Matt, also known on Twitter as the Gooner in California, is our guest player for the next two rounds in a real back-to-back Head2Head challenge. Matt has played head2head with us before and we’re happy to welcome him back for another go during the festive season! Matt has a website dedicated to his favourite team, Arsenal, check it out.
Matt: Hull 0-1 Everton
Everton are in a really good run of form, including the defeats of Arsenal and Leicester and holding Liverpool to only one goal in the derby. Hull may get pushy on the pitch, but it’s reasonable to expect that a second-half performance like Boxing Day versus Manchester City will occur.
Dirk: Hull 0 – 2 Everton
Everton are getting into a rhythm and should be able to see off Hull quite easily. Important transfer window coming up for Hull – if they don’t make some great signings they’ll be dropping back to the Championship very, very quickly!
Marcel: Hull 1 – 1 Everton WP
Hull’s problems are obvious. Rooted to the bottom of the table with 4 defeats in the last 5 outings. Everton are 7th and it would be easy to suggest they should walk this fixture but if you watch the toffees you’d be hard pressed to think they were in the top 10.
Matt: Leicester 1-1 West Ham
With Vardy suspended and speculation over Mahrez’s future, I think that West Ham can take it to the league champions. Schmeichel may be the MOTM for this fixture.
Dirk: Leicester 1 – 2 West Ham
Three wins in a row for West Ham, and the champions are well – pretty badly out of form. West Ham to make it four in a row for me. Leicester have a lot of questions to ask about themselves.
Marcel: Leicester 0 – 1 West Ham
Leicester without Vardy are basically Hull in blue shirts. Even with the Vardy faces in the stadium in the previous fixture the team lacked any penetration. By contrast, WHU are getting their ducks in a row, this should be their fourth win in a row.
Matt: Burnley 1-0 Sunderland WP
It’s the extremely busy Christmas period and I believe that the fighters will have an advantage with the Championship-like fixture list. George Boyd would probably be more dynamic if he ever washed his hair.
Dirk: Burnley 1 – 0 Sunderland WP
Burnley were extremely lucky to pick up 3 points at Boro, but you make your luck and they should have enough to see off Sunderland. Sunderland another club who need to have an extremely good window to stay up!
Marcel: Burnley 1 – 0 Sunderland WP
Sunderland are only 3 points behind Leicester, so a win would put them well above the relegation zone. This alone tells you they will capitulate and lose at a rather resilient Burnley who have won three straight at home.
Matt: Chelsea 2-0 Stoke WP
Stoke have some really impressive talents that step up on occasion. I expect Conti to outwit and outmuscle Hughes with his squad, however.
Dirk: Chelsea 2 – 0 Stoke WP
Chelsea running the EPL show right now and Stoke whimpered a bit against Liverpool, more fight needed to really put the table-toppers under any real pressure.
Marcel: Chelsea 1 – 0 Stoke WP
Chelsea to extend their run of consecutive wins to 13, although Stoke will push them all the way and may even dominate possession.
Matt: Manchester United 2-0 Middlesbrough WP
Who expected Zlatan to meld the front line of United?! I certainly did not, but everything seems to be going through him as he plays something of a 9 and 10 role. United are on a great run, and I think Jose will go for the kill this week.
Dirk: Man United 1 – 1 Boro
I can see Boro taking the game to United here. They were extremely unlucky to lose to Burnley. Valdez will have making up to do, and against United he will have a point to prove. Boro do need a goal scorer though, and that may hamper them in this game.
Marcel: Manchester 3 – 0 Middlesbrough WP
Last chance for Zlatan to score more goals and extend his 2016 tally above 50 for the calendar year. United have been creating chances all season but of late they are converting too, possibly an avalanche on the cards. Dirk will back the underdog because he’s secretly a Boro fan.
Matt: Southampton 2-1 West Brom
Even though West Brom made Arsenal work for a measly 1-0 victory last week, there was never a point where the anxiety of conceding to them was evident. They may take a chance on the break, but Southampton’s quality will top the draw.
Dirk: Southampton 2 – 1 West Brom
Saints to edge it for me. They were competitive against Spurs until the sending off, and that skewed the score line somewhat. Expect them to get back to winning ways here at home against a good West Brom side.
Marcel: Southampton 1 – 0 West Brom
These two are separated by just one point on the table and are neck and neck on the points gathered home and away. It could be a dull match or a cracker with them so evenly matched. Home side takes it for me.
Matt: Swansea 0-2 Bournemouth WP
The historic manager in Bob Bradley is out after only a few MLS-style performances and even more cringeworthy interviews. Eddie Howe’s boys will show the Swans what a true team can do. Sorry, Gylfi but you’d look better in red anyway!
Dirk: Swansea 0 – 1 Bournemouth WP
Who next at the helm at Swansea? A team in a serious crisis. Bournemouth to win here just on organisation and being a settled side. Big changes needed at Swansea, and quickly!
Marcel: Swansea 1 – 0 Bournemouth
Bit of a shot in the dark because we don’t know what’s happening after Bradley departed, or why. Obviously the results weren’t going his way but we’ll probably never know if he had the players on his side or not in such a short time.
Matt: Liverpool 2-1 Manchester City WP
Shocker, right? I’ve yet to be sold on Pep’s tactical adaptiveness. I know that it sounds rich after he did a complete 180 on Arsene at half-time. Klopp will be focusing on this match early, and deploy a fire-at-sight method against Bravo.
Dirk: Liverpool 1 – 2 Man City
I have to back my team here! I think Liverpool have a weakness in defence, and I think a flowing City team can put them under serious pressure. Massive 3 points either way it goes, but I think City will repeat their Arsenal performance here and gain a massive 3 points.
Marcel: Liverpool 1 – 0 Manchester City WP + MP
Ideally, the two would draw allowing the teams behind the opportunity to close the gap but Liverpool are the form team. City just don’t look like a side capable of winning the league at the moment. They struggled against Hull the other day for 60 odd minutes, we can hope that once the Champions League resumes City fall apart.
Matt: Watford 0-2 Tottenham WP
Ighalo has dropped off immensely since last season, and Deeney is only so mobile in compensating. I’ll watch this match only for the physical (and potentially dirty) battle between the opposing defenders.
Dirk: Watford 1 – 2 Spurs WP
I think being a Watford fan must be so frustrating. Great side at times, and then at times they can be quiet anonymous. I think Spurs will be too strong for them here.
Marcel: Watford 0 – 1 Spurs WP
It would appear Christmas came early to Watford when they defeated Everton and the celebrations never stopped with two defeats and a draw the next results. Palace and Sunderland were good opportunities to pick up points, Spurs visit will not be.
Matt: Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace WP
It’s a short trip and a friendly stadium; just the right atmosphere for the polite Arsenal boys to actually seem confident. Big Sam will make it difficult, and Zaha always frightens our defenders. I’ll take a frustrating, but eventual, win.
Dirk: Arsenal 1 – 1 Palace
A draw just because Big Sam likes to upset the big boys. Expect a well-organised team that will frustrate an Arsenal side that aren’t looking quite their normal selves right now.
Marcel: Arsenal 1 – 1 Crystal Palace
On paper the Arsenal should walk this match. They have better players in every position. 21 points and thirteen places between them on the table. Maybe even tactically superior, but this will be Big Sam’s second game in charge and who knows what might happen.
RESULT: Arsenal 2 – 0 Crystal Palace