Premier League Predictions: Chelsea set to win title before Spurs play final game at White Hart Lane

The penultimate weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League season is upon us but there are still a number of vital outcomes yet to be decided. Chelsea have one hand on the league title but need to win at West Brom on Friday night to win a fifth PL title with two games to spare, while Everton play their final home game of the year on Friday night too, as they welcome Watford to Goodison Park.

Manchester City will look to keep their top four chances intact when they host Leicester in Saturday’s early kickoff before Arsenal travel to Stoke in the late game, hoping to keep the pressure on Liverpool and City in the race for Champions League football next term. Swansea travel to Sunderland on Saturday as they look to stay ahead of Hull in the race for survival, who face a tricky test at Crystal Palace in a crucial clash on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Liverpool travel to West Ham before Spurs battle Manchester United in the final game ever to be played at White Hart Lane before Tottenham’s new stadium is completed over the next 12 months. Read on for all our predictions this weekend…

Everton 2-0 Watford

Everton already have their place in next season’s Europa League confirmed and can’t finish any lower than seventh place. That said, they’ll still be expecting to end the season on a high and will want to win their final home game of the campaign. Watford have lost three on the spin without scoring a goal. They only need a point to be mathematically safe from the drop, although relegation doesn’t look likely now anyway. Everton should have enough to win this one.

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West Brom 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea to win their 5th Premier League title on Friday evening. On the basis of their performances this season it will be deserved. West Brom look like a side who know they’ve achieved their maximum this season and they have been good value for their place in the top half of the table. Antonio Conte will want his side to get the job done early in this one so they can enjoy some celebrations before their attentions can turn to the FA Cup final at the end of the season.

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Man City 3-1 Leicester

Manchester City need to do what they did to Crystal Palace last week and blow Leicester away to all but guarantee their place in next season’s Champions League. City can pile the pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool with a win in Saturday’s early kickoff, and even though Leicester would love to complete the double of Guardiola’s men, they are unlikely to beat them given the fact they’ve only won one of their last four away games in the league.

Bournemouth 2-2 Burnley

A score draw looks a likely result for this one. Bournemouth. The Cherries are unbeaten in three, scoring seven goals along the way. Burnley have surely now done enough to avoid a late scare of relegation, but with one win in five it seems unlikely they will pick up three points this weekend.

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Middlesbrough 1-1 Southampton

Middlesbrough are already relegated but will want to reward their fans for their support by winning their last home game of the season now the pressure has eased on them. Southampton have been coasting for weeks, winning none of their last five and are unlikely to spring into life now. With little to play for, this has draw written all over it.

Sunderland 1-1 Swansea

Sunderland fans must have been in further despair last weekend as they saw their side pick up an unlikely 2-0 win away at Hull City, leaving many wondering why they hadn’t been able to do that before their relegation was confirmed. Swansea are still right in the middle of the relegation dogfight and this is going to be a huge game. They cannot afford to lose and the nerves will surely set in.

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Stoke 1-3 Arsenal

Arsenal have found their traditional late-season form at last. They have won back-to-back games over the past week and are still in with a chance of securing a top four place, depending on Liverpool and Man City’s results over the final week of the campaign. Stoke would love to win their home finale, but Arsenal need this more.

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Crystal Palace 1-1 Hull

Another huge game in the battle to avoid the drop. Crystal Palace were on the receiving end of a classy City performance last weekend, losing 5-0 and that result has left them in trouble. It’s three losses on the spin for Big Sam’s Palace and they cannot afford to lose this weekend. Hull will be even more desperate to get a positive result after that defeat to Sunderland. A draw doesn’t do either side many favours but still keeps their fight alive.

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West Ham 1-3 Liverpool

Liverpool visit West Ham as they continue to battle to keep their place in the top four. If results go against them they could find themselves back in 5th which would be a disastrous end to the season. Jurgen Klopp will not let his side make any mistakes this weekend but considering how West Ham performed against Spurs in a game that had little meaning to their season this could be another difficult visit for the away side.

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Spurs 2-0 Manchester United

Chelsea might have secured the Premier League title way before Spurs kick off against Man Utd on Sunday but it’s a massive occasion for Tottenham as they play their final game at White Hart Lane in what will be an emotional afternoon. Manchester United would love to spoil the party but they had a tough game on Thursday night, in which they secured their place in the Europa League Final. That might have left them tired and so Spurs should be able to break them down and get a win in their final game at the Lane.

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Premier League Predictions: Spurs can cut the gap to one point before Arsenal welcome Man United on Sunday

Another huge week of Premier League action is upon us. Tottenham could close the gap on league leaders Chelsea to just one point as they visit West Ham on Friday before Antonio Conte’s blues welcome relegation-threatened Middlesbrough to Stamford Bridge on Monday night. Manchester City kick things off on Saturday against Crystal Palace and there are some key games in the battle to avoid relegation as Hull welcome already doomed Sunderland.

Sunday sees two huge games in the race for the top four as Liverpool host Southampton, while the standout fixture of the weekend takes place at the Emirates as Arsenal welcome Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. Read on for all our Gameweek 36 predictions in the Premier League…

West Ham 1-2 Tottenham

Spurs will be looking to apply the pressure on Chelsea as they open gameweek 36’s fixtures on Friday night. Mauricio Pochettino’s sides remarkable run continued last weekend as they won the last ever North London Derby at White Hart Lane. West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he wants to put relegation beyond all doubt on Friday evening, so Spurs could be in for a tough one.

Manchester City 2-0 Crystal Palace

Manchester City’s underwhelming season was somewhat summed up in their 2-2 draw away at Middlesbrough last weekend, a game that they could have easily lost with Boro left seething at what they thought was a dive for the penalty. Palace aren’t completely out of trouble yet and have caused upsets this season, but an away win would be a big ask for Big Sam’s side.

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Bournemouth 1-1 Stoke City

Bournemouth sealed Sunderland’s fate with a late win against the Black Cats last weekend and will want to pick up another positive result here after reaching that important 40-point mark. Stoke played out one of the less eventful games of the season against West Ham last time out and another draw looks likely, only this time with a bit of action.

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Hull City 1-0 Sunderland

Hull to take another huge step towards securing Premier League safety at home against relegated Sunderland. David Moyes was left devastated at what has been on the cards for some time now for Sunderland and more misery will surely be heaped upon the North East club in their final four games before they drop out of the top flight.

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Burnley 2-2 West Brom

Sean Dyche’s Burnley have battled their way to what looks likely to be Premier League survival as they’re now up to 14th. Their home form has been impressive all season and played a large part in their battle against the drop. West Brom have seen their season slump into second gear, which may be frustrating for Baggies fans but they’ve made progress this season and should finish in the top half.

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Leicester City 2-0 Watford 

These sides come into the weekend level on 40 points with Premier League safety guaranteed. Leciester have been excellent at home in recent weeks, winning four league games in a row at the King Power Stadium.Watford have lost three of their last four and look like they might already be on the beach. It’s tough to see anything but a home win here.

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Swansea 2-2 Everton

This is a crucial game for Swansea City, who will already know the outcome of Hull’s clash with Sunderland before they kickoff on Saturday evening. The Swans have to match Hull’s result – or better it – if they are to stay in the survival picture. Everton haven’t got much left to play for. They have secured Europa League football next season and can’t finish any lower than tenth. They’ll still be looking to end the season on a high and could stop Swansea from taking three vital points here.

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Liverpool 1-0 Southampton

Liverpool know this is another potential banana skin as they try to secure Champions League football. They come into the weekend four points clear of Man Utd in fifth, but their rivals have a game in hand. The Reds edged past Watford on Monday thanks to Emre Can’s incredible bicycle kick, and they look poised to get a similar result here against a Saints side that hasn’t won in three.

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Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United

This is undoubtedly the biggest game of the weekend, with both clubs fighting for a place in the top four. Realistically, only one of these has a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, while it’s also a distinct possibility that both miss out. Arsenal have to bounce back from last week’s loss at Spurs, while United are going to be tested after flying back from their Europa League semi-final with Celta Vigo on Thursday evening. Mourinho will likely set up for a draw, and that usually works as they look to keep their long-standing unbeaten league run going.

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Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough 

Chelsea could be just one point ahead of Spurs coming into Monday’s clash but they’ve responded to the pressure in this title race whenever it has come, and Middlesbrough are unlikely to threaten the Blues charge to a second title in three years. Boro showed fight against Man City in last week’s 2-2 draw, but ultimately they are set to be relegated and that could well be confirmed with defeat on Monday.

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Premier League Predictions: Chelsea face tough trip to Everton before pivotal North London Derby

Another huge Premier League weekend is in store, with decisive battles taking place at both ends of the table with just three weeks left in the 2016/17 season. League leaders Chelsea play away at Everton before Spurs host Arsenal in the North London Derby on Sunday, while Hull will look to take another step towards safety with a win at Southampton on Saturday.

The battle for the top four continues with Manchester City and Manchester United both in action on Sunday. United host Swansea before City travel to Middlesbrough. Liverpool have to wait until Monday to play again when they travel to Watford. Read on for all our Gameweek 35 predictions in the Premier League…

Southampton 2-2 Hull

This is a huge game for Hull. They are two points above the bottom three and know they have a real chance of pulling off a remarkable escape from the jaws of relegation. But their key form has been at home, they haven’t won away under Marco Silva but will take confidence from the fact that Southampton have lost two on the bounce.

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Stoke 2-0 West Ham

Out of form Stoke welcome West Ham to the Britannia on Saturday afternoon in a mid-table clash. The Potters have lost five of their last six and look like a side ready for the season to end. West Ham are just two points behind Stoke ahead of this one and have a squad plagued with injury. They’ve won just once in ten attempts on the road and have lost seven games in a row in all competitions against Stoke.

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Sunderland 1-1 Bournemouth

Sunderland’s defeat at Middlesbrough on Wednesday all but sealed their long anticipated relegation. They haven’t been good enough and will have to prepare for life in the Championship. Bournemouth have had a successful season but haven’t won away in 2017. Tough to see either side winning this.

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West Brom 1-1 Leicester

West Brom’s season has fizzled out somewhat, they’re sitting comfortably in 8th and should easily finish the season in the top ten. Leicester’s return to form has seen them climb the table to 15th and they should now avoid relegation. Their away form has been dismal, winning just once in 19 in the Premier League. Score draw.

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Crystal Palace 2-1 Burnley

This is a big game for both sides on Saturday evening. A win for either side would surely seal their safety. Palace are seven points clear of the bottom three, with Burnley just five points above. Palace have put together a great run of form lately, while Burnley have still not won away all season, so the hosts should prevail here to secure their safety.

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Manchester United 2-0 Swansea

Manchester United picked up a point in the Manchester Derby on Thursday and now need to kick on to keep their pursuit of a top four finish going. Swansea remain in the bottom three and look likely to be dragged back down to the Championship unless they can get on a run of form. United to continue their unbeaten run and keep a clean sheet.

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Middlesbrough 0-2 Manchester City

Middlesbrough beat Sunderland 1-0 on Wednesday to keep their faint survival hopes alive. But they are still the league’s lowest goalscorers and are miles away from Man City, even given the visitors inconsistencies this term. City need to bounce back to keep their top four hopes intact and should get a win without too much trouble.

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Everton 1-1 Chelsea

This is Chelsea’s hardest ask in their remaining games as they chase down a 5th Premier League title. Everton away has been a difficult fixture for them in recent years and the Toffees have a point to prove after their humiliating defeat in the reverse fixture. Romelu Lukaku has been linked with a Chelsea return in the summer so will want to show the club once again why letting him go was a bad decision. Score draw and a huge result which gives Spurs the chance to reduce the gap to just one point.

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Spurs 3-1 Arsenal

To call this the biggest North London Derby of the Premier League era might seem over extravagant but Spurs can guarantee finishing above their rivals for the first time in 22 years with victory here. Tottenham are the league’s best home team and have won eight league games in a row. Arsenal have picked up their form but have still lost five of their last seven away games and remain five points outside the top four. If Spurs play as they have done at White Hart Lane all season, they should prove too strong for the Gunners.

Watford 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool could find themselves out of the top four if results go against them in the coming weeks with their opponents playing catch up. Watford reached that 40 point tally and are comfortably in mid-table, so their focus will be on finishing the season in good form in a bid to potentially attract some fresh faces during the summer transfer window. A must win for Liverpool and one they will get.

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Premier League Predictions: Chelsea and Spurs resume title race before huge Manchester derby

There are five Premier League fixtures in midweek as ten teams are playing catch up after the weekend’s FA Cup action. Chelsea return to Premier League action against Southampton on Tuesday evening, while Tottenham travel to the in-form Crystal Palace the following day. Wednesday night also sees Arsenal take on Leicester and Sunderland visit Middlesbrough as the bottom two sides fight for a glimmer of survival hope at the bottom of the table.

The Manchester Derby takes place on Thursday night in a huge game in the race for a spot in the top four, so read on for all of our Gameweek 35 predictions…

Chelsea 2-0 Southampton

Chelsea seem to have got over their dip in form with their weekend FA Cup semifinal victory over Tottenham. The Blues now have a real shot at the double but there is still work for them to do in the league. Playing a day earlier than Spurs may not be what Antonio Conte wanted but he will be delighted if his side open up a seven point gap again and apply even more pressure to their rivals. Southampton were on the receiving end of a 3-0 loss to Man City last time out and this tie is one they know will be difficult. Chelsea know what they need to do and should pick up another three points at home on Tuesday evening.

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Crystal Palace 1-2 Tottenham

This is a huge game for Spurs, who know they need to take three points from Selhurst Park regardless of Chelsea’s result against Southampton 24 hours earlier. Mauricio Pochettino’s side must put Saturday’s FA Cup disappointment behind them if they are to topple a Crystal Palace side that has won six of their last eight league games, including Sunday’s 2-1 win at Anfield. However, Sam Allardyce has warned that he might need to rest players with such a quick turnaround for this game and that could see Spurs just edge it to keep the title race alive.

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Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City

Arsenal’s season has been a difficult one for the fans to take but their progression into the final of the FA Cup at the weekend has lifted some of the tension. Arsene Wenger’s side are seven points outside the top four but could potentially force their way back into contention if they get on a run and win their games in hand. Leicester have been hit by an injury blow ahead of this tie as Morgan and Slimani are out but their squad should be fresher than Arsenal’s for Wednesday’s game. The Gunners should be heading into this one expecting nothing less than three points, but their inconsistency has been there for all to see this season.

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Middlesbrough 2-3 Sunderland

This could have been an absolutely pivotal game in the race for survival but the truth is that both sides look destined for the drop. Sunderland have six games to try and close a gap of 12 points if they are to survive. They haven’t won in eight and will surely be relegated, regardless of their result on Teesside. Boro have the joint-worst home record in the division this season, along with Sunderland, but know they have to win this match to have any kind of hope remaining themselves. A draw doesn’t suit either side but Sunderland look the more likely to take three points, just based on the experience in the side.

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Manchester City 1-1 Manchester United

This is a huge Manchester Derby. The two clubs are battling for a place in the top four and United can overtake their city rivals with a win. Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge has been an uncomfortable one and is surely now going to be a trophyless one too after they crashed out to Arsenal in the semifinal on Sunday. Realistically City have to finish in the top four for this season to not be labelled a huge disaster, but with potentially five clubs battling for two remaining spaces their task is far from easy. Expect a cagey affair lacking that killer instinct both these clubs have missed this season. A draw would be an awful result for either side, but it seems a likely outcome.

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Premier League Predictions: Mourinho looking for Chelsea revenge, Arsenal looking to bounce back at Boro

The Premier League season is heading towards it’s finale but there is still plenty to play for. Manchester United welcome league leaders Chelsea to Old Trafford in the standout fixture of the weekend on Sunday, while the battle to avoid relegation intensifies.

Tottenham kick things off on Saturday lunchtime with the visit of Bournemouth, while Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all have tricky away trips to Southampton, West Brom and Middlesbrough respectively. Read on to find out all of our Gameweek 32 predictions…

Tottenham 3-0 Bournemouth

Spurs are still chasing Chelsea at the top of the league. Their 4-0 win over Watford last weekend furtherdemonstrated their intensity and classy finishing. Bournemouth cannot afford to let Tottenham in early otherwise they could be on the receiving end of another rout. The Cherries look like they’ll be safe from relegation this season, they’re seven points above the drop zone but know they’re in for a tricky afternoon here.

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Sunderland 0-1 West Ham

Sunderland really are in the last-chance saloon. They are in huge trouble at the bottom of the Premier League table and haven’t scored a goal in over two months. West Ham’s season has been inconsistent throughout but they got a much-needed win against Swansea last weekend and should be able to follow that up with another narrow win against a team that looks destined for the drop.

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Stoke City 2-2 Hull City

Stoke’s season has become a little stale. They face relegation threatened Hull this weekend who have hit some form as they continue their fight against the drop. Mark Hughes will be expecting his side to win here and edge closer to that 40-point mark. Hull will be hoping results go their way to ensure they don’t drop back into the bottom three.

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Crystal Palace 2-1 Leicester City

Crystal Palace have turned their season on its head in recent weeks as Sam Allardyce has worked his magic once again. They have won five of their last six and could overtake Leicester with a win on Saturday. The Foxes have also turned their season around since a managerial change but they have a Champions League quarter-final to focus on and that distraction could see Palace take full advantage in this one.

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Everton 2-1 Burnley

Everton stunned Leicester with an impressive attacking display last weekend but still showed their defensive issues. Romelu Lukaku is the Premier League’s top scorer and he will be looking forward to causing the Burnley defence problems here. Sean Dyche’s side have conceded 44 goals this season but look comfortable in mid-table.

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Watford 1-2 Swansea City

If Swansea stand any chance of staying in the Premier League they need to win games like this. A loss at Watford on Saturday would leave them in huge trouble, but Paul Clement has a team good enough to get the job done. Watford got battered at Spurs last week and look like a side that’s season is already over. They’re effectively safe from relegation and don’t need this as much as Swansea.

Southampton 1-3 Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side face a tricky away trip to Southampton on Saturday evening. The Saints will be looking to take a positive result here as they continue to apply pressure to West Brom above them in 8th. Manchester City cannot afford to drop points, they will potentially let Arsenal and Manchester United back into the race for the top four and miss the chance to go ahead of Liverpool by winning their game in hand.

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West Brom 1-1 Liverpool 

These are the sort of games Liverpool have struggled to win this season and they can expect another tricky test at the Hawthorns. They might have produced a comeback at Stoke last week but the Baggies are a tougher unit to break down and proved their threat with that 3-1 win over Arsenal a few weeks ago. Liverpool can’t really afford to drop any more points if they are to secure a top four spot, but they might have to settle for one point on Sunday.

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Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

Jose Mourinho welcomes league leading Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. He has faced his former employers twice already this season, losing both games. Antonio Conte’s side cannot afford to get complacent at this stage of the season as they are pushing for the title. United are on a 21-game unbeaten run and a draw looks a likely result this weekend.

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Middlesbrough 0-1 Arsenal

To call this the biggest game of Arsenal’s season might seem a bit farfetched, but a defeat at Middlesbrough could see their top four hopes all but ended, depending on results over the weekend. Boro are in trouble themselves and look set for relegation. They have struggled to find goals all season but will be giving it their all against the Gunners on Monday night. Arsenal have the quality to stroll past Middlesbrough but it depends which side shows up. If it’s the one that lost 3-0 at Palace last week, then they’ll be in big trouble.

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Premier League Predictions: Liverpool set for derby glory, City to pile misery on Arsenal

The international break is over. Premier League football is back and what a weekend we have in store, starting with the Merseyside Derby on Saturday lunchtime and ending with a huge game at the Emirates as Arsenal welcome Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.

There are also crucial clashes at the bottom of the table, with Swansea hosting Middlesbrough on Sunday after Watford face struggling Sunderland on Saturday afternoon. It should be another thrilling weekend of action so read on for all our Gameweek 30 predictions…

Liverpool 3-2 Everton 

The Merseyside Derby is always a big occasion and that will be no different on Saturday. Liverpool need to win this to keep their top four hopes alive and should be able to edge past an Everton team who have only won one of their last five away games in the Premier League. The Toffees are unlikely to end their 18-year winless run at Anfield here.

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Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace 

Premier League leaders Chelsea are ten points clear of the chasing pack. They face a Crystal Palace side who are looking to grind out results to ensure their survival. The Blues know what they need to do to win the league from here on it and Antonio Conte will expect nothing less than a win.

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Burnley 0-1 Tottenham 

Burnley have made Turf Moor a fortress this season. They have the fifth-best home record in the top flight but are facing a Spurs side that are still fighting for Champions League football. Tottenham haven’t been great away from home, winning just two of their last ten on the road in the Premier League but should be able to win by the odd goal here.

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Hull 2-2 West Ham 

Hull City come into this tie off the back of a 4-0 thumping before the international break. West Ham are going through a difficult patch so Hull will see this as a game they have to pick up points in. Unless The Tigers can put a string a positive results together they look set for the drop. Score draw.

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Leicester 3-0 Stoke

Leicester have been resurgent since Craig Shakespeare took over from Claudio Ranieri and the Foxes don’t look set to slow down here. They have won four in a row in all competitions and have rediscovered their goalscoring form. Stoke on the other hand can’t seem to score on the road, having failed to do so in their last three away games. Should be a routine home victory.

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Manchester United 2-0 West Brom 

Jose Mourinho knows his side have to win this game. West Brom shocked everyone before the international break with a stunning 3-1 win over Arsenal but a winning two on the bounce is a big ask. United are still pushing hard for a top four finish and they look capable of doing so.

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Watford 1-1 Sunderland 

This is a massive game for Sunderland if they are to keep their survival hopes intact. They need to start winning games to have any chance of pulling off another great escape but they haven’t scored in four games and are taking on a Watford side that have only lost one of their last five at home. It should be tense and we can’t see either side leaving with all three points.

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Southampton 3-1 Bournemouth 

Southampton host Bournemouth in a south-coast derby on Saturday evening and will be looking to keep their unbeaten home record against the Cherries going. Bournemouth have lost four of their last five away games but having been scoring goals. The Saints won the reverse fixture 3-1 and the same scoreline could well be on the cards here.

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Swansea 2-0 Middlesbrough 

This is a huge game at the bottom of the league. Swansea are working their way towards safety under the guidance of Paul Clement but there is still plenty of work to be done as they are just three points above the drop zone. Middlesbrough look destined for a return to the Championship unless they can turn their fortunes around. They’ve won the least amount of games in the league this season, just four.

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Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City 

The pressure is on Arsene Wenger to deliver in this one. His Arsenal side have lost four of their last five Premier League games and face a continually improving Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side are 12 points off the top and will be looking to keep chasing with a win here. They haven’t conceded in their last three away league outings.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, April 2 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET) 
Match Odds: Arsenal 2/1 – Draw 13/5 – Manchester City 5/4

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Manchester City to The Emirates on Sunday afternoon in one of the standout fixtures as the Premier League returns this weekend.

This is quite possibly Arsenal’s biggest game of the season. They are in 6th place, six points outside of the top four but do have two games in hand on four of the five sides above them. If Arsenal lose this they are going to really struggle to make up the gap in the remaining fixtures of the season.

The pressure on Arsene Wenger seems to intensify with every passing game at the moment. Arsenal have lost four of their last five league games and are seriously risking not finishing in the top four.

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Manchester City are 12 points off the top of the table but while the league is still mathematically winnable they have to continue to fight for the title.

Pep Guardiola’s side need to finish second at the very least to make some success of their domestic season. This game is the second of their three grudge matches in a row. They’ve already avoided defeat to Liverpool in their last fixture and a win here before they face Chelsea would be a huge result for their confidence.

City are in a strong run of form. They have won three of the last five, picking up 11 points from a possible 15. It’s been three clean sheets away from home in a row for City and a fourth here is a big ask.

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Team News

Arsenal’s injury woes didn’t get any better before the international break as Petr Cech looks set to be out for around a month following his injury in the loss to West Brom. Wenger will still be without Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Debuchy, while Kieran Gibbs may return. Alexis Sanchez should be fit and ready to play after starring for Chile but Mesut Ozil’s status remains unclear.

Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna withdrew from international duty over the last week and a half, whether or not they will feature here remains to be seen.

Arsenal’s form: L/L/W/L/L

Manchester City’s form: W/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Pressure on Wenger – Arsenal have lost four of their last five Premier League games.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Manchester City striker is key to his side taking three points here. He is going to have to deliver, which shouldn’t be a problem given that he has the ability to score against the very best as he so often proves.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City – Manchester City to heap more pressure on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. The Gunners are in a really difficult patch of form and could do without having to face a City side who have hit some form.

Arsenal should do everything possible to sign these players to help their defensive issues

Gameweek 29 saw another weekend of frustration for Arsenal fans. Their 3-1 defeat away to West Brom continued to heap pressure on underperforming players and Arsene Wenger. Regardless of whether Wenger stays at the end of the season the Arsenal defence is in need of some serious changes. These three defenders could certainly improve their solidity at the back and help to provide a core to ensure they are able to challenge on all fronts once again…

Alessandro Florenzi

Arsenal have lacked world-class fullbacks throughout the last decade and they are still trying to find a solution for the position. While Hector Bellerin has been consistent going forward, he is susceptible to defensive errors at the back. Alessandro Florenzi has been impressing at both club and international level with Roma and Italy. At just 26 he is now regarded as one of the best right-backs in Europe and would be a welcome addition to any Premier League title-challenging side.

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Layvin Kurzawa

Left-back is definitely a position Arsenal need to address. Kieran Gibbs has been playing at a steady level for some time but he hasn’t shown any signs of taking that step up to elite. Nacho Monreal has been a good squad rotation player but there is little chance he would make it into many of the best clubs in Europe. Layvin Kurzawa has been continuing to improve at Paris Saint Germain and possesses good qualities both offensively and defensively. He is fearless into challenges and confident on the ball. The Premier League may well appeal to Kurzawa and he certainly be a step in the right direction.

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Aymeric Laporte

Arsenal are not a million miles away from getting their centre back partnership right. Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have put in some excellent performances as a paring but it’s depth that has let Arsenal down. Per Mertesacker and Gabriel do not fill the fans with confidence when called upon and again, would struggle to make it into the first team for Europe’s elite clubs. Laporte would offer good cover and could potentially strike up a good partnership with Koscielny as a fellow Frenchman.

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Whether or not Arsenal will go in for any of these three defenders remains to be seen but they are in desperate need of reinforcements at the back. Their transfer policy is still clearly to work within a budget and with that in mind they should be able to afford at least two of these three.

Would these three defenders improve Arsenal? Should they be targeting anyone else?

Three reasons Liverpool will secure a top four finish this season

Liverpool kept their impressive unbeaten record against the league’s top sides intact with a 1-1 draw at Manchester City earlier today and remain in fourth place with nine Premier League matches to play.

The Reds are four points clear of Manchester United in fifth and six clear of Arsenal in sixth but their chasing rivals both have two games in hand to try and close that gap. Jurgen Klopp’s men still have a huge challenge on their hands if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League but they have three big reasons to be optimistic.

1. No distractions

Liverpool’s nine remaining league games are the only matches they have left to play in all competitions this season. That means they have maximum time to prepare for each game and will be able to play full strength sides in every fixture. Roberto Firmino returned to the team at Man City on Sunday, while Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge should be fit again by the time Everton come to Anfield on April 1, so Liverpool have all their key men available for the final stretch.

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In stark contrast, Manchester United still have a minimum of 13 games to play as a result of their Europa League commitments, while they could play as many as 16 more if they reach the final of that competition – something many expect them to do. Arsenal still have 11 Premier League games to play and also have an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City to contend with. The fact that Liverpool have only one competition to focus on should give them an advantage in the run-in.

2. Goalscoring form

Klopp’s side are the league’s top scorers, having netted 61 times in 29 games so far – an average of 2.1 per game. Not only does that make them the most threatening team in the division, it also means they have a strong chance of having superior goal difference to their nearest rivals. Only Chelsea and Spurs have better goal difference than the Reds at this stage and they will look to keep it that way as they battle with both Manchester clubs as well as Arsenal for the final remaining Champions League spots.

The Reds have only failed to score in one of their last 17 league games and will fancy their chances of outscoring each of their remaining nine opponents until the end of the season.

3. Home comforts

Liverpool will play five of their remaining league fixtures at Anfield, where they have only lost one game all season. The Reds have the fourth best home record in the division this season and have back-to-back home clashes against Everton and Bournemouth coming up after the international break to try and solidify their position in the top four. They are unbeaten in four at home, winning three of those, and have played Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal in that stretch.

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Their remaining home fixtures see them face just two sides who currently sit in the top ten in Everton and Southampton, while they will be expected to beat Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough. They have easier home games remaining that Manchester United and Arsenal, who have to play each other at the Emirates Stadium on May 6 in what will prove to be a pivotal match in the race for the top four.

Do you think Liverpool will secure a top four spot in the Premier League this season?

Premier League Predictions: Tough away trips for Arsenal and Chelsea, huge six pointer at the Etihad

Seven Premier League matches take place on Saturday including tough away trips for Arsenal, who kick things off at West Brom at lunchtime and then league leaders Chelsea travel to Stoke, which is always a tricky fixture. Sunday sees the standout game of the weekend as Liverpool lock horns with Manchester City at the Etihad in a tie which could have a huge impact in the race for the Champions League places come the end of the campaign.

Before that on Sunday, Mauricio Pochettino welcomes his former employers to White Hart Lane as Tottenham face Southampton and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United will be expecting to take all three points when they visit Middlesbrough. Read on for all our Gameweek 29 predictions…

West Brom 1-3 Arsenal

This is going to be a tough one for Arsene Wenger’s side but they are helped by West Brom’s position in the table. Tony Pulis knows his side are safe for another Premier League season and they have little left to play for. However, the Baggies cannot afford to play like they’re already on their summer holidays and risk finishing the season on a poor run. Arsenal haven’t been setting the world alight and West Brom will fancy their chances of getting at the Gunners. Wenger will expect three points, but they’ll have to work for them.

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Crystal Palace 2-0 Watford

Palace have won three of their last five games and have finally climbed out of the bottom three as Sam Allardyce’s magic is starting to get through to his players. The Eagles will have marked this fixture as a very winnable one and will be expected to take three more vital points from a Watford side that haven’t won in three. The Hornets have lost seven of their last nine away games in the Premier League and are unlikely to take anything from a hungry Palace team this weekend.

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Sunderland 1-2 Burnley

Sunderland look like a side who are already preparing for life in the Championship. There are only so many occasions a team can fight off the drop and with just 19 points, six away from safety it, looks like their Premier League time is nearly up. Burnley are sitting fairly comfortably in mid table but they cannot afford to lose games like this for the risk of being dragged into the relegation scrap. Although they’re in 12th they’re just seven points above the bottom three. Sean Dyche’s men to pip Sunderland to the post.

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Everton 3-1 Hull City

Everton’s hopes of finishing in the top six are slim, although given their run of form since the turn of the year, they won’t be giving up on anything. Seventh place will earn a Europa League spot unless Leicester win the Champions League and so Everton know they are on the right track. They have won five on the bounce at home and face a Hull team who struggle badly away from home. The Tigers earned three huge points at home to Swansea last week but have lost 11 of their 12 league games away from home and are up against it here.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

The Premier League leaders have to win, it’s as simple as that. Antonio Conte’s side will be buoyed by the fact they reached the FA Cup semifinals on Monday night but this is going to be a test for them. Stoke are going to give Chelsea a run for their money and will push hard to take points from the game. Mark Hughes will be looking for his side to press the Blues and not allow them time on the ball. Given Chelsea’s form and the players at Conte’s disposal they should win, how comfortably they do is a different question.

West Ham 2-2 Leicester City

Leicester have turned their season on its head since Craig Shakespeare took control, winning back-to-back league games before advancing into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. They will be in high spirits but might be fatigued after putting so much into their game on Tuesday night. West Ham will hope to take advantage of that with a first win in five. They fell 3-2 to Bournemouth last week and have now lost back-to-back games. There should be goals here but it’s tough to pick a winner.

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Bournemouth 2-2 Swansea City

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth welcome the inform Swansea to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon. This could be one of the most important games of the weekend in terms of the fight for survival. Just two places and three points separate the clubs ahead of this one and a draw is the result those around them will be hoping for. Swansea have struggled away from home, they’ve lost their last three but Paul Clement has been improving things at the club and he will hope to have done enough to stop that rot here. Score draw.

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Middlesbrough 0-1 Manchester United

Middlesbrough start life without Aitor Karanka in very tricky fashion as they welcome Manchester United on Sunday. Boro have only scored two goals in the Premier League in 2017 and look certain to get relegated if they cannot fix their problems in front of goal. United beat Rostov 1-0 on Thursday night to advance to the Europa League quarter-finals but will be concerned by how many fixtures they have coming up in quick succession now. Mourinho might rotate his squad but the visitors should still be strong enough to get the win, even if Zlatan is suspended…

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Tottenham 3-1 Southampton

Tottenham will have to make do without talisman Harry Kane for the first of a number of games. Pochettino does have options for his replacement with Heung Min Son the likely candidate to lead the line following his FA Cup quarterfinal hat-trick last weekend. The Saints have had a relatively quiet season, they’re comfortably in 10th but should be capable of finishing in the top eight. Expect this one to be entertaining but anything than a Spurs win would be a surprise.

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Manchester City 2-2 Liverpool

This is an enormous games for both clubs at a pivotal stage of the season. Liverpool enter the weekend one point behind Man City but have played a match more, so they know they must take three points here to stay on course for a top four finish. They tend to perform to their best in these huge games and have already won at Arsenal and Chelsea this term. For City, they must bounce back from Wednesday’s crushing Champions League exit to Monaco. Pep Guardiola knows this has not been the season he expected but falling out of the top four just days after being knocked out of Europe would give them a real problem, especially if they fail in front of their own fans.

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