It is a very important match week for all the team involved in the battle to keep their Premier League places. Some of them might do it this weekend.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United
I fancy Brighton to get something out of this fixture. Manchester United have secured the second place and will be comfortable at the Falmer Stadium. However, their hosts should the the more motivated team.
Stoke City vs Crystal Palace
It looks like that Roy Hodgson has almost done the job he has been hired for – to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League. The Eagles are just few points short of the 40-point line, considered as a safe one. If Stoke win this game they will have a chance to survive in the English top-flight. However, the Potters have 5 losses and 7 draws within their last 12 games, which is an awful record for a team which need to win badly.
AFC Bournemouth vs Swansea City
Three more point guarantee that it is impossible for Bournemouth to get relegated. However the win is even more important for the Swans so they would stay above the relegation zone. Both teams have 3 losses and 2 draws from their last five games and their form is very similar. The difference is that Bournemouth have 5 points more than the Swans. I’l go for draw here.
Swansea to win: 1:2
Leicester City vs West Ham United
Can West Ham win this away fixture at King Power Stadium and secure their Premier League place? I think that can do that? Leicester haven’t won a home game since their FA Cup victory against Sheffield United on 16th of February. This means that Claude Puel will be under pressure from the club’s owners. The Hammers haven’t won an away game since January when they went to Huddersfield and beat the Terriers by 1:4. I have a feeling that they might win this one, however.
West Ham to win: 1:2
Watford vs Newcastle United
It is time for Watford to either get a point or to win a game in order to be sure that they are staying in the Premier League next season. It is unlikely that they would get relegated, but it is still mathematically possible. Newcastle are fine and Rafael Benitez did whatever he had to do to make sure that the Magpies will play in the Premier League next season. Now his team could allow themselves to play for their fans.
Newcastle to win: 1:2
West Bromwich Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur
I’m curious to see whether the already relegated West Brom would stop Spurs on their way to secure a top 4 finish. I think that they are capable of winning a point and they will do it. Spurs are a much better team, but it is always hard to play against teams in the relegation zone at the end of the season.
Everton vs Southampton
The Saints need to win again an Everton team who can lost only once in their last 7 games and it was 1:3 at home against Manchester City. Southampton have 5 losses and 1 draw in their last 6 visits to Goodison Park, which is a very poor record for a team which need to go this ground and win. I don’t see them getting points there.
Everton to win: 2:1
Manchester City vs Huddersfield Town
Well, everyone would say that this is an easy win for the Pep Guardiola’s side. I don’t think it is like that, however. Man City player have been crowned as Premier League champions and their top player already think about the Word Cup. Most of them will be part of the national teams and will travel to Russia this summer. Everyone of them wants to avoid injuries.
Huddersfield are motivated to stay in the Premier League and I’m sure that they will, despite that they play Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal within their last 3 Premier League fixtures. So, for them it is not the time to make calculations. It is time to win points. At this time of the year there are no big and small teams, there are teams who are more motivated than others.
Arsenal vs Burnley
This is a 3 pointer game for Arsenal who are very disappointed after their UEFA Europa League exit. The Gunners played very well in both legs against Atletico Madrid, but they have missed a lot of chances. The truth is that Arsenal are a great club, that they play entertaining football, but they simply lack enough class in their current squad. it is up to their next manager to bring the right players who can turn things around. It is not about spending crazy money, it is about the selecting the right players.
if Burnley win this fixture they would finish above the Gunners in the table. They have had a great season and obviously Sean Dyche has done a great job, but the Clarets are simply not a team ready to play in Europe.
Arsenal to win: 2:1
Chelsea vs Liverpool
I would project a loss for Liverpool on their visit to Stamford Bridge. Why? Because Chelsea still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League and because their team is good enough to win against Reds. Jurgen Klopp needs to make sure that Liverpool would both qualify for the next year’s Champions League and to win this year’s one after the Red have gone all the way to the final. There is one thing Liverpool must deal with and it is that their squad is depleted. They cannot avoid any injuries and their best players must be fit to play on 26-th of May against Real Marid.
So Lopp must decide whether to rest one or two of his attacking trio – Salah, Firmino and Mane – in a game in which Liverpool will need all three of them to play.
Chelsea have three games to play after this fixture – against Huddersfield at home, Newcastle (away) and Manchester United at home. Liverpool will have only two game left – this one against the Blue and a fixture at Anfield against Brighton, who need points to avoid relegation. Tehre is a possibility for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League on goal difference, but Reds still must win against Brighton at home in order to play in the there next season. It is not going to be easy.
Chelsea to win: 1:0