Premier League Predictions
Every week Sports Editor Steven Beacom takes on a reader trying to predict the scores for the weekend fixtures in the Premier League. It is three points for naming the correct scoreline and one point for getting the result right. The top scoring reader will win a prize in May. Today he does battle with Irish League legend Lee Doherty
I'm on a roll having beaten Man City fan Davy McClean and Glentoran great Scott Young in the last two prediction battles and now revenge is in the air. Today former Linfield, Glenavon and Northern Ireland star Lee Doherty, now assistant manager of Ballymena United, is my opponent. Last season he gave me my biggest ever trouncing, so I'm hoping for a different outcome this weekend.
BURNLEY v SOUTHAMPTON (Today 3pm): The Saints have been superb at times this season and were unlucky in defeats to Arsenal and Manchester United lately, but the harsh reality for Ronald Koeman's team is that they can't beat opposition likely to be top six material in the Premier League. They'll be glad to face Burnley today then.
Beacom Prediction: Burnley 1 Southampton 2
Doherty Prediction: Burnley 1 Southampton 1
CHELSEA v HULL (Today 3pm): The unbeaten record may have gone at Newcastle last weekend, but Jose Mourinho's desire to be champions is as insatiable as ever. Poor old Hull may feel the backlash from Chelsea's loss to Alan Pardew's men.
Beacom Prediction: Chelsea 3 Hull 1
Doherty Prediction: Chelsea 3 Hull 0
PALACE v STOKE (Today 3pm): I'm thinking Palace's defenders will compete more against Peter Crouch and Stoke than Arsenal's back four did last time out.
Beacom Prediction: Palace 2 Stoke 1
Doherty Prediction: Palace 0 Stoke 1
LeICESTER v MAN CITY (Today 3pm): It'll be intriguing to see how Leicester fans react with Nigel Pearson back at the King Power stadium (I miss Filbert Street) for the first time since having a ding-dong with a Foxes fan during their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool. Pearson needs a win, but he's not going to get it against City is he? The other Manchester lot may have been thumped 5-3 by Leicester earlier this season but City, especially on the back of making it into the last 16 of the Champions League, will be a different animal, even without the injured Sergio Aguero.
Beacom Prediction: Leicester 1 Man City 3
Doherty Prediction: Leicester 1 Man City 3
SUNDERLAND v WEST HAM (Today 3pm): After being jeered and told he was a useless lump (that's the printable version) by West Ham fans last season Sam Allardyce is now having the time of his life. Former Newcastle man Andy Carroll, certain to get a lovely warm welcome from the Sunderland fans, will aim to keep his boss smiling.
Beacom Prediction: Sunderland 1 West Ham 1
Doherty Prediction: Sunderland 1 West Ham 1
WBA v VILLA (Today 3pm): Gareth McAuley's tussle with Christian Benteke might just decide this one.
Beacom Prediction: WBA 2 Villa 1
Doherty Prediction: WBA 1 Villa 1
ARSENAL v NEWCASTLE (Today 5.30pm): I get the fact that some Arsenal fans want Arsene Wenger out. I just wish they would do it with a bit more class. The Frenchman deserves that. Oh, and by the way the Gunners will beat Newcastle tonight.
Beacom Prediction: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 1
Doherty Prediction: Arsenal 2 Newcastle 1
MAN UNITED v LIVERPOOL (Tomorrow 1.30pm): The Red Lion v the Dog and Duck (copyright Gary Neville) remains and probably always will be the BIGGEST match in English football. Louis van Gaal must have found a four leaf clover because his United side have been fortunate to win five games in a row. Mind you, when Sir Alex Ferguson's teams were playing poorly and winning, didn't everyone say that was the sign of a good side? Defensively United are shakier than Bambi on ice, but Robin van Persie's return to form has been a big help. As for the Anfield outfit, they need to step it up big style. The old 'we're missing Suarez and Sturridge' line may be true but it's getting old. Those in the team have to start delivering and help Steven Gerrard who can't do everything on his own. They also need to produce a big result for their under pressure manager Brendan Rodgers. Should be compelling. Expect goals and maybe a red card or two.
Beacom Prediction: United 2 Liverpool 2
Doherty Prediction: United 2 Liverpool 1
SWANSEA v SPURS (Tomorrow 4pm): Draw for me.
Beacom Prediction: Swansea 2 Spurs 2
Doherty Prediction: Swansea 3 Spurs 1
EVERTON v QPR (Monday 8pm): Home win.
Beacom Prediction: Everton 4 QPR 2
Doherty Prediction: Everton 2 QPR 0
The state of play
Steven Beacom 4 The Public 5