Premier League Predictions: Week 10 – 2nd vs 3rd as Man Utd take on Spurs, while Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool expected to win

Premier League Predictions: Week 10 – The Premier League weekend kicks off with an absolutely huge clash. It’s 2nd versus 3rd as Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford. Expect plenty of goals across the ten fixtures this week, while there is the potential for upsets in must-win games for the top sides.

The three o’clock action comes thick and fast after the early kickoff. Struggling Crystal Palace face off against West Ham in the only London Derby of the weekend. Pace-setting Manchester City travel to West Brom, while Arsenal and Liverpool have home ties. Chelsea complete Saturday’s action with the late kickoff away at Bournemouth.

Sunday has a couple of interesting fixtures, Brighton welcome Southampton, before Claude Puel begins his reign as Leicester City manager at home to Everton, who have recently sacked Ronald Koeman. The weekend’s action is completed with Monday Night Football as Newcastle visit Burnley.

Read on for all of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 10 will be an interesting one…

Manchester United 2-2 Tottenham 

Easily the biggest fixture of the weekend. Man Utd vs Spurs has provided some classic fixtures through the years. Both sides are coming into this one needing to bounce back. United’s loss at Huddersfield last weekend was a shock result and Jose Mourinho needs a reaction like his side showed in their midweek Carabao Cup clash. Spurs were emphatic last time out in the league. Their 4-1 win over Liverpool sent out a message to the rest of the league, however their dismal loss against West Ham in midweek was unforgivable and they owe it to their fans to pick up a positive result here. Expect goals as Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku go head-to-head.

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Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham

This is a big game. Make no mistake about that. Some reports suggested that failure to win this one would result in the sacking of Slaven Bilic as West Ham manager. However, Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Spurs may change that. Either way, Premier League points are the priority for both. Palace have struggled but did win their last home game. Another home win here would be a major boost. However, they haven’t scored in 9 of their last 10 games, losing each. West Ham haven’t been much better, failing to win 11 of their last 12 away games. Don’t expect this to be pretty.

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West Brom 0-3 Manchester City

Tony Pulis, like every West Brom fan was devastated not to have picked up at least a point last weekend. However, they have to hold their hands up to accept losing at the hands of one of the goals of the season. West Brom are sitting in and around mid table but they won’t be looking forward to a visit from league leading Man City. Pep Guardiola’s side didn’t have it all their own way in midweek, yet they sealed their place in the next round of the Carabao Cup, despite his displeasure of the ball. Normal service resumes with a ‘normal ball’ here and we expect City to continue their early title charge.

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Watford 2-0 Stoke

They might have lost 4-2 at Chelsea last weekend but Watford are undoubtedly this season’s surprise package so far. The Hornets are enjoying their best ever start to a season in the top flight. They beat Arsenal in their most recent home fixture and should prove too strong for Stoke here. The visitors are in trouble. Last week’s home loss to Bournemouth left them down in 17th. They’ve not won away from home yet this season. Don’t expect that to change here.

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Arsenal 3-0 Swansea

Arsene Wenger & co. have reason to be in high spirits. They took apart a very sorry Everton side last weekend keeping them at pace with the top four. Following up from that a much changed side secured progression in the cup in midweek. Arsenal should be looking to take three points in what has the makings of a routine home game this weekend. Swansea are sitting 15th but are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference. They cannot afford to take a drumming here as we all know how important goal difference can be in the Premier League. A win to ‘nil looks likely for the hosts.

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Liverpool 2-1 Huddersfield

The fact that Liverpool come into this game just one point ahead of Huddersfield tells you all you need to know. The Reds have been inconsistent and have not solved their defensive problems. Last week’s 4-1 loss to Spurs further highlighted their vulnerabilities and they now need to bounce back. They will fancy their chances at home, but the visitors are riding high in confidence. Their 2-1 win over Man Utd was arguably the shock result of the season so far. Don’t rule out another surprise result at Anfield, although Liverpool should edge it.

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Bournemouth 1-2 Chelsea

Bournemouth remain in the bottom three. They picked up a much needed win last weekend away against Stoke and made it a week with plenty to cheer about having progressed in the cup. This is going to be another big test for them but they’ll be relishing a visit from Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side are coming through a rough patch with promise. Despite being a way off the top of the Premier League their squad depth stood the test of three games in a week. Last weekend’s win at home to Watford showed they have the resilience to fight back and if they go behind here, don’t expect them to let it phase them. Narrow victory for the Champions.

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Brighton 2-2 Southampton

Neither of these sides have really set the world alight yet this season. They have showed some signs of promise but inconsistency has prevented either side from making a statement. Brighton will be pleased with their start to life in the top flight. They are unbeaten in three-straight home league games and will now hope to keep that form going. The Saints picked up a first league win in four last weekend. It’s hard to tell which Southampton side will turn up. But goals could be on the cards here.

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Leicester City 1-1 Everton

The battle two sides who have recently sacked their managers. Leicester have acted promptly to replace Craig Shakespeare with Claude Puel. They picked up an impressive win away at Swansea last weekend and also reached the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup in midweek so things are on the up. Everton’s woes continue, they sacked Ronald Koeman after being demolished by Arsenal last weekend and were knocked out the cup by Chelsea on Wednesday evening. Their poor run of form has to come to an end soon, but we don’t expect them to win here. Score draw.

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Burnley 1-1 Newcastle

The weekend is rounded off with an intriguing matchup. Burnley have been a better side away from home so far but will still see Monday’s game as one they should be winning. Their only home win so far this term came against Palace. For Newcastle, they’ll be looking to keep picking up points. They’ve only lost one of their last seven and look like they’re all pulling in the same direction as Rafa Benitez. It might not be the most entertaining game, but expect it to be interesting.

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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.

Could MLS find success by following the NFL in sending teams to Wembley?

It’s no secret that Major League Soccer’s growth is continuing to turn heads. Not only is the league attracting some of Europe’s best footballing talent, but its expansion is showing no signs of slowing down, with new franchises bursting onto the scene at an alarming rate.

But what if Major League Soccer followed in the footsteps of the NFL and brought competitive fixtures to the UK, at Wembley?

The NFL’s success in England has been staggering since the International Series’ inception saw competitive fixtures start being played across the pond a decade ago. The fact it’s a different sport helps massively with the attraction, but there is an ever-growing support base of UK-based MLS fans, so there is certainly an opportunity for MLS to do something similar in the coming years.

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Driving up interest for a fixture would arguably be easier for MLS. Instead of bringing over a regular season game, a fixture similar to those played in the International Champions Cup format each summer could work well in Britain. A side from MLS playing a top Premier League club at Wembley in front of 90,000 soccer-crazed fans would make for some spectacle.

You only have to look at the interest that the MLS All-Stars fixture garners each year – with this season’s instalment seeing Real Madrid take on the best of MLS in Chicago on August 2. Allowing English fans to watch their favourite club face off against an MLS outfit firsthand here in the UK would surely heighten the league’s growth.

A mini-league could even be an option. Let’s say, for example, the top side from both the Eastern and Western Conference come to Wembley and play against the Premier League’s first and second place teams each year. The Premier League clubs could each face the two MLS sides, with the showcase finale allowing the two MLS sides to battle it out on the same field at the end of the tournament.

There are plenty of options to be explored if the league’s expansion overseas steps up over the coming seasons and MLS would undoubtedly put on a great show. The ideas above are simply just suggestions in their rawest form. But we would love to see MLS teams showcased on UK soil in the near future.

Have your say below – Would you like to see MLS teams play in the UK? And which MLS clubs would you most like to see play at a stadium like Wembley?

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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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?

Why Dele Alli could become one of the greatest Premier League midfielders of all time

Dele Alli is having a fantastic Premier League season for Tottenham. He has netted an impressive 16 goals, racked up five assists and has fully deserved the plaudits he has received. His style of play is quite unique and his ability to find and create space gives him great grounding to go on to be a Premier League great. His performances this season have heaped huge expectancy on his shoulders and it’s important for him to keep his head down and work hard to continue to improve.

Age

At just 21 Alli could potentially play at the top level for another 14 or more years if the players he is likened to (Frank Lampard/Steven Gerrard) are anything to go by. While a lot of young English players struggle to deal with the pressure they’re under to deliver, Alli seems to be taking things in his stride.

Goalscoring

As mentioned, Alli has netted 16 league goals this season, taking his overall total to 26 in 63 Premier League appearances, giving him a strike rate of 0.41 goals per game. By comparison Lampard over 611 games managed a staggering 176 goals, a rate of 0.28, while Gerrard netted 120 in 504, a rate of 0.22. Alli’s strike rate will no doubt slow down with the more appearances he makes but he has given himself a platform to potentially reach the lofty heights of any midfield great in terms of goals.

Positioning

Alli was signed as a deep-lying playmaker but has been utilised in just about every attacking position this season, including stepping in for Harry Kane during some of his time on the sidelines. His versatility through the middle makes him really difficult to pick up. If Alli can stay as difficult to mark in the coming years he will not only continue his goalscoring form but also free up teammates with more attention turning to him from the opposition.

Does Dele Alli have what it takes to become a Premier League great?

Are Chelsea set to take summer transfer market by storm by spending £244 million on just three players?

Chelsea look destined to win their fifth Premier League title but preparations for moulding next season’s squad will already be underway. Retaining silverware gets more and more difficult with each passing year becoming even more competitive at the top of the Premier League. These three players would require Roman Abramovich to provide Antonio Conte with a war chest of funds but would no doubt make the Chelsea squad one of, if not, the strongest in European football…

Neymar 

The Brazilian superstar is already one of the best players in world football and is making huge strides to potentially becoming the best to ever play the game. At just 25 he has won just about everything that has been on offer to him at club level and racked up and astonishing 500 career appearances.

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Abramovich is reported to have made a world-record offer for the Barcelona winger but a move to Chelsea would be a huge surprise considering he signed a new contact in October last year to keep him at FCB until 2021. His buyout clause is a staggering £180 million, which will eventually rise to £225 million. This means Chelsea would have to nearly double the current world-record fee to make a deal happen this summer.

Verdict: Unlikely to join – 4/10

Radja Nainggolan

The Roma midfielder has been a standout performer this season. He has attracted interest from football fans across Europe with some of his sensational long-range strikes as well as his ability to drive the team forward. Antonio Conte wanted the Belgian at Chelsea last summer but a deal failed to materialise.

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Roma look set to finish second in Serie A this season and it will be another year in which Nainggolan will have failed to land any major silverware. He could well be tempted by a move to Chelsea to be part of a squad that are continuing to make history in English football. His transfer value according to transfermarkt is just £30m, although Chelsea would surely have to offer more than that to force Roma to sell their key player.

Verdict: A deal could happen – 7/10

Alvaro Morata

The Real Madrid striker has seen his first team opportunities limited this season. Los Blancos have so many attacking options at their disposal and Morata is one of many players who has been rotated. The future of Diego Costa still remains uncertain and if he was to leave Chelsea this summer Morata would be a candidate capable of replacing him to lead the line.

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Conte has history with Morata after convincing him to join Juventus back in 2014 and has reportedly been in touch with the Spaniard during the last two transfer windows. A deal would cost Chelsea anywhere upwards of his £34m value, again according to transfermarkt, but the Blues certainly have the financial power to make a move possible.

Verdict: A transfer that is likely to happen if Costa leaves – 7/10

Chelsea are expected to busy in the summer transfer window and will have to strengthen their squad to be able to deal with the return of European football next season and keep pace with their rivals who will also improve their squads over the coming months.

Will Chelsea sign any of these three players? Are they likely to attempt to lure Neymar from Barca?

Jurgen Klopp needs to sign this goalkeeper and centre-back for Liverpool this summer

Liverpool continued their impressive record against sides in the top half of the Premier League at the weekend with their draw away at Manchester City, but their inconsistent form throughout the season has threatened their chances of finishing in the top four. Fans and pundits alike have called for Jurgen Klopp to tighten up his defence by signing a new goalkeeper and world-class defender in the summer. Are these two players the ideal fit for the Reds?

Joe Hart

The England international has found himself exiled from Pep Guardiola’s plans and it seems unlikely he will feature for City in the future. A whole host of clubs will be battling it out to sign the experienced Premier League winner but Liverpool need him more than most.

Hart’s winning mentality and consistent outstanding performances at the highest level will give the Liverpool defence more confidence. He has had – and has overcome – critics in the past and his own self-belief is exactly what makes him a top ‘keeper. Hart dominates his penalty area and commands his defenders into the position he wants them. A leader on and off the field would no doubt push Liverpool in the right direction.

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Kostas Manolas

The Roma centre-back is making a name for himself in one of the toughest defences in Europe. The Italian side have conceded just 26 goals in 29 Serie A games this season and Manolas is being linked with a move to many of Europe’s elite clubs in the coming months. Liverpool are reported to be interested in his services and he would certainly add some steel to their defence.

Klopp’s defence is lacking a leader and Manolas has captaincy potential. At just 25 he has the best part of eight years to play at the top and by signing him Liverpool would have no trouble attracting other players who would love the chance to form a formidable centre-back partnership with the Greek international.

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Will Liverpool sign Hart and Manolas? Who would you like to see Klopp bring in to improve his defence in the summer?

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?

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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