Aston Villa vs Sheffield United
We are back, the Premier League returns and to get us underway once more, we go to the West Midlands as Aston Villa play host to Sheffield United. The former need maximum points to aid their survival hopes, while the latter are looking to solidify their path into Europe next season.
After a three-month hiatus, the form guide has most likely gone out of the window and it makes it almost impossible to make a prediction. Then again, I think we’re all glad, that football is finally back.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Sheffield United
Manchester City vs Arsenal
Manchester City arguably have a tougher battle in the courtroom at present and although trying to fend off a European ban is the ultimate objective; Pep Guardiola’s men will still be looking to secure a top four finish regardless.
They go up against an Arsenal side who are not alien to taking a whipping off of City, their best hope is that home advantage dissipates in England, just as it has done in Germany as of late.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Arsenal
Norwich vs Southampton
If Norwich are to stay up this season, then the great escape starts this weekend and with the opportunity to rest and recoup, Daniel Farke’s men at least know the size of the hefty challenge that now lies ahead of them.
This Friday sees them play host to a Southampton side who recently handed out a new contract to Ralph Hasenhuttl and with the Saints all but safe from relegation, they may now ease their efforts.
Prediction: Norwich 2-1 Southampton
Tottenham vs Manchester United
Although the circumstances have been awful, it is fair to say that Tottenham have benefitted from such an enforced break and with a near fully fit squad to call upon, a late season charge is the plan for Jose Mourinho and his new rejuvenated squad.
Of course, there is the danger that if they lose to Manchester United on Friday, their feint hopes of a top four finish will have evaporated once and for all. It’s fair to say that there’s a lot riding on this encounter.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Manchester United
Watford vs Leicester
Pre-hiatus, Watford’s form was rather indifferent and it is fair to say that any new manager bounce from Nigel Pearson had long since passed and although they are keeping their heads above water for now, a few more wins will be welcomed in the near future.
While for Nigel Pearson, they may not come any sweeter than getting one over his former employers and with Leicester winning one of their last five, they could be there for the taking.
Prediction: Watford 1-0 Leicester
Brighton vs Arsenal
Things were not looking good for Brighton and if anyone was to welcome a pause in proceedings it would have been the Seagulls and especially when you consider, that they have not won any of their last nine league outings.
This weekend they play host to an Arsenal side who play their second game in four days and this will be one that offers a greater chance of earning three points on the road.
Prediction: Brighton 0-2 Arsenal
West Ham vs Wolves
West Ham are another club who are just managing to keep their heads above water for now and the East London outfit know that they will need to get out of the blocks quickly, in order to increase their chances of staying up.
They play host to a Wolves side who are looking to finish in the top four and this will be a game that they have identified to help them along the way, as they look to return to European football next season.
Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Wolves
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
Eddie Howe’s men will look at Saturday’s offering as a must win game and with the Cherries ripe for relegation plucking, failing to win at the Vitality Stadium could present Bournemouth with something of a disaster.
They play host to a Crystal Palace side that will be safe in the knowledge that they’ll be in the Premier League next season and as far as this game goes. they could already be on the beach.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-0 Crystal Palace
Newcastle vs Sheffield United
Many felt that Steve Bruce may not even be in a job at this point and with a Newcastle takeover still being planned, that could still be the case. However, the change of owners is yet to be rubber stamped and that means the P45 is yet to be prepared.
This weekend sees them play host to Sheffield United and depending on how they get on this Wednesday night against Aston Villa, should have a large bearing on their performance this Sunday.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-1 Sheffield United
Aston Villa vs Chelsea
After welcoming Sheffield United to their home, life does not get any easier for Aston Villa this Sunday and any points they can accumulate between the visits of both the Blades and Sunday’s opposition will be highly welcomed.
Playing the role of opponents are Chelsea and with Timo Werner now set to join the club, there is an air of increased optimism within the West London outfit, as they look to hang on to a top four finish.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
Everton vs Liverpool
A Merseyside derby is always keenly contested but could this be the one and that has the highest stakes of all time. That could prove to be the case, if Manchester City slip up on Wednesday night at home to Arsenal.
Should that be the outcome, this Sunday could be the night in which Liverpool go on to win a first Premier League title and put the icing on what has been an incredible domestic season.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Liverpool
Manchester City vs Burnley
Whether this fixture is after the championship horse has bolted remains to be seen, but with Manchester City’s cabal of superstars, they will be overwhelming favourites to get the better of Burnley on Monday evening.
The Clarets, still have designs on a Europa League finish and after going unbeaten in their last seven outings, Sean Dyche will now need to extract a final squeeze of positivity from his players.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Burnley