Match to catch
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez continues to infuriate and delight in equal measures, perfectly highlighted by his performance against Newcastle last week, when he scored an incredible goal and wound up the man who attempted to mark him, Fabricio Coloccini, so much that the Argentinian tried to take his leg off and ended up getting sent off. Whatever you think of him, the Uruguayan remains vital to Liverpool’s chances, having netted more than half of their 13 Premier League goals this season. If he comes up against Chelsea’s non-defending defender David Luiz in this match, expect him to add to that tally. Prediction: Chelsea to be too strong for Reds.
Keep an eye on
Two exciting but flawed teams meet at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, when Manchester City entertain Tottenham. Neither side has come close to forming a solid defence this season, with the Blues in particular coming unstuck in the Champions League as Roberto Mancini struggles to find his strongest backline. Spurs too have been vulnerable at the back while remaining capable of scoring plenty of goals, so this should be an entertaining contest. Prediction: City to edge it.
For the purists
The prospect of Stoke City — who have failed to score in three of their last four matches — at home to winless QPR is not a happy one. The game will undoubtedly be full of wholehearted endeavour, but inspiration and class will be in short supply. Mark Hughes’ side are likely to be there for the taking, but the Potters’ goalscoring woes could let them off the hook. Prediction: Bore draw.
West Brom’s 2-0 victory over Southampton last Monday was the Baggies’ fifth league win of the season and took them up to fifth in the table with 17 points — meaning they are set to stay well clear of the dreaded relegation battle. While much harder assignments await, boss Steve Clarke can be proud of the start he has made in his first managerial assignment. On Saturday they go to Wigan, another perennial struggler to have made an encouraging start. Prediction: Both teams to settle for a draw.
Need a win
These are bleak times for Sunderland, who have just one goal and two points to show for their last four games. Under Martin O’Neill, that master of the quick fix, the Black Cats seem to be going backwards quickly and an unexpected season of struggle could be on the cards. On Saturday they visit impressive Everton, where their chances of doubling their season’s tally of wins seem remote. Prediction: Everton.
Last week’s predictions
The Gulf News crystal ball got a healthy four out of five calls correct, with only Manchester City going awry — I backed them to edge a close game at West Ham, but they could only manage a goalless draw and were perhaps lucky to even get that as Kevin Nolan was unfortunate to have an early strike ruled out for offside.