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Premier League predictions: Can Palace halt Tottenham's good form?

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After the excitement of the FA Cup third round, it is back to the bread and butter this week as the Premier League returns. And Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew takes charge for the first time at Selhurst Park as the Eagles welcome in-form Tottenham to SE25. But can Palace spring a surprise and climb out of the bottom three? Our resident tipster, Bobby Dubz, gives his predictions for this weekend's matches. Sunderland v Liverpool (Saturday) Sunderland really do need to start turning draws into victories, after 11 draws in 20 Premier League fixtures. The Black Cats have only won three league games all season, but their 1-0 win against Leeds in the cup last week will have boosted confidence. And with Liverpool still not finding top form, despite the performances of MLS-bound Steven Gerrard, Sunderland will fancy their chances. I cannot see them keeping a clean sheet though and with their lack of goals, another point could well be on the cards. Prediction 1-1 Burnley v QPR This is a crucial game for both sides and if the form guide is anything to go by, it could be a good game. Burnley are much improved in recent weeks, but still find themselves in the bottom three, while QPR are just outside the relegation zone, albeit based on their home form alone. Harry Redknapp's men are still yet to pick up a point away from home this season, and Burnley will be confident after fighting back against Tottenham last week, while QPR will be looking for a reaction after their disappointing cup exit at the hands of League One side Sheffield United. Prediction 2-1 Chelsea v Newcastle Normal service was resumed for Chelsea last week as they brushed Watford aside, just three days after their 5-3 defeat at Tottenham. And Jose Mourinho's men will not want to stutter again against a Newcastle side that beat them last month in the north east. The Blues' home record is superb and with the Magpies dipping in form in recent weeks, this one has a home win written all over it. Prediction 3-0 Everton v Manchester City Some people have suggested that Everton's late equaliser against West Ham could be a turning point in their season. But the Toffees have been poor at the back this season and unless they can stop leaking goals, they will not get close to repeating their fine exploits of last season. And they will have their work cut out against Manchester City, even if they are missing a few key players. City have proved they have enough in the squad to deal with absentees and their good form should continue at Goodison Park. Prediction 1-3 Leicester City v Aston Villa This could well be a defining game for Leicester City. The Foxes have improved in recent weeks and are unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions. But they are still bottom of the league and simply have to win games like this if they are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship. Aston Villa are sitting 12th despite only scoring 11 goals so far this season in the league, but could be dragged back into trouble if they do not improve. Prediction 2-0 Swansea v West Ham It will be interesting to see how Swansea fare without Wilfried Bony. Regardless of whether or not his proposed move to Manchester City goes through, he is away at the African Cup of Nations this month. Swansea did not appear to struggle last weekend, putting six past Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup, but West Ham will be a different challenge. The Hammers have dipped a little over the Christmas period, but are still a force to be reckoned with and will provide a tough test for Garry Monk's men. Prediction 1-1 West Brom v Hull City Can Tony Pulis work his magic with West Brom like he did at Crystal Palace last season? Last weekend's 7-0 drubbing of Conference Premier side Gateshead was a good start, but it is league points that will be crucial in the Baggies' bid for survival. And Pulis will know that home form is key for his side, with games like this vital to the Baggies' hopes of avoiding the drop. Hull City are enduring a difficult season, but have won two of their last three games in the Premier League, and will hope to continue in that same vein to stay above the bottom three. Prediction 2-1 Crystal Palace v Tottenham Alan Pardew has a tough start at Crystal Palace, with in-form Tottenham the visitors to Selhurst Park. Spurs have been impressive on the road so far this season and have one of the country's top strikers on current form in Harry Kane. With Palace struggling for form at home, Mauricio Pochettino's men will be confident of spoiling the party at SE25, but there should be a good atmosphere and Palace were unlucky not to win at White Hart Lane last month. Prediction 1-1 Arsenal v Stoke City Arsenal may have lost at Stoke City at the beginning of December, but this should be a very different game at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are strong at home and should have enough to avenge that defeat at the Britannia, although they still need to improve defensively if they are to finish in the top four. Stoke, on the other hand, are on course for another mid-table finish, but Mark Hughes will want more consistency from his side as they bid for a place in the top ten. Prediction 2-1 Manchester United v Southampton Manchester United somehow managed to win the last game between these two sides in December, despite only having three shots in the whole game. Southampton were certainly the better side on the day, but paid the price for not taking their chances, and they need to learn from that. With United's injury problems in defence, Southampton will get chances and if they can take them, they are capable of taking something away from Old Trafford. Prediction 2-2

Premier League predictions: Can Palace halt Tottenham's good form?


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