Premier League Preview (Apr 19th, 20th and 21st)

Published: Apr 17, 2014 20:15pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 17, 2014 @ 08:15pm EDT

 

With this year being the 25th Anniversary of Hillsborough it would be somewhat poetic if Liverpool were to actually win the Premier League this season. Last weeks win against Manchester City along with their subsequent tied game midweek, at home, to Sunderland means that maybe that dream is a little closer.

At the bottom it is just as feisty with the accusations thrown at Crystal Palace by Cardiff City after the recent 3-0 win. Cardiff have accused the London club of actively pursuing the starting lineup of the Cardiff side but for me I wonder, if guilty, exactly who from Cardiff gave them the information. Certainly it is more unwanted attention for the fans of Cardiff, who have had to deal with a ton of these embarrassing stories.

It is with the upcoming on field activities I will focus for this moment though and this weekend we have a full Premiership schedule to enjoy, running through until a late game on Monday.

 

SATURDAY (All Kick Off times 3pm BST/10am ET unless stated):

 

Tottenham v Fulham (12:45 BST/7:45 ET):

Fulham have won their last two games to give Felix Magath’s side a great chance to escape from relegation. Winning against Aston Villa and then Norwich last weekend the London side kick off Saturday knowing that a third win in a row will lift them out of that bottom three, for 24 hours at least.

For the home side it will be a chance to redeem a little bit of their season and with four games to go their chance of top four is probably out of reach. The start to the season promised so much though and so their main objective now must be surely to finish as strong as they can. Sixth is probably the best they can hope for right now and at the seasons end, no matter what, I think they will let Tim Sherwood go, hire another coach and be ready to go again next season.

Prediction: 2-0.

 

Aston Villa v Southampton:

For some reason, and one which Manager Paul Lambert will not elaborate on at this current time, two of his most trusted coaches were suspended pending an internal investigation. Gordon Cowans and ex goalkeeper Shay Given have stepped up for a temporary fix and hopefully not rock the boat too close to the end of the season. Only four points ahead of the relegation zone right now their future is less than secure. A win would certainly do them the world of good and with Southampton struggling recently who would bet against them here.

As for Southampton they have taken a similar line to Tottenham. The season started off so well for them but their finishing position will be no higher than 8th. A few months ago the Chairman stepped down and it was questioned as to whether the Manager would stay, but stay he did. Now whether he will be there next season is up for debate but for right now Southampton fans have a lot to be happy about, not least the young players who may be going to the World in a few months time.

Prediction: 2-2.

 

Cardiff v Stoke:

To ex Manchester United striking heroes will face off against each other in Wales Saturday. For the home side it will be another chance to pick up a vital three points as they try to stay in the Premier League. The last time they won at home though was back against Fulham seven matches ago and the last time these two met earlier on in the season it resulted in shared points.

For Stoke City a top eight position is not out of reach and that should drive them on to finish strong this season and certainly a top eight finish will be somewhat of an improvement from where the club has been.

With the sideshow that has followed, and continues to follow, Cardiff City I doubt that they will go quietly.

Prediction: 0-2.

 

Newcastle v Swansea:

Another season of disappointments for Newcastle fans is drawing to a close and they have pretty much nothing to look forward to other than finishing mid table once more. I am not sure how much more the fans will take of this as it seems to be someone pressing the self destruct button each time, and his name is Mike Ashley. Alan Pardew has had a tough season and that has shown in recent weeks with his reaction to certain incidents, will he be there at the start of next season?

Swansea have their own problems this season and it is far from over for the Swans. Distracted for the longest time with the Europa League it is fair to say the side’s position at this stage of the season is a disappointment but I think they will live to fight another day. A win away to Newcastle could be enough to secure that right now but I am not sure if either team are in the habit of making things that straightforward, and both would be hoping for a better season next time around.

Prediction: 0-0

 

West Ham v Crystal P:

I think that both of these sides will have relatively happy fans at this stage of the season. Around Christmas time things looked bleak for West Ham, and before that, things were bleak for Palace. West Ham stuck by their Manager despite calls from some sections of the crowd for him to move on. Now they find themselves seven points above the relegation zone and, again, potentially one win away from mathematical safety.

For Crystal Palace, they did change their manager, but it was only after Ian Holloway stepped down. In came Tony Pulis and the guy has worked wonders, making the side tough to beat. The recent win against Everton have given them the safety target figure of 40 points everyone looks at. In truth I doubt if any of the relegated sides will end up with anything above 35 points.

The last time these two sides met at West Ham’s ground was back in 1997 and saw the Hammers win 4-1.

Prediction: 1-0.

 

Chelsea v Sunderland (5:30 BST/12:30 ET):

Chelsea have the chance to go back to the top of the League if they were to win in the late game on Saturday but they will have to beat a struggling Sunderland along the way. The Black Cats were unlucky not to get all three points from Manchester City midweek and now City, along with Sunderland fans, will be hoping of bringing a similar result back from London.

Last season this was a 2-1 home victory and with the form of the blues recently you would have to expect similar with this game. But do not estimate Sunderland, they are at the last of their chances now and they have no other option but to fight, and fight hard. They showed what they can do against Manchester City midweek and will have to be just as good, if not better at Stamford Bridge.

Prediction: 2-0.

 

SUNDAY:

 

Norwich v Liverpool (12pm BST/7am ET):

For the first game on Sunday you could actually just read the Chelsea blurb. Liverpool are top of the League, free scoring and looking to win their first Premiership title in the same year as the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Last season this game ended in a 5-2 victory for the away side and certainly you wouldn’t bet against that being a similar score line this time around.

When this game kicks off Norwich City could find themselves in the relegation zone and, with the remaining fixture list, they will find it hard to lift themselves back out of it. In the unlikly event that Norwich will get the win in this game it certainly will be a boost, not only to them, but also the fans of Manchester City. I am not entirely sure I can see anything in this game for Norwich but a heavy loss though, and that has to be nail one of four in the Norwich coffin.

Prediction:1-5.

 

Hull v Arsenal (2:05 BST/9:05 ET):

Now this game will be quite the quandary for Hull City boss, Steve Bruce. A dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final Hull City will be looking for points to aid their own survival and will not want to give Arsenal the confidence of beating them so close to the Final . The dilemma comes from the fact that, yes Hull City would like the points, but I doubt they will be relegated if they get no more points all season. However, if they were to lose and Arsenal were to get the three points then that would move them closer to securing fourth. If Arsenal were to secure fourth then that would mean Hull City would get European football next season no matter the cups outcome.

Arsenal should be favorites for this game but they really haven’t been in the best form in recent games. Ever since Wenger celebrated his 1,000th game in charge with a 6-0 defeat the Gunners have not won, that is, until this past week when they beat West Ham 3-1.

Was that the start of a mini Arsenal revival? Guess we will see on Tuesday.

Prediction: 1-3.

 

Everton v Man Utd (4:10 BST/11:10 ET):

A year ago it was clear that David Moyes would no longer be Everton Manager, but would instead take the reigns at Manchester United. Talk then started about how many players Evrton might lose and who would come in after Moyes, who had done such a great job for the Toffeemen. A year on and it is Everton who are in the better position after the parting of ways with a top four finish still not out of the question Roberto Martinez has done very well in his first season.

Nine points behind his old club, Everton and I think it is fair to say David Moyes will be desperate for a good showing this Sunday. A win would give Manchester United an outside chance of getting into the top four, depending on Arsenal’s result earlier. It is debatable however if the Europa League is something either Moyes or the United fans would want to entertain.

For a side in transition it could be more of a distraction for them if they had to participate in the long, and grueling competition.

Prediction: 1-2.

 

MONDAY:

 

Man City v West Brom (8pm BST/3pm ET):

The home side could go into this game nine points behind the league leaders and seven behind second if the other weekend results go against them. The last two games have been disastrous for Manchester City’s title challenge. Last Sunday the loss to rivals Liverpool was followed up on Wednesday with a less than impressive performance against Sunderland. Anything other than a win here and the fat lady will not only be singing but most likely halfway through the first verse as far as the Premiership title goes.

Certainly the City fans will be supporting Sunderland on Saturday and Norwich on Sunday and just maybe, if things go well, they can pay those clubs back with a win on Monday.

West Brom are far from safe and they will be hoping for another City slip up they can take advantage of. In previous meetings West Brom have only won two of the games against City in recent times and in fact you have to go back to February 2003 for the last time West Brom won away to Manchester City in the League. While I do not think West Brom will win this game I also do not think they will get relegated.

Prediction: 3-0


 

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Jason Bardwell
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