The Premier League returns this Saturday and we have some tasty looking fixtures that I am going to take you through and offer my predictions:
Southampton vs Hull City
Hull have been on quite a run lately, resulting in Marco Silva’s side climbing out of the relegation zone and they now sit 2 points clear of the bottom 3. Hull’s last game was a 2-0 win over Watford so they’ll be looking to push on with their good form. They will certainly be helped by the fact that Southampton have had a tough time lately, losing both their previous matches against Chelsea & Manchester City. Even though Hull are on a better run, I fancy The Saints to turn the corner here and get back to winning ways. Southampton win 3-1.
Stoke City vs West Ham
Both teams really need the win here as they’re both in bad form at the minute, both with just 1 win in their last 6 games. I can see both these sides cancelling each other out and this game being a draw. 2-2 Draw.
Sunderland vs AFC Bournemouth
Failure to win here will surely confirm Sunderland’s relegation from the Premier League, so all the pressure will be on David Moyes’ side. The 1-0 loss to Middlesborough in midweek, was their 7th loss in 9 games. Bournemouth blew Middlesborough away last time out with a massive 4-0 win. So common sense says, Boro beat Sunderland and Bournemouth destroyed Boro. This must mean on paper that Bournemouth beat Sunderland and they get relegated, but this is the Premier League after all the most exciting, unpredictable League in the world of football. With that being said I feel like the inevitable is going to finally hit Sunderland this weekend and they will lose. Bournemouth win 2-0.
West Brom vs Leicester City
West Brom haven’t won in their last 3 games so they’ll be looking to put that behind them and get back to the form that prompted Tony Pulis to say his side were “overachievers.” Overachieving or not, West Brom have been a good, tough side to beat this season and they can only go forward from here. Craig Shakespeare’s 100% record in charge of Leicester City came to an end with their 4-2 loss at Everton on the 9th April and they haven’t won since so it’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back, if they can. Since that last victory, they are winless in 4 games in all competitions. I think The Foxes will finally turn the corner in this game. Leicester City win 2-1.
Crystal Palace vs Burnley
Palace have been on quite the run lately, and it took a thunderbolt from Ericksen last week to halt their momentum. Since Sam Allerdyce’s appointment, Palace have slowly climbed away from the relegation zone but right now they’re storming away from it. They come against Sean Dyche’s Burnley who still haven’t won away from home all season. With the form that Palace have been in and the way Big Sam has them playing, I don’t see Burnley’s fortunes changing this weekend. Crystal Palace win 2-0.
Manchester United vs Swansea City
A classic Mourinho display saw United come out of the Manchester Derby with a point and extender their unbeaten run to 24 games. Avoiding defeat in this fixture will set a new club record for the longest undefeated streak in a single season, and people say Mourinho is disappointing. He hasn’t set the world alight as everyone had hoped, but he has galvanised his team hence the streak that dates back about 6 months now. Swansea finally won after being winless in 5 last weekend and they have a good recent record against United at Old Trafford. So some fortunes favour Paul Clement’s side as well as the news that Mourinho’s side is stretched thin right now, with injuries sidelining players such as Pogba, Zlatan, Rojo, Smalling, Jones, Mata and the latest casualty young star Fosu-mensah. Add to this that Marouane Fellaini is also out through suspension and it seems that Mourinho doesn’t have too much at his disposal at this moment in time. However, with what he does have, the likes of Rooney, Rashford, Martial, Carrick, Mkhitaryan and many others they’re still a stronger side that Swansea. Manchester United win 2-0.
Everton vs Chelsea
Chelsea have started to falter in the League lately and this has seen the title race become rather interesting. The gap at the top was at one time 10 points, now it stands at just 4 points. This is an interesting game because Everton are performing well with Ronald Koeman’s style of play and Romelu Lukaku, formerly of Chelsea is the current Top Goalscorer in the Premier League. Conte will know that if his team slip up here, there is a real possibility that the title race will be blown wide open. A loss here and a win for Spurs leaves the gap at just 1 point which would make for a really amazing finish to the season. Everton have only lost just 1 game in their last 6 and they will prove to be tough opposition for Chelsea. Everton win 2-1.
Middlesborough vs Manchester City
Middlesborough can’t be mathematically relegated this weekend so they will be fighting for every single point from now until the end of the season. City suffered defeat in the FA Cup Semi Final last weekend but they did dominate the Manchester Derby in midweek. I really can’t see Boro coming out of this one with anything at all to be honest. Manchester City win 4-0.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal
Tottenham are hot on the heels of Chelsea in the title race and you just know Arsenal would love to stick it to their North London rivals and shut down any chance they have at winning the Premier League title. Arsenal will be buoyed slightly by the fight they showed in the FA Cup against Manchester City last weekend winning the tie in extra time. If Tottenham beat Arsenal, they will guarantee that they will finish above their rivals in the League for the first time since 1995. With the run that Spurs are on, I really can’t look beyond them for this one, they’re grinding out results just like all the great teams do. Tottenham win 3-1.
Watford vs Liverpool
The weekend’s action culminates with Monday Night Football pitting Walter Mazzari against Jurgen Klopp, two great tacticians. Both teams have been through a mixed run of form lately both winning games but at the same they’ve faced some hurdles. Both come into this one on the back of defeats and Liverpool especially will want to win to ensure that they don’t lose any ground to Manchester City and Manchester United who are hot on their heels in pursuit of a Champions League place. Liverpool win 1-0.