Premier League preview & predictions: Gameweek 16

Toby Cudworth
A big game at Turf Moor awaits
A big game at Turf Moor awaits / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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It's been less than 24 hours since gameweek 15 finished with Wolves' 1-1 draw against Tottenham at Molineux, but there's no rest for the wicked as the Premier League games continue to come thick and fast.

The festive period is known for being tough on the legs, but it's also a great time to build up momentum if you're a frontrunner at the top of the table, a side looking to break into the European qualification spots or a team desperately trying to claw away from trouble.

All 20 teams are back in action over a three-day period, kicking off with Leicester's trip to beleaguered Crystal Palace. Here's 90min's preview and predictions for gameweek 16.


Monday

Crystal Palace vs Leicester

What Time Is Kick Off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Selhurst Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), fuboTV (US)

Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace were once known as a structurally rigid, difficult to break down side who relied heavily on the creative output of Wilfried Zaha.

Not much has changed in regards to Zaha, but Palace's famed organisation at the back has crumbled recently and they come into this game against Leicester having shipped ten goals in their last two outings.

Brendan Rodgers' Foxes have been consistently excellent on the road, meanwhile, and will again be able to look to Jamie Vardy for their goalscoring inspiration. Momentum at this time of year has already been identified as key, and there's no reason to bet against Leicester adding to the Eagles' festive woes.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Leicester


Chelsea vs Aston Villa

What Time Is Kick Off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Stamford Bridge
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), fuboTV (US)

You never really know what you're going to get from Frank Lampard's Chelsea. At times they are electrifying to watch and look unstoppable, but they occasionally look like a bunch of overly priced strangers.

Lampard will need to see the electrifying side of his team against an Aston Villa side who defied a numerical disadvantage against Crystal Palace to run out easy 3-0 winners last time out. That win has been indicative of Dean Smith's season so far - Villa for the most part have been brilliant.

Jack Grealish is the main man for Villa and he's in red-hot form, while Chelsea's Timo Werner is anything but right now - he's without a goal in his last seven Premier League games. Obviously, we know what's probably coming here then...

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa


Everton vs Manchester City

What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Goodison Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

It's been just over a year since Carlo Ancelotti took charge of Everton and what a year it has been on the blue half of Merseyside.

The Italian serial winner has transformed the Toffees' ailing fortunes, and they've gone from Premier League relegation fodder last season to outside title contenders this campaign.

There's no bigger test of a side's credentials than facing up to Manchester City, who really need to string together a run of wins to put the pressure on table-toppers Liverpool and get back on track. Injuries have been cruel to Sergio Aguero so far this season, but the Argentine may be unleashed at a ground where City have won their last three.

Prediction: Everton 1-3 Manchester City


Tuesday

Burnley vs Sheffield United

What Time Is Kick Off? 18:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Turf Moor
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

If it's box office football you're wanting to watch, Turf Moor is probably not the place for you to be come 6pm on Tuesday, December 29.

But if you're a Sheffield United fan, it really doesn't matter what kind of football you play, as long as the 16th time of asking finally provides the Blades with their first win of the season.

A tight cagey affair can be expected as Chris Wilder tackles Sean Dyche's stoic Burnley, and any winner is likely to be the result of some good old fashioned hard graft rather than a moment of individual brilliance. Naturally, we think they'll cancel each other out.

Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United


Brighton vs Arsenal

What Time Is Kick Off? 18:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Amex Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), fuboTV (US)

It's been a pretty horrendous season if you're an Arsenal supporter, but the Boxing Day success over bitter rivals Chelsea not only made Mikel Arteta's evening mince pies taste a hell of a lot sweeter, it offered hope of a revival.

The Gunners were well worthy of their three points, but now must focus on fending off a Brighton side who are in desperate need of a win themselves.

Graham Potter's Seagulls were the better team against West Ham last time out, but a lapse in concentration from a set piece ensured only a point travelled home to the south coast. Come full-time, it could be much the same here.

Prediction: Brighton 0-0 Arsenal


Southampton vs West Ham

What Time Is Kick Off? 18:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? St Mary's
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

Southampton are one of the best Premier League sides to watch when they are in full flow, but Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges were far from their best against Fulham on Boxing Day.

Injuries and illness cost the Saints dearly, whereas West Ham - minus Michail Antonio - simply got their tactics wrong as they stumbled to a point against Brighton at the London Stadium.

The Hammers do have the wood over Southampton recently though, and confidence of picking up a point on the road should be high.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 West Ham


West Brom vs Leeds

What Time Is Kick Off? 18:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? The Hawthorns
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

Defensive masterclasses seldom get the recognition they deserve, but there was plenty of praise doing the rounds after Big Sam's West Brom blunted leaders Liverpool at Anfield with an organised, resolute display.

The Baggies know their limitations and made themselves exceptionally difficult to beat - something their opponents Leeds will likely find an alien concept.

Under Marcelo Bielsa, it's very much a case of we're going to score more than you, something the Whites often do to great effect. Here though...

Prediction: West Brom 1-0 Leeds


Manchester United vs Wolves

What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Old Trafford
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), fuboTV (US)

If you were asked to name the Premier League's most in-form player, Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes would be someone who immediately springs to mind.

The Portuguese has 26 goals and 16 assists to his name in just 44 Premier League appearances; a record that is not only sensational, but has helped propel United towards the top of the table despite some pretty ordinary defensive showings.

Their opposition at Old Trafford is a Wolves side buoyed by their point against Tottenham, but also a Wolves side clearly missing lead talisman Raul Jimenez. Others have attempted to step up - most notably Pedro Neto - and United haven't been great at home this season; a perfectly concocted recipe for a tightly contested affair that could be settled by the odd goal.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Wolves


Wednesday

Tottenham vs Fulham

What Time Is Kick Off? 18:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), fuboTV (US)

At the start of the season, Fulham were written off as relegation dead certs after the limpest of opening day performances against Arsenal.

Since then, the Cottagers have continued to have their defensive woes, but Scott Parker's side have now got some spirit about them and look plenty capable of stroking the ball around to good effect.

They'll need plenty of that to break down Jose Mourinho's Tottenham, though Spurs are going through a bit of a sticky patch after a blistering start to the season. They do love a London derby, however, and Harry Kane does love filling his goalscoring boots around Christmas time.

Prediction: Tottenham 4-0 Fulham


Newcastle vs Liverpool

What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? St James' Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime (UK), fuboTV (US)

The magpies are circling over Newcastle manager Steve Bruce as pressure continues to grow amid a series of stodgy, lifeless performances.

Granted, his side slipped to defeat away at Manchester City last time out, but their prior defeat to Brentford in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals epitomised everything that is continuing to frustrate the Geordie faithful.

The last thing they need is a visit from leaders Liverpool, who should be particularly amped up and ready to do damage after failing to fire against struggling West Brom. Boxing Day was an off day for Mohamed Salah, but don't expect a repeat dose in the north east.

Prediction: Newcastle 0-3 Liverpool


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