Gus Skinner runs us through his match previews for all 7 games this coming week:
Manchester City v Stoke
City don’t really have their mind on the league at the moment with the Champions League semi-final calling but they will be cautious with their Manchester rivals putting some good results together. Aguero looks unstoppable at the moment with 4 goals in 2 games and even more encouraging for City is the defence seems to be coming back into form. Not only is that Kompany coming back in but Mangala seems to be finally settling into the Premier League. Stoke’s season has tumbled on and they looked like they will finish in the top 10 which is still a good season for them. Mark Hughes must be looking forward to next season after his team looked drained against their 4-0 loss against Spurs on Wednesday. City at home, under pressure – there is only one result here.
My Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Stoke
Aston Villa v Southampton
Villa fans were very angry last week after being relegated, Lescott, their captain referred to the feeling as ‘a weight off our shoulders’. I can understand why Villa fans are disgusted at that because the only time you should have weight off your shoulders is when you are mathematically safe from relegation. Villa have lost their last six and I doubt they will get anymore points this season. Saints have hit 2016 with a bang, Koeman has revitalised his players and got them playing the winning football they were used to last season. Europe is probably too much of a stretch for this season but still another very good campaign. Pelle will cause Villa problems with his aerial presence and Tadic won’t be shy to whipping in some good crosses.
My Prediction: Aston Villa 0-2 Southampton
Bournemouth v Chelsea
The cherries have had a little dip in form recently but nothing to worry about as they showed the spirit to fight to the end against Liverpool and nearly get a point. Callum Wilson coming back to fitness pleases all football fans after his devastating 8 months out after starting so well in the Premier League. Bournemouth have invested well already this year and look a very comfortable Premier League team. Chelsea have surprisingly lost their last two games and with their new manager, Conte, coming in soon you would expect more from the players. They were totally lacklustre against City last weekend when you would have expected them to prove that their previous week’s loss to Swansea was just a blip. I think this will be an upset here but what even is an upset this season.
My Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Chelsea
Liverpool v Newcastle
Liverpool have hit form at the right time under Jurgen Klopp and Champions League looks like it could be attained either way (through winning the Europa League or coming fourth in the Premier League). The sad news about Origi’s injury was the only negative to thing to take away from this weeks games. They have scored 10 goals in their last 3 games and only conceded 2 so they seem to have sorted out their defence and Sturridge has helped with the goals. Newcastle have had a mini revival under Rafa Benitez and you only think what would have happened if McClaren had been sacked earlier. This really is a tie between two teams you can’t see not winning. Purely because they have the better squad and are at home I think Liverpool will nick it but there is going to be goals and plenty of them.
My Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Newcastle
Sunderland v Arsenal
After Sunderland’s stunning performance last week against Norwich the relegation battle has been opened up massively and it really is impossible to decide on who you think is going to stay up. Surely Big Sam’s unbelievable Premier League record will not be dented with a relegation and with Jermaine Defoe to help him you can’t see them going down. Arsenal have done the usual Arsenal thing and yet again it is too little too late but they will be looking for a performance here against a side they should expect to get three points against and Sanchez in such good form surely they will take the three points back to North London.
My Prediction: Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal
Leicester v Swansea
It is becoming unbearably tight this Premier League season and with Vardy potentially suspended for the rest of the season you just don’t know what could happen. However they are playing a weak Swansea team who lost 3-0 to struggling Newcastle. You have to expect them to win with the likes of Kante and Mahrez still in their team. Swansea have secured safety as a lot of people presumed they would eventually but recent performances show how much they need the end of the season to come. I think Leicester will go back to their old ways of grinding out victories without ridiculous refereeing.
My Prediction: Leicester 1-0 Swansea
Tottenham v West Brom
Spurs will be feeling the pressure if Leicester beat Swansea on Sunday but they have been pretty good recently at playing after Leicester and matching their results so maybe they thrive off knowing that they need to win. They looked very comfortable in their victory over a strong Stoke side on Monday despite Dele Alli horrendous miss. They seem to be set for the rest of the season and it is really down to how Leicester do. West Brom knew they had a tough run in but after two penalties were saved against them on saturday you knew it was going to be even tougher. I can see Tottenham playing like they did against Stoke by building up slowly and then when the opposition think they have a chance of winning the ball kill them with a deadly through ball to the likes of Harry Kane.
My Prediction : Tottenham 3-0 West Brom
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