Following a week where we saw the race for the top four continue to liven up and the relegation battle become even tighter, we now enter the final four games of the season where three points are more vital than ever. Below are the predictions I have made for the 10 fixtures from the weekend and next Monday night.
|Newcastle v Liverpool||1-3|
|Aston Villa v Norwich||2-0|
|Southampton v Crystal Palace||1-1|
|Watford v Burnley||0-2|
|Wolves v Brighton||1-1|
|Leeds v Man City||0-5|
|Everton v Chelsea||0-2|
|Spurs v Leicester||1-0|
|West Ham v Arsenal||1-2|
|Man United v Brentford||1-2|
Newcastle v Liverpool (12:30 BST)
Newcastle are in red-hot form at the moment, having won four games on the bounce. Three of those wins were at St James’ Park which is finally becoming the fortress it once was in the late 1990s.
They cast Norwich aside last Saturday and now sit ninth in the Premier League table and just eight points off a Europa Conference League spot. But, there’s no harder game in this division than Liverpool, even if you have 50,000 Geordies making St James’ Park as hostile as possible for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
Liverpool are off the back of embarrassing Manchester United and sending Everton into the relegation zone and are unbeaten in 14 Premier League games. The Reds also haven’t lost to Newcastle since December 2015, which ended 3-1 at St James’ Park. But, Liverpool’s form is just too good for Newcastle to get a positive outcome in this fixture, despite the great run they’re on.
My prediction: 1-3
Aston Villa v Norwich
It simply gets worse and worse for Norwich City at the moment. The desire and freedom they expressed against Burnley and Manchester United just wasn’t on show against Newcastle. If Burnley beat relegation rivals Watford and Dean Smith loses to his old side Aston Villa for the second time this season, Norwich are relegated to the Championship with four games to spare.
However, Norwich fans can have a glimmer of hope for this fixture. Steven Gerrard’s side are winless in five and have really fallen off following the superb start under the Liverpool legend. However, there’s no easier game to change your fortunes against than the team that is bottom of the table.
Despite the poor run of form Villa are currently on, this game is really only going one way. I strongly believe it will be a season that Dean Smith will want to forget, as he suffered his first managerial sacking and is also right on the verge of his first relegation as a manager.
My prediction: 2-0
Southampton v Crystal Palace
This fixture looks to be an interesting one. Southampton are 13th and only have one win in their last five Premier League games, and Crystal Palace are 14th having not won in their last four games in all competitions after drawing 0-0 with Leeds at Selhurst Park on Monday.
Against Brighton, Southampton were rampant after coming from 2-0 down. The level of passing was much better as they heavily controlled the second half, and it always helps when you have a certain James Ward-Prowse to score two worldies for you.
Considering the two sides’ complete lack of form in recent weeks, I reckon the honors will be even at St Mary’s Stadium. Despite both sides having players that can turn a game on its head, I reckon both defences can keep out the danger.
My prediction: 1-1
Watford v Burnley
Burnley yet again got themselves a huge result by beating Wolves 1-0 on Sunday. Thanks to Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Everton, The Clarets now sit 17th in the table and are out of the relegation zone for the first time this season since 13th September.
Mike Jackson now has earnt more credit for the job he’s done as Burnley’s caretaker manager, gaining an outstanding seven points from a possible nine. He’s making the fans believe they can stay in this division and his case for getting the job permanently is getting better and better. But, we still don’t know the situation behind the scenes and if Burnley have a candidate lined up to ake over permanently.
As for Watford, you couldn’t get a bigger contrast. They have lost their last 10 home games in a row in the Premier League and are nine points off safety. The Hornets have lost their last four games in a row and have only scored twice in those fixtures. With that type of form, there’s no doubt in my mind Burnley leave Vicarage Road with all three points. That would put Watford 12 points off safety with four games left, meaning Burnley could all but relegate them and Norwich back to the Championship in the same afternoon.
My prediction: 0-2
Wolves v Brighton
Due to that loss against Burnley, Wolves hopes of European football have taken a huge knock. They might still be only three points off West Ham in seventh with a game in hand, but given their recent form I can see them struggling in this game much like they did at Turf Moor.
Brighton have only lost once in their last five games including away wins at Arsenal and Tottenham. However, they haven’t won at Molineux since April 2017 when both sides were in the Championship, which might give Bruno Lage’s side a bit more confidence going into the game.
The Seagulls do love drawing considering they have the highest in the league with 14. Wolves have the joint second-lowest in the Premier League with four, but I don’t think they’ll be able to find that one spark of brilliance that gets them all three points.
My prediction: 1-1
Leeds v Man City (17:30 BST)
Much like the game against Watford this match won’t be a case of if City will win, but just how many will they score?
Pep Guardiola’s side put seven past Leeds at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season, and I think it will be a similar outcome for Leeds. Regardless of how well they’ve performed in recent weeks, only Norwich have conceded more goals (69) than Leeds this season (68) so I’m expecting plenty of goals for The Citizens.
That being said I’m expecting a comfortable win for City. Once they get the first goal the floodgates will open, and Leeds simply won’t be able to cope as The Citizens are just too good for them.
My prediction: 0-5
Everton v Chelsea (14:00)
Thanks to Burnely’s win against Wolves on Sunday, and losing yet another Merseyside Derby, Everton now find themselves in the relegation zone of the Premier League. It was starting to look promising for Frank Lampard after his side defeated Manchester United and drew with Leicester, but their 67 year stay in England’s top flight could well come to an end.
Chelsea could make it a miserable afternoon for their former midfielder, and given that The Blues have won four of their last five games in all competitions. They have also just beaten local rivals, West Ham so I think it’s only going one way.
My prediction: 0-2
Spurs v Leicester (14:00)
Spurs are in a dip of form at the moment, and it’s evidently costing them when it matters most. After winning four games on the bounce, Antonio Conte’s side now hasn’t scored since April 9th and have dropped five points against Brighton and Brentford. That’s not top-four level form, but the gap to rivals Arsenal is only two points with both sides having played 33 games.
Leicester are also in a run of poor form, having not won in their last three Premier League games, but do have a Europa Conference League semi-final with Roma on Thursday. Surely that will be the main focus for the rest of their season to secure another year of European football.
For that sole reason, I expect Brendan Rodgers to rest his key players for this encounter, and Spurs to sneak it late on, as The Foxes have developed a recent habit of conceding goals in the closing stages.
My prediction: 1-0
West Ham v Arsenal (16:30)
From one London Derby to another for West Ham, and this one isn’t going to be any easier than the prior at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal have regained that swagger and confidence that got them in the top four, and they don’t look like leaving that spot any time soon. Off the back of humongous wins away at Chelsea and at home to Manchester United, Mikel Arteta’s side will be going into yet another massive game brimming with confidence.
West Ham also have their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night, and will most likely make that their main focus as they look to go one step closer to winning the competition. That being said, I do think they’ll give Arsenal a good challenge, but I reckon all three points will be going to the red side of London.
My prediction: 1-2
Manchetser United v Brentford (20:00)
Just what is going on at Old Trafford? The Red Devils can’t seem to have a good run of form these days and have never looked such a shadow of their old selves. It really does make you wonder why Erik ten Hag has chosen to leave his tenure at Ajax to go to a disintegrating Manchester United side.
They’ve only won once in their last five, and even that wasn’t convincing as they had to rely on a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick against Norwich. They also host Chelsea just three days before this fixture, so morale could be at an all-time low.
Brentford however, are loving life in the Premier League. They’re currently unbeaten in four, including a 4-1 win against Chelsea and a 2-0 win against West Ham. The Bees have hit the right run of form at exactly the right time to prove they belong in this division and I reckon they’ll have another famous victory that will be talked about by Bees fans for years to come.
United are just an absolute shambles, and Brentford will never get a better opportunity at a first away win at Old Trafford since February 1937, and their first victory over United since February 1938. With both teams in completely contrasting form, I strongly believe Brentford will come away with all three points, but they’ll have to work hard and keep Ronaldo quiet to stand an even better chance of a historic victory.
My prediction: 1-2
So, after last week’s absolute howler, do you agree with my predictions this time around? Or do you reckon I’ve had another shocker this week? Let me know in the comment section below!