Predicting upsets in the Premier League this season is a bit like Russian roulette. They can land between any clubs, at any ground, at any time.
No one could have anticipated the way Matchday 14 played out with 33 goals being scored, 32 of which came during Wednesday’s fixtures alone.
With such a short turnaround between games, there is sure to be plenty of drama when players take to the field this weekend.
Here’s a look at some predictions before we dig a little deeper into the matches that will likely thrill or shock this weekend.
|Man United vs. Newcastle||Dec. 7||12:45 GMT/07:45 ET||BT Sport||3-2|
|Stoke City vs. Chelsea||Dec. 7||15:00 GMT/10:00 ET||0-2|
|Crystal Palace vs. Cardiff||Dec. 7||15:00 GMT/10:00 ET||1-1|
|Southampton vs. Man City||Dec. 7||15:00 GMT/10:00 ET||1-2|
|WBA vs. Norwich City||Dec. 7||15:00 GMT/10:00 ET||3-1|
|Liverpool vs. West Ham||Dec. 7||15:00 GMT/10:00 ET||3-1|
|Sunderland vs. Tottenham||Dec. 7||17:30 GMT/12:30 ET||Sky Sports||2-1|
|Fulham vs. Aston Villa||Dec. 8||13:30 GMT/08:30 ET||Sky Sports||2-1|
|Arsenal vs. Everton||Dec. 8||16:00 GMT/11:00 ET||Sky Sports||2-2|
|Swansea vs. Hull City||Dec. 9||20:00 GMT/15:00 ET||Sky Sports||2-1|
Schedule via premierleague.com
Most Thrilling Matchups
Arsenal vs. Everton
Everton’s visit to the Emirates kickstarts a run of games that will really test Arsenal’s resilience and squad depth in the coming weeks.
Who will win this game?
Between now and Jan. 1, the Gunners will face the Toffees, Napoli, Manchester City, Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle. If they’re still sitting pretty atop the table after the busy festive period, the cynics—who have questioned their mettle in recent years—will slowly begin to retreat.
But Arsene Wenger’s men will know all too well the importance of taking things one game at a time and they can’t afford to look beyond Everton this weekend.
Roberto Martinez’s men are one of the Premier League’s in-form teams, having lost just once this season. They have won four and drawn three of their last seven league games, and they possess the physicality and talent to threaten Arsenal.
There haven’t been too many classics down the years between these sides. In fact, Arsenal boast a 12-game unbeaten run over Everton, who have been on the receiving end of some drubbings against the North London outfit—per Soccerbase.
But these are two very different sides from previous years. Both possess individual talent throughout the park, with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere all boasting the ability to thrill with a moment of brilliance.
Despite the individual flair on show, it has been the way these two sides have worked together as a team that has impressed most. Their styles are unique, and when they clash at their peak on Sunday, it has the potential to be an enthralling encounter.
Manchester United vs. Newcastle
Manchester United vs. Newcastle is just one of those matches that screams entertainment. Their last 20 league meetings have produced 71 goals, with 10 coming in their last two fixtures alone—per Soccerbase.
This matchup has all the ingredients for yet another thriller between the two sides. Just one point separates the clubs in the table, which is sure to bring some additional spice to the weekend’s contest.
Newcastle currently sit two places above Man United and if they can inflict a fifth defeat of the season on David Moyes’ side, patience around Old Trafford will really begin to wear thin.
Who will win this game?
This United team isn’t the formidable, dominant outfit that we have witnessed over the last 20 years. They have looked fragile at times this season, leaking goals at the back and lacking conviction in the final third. They will also be without the services of Wayne Rooney, who is suspended for the game.
Having said that, Newcastle often struggle at the Theatre of Dreams.
The Magpies have never beaten the Red Devils away from home in the Premier League. You need to go all the way back to 1972 to pinpoint the last time they emerged victorious at Old Trafford.
But sometimes history doesn’t tell us everything. Everton hadn't won away to United since 1992 before their victory this week so the champions will be hoping to avoid a repeat.
Sunderland vs. Tottenham
Who will win this game?
Spurs’ win over Fulham midweek brought an end to their four-game winless run, but the victory won’t have inspired confidence—yet.
Fulham played better than they had done in recent weeks, but Spurs were dependent on two moments of individual brilliance to clinch the win.
While there are greater challenges in the Premier League than Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, the Black Cats will provide Spurs with a stern test.
9 - Sunderland have now scored more Premier League home goals this season than Manchester United. Surprise.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 5, 2013
They have looked more resilient with Gus Poyet at the helm, beating both Newcastle and Manchester City at home since he took the reins.