With Arsenal’s title challenge all but over, the focus of attention for Gunners fans will be the return of former striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who riled them back in August with his now infamous length of the pitch celebration. The Togo striker has more than just pride to play for though as City seek to claim that vital fourth spot. I fancy them to get a shock result here and set up a humdinger against Spurs next week.
Bolton 1 Portsmouth 0
A classic end of season fixture – Bolton are pretty much safe in mid-table, while the game is already up for Pompey. More negative headlines emanated from the south coast club this week regarding some £119 million pounds worth of debt and I expect the bad news to continue at the Reebok as Portsmouth look to save themselves for the cup final.
Hull 1 Sunderland 1
It is now or never for Hull as they find themselves three points adrift of 17th placed West ham with an inferior goal difference. Sunderland’s season is drifting towards a quiet conclusion, but with top scorer Darren Bent in the side they are always a threat. I think Hull will battle for a point, but that is too little too late for them.
Man Utd 2 Tottenham 2
The game of the day as title chasing United look to nudge back to the top of the table, for 24 hours at least. Their last gasp win at Eastlands last weekend broke Man City hearts, but they can do their rivals a favour with a win over Champions League hopefuls Spurs. The Londoners have dispatched Chelsea and Arsenal in their past two games and I fancy them to get something here as well. England fans will also be keeping a close eye on this game as Wayne Rooney’s fitness will become increasingly important as the 2010 Football World Cup approaches.
West Ham 2 Wigan 1
Hull’s defeat in midweek means West Ham remain three points clear of the relegation zone. It is still uncomfortably close for Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola but he will know a win over Wigan, who all but secured their safety with a win over Arsenal last week, should be enough to secure top flight football at Upton Park next season. It will be tight and tense, but I fancy the Hammers to come good.
Wolverhampton 0 Blackburn 0
Wolves are one of the form teams in the division with just one defeat in six while Rovers’ recent good run only came unstuck against Everton last weekend. With both sides safe expect this one to be a calm affair, with both sides settling for a point.
Sunday April 25th 2010
Aston Villa 2 Birmingham 1
Villa kept their faint hopes of a Champions League place alive with a win over Hull in midweek and would love nothing more than to edge closer to fourth with a win over rivals Birmingham. The Blues have enjoyed an excellent season back in the top flight and look set to finish in the top ten. They have little to play for, but try telling that to the fans on Sunday. Villa are strong at home though and I fancy them to nick the derby day spoils.
Burnley 0 Liverpool 2
The European hangover is often talked about, but Liverpool are likely to be even more fatigued for this match given their unconventional journey to Madrid. Their arduous Europa League road trip is bound to take its toll but luckily they are coming up against one of the poorer sides in the division. A win over Hull a few weeks back gave the Clarets a glimmer of hope but a heavy defeat to Man City in their last home game shows just how big the gap is between them and the rest. A comfortable Liverpool win for me.
Chelsea 2 Stoke 1
Win, win, win. That is all Chelsea have on their minds as they seek to hold off the determined challenge of Man United in the title race. They missed the chance to open up a four point gap on the Red Devils when they lost to Spurs last week and they could be knocked off top spot by the time they take to the pitch against Stoke. The Potters will prove determined opponents as ever and will not lie down. However, I fancy Carlo Ancelotti’s men to sneak a vital three points and swing the Premier League odds in their favour again.
Everton 2 Fulham 0
Fulham, like Liverpool, have been on a European road trip this week but sadly for the cottagers they face much tougher opposition. Roy Hodgson’s men travel to the north-west to play a resurgent Everton. Fulham haven’t won at Goodison for more than 50 years and it seems unlikely they will get a result here. With weary Fulham legs following their Europa League excursions I predict Everton will take the points.
Do you have predictions for the weekend – let us know yours in the comments section below