Former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen has made his predictions as two of his other former clubs return to Premier League action after the winter break
The Premier League is back after a winter break, with 18 of the 20 teams returning to action, and former England striker Michael Owen has offered up his predictions ahead of a busy programme.
Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion are the only sides without a midweek game, thanks to the Blues’ involvement in the Club World Cup, but a number of Owen’s former clubs are in action on Tuesday and Thursday night.
Newcastle United take on Everton in Frank Lampard’s first game in charge of the visitors, while Manchester United are up against Burnley in their first game since suffering a surprise FA Cup elimination against Middlesbrough.
The pundit has been watching his former clubs in action all season, and anticipates different results for the pair in the latest round of fixtures.
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Owen predicted a 1-1 draw for Newcastle against Everton in his BetVictor column, writing: “It’s all change at both these clubs”.
“For Newcastle it was a busy window, but I’m sure Eddie Howe might have wanted one or two more players in. Nonetheless, they did some good business and I’m excited to see how Bruno Guimaraes gets on. If he can help to strengthen that midfield, that would be a huge positive.
“As for Everton, a lot has changed. Frank Lampard is in the dugout and has already brought in a couple of big names in Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli.
“I’m really curious to see how Dele gets on, it’s been a difficult couple of seasons for him. Frank was desperate to get him in though and I have a feeling he’ll do well for Frank.”
Man Utd are also up against new-look opponents, with Burnley picking up Wout Weghorst after losing Chris Wood to Newcastle earlier in the window, but Owen has backed his old employers to win 2-0 at Turf Moor.
Burnley go into the game bottom of the table and three points from safety, but they have games in hand on the teams above them and have also welcomed back Maxwel Cornet after his Africa Cup of Nations involvement with Cote d’Ivoire.
“The signing of Wout Weghorst is a real boost to the Burnley squad,” Owen said.
“They probably needed another striker even before Chris Wood left the club. Sean Dyche was desperate to get a couple more bodies in though, so I worry they didn’t do enough business.
“As for United, it was a window in which they didn’t get anything done. They’ve trimmed the squad a little, which in a way might not be a bad thing. At least now Rangnick can settle on an 11 without having to worry about appeasing a huge squad of players.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.