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29th Nov 2014

Predictions: Three managers could be in big trouble after today’s Premier League clashes

Get your betting slips ready

Conan Doherty

When you’re keeping company with Harry Redknapp, you must be doing something wrong.

Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert head into two massive games this afternoon with the chopping board primed and calling out for both of their heads.

The Liverpool and Villa supremos rub shoulders with old ‘Arry in what seems like a genuine race to be the next Premier League manager sacked and their fixtures today, whilst kind enough, could force either right to the edge of that plank they have made an unsteady home on.

In a packed Saturday featuring eight top flight games including United, Chelsea and Arsenal, we look ahead to all the weekend’s fixtures and do the stupidest thing anyone in the history of sports writing could ever do: predict.  All kick-offs are at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated.

West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal (12.45pm)
Two defeats in a row were somewhat put to bed against Dortmund as Arsenal continue to trudge through one of their worst starts to a season.  On paper, this looks like a classic slip-up case for Arsene Wenger’s men, a lunch-time kick-off away to an unpredictable midlands side and all that.  But they simply can’t afford another wobble like this could be.
Prediction: 1-2

Burnley v Aston Villa
They don’t come more glamorous than they do at Turf Moor this afternoon.  In what could be a 90-minute stand-off between two sides refusing to step forward, whoever is forced to kick-off in this tie will consider themselves the loser having to make the first advances.  Villa have looked solid enough at the back despite missing three centre halves of late but they just don’t like looking in the other direction.  Still, they can pull the odd goal out of the bag like they did against Southampton with this one from Agbonlahor right off the training ground.
Prediction: 1-1

Liverpool v Stoke City
Like Villa, one which the Anfield faithful will be expecting maximum points from.  Huge disappointment followed the Champions League draw on Wednesday – and that was just from Ludogorets.  Liverpool haven’t been playing well and, after such a daring season last year, expectation has risen on Merseyside and Rodgers is under pressure.  The longer Stoke hold out, the tetchier the home crowd might rumble.
Prediction: 2-1

Manchester United v Hull City
Van Gaal’s side have mustered three clean sheets all season so anything goes when they’re playing.  Only Burnley, QPR and Palace have failed to find the net against an ever-changing United back three/four/five.  And, although the skipper thought that they held firm against Arsenal, you actually didn’t, Wayne.  Should be well on the front foot in this tie however.  Di Maria will have a field day.
Prediction: 2-0

QPR v Leicester City
Actually, this is just as big as Villa and Liverpool’s games.  At home to fellow new boys, Hazza won’t get much better chances to lift Rangers off the bottom.  Leicester haven’t been going well, but neither have QPR and you just know this game will be ruined with a fear factor and a must-not-lose attitude.
Prediction: 0-0

Swansea City v Crystal Palace
Buoyed by their excellent win over Liverpool, the Londoners will travel to south Wales today and soon learn that what actually happened last Sunday, was just that they were playing Liverpool.
Prediction: 3-1

West Ham v Newcastle
Prediction: 1-2

Sunderland v Chelsea (5.30pm)
This is the sort of game that would normally run the risk of getting painful.  But not when Jose Merciful Mourinho is around.  Two goals up, running riot at home to West Brom; still the first half.  Will we destroy them, sir?  No, no.  Just sit back and see this one out.  We will have other days.
Prediction: 0-1

Southampton v Man City (Sunday, 1-30pm)
Oh, a tasty clash between the would-be title challengers.  This could get interesting.  Ronald Koeman has made it 12 games into the season, seven points clear of falling out of Champions League qualification.  He has taken things on to a whole new level since coming in at St. Mary’s but we’ll soon see their real credentials in this horrid run of games coming up.
Prediction: 0-2

Tottenham v Everton (Sunday, 4pm)
Usually a battle for fifth, both side’s are grappling for position in ninth place – still only a result off the top four, mind you.  Another Sunday cracker to wet the appetite, you’ll know more about where these boys are currently at having pitted their wits against one another.  Could turn into an entertaining shootout.  Rightly closing the weekend’s action.
Prediction: 2-2

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