Charlie Nicholas returns for his latest round of Premier League predictions with a look ahead to Liverpool vs Manchester United and Burnley vs Leicester, both live on Renault Super Sunday.
Newcastle vs Chelsea - Saturday Night Football, live from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm
I have never seen injuries like it at Newcastle. It may have been Rochdale but Steve Bruce wanted his side to get through. He is not particularly fighting a relegation battle but how things could materialise could mean that they end up doing so. There is still a lot of work to done.
Newcastle are sitting on 26 points and may need 40 to survive - we are looking at around four wins and two draws. They may have to play this like an away game. The fans will not like it but they are down to the bare bones. Chelsea are strong away from home and can hit on the counter-attack if Newcastle leave that option open.
Newcastle vs Chelsea
January 18, 2020, 5:00pm
Chelsea will want to keep the gap to Wolves, Manchester United, Sheffield United, Tottenham and Arsenal. They will not want to go too inconsistent, as they will be concerned again.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-3 (11/1 with Sky Bet)
Burnley vs Leicester - Renault Super Sunday, live from 1pm on Sky Sports Premier League, kick-off 2pm
Burnley are right in the mix at the bottom. The only two people we genuinely talk about are Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes. They have never been consistent goalscorers; they may get 12 or 10, perhaps jump up to 15, but that is not enough to be a top-half team, unless they have wide players or midfielders, like Jeff Hendrick or Dwight McNeil.
These people have not been talked about for a while. At the back, the vulnerability is there and is certainly questionable. When you try to break Burnley down and understand, it is so hard to predict. Leicester can take the physicality but they want teams to come at them. Leicester have lost a little bit, and after the heavy defeat at Liverpool, they may have been questioned, especially the players by Brendan Rodgers.
Burnley vs Leicester
January 19, 2020, 1:00pm
James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, and Harvey Barnes had a reality check of the level they are trying to achieve. Vardy can be quiet for 75 minutes and score a goal, that is Jamie Vardy and he can hurt you all of the time. Leicester will falter and come off the gas, but this is what happens with that style of play. Burnley are digging their heels in at the minute, it will not be glamorous and Leicester will try to get it down but will be harassed.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (6/1 with Sky Bet)
Liverpool vs Manchester United - Renault Super Sunday, live from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
Manchester United are going there scared. For the first time in many years, you could see Liverpool giving them a proper hiding. What does that mean for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? What does that mean for the young players? Marcus Rashford is carrying them.
Man United will not want to be embarrassed, but if Liverpool score quickly and get their two full-backs bombing, it could spell trouble.
Liverpool vs Man Utd
January 19, 2020, 4:00pm
I am not saying this is easy to do, but Liverpool have something within them right now that is saying they are not giving up the belief that they can go unbeaten. Liverpool have kept six successive clean sheets and that is telling us they have tightened up there.
United proved me wrong at the Etihad and they may do so again - but I can only see a very comfortable Liverpool win. This is Anfield, the crowd will want blood and for Liverpool to give them more; it is one of these days where Liverpool will flex their muscles, say they will be champions, and that is what I think will materialise.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)
Tottenham will miss Harry Kane. They have survived before but he is their best player, so they will miss him. They have the same defence that they have had in the last three or four years. They still play the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Harry Winks just in front, as well as adding Davinson Sanchez to that over the years. Where is the crisis? Is there really that much to worry about?
I heard the Tottenham fans were having a pop at Christian Eriksen. Why are they booing him? Did they boo Vertonghen, Alderweireld or Rose? No. Why focus on Christian Eriksen? He has been a fabulous player for them. They are back to being pessimists and searching for excuses.
Nigel Pearson has been honest and told his Watford team that they are good players. The defence are listening to Pearson as he knows what he is doing in that department. They are getting more and more belief, despite this being a tough match.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)
Sheffield United may have been drained from going to Manchester City and Liverpool over the festive period, which is no surprise.
They got lucky against West Ham last week, and there was not a comfort zone there where they looked natural and could squeeze the game. They can go and squeeze Arsenal as they take a risk at the back. If they can get at them for 20-25, they might just start to give them doubt.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out and quite rightly, so, there is no debate about that, but Arsenal can adjust. They need more from Nicolas Pepe, but Alexandre Lacazette can turn it around for them and Mikel Arteta can ask him to be in the penalty box more. It was only a draw at Crystal Palace, but they should have had the game won in the first 45 minutes.
Arsenal are only seven points above the drop zone, and I do not see that materialising but they are closer to that than they are to Chelsea. I will go for an Arsenal win, but it will take them some time to break Sheffield United down.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-1 (14/1 with Sky Bet)
Super 6: More Lessons for the Blades?
Sheffield United have lost their last two away games after being unbeaten for the duration before that. Super 6 players seem to have lost faith, with 68 per cent backing another win for Mikel Arteta`s men. Will you go against the grain? Play for free here.
I was having a chat with Jeff on Friday and Saturday - he was having a go when I went 0-5 for Manchester City, but the signs were there for Villa, and I got the margin of victory correct. Wesley is out, but what has he done that means they will dramatically miss him? Defensively, they are wide open and do not get the proper protection from the midfielders.
I do admire Dean Smith, as he wants to attack. He wants to play Jack Grealish in a forward position more than he likes but I like him there. Anwar El Ghazi is playing up there too despite Villa buying all of these attacking players. They need to get their basics back; the three centre-backs were excellent at Leicester but were left exposed against Manchester City, as the protectors did not do their job and went missing.
Brighton are not playing bad enough to be in the position they are. Glenn Murray should have got the equaliser last week at Everton, and that would have nicked a nice draw at Goodison Park. They could have easily got something from it. Brighton are a team that can hold their own, especially at home.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Super 6: More Misery for the Villains?
A hefty 58 per cent of Super 6 entrants are expecting Aston Villa to stay in the relegation zone as they take the trip to The Amex, while only one in five players have tipped Dean Smith`s side for victory. What score will take your fancy, with £250k up for grabs? Play for free.