Belfast Telegraph

Premier League predictions: Liverpool v West Ham, Manchester United v Leicester and Chelsea v Man City

Every week Sports Editor Steven Beacom takes on a reader or well known personality 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 David Maxwell.

After a couple of cracking Capital One Cup semi-finals in midweek, hopefully the Premier League will be just as dramatic this weekend. It should be with Chelsea facing City.

Hopefully I can get back on track in the predictions battles after losing a close game two weeks ago to Joanne Hayden of Linwoods. In five seasons of doing this, for the first time I'm in serious danger of losing to the readers. Better beat today's opponent then... Man United fan David Maxwell. Check out our predictions below and my views on all the games.

HULL v NEWCASTLE (Today 12.45pm): The good news for Hull players is that Alan Pardew is no longer around at Newcastle to head-butt any of them! Hull could do with using their heads themselves to move away from relegation danger... in the appropriate manner of course.

Beacom Prediction: Hull 2 Newcastle 1

Maxwell Prediction: Hull 2 Newcastle 1

PALACE v EVERTON (Today 3pm): Talking about Alan Pardew, what a job he is doing at Palace since moving from Newcastle. Roberto Martinez needs some of that inspiration.

Beacom Prediction: Palace 1 Everton 2

Maxwell Prediction: Palace 1 Everton 2

LIVERPOOL v WEST HAM (Today 3pm): Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing are back at Anfield hoping to hammer home a message to Brendan Rodgers and West Ham are looking to do the double over the Reds. Dangerous game for Liverpool, but Steven Gerrard normally delivers once a season against the Eastenders and Daniel Sturridge might be on the bench. Enough for the Merseysiders to edge it.

Beacom Prediction: Liverpool 2 West Ham 1

Maxwell Prediction: Liverpool 1 West Ham 1

MAN UNITED v LEICESTER (Today 3pm): When these two met earlier in the season Leicester came from behind to triumph 5-3 in a super game. Lightning won't strike twice.

Beacom Prediction: Man United 3 Leicester 1

Maxwell Prediction: Man United 4 Leicester 0

STOKE v QPR (Today 3pm): Will this be the day when QPR finally do something away from home? You wouldn't think they could get a result at Stoke, but hey, they have to deliver on the road one of these days.

Beacom Prediction: Stoke 1 QPR 1

Maxwell Prediction: Stoke 3 QPR 0

SUNDERLAND v BURNLEY (Today 3pm): This is 16th versus 17th with 20 points and almost the same goal difference. Not much between them, though a Jermain Defoe strike might change that.

Beacom Prediction: Sunderland 2 Burnley 1

Maxwell Prediction: Sunderland 2 Burnley 1

WBA v SPURS (Today 3pm): Still buoyed by the arrival of Tony Pulis, the Baggies can shade this.

Beacom Prediction: WBA 2 Spurs 1

Maxwell Prediction: WBA 1 Spurs 2

CHELSEA v MAN CITY (Today 5.30pm): Okay, forget the rest, here's the best... the biggest game of the weekend and the biggest game of the season so far. It's crunch time and the build-up has only served to heighten the tension. Chelsea's Diego Costa is suspended for the eagerly awaited showdown after the FA banned him for stamping against Liverpool in midweek. Jose Mourinho has not taken the news well. The Special One has turned into the Sulky One, blaming the authorities and media for what he sees as a witch hunt. Come on, Jose, outstanding striker he may be, but dirty Diego deserved his ban. The siege mentality will be bursting out of the home dressing room at kick-off with John Terry and co ready for war. All that and we haven't even mentioned Frank Lampard's return to Stamford Bridge yet. Imagine if he nets the winner for City after the referee denies, say, Eden Hazard a clear penalty? Mourinho will think about going to court for crimes against Chelsea! City, five points behind in the title race, can't afford to lose. Without Yaya Toure, at the African Cup of Nations, it'll be a huge ask for them to win, but possible. It would help if captain Vincent Kompany got his finger out.

Beacom Prediction: Chelsea 1 Man City 2

Maxwell Prediction: Chelsea 2 Man City 0

ARSENAL v VILLA (Tomorrow 1.30pm): Comfortable home victory.

Beacom Prediction: Arsenal 3 Villa 1

Maxwell Prediction: Arsenal 4 Villa 0

SOUTHAMPTON v SWANSEA (Tomorrow 4pm): Easy on the eye 90 minutes. Home win.

Beacom Prediction: Southampton 2 Swansea 1

Maxwell Prediction: Southampton 2 Swansea 0

The state of play: Steven Beacom 5 The Public 7

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