1. Manchester City v Stoke - Aguero So Seep Through Potters’ Cracks
Manchester City weren’t exactly impressive at Newcastle in midweek but they were up against a team who have seemingly found some heart under Rafa Benitez. This weekend they face a Stoke side who have been on the beach for the last couple of weeks, despite the opportunity to record their highest ever Premier League finish.
The Potters have conceded four in their previous two matches, while Shay Given has picked the ball out of the net 10 times in his preceding two starts for the Staffordshire club.
This is not the time to face a rampant Sergio Aguero, who got to 100 Premier League goals in the second fastest time in history this week. The Argentine also has six strikes in four top-flight matches. He has the bit firmly between his teeth.
Aguero to score first and Man City to win 3.80
2. Aston Villa v Southampton – Lescott’s Relegation ‘Relief’ To Provide None For Villa
If Joleon Lescott’s theory is correct, Aston Villa’s season starts now.
So, after the ‘relief’ of relegation will the Midlands club perk up and put on a show for the few supporters that wish to put themselves through 90 more minutes of a dire campaign.
In all honesty, that is extremely unlikely to happen against a decent Southampton side that are on a good run of one loss in five.
Southampton to win without conceding 2.38
3. Bournemouth v Chelsea – Returning Wilson A Threat For Bored Blues
Two teams who, somewhat understandably, probably don’t care about this clash too much clash on the south coast.
The Cherries have already achieved the impossible and in any other season would be the story of the campaign. They have suffered losses in tough fixtures of late against Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham but they could cause a potentially youthful Pensioners’ team problems.
Chelsea look bored recently and Callum Wilson may be involved from the off and with five goals from just eight shots on target this term he will cause the visitors problems.
Wilson to score 3.45
4. Liverpool v Newcastle – Rafa’s Can Make A Point On Anfield Return
The Premier League’s favourite fixture. Rafa’s return. Newcastle developing survival instincts. This game has narrative.
Worryingly for Toon fans they have lost nine successive away games in the top-flight and their last victory at Anfield was back in 1994. So there’s the optimism gone then!
There have been signs of revival on Tyneside though and they could easily have beaten Man City in midweek. Liverpool will have their sights set on Villarreal in the Europa League and Klopp will definitely shuffle his pack.
Nevertheless, that didn’t affect them too much as they battered Stoke last week. Still, there could be something here for the Geordies if they produce a massive performance, they need it.
Newcastle win or draw 2.60
5. Sunderland v Arsenal – Gunners To Shoot Down Black Cats – Just
Arsenal were hardly impressive against Crystal Palace last weekend but cruised against West Brom in midweek. It does leave you wondering if the players now resent playing at the Emirates, such is the atmosphere when they fail to make things happen. Not that it is unwarranted.
Here, they will face a Sam Allardyce side with something to play for. Sunderland look the most likely to achieve survival. They are organised, solid and have Jermain Defoe, a man scoring goals. However, he can’t seem to do it at the Stadium of Light, with his last seven coming on his travels.
The Gunners haven’t lost to the Black Cats in eight matches and they will probably have enough to unpick their defence. It’s been two 3-2 wins for Wenger’s men when the sides have met this term, this one may be tighter.
Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal 8.50
6. Leicester v Swansea – New Tactics, Same Result For Leicester
No Vardy, no party? Not a chance.
Swansea showed that they have stopped playing for the season after losing to Newcastle last week, and most tellingly conceding three goals.
The Foxes will most likely change up their style, with Leonardo Ulloa coming into the fold. The burly front man has been excellent for the leaders this term from the bench, scoring four times.
Claudio Ranieri is not averse to changing things up and it might be that he opts to go long and more direct. Marc Albrighton could play a key role here. Much of the play could go through the Midlands man instead of Riyad Mahrez thanks to his preference for hugging the touchline and whipping the ball in.
Ulloa to score and Leicester to win 3.55
7. Tottenham v West Brom – Spurs Keeping Leicester Honest
West Brom rolled over for Arsenal at the Emirates on Thursday but they have a weirdly good record of late at White Hart Lane, where they are unbeaten in three visits.
However, it is hard to see them standing in the way of Maurico Pochettino’s title gunning Spurs side. They could be eight points adrift of Leicester heading into this but they show no signs of easing up.
Tony Pulis will set his side up not to concede but that is something that just three teams have done at the Lane. If the Baggies hold out until half-time this could get awkward but Kane and co should have far too much for a West Brom team that have scored 12 goals away from home all season.
Kane to score first and Tottenham to win 3.65