Tottenham’s win over Man City in midweek means they could overtake Arsenal and claim third spot if the Gunners fail to beat Fulham at the Emirates. That should be motivation enough for Arsene Wenger’s men to overcome a Fulham side who will have at least one eye on the Europa League final.
Aston Villa 2 Blackburn 0
Europe is assured for Aston Villa but they could still finish anywhere from fifth to seventh. Finishing as the “best of the rest” would be a small consolation for Villa fans, and the extra prize money would be handy as well. Rovers will try to grab the three points that will secure them a top half finish, but Martin O’Neill’s men are strong at home and I fancy them to come away with the win.
Bolton 0 Birmingham 0
Although they are already safe, if results go against them Bolton could drop to 17th, a finish which would take some of the gloss off a spirited second half of the season under Owen Coyle. Only a heavy defeat will see Birmingham drop below tenth, and their goal of simply staying in the division was achieved long ago. As neither side has anything to play for, I’ll be placing a football bet on this one to be a draw.
Burnley 1 Tottenham 2
This could have been another fourth place decider but Spurs’ win over City in midweek means this will be a leisurely stroll in East Lancashire. However, Harry Redknapp’s men will know a win puts pressure on neighbours Arsenal and could secure them direct entry into the group stages of the Champions League. For this reason I think they will beat a Burnley side that never really got to grips with the Premier League.
Chelsea 3 Wigan 0
The champagne will be on ice at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea look to finish the job started at Anfield last week. They know a win against Wigan will secure them the Premier League title regardless of what Man United do at Old Trafford. The Latics actually beat Chelsea at the DW Stadium last September, but I can’t see them causing another upset here. Expect Ancelotti’s men claim top spot in style.
Everton 2 Portsmouth 0
Win lose or draw Everton will end the season eighth, just missing out on the European spots for the first time in three years. Pompey will have one eye on Wembley and will look to rest players before their big day. An injury crisis hasn’t helped matters either so I think they will bow out of the Premier League with a defeat.
Hull 1 Liverpool 3
A busy summer lies ahead for Liverpool with the future of the owners, manager and star players in doubt. Hull also face an uncertain future with club struggling to cope with debts of £30 million. Both teams will be looking for a lift, but I think it will be the reds who will get the win. The big question is will it be a last game under Rafa Benitez?
Man Utd 2 Stoke 0
Radios and mobile phones will be tuned into the events at Stamford Bridge as United fans know the destiny of the title is not in their own hands. First though they have to fulfil their side of the bargain before asking any favours of Wigan. United have to beat a battling Stoke side who will be keen to finish in the top ten. United’s resilience has taken them far this season and it will get them the win today, but it won’t be enough to secure them the title.
West Ham 1 Man City 2
Man City must pick themselves up after that crushing defeat to Spurs and look to end the season on a high. The fact that fifth place and the Europa League is a disappointment to the fans shows how far the club has come in the past two years – this will be their highest ever finish in the Premier League. West Ham, meanwhile, face a tricky summer with rumours of player sales and uncertainty about the future of Gianfranco Zola. The Italian will want to end a difficult season with a win, but I think it will be compatriot Mancini who will take the points.
Wolverhampton 1 Sunderland 2
Wolves will be delighted with their season – boss Mick McCarthy has already admitted he found it strange to have secured safety with so many games to go. They could go as high as 14th with a win. For their part, Sunderland will reflect on a season of two halves, as their bright start was eclipsed by a nightmare run over Christmas. Top scorer Darren Bent is still pushing for a spot in England’s squad for the Football World Cup 2010 though and I expect him to net in a narrow away win.