Aston Villa vs Wolves
This week’s round of fixtures begins at Villa Park and although local bragging rights are up for grabs, maximum points will be far more welcome and with hosts Aston Villa failing to win any of their last seven league outings, time is running out to start their end of season survival bid.
Saturday sees them play host to a Wolves side, who are in with a genuine shout of a European place and where Villa haven’t won in their last seven, the visitors have not lost during the same run.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Wolves
Watford vs Southampton
The Hornets’ hopes of staying up took a small dent on Thursday, as they suffered defeat to Burnley and although it was a disappointing result for Nigel Pearson and his players, they are at least on the right side of the dotted relegation line.
They play host to a Southampton side who were second best against Arsenal that same evening and with little to compete for, the Saints could be their for the taking at Vicarage Road come Sunday.
Prediction: Watford 2-0 Southampton
Crystal Palace vs Burnley
Crystal Palace’s impressive run came to an end in midweek as they were humbled by now Premier League champions Liverpool and with any feint European hopes now being extinguished, Monday’s encounter has an air of dead rubber about it.
They play host to a Burnley side who returned to winning ways on Thursday night and with them sitting a place behind the Eagles at present, they will look to soar above them at full time.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Burnley
Brighton vs Manchester United
Looking at Brighton’s two post-restart fixtures, if you were to offer Graham Potter four points for the Seagull’s efforts, he would have bitten your hand off and after subsequently earning that tally, Brighton are now edging clear of the dreaded battle for survival.
While the fixture list does not get any easier, as they next play host to Manchester United and with the Red Devils gunning for a top four finish, they will look to continue their impressive unbeaten run of seven league matches.
Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Manchester United
Everton vs Leicester
Looking at Everton and how they’ve been playing as of late, their performances have been better than their current 12th place standing would suggest and although their ranking on the league ladder is somewhat deceptive, the signs are encouraging for next season.
They will look to Leicester as the perfect template of a new manager being given time to bed in and that additional time under Brendan Rodgers, should see the Foxes land a coveted top four finish and a return to the Champions League.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Leicester
Arsenal vs Norwich
Arsenal may have faint hopes of qualifying for the Europa League, but at least victory Thursday night’s victory over Southampton has kept the dream alive and with struggling Norwich up next, the Gunners will now be aiming for back to back successes under manager Mikel Arteta.
Time really is running out for Norwich and after defeat to Everton in midweek, it feels like a case of when the Canaries will run out of games and are eventually sent back down to the Championship.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Norwich
Bournemouth vs Newcastle
A quick look at the form guide does not make good reading if you are a Bournemouth fan and with just one point from the last 18 on offer, Eddie Howe and his players will have to undertake some soul searching, in order to help the flailing bid to beat the drop.
They play host to a Newcastle, who themselves have little to play for and will be ripe for plucking. However, if the Cherries fail to take advantage of this, their situation may turn even more sour.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-0 Newcastle
West Ham vs Chelsea
West Ham have tried to look as solid as possible since the restart, but they’ve had to deal with a pair of defeats and although they’ve leaked goals at the back, the lack of firepower at the other end is arguably David Moyes’ biggest concern.
Next up is a feisty London derby and the visit of a Chelsea side that will be not just looking for a top four finish, but also to overtake Leicester in the race for third. A race, they may just go and win.
Prediction: West Ham 0-2 Chelsea
Sheffield United vs Tottenham
The Blades have been blunt since the restart and after picking up a single point from the nine that have been on offer, there is almost a sense of the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’ starting before this current one has even ended.
They play host to a Tottenham side who have looked impressive enough since the resumption and a win at Bramall Lane, would only reinforce their hopes for a finish in the Europa League places.
Prediction: Sheffield United 1-2 Tottenham
Manchester City vs Liverpool
Manchester City will have to provide a guard of honour (although whether that is permitted under social distancing guidelines, I’m not too sure), as finally the 2019/20 Premier League champions come to town and it really will be a changing of the guard at the Etihad.
The former champions play host to the now current ones and although there is little to play for Pep Guardiola would love to get one over Jurgen Klopp and remind people of City’s overall prowess.
Prediction: Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool