Final Premier League Preview

Published: May 09, 2014 11:03am EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated May 09, 2014 @ 11:03am EDT


So here we are. The final weekend of the Premiership kicks off with all twenty teams at the same time on Sunday 11th May. Relegation is all but sorted as you probably already know with Cardiff and Fulham confirmed and Norwich City not to far behind.
At the other end of the table Chelsea now know they cannot win the but up will still have to put on a good show and possibly finish runners up. 
So for the last time this season, here is my look at the Premiership matches for this upcoming weekend.


SUNDAY (All Kick Off 3pm BST/ 10am ET):


Cardiff v Chelsea:

Cardiff are relegated but may want to make a statement to their fans before they drop down into the Championship. The Cardiff fans really haven’t had too much to cheer about this season and I really do admire the way they reacted to all the off field shenanigans from their owner, Vincent Tan. I like the fans a lot but am glad that the club, and Tan, will not be there next season. Who knows maybe he will sell the club in the interim period and the fans can actually enjoy the next time, if there is a next time, that they get back into the League. If Cardiff were to win (or get a draw and Fulham lose) then at least they will not go down as the bottom club.

For Chelsea it may be a chance for them to try for that second place but the realistic among us will know that not only will Chelsea need to win, but they will also need Liverpool to lose, or get a draw if Chelsea win 8-0. 

The minds of the Chelsea players may very well be already drifting to the upcoming World Cup and with the limitation of the positional movements available to Chelsea I wouldn’t bet on this being a classic Chelsea performance.

Prediction: 2-1. 


Fulham v Crystal Palace:

Just like Cardiff, Fulham are done and this will be their last game in the Premiership for a while as they look to address what has gone wrong this season. For Crystal Palace it certainly is job done, and has been for some time. 

Just like Chelsea the possibility for Palace to better or worsen their final position in the table is very unlikely and so I suspect Palace may already be on their post season vacation when this game kicks off. Maybe if it was at Selhurst Park then I could make an argument for them to give one last ‘good effort’ for their support but they did that on Monday with the comeback against Liverpool.

I fully expect Fulham to get points here and give their fans something to cheer. Now of all the teams going down I think maybe Fulham have the better chance of bouncing back but even then I do not expect it for a couple of seasons at least. 

Prediction: 2-0.


Hull v Everton:

Don’t be surprised to see these two teams going easy on each other and the two managers congratulating each other. For both it has been a massive first season and for Hull it doesn’t end at the final whistle. 

Hull City have that FA Cup Final date with Arsenal soon and will certainly not want to pick up and knocks or niggling injuries just before the historical game. Again, they are safe from relegation and can improve their positioning with a victory on Sunday, but would you risk any players for that and risk them missing the Final?

Everton have done great this season and will finish above Manchester United no matter what the results from around the country on Sunday. Europa League beacons next season and certainly that is a foundation Roberto Martinez can build on. Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry have been key this season but may return to their parent clubs once the season ends. 

Prediction: 1-1. 


Liverpool v Newcastle:

Don’t let any Liverpool fan tell you that their side finishing in a Champions League place means job done for the guys. Yes, at the beginning of the season that would have been the aim, but having come so close and letting games slip through their grasp so easily must certainly leave a bad taste in their mouths. With Champions League next season adding to their calendar it is fair to say that this could be the best chance Liverpool will have for a title for the foreseeable future. 
Luis Suarez won player of the year from both his fellow professionals and the football writers but unless there is a dramatic twist on the final day, it will all be for nothing.

Newcastle have had their season yet again undone by a lack of movement in the transfer windows. Actually I mean in the right direction, as most of the decent players Newcastle started with, have since left. Will they want to have a say on the title race? Anything but a defeat for Newcastle will automatically hand the title to Manchester City. Pardew and Pellegrini had an exchange of words when the teams met but there are no hard feelings there.

Prediction: 4-0. 


Man City v West Ham:

They may have fallen foul of the Financial Fair Play rules set out by UEFA and be facing some massive sanctions, but for right now that will be forgotten. After a tough season which included a Capital One Cup win and Champions League football post Group Stage Manchester City are readying themselves to lift the Premiership trophy for the second time in three seasons. 

City would be worthy winners too as they have had the best of both sides of football. They have been as free scoring as Liverpool, getting 100 League goals so far this season. However, unlike Liverpool they haven’t conceded as many as the Merseyside club. Chelsea have been praised and criticized for their defensive play but the fact is City have only conceded eleven more goals than the London club. 

There are two sides playing in the game though and I am sure Liverpool fans will be hoping ex players Andy Carroll or Stewart Downing would be able to do them a favor. When these two sides met in October City won 3-1 and although they did beat Spurs 2-0 last weekend, they had been on a losing streak for the whole month of April.

I think the longer the game goes on without a City goal, or even if the Hammers score, the more nervous everyone in the stadium will get. If, however, City can get on the score sheet early and relax, then it could be party time on the field at the Etihad.

Prediction: 3-1.    


Norwich v Arsenal:

The home side are not mathematically relegated as we go into the final game of the season but in order for them to survive there needs to be three things happen. 1) Norwich need to win, 2) West Brom must lose and 3) there must be a massive goal swing in Norwich’s favor.

I think it probably is out of the realms of reality if not necessarily the realms of possibility. Hopefully the Norwich side will give the Norwich fans a good display as that is something they haven’t seen for the majority of this season. 

The good news for Norwich is that Arsenal, like Hull, have their eyes on two future events. The World Cup of course will feature a lot of the Arsenal players but also don’t forget the FA Cup too. 

That may help Norwich City and if they can take advantage of any lack of focus on the game in Norfolk. 

Prediction: 2-1.


Southampton v Man Utd:

What a season it has been for Manchester United, and not in a good way. I still have my reservations about the removal of David Moyes as head coach but that decision has been made and it is time to move on. It seemed on Tuesday that Ryan Giggs would also be leaving the club after many years at Old Trafford. He will follow Vidic and maybe a few others who will leave, either by choice or forced, in the summer.

United can still get above Tottenham and into sixth position if they were to win on the south coast on Sunday, but they will also have to hope for a Spurs defeat.

As for Southampton their season is done. It has been okay and certainly better than expected although they have slipped over the second half of the season. Their cannot improve their league position either for better of for worse and so they will finish eighth. 

Adam Lallana and others may be looking to keep fit and readily available for selection to Roy Hodgsons England side, to be named on Monday. Whatever the result, there will be a party on the south coast at the final whistle.

Prediction: 1-2.     


Sunderland v Swansea:

Gus Poyet has now stated that he believes in miracles and I have to admit that I wouldn’t have thought I would be talking of Sunderland’s survival at this point in the season. The results of the Black Cats in recent weeks have been fantastic and no matter what the result on Sunday, the fans will be happy overall.

For Swansea, they too have had a weird year with the firing of their old manager, a foray into Europe and pulling themselves up from the relegation danger zone. All said they will have to be much more organized going into next season and the fact that there will be no European distraction next season means the league form should be easier to focus on. 

Neither side have had a very good season but the fact that they are both ending in a reasonable good run makes all the difference. 

I think Poyet would really want to thank the fans with a good performance at their home stadium but as I said earlier both will just be happy to have survived and the party atmosphere at the final whistle can be enjoyed, but the hard work needs to start soon after.



Tottenham v Aston Villa:

Neither set of fans will be too happy with their teams performance this season. Yes, Tottenham were involved in Europe, but after spending all the Gareth Bale money and the start they had you would have been hoping for a better finish than a possible sixth or seventh. 

Changing the manager was possibly needed but the fact it never appeared that Tim Sherwood had the full backing of Chairman Daniel Levy seemed to have put its strain on the squad.
For Villa the only thing certain for next season is the fact that they will be in the Premiership. It is felt that owner Randy Lerner is unsure as to if he wants to keep the club or try to sell it on and that could have a knock on effect on whether the manager Paul Lambert stays. 

With the past two seasons now being a disappointment the fans may not actually be opposed to a change of regime but if Lerner was to sell then it needs to happen quickly so that next seasons preparations are not impeded.

Prediction: 3-0.  


West Brom v Stoke:

Mathematically the home side are still fighting against relegation, although their survival would be secured with any points. Pepe Mel has huffed and puffed since he was installed as manager but hasn’t managed to get the Baggies out of danger just yet. I fully expect them to secure the point they will need here and a tied game would also secure the visitors a top ten finish. 

Stoke City, under Mark Hughes, have slowly developed into a little more of a side with pace and attacking prowess which has seen them move to this great position.

Playing devils advocate though and if Stoke were to win and Liverpool beat or tie with Newcastle then Stoke will move to ninth. Is that something they would be caring a whole much about? 

Prediction: 2-1.


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Jason Bardwell
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