Chelsea to glide past Burnley; Premier League predictions

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All top three teams face what they would claim to be easy ties on Saturday, whilst we will also be provided with two basement battles. 

Here are our predictions for the weekend's matches:

Aston Villa 1 - 1 Stoke City

It will be interesting to see how Tim Sherwood fares in his first game on the touchline for Aston Villa since taking the reins last week as the successor to Paul Lambert. The former Spurs boss watched on as his new side edged through to the FA Cup Quarter Final in a 2-1 victory over Leicester City in their last outing.

If it is improvements that Sherwood is looking for, he should not mess around with the starting line-up. The eleven who featured against Leicester should be in the frame to start this game against Stoke and the new manager should concentrate on tweaking their playing style instead of knocking their chemistry.

The visitors on the other hand have conceded eight goals in their previous two games in all competitions, as Blackburn Rovers waltzed their way past the Potters in the FA Cup on Saturday. There should be no fears of conceding too many against a goal-shy Aston Villa, but now relegation fears are setting in, more of a fight will be put in by the home side.

Chelsea 2 - 0 Burnley

Although Chelsea may be tired from their Champions League away draw in Paris on Tuesday evening, I find it hard to see them failing to see off Burnley at Stamford Bridge. 

A poor run of results for Sean Dyche's side have seen them drop back into the relegation zone and if they are hoping to escape the danger, they will have to look elsewhere because it seems almost inevitable that Chelsea will put the visitors to sleep.

Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Arsenal

This is the perfect occasion for Yaya Sanogo to prove himself to his parent club and Arsene Wenger after he was loaned to Palace in January and I certainly think the Frenchman will put on a show.

The Gunners are doing really well in terms of form in the Premier League and will see this game as a fantastic chance to bolster their Champions League hopes for next season.

Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud have all returned from injury recently and the trio have all managed to score at least two goals since their recoveries so that indicates that confidence at the Emirates is at a high.

Hull City 2 - 0 Queens Park Rangers 

Deadline day singing Dame N'Doye made his full debut against Aston Villa in the Tigers' previous game and the Senegalese international certainly made his presence known with an assist and a goal, earning himself the man of the match award deservedly so.

Should the 29-year-old perform in the same manner as he did a week-and-a-half ago, QPR defenders should be on their toes whilst keeping tabs on equally as threatening forward, Nikica Jelavic.

The Hoops, like Hull, pulled off a monumental away victory last time out against Sunderland, registering their first points on the road of the season, so confidence will certainly be flowing through the blood of newly appointed temporary manager, Chris Ramsay.

Sunderland 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion

Gus Poyet will be desperate for his side to take all three points after back-to-back embarrassing defeats against QPR and Bradford and I think his players will rise to the occasion.

West Brom are not in desperate need of a victory, but winning the game would generate more safety and comfortability amongst the fans in terms of their Premier League survival.

The stakes are much higher for the home side and I can see them putting up an invincible performance.

Swansea City 0 - 1 Manchester United

I can foresee this game as being one of the less entertaining of the weekend's bundle of fixtures but the visitors could deliver yet another of their painstaking last minute goals to destroy Swansea. 

I will say every week that selling Wilfried Bony will be one of the biggest mistakes that Garry Monk will ever make, but it has happened now and there is no changing that. The pressure is on for Bafetimbi Gomis to fill the Ivorian's boots and that is making the summer signing too uncomfortable. I struggle to see where most of Swansea's goals will come from this season.

Manchester City 2 - 2 Newcastle United

Games between these two sides never fail to produce thrills, spills and pure entertainment, and I can see Saturday's teatime kick-off providing yet another tasty recipe to tuck into.

What I like about Newcastle is their spirit and desire to beat the big teams. They always put on a fight at the biggest and most intimidating of Premier League arenas and they will be full of belief after beating City at the Etihad in the League Cup back in 2014. 

The home side have Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure back from international duty after winning the African Cup of Nations and their return is vital for Manuel Pellegrini because they are struggling without the pair.

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Manchester City
Stoke City
Crystal Palace
Premier League
Swansea City
West Bromwich Albion
Manchester United
Hull City
Newcastle United
Aston Villa

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