Thank you for your reading and interest in the news Premier League is back! Manchester City delay Liverpool celebrations, misery for Mourinho, Chelsea on fire: The predictions in pictures and now with details
Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WEDNESDAY (UAE kick-off times): Aston Villa v Sheffield United (9pm): And we’re back! Kicking off the restart will be Sheffield United – this season’s surprise package, sitting in seventh place – travelling to second-bottom Villa. The Blades have the second meanest defence in the top-flight but Villa are fighting for their lives and have actually scored more goals than their opponents. The Blades won the corresponding fixture at Bramall Lane in December 2-0. A low-scoring draw at Villa Park. Prediction: Villa 1 Sheffield United 1. PA
Manchester City v Arsenal (11.15pm): All eyes on the Etihad Stadium, particularly from the red half of Merseyside. City can prevent Liverpool from clinching the title on Monday if they can beat Arsenal, like they managed in the corresponding fixture at the Emirates in December when they won 3-0. It will be a quick return to the Etihad for Gunners manager Mikel Arteta who worked under Pep Guardiola for three years before taking over the north London club in December. But it won’t be a happy return for the Spaniard – or good news for Liverpool – as City power to three points. Prediction: City 3 Arsenal 1. Getty
FRIDAY: Norwich City v Southampton (9pm): Bottom of the pile Norwich will be desperate to restart with a win, as they are currently six points away from safety. The Saints triumphed 2-1 when the teams met at St Mary’s in November and this will be another tight battle. The Canaries fly away with three points … but only just. Prediction: Norwich 3 Southampton 2. Getty
Friday: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United (11.15pm): A key battle in the race for a Champions League spot which sees Spurs manager Jose Mourinho taking on the club that sacked him in 2018. The Portuguese suffered his first defeat in his new role when United triumphed 2-1 at Old Trafford in December. Harry Kane should be back from injury for Spurs who will be without the suspended Dele Alli. This would have been the type of fixture where a Mourinho masterclass would see his team secure a tight victory – but are his motivational powers now firmly on the wane? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had his team playing well before the lockdown and will fancy their chances. Prediction: Tottenham 1 United 3. Getty
SATURDAY: Watford v Leicester City (3.30pm): The first of four games sees the Hornets, fighting for their top-flight lives, take on the flying Foxes who are dreaming of Champions League football. Leicester swept aside Watford 2-0 at home in December and will be looking for a repeat performance at Vicarage Road. Prediction: Watford 1 Leicester 2. Reuters
Brighton v Arsenal (6pm): The Gunners’ second game in three days against a Brighton side who became draw specialists before the break with five games out of their last seven finishing all square. But the Seagulls are also without a win in their previous nine league games and are battling for survival. When the two teams met at the Emirates in December, Brighton ran out shock 2-1 winners but that was before the appointment of Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are a different proposition now. Prediction: Brighton 0 Arsenal 2. Getty
West Ham United v Wolverhampton (8.30pm): The Hammers are well and truly in a relegation dogfight under manager David Moyes, while Wolves have their eyes on European football again next season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team won the corresponding fixture 2-0 in December, but might have to settle for their 14th draw of the season this time round. Prediction: West Ham 2 Wolves 2. Getty
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (10.45pm): Bournemouth had lost three of their last four games before the break, leaving them hovering in and around the relegation zone and will be hoping to find some form for the restart. Palace, on the other hand, have won their last three games 1-0 to haul them away from the relegation zone. The Eagles won the corresponding fixture by that same scoreline in December and expect only one goal in it again this time. Prediction: Bournemouth 1 Palace 2. Getty
SUNDAY: Newcastle United v Sheffield United (5pm): First game back for Steve Bruce’s side who should be safe from the drop barring a catastrophic run of results. Neither side are prolific scorers so don’t expect a goal fest at St James’ Park but Newcastle enjoyed one of their best results of the season when they won 2-0 at Bramall Lane in December and could well take the honours again on Tyneside. Prediction: Newcastle 1 Sheffield United 0
Aston Villa v Chelsea (4.15pm): Frank Lampard’s side will be extremely disappointed not to secure Champions League football, especially with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner seemingly in the bag for next season. The Blues took the honours 2-1 against Villa at Stamford Bridge in December – with Mason Mount scoring the winner - and will be looking for more of the same in the midlands. Prediction: Aston Villa 1 Chelsea 3. Getty
Everton v Liverpool (10pm): Could this be the day that Liverpool are crowned champions? That could well be case if Arsenal managed to beat Manchester City on the opening day of the restart and to do it at the home of your local rivals would be particularly sweet. Jurgen Klopp’s side have already beaten Everton twice this season – 5-2 in the league and 1-0 in the FA Cup – and you can’t see any other winner this time round. Incredibly, the Toffees have not won a Merseyside derby since 2010 so it would be a shock if they manage it now. Prediction: Everton 0 Liverpool 2. AFP
MONDAY: Manchester City v Burnley (11pm): Sean Dyche’s Burnley are the last team back in action – and it’s a daunting return away to City. Guardiola’s side trounced the Clarets 4-1 at Turf Moor in December and if feels like a similar scoreline is heading their way. Prediction: City 3 Burnley 0. Getty
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