Things happened quite fast in the last one week, Tottenham proved indestructible and Chelsea showed against the Citizens that what happened against the Eagles was a mere blip; Arsenal were never in the title race but they sure benefitted from City, United and Liverpool’s dropped points to move one place up and few points away from top four places.
At the scary end, Leicester banished whatever was left of the relegation fears with yet another win, Palace lost but are relatively safe while Hull made good case for their survival dreams, but it is all gloom and doom for Swansea and the almost relegated Sunderland. It’s the premier league predictions and you’re very much welcome.
Saturday 8th April
Tottenham vs Watford
White Hart Lane
Tottenham didn’t quite gain a lot in midweek in terms of title charge but they sure wheeled further away from the chasing lots. Liverpool and City lost grounds so the focus is singular, breath down on Chelsea. They could have lost too but their spirited fight saw them through at the death, Swansea were a goal up going into the final minutes at the Liberty stadium but somehow managed to concede three in added time.
Watford were victorious too, dumping Westbrom in commanding fashion and you wonder what informs the attitude of the Baggies sometimes. Tottenham have it all to play for, who says they can’t eclipse Chelsea’s seven points? It’s not impossible. For Walter Mazzari and Watford, it’s about a respectable finish and they’re doing fine with that so let the team that need it the most take this.
Verdict: Spurs for the win
Manchester City vs Hull
To our simultaneous fixtures now and in no particular order comes this fixture of high significance to the Citizens, after holding Arsenal off at the Emirates, collapsing at Stamford Bridge to a sensational Eden Hazard display shows their lack of grit when it matters; Vincent Kompany returned but to little use, the core of the team needs to fight, stand up and get counted.
Hull are well placed to shock the hosts here, Marco Silva is doing a great job with the team and confidence is sky high, scoring four past Middlesborough means a lot and they can do it again. What is at stake for the two sides? Top four places for City, Survival for Hull, a win or a point would turn everything at KCOM Northward, and their premier league status next season would be almost guaranteed with the believe that such result would bring, but pedigree wouldn’t let the hosts take much chance.
Verdict: Manchester City to win
Stoke vs Liverpool
Stoke aren’t flying at the moment, they seem to have ran out of quality ideas, this should worry Mark Hughes. Liverpool know exactly how to impress and disgust almost at the same time, one moment they’re dispatching strong oppositions, next moment they’re dropping points to a team they should beat effortlessly.
Bournemouth was the latest in the long list of teams that have taken points off the Scoucers on a day they were tipped to win, just like they did in the reverse fixture. Stoke vs Liverpool has its own history, with Liverpool coming out tops the most and except the visitors really have something silly up their sleeves, they should win here.
Stoke have their league table position to fight for too, they have been poor of late and must turn things around, the names that have been doing it all along seem to be tired and the rest of the bunch must help, but with Jonathan Walters as your first choice striker, you need help.
Verdict: Liverpool to win or draw
Middleborough vs Burnley
Middlesborough gave a good fight at first against Hull but collapsed when it mattered, hull showed they wanted it more and got the desired result. They’re pretty much in the relegation fight now and must respond guess who’s in town? Burnley, a team that never wins away from home; they did manage two points on the road all season though and would look to better the horrific record against the reds.
Burnley have their ways on their days, but as this would be reckoned with, it’s a relegation six pointer, from a position of relative comfort, both have descended crazily to negotiate relegation. Who wants it more? Boro or Burnley?
Verdict: Boro to pick a point at least
Westbrom vs Southampton
Westbrom are on a very strange wavelengths, the same team that dealt with Arsenal professionally, held off the pressures of Manchester United but managed to lose meekly to Watford, yes you can’t win everyday but whatever happened to consistency?
The Saints eventually won a match since losing a cup final to Manchester United, that was the 3:1 success over a flying Crystal Palace side, it’s a good time for them to build on what they achieved against the Eagles, but which Baggies would turn up? Claude Puel has it all to fight for, he must win on the road to restore confidence, Tony Pulis must win at home to earn fans’ confidence too…
Westham vs Swansea
Westham did nothing of note at the Emirates against a seemingly troubled and fragile Arsenal, after Mesut Ozil’s goal, the team cracked and never got a hold of the game till it was too late. Westham have a reputation of always managing to score even in the face of defeat but offered nothing going forward against the gunners.
Swansea, the Welsh side must be asking questions after the drama that befell them in midweek, one goal up with a minute remaining, two goals behind at full time, credits must be given to Tottenham but sticks must be given to Swansea for that horrendous collapse. Two wounded teams, both fragile, both susceptible, both will concede but who wins?
Verdict: Both teams to score
Chelsea proved in midweek that whatever happened against Crystal Palace was just a blip as they managed Pep Guardiola’s side clinically. Just 2:1 but could have been more had Eden Hazard been more dutiful in front of goal. Bournemouth made good of their survival charge with a spirited fight back at Anfield, 2:2 it ended and the superlative point means they have some respite despite the doom prophesy that trailed their fixture pile up.
Chelsea are seven good points ahead, something that should guarantee the title all things been equal, except for an unprecedented collapse. Bournemouth on their parts would be out in the sunshine to enjoy themselves, a loss wouldn’t be news, it is the runaway leaders that should be wary of allowing the Cherries to make a news out of them. Diego Costa needs a goal pretty fast, he’s beginning to cut a frustrating figure upfront, time for Conte to give Batshuayi a chance?
Verdict: Chelsea to win
Sunday 9th April
Sunderland vs Manchester United
Stadium of Light
Sunderland will go down, no doubt about that, the surrounding teams are picking points while they fight and lose, there’s no real leader in the team and it’s becoming hopeless by the turn of every match day. Manchester United aren’t flying either, playing well at home and lose, playing badly away and managing a result, that won’t earn them what they desire, which is top four.
The latest of home draws came with a fortuitous penalty, they could have lost to Everton, but with Sunderland at their lowest ebb, the Red Devils must win here not just to condemn the Black Cats further, but to ensure a high spirit ahead of their European tie.
Verdict: United to win
Everton vs Leicester
Everton were seconds away from earning a big win at Old Trafford, but for a late Ashley Williams blunder, they lost two precious points at the death and also a man, Ashley Williams. The scripts of Shakespeare are going greatly at Leicester, six wins in six, come on that’s some title form, had they handled things well earlier, successful title defense would probably had been on the cards.
Leicester have Athletico Madrid to visit in midweek, an eye on that suggests an easy ride for the Toffees here and it should stay that way, if Everton fail to clip the foxes here, questions should be asked of their ambition and of course the liquids the KP Stadium landlords are consuming.
Verdict: Everton to win
Monday 10th April
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
The Eagles have been on something different and strange for a while now and the loss to Southampton really doesn’t mean much. They have steered completely off the relegation zone and you really must doff your neatly brushed hats for Sam Alardyce; the erstwhile England manager has built a reputation for himself as a relegation battle specialist and he seems to always find a way to deliver.
Step forward Arsenal, a team with loads of potential but near zero bite, great showing against Westham but where is the consistency? The win over the hammers was the first win against a premier league side since February and the first league clean sheets since forever. Palace can worry Arsenal here but they’ve never won against Arsenal on this pitch in modern era, the first leg would be remembered for Olivier Giroud’s scorpion goal, something that would be remembered for long. Alexis Sanchez hasn’t hit the back of the net for a while now, quite unusual, expect him to light up this fixture, but an eye must be kept on Benteke too and we need to ask, which version of Ozil would show up at Selhurst?
Verdict: Arsenal to win