After an eventful midweek featured several six pointers, this weekend promises to deliver more drama as we approach season’s end.
Saturday might be Grand National day but the Premier League is delivering some blockbusters of its own. Chelsea face a tricky trip to Bournemouth whilst Manchester City face tough opposition in Hull at the Etihad.
Tottenham vs Watford
It will be tough to see past Spurs here. Their home record this season has been unbeatable and with Harry Kane back early, there’s no reason for it to falter here.
A win will close the gap to Chelsea to four points. The Blues don’t play till evening so a win here could rattle their cages before facing Bournemouth.
Watford got several injuries and suspensions to deal with. Surprisingly, three key players are reportedly fatigued. This surely has to be a concern given that they aren’t mathematically safe from relegation just yet.
The fact that the Hornets haven’t won at White Hart Lane in over 30 years makes this prediction easier. They might of struggled to score in the past week but Tottenham should wrap this match up quickly, if fatigue reports are true of Watford.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-0 Watford
Result: Tottenham 4-0 Watford
Manchester City vs Hull
This should be a nice banker for Manchester City here after a disappointing defeat at Chelsea on Wednesday.
Their home record against the Tigers is impressive with no defeats since 1930. Promoted clubs have performed poorly here since Reading took a shock win in early 2007 with 26 defeats and three draws since then.
Hull might of won a six goal thriller against Middlesbrough in midweek but their away form leaves a lot to be desired.
With only 15 away goals across all competitions since August, this will be a tough ask for the Tigers unless they can carry the strong end that they had in midweek.
Given the contrast in clubs, there is no doubt that the points are heading one way. That direction is to Man City.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Hull
Result: Manchester City 3-1 Hull
Middlesbrough vs Burnley
Both sides have been in the mires lately with Burnley back to winning ways, after a 1-0 home win against Stoke on Tuesday. Middlesbrough are still winless since mid December so this is a must win match.
Steve Agnew saw mixed success with his 4-4-2 formation at Hull but needs to get the back line sorted. This will be key if they are to keep the Clarets’ top scorer, Andre Gray quiet.
With a brutal run in, victory this weekend is key to have any chance of survival, should they manage to win their game in hand on 26th April. Winning here then the game in hand will put Boro firmly back into the survival hunt.
Sean Dyche will view this as winnable given Boro’s nightmare form. His side however have been pathetic away from home all season, although there have been signs of improvement lately.
Could this be the moment when they break their losing duck and send any chances of survival into near oblivion for Middlesbrough?
With so much at stake for both sides, a draw would appear likely. Expect home fans to make the Riverside a fearsome ground as the fight for survival hots up with a narrow win.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 2-1 Burnley
Result: Middlesbrough 0-0 Burnley
Stoke vs Liverpool
Liverpool need to start registering wins quickly without Sadio Mane to keep their top four hopes alive.
Stoke however needs just one win to effectively avoid relegation. With Liverpool’s record against sides in bottom half come kick off being wobbly, this could present the Potters with a shot at victory.
Results in this meeting has been erratic over recent years varying from 1-0 to 5-3 scorelines so who knows what we will get this time around.
Given how unpredictable the score lines have been, a draw seems the most logical bet but expect a goalfest. Stoke have won two of their last three clashes at the Bet 365 stadium so can see them sneaking a win here.
Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Liverpool
Result: Stoke 1-2 Liverpool
West Bromwich Albion vs Southampton
Both teams experienced contrasting fortunes in midweek.
West Brom failed to capitalise on the draw between Manchester United and Everton with a 2-0 defeat at Watford. Victory would of put them in good stead for a late Europa League spot.
Southampton on the other hand, saw off Crystal Palace 3-1 after going a goal down. They however face one of the most ferocious teams at set pieces in the Baggies.
Both sides got numerous players facing late fitness tests, which might affect what happens in the game itself.
In their last home game, West Brom were just exceptional against Arsenal. If they can hit the ground running quickly and maximise their set piece quality, the Saints might have a difficult afternoon heading their way.
The Hawthorns have been quite a fortress this season with only two defeats in the last ten home games. On that note, West Brom should have enough for another strong win.
Prediction: WBA 3-1 Southampton
Result: WBA 0-1 Southampton
West Ham vs Swansea
This is a key fixture if either are to avoid relegation.
West Ham are without a win in seven and are missing various defenders for the near future. They will be hoping to avoid extending the awful run within the next two games against Swansea then Sunderland.
Swansea capitated late on at home to Tottenham so will need to defend better in the latter stages of this match, if they ‘re to get out of the drop zone. They however have a problem because the home side contains their bogey player – Andy Carroll with six Premier League goals against them.
Their record against the Hammers is worrying with only one victory in their last eight meetings. That victory however made them the last visiting team to win at Upton Park last season.
Hammers boss, Slaven Bilic need a win here and with relegation starting to draw in, expect them to get a win here.
Prediction: West Ham 2-0 Swansea
Result: West Ham 1-0 Swansea
Bournemouth vs Chelsea
Chelsea might be league leaders but Bournemouth have often shone against the big boys at home.
The Cherries come into this game on an unbeaten run since the start of March. With Joshua King in such hot form scoring nine in his last 10 appearances, that unbeaten run could well continue here.
Eddie Howe is continuously improving and causing havoc for those above his side so expect Chelsea to be pushed all the way. His side have however lost 20 points from winning positions so this is a tough ask opposite the champions in waiting.
Antonio Conte is currently being linked with a move to Serie A so this is bound to settle his side, despite him denying any rumours. Its normal for players to become unsettled when the manager is linked with moves but with the title race still open, expect them to play their usual way.
Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have opportunities to achieve personal milestones here.
Hazard could equal or surpass his goal records from 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, if score one or two goals.
Costa will score his 50th Premier League goal , if he gets a goal at Dean Court.
Both teams like to play open so expect a competitive match. Chelsea will dominate but as shown at Liverpool in midweek, Bournemouth will be threats on the counter attack.
With Chelsea needing the win more, they should nick this one.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea
Result: Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea