Saturday, March 30th
Man City 3-0 Fulham
Man City will have a field day in this fixture. Yes, much of their squad was in action over the international break, however, for Manchester City, questions of depth and rotation are mere trifles solvable by the most novice Football Manager or FIFA player. For Pep Guardiola, therefore, a match against second from bottom Fulham should be a stroll through the park. City will secure their much needed three points to send them back to the top of the Premier League. They have a game in hand on first place Liverpool and will enjoy taking their rightful position, regardless of whether or not it is just for possibly twenty-four hours.
Huddersfield 0-2 Crystal Palace
Roy Hodgson’s men will secure a vital, vital, essential win against twentieth place Huddersfield. If any match is marked on Hodgson’s calendar as a must win, it’s this one. With a healthy front three of Townsend, Zaha, and Batshuayi, the Eagles have no excuse for not securing a result. Crystal Palace is one of the most exciting teams outside of the top six, and it will be good for the entire league if they stay up. If they hold onto Zaha and bolster their young squad, the Eagles can be giving Wolves a run for seventh place this time next year. Palace has thirty-three points, five points more than third-bottom Cardiff City.
Watford 1-2 Man United
Solksjaer’s first match officially at the wheel will be one to celebrate. United’s players tore up the international break with Pogba leading the headlines with a fabulous assist to Griezzman. Watford, however, will prove a difficult challenge. The Hornets are in hot pursuit of seventh place Wolves. Watford is currently a single point back from their “best of the rest” rivals and will look to secure even a point at Old Trafford. Though United have the advantage and need to pull out the stops to stay in the race for the top four, Watford will not be brushed aside easily. United, who are two points back from Arsenal, need every single point for the rest of the season. If he wants the confidence of the board going into the transfer market this summer, Solksjaer needs to deliver in these next few vital matches. Judging by past performances against mid-table teams, he’s certainly to be favored.
Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester
After being rejuvenated by Brendan Rodgers’ return to the Premier League, the foxes have the opportunity to win four out of five with a victory against the Cherries. Bournemouth on the other hand, have won only once out of their last seven matches. They ended a run of nine consecutive away losses with a win against Huddersfield. If there is anything to turn around a team’s form, it’s a trouncing of Huddersfield. Will it be enough to get three points against Leicester, not likely.
Southampton 0-2 Brighton
One of this weekend’s biggest relegation battles. All six points have massive implications for both sides. Southampton, who have won just three away games all season, will hope to turn around their rough form outside their home city. Brighton, however, proves a physical challenge in an intense atmosphere. Brighton has stymied many of their opponents throughout the year and will do so once again against the Saints. In this relegation thriller, Brighton will walk away with the vital win.
Wolves 1-2 Burnley
Given that Wolves have an important FA Cup Semi-Final coming up next weekend, Santo’s side will have more critical thoughts on their minds than a useless match against Burnley. Wolves also face United on Tuesday and will be deploying their lineup accordingly. For Burnley, Sean Dyche celebrates his 300th match in charge. Burnley desperately needs the points as they sit only two points ahead of Cardiff in 17th place. With more significant games on the horizon, Wolves will rotate massively and will suffer accordingly. Burnley will win as they scrap for safety.
Sunday, March 31st
Chelsea 1-0 Cardiff
Cardiff plays host to Chelsea as they continue to fight for their future in the top flight. Cardiff currently sees themselves in the final relegation spot, two points back from Burnley. After a massive victory against West Ham last time out, Warnock and his men will seek another win over a superior London side. Chelsea, however, hopes that their players returning from international action perform as they did for their national teams. Chelsea’s road form, however, has been atrocious and this seems like yet another match in which they will need a bit of luck to win against a far inferior side. Chelsea’s challenge is to nail down a spot in the top-four. As they are only three points back from Arsenal in fourth place, every single point is vital. Can Sarri’s men deliver? Their recent results suggest they will not. Hope should be placed in their remaining beacons of hope: the Europa League and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool
Liverpool, though they have played one more game than title-contenders City, have a two-point cushion at the top of the table. Tottenham, on the other hand, has a loose grip on third place. Their lead is only a single point with Man United and Chelsea at their heels. Arsenal, however, seems hell-bent on taking back supremacy against their north London rivals. Neither team can survive any dropped points. Liverpool dominated the reverse fixture at Wembley in September, winning 2-1 and their recent performances suggest a similar result this Sunday. Liverpool has dropped points only twice in fifteen games in the Premier League and, at Anfield, have been scoring goals in droves. Tottenham, however, has seemed to collapse after getting their starters back – yes that’s actually how it went, and no, no one seems to understand why. Liverpool will continue their clinical home form and come away with all three points this weekend.
Monday, April 1st
Newcastle 2-3 Arsenal
Arsenal host Newcastle in London for this weekend’s final match. Arsenal hopes to secure all three points and tighten their hold on the top four. Chelsea and United are hot on the heels of the Gunners, and any slip up will be exploited. Newcastle, however, presents a tough test. Benitez’s men have rediscovered their form in recent weeks, coming from behind in both of their last two matches with a victory against Everton and a draw against Bournemouth. Arsenal, however, has looked like they are playing their best form of the year in the past weeks and will continue to win against Newcastle. Don’t be surprised, however, if Newcastle pulls off an upset away from St. James’ park. After all, Newcastle is not entirely safe, only seven points ahead of Cardiff in 13th place.