Watford 3-0 Huddersfield Town

Manchester City v Tottenham

David Silva scored twice in midweek (Getty)Manchester City are without a win in their last four Premier League games against Spurs and, surprisingly perhaps, the north London outfit have won more away games against City (10) than they have at any other Premier League club.

That said City have been irresistible so far this season and their record-breaking 15 successive Premier League wins shows no sign of stopping. Pep Guardiola won 19 Bundesliga games in a row between October 2013 and March 2014 when in charge of Bayern Munich and I would expect him to be challenging his City side to break that extraordinary record. Spurs could easily score at the Etihad but I expect City to score more.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Tottenham

West Brom v Manchester United – Sunday

Romelu Lukaku his the back of the net in midweek (Getty)West Brom got an excellent point at Anfield in midweek but they have lost eight of their last 11 Premier League games at the Hawthorns against United and I expect the visitors to take the points.

Romelu Lukaku will have been delighted to score the winning goal against Bournemouth in midweek and he famously scored a hat-trick in this corresponding fixture back in May 2013 when a second half substitute in the 5-5 draw that brought the curtain down on the managerial career of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Manchester United

Bournemouth v Liverpool – Sunday

Jurgen Klopp has overseen two draws in the last week (Getty)Bournemouth won this corresponding fixture 4-3 when they played 12 months ago but I don’t think they will find the Reds in as benevolent a mood on Sunday.

The Cherries had their chances at Old Trafford earlier in the week and will be disappointed to have come away with nothing. I expect to see goals at the Vitality Stadium in what promises to be an entertaining game.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool

Everton v Swansea City – Monday

Wayne Rooney is in a great run of form (Getty)Swansea have scored as many Premier League goals this term as Wayne Rooney (9) and the former England striker has a cracking record against the Swans with three goals and four assists against the Welsh side in his last seven games.

Everton have tightened up defensively since Sam Allardyce took over and they are likely to have too much at Goodison for a Swansea side who have had just 33 shots on target in their 17 Premier League games so far this term

Prediction: Everton 2-0 Swansea City

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Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United

Following a huge weekend in the Premier League in which Manchester City moved 11 points clear at the top of the table, we have another full round of fixtures.

All 20 sides are involved in the midweek action and ahead of the games BetVictor brand ambassador and former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen picks those he thinks will come out on top.

Burnley v Stoke City

There have only been nine goals scored in eight Premier League games at Turf Moor so far this season and it is hard to imagine we will see a goal-fest midweek.

One goal was enough for the Clarets against 10-man Watford on Saturday and these are difficult times for Mark Hughes’ side who conceded five at Wembley at the weekend. The Potters have taken just 41 points from their last 40 PL games and may struggle again in Lancashire midweek where one goal again may be enough to separate the teams.

Prediction: Burnley 1-0 Stoke City

Crystal Palace v Watford

Christian Benteke reacts to his missed penalty (Getty)Palace had a gilt-edged opportunity to climb the table but squandered a late penalty against Bournemouth at the weekend and who knows how important those two points might be at the end of the campaign.

Christian Benteke certainly owes his side, and all Eagles fans, a big game against Watford given he hasn’t scored in his last 12 games for the club over a period of 852 minutes. Palace have scored twice in their last five home games, however, while the Hornets were also free-scoring on the road before they drew a blank with 10-men at Turf Moor at the weekend. I expect to see goals – as is the norm – at Selhurst Park.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Watford

Huddersfield Town v Chelsea

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte knows his side must get back to winning ways this week (Getty)Huddersfield have won three of their last four home games and the only defeat in that period was courtesy of a late Manchester City winner.

Chelsea only dropped 21 points in their title season last term but have already dropped 16 after their loss at West Ham on Saturday. They must get back to winning ways against the Terriers although it won’t be easy in the John Smith’s Stadium.

Prediction: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Chelsea

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Newcastle United v Everton

Newcastle don’t have the best of records against Everton – losing six of their last seven games – and the Magpies have only picked up one point from their last seven league games. Rafa Benitez will have been disappointed to concede three at home to a good Leicester side at the weekend and they must improve defensively if they don’t want to get embroiled in a relegation battle.

That said Everton were poor at Anfield despite picking up a valuable point on Sunday and Benitez has never lost a home PL game against the Blues. I expect that run to continue midweek although both sides may have to settle for a point.

Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Everton

Southampton v Leicester City

Claude Puel returns to St Mary’s (Getty)Two improving sides in opposition on the south coast where Claude Puel will make a quick return to St Mary’s with his Leicester side who have won their last three league games.

Saints have only lost one of their 11 home Premier League games against the Foxes and that loss was back at the Den in 2000. This should be an entertaining affair between two in-form teams and I can’t split them.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Leicester City

Swansea City v Manchester City

Sergio Aguero should be back in the side (Getty)Manchester City will break Arsenal’s record for successive PL wins (14 between February and August 2002) if they win in South Wales on Wednesday. To put into some context City’s unprecedented start to the season they have picked up 46 points from 16 games. That tally was enough to finish eighth in the PL in the 2016/17 season!

The Swans don’t score, or concede, many goals but I think they will find the visitors too hot to handle at the Liberty Stadium and expect to see Sergio Aguero back in the side and back among the goals having been left out of the team at Old Trafford.

Prediction: Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City

Liverpool v West Brom

Philippe Coutinho started on the bench at the weekend (Getty)Liverpool have to put behind the loss of two points in the Merseyside derby and it will be interesting to see what side Jurgen Klopp starts with at Anfield against West Brom, having shuffled his pack for the visit of Everton on Sunday.

The Baggies have scored in their last six PL games at Anfield and may do so again midweek, but I take the Reds to get back to winning ways.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 West Brom

Manchester United v Bournemouth

Romelu Lukaku could do with a goal (Getty)Romelu Lukaku has scored five times in four games against Bournemouth in the Premier League, including four in one game back in February, but badly needs a goal in a United shirt with just one in his last nine in the PL.

United may have lost their long unbeaten home record to City on Sunday but they played their part in a terrific game. You have to go back to January 2014 for the last time United lost back-to-back home games and the Cherries might be in for a long night.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Bournemouth

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Tottenham v Brighton

Brighton have never won at Wembley in three previous visits and it is hard to make a case for the Seagulls who have picked up just one point in their last four games and were no match for another of the newly-promoted clubs Huddersfield at the weekend.

Harry Kane’s brace against Stoke now means the striker has scored 50 goals this calendar year for club and country and the striker will be looking to add to that impressive tally when Chris Hughton takes his side to face his old club.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Brighton

West Ham v Arsenal

Olivier Giroud rescued Arsenal at the weekend (Getty)A fascinating game at the London Stadium with West Ham looking to build on a fabulous win against champions Chelsea at the weekend and Arsenal desperate to return to winning ways having salvaged a point at St Mary’s courtesy of Olivier Giroud’s late header.

Arsene Wenger must do without the injured Aaron Ramsay, which is a blow to the Gunners, and I was taken with the Hammers spirit and defensive qualities against Chelsea. If there is to be a winner midweek, I think it will be the hosts.

Prediction: West Ham 2-2 Arsenal

Michael Owen is a brand ambasador for BetVictor. For more tips read his column here.

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Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions, including Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool

It’s the final round of fixtures in the Champions League group stage this week and former Manchester United and Liverpool striker and BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen has made his predictions for the clashes involving the British sides. 

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow

A point will guarantee top spot in the group for United and CSKA’s clean sheet in Benfica last time was their first shut out in 32 games. That suggests the Russians will have to score at least twice at Old Trafford and that is likely to be beyond them despite the fact that they have won two away games in the competition already this season.

A draw for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side will ensure they top their group (Getty)This is a big week for United with City to come in the Premier League on Sunday and I can’t see them making any mistakes midweek.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 CSKA Moscow

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Celtic v RSC Anderlecht

Both sides have conceded 17 goals in their five group games to date but Celtic were comfortable winners of the reverse fixture and can do the double over the Belgians who must win by at least a three-goal margin to have any hope of making it through to the Europa League.

Anderlecht cannot sit back and defend and it is about time that Celtic – without a win in their last six Champions League games at Celtic Park – gave their home fans something to cheer about in European competition.

Prediction: Celtic 2-0 RSC Anderlecht

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Chelsea v Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone brings his side to Chelsea this week (Getty)Twice beaten finalists in recent years, Atletico must beat Chelsea at the Bridge to stand any chance of progressing to the knock out stages. Chelsea have scored in their last 25 home games in the competition whilst the Spanish side have yet to score in their two away games so far in the competition – despite having 32 attempts at goal in those games.

A home win would guarantee top spot for the Blues and a home tie in the second leg of the last 16. It promises to be a cracking, passionate game between two of Europa’s top clubs.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Atletico Madrid

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Liverpool v Spartak Moscow

Mo Salah is on fire for Liverpool at the moment (Getty)Liverpool will be guaranteed top spot in the group with a win at Anfield and only PSG have scored more goals in the group stages than the Reds. Spartak have lost 22 of their last 28 Champions League games on the road and it is hard to see them causing a shock against a Liverpool side who are in such good form of late.

Liverpool haven’t reached the knock out stages of the competition since the 2008/9 season and it would be wonderful to have all five Premier League sides in the last 16 of the world’s premier club competition.

Prediction: Liverpool 4-0 Spartak Moscow

Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City

A draw would guarantee Shakhtar a place in the last 16 whilst City are already assured of finishing top and have the small matter of the Manchester derby at the weekend. City would like to have a 100% record in the group stages but they are without Kevin de Bruyne through suspension and are likely to rest a number of key players with the weekend in mind.

Prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-2 Manchester City

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Tottenham Hotspur v Apoel Nicosia

The Tottenham players in training this week (Getty)No Cypriot side has beaten English opposition in European competition and I can’t see Apoel bucking that trend at Wembley. Spurs have won their last three CL games at Wembley 3-1 but I expect Spurs to keep a clean sheet in a comfortable win, which will end a wonderful group stage for the north London outfit.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Apoel Nicosia

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Michael Owen reserves special praise for ‘frightening’ Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah after Maribor win

Mohamed Salah scored the opener as Liverpool beat Maribor 3-0 at Anfield (Picture: Getty)Michael Owen reserved praise for ‘frightening’ Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah after Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Maribor in the Champions League.

Second-half goals from Salah, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge gave Jurgen Klopp’s side another three points as they aim to finish the group stage top.

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Egypt international Salah has made a superb start to his career at Anfield following his summer move from Roma, scoring 11 goals in 18 games in all competitions.

And Liverpool legend Owen has been impressed by Salah’s impact under German boss Klopp, saying he has ‘great movement’.

Speaking to BT Sport following Liverpool’s comfortable win, the former England striker said: ‘Salah is frightening really, he gets so many chances.

Salah has turned out to be an astute signing (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool legend Michael Owen (Picture: Getty)‘His goal return is really impressive, he seems to be one of them players they chances always fall to. He’s got great movement.’

Fellow former Liverpool star Sami Hyypia added: ‘He’s scored a lot of goals already, he has good quality.

‘He can continue this run. It doesn’t matter how you find the net – the goal tonight was his knee.’

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Liverpool were frustrated for 50 minutes against a side they thrashed 7-0 in the reverse fixture but finally found the breakthrough for Salah and then never looked back.

‘It was very difficult [in the first-half] – they were playing very deep,’ Germany international Can said. ‘But after we got the goal we then created some space and controlled the game. We had to be patient.’

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