THE Crystal Ball has been out and well-rubbed. Here’s our take and the weekend’s matches in the top two flights.

PREMIER LEAGUE

SATURDAY

Leicester City v Crystal Palace
City are bang in form, but Palace have been playing much better lately too. However, home advantage should give Claude Puel’s men an edge and we fancy a narrow Foxes win

We say: 2-1

Arsenal v Newcastle United
The Gunners will be disappointed to have left two points behind in consecutive away games but they’ll have every chance of getting back on track against the slumping Mags.

We say: 4-1

Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley
Brighton have over-performed thus far and will fancy their chances at the Am-Ex. They meet the season’s biggest surprises here and might be happy with a point

We say: 1-1

Chelsea v Southampton
Saints suffered a real home hammering in midweek and the last thing they need is a trip to Stamford Bridge to get them back on track. Chelsea to roll on

We say: 2-0

Stoke City v West Ham United
The Potters are dropping into danger at an alarming rate whilst the Hammers are starting to show signs of life. We think both trends will be reversed here

We say: 2-1

Watford v Huddersfield Town
Leading with minutes to go the Hornets saw a red card and two goals conceded in the dying stages at Selhurst Park. A home match against the Terriers should see them back on track

We say: 3-1

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
Is there any stopping City? When Pep Guardiola can rest a number of first-teamers and still win comfortably, probably not. Even talented Tottenham will find it hard but we think they can snare a share of the spoils

We say: 2-2

SUNDAY

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United
Alan Pardew is getting the Baggies back to basics and they defended stoutly at Anfield. This could be a stalemate, right up until a late goal gives United all three points.

We say: 0-1

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool
Eddie Howe would have expected a more comfortable ride this season given last term“s exploits, but they are finding the going tougher. A home defeat could be on the cards here.

We say: 1-3

MONDAY

Everton v Swansea City
Big Sam is working his magic again as the Toffees surge up the charts. For Swans meanwhile things are not getting any easier and a further loss is likely here

We say: 2-1

CHAMPIONSHIP

FRIDAY

Sheffield Wednesday v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves dropped a surprising two points at home to basement dwellers Sunderland last week which makes this harder to predict. We’ll plump for another draw

We say: 1-1

SATURDAY

Birmingham City v Queen’s Park Rangers
This is a relegation scrap. City have shown improved form at times recently and they could well claim a crucial three points against the Londoners

We say: 2-1

Bolton Wanderers v Burton Albion
Burton are still clinging on to the teams above them, despite being bottom. Losing this could mean Nigel Clough’s men getting cut adrift. Sorry Nige!

We say: 2-0

Brentford v Barnsley
The Bees are looking comfortable in mid-table, their visitors are looking fragile near the drop-zone. We’d have to say things might get worse for the Tykes here

We say: 2-1

Bristol City v Nottingham Forest
City are in promotion form and the win at Bramall Lane last week underlined their credentials. Forest are a decent enough team but they might come up short here.

We say: 3-1

Derby County v Aston Villa
Villa have been grinding out results recently and, against a Derby team playing at their best this will be a good match-up. We’ll take the away team to grab a share of the points

We say: 1-1

Ipswich Town v Reading
Reading’s form has been slightly better of late after a disappointing start to the season. The Tractor Boys were also in good heart prior to last weekend. Royals to continue the turnaround

We say: 1-2

Leeds United v Norwich City
Leeds are a little streaky but now that they’ve regained winning form Thomas Christiansen’s men could continue closing the gap on the top six.

We say: 3-1

Millwall v Middlesbrough
The Lions are a top-ten team – on home form. They need something here to keep clear of the trouble zone. They might get something, but just a point

We say: 1-1

Preston North End v Sheffield United
North End are an anomaly, one of those teams let down by their home form. And here’s a tough home battle so we’ll say honours even

We say: 2-2

Sunderland v Fulham
Great result for the Wearsiders on the road last week, can they build on it at home? Against a notoriously inconsistent Cottagers, who knows? We say a tentative ‘yes’.

We say: 2-1

Cardiff City v Hull City
Cardiff have been consistently good – home and away. Hull started the Nigel Adkins era with a fine win but this is a tough trip, and they’ll do well to return from Wales with anything

We say: 2-1