Football Premier League

Game Week 36 English Premier League (GW 36 EPL)

(All fixtures EST)

Saturday 4/27

Liverpool v Stoke City 7:30

(Anfield) With one foot in the Champions League final, the Reds will be focused on ensuring their participation in the competition next season, and 3 points against a struggling side in front of their own fans would be a great start.  Despite the near-stellar performance against Roma on Tuesday, the mood was dampened by the news that midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss both the rest of the season and this summer’s World Cup due to ligament damage sustained early on in the game.  Liverpool have amassed quite the laundry list of injuries recently, with midfielders Emre Can and Adam Lallana still out and defender Joel Matip done for the season.  Striker Sadio Mane is also questionable.  Stoke on the other hand are without Glen Johnson and Maxim Chupo-Moting.  The relegation-threatened Potters are 4 points from safety and will be fighting for survival.  Expect a close match but Liverpool will not disappoint at home.

Burnley v Brighton 10:00

(Turf Moor) While European football may have escaped their clutches last week following a 1-1 draw with Stoke City, Burnley can still be very proud of the season they’ve had. The Clarets have exceeded expectations and currently sit in 7th place in the table. As for their opponents, only 7 points separate 13th-placed Brighton from a relegation spot, and despite that small cushion, the Seagulls still have a very difficult end to the season and will therefore need to get points wherever possible if they are to remain in the Premier League. Making their task that much more difficult is the fact that Dutch midfielder Davy Propper is out with a suspension.  Burnley to win.

Crystal Palace v Leicester City 10:00

(Selhurst Park)  Winless in their last three, Leicester City travel to London in hopes of ending their poor form.  Considering their injuries however this could very well turn into a Fox hunt, with keeper Kasper Schmeichel, striker Shinji Okazaki, and midfielder Daniel Amartey all out. Palace on the other hand have been handed a boost with Connor Wickham and Jeffrey Schlupp returning from long-term absences.  The Eagles also have a healthy Wilfried Zaha who can change a game on his own.  The Ivorian midfielder has been in fantastic form, averaging about one goal every four games.  Palace to win.

Southampton v Bournemouth 10:00

(St. Mary’s) Last weekend’s loss in the FA cup semi final against Chelsea was the most recent setback in a season plagued by disappointment.  The south coast club currently sits in 18th place, 4 points from safety.  Two of their remaining four games are against sides in the top half of the table, so a win against Bournemouth is absolutely vital.  The fact that the Southampton have never lost against Bournemouth in any competition should buoy the Saints.  However, manager Eddie Howe is renown for upsetting the odds, so expect a closely contested match resulting in a draw.

Newcastle v West Brom 10:00

(St James’s Park) Having taken 12 out of the last 15 points, Newcastle can be very proud of their current form.  The Toon’s most recent match was a slim 1-0 loss to Everton, but considering their opponents this weekend, they should return to winning ways.  West Brom are propping up the rest of the clubs and have only taken 25 points from 35 games.  Still they may find motivation in the fact that they are undefeated in their last three matches.  They rescued a point after pulling off a superb comeback at home to Liverpool last weekend, having trailed by two goals with only 20 minutes left.  Caretaker manager Darren Moore seems to have the club playing with confidence, but it may be a case of too little too late.  A loss will see the Baggies relegated from the Premier league and Newcastle will be the side to send them down. Newcastle to take all three points.

Huddersfield v Everton 10:00

(John Smith’s) Yet another club not safe from relegation, Huddersfield need some positive results from their remaining four games in order to avoid the drop.  Last weekend’s victory over Watford was the first win in their last six matches, but they cannot afford a similar streak as it will see their drop into the Championship.  Making things worse is the fact that the Terriers are still without star midfielder Tom Ince, who is ruled out with a hamstring problem. Everton however have some injuries of their own. Midfield maestro Gylfi Sigurdsson is still out, and Leighton Baines and Morgan Schneiderlin are questionable. Still, Everton to win.

Swansea v Chelsea 12:30

(Liberty) Things are not looking good for the Swans.  With only one win in their last seven games (their most recent match an embarrassing five – nil defeat to Manchester City), the Welsh side need to steady the ship, or may find themselves in a relegation scrap to close out the season.  Sitting only 4 points from safety, Swansea would like nothing more than to put some breathing space between themselves and the bottom three.  Conversely, Chelsea will be looking to take all three points as Champions League football for next season still hangs in the balance.  They can also get themselves back into Europe’s top competition by winning the FA cup, but rivals Manchester United await them in the final, so picking up wins in the league should take priority. Chelsea to win.

Sunday 4/29

West Ham v Manchester City 9:15

(London Stadium) West Ham’s capitulation at the Emirates last weekend has resulted in the Hammers slumping to 15th in the table.  Considering their opponents this weekend and their long list of injuries, that’s exactly where they will remain.  Champions Manchester City will have no problem dispatching the Irons and will win easily.

Manchester United v Arsenal 11:30

(Old Trafford) GAME OF THE WEEKEND.  A resurgent Arsenal has seen the London side close the gap on rivals Chelsea.  However, considering how late it is in the season, the only way the Gunners can expect Champions League football next year is by winning the Europa Cup.  Thursday’s match against Atletico Madrid made that task all the more difficult as the Spanish side left the Emirates with an away goal in a 1-1 draw.  Manchester United, who are on their way to an FA cup final, have a clean bill of health – and with top four already locked up, will be looking to appease their fans further by beating their long-time rivals.  Arsenal are without midfielder and former United player, Henrik Mkhitaryan but French striker Alexander Lacazette, who bagged two goals last weekend in a 4-1 destruction of West Ham, will be raring to go.  Some quality football should be on display with this match sure to draw millions of viewers worldwide, but I cannot see Arsenal getting 3 points in Manchester.

Monday 4/30

Tottenham v Watford 3:00

(Wembley) Following their disappointing semi final loss to Manchester United in the FA cup last weekend, Spurs can now focus on securing a top four a spot, ensuring Champions League football next season.  The London side will need to maintain the gap between them and rivals Chelsea to guarantee their place in Europe’s top competition.  Striker Harry Kane, still in the hunt for the Golden Boot award, needs several goals if he is to have any chance of catching Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.  Fortunately for him, opponents Watford should provide a great opportunity for the Englishman to close the gap on the top scorer.  The Hornets have been abysmal.  The East London club has only won one game in their previous seven matches. Suffice it to say the only happiness they will derive is the fact that they’ll have a short trip home with not much time to dwell on their certain loss to Spurs.  Tottenham to win by multiple goals.

About the author

Kenan Collins