As we begin Week 24 of the Barclays Premier League, one thing is certain, Chelsea aren’t going anywhere. Last weekend was a critical one as the Blues took on a misfiring Manchester City. The defending champions had their backs to the wall, but as the match began, they turned it around and put Jose Mourinho’s men under the cosh.
Still, it’s not for nothing that Chelsea are expected to win the league this season, and they held on, admirably. So, with 15 games to go until the end of the season, there is a 5 point difference at the top and we don’t think it could get any less going forward. Man City avoided disaster by getting a draw, at least, but the Barclays Premier League looks to have been virtually decided. Although we of course loved to be proved wrong – you only need to check out our Google Plus page to see that!
Both Chelsea and Manchester City have easy matches this weekend, so for neutrals, the more entertaining matches will be the fixtures of Tottenham v Arsenal, Liverpool v Everton and possibly West Ham v Manchester United. It’s good that the North London derby and the Merseyside derby are happening in the same week, so we will have an action packed Saturday and Sunday to look forward to.
Have fun reading our previews and predictions for all the 10 matches this weekend from the world’s most exciting football league!
Tottenham v Arsenal
Tottenham won big last week, easily beating West Ham 3-0, and Arsenal having also experienced a comfortable win brushing aside Aston Villa in quick time, 5 to nothing. Santi Cazorla was colossal for Arsenal in the last match, picking a goal and scoring 2 assists. For Spurs, Harry Kane was massive, getting two more goals in his name. There is little doubt now that he is the best English player in the league. Christian Eriksen also scored a beauty of a free kick.
What this means is that both sides are playing their best football right now, and both have ambitions of playing in the Champions League next year. But only one of the two can when you look at the competition above them. Which is why this clash of equals is a match we have all been waiting for years. There have been many North London derbies. None have been as close as this clash promises to be. Either side can win this match, that’s why we predict a high scoring draw.
The prediction: Tottenham 2 – 2 Arsenal
Aston Villa v Chelsea
We won’t waste much time on previewing this match as the only thing of interest here is if Chelsea would win 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0. Diego Costa won’t play this match, that’s why we predict 3-0. Fabregas will feature, and the champion side should romp through easily. Aston Villa? They are staring hard at relegation. Things must improve for the Villans, or it looks like there will be no way back for the Birmingham side.
The prediction: Aston Villa 0 – 3 Chelsea
Leicester v Crystal Palace
Leicester City have been in horrible form all through the season, except for a flash in the pan 5-3 win against Manchester United, which now seems to have happened an age ago. Surprisingly though, a win in this match could put them on level with 17th placed Burnley, that’s how close the relegation battle is. Crystal Palace under new manager Alan Pardew have been impressive, in spite of the loss in their last match against Everton, which was unexpected. We expect Crystal Palace to snatch 3 points here.
The prediction: Leicester 0 – 1 Crystal Palace
Manchester City v Hull
This is another easy game to predict. Manchester City were outstanding last week against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, and the things were really quite tense between the two champion sides. But Chelsea managed to hold on despite wave after wave of Man City attacks. Happily Sergio Aguero is back and he will be leading the challenge for the rest of the season for Manuel Pellegrini. It’s hard to expect anything from Hull considering how they were clinically destroyed by a mediocre Newcastle outfit. Easy win for the home side.
The prediction: Man City 3 – 0 Hull
QPR v Southampton
Well, Southampton were shocked when they lost to Swansea last week, and that hasn’t done their credentials for a position in the Champions League any good at all, especially with Arsenal and Tottenham really pushing hard. They will be without Ryan Bertrand who picked up a red card in that game and will be out through suspension. For QPR, manager Harry Redknapp has been sacked, after having been winless for the last 3 games at home, and not having picked even a single point in all their games away. If they start doing badly at home as well, nothing could possible save them from relegation. A hard fought draw expected, as QPR would fight for their lives here under a new manager, probably Tim Sherwood.
The prediction: QPR 1 – 1 Southampton
Swansea v Sunderland
This should be one of those boring games between two average sides, neither having any star players, or with anything exciting about them. Swansea have lost their best player Wilfried Bony this January, and it was a surprise to see them beat Southampton. Sunderland’s victory over Burnley wasn’t a surprise but not everyone had predicted them to do so well. Gus Poyet would be happy to have new player Jermaine Defoe on the scoring sheets. He is an important player for Sunderland and his form could make or break their season. A hard fought scoreless draw in prospect.
The prediction: Swansea 0 – 0 Sunderland
Everton v Liverpool
The Merseyside Derby has always been a close affair, most of these matches end up as hard fought draws, with nothing to separate either of the two bitter rivals. However, it may not be so close this time around because Everton’s horrendous run in the Premiership has coincided with Liverpool’s return to form. The trio of Coutinho, Lallana and Raheem Sterling are proving to be a formidable attacking combination up front for Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers has experimented a lot this season, but he finally seems to have found his best team combination. We can’t say the same about the struggling Roberto Martinez of Everton. We really like Martinez, but unfortunately, he will be looking for a new job at the end of the season.
The prediction: Everton 0 – 1 Liverpool
Burnley v West Brom
This is going to be a hard fought clash between two sides battling against relegation and trying to hold on to the EPL for dear life. It certainly isn’t going to be pretty. Both Burnley and West Brom lost last week, but at least West Brom had the excuse of losing to a top notch opposition such as Tottenham Hotspur. Burnley were poor against Sunderland. We don’t see either side having the edge to get 3 points here. A fighting draw seems to be in prospect.
The prediction: Burnley 1 – 1 West Brom
Newcastle v Stoke
Newcastle are the hardest side in the Barclays Premier League to predict for us. We never get it right with them. Every time we write them off, they bounce back with wins and when we give them a chance, they go back to performing abjectly. Stoke, on the other hand, are a very reliable outfit and Mark Hughes has crafted them into a side which may not compete for European places, but is good enough to comfortably avoid the relegation battle. Both sides sit 10th and 11th in the league and we suppose that’s the right position for them. This is going to be a match of equals, expect a draw.
The prediction: Newcastle 1 – 1 Stoke
West Ham v Manchester United
West Ham have been on a slow slide down from the top, and the 2-0 loss at the hands of Liverpool last week would have finished off any hopes “Big Sam” Sam Allardyce had of making it to Europe for the first time in his decades long managerial career. West Ham are good at home, and will give Louis Van Gaal’s Red Devils a plenty of challenge, but that won’t be enough to prevent Di Maria, Rooney, Van Persie, Mata, Falcao and co from getting all 3 points. This promises to be an exciting match, though, and a great way to finish Round 24 of the Barclays Premier League.
The prediction: West Ham 2 – 3 Man Utd
All the best with all of your sports betting!