Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Steven Beacom's Premier League predictions

It's the penultimate weekend of the season when the title race is likely to be decided once and for all and everyone will be a lot clearer about who is going down to the Championship.



Sports Editor Steven Beacom gives his verdict on all the top flight matches with Paddy Power supplying the odds.

All games kick-off at 3pm on Saturday unless stated.

BOLTON v HULL

There is a certain irony that Phil Brown is taking his Hull team back to his old club knowing that he desperately needs a result to keep the Tigers up. Newcastle’s win over Middlesbrough on Monday night means that Hull have dropped into the bottom three. Amazing really given how they thrilled us in the first half of the season. Bolton are safe so this match will matter more to Hull than them. I fancy Brown’s men to earn at least a point. Whether that will be enough, only time will tell.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Bolton 6/5 Hull 23/10 Draw 23/10

EVERTON v WEST HAM

I IMAGINE David Moyes will have a pretty strong side out for this encounter even though the FA Cup final is drawing ever closer. After all, fifth place is still up for grabs. West Ham are going for Europe, but I reckon the Goodison Park faithful will be able to send their heroes off to Wembley with a home win.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Everton 8/11 West Ham 4/1 Draw 5/2

MAN UNITED v ARSENAL|(Saturday 12.45pm)

It will be party time at Old Trafford tomorrow, though let’s hope Arsenal fight like Wigan and don’t surrender like City when they face United.

I guess the best result for all would be a draw with United clinching the title and Arsenal regaining some pride, but somehow I think the Red Devils will beat the Gunners for the third time in a row.

They get to keep them after that. Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured), will probably score the decisive goal.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: United 4/7 Arsenal 5/1 Draw 14/5

MIDDLESBROUGH v ASTON VILLA

For me Gareth Southgate played his best football at Aston Villa. It’s perhaps fitting then that his last home match as Boro boss should be against the midlands outfit. I’m all for young managers being given a chance, but sorry, the way things have gone for a young, gifted Boro side this season, Southgate has to go as soon as he takes the Riverside outfit down. That’s likely to be this weekend.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Boro 8/5 Villa 8/5 Draw 12/5

NEWCASTLE v FULHAM

One win against a sloppy Boro side and all is right with the Toon Army again. Those Geordies are an incredible bunch. They will feel that another victory will be enough to keep them up and with their fans behind them, they will fancy their chances against Fulham.

Roy Hodgson’s men are no mugs though and will give the Magpies a game, though I can see Alan Shearer’s men doing the business.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS:Newcastle 10/11 Fulham 3/1 Draw 12/5

STOKE v WIGAN

My manager of the season is Tony Pulis. He has done a fantastic job keeping Stoke in the Premier League, much like Steve Bruce has done at Wigan over the last few years.

Beacom Prediction: 3-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Stoke 6/5 Wigan 23/10 Draw 23/10

SPURS v MAN CITY

These two can get get together pre-match and speak about surrendering at Old Trafford. City were dreadfully disappointing in the derby last weekend. They may be better at White Hart Lane, but at best they’ll earn a draw.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Spurs 10/11 City 3/1 Draw 5/2

WEST BROM v LIVERPOOL

(Sunday 1.30pm)

Liverpool have given it a real go this season and their form lately has been superb, but unfortunately for Rafael Benitez and his players, it’s come too late.

Had Liverpool played like this back in January and February, they would be celebrating a title this weekend and not United.

Sadly for WBA, if they aren’t all but down already due to results elsewhere, Liverpool will send them back to the Championship this weekend.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: WBA 15/2 Liverpool 4/11 Draw 15/4

CHELSEA v BLACKBURN (Sunday 4pm)

Chelsea are still fuming about what happened to them in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. That’ll be enough to see off Blackburn then. Hey, Didier Drogba might even score!

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Chelsea 3/10 Blackburn 10/1 Draw 4/1

PORTSMOUTH v SUNDERLAND (Monday 8pm)

If Hull and Newcastle manage to win at the weekend, Sunderland would enter this Monday night fixture in the relegation zone.

And those results wouldn’t make life too rosy for Pompey either as they would be back in trouble. Whatever happens, before this fixture, I’ve a feeling home advantage will tell at Fratton Park.

Just another point about this game, isn’t it ridiculous that Sunderland’s loyal supporters have to travel all the way to Portsmouth on Monday night because of TV coverage, just as Pompey followers had to go on the way up to Newcastle a few weeks ago on the same evening.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Pompey 11/10 Sunderland 13/5 Draw 11/5

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