Hi all, quick message to regular readers that I probably won’t be updating over the weekend as my parents are up visiting so I’ll be pretty busy, and thus I’m doing my PremPredictions a day earlier than usual. In the mean time though, check out my freshly launched campaign, which will hopefully see more movement next week. Hope you all have a great weekend.
Blackburn Rovers vs. Portsmouth
You have to think now that both these two teams are safe, courtesy not of their own performances but of the sheer awfulness of those below them. Still, they’d each like to pick up the three points today to confirm their safety and give their fans a less stressful end of the season. To be fair I’m having trouble separating the two of them as on their day they both play well but can also give away some really sloppy goals too. I think Rovers may edge it though, given home advantage and Calamity James in good form.
Bolton Wanderers vs. Sunderland Athletic
With Bolton safe and happily cushy in mid-table for another season, Sunderland must see this as an opportunity to pick up three absolutely vital points. However, they really are going to have to give a shit if that’s to happen, because they certainly didn’t last week against Everton and were crushed with little effort. Surely Sbragia will have his men motivated today and if they fight for it, they may be able to sneak a result from a comfortable Bolton.
Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Everton got back to winning ways against an apathetic Sunderland last week but will face a tougher test against an in-form Spurs side who have the scent of Europe in their nostrils. Still, the Toffees are a really strong side even given their horrendous injuries and Pienaar seems to have picked up the creative responsibilities with aplomb. Baines will have his hands full with Aaron Lennon but I think he’s shown that he’s good enough to keep the pacey winger at bay.
Fulham vs. Aston Villa
Aston Villa finally found a win against lowly Hull on Monday night, but in Fulham at Craven Cottage they face a different prospect altogether, and despite the three points they weren’t exactly convincing against Hull. Fulham have really excelled at home and if they aren’t too blighted by injuries they can really push on for Europe. I think this one could be a stalemate but I hope Fulham nick it.
Hull City vs. Stoke City
At the start of the season, it was Hull. Now, it’s Stoke that are the surprise package of the season, having all but secured their safety and a second year in the Premier League. Hull though have slumped massively and are in desperate trouble, but if they can pick up just one more win they may survive because ‘Boro and Newcastle look so toothless. They may not get a better chance than this weekend because Stoke aren’t great away from home and may take their foot off the gas a little subconsciously now that they seem to be safe.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Wigan Athletic
Wigan have eased off since securing safety and so a European place is now surely beyond them. West Brom though, are still fighting valiantly for their lives, and by all accounts their fans are all planning to go as Tony Mowbray to the match in a show of support. It’s a touching sentiment, and rightly so, but it’s also one helluva game plan, surely Wigan’s players will be constantly put off when they glance thousands of Mowbray’s out of the corner of their eye! If only they’d thought of that at the start of the season…
West Ham United vs. Liverpool
Liverpool had it fairly easy last week against a dour Newcastle team, but make no mistake, they will be determined win all their remaining games just in case Manchester United slip up, which wouldn’t be a great surprise given their other commitments (compared to Liverpool’s none). However, West Ham are certainly no pushovers, despite missing some key players through injury and I think they’ll make it tough for their visitors. With Gerrard back, it’s hard to rule Liverpool out, but I think they might slip to a draw.
Manchester United vs. Manchester City (Sun)
Well, another Manchester derby comes round and City haven’t yet made good on their aim to compete with their cross-town rivals, but then, we never expected them to have yet. But City have been really poor at times this season, even though they’ve recovered a bit at the end, and they would love to finish on a high with a derby victory. But Ferguson won’t take them lightly, though some players will be rested, and I think United will probably take another step towards the title.
Arsenal vs. Chelsea (Sun)
The losers of the Champions League semi-finals and the also-rans in the title race. Chelsea still have the FA Cup to lose to Everton, but there will be some big depression at the Emirates on Sunday. Chelsea will still be up in arms over the manner of their midweek defeat and Arsenal will be coming to terms with another trophy-less season. So this could go one or two ways, either it’ll be a run-down, ‘we don’t really care’ affair, or it’ll be a highly charged, ‘we may have lost but we’re still better than you’ affair. Either way, I see a draw.
Newcastle United vs. Middlesbrough (Mon)
Oh dearie me. Sometimes the fixture list just has the most perfect sense of timing doesn’t it? Eighteenth meets nineteenth in a game of colossal proportions for both teams. It is an absolute MUST NOT LOSE for both sides because with them both sitting on 31 points, the winner is seriously going to pull away a bit. It is going to be incredibly tense and to be fair, will probably end in the result that screws over both teams: a draw, because every player will be terrified of making a mistake and costing their side not just a goal, but their place in the top flight.