This weekend sees crucial matches in the fight for fourth, relegation and the title race. Manchester City face a tough test in Wales as they play Swansea whilst Manchester United face in form West Brom at Old Trafford following their disappointing result in the Europa League.
In the fight for fourth Arsenal face Newcastle as both still aim for a place among Europe’s elite, while Chelsea face what should be a tough test for interim manager Roberto Di Matteo at home to Stoke. The stand out game in the fight for survival see Bolton face QPR at the Reebok, while Wolves are at home to relegation rivals Blackburn and Wigan face a tough test at Carrow Road against Norwich.
Bolton v QPR
Bolton desperately need points in a bid to survive with games fast running out, whilst QPR despite major investment have hardly set the league alight since appointing Mark Hughes, they have only one win to their name since his arrival. Bolton are currently on a run of four straight defeats since their 0-0 draw to Arsenal, while QPR suffered three defeats in a row before their point against Everton last week. In this one I see Bolton just having enough fight and spirit to see of QPR. Prediction = 2-1
Aston Villa v Fulham
Villa have recorded 1 win, 3 draws, and 2 defeats in their last six matches whilst Fulham have one 3 on the bounce and with in form Pobgrabnyak surely have a chance at Villa Park.
I think match has draw written all over it with Villa missing key players I think they will defend alot but just have enough to keep Fulham quiet. Prediction = 1-1
Chelsea v Stoke
Life under Di Matteo got off to a bright start at St.Andrews in mid-week but this will be a real test of his credentials. Stoke are always well organised and difficult to beat but have struggled for form whilst trying to juggle Premier League and Europa League. However, they have won their last 2 and will be looking to hit Chelsea when they are not at their best. Chelsea players must respond now if they want to play in the Champions League next season and I think they will just have too much for Stoke. Prediction = 2-0
Sunderland v Liverpool
Sunderland have been revitalised under Martin O’Neill and will be looking to match if not better their draw at Anfield earlier in the season. Following the Carling Cup win Liverpool suffered a damaging defeat at home to Arsenal and will surely be looking to bounce back to save their slim hopes of Champions League football. Prediction = 1-1
Wolves v Blackburn
Both teams are flirting with relegation and have been very inconsistent this season. Wolves sacked Mick McCarthy and placed Terry Connor in charge but not a lot has changed to be honest, with the exception of the fact that McCarthy had experience of fighting for survival. Blackburn have stood by Steve Kean despite the fans obvious disagreement. I see this one being a tight match but everytime Kean has needed a performance from his players they have delivered so I feel they might again. Prediction = 1-2
Everton v Tottenham
Everton have enjoyed some great results at Goodison Park against Chelsea and Man City. Tottenham have enjoyed their best season ever so far, although defeats against Arsenal and Man United in their last two may just see the wheels fall off their tremendous campaign. A tight contest between two great clubs might just be decided by who needs points more. Prediction = 1-1
Man United v WBA
WBA are currently on a run of 3 league wins but Man United will surely be fired up and raring to go following another European disappointment. Fergie usually gets a reaction from his team and that’s what I see happening here. Prediction = 3-0
Swansea v Man City
Swansea have only lost 2 home matches this season, both narrowly to Man United and Norwich. Man City have been formidable at home but have faltered away from the Etihad. I think even Swansea’s excellent football won’t be enough to stop Man City’s multi-talented attack. Prediction = 1-2
Norwich v Wigan
Norwich seem safe in mid-table whilst Wigan are fighting for their lives. Despite Wigan obviously craving the points more recent off the pitch issues and on the pitch performances may just undo them here. Prediction = 2-0
Arsenal v Newcastle
Newcastle looked to be fighting all the other so called ‘big four’ all the way this season but in recent weeks they have stumbled, first losing 5-0 at Spurs before disappointing draws at home to Sunderland and Wolves.
Arsenal are only heading up in recent weeks, the 5-2 demolition of Spurs was followed by a late show at Anfield and an agonising elimination from the Champions League 4-3 to AC Milan after losing the 1st leg 4-0. With Robin Van Persie and the confidence the team is showing at the moment I only see one result here. Prediction = 3-1
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