@0riginalfooty takes a look at the weekend fixtures for the 35th round of Premier League football. Last time out we got one out of two predictions right and no correct scores. Will we do better this week?
Leicester vs Newcastle (12:45)
This is the fixture that every side at the bottom of the table dreams of at the moment and is a golden ticket for the Foxes to escape relegation. Newcastle are on a hideous run of form and look set for their holidays. However, they are not yet safe from relegation and are relying on other team’s results rather than their own. From Leicester’s point of view this should be an easy win and I don’t think Nigel Pearson’s mid-week rant will distract them too much from their task.
Prediction: Leicester 1-0 Newcastle
Aston Villa vs Everton (15:00)
The Villans gave Man City an excellent game last weekend but shot themselves in the foot by giving away three terrible goals. Everton have returned to form but their 3-0 drubbing of Man United came as a real shock. This is a very different game, though. Villa are in desperate need of a win to put themselves within touching distance of safety and would rather get it sooner than later. Everton are merely playing for pride at this stage and I just have a feeling that Christian Benteke and co can cause them some real problems and sneak a win.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Everton
Liverpool vs QPR (15:00)
The Reds have completely blown their chances of a top-four finish and they can have no one to blame but themselves. Their defeat to Hull was incredibly poor and Brendan Rodgers and his players are playing for their futures. QPR couldn’t beat West Ham at home and that suggests to me that they will get relegated and playing away here won’t help their cause. An unconvincing Liverpool seems the likely outcome.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-0 QPR
Sunderland vs Southampton (15:00)
Sunderland are another team who are in desperate need for a win and if they could get it here they could throw teams above them into real trouble. The Saints, however, are not an ideal team to play still. Ronald Koeman seems to want to guarantee a Europa League place and know that a fifth-place finish would be a real achievement. Sunderland need to get a win soon but I think Southampton will have enough.
Prediction: Sunderland 0-1 Southampton
Swansea vs Stoke (15:00)
This is the biggest nothing game of the weekend between two teams in the top half of the table who have enjoyed excellent seasons. Both Garry Monk and Mark Hughes deserve great credit for the performances of their teams and I’m sure their fans will be delighted. There’re only three points between them and both teams will give it a go but an entertaining draw would not go amiss.
Prediction: Swansea 2-2 Stoke
West Ham vs Burnley (15:00)
The Hammers are playing a huge role in the relegation battle and seem to be facing a battling side every week. This is Burnley’s biggest game of the season, they simply must win or they will be relegated. Their loss to Leicester was disappointing and possibly their last realistic chance to escape from the perilous clutches of the drop. West Ham didn’t allow QPR an easy win last weekend and I think a draw here will virtually confirm Burnley’s relegation.
Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Burnley
Man United vs West Brom (17:30)
The Red Devils were soundly beaten last weekend and were fortunate that Liverpool only picked up one point in two matches. The Baggies will be confident that they have earned enough points to be safe and they will be keen to get to the end of this season as soon as possible and continue rebuilding in the summer. This should be a fairly routine victory for Louis van Gaal’s team.
Prediction: Man United 2-0 West Brom
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (13:30)
The Blues can seal the title with a win here and not many people would bet against them doing just that. Even fewer people would bet against them winning the league from this position and they thoroughly deserve to. It must be said that they have never been pushed too hard for the title but take nothing away from their professional performance throughout the season. Palace were in good form but have dropped off the pace in the last couple of weeks and you get the feeling that their season is over. This should be a title-winning day for Chelsea.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace
Spurs vs Man City (16:00)
Tottenham can still finish in a Europa League spot but it will be interesting to see if they actually want that. They might prefer a league campaign without the distraction of Europe and their end of season performances may give us an indication if that’s the case. City were very fortunate to win last weekend but find themselves back in second place and will hope to put pressure on Arsenal ahead of their match with a win.
Prediction Spurs 1-2 Man City
Hull vs Arsenal (20:00)
The Tigers pulled off one of their most important victories of the season on Tuesday and have a real chance of survival now. Another win should allow them to remain in the league. The Gunners league form has been very good recently and they will be keen to finish second this season. Hull will give them a good game but Arsenal should find a way through.
Prediction: Hull 1-2 Arsenal