Parker's Premier League Picks: Manchester United could struggle, Arsenal will beat Crystal Palace
Eurosport's resident football expert Paul Parker has made his predictions for this midweek's Premier League action. The former Manchester United and England star has picked out four big matches that he feels confident of forecasting, with his former club to struggle at Burnley and Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, manager of Manchester United
The way he has developed the club is remarkable, and he didn’t waste the setback of relegation. He got the parachute money and invested it not just in players but the facilities of the club.
Without them the club would be completely different, they gave a city that needed it a real lift.
It will be hard for United to win there. If they make their usual mistake and go behind, they can’t be sure that they will have the ability to get back in front of this side. They wouldn’t find it easy.
United battle giants for French wonderkid - Euro Papers
Manchester City v Brighton - Wednesday 18:00
Everyone has this down as a home banker. This one is everyone's certainty.
As much as Brighton want to play, and Pep Guardiola will like Graham Potter and how they’ve changed over the two seasons, he’s made them a team that wants to play. But they are just unable to finish teams off.
They have a lot of the ball around the opposing area but they aren’t ruthless enough. That will suit Pep, whose side are currently more solid in defence and midfield, but their key players like Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling are underperforming.
That might be because they are more focused defensively. Their attacking emphasis is reduced and they might have some ugliness about them, but this is a game that City will cruise through.
Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates with team mates after scoring their side's third goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester City and Birmingham City at Etihad Stadium on January 10, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
Tottenham v Fulham - Wednesday 20:15
Fulham are a far better team than kicked off this season. Their midfield is stronger, more versatile. They are still trying to play positively.
It suits them to play without Aleksandar Mitrovic and set up more defensively, but they do still miss a goalscorer who can get double figures.
Good ball retention is a good way to play against Spurs because Jose Mourinho wants to counter attack, so keeping the ball away from them works nicely.
But I still think Mourinho will find a way to win because Spurs are just too strong.
Six Madrid stars on market to fund Mbappe move – Euro Papers
Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Thursday 20:00
Mikel Arteta should be talking to his players and telling them it’s a cup game, because they enjoy those ties.
He should stick with the young players who are doing a job. The right way to keep them mentally well is to keep playing them. Leaving them out can dent their confidence. People are worrying about too many games, but they want to play and run around. The win bonus they get will make a difference to them in a way that it won't for senior players.
In Palace's recent games they've been easily beaten a few times, and they are so reliant on Wilf Zaha that I can only see this as a home win. A month ago, I might have thought at least a draw for Palace.
Arsenal now have more fight, and many of the key players have been letdowns, except for Alexandre Lacazette. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been an embarrassment considering he should be a leader. The only thing he has in common with Thierry Henry is the number 14.