Hazard leaving Chelsea? – Star set to go after top four failure

After a performance that has been heavily criticised by pundits, Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City has made finishing in the top four look extremely unlikely for the Blues. Champions League football is a must for attracting and keeping top players. Missing out could be a catalyst for Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea.

The Belgian is arguably one of the best players to represent the club. Since joining in the summer of 2012 he has been a key performer for Chelsea. But the possibility of him staying with the Blues for the long haul has been constantly questioned.

Hazard has made no secret of his admiration for current Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid. The temptation for any player to pull on that famous white shirt is enough to worry adoring fans that their current favourites could move at any time.

This summer seems the most likely yet that Hazard leaving Chelsea is a real possibility. Hazard is yet to pen a new deal. Now he may be looking to move on after six seasons in the capital.

When taking a look at Hazard’s Chelsea stats, his potential departure is a major concern for the club.

Is Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea?

It’s easy to see how influential Hazard is for Chelsea. He has been directly involved in 160 goals in his 287 games in all competitions. His two Premier League titles, Europa League and League Cup is an impressive haul of trophies so far.

Hazard has successfully completed 940 dribbles in the Premier League and European competitions since joining Chelsea. That is bettered by Lionel Messi (1045), but not Cristiano Ronaldo (388) or Neymar (861).

Hazard leaving Chelsea – Title defence failure

Although City have taken the league by storm this season, Chelsea’s title defence has been poor to say the least. It’s the second title defence in a row where Chelsea have not been up to the races.

For Hazard to continue his growth as a player and to be recognised as one of the elite he needs to be winning or challenging consistently for a league title every season. That is not happening for him at Chelsea, which will be increasing his frustrations.

Hazard leaving Chelsea – New challenge & Ballon d’Or

A new challenge may be on the Belgian’s mind. As mentioned, he has been with Chelsea for six seasons now. In the modern game longevity is becoming a less frequent feature of a career.

At 27, Hazard is now in his prime years and he arguably has six seasons at left in him at the very top of his game. He will want to be challenging to win the Ballon d’Or year-on-year during that time. While Messi and Ronaldo are still dominating European stats, Hazard is a name that is constantly thrown into the ring for those who are expected to hit the highest levels.

Winning the Ballon d’Or while playing in the Premier League is not a very frequent occurrence. The last time it happened was in 2001. So even with the domination of Messi and Ronaldo from 2008 onwards – it seems unlikely for anything to change any time soon.

Hazard leaving Chelsea – Champions League desire

Winning the Champions League is at the top of the list for every player in Europe. Hazard is facing the prospect of not playing in the competition for the second time in just three seasons. While Chelsea are still in the current round of the competition, they aren’t being backed by many to advance.

His desire to win the competition is natural. It’s all to apparent how difficult it is to win the Champions League while playing with the pressure of what is known as the toughest league in the world.

While doing no discredit to the strength of the remainder of Europe’s top leagues, they are seen as easier routes to having a better chance of winning the Champions League, which may be a factor in Hazard’s decision to move on.

Is Hazard leaving Chelsea this summer?

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Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Huge weekend in title race as City face Arsenal before Chelsea vs Man Utd

Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Another huge weekend of Premier League football is upon us. The international break is looming and so all 20 clubs will be hoping to head into the break in high spirits.

There are ten games to enjoy this weekend but there’s no doubt what the two standout fixtures are. Sunday will see a colossal double-header in the title race as Man City host Arsenal before Chelsea face Man Utd straight after. Spurs face Palace in the earlier game on Sunday, while Everton entertain Watford at the same time as the Chelsea vs Man Utd game.

Before all of Sunday’s action, there are six matches on Saturday. The weekend begins as Stoke welcome Leicester to the Bet365 Stadium at 12:30. Then on Saturday evening, Liverpool travel to West Ham looking to put pressure on the rest of the top six ahead of Sunday.

Read on for predictions to all ten of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 11 isn’t one you want to miss…

Stoke 2-2 Leicester

The lunchtime kick off has the makings of a tight one. Both sides are sitting in and around mid-table, separated by just one point. It’s all very tight in the middle of the pack and there are plenty of goals flying in. We expect there to be goals in this one. Stoke and Leicester’s fixtures have seen the ball hit the back of the net a combined 59 times. The Potters won 1-0 last time out, while Leicester extended their unbeaten run to five in all competitions with a comfortable 2-0 win over Everton. Score draw.

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Huddersfield 1-1 West Brom

Despite promising starts to the season, both Huddersfield and West Brom have tailed off in recent weeks. Huddersfield did shock everyone with that stunning win over Man Utd a couple of weeks ago, but that is their only win in eight in all competitions. They need to avoid defeat to West Brom here, and will fancy their chances at home. The Baggies aren’t playing well and haven’t kept a clean sheet in five. That’s uncharacteristic of a Tony Pulis side. This one might not be pretty.

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Newcastle 3-0 Bournemouth

The belief around St James Park is there for all to see. Players and fans alike are behind Rafa Benitez despite some inconsistent form of late. The Toon Army come into this one having narrowly lost 1-0 away at Burnley and now a response is needed. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth have been out of luck for the majority of the season so far and are the second lowest scorers in the league. They lost to Chelsea last weekend and a trip up North probably wouldn’t have been the next fixture they would have picked given the choice. Newcastle to take all three points.

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Southampton 1-1 Burnley

Burnley are flying high as they come into the weekend in seventh, level on points with Liverpool. Sean Dyche is further highlighting how good a manager he is and so there’s no wonder why he’s being linked with the vacant position at Everton. But for now, his focus will be on Burnley and getting as many points as possible every week. They will go to Southampton looking to hit them on the break and can expect to come away with a point. The Saints have been better in recent weeks but still lack a clinical edge. Both should score but the points look set to be shared.

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Swansea 1-1 Brighton

Swansea are sitting just above the relegation zone. On just eight points so far this season there is reason for concern. However, they probably considered themselves unlucky last weekend to lose away at Arsenal having held the lead. That made it three losses on the bounce in all competitions and they’ve won just one in their last seven in the league. By stark contrast, Brighton are on a three-game unbeaten run. They are sitting 12th in the league but a loss here would show them just how quickly things can change as it would put 17th placed Swansea just a point behind them. An important fixture that neither can afford to lose.

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West Ham 1-3 Liverpool

This is a big game for both sides. For West Ham, they need to show they are behind Slaven Bilic as he remains under intense pressure. For Liverpool, they need three points to make up ground on the sides above them ahead of Sunday’s games. West Ham carelessly threw away a win at Palace last week and had to settle for a point. They did beat Spurs in the League Cup before that, but in the Premier League, they have only one win in six. Liverpool have been inconsistent all season but looked good against Huddersfield last week. Expect them to prove too strong for a West Ham side that look to be in trouble.

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Spurs 3-0 Crystal Palace

What a rollercoaster week it has been for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. The low of losing narrowly to Man Utd last weekend in what wasn’t a pretty fixture, to their midweek heroics of taking apart Real Madrid. But, and it’s a big but – Spurs must stay grounded. The media frenzy which has surrounded them in such a positive light will very quickly turn with a poor result this weekend. If results go Tottenham’s way they could be within five points of top spot as the other four in the top five go head-to-head. There isn’t much to say about Crystal Palace’s league form this season. They remain bottom despite picking up a point last weekend. If Spurs play at their usual tempo, expect goals and a relatively easy win.

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Man City 4-1 Arsenal

At this stage of the season, it doesn’t look like anyone can stop Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team are full of confidence and are brushing aside anyone in their way. Arsenal arrive at the Etihad as the underdogs but they are unbeaten in five in all competitions. The problem for Wenger’s men is they are still vulnerable at the back. They conceded two at Everton and then fell behind to Swansea last time out. Man City are ruthless and will exploit any weaknesses. Unfortunately, this looks like it will only end one way. And that’s with a convincing home win.

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Chelsea 1-2 Man Utd

Chelsea’s title defence has been far from convincing. The Blues are unconvincing and only just overcame Bournemouth last weekend before being torn apart in their midweek clash in Rome. If reports are believed to be true, all is not well behind the scenes for Antonio Conte and his side. Key players are missing for both Chelsea and Man Utd but Jose Mourinho will be eager to get one up over his old employers. Don’t expect a repeat of this fixture from last year. United will be difficult to breakdown and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them take all three points back up to Manchester. Is the clock ticking for Conte?

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Everton 2-2 Watford

Everton are in trouble. They’ve sacked their manager. They’ve spent a lot of money on a squad that haven’t clicked. And they’ve already been knocked out of Europe. They have lost five in a row in all competitions and Watford will arrive confident they can add to the Toffees’ woes. The Hornets have lost back-to-back league games for the first time this season but have enough about them to respond with a better performance at Goodison Park. The challenge for Everton is trying to rally and avoid dropping more points as a result of that Europa League hangover.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham vs Chelsea

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea FC

Wembley Stadium – Sunday, August 20 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Spurs 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 5/2

Tottenham vs Chelsea: Preview

Tottenham host Chelsea as they take to the field for their first Premier League game at Wembley this season. The home side will need to try and make the national stadium a fortress for the 2017/18 campaign, while work is finished on their new stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men got off to a winning start at Newcastle last week. That 2-0 victory was fairly straightforward in the end, although it was certainly a closer game before Jonjo Shelvey’s red card.

The worry for Spurs is that they were so poor at Wembley last season, compared to White Hart Lane. They didn’t lose a single home game in the top flight last term. They only won one of five at Wembley in cup competitions.

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The fact is, if Spurs could have hand-picked an opponent for their home opener at the national stadium, it wouldn’t have been Chelsea. They’d have been a long way down the list. But this game also serves as the perfect chance for Tottenham to lay down a benchmark.

Chelsea will be desperate for a positive showing after last weekend’s shambolic defeat to Burnley. The Blues lost at home on the opening day for the first time in 24 years. They were a man down and three goals down at halftime before some parity was restored in the second half.

Although Cesc Fabregas was also sent off late on, leaving Antonio Conte with a selection dilemma ahead of their trip to Wembley. The Italian manager does not seem impressed with the club’s transfer business this summer. Things are not looking rosy for the reigning champions, but they still know how important a game this is.

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If the Blues can bounce back and defeat Spurs on Sunday, many will have forgotten about their horror start to the campaign. But a second successive defeat would leave Conte with a lot to think about, and very little time to make any transfers.

The two London rivals met three times in total last season. Chelsea came back to win 2-1 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge in November. Before Spurs won 2-0 at White Hart Lane in January. The Blues then emerged as 4-2 winners in their FA Cup Semi-Final clash at Wembley in April, going on to face Arsenal in the final.

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Tottenham vs Chelsea: Team News

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has no fresh injury concerns ahead of their first home game of the season. Kyle Walker-Peters picked up man of the match on his Premier League debut last weekend. He should keep his place at right-back, with Kieran Trippier still injured. Moussa Sissoko might make way for Heung-Min Son in the starting lineup. Danny Rose, Erik Lamela and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou remain out injured.

Chelsea have a potential crisis on their hands for their second outing of the campaign. The Blues are without the suspended duo of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas. Both picked up red cards in the 3-2 loss to Burnley and will miss out here. Diego Costa is still out in Brazil. Pedro should be fit enough to start. While Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko both played in a secret friendly against QPR U20s on Thursday and might be in contention. Andreas Christensen might be called into start, if Antonio Conte remains with such a dilemma on his hands.

Tottenham vs Chelsea: Key Points

Spurs’ form: W

Chelsea’s form: L

Key Stat: Tottenham won one of just five home games at Wembley last season. While they failed to keep a single clean sheet at the national stadium in their five outings in 2016/17.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Spurs star has still never scored a Premier League goal in the month of August. He hit the post against Newcastle last week and looked sharp, despite not finding the back of the net. The visit of Chelsea means he is in for a tough afternoon, but he has scored four goals in eight games against the Blues.

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Tottenham vs Chelsea: Prediction

Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea – Chelsea are unlikely to be as poor at the back as they were against Burnley last weekend. Bad ill discipline cost them and they can’t afford to make similar mistakes here. Spurs got off to a good start against Newcastle without really impressing. However, they will be desperate to get off to a winning start at Wembley. And given the current state of both teams coming into Sunday, it’s hard not to see the hosts winning.

Matic to Man Utd: Should Chelsea be selling him?

Matic to Man Utd: The Serbian midfielder is close to a reunion with Jose Mourinho, but are Chelsea making the right decision to sell him to Premier League title rivals?

Matic to Man Utd: Pro’s for Chelsea

The reported fee for Matic to Man Utd is £40m. A similar amount to what Chelsea have paid for Tiemoue Bakayoko, meaning the Blues would break even in terms of transfer spend.

Antonio Conte is stamping his mark on his squad for the new season. He is signing the players he wants and allowing those he doesn’t want to leave the club. So if he is able to do so while balancing the books, he’ll be even happier.

Matic to Man Utd: Con’s for Chelsea

Chelsea are losing an established midfielder. At 28 Matic is in his prime with plenty still to offer. He’s also won two Premier League titles with Chelsea over the past three seasons.

Matic’s replacement is unproven in the Premier League. Bakayoko may need time to adapt to his new surroundings and has far less experience.

Chelsea’s squad depth will be tested unless they sign more midfielders. Conte has already allowed Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah to depart the club. With the demand of more games this season compared to last, Chelsea are going to need to ensure their squad can handle the busy schedule.

Matic to Man Utd: Pro’s & Con’s for United

Signing Matic will work for United. He is a grafter and will free up the likes of Paul Pogba to have more of an impact on the game in the final third.

Matic registered seven assists for Chelsea in the Premier League last season, more than any other Manchester United player. This shows his creative edge even though his main job is to provide extra cover for the defence. Plus, Mourinho knows Matic well. The Serbian has played a total of 90 games under the Portuguese head coach in the past.

However, another midfielder gives Mourinho a selection dilemma. He has at least four players who can play in a similar role. So adding Matic to the squad could lead to some discontent among those vying for a place in the starting lineup.

Photos of Matic in Man Utd training wear have appeared online over the weekend, suggesting a deal is all but done. Although the legitimacy of these is yet to be stated, it certainly looks like Matic has played his final game for Chelsea.

Diego Costa staying? Chelsea’s striker crisis could be solved

Chelsea have shown little intent in the summer transfer window so far. The main talk has been about the future of their controversial striker. Antonio Conte has been looking to offload him, but is Diego Costa staying?

The Blues have struggled so far to bring in a replacement for Costa. They have seemingly missed out on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge. With the Belgian closing in on a move to Manchester United, so Chelsea are running out of options.

It is reported that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte could be set for a U-turn on his decision to sell the Spaniard. If Diego Costa’s staying, Chelsea’s striker crisis could be solved. Chelsea’s preseason is days away and a solution before then would be ideal.

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Diego Costa staying: Positives

Costa is a two-time Premier League champion, he has proven his worth. His goalscoring record speaks for itself, with 58 in 210 appearances meaning he averages just under a goal every other game.

Chelsea’s number 19 has a great relationship with his teammates and the fans. Although no players have crossed Conte’s decision, they have spoken of their fondness of Costa.

With the possibility of Diego Costa staying, Chelsea do not have to spend money on a new striker. This means they can spend money elsewhere in the team and try to sign other players they need. And if he does stay for the rest of his contract, Chelsea won’t need to sign a striker until 2019.

Is Diego Costa staying at Chelsea?

Diego Costa enjoying his holiday. Via: @diego.costa on Instagram

Diego Costa staying: Negatives

Costa and Antonio Conte already have a rocky relationship. It will be difficult for them to see eye to eye and problems will more than likely happen again. If the pair clash midseason it would be impossible to see anything positive come from Diego Costa staying.

The Spaniard has already asked to leave Chelsea more than once since signing in 2014. He clearly feels he has unfinished business at Atletico. Once their transfer ban is over, Costa will probably look to force a move again. So this might leave Chelsea with the same problem of needing to sign a new striker in January.

Is Diego Costa staying? Would this be good for Chelsea?

Ashley Cole talks up bright future for MLS as he eyes Chelsea return

Chelsea legend Ashley Cole believes Major League Soccer is heading in the right direction. The former Blue talked up the league but is looking ahead to a Chelsea return, as a coach or scout.

Cole told FourFourTwo that MLS has a promising future and he’s enjoying his stateside career. Although he admits that life is tougher as an older player.

Ashley Cole – ‘It will be a very big league’

“The league is definitely growing,” he said. “MLS is demanding. You have to travel a lot, which is the main problem for older guys.

“You’re on the plane for five to seven hours and it’s not easy. But the younger guys are learning from the marquee players. In five or six years it will be a very big league.”

Photo of Ashley Cole by Ashley Marshall – MLSGB

The 36 year old has his heart set on a Chelsea return but insists he is not finished yet: “I would like to go back to England and work for Chelsea in some capacity if I could, so that would be my first choice.

“Coaching or being a scout is something I’ve always considered and enjoyed while watching games. I try to nurture young players coming through, so it’s something I have in the back of my mind for after I finish playing. But I want to play for as long as I possibly can, because once you finish playing, you are done for life.”

Cole isn’t the only ex-Chelsea player who has talked about returning to the club. Recently departed John Terry has highlighted his ambition to one day manage the Blues. The two former England internationals could find themselves spearheading the future of the club.

If Cole is true to his word on playing for as long as he can, he could potentially lineup for Galaxy for two or more seasons. With the likes of 38 year old Andrea Pirlo – who is two years his senior – still playing in MLS.

Will Ashley Cole return to Chelsea as a coach? How much longer will he play for Galaxy?

Chelsea set to beat Spurs to PL title by 11 points if these results are anything to go by

The race for the Premier League title is continuing to keep fans guessing after Tottenham closed the gap on leaders Chelsea to just four points over the weekend. The two are set to face off for a place in the FA Cup Final this weekend in a huge game which will no doubt create even more talking points for who is going to end up winning the title.

Chelsea have a more favourable run-in on paper according to many fans and pundits alike and by looking into the results in the reverse fixtures, it is clear to see why that is the general consensus.

Chelsea’s remaining fixtures:

Southampton (H)
Everton (A)
Middlesbrough (H)
West Brom (A)
Watford (H)
Sunderland (H)

There is no easy game in the Premier League but Chelsea play four of their six remaining games at Stamford Bridge. The reverse fixtures saw Chelsea take maximum points and while the title race is still in their hands, Antonio Conte’s side will want his side to get the job done as soon as possible.

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Tottenham’s remaining fixtures:

Crystal Palace (A)
Arsenal (H)
West Ham (A)
Manchester United (H)
Leicester City (A)
Hull City (A)

Spurs have been in incredible form of late, but there is no doubting they have some tough fixtures in their run-in. Unlike Chelsea, four of their last six are away from home, while their two remaining home games are against top four chasing Arsenal and Manchester United.

If Mauricio Pochettino’s side do not improve on their results in the reverse fixtures they have very little chance of winning the league. They drew against Arsenal, lost to Man United, drew at home to Leicester and won the other three games, giving them a total of 11 points from a possible 18.

While it is unlikely both Chelsea and Spurs will replicate the exact same outcomes in their remaining fixtures, it does give some insight into potential results. Chelsea would hypothetically finish the season on 93 points, if they picked up the maximum 18 on offer, while Spurs would stand to take 11 points, putting their final tally at 82.

Are Chelsea going to win their 5th Premier League title or will Tottenham pull off an incredible turnaround?

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.

Drogba to help Phoenix Rising chase MLS dream by joining USL side on three-year contract – report

Didier Drogba looks to have found himself a new club at last. The Ivorian striker has been without a team since leaving Montreal Impact at the end of his contract in December but looks set to remain in North America with USL club Phoenix Rising.

The 39-year-old has signed a three-year contract with the Arizona-based side, according to France Football, and will have the option to become the club’s sporting director from the second season onwards.

Phoenix Rising FC – who were formerly known as Arizona United before this season and are owned by a group including American DJ Diplo – have been making headlines over the past few months as they look to prove they mean business as they grow on and off the field.

Phoenix is one of 12 cities fighting for four MLS Expansion spots as the league looks to expand to 28 teams over the next few years. If Drogba has indeed signed – and more importantly signed with a clause allowing him to become a director – then the move makes a lot more sense than it does on the surface.

The former Chelsea star had long been linked with a return to the West London club in a coaching role but it would appear his future off the pitch could now be based in the USA.

Drogba reportedly turned down an offer from Brazilian side Corinthians, instead choosing to join former Chelsea teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips and former Mexico international Omar Bravo in Phoenix.

The USL club opened their 2017 season with a 1-0 home loss to a Toronto FC II side this weekend, playing in front of a sell-out crowd in their home opener at their brand new soccer specific stadium.

The club have permission to build a climate-controlled stadium on their current plot of land, that would seat between 20,000 and 30,000 fans if they are given an MLS team in the current round of bidding.