With just four matchweeks left in the Premier League this season, teams will be desperate to gain vital points that could either make or break the remainder of their campaign. Below are the predictions I have gone with, for the 10 games over the weekend and Monday night.
|Arsenal v Man United||2-2|
|Leicester v Aston Villa||1-1|
|Man City v Watford||6-0|
|Norwich v Newcastle||2-2|
|Brentford v Tottenham||1-2|
|Brighton v Southampton||0-0|
|Burnley v Wolves||0-1|
|Chelsea v West Ham||1-0|
|Liverpool v Everton||4-0|
|Crystal Palace v Leeds||1-2|
Arsenal v Manchester United (12:30 BST)
After losing three games on the bounce, Arsenal looked fantastic in their win against Chelsea on Wednesday night.
It was a superb display all round, and a big part of that was how The Gunners were quicker and fitter – Chelsea looked flat.
United, on the other hand, just didn’t turn up at Anfield and, if anything, got the result they deserved. Their fans will be hoping for a reaction after such an embarrassing display, but I’ve not been convinced by their performances for the majority of this season that they’re capable of doing that.
With Fred and Scott McTominay still injured, United will again lack in midfield – they would have made some difference to the manner of Tuesday’s defeat and given the team a bit of bite that they badly missed.
The reason I’ve not got with an Arsenal win is that we’ve seen Arsenal in a position where they’ve had a grip on fourth place before – in fact, they should have confirmed by now.
They haven’t dealt with that scenario very well in the past few weeks so I’m not convinced Mikel Arteta’s side can change things this time around.
It has to be said, though, that United are absolutely all over the place. Despite the evident talent in the side he has, I’ve got absolutely no clue how Ralf Rangnick will pick a starting eleven and decide on a formation. A point would be a great result for them in the circumstances.
My prediction: 2-2
Leicester v Aston Villa
The Foxes have developed a poor habit of conceding late goals which have cost them vital points against Newcastle and Everton over the past week.
Aston Villa are on a bad run of four straight defeats but they have had a couple of weeks off since Tottenham put four past them at Villa Park.
It looked as if Villa had lost their way since the superb start under Steven Gerrard, but having that break will help them. I’m expecting an improvement in the performance levels, but I don’t think they’ll win this one.
My prediction: 1-1
Manchester City v Watford
It’s not really a case of whether Manchester City will win this one, more a case of how many will they score?
City put eight past The Hornets the last time they came to the Etihad Stadium in 2019 and, while I don’t think they’ll score that many, they should comfortably win again.
The problem there is that City are just too good. Once they get the first goal, the floodgates will open.
My prediction: 6-0
Norwich v Newcastle
I had my doubts about the mentality of the Newcastle players after their results dropped off a few weeks ago but you have to credit that any drop in standards did not last long. They have shown they’re more than capable of staying up by winning their past three games.
That does not mean they should take their foot off the gas yet, however. They still have something to prove away from home because all three of those wins came at St James’ Park, and their record on the road has been poor all season.
Norwich may well be down in the eyes of many pundits and fans, but they have played with real freedom in their last two games. They showed they have not thrown in the towel when they beat Burnley two weeks ago. The Canaries also showed real desire and mentality in their narrow 3-2 loss at Old Trafford, coming from 2-0 down and, at times, looking like they could go on and win. If Newcastle want a win at Carrow Road, then they will have to work hard for it. But, I don’t think they’ll get it.
My prediction: 2-2
Brentford v Tottenham (17:30 BST)
Brentford have won their past three games, while Tottenham had a blip against Brighton last time out just when they were gathering momentum.
Bees midfielder Christian Eriksen will most definitely get a great reception from the away fans but I reckon it will be his old club leaving with all three points.
With Tottenham’s two main rivals for fourth place, Arsenal and Manchester United having to play each other earlier on Saturday, this is a huge opportunity to improve their situation.
My prediction: 1-2
Brighton v Southampton (14:00)
Southampton have had the upper hand in this south-coast battle in recent years – Brighton won at St Mary’s Stadium last season, but that is their only win in their nine Premier League meetings since 2017.
Southampton are always a bit up and down but, unusually for them, their passing wasn’t good in their defeat by Burnley on Thursday. Their system didn’t work at Turf Moor, and they weren’t really a threat.
Brighton are the same, however, and despite wins against Arsenal and Tottenham, I can only see them getting frustrated in this game and missing many chances, as they usually do against the teams lower than them in the table.
My prediction: 0-0
Burnley v Wolves (14:00)
Burnley got a great result against Southampton on Thursday and put in a really good performance too. They are back within a point of 17th placed Everton which is huge for them.
Whatever happens next, Mike Jackson deserves a lot of credit for taking four points from his two games as Burnley’s caretaker manager and keeping their survival hopes intact. He has made a good case for getting the job permanently, but it is unclear whether he will still be in charge by the weekend.
Whether it is Jackson or someone else in the dugout, The Clarets are back at Turf Moor on Sunday but I think they will find that Wolves are much tougher opposition than Southampton were.
It might be the kind of game where Burnley give it absolutely everything they’ve got, but Wolves just pick them off.
My prediction: 0-1
Chelsea v West Ham (14:00)
Chelsea were extremely vulnerable at the back against Arsenal on Wednesday, which is strange to see.
Afterward, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel blamed the pitch for some awkward bounces, but I don’t see that. That might have been an excuse in the 1970s or 1980s because surfaces could be terrible then – but not now.
West Ham have got a big game to look forward to next Thursday, with their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt, but they will benefit from having a rare midweek off before this game. They have already taken points off Chelsea this season when they beat them at the London Stadium in December, but I don’t think they will have similar joy at Stamford Bridge.
My prediction: 1-0
Liverpool v Everton (16:30)
It’s a Merseyside Derby, so this will be absolutely manic. The game will start at 100 miles per hour and the tackles will be flying in, they always are.
But, whatever the scenario and however hard they work, any away team at Anfield needs some quality to get anything from the game.
Everton have shown some signs of improvement in their past two games but, defensively, I still don’t think they have what it takes to keep Liverpool out. There are 47 points separating the two teams in the table, which emphasises the current difference in class.
My prediction: 4-0
Crystal Palace v Leeds (20:00)
Leeds are not quite safe yet, but it is really only a matter of time until they can relax.
Jesse Marsch lost his first two games after taking over from Marcelo Bielsa at the start of March, but since then he has won three and drawn one. That is not relegation form.
Crystal Palace have suffered a little drop in form, losing their past two league games as well as that FA Cup semi-final and I just fancy Leeds to edge this one.
Marsch’s side play with a lot of energy and they have had a bit of a break since beating Watford on 9 April, which might make the difference.
My prediction: 1-2
So, what do you make of my predictions? Do you agree with them? Or do you think I need to get back to the drawing board and re-think my opinion? Let me know in the comment section below!