C. Palace 1 Man City 2
This is arguably the most slippery fixture this weekend. Alan Pardew has the Foxes playing aggressive football, which will stretch Manuel Pellegrini’s off-form champions to the limits. Wilfred Zaha, Marouane Chamakh and Yannick Bolassie will trouble City’s suspect defense. The visitors are not about to surrender second place.
Man Utd 3 Aston Villa 1
This is not a good time to visit Old Trafford. The record champions are buzzing following their 2-1 triumph over Liverpool and Louis van Gaal has finally pieced together a convincing winning outfit. Villa’s front trio of Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Scott Sinclair will huff and puff to little effect as there will be one winner.
West Brom 2 QPR 1
Disheveled, clueless and rudderless. This is how best to describe Queens Park Rangers’ performances since the turn of the year. Tony Pulis has mastered the art of punishing teams like today’s visitors to the Hawthorns.
Chelsea 2 Stoke City 0
You can tell how well a team’s season has progressed by studying the list of nominees for English Premier League Player of the Season. Chelsea has Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas all in contention. They will once again be the key players as they battle a Stoke City side left with little to play for.
Leicester 0 West Ham 0
I feel sorry for Leicester City supremo Nigel Pearson. I do not feel the Foxes are getting a fair rub of the green in more ways than one. They are creating goal scoring chances that are simply not being converted whilst they have been denied one penalty too many. Under-pressure Hammers boss Sam Allardyce will not be in charitable mood.
Everton 1 Southampton 1
Southampton’s descent from the heady heights of Champions League contention is down to their shyness in front of goal. Ronald Koeman’s Saints have scored only five goals in their last eight Premiership fixtures, leaving their European dreams hanging by a thread. I can’t see them breaching Everton’s Goodison Park fortress more than once.
Swansea 1 Hull City 1
Gary Monk is way up there along with Ronald Koeman and Jose Mourinho among the managers of the season. Though they miss Wilfred Bony’s goals, Swansea keep conjuring up victories because they have stayed true to their stylish passing game. Steve Bruce’s energetic Hull City will however be in battling mood and they should be able to leave with a point.
Burnley 1 Spurs 1
Hard running Burnley welcome Spurs well aware they are running out of games to rescue their topflight status. Although I have burnt my fingers backing run of the mill League sides in home encounters against Spurs, I fancy Sean Dyche’s troops to get at least a share of the spoils. The Clarets’ indomitable spirit will see them through.
Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1
Arsene Wenger has the perfect opportunity to post a belated riposte to Liverpool owner John Henry’s stunning question – “What do you think they are smoking over there at the Emirates?” Without Martin Skrtel, who has been Liverpool’s best defender by a mile this season, I can’t see how the Kop are going to suppress blazing Olivier Giroud.
Sunderland 1 Newcastle 0
The Black Cats have the Magpies’ number and they need it, as Sunderland must start putting points on board. Dick Aocaat put his cherished reputation on line when he accepted the poisoned chalice that is Sunderland’s managerial job. I reckon the fired up hosts will edge the feisty encounter.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor