Note: all games will be played on Sunday, all 4pm BST kick offs.
Arsenal vs. Stoke City
Stoke fans travelling to this one will have a great time. They get to have a nice weekend in London safe in the knowledge that they’ll be back at the Emirates next year. I think they’ll also be treated to a fine display of fluid attacking football from Arsenal, who have nothing to play for and so no pressure. A few kids will probably get a run but I’m sure Wenger will be keen to finish on a high and I think Arsenal will outplay Stoke for the most part and pick up a comfortable win. Stoke’s fans probably won’t care though.
Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United
What a big game this is. Newcastle have to win to stand any chance of surviving relegation, and even if they do, will still be relying on other results. The question is, can they give themselves a fighting chance? Usually, I would say no. They’ve been just awful lately, completely without confidence and unable to get going at all. But the last day of a season can do amazing things, and I think we’ll see a bit of spirit here. Villa are still hoping to finish fifth too, and will want to win in case Everton slip up. This will be utterly tense, and I think may finish as a draw.
Blackburn Rovers vs. West Bromwich Albion
West Brom’s last big day out in the Premier League, at least for a season, and it’s against a Blackburn side who weren’t a million miles away from joining them in the Championship. Neither sides have too much quality about them but with the pressure off, the football could flow today. We know what to expect from Albion, and it would be nice if Allardyce actually tried to get his team playing football rather than lumping it up to Samba as they have been for a while. I’ve got a sneaky feeling the Baggies might sign off with a rare win here.
Fulham vs. Everton
Roy Hodgson and David Moyes are, in my view, the two managers who most deserve the Manager of the Year award, but of course neither will get it. That said, Hodgson would be more than happy to hang on to seventh and qualify for the Europa League while Moyesey will want to seal fifth place and head into next week’s FA Cup Final off the back of a win. Fulham have been very strong at home this season and Everton have a bit of a hoodoo about Craven Cottage, but i think with the inspired form that we’ve seen Pienaar in and with players after Final places, they might have enough to finally get a win at the Cottage.
Hull City vs. Manchester United
Whoever Fergie selects in his team for this match, Hull have got a big task in front of them. I think that Newcastle could snatch a win at Villa but have tipped them for a draw which would leave Hull needing at least a point themselves for safety, as Newcastle have a superior goal difference. Obviously, Hull have the advantage of holding their safety in their own hands and the motivation is there, they know that if they can grind out a win, they’ll be playing with the big boys again next season. United won’t go easy on them though, and I don’t know if Hull will be able to beat them. I’m thinking another draw in this one.
Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool will no doubt be gutted that they failed to overcome United in the title chase, but they’ll still want to finish as close behind their Mancunian rivals as possible and will go all out for a win here with a Summer of rest ahead of them. Spurs are still in the hunt for a European place and if Fulham slip up at home to Everton could snatch seventh, which would be a remarkable achievement given the start that they had. At the end of the day though, I think Liverpool at home will be too much for them, and Redknapp will have to wait for next season to secure European football.
Manchester City vs. Bolton Wanderers
Gary Megson, for me, has done a decent job for Bolton. They survived in the end and at times have looked a threat. He certainly needs to work on his squad over the Summer but will be really pleased to be safe going into what promises to be a dramatic final day. City at home have been OK, it’s their away form that has cost them. The season started with a bang for them, signing Robinho and becoming mega-rich, but it sort of failed to deliver and City’s fans will be eager to get it out of the way and start afresh next time around. Whether or not Hughes will be in charge then, I’m not so sure, but I think he’ll get a win here for them.
Sunderland Athletic vs. Chelsea
Sunderland are still right in the relegation mix, but I think they’ll survive even if they don’t pick up three points today. They’ve got two points on Newcastle and one on Hull and I really don’t see both of those sides winning against Villa/United. One of them might snatch a win, but unless they’re really unfortunate I think Sunderland will scrape through. Of course, if they could rob Chelsea of a point or three they’d make things much easier for themselves, and Sbragia will be desperate to drag them over the line after a promising start at the Stadium of Light has soured a bit towards the end of the season. Chelsea haven’t got too much to play for, they can get 2nd place if Liverpool lose and they put a few past Sunderland, but I don’t think they’ll be too bothered, though they’d like to send Guus off with a win, which they probably will.
West Ham United vs. Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough are as good as down to be quite honest, and need an absolute miracle to survive. First and foremost they have to beat West Ham and beat them well, but with Downing now out injured they’re even more lacking in any real creativity. I rate Tuncay, who has been a bright spark for them at times but he won’t stay with them if they’re relegated and I think that will surely happen. Even if they win they need both Hull and Newcastle to lose, while managing to reverse Hull’s currently 4-goal superior goal difference, so if United hammer Hull they may have a chance but i don’t see them scoring many, if at all, against the Hammers. West Ham have had a good season, Zola has been a revelation and with a fuller, less injury plagued squad next season, could aim for Europe. They’ll want to finish on a high in front of their fans and I think they’ll beat ‘Boro and send them down.
Wigan Athletic vs. Portsmouth
Pompey are safe, by the skin of their teeth, which is a bit of a shame, but well done to the temporary boss, he’s done well. Another manager who has done well is Steve Bruce who continues to show a knack in the transfer market, signing quality players like Palacios and Valencia on the cheap and making a good bit of profit on them. If he can keep those sort of deals going and keep the team performing he’ll prove to be a very effective boss for them and sure to move on to bigger things at some point. I don’t expect this game to be a classic by any means, but i think Wigan will probably seal a nice win at home.
So, my Predicted Final Table:
Position. Team. [GD] Points.
1. Manchester United. [+43] 88.
2. Liverpool. [+50] 86.
3. Chelsea. [+45] 83.
4. Arsenal. [+30] 72.
5. Everton. [+17] 63.
6. Aston Villa. [+5] 60.
7. Fulham. [+6] 53.
8. Tottenham Hotspur.  51.
9. West Ham United. [-3] 51.
10. Manchester City. [+8] 50.
11. Wigan Athletic. [-11] 45.
12. Stoke City. [-15] 45.
13. Bolton Wanderers. [-12] 41.
14. Portsmouth. [-19] 41.
15. Blackburn. [-21] 40.
16. Sunderland Athletic. [-21] 36.
17. Hull City. [-24] 36.
18. Newcastle United. [-18] 35.
19. West Bromwich Albion. [-30] 34.
20. Middlesbrough. [-29] 32.
Bold Green = Champions.
Green = Champions League Qualifiers.
Blue = Europa League Qualifiers.
Red = Relegated.