EPL Week 25 Predictions: Premier League Picks, Key Players and Fixtures

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2018

Manchester United's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez gestures during the FA Cup fourth round football match between Yeovil Town and Manchester United at Huish Park in Yeovil, Somerset on January 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / - / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
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Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez could make their Premier League debuts for Arsenal and Manchester United, respectively, when the league slate resumes over Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Gunners face a tricky trip to relegation-threatened Swansea City, while United will also be away from home when they visit Wembley Stadium to face Tottenham Hotspur. Defeat would all but end the title race with three months of the season still to play.

Here are this week's full fixtures, along with picks:

          

Tuesday, January 30

  • Swansea City vs. Arsenal, 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET. (Arsenal)
  • West Ham United vs. Crystal Palace, 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET. (Draw)
  • Huddersfield Town vs. Liverpool, 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET. (Draw)

           

Wednesday, January 31

  • Chelsea vs. Bournemouth, 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET. (Chelsea)
  • Everton vs. Leicester City, 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET. (Leicester)
  • Newcastle United vs. Burnley, 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET, (Draw)
  • Southampton vs. Brighton & Hove Albion, 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET. (Southampton)
  • Manchester City vs. West Bromwich Albion, 8 p.m GMT/3 p.m. ET. (City)
  • Stoke City vs. Watford, 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET. (Stoke)
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United, 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET. (United)

             

Mkhitaryan was Arsenal's reward for letting Sanchez move to Old Trafford. For it to look like a good deal from an Arsenal perspective, the Armenia international must prove he can excel in England's top flight, something he struggled to do in United red.

Mkhitaryan is yet to make his Arsenal debut.
Mkhitaryan is yet to make his Arsenal debut.Julian Finney/Getty Images

At his best, the forward exudes the flair and technique at the heart of the Gunners' free-flowing style of play.

His national team manager, Artur Petrosyan, believes the move to north London will bring out the best in Mkhitaryan, per Goal's Chris Burton: "I think Henrikh had a problem with the United coach, and at Arsenal it will be another thing and not the same situation. There will not be so much pressure on him defensively. Yes, he [Arsene Wenger] likes them to play better football. I think Wenger is better for Henrikh."

For his part, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has to fit Mkhitaryan into a squad already home to several creative midfielders, such as Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Alexi Iwobi.

Wenger believes Mkhitaryan could play more centrally and perhaps from slightly deeper than he did at United, per Metro's Tom Olver: "He has usually been a wide player and can absorb the role as a winger, playmaker, but he can be a box-to-box player."

Wenger needs to find the right way to use Mkhitaryan.
Wenger needs to find the right way to use Mkhitaryan.Clive Rose/Getty Images

Arsenal's manager also admitted he still hasn't decided if Mkhitaryan will start at the Liberty Stadium. However, given how much the Gunners need the points in their pursuit of the top four, as well as the need to get the new man up to speed, it's likely Mkhitaryan will be involved.

Wenger's men will need their new signing, even against the side bottom of the table. The Swans are coming off an impressive 1-0 home win over Liverpool, a game where the Reds' lack of creativity was exposed.

Sanchez didn't take long to make an impact for United, helping the Red Devils beat League Two side Yeovil Town 4-0 away in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday. The Chile international provided a pair of assists as part of a performance defined by his typical energy and endeavour.

United manager Jose Mourinho hailed the difference Sanchez can make, per Anthony Chapman of The Sun: "His choice for the second goal is a choice that a player like Marcus Rashford is too nervous to make that kind of decision. He brings maturity and class."

Mourinho was left impressed by Sanchez's first showing in a United shirt.
Mourinho was left impressed by Sanchez's first showing in a United shirt.Dan Mullan/Getty Images

A fast start from Sanchez is bad news for Spurs, who are used to being undermined by the South American forward. Sanchez scored twice against Tottenham during his days as an Arsenal player and regularly proved a menace for a well-drilled defence.

Of course, Spurs have their own attacking talisman in the shape of striker Harry Kane. The prolific No. 10 is one short of 30 goals for the season and one shy of a century in the Premier League after netting in the 1-1 draw against Southampton, per Lewis Jones of Sky Sports.

Those dropped points against the Saints harmed Tottenham's hopes for a top-four finish. Failing to beat United will be a more damaging blow if Arsenal win the day before.

The Red Devils need the points since leaders Manchester City will be expected to beat West Bromwich Albion at home. Meanwhile, both Spurs and the Gunners will hope Huddersfield Town can force an off night from Liverpool.

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