Wednesday 19 June 2019

What time, what channel and our predictions for the first Premier League games of 2019

Paul Pogba scored another two goals in the win over Bournemouth (Martin Rickett/PA).
Paul Pogba scored another two goals in the win over Bournemouth (Martin Rickett/PA).
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

A preview to your New Year's action

New Year's Day

Everton v Leicester (12.30pm) - Sky Sports

Leicester manager Claude Puel was rumoured to be fighting to cling on to his job before his side pulled off stunning wins against Chelsea and Manchester City, with the trip to Goodison Park certain to contain goals.

Everton’s creaking defence was torn apart by Tottenham just before Christmas, with their 1-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday another setback to their now forlorn hopes of pushing for a top six finish.

Verdict: A high-scoring draw.

Arsenal v Fulham (3pm)

After their hammering against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, Arsenal need to pick up victories to keep their hopes of a top four finish alive heading into the New Year, with Manchester United's revival adding to the threats gathering for Unai Emery's team.

This game against relegation battlers Fulham should hand the Gunners a chance to clear their festive hangovers in the grand manner, with Claudio Ranieri’s side struggling badly on their travels so far this season.

Verdict: Arsenal to get the win they need.

Cardiff v Tottenham (5.30pm) - Sky Sports

Tottenham's shock home defeat against Wolves on Saturday derailed their hopes of getting into the Premier League title race and this trip to Wales is now crucial to their season as a positive response is required.

Cardiff will be bolstered by their first away win of the season at Leicester on Saturday and their caucus home crowd will dare to believe they can take their first top six scalp of the season to open up 2019.

Verdict: Spurs to seal an edgy win.

JANUARY 2nd (7.45pm unless stated)

Bournemouth v Watford

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admits his side need to lift their performance level after another heavy defeat at Manchester United on Sunday, with a home game against Watford offering up the perfect opportunity to do just that.

These mid-table battlers have a chance to push for a top eight finish in the second half of the season and they will need to win games like this to realise that ambition.

Verdict: Bournemouth to grind out a victory.

Chelsea v Southampton

Chelsea’s inconsistencies and a mounting injury list are concerning manager Maurizio Sarri, with their recent defeats against Wolves and Leicester mixed with battling wins that have kept them in the mix for a top four finish.

Southampton have been levied under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and they will fancy their chances of making life difficult for the Blues under the lights at Stamford Bridge.

Verdict: Chelsea need Eden Hazard to shine again to get a win.

Huddersfield v Burnley

Burnley badly needed their win against West Ham on Sunday as their season was in danger of spiralling out of control, with manager Sean Dyche's rewarded for his decision to drop keeper Joe Hart as his Clarets kept a rare clean sheet in a 2-0 victory.

It may be too early to bill this game as a relegation six-pointer, but the losers of this battle will fear the worst in 2019.

Verdict: A 0-0 draw that may not help either side.

West Ham v Brighton

Manager Manuel Pellegrini has edged West Ham into a promising position in the Premier League and the expectation will be that he can now push for a lofty finish in the second half of the campaign.

Brighton’s 1-0 win against the Hammers at their AMEX Stadium in October helped to give Chris Hughton’s side a solid start to their latest bid to steer clear of the drop zone and their 3-0 win at the London stadium lats season will be an inspiration heading into this game.

Verdict: West Ham to edge to victory.

Wolves v Crystal Palace

Wolves will be on a real Hugh after their impressive win against Tottenham at Wembley and they could emerge as the team most likely to finish ahead of the pack chasing the established top side in the Premier League.

Roy Hodgson’s Eagles picks dup a famous win against Manchester City just before Christmas, but they have not scored enough goals to edge clear of the relegation zone in the first half of this season.

Verdict: Wolves to secure a home win.

Newcastle v Manchester United (8pm) - Sky Sports

United’s revival under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been predictably dramatic, with the players placed in shackles by Jose Mourinho relishing the chance to express themselves under their new boss.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez will aim to set up a defensive wall to thwart their attacking efforts, but that plan was not effective against Liverpool on St Stephen’s Day and they will come up short once again.

Verdict: Solskjaer revival continues to gather momentum.

Online Editors

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