Man City have been crowned as champions and John Newsome expects Swansea to be on the end of a right royal hiding, when the party gets underway this weekend.
WEST BROM v LIVERPOOL
Early Saturday Kick off live on Sky Sports. West Brom’s disastrous season took a surprise upturn away at Old Trafford last week and Jay Rodriguez single goal against United, not only gave the Baggies a win but gifted Manchester’s noisy neighbours City the Premier League title for this season. After that win at Old Trafford, the loyal Baggies fans now have free-scoring Liverpool to watch at the Hawthorns. They have lost 9 out of their last 11 games, the win at United and a draw at Swansea being the others. But with only 4 games remaining, have unfortunately left it too late and will still to go down. Liverpool continued their free-flowing free-scoring style of football with a 3-0 win at Anfield against Bournemouth. The Fab 3 all scored, Mane getting the opener, Salah the 2nd with his 30th Premier League goal of the season ( note to Harry, Mo actually touched the ball before it went into the net) and the 3rd by Firmino who was then immediately taken off. The reds are in the semi-final of the Champions League competition after an impressive 5-1 aggregate demolition of High Flying City. In the reverse fixture at Anfield back in December, the Baggies got another great result, holding on for a well-deserved point and surprisingly preventing Liverpool from scoring in a 0-0 draw. There should be goals today at the Hawthorns and Liverpool will do what United couldn’t.
Away Win 0-2
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WATFORD v CRYSTAL PALACE
Watford played away last Saturday up at Huddersfield and were subjected to a 91st minute heartbreaking losing goal after almost hanging on for a draw. They are currently on 37 points and more then likely this will be the number of points needed to stay in the Premier League for another season. The Hornet are 3 points above Crystal Palace so this is a vital game for both sides. Depending on other results this week both teams could be confirmed as safe. Palace beat Brighton by the odd goal on Saturday in an entertaining 5 goal thriller. The surprise in that scoreline was that all the 5 goals were scored in the first 34 minutes and the Eagles held out for the valuable 3 points. Defender James Tomkins scored a rare goal sandwiched between 2 Wilfried Zaha goals. Wilfried is vital to Crystal Palace’s survival but will surely be a wanted man in the summer. At Selhurst Park in December, the Eagles came from behind to grab a 92nd-minute winner to claim a 2-1 win. There will be goals in another entertaining game.
STOKE v BURNLEY
Stoke are the other team on Monday Night Football and still lie in the drop zone with games running out. They will have to rely on other results going their way if they want to survive as they have a tough run in. Prior to Monday night’s game against West Ham, they had not won in 9, losing 5 and drawing 4, which is simply not good enough. The Clarets have won all 5 of their last 5 games, 4 of the games with scores of 2-1. They used to win games 1-0, now it’s 2-1. Before this fixture, Burnley play Chelsea and depending on the result against the Blues, they could be above Arsenal and lying in the European places ahead of this outing to the Potteries which would be simply amazing for little old Burnley. They should be too strong for Stoke and will want to finish the season as high as possible.
Away Win 1-2
ARSENAL v WEST HAM
Another 1.30 Sunday slot for the Gunners live on Sky Sports. What can be said about Arsenal? Brilliant at the Emirates, rubbish away. The Gooners lost again away at Newcastle on Sunday after taking the lead with an Alexandre Lacazette goal. Newcastle then scored 2 against a poor Arsenal defence who are simply not good enough. Monreal, Holding, Mustafi and Chambers not exactly inspiring. Depending on results midweek they could actually be below Burnley in the league which really is a sad indictment of Arsenal considering their status. Arsene Wenger is holding onto the slim hope of winning the Europa League to gain automatic entry into the Champions League similar to what Manchester United achieved last season. However, should he fail to win that trophy, surely his time at the Emirates is up? West Ham played at Stoke on Monday Night Football and barring a miracle from the other teams below them, will play Premier League football at the London Stadium next term. Surely some so-called big clubs have to take a chance on Marco Arnautovic. A quality player who should not be fighting relegation with the Hammers getting a steady 9 goals already. In the reverse fixture in December, no one managed to score in a dull 0-0. With home advantage, Arsenal should be too strong for West Ham and there will be goals.
Home Win 3-0
MAN CITY v SWANSEA
Man City are officially the 2017/2018 Premier League Champions. Congratulations to the Citizens. Following the Baggies surprise win at rivals United, City were officially crowned Champions. This game is the late Sunday afternoon kickoff live on Sky Sports. Everyone knew they were going to be Champions and some will say United’s loss gifted City the title. In reality, it was always going to happen and United had nothing to do with City’s title win other than not performing throughout the course of the season. After 3 successive losses, 2 in their Champions League quarter-final defeat to Liverpool, surprisingly losing both legs. Sandwiched in between was the defeat to United, they got an impressive away win at Wembley against Tottenham. Raheem Sterling managed to score against Spurs, however, it appears he needs 7 chances to score 1 which is not great. He’s a fantastic player but needs to work on his finishing and with the World Cup looming, could do with some extra training with his City strike partner Sergio Aguero. Swansea are not mathematically safe yet but with games running out and the poor form of the teams already in the relegation places should be ok for another year in the Premier League. They got a valuable point at the Liberty on Saturday against Everton and are now 5 points ahead of 3rd from bottom Southampton. The good thing for the Swans is they still have to play Southampton at the Liberty and 2nd from bottom Stoke in their final game of the season so it really is in their own hands and they will only have themselves to blame if they do get relegated. The game at the Liberty in December saw 4 City goals, no disgrace for Swansea. This is theoretically a free game as no one will expect a Swansea win and City now being officially crowned as Premier League Champions will want to put on a title-winning performance at the Etihad. Which is quite fitting really.
Home Win 5-0
EVERTON v NEWCASTLE
Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports. Everton got a draw away at Swansea on Saturday after taking the lead through a Kyle Naughton own goal. They are safe in 9th place on 42 points which is just a point above Newcastle in 10th. Wayne Rooney showed his frustration against the Toffees boss Sam Allardyce after only playing 56 minutes in the Merseyside Derby. Big Sam gave him half an hour longer against Swansea but still took him off on 86 minutes just to say ”I’m the Boss Wayne!!” With games running out, it’s unlikely the Toffees will finish higher than 9th but being safe, surely they can now have a go at teams and build momentum for next season. Newcastle got a superb result in front of the loyal Toon Army on Sunday against a poor Arsenal side who are simply a different team away from the Emirates. That said Newcastle still had to perform to make certain of their Premier League status for next term. They went behind against the Gooners but rallied and got 2 great goals from Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie and never looked like losing. Rafa Benitez should take a lot of credit for keeping Newcastle in the league after promotion from the Championship and maybe Arsenal wouldn’t go far wrong appointing him after Mr Wenger. The reverse fixture at St James Park in December, saw a single Wayne Rooney goal give Everton all 3 points. Jonjo Shelvey got a late red card in that game. With both teams free from the threat of relegation the shackles should be off and this should be a good game at Goodison Park with plenty of goals.
Contact John Newsome, with your own predictions, requests and feedback, at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org