EPL Predictions: Picks, Top Players for Week 16 Premier League Fixtures

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02:  Jesse Lingard of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides second goal with his Manchester United team mates during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on December 2, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Manchester City's trip to Manchester United dominates Week 16 of the Premier League season, as second hosts first in this fascinating season.

City, who hold an eight-point lead at the top of the table, can put a massive 11 points between themselves and their rivals with a victory. However, at Old Trafford and after their brilliant win over Arsenal on Saturday, United will feel they have enough to chop the gap down.

Elsewhere, another rivalry will be played out on Sunday, as a red-hot Liverpool host an improving Everton in the Merseyside derby. West Ham United will also host Chelsea at London Stadium.

Read on for the full Week 16 fixture list, a prediction for each clash and a look at a couple of players who will be desperate to make an impact for their side.

             

Week 16 Fixtures

Saturday, December 9

West Ham United vs. Chelsea (0-2), 12:30 p.m.

Burnley vs. Watford (1-1), 3 p.m.

Crystal Palace vs. Bournemouth (2-1), 3 p.m.

Huddersfield Town vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (2-2), 3 p.m.

Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion (1-2), 3 p.m.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Stoke City (2-0), 3 p.m.

Leicester City vs. Newcastle United (2-0), 5:30 p.m.

           

Sunday, December 10

Southampton vs. Arsenal (1-3), 12 p.m.

Liverpool vs. Everton (3-1), 2:15 p.m.

Manchester United vs. Manchester City (1-1), 4:30 p.m.

             

Jesse Lingard, Manchester United

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Jesse Lingard of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on December 2, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by La
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

For a long time, there have been questions asked about Jesse Lingard's suitability at Manchester United, especially with the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata in the squad. As of late, though, the forward has showcased the kind of an influence he can have.

After netting a stunning individual goal against Watford in a 4-2 win, Lingard was on the spot twice more in the 3-1 win against Arsenal on Saturday. The 24-year-old is developing a reputation as a big-game player.

As noted by Simon Stone of BBC Sport, the winger is one of a number of blistering options the Red Devils have in the final third:

Given he's a local lad, this match will mean so much to Lingard, and he will be desperate to make an impression again on a huge stage. He will have a key role to play from a tactical perspective too.

Against a City team that will control possession and overload wide areas, the United man will have a lot of work to get through defensively. Should he turn in another complete performance as he did against Arsenal, Lingard can inspire United to a positive result.

         

Roberto Firmino, Liverpool

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah has grabbed a lot of headlines for Liverpool so far this season, but there are so many enthralling layers to this Reds attack. Roberto Firmino is perhaps the most understated.

The Brazilian doesn't boast the guile of his compatriot Philippe Coutinho, or the searing speed of Mane or Salah. However, he's industrious, intelligent and a brilliant focal point for a Liverpool side that is so fluid elsewhere.

As noted by Goal, in addition to all of those qualities, Firmino regularly chips in with some important goals too, netting a brace last time out against Brighton & Hove Albion:

Against an Everton defence that will sit deep and attempt to stifle Liverpool, his ability to make space and pull those in blue out of a regimented shape will be vital.

Liverpool will be keen to end the Toffees' recent revival with a strong display at Anfield and keep their own excellent recent form going. Firmino is the man who will be vital to unlocking the Everton defence.