Michael Owen makes Premier League predictions for Arsenal vs Leeds United, Manchester City vs Tottenham, Leicester vs Liverpool and more
Former England striker Michael Owen has backed Manchester City to tighten their grip at the top of the Premier League table with victory over Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham at the Etihad. A huge weekend of top-flight action awaits, with Leicester also playing host to Liverpool and Arsenal entertaining Leeds in what promises to be an enthralling clash between the two English giants at the Emirates.
Elsewhere, new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, still unbeaten since taking over the reins from Frank Lampard, can lead his team to a fourth league win on the bounce with three points at home to Newcastle.
Manchester United, meanwhile, will be desperate to return to winning ways at West Brom after throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Everton in an Old Trafford classic last Saturday.
On the champions’ trip to the King Power Stadium, ex-Liverpool forward Owen told Bet Victor:
‘On paper, this has the potential to be a cracker with both so good going forward. ‘That said, I think it may be more suited to the visitors from a tactical point of view. ‘Leicester will no doubt be willing to invite Liverpool on so they can utilise their counter-attack, however, it’s an extremely hard task to do that for 90 minutes against the Reds. ‘If Liverpool can get in front, it should open Leicester up and if that materialises, I think the points will be going back to Merseyside.’
United take on West Brom at the Hawthorns on Sunday United, another of Owen’s former clubs, will have been hurting after Dominic Calvert-Lewin found a last-gasp equaliser for Everton in a thriller at the Theatre of Dreams last weekend. But the Red Devils should be buoyed by their FA Cup fifth-round victory over West Ham in midweek and Owen backed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to come out on top at the Hawthorns on Sunday. ‘I think it was a shrewd move from United to get Edinson Cavani in over the summer,’ he said. ‘His experience has been vital in recent away victories and I don’t think any defender will look forward to facing him. ‘With that in mind, there’s only one winner for me so I’m going with Manchester United to take the points home to Old Trafford.’
Arsenal play host to Leeds at the Emirates
Looking ahead to Leeds’ trip to Arsenal, Owen said: ‘The visitors arrive here as underdogs, but I think that suits Leeds and they’ll be quite comfortable in that role. ‘I expect them to deploy their smothering tactics on Arsenal. No side works harder off the ball than Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the Premier League, so the Gunners will have to be at their best if they are to take maximum points. ‘That said, Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last three home matches in the Premier League and are undefeated in five at the Emirates.’
Man City v Tottenham:
Owen can only see one winner between Pep Guardiola’s City and Spurs this weekend, with Mourinho’s defence looking so vulnerable this season. Top-of-the-table City, who sit five points clear of second-placed United, are aiming to record an incredible 16th straight victory in all competitions this weekend. ‘No doubt, Mourinho will try to pick City off on the counter,’ Owen said. ‘However, as we’ve seen many times this season, Tottenham have a tendency to switch off at the back. ‘You just can’t afford to do that against City, and with the visitors in such tremendous form, I can only see this going one way.’
Steve Bruce can be encouraged by Newcastle’s recent victories over Everton and Southampton – after a dismal run of results over the winter period – but Owen is confident Chelsea will emerge as ‘comfortable winners’ at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. ‘Chelsea have hit a nice run of form under new manager Thomas Tuchel. The German certainly seems to have had the desired effect with the players now noticeably more organised, especially at the back,’ Owen said. ‘Newcastle have had a few good results of late. This will have come as such a welcome sight to the Geordie faithful after such a worrying run of form at the start of the year. ‘I think this one will be tough for the visitors. Chelsea have their tails up and seem to be extremely focused on securing Champions League football next season. ‘I think they’ll have too much and can see them running out comfortable winners.’
Owen believes West Ham and Everton will come out on top in their respective matches with Sheffield United and Fulham. He also predicted Southampton would beat Wolves and backed Aston Villa to win away to Brighton.