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Premier League predictions: Can Palace stun champions Manchester City?


MANCHESTER City have a striker crisis for the visit of Crystal Palace this weekend, but can the Eagles take advantage?

The Premier League champions are without top scorer Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic for the clash with Neil Warnock's men, leaving 18-year-old Jose Pozo as the only recognised forward available to Manuel Pellegrini.

But can Palace spring a surprise and get a result at the Etihad Stadium.

Our resident tipster Bobby Dubz previews this and the other weekend games in the Premier League below.

Manchester City v Crystal Palace (Saturday 12.45pm)

Manchester City may have an injury crisis up front, but they still have an abundance of quality at their disposal to put out on the pitch.

With the likes of Frank Lampard, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, David Silva and Jesus Navas in the squad, Manuel Pellegrini has plenty of players who can get them a goal.

And while Palace have been hard to beat in the last couple of weeks against Tottenham and Stoke City, they will do well to get anything at the Etihad.

City won 1-0 the last time the two sides met at the Etihad, and a repeat of that could well be on the cards.

Prediction 1-0

Aston Villa v Manchester United

All of a sudden, Manchester United are looking like a top four side again.

Yes, they may not be at their best, but they have won six games in a row and are now comfortably in third, with their sights on their city rivals and Chelsea above them.

It is still too hard to see them as genuine title contenders, but if they can keep winning regardless of whether or not they are playing well, then why not.

United have a good record at Villa Park and with Paul Lambert's men still struggling to find some consistency, another win looks likely for Louis Van Gaal's side.

Prediction 0-2

Hull City v Swansea City

Hull City need a win, and soon.

Steve Bruce is under pressure and with his side now second from bottom in the table, they find themselves in a relegation battle.

As such, this match is close to being a must-win for the Tigers, but with Swansea smarting from a late defeat to Tottenham last week, it will not be easy for them.

The Swans are a decent side and they will fancy their chances of getting something, but it may be that they have to settle for a point here.

Prediction 1-1

QPR v West Brom

Queens Park Rangers are two completely different teams home and away.

They have lost eight out of eight on the road this season, but have picked up 14 points in eight games at Loftus Road.

Undoubtedly, home form will be key to their survival hopes and it is games like this that will be crucial to Harry Redknapp's men.

West Brom picked up a much-needed win last weekend against Aston Villa, easing the pressure on Alan Irvine a little.

But they need to push on from that and a win here could see them move into a mid-table position and clear of the drop zone.

However, Rangers will be confident at home and there is every chance of them picking up something, even if it is only a point.

Prediction 1-1

Southampton v Everton

Five defeats in a row in all competitions have raised questions about Southampton and their ability to challenge for the top four.

Injuries and suspensions have hit them hard, but they are still a good side and just need a result to start turning the corner.

Everton have picked up with a win against QPR on Monday lifting them above Merseyside rivals Liverpool, but they have not won in the league on the road since October.

And that run could continue on Saturday, with the Saints sure to be wanting to end their barren run, even if it is only with a draw.

Prediction 1-1

Tottenham v Burnley

Tottenham have had a good week, winning away at Swansea and thrashing Newcastle in the Capital One Cup.

They are still not the finished article by any stretch, but Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping they can go on a run, and this is a perfect opportunity to get their home form going again in the league.

Burnley have improved dramatically since the start of the season, but I am not sure they have enough to go and get something against a Spurs side seemingly on the up.

Prediction 2-0

West Ham v Leicester City

People will surely have to start taking West Ham seriously as challengers for a European spot, if they can maintain their current run of form over Christmas.

The Hammers picked up another decent point at Sunderland last weekend and will surely fancy their chances of another win at home to the Foxes.

Nigel Pearson's Leicester side put in a good performance against Manchester City last weekend, but still did not look like really troubling the champions.

They need a positive result soon, but it is hard to see them getting it at Upton Park.

Prediction 2-0

Newcastle United v Sunderland (Sunday)

There is no doubt that this will be a full-blooded Tyne-Wear derby.

If this game had been three or four weeks ago, it would have been hard to see anything but a home win, but Newcastle have had a bit of a blip in the last couple of games.

Sunderland are proving hard to beat again and they will probably look to frustrate the home fans on Sunday.

And with Newcastle's problems in goal, the Black Cats will probably fancy their chances of nicking something, although discipline will be key.

The derby calls for cool heads and if Sunderland can keep theirs, they have every chance of walking away with at least a point.

Prediction 1-1

Liverpool v Arsenal

Liverpool bounced back in midweek and produced a good performance in the Capital One Cup quarter-final at Bournemouth.

That was definitely a banana skin for them and the Championships leaders would have fancied their chances of an upset, but Liverpool were having none of it.

They played with a good tempo and unlike at Manchester United last week, they took their chances, which Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to see more of.

If the Reds can take a higher proportion of their chances, they can start thinking of the top four again, but if they don't start doing it soon, they can kiss goodbye to that.

This is a crucial game for both sides – if Liverpool win, they are back in contention, and if Arsenal win, they open up some clear daylight between them and Liverpool, eight points to be precise.

Prediction 2-2

Stoke City v Chelsea (Monday)

None of the big teams like going to the Britannia Stadium at any stage of the season.

And a Monday night just before Christmas would surely not be Chelsea's pick of the times to go there.

However, this Chelsea side don't seem to be fazed by anything and I fully expect them to pick up another three points.

Yes, they may have lost to Stoke last season at the Britannia, but they are a better side this season and they should have too much for the Potters.

Prediction 1-2

Premier League predictions: Can Palace stun champions Manchester City?

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