(All fixtures Eastern Standard Time)
Everton v Liverpool 7:30
(Goodison) Manager Jurgen Klopp has both a conundrum and a headache on his hands. Even before pulling off an incredible 3-0 result against Manchester City in the Champions League a few days ago, Liverpool have been recently plagued by a number of injuries. Add a questionable Mo Salah to that list and things do not bode well for the Reds. (Matip, Lallana, Gomez, Klavan, Can (the German may make an appearance) are the others out hurt.) Will Klopp risk the players that are healthy, knowing that the second leg against City is on Tuesday? Against any other club outside of the top 4, Klopp would surely be content to rest (what’s left of) his star players – but this is the renowned Merseyside Derby. Hated neighbors Everton will absolutely be up for the match and will certainly be looking to take advantage of Liverpool’s injury woes. I expect a closely contested match resulting in a draw.
Stoke City v Tottenham 10:00
(Bet 365 Stadium) With zero wins in their last eight matches, Stoke are edging perilously close to the drop. Their tenuous status in the league may spur them to lay it all on the line, but Spurs are a far superior side and are fresh off of their impressive 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Easter. Additionally, striker Harry Kane, who many believed was done for the season, is back healthy and will be looking to play catch up in the race for the golden boot. Spurs to win by at least two goals.
Leicester City v Newcastle 10:00
(King Power) Considering both clubs should be safe from relegation and are coming off of wins, this match is a tough one to call. Leicester’s star striker Jamie Vardy (who scored last weekend) is healthy and knows that a place in the England squad for this summer’s upcoming World Cup awaits him as long as he continues his goalscoring form. Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez may look to frustrate the Foxes in hopes of leaving the King Power with a point in their quest to secure top flight football for next season. Still, Foxes to get the three points.
Brighton v Huddersfield 10:00
(Amex) With one win in their last four outings, Huddersfield manager David Wagner will be desperate for three points – and what better chance than against a club that got promoted from the Championship alongside his Terriers? Huddersfield sit currently 6 points above the relegation zone yet only trail Brighton by 3. The home side will surely be handicapped by the absence of midfielder Anthony Knockaert. The Frenchman, who has played in twenty-seven league matches for the seacoast side this season, is out with a suspension. Expect both clubs to cancel each other out. Draw.
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace 10:00
(Vitality) While they have only taken 3 points from their previous 5 games, the London side could certainly be forgiven for their performances, considering four of those games were against clubs that currently sit in the top 5 in the league. Bournemouth’s dramatic last-minute equalizer last weekend pulled the Cherries up to an impressive 10th place standing, and Eddie Howe’s boys will have his sights on a top ten finish. As for Palace, striker Christian Benteke is questionable having picked up a knock in training this past week but Ivorian Wilfried Zaha will be raring to go. Palace to win by a single goal.
Watford v Burnley 10:00
(Vicarage) Having let two leads slip in last weekend’s match against Bournemouth, Watford fans have questioned the resiliency of their beloved Hornets, as those two dropped points would have seen their club climb into the top half of the table. As for Burnley, Dyche’s players have been the surprise club of the season. The Clarets have taken 46 points from 31 games and sit in seventh place, despite many pundits picking them for the drop at the beginning of the season. Still the latter’s injuries woes might get the better of them. Three key players are out for several weeks (Defour, Brady, and Walters) and Watford striker Troy Deeney will be looking to exploit this weakness by grabbing a goal or two. Watford to win.
West Brom v Swansea 10:00
(Hawthorns) My apologies to you football fans. I promise I do not make the schedule but this game was always going to be played. Neither club has looked (consistently) impressive, and the wins that they have attained this year have been shock results to say the least. West Brom will have caretaker manager Darren Moore in charge having recently sacked Alan Pardew. Swansea are still without striker Jordan Ayew (final game of suspension) but brother Andre should have enough in him to see the Swans take all 3 points.
Manchester City v Manchester United 12:30
(Etihad) GAME OF THE WEEKEND. Yes, the Merseyside Derby in Liverpool will be a heated affair, but that match doesn’t have a league title riding on it. City will be crowned champions on their own turf if they defeat their despised crosstown rivals. Regardless of whether or not Argentine striker Sergio Aguero is healthy, the Cityzens have a wealth of talent fit for the game. Conversely, the Red Devils have a clean bill of health with players Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and Ander Herrera recovering from their respective injuries. Manager Jose Mourinho will be aiming to delay their opponents’ championship celebration by at least a week. City will also have something to prove after their dismal midweek loss to Liverpool in the Champions League. City to win the game and title.
Arsenal v Southampton 9:15
(Emirates) Boy, what a difference a week can make. Arsenal, who have been very disappointing this season, may have turned a corner. Having scored 7 goals in their last two games, (the most recent a 4-1 victory over CSKA Moscow in the Europa League) the Gunners have brought some joy back to their increasingly-anxious fanbase. Manager Arsene Wenger has been under scrutiny for well over a season, but, with one foot in the Europa League semifinals, could be close to bringing some silverware to the London side. As for Southampton, last week’s horrid display at West Ham (3-0 loss) will leave a lot to be desired. The fact that this will be their second match in London in a week will only make their task harder. Arsenal to win by at least three goals.
Chelsea v West Ham 11:30
(Stamford Bridge) With Champions League hopes nearly extinguished, the Blues will need to turn things around. This is their second London derby in seven days, (they lost 3-1 to Tottenham on Easter) and anything but three points will surely see manager Antonio Conte relieved of his duties. The Hammers however will want to add to their good form, having dispatched Southampton 3-0 last week. Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois could return from injury but West Ham midfielder Michel Antonio is out for the rest of the season with an operation required to heal the damage done to his hamstring last weekend. Chelsea to win by at least two goals.