Belfast Telegraph

Steven Beacom's Premier League predictions

It is one of those weekends when the Premier League has as many games on a Sunday as it has on a Saturday. Get used to it for the rest of the season with the Europa League back.

Sports Editor Steven Beacom gives his verdict on all the top flight games while Paddy Power provides all the odds.

All matches start at 3pm on Saturday unless stated.

ARSENAL v SUNDERLAND

Are Arsenal still in the title race?Yes and no. Yes because they are only six points behind leaders Chelsea and no because I really don’t believe they can go all the way and win it. The thing is I don’t think Arsenal believe it either. Still, they should defeat Sunderland.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Arsenal 1/5 Draw 5/1 Sunderland 15/1

EVERTON v MAN UNITED |(Saturday 12.45pm)

Wayne Rooney (pictured) may be the flavour of the month in England at the moment, but that won’t mean Everton fans will be throwing flowers at his feet at Goodison Park tomorrow. They’ll jeer him just as much as they jeered John Terry in their last home league game and look how well that went for David Moyes and his side. I can’t see the Toffees winning |2-1 as they did against Chelsea. The scoreline may be the same but this time Everton will be on the wrong side of it. Thanks to Rooney, of course.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Everton 7/2 Draw 12/5 United 5/6

PORTSMOUTH v STOKE |(Saturday 5.30pm)

At the start of the season you would have said this may have been a relegation six-pointer. Not so, Stoke already look safe to me. That’s testament to their manager Tony Pulis, his hard working players, the long throw-ins from Rory Delap and a brilliant home record. They aren’t so hot on the road and with Pompey having gained confidence from winning at Southampton in the FA Cup last week, there may be some cheer at Fratton Park — for a change.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Pompey 13/10 Draw 9/4 Stoke 21/10

WEST HAM v HULL

Now, this is a six-pointer. There have been a few signs recently that West Ham will climb away from trouble, most intriguingly manager Gianfranco Zola standing up to the new owners about potential pay cuts. That sort of thing is loved by players and with it in their minds, the Hammers should have enough to overcome Hull.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: West Ham 4/5 Draw 5/2 Hull 7/2

WOLVES v CHELSEA

John Terry will be back from Dubai and will no doubt come in for some serious stick from the Wolves fans, who are no shrinking violets. This is a vital game for Terry and Chelsea. Both have to reassert themselves, Terry after his appalling display at Everton and Chelsea as a whole who have let United close the gap to one point at the top. I can’t see Wolves holding back a hungry visiting side.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Wolves 9/1 Draw 4/1 Chelsea 3/10

ASTON VILLA v BURNLEY |(Sunday 2pm)

Let’s face it, Villa got lucky against Crystal Palace last weekend in what was a rip-roaring FA Cup tie. With that fortune they are a decent bet to go all the way to Wembley for a second time in May. They shouldn’t need many breaks to beat a Burnley side who can’t buy a result away from home.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Villa 4/11 Draw 10/3 Burnley 9/1

BLACKBURN v BOLTON |(Sunday noon)

Always an interesting tussle and made all the more so because Blackburn are managed by former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce. Home win.

Beacom Prediction: 3-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Blackburn 17/20 Draw 23/10 Bolton 7/2

FULHAM v BIRMINGHAM |(Sunday 3pm)

So, could this be a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final? I can hear most of you saying, “hope not”. Should make for a decent Premier League game though.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Fulham 11/10 Draw 9/4 Birmingham 13/5

MAN CITY v LIVERPOOL |(Sunday 3pm)

Biggest game of the weekend. Liverpool may have played in Europe last night but in comparison to this clash at City it meant little. Fernando Torres has a great record against City but unless he makes a miracle recovery, he won’t play and that makes it difficult for the Reds, who are functional without him. City know this is their big chance to take a huge step towards that top four spot. Roberto Mancini should know that Liverpool have beaten Villa and Spurs in these crunch games in the past couple of months, so it’s a close one to call. Too close even for me.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: City 6/4 Draw 9/4 Liverpool 9/5

WIGAN v SPURS (Sunday 4.15pm)

Given the poor run that Spurs have been on in the league of late, it’s incredible that they still have a real chance of finishing in the top four. Put that down to the inability of the other contenders to put any sort of winning run together. They are more likely to have success in the FA Cup, but hey, I’ve been wrong before. As for their trip to Wigan, I fancy Tottenham to earn a vital away win, with Jermain Defoe on target.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Wigan 14/5 Draw 23/10 Spurs evens

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