The game is already up for Burnley with last week’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool confirming their relegation. Birmingham enjoyed a fantastic season back in the top flight and will want to bounce back from last week’s derby defeat to Villa. I fancy Alex McLeish’s men to grab the points.
Man City 2 Aston Villa 1
The start of a massive week for the Champions League contenders opens at the City of Manchester Stadium where sixth placed City and fifth placed Villa clash. Much of the pre-match talk has been about the decision by the Premier League to allow City to bring in a ‘keeper on emergency loan to cover for the injured Shay Given and Stuart Taylor. That man, Martin Fulop, will be under pressure as City look to keep up the chase for fourth. Villa have bounced back in recent weeks, dispelling talk of tiredness, but I fancy Mancini’s men to nick the points.
Portsmouth 0 Wolverhampton 0
Wolves grabbed the point they needed to secure Premier League safety against Blackburn last week and with Pompey down and planning for the cup final, this could be a leisurely affair on the south coast. Both sides have proved hard to beat in recent weeks and I think it will stay the same here.
Stoke 2 Everton 2
Everton kept their faint hopes of a European place alive with a last gasp win over Fulham last week, although they need to win both of their remaining games to be within a chance of overtaking Liverpool in seventh. Stoke were thumped 7-0 by Chelsea last week and will want end another successful home campaign on a high. I think this will be a draw.
Tottenham 1 Bolton 0
Although many Spurs fans will have one eye on their momentous clash with Man City next Wednesday, it is important they don’t lose focus against Bolton. The betting odds still make Spurs the favourites to take fourth, but last weekend they were brought back down to earth by Man United after successive wins against Chelsea and Arsenal. However, they will feel confident of recapturing their good form against a Bolton side with little to play for. Owen Coyle is slowly improving the Trotters, but I think they will lose this one.
Sunday, May 2nd 2010
Fulham 1 West Ham 1
Fulham fans will probably still be partying after Thursday’s heroic Europa League semi-final win against Hamburg. Europe has been the priority for Roy Hodgson’s men for a while now as they find themselves safely tucked in mid-table. For West Ham the hard work was done last week with the 3-2 win over Wigan that secured their Premier League status. Expect both sides to play out an entertaining draw.
Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1
It is not very often that Man United supporters cheer on Liverpool, but they will be hoping their bitter rivals do them a huge favour against Chelsea at Anfield. If the Blues win they know a defeat for United will seal the title but, in a season where the lead has changed hands virtually every week, Carlo Ancelotti will not take anything for granted. Liverpool still harbour hopes of playing in Europe next season and will not want to be accused of biased against United. Even without Fernando Torres, who appears to have prioritised the 2010 Football World Cup over his club side, I think Liverpool can do enough to bag draw, taking the title race to the final day.
Sunderland 0 Man Utd 1
United will know their fate when they step out at the Stadium of Light as they kick off after the game at Anfield has finished. It will be a tricky test for the Red Devils as Sunderland have already beaten Arsenal and Liverpool at the Stadium of Light this season. United have shown new found resilience in recent weeks though I think they will grab a vital win.
Monday, May 3th 2010
Blackburn 1 Arsenal 1
These are two more sides who have little to play for, although Blackburn will be more satisfied with their efforts this season than Arsenal, who have once again failed to win a trophy. Rovers are strong at home and have held United and Liverpool already here this season. I think the same will happen here.
Wigan 1 Hull 0
Wigan secured a sixth successive season in the Premier League with that spectacular win over Arsenal two weeks ago, while Hull are doomed and both in a footballing and financial sense. With little to play for I doubt this will be a classic, but Wigan’s desire to end their home campaign on a high will be the difference on the day.