By Neil Leverett
- The Britwatch Football Team give their preview and predictions for the weekend’s action
- Follow their progress throughout the season and see which writer takes up the Premier League Prediction cup
- Correct result gets one point, correct result and score gets three points.
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – Matchweek 37 sees the penultimate week of the Premier League wind down in bumper style as Southampton look avoid the drop with a huge double-header. As usual our writers have their say on what they think will happen.
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Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester United (Friday, 20:00)
Neil: Matchweek 37 kicks off early on Friday night, as Brighton host Manchester United. The Seagulls continued their fine last-season form away to Burnley last weekend earning the point that has surely now secured Premier League safety. United meanwhile come into this after beating travel sick Arsenal last Sunday, and will be using their double dose of games this week as potential auditions for the FA Cup final against Chelsea in a fortnight’s time. For the visitors, the need for points with a top-two finish in mind may be greater despite the hosts needing a win to erase any hopes of the drop, and though I think Brighton will be game, I expect United to win out.
Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Man United
Niall: Friday Night football returns with a match that does not mean that much in the grand scheme of things. United look like they are going to seal second place whilst Brighton are clear of relegation. The Seagulls’ survival has been largely down to their home form, but United are a much better side so I think they will take this one to nil.
Prediction: Brighton 0-2 Man United
Stoke City vs. Crystal Palace (Saturday, 12:30)
Neil: Despite Stoke’s point against Liverpool last weekend, the Potters’ plight still looks irretrievable. With Palace now also surely safe after their demolition job of Leicester, the Eagles will be soaring and will not be in an mood for charity with the hosts needing maximum points this weekend. I do however, think Paul Lambert‘s men will get the win here which may give the hosts a glimmer of hope going into next weekend’s season climax.
Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Palace
Niall: This is a big match at the bottom of the table. Palace may have all but secured their safety for another season, but Stoke are still well in the relegation fight. The Potters are in a must win position, especially as they have already completed 36 games whilst their nearest rivals have only played 35. They have drawn a lot recently though and struggled to get over the line, so I think the points will be shared.
Prediction: Stoke 1-1 Crystal Palace
AFC Bournemouth vs. Swansea City (Saturday, 15:00)
Neil: For the Cherries is the perfect home send off for the Vitality Stadium faithful, for what has been another steady season on the south coast, whilst for Swansea this in must-not-lose ahead of Tuesday’s likely relegation showdown with Southampton at the Liberty Stadium. Bournemouth have struggled at home of late, but will likely see more of the ball here, with the Swans looking to snap up vital points. Eddie Howe‘s men have had a tendency for the entertaining draw of late, and with the visitors desperate for scrap I foresee another score draw here.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Swansea
Niall: We hit another match that has huge implications on the relegation fight as 17th placed Swansea travel to Bournemouth. The Swans are in poor form and have not won in their last five, but their opponents are on a three match skid themselves. Bournemouth have nothing to fight for, but they have quality at home to avoid defeat, so I am picking a score draw.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Swansea
Leicester City vs. West Ham United (Saturday, 15:00)
Neil: The Foxes have completely lost their way in recent weeks, with their hammering in South London last time out the antithesis of that malaise. With just three points from their last three outings, boss Claude Puel has come under the same fire as the Frenchman experienced at the tail end of the campaign last year for his former club. West Ham United put in a decent showing against the champions last Sunday, but were ultimately ran over in the final outcome and here is the first chance this week to out some points on the board, with the Hammers still not safe as of yet. Everything points to another stalemate here.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 West Ham
Niall: West ham’s defeat last week has left them in a poor position heading into the final leg of the season. The Hammers are only three points clear of the relegation zone heading into the penultimate match-week so they need a win when they travel to an out of form Leicester. The Foxes have gone off the boil and their confidence has been shot, so there is possibilities for the Hammers, but they have not won in their last four and are poor away.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 West Ham
Watford vs. Newcastle United (Saturday, 15:00)
Neil: The Hornets restricted a rather shaky Tottenham Hotspur to just two goals at Wembley on Monday night and have been boosted by the return of Gerard Deulofeu from injury. Newcastle meanwhile having lost to a resurgent but nonetheless bottom West Brom side could be in danger to having their season end with a whimper, having assured top-flight safety. The return of the Spaniard I feel is key here and though I do think it will be a close call, I give Watford the edge.
Prediction: Watford 2-1 Newcastle
Niall: With nothing riding on it, this game will fall under the radar this weekend. Watford are a good side at home, but they do have troubles with their defence. Newcastle’s great form has come to an end, but Rafa Benitez is a good tactical manager. It is a hard match to call as any result is possible, but I think a draw is the most likely.
Prediction: Watford 1-1 Newcastle
West Bromwich Albion vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 15:00)
Neil: It really is a travesty that Darren Moore did not come in sooner into the Baggies dugout having taken five from nine points in their last three games, but the imminent drop seems to be unavoidable with a win here a must. The Lilywhites do not look clever at the present time but still have the habit of picking up form over the course of the final few games and have the ammunition here to take three points back to North London. I can definitely see the hosts continuing their very respectable form over Spurs here, but Mauricio Pochettino‘s men should still have a little more bite, and in doing so condemn West Brom to the Championship.
Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Tottenham
Niall: Is this the week where West Brom go down? The Baggies have been holding on for the past few weeks and have given themselves a slight glimmer of hope that they can avoid the drop. A loss this weekend will put them down and I think Spurs will give them that. Tottenham are not safe in the top four just yet, so expect them to take this match seriously and get the win.
Prediction: West Brom 1-3 Tottenham
Everton vs. Southampton (Saturday, 17:30)
Neil: Saturday evening’s Matchweek 37 offering comes from Goodison Park. Despite the complaints of many a Toffee fan, Everton are looking set for another top-half Premier League finish from a campaign that at varying times threatened far far worse. The picture for the Saints meanwhile is very different. After a huge derby win against Bournemouth last weekend, Mark Hughes‘ men must surely take something away here with a monumental clash in south Wales to come later in the week. Do I think the visitors will get what could still be a massive draw? In short, yes.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Southampton
Niall: Southampton’s victory at home to Bournemouth has put them in a position where survival could be in their own hands when they face Swansea on Tuesday, but first they turn their attention to Everton at Goodison Park. Sam Allardyce has made his side difficult to beat at home, putting defence as the priority. The Saints have struggled to score goals this season so based on that I am going for a narrow Everton win.
Prediction: Everton 1-0 Southampton
Manchester City vs. Huddersfield Town (Sunday, 13:30)
Neil: Manchester City play the first of two home outings this week at the Etihad, as the Citizens look to break their respective points and goal barrier-tallies. first against Huddersfield. For the Terriers after losing to Everton last Saturday, the threat of the drop has loomed ever nearer with their horrific run-in starting here. The visitors have completely lost their bite in attack and I just do not see where they can create much-needed goals from. Add to that their woeful defensive run and the hosts’ penchant for a home drubbing and this could the start of uncomfortable week for David Wagner. I’m not I can see another 5-0 thrashing but this won’t be far off the mark as they finally get their hands on the league crown.
Prediction: Man City 4-0 Huddersfield
Niall: Man City are chasing a Premier League record 96 points when they face Huddersfield on Sunday. A win for the Citizens will break Chelsea’s record from 04/05, but Huddersfield are fighting for their lives. Their run in is horrible with this match, then Chelsea followed by Arsenal. The Terriers may only need a point to stay up and if they could get that, they will be happy with that. Even though I see Huddersfield causing City some problems, it is hard to go against the Citizens in this one.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Huddersfield
Arsenal vs. Burnley (Sunday, 16:30)
Neil: I was in Madrid for the palpable disappointment and frustration of European exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital on Thursday night, and the worry that Arsene Wenger‘s final home game in charge of the Gunners could be a hangover from that is more than a concern. Burnley can still leapfrog the hosts for sixth and despite already securing European competition themselves next season will be up for the the fight against a frail and now despondent Arsenal side. I can see the Clarets making it an uncomfortable afternoon their more illustrious hosts, but surely the players will be up for ensuring Wenger gets a happy ending – of sorts – here? I can see an upset here as a possibility but normal service will likely win out. Merci Arsene.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Burnley
Niall: Sixth place is still up for grabs for Burnley if they can get past Arsenal on the weekend. It will be interesting to see how the Gunners look after their trip to Madrid, and the Clarets improved away performances could give them trouble. However, I think Arsenal’s attack will be a little too much and Burnley’s struggle for goals overall may be their undoing.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
Chelsea vs. Liverpool (Sunday, 16:30)
Neil: The last helping of the opening gambit of Matchweek 37 goodness sees a classic top-flight encounter. The Blues dug out a win against Swansea seven days ago to keep their top-four hopes alive but will need a win here to continue that momentum. That will be a tall task against an an exuberant and buoyed Reds side who booked their place in the UEFA Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday night. In that encounter, it highlighted the fact that Liverpool simply do not do dull football and that will again come into the play in all likelihood here. Both sides will be going for vital league points here and it should make for a cracker at the ‘Bridge but ultimately ending in a share of the spoils.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool
Niall: Chelsea’s top four push is not over and a win against Liverpool could put them within three points with a game in hand. Liverpool tend to struggle more with defensive teams, and although Chelsea have not been as tight at the back as last season, they are still capable of good defensive performances. The Reds may suffer a hangover from mid-week or that may spur them on to success here, who knows? But stylistically I favour Chelsea to make for an interesting finish to the season.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
Swansea City vs. Southampton (Tuesday, 19:45)
Neil: Part two of Matchweek 37 swings into gear in sheer seismic fashion. Much will of course depend on both these sides respective weekend results, but as games go this ticks the box of giant Premier League relegation six-pointer. It’s huge. It is likely a case of winner stays up, loser goes down, but a draw will probably favour the hosts. It is such a tough call this one but with the Welsh roar on their side, the Swans could be toasting victory long in the night here after a very nervy 90 minutes, as Southampton wave goodbye to the English top-flight. Probably.
Prediction: Swansea 2-1 Southampton
Niall: It is crunch time for both of these clubs. This is the match where the winner could confirm their survival for next season and the loser heads to the Championship, there are not many bigger games all season. Swansea have gone off the boil after a good start under Carlos Carvalhal but they are still a difficult side to beat at the Liberty. I believe Southampton’s success will boil down to their performance on Saturday and whether they can ride the momentum and given I have them losing to Everton, I think Swansea will send them down.
Prediction: Swansea 2-0 Southampton
Chelsea vs. Huddersfield Town (Wednesday, 19:45)
Neil: Take two for Chelsea at home could see a number of rotations utilised, as Huddersfield visit seeking an unlikely – and potentially pivotal – point on the road. That is a massive ask even if the visitors were ticking in attack which they are not and I can only see a pretty easy run out for Antonio Conte and his side, in what could be the Italian’s final game in charge in West London.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Huddersfield
Niall: If results go the way I have predicted them then Chelsea will be three points off Liverpool with a game in hand, so they could go level with a win at home to Huddersfield. The Terriers would be three points off the relegation zone, and given their worse goal difference than Southampton, they would still be in huge trouble. A win or draw would save the Yorkshire club from heading straight back down, but Chelsea will likely shut them out and get a comfortable win.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Huddersfield
Leicester City vs. Arsenal (Wednesday 19:45)
Neil: Wenger’s final Gunners’ road trip takes Arsenal to the King Power on Wednesday evening. This is also a difficult for differing reasons, with sides having little to play for on paper – aside from the Frenchman’s final games in charge. One thing is for sure the hosts is that Puel needs a performance to show he still has the dressing room in his favour at Leicester, and a weary visitors could help assist here. This should be an open affair, and I am tipping another score draw.
Prediction: Leicester 2-2 Arsenal
Niall: This is the match that kicked off the season and what a match it was. A lot has changed since then though with Leicester having a new, more defensive manager in charge and Arsenal looking to end Wenger’s run on a high. This will probably not be as good as their match at the Emirates, but I predict the same result with Arsenal coming through.
Prediction: Leicester 1-3 Arsenal
Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (Wednesday, 20:00)
Neil: After Huddersfield, City play host this time to Brighton at the Etihad. The Seagulls are likely to put up more of a fight here than their West Yorkshire counterparts, and depending on last Friday’s game against the red half of Manchester could be already safe at this juncture. That fact may be academic however, with another Pep Guardiola masterclass on the agenda.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Brighton
Niall: At this point Man City will be looking at becoming the first side to reach 100 points in the Premier League, and a home win against Brighton will put them at 99. With nothing else to fight for, City will be focused on breaking records and I do not see Brighton giving them much of a challenge here.
Prediction: Man City 4-0 Brighton
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United (Wednesday, 20:00)
Neil: This one may be quite a tight affair at Wembley, with the Magpies having enough firepower in the final third to cause Spurs issues at the back. Rafa Benitez will want to see his side put in a spirited show and I believe they have the ability to do so, but it will likely be a forlorn effort.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle
Niall: At this point I would say Tottenham are safely in the top four whilst Newcastle are safely mid-table. Many games at this point have little to nothing riding on them, and this feels like one of them. I think Newcastle can give Spurs a tough game, but I would Tottenham the edge in this match-up with their higher quality across the pitch.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle
West Ham United vs. Manchester United (Thursday, 19:45)
Neil: Matchweek 37 rounds off at the London Stadium as West Ham entertain the Red Devils. Like on Friday night, the audition for cup final places continues in East London, whilst West Ham inch closer to guaranteed Premier League status for another year. United have the rubber on their hosts over the years and with Jose Mourinho demanding a strong end to the campaign – and indeed another trophy – I am backing United for the win.
Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Man United
Niall: This bumper match-week comes to an end at the London stadium where West Ham host Man United. The Hammers could still be in danger of relegation at this point, but if it goes down as I predicted then they will be safe. Man United are a very functional side who know how to get the job done, so I will predict the Red Devils to get the win here.
Prediction: West Ham 0-2 Man United
Premier League Matchweek 37 takes place between Friday May 4th and Thursday May 10th
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