Premier League Predictions: Weekend of March 31
By Lewis Robinson and Patrick Bacak
Welcome back to our Premier League Predictions here at NoseBleed Sports. For the remaining weeks of the season, Lewis Robinson and Patrick Bacak will be breaking down the games and giving their predictions. To make life interesting, both bloggers will be receiving scores for their predictions (nothing wrong with a little healthy competition). They will receive 10 points for a PERFECT prediction (i.e. If the game finishes 3-0 to the home side and both bloggers predict 3-0 wins for the home side, they each get 10 points). They will receive 5 points for a CORRECT prediction (i.e if the game finishes 3-0 to the home side and both bloggers predict 2-0 wins for the home side, they each get 5 points). There are no points awarded for wrong results. At the end of the season, the results will be tallied and the “smartest” blogger will be revealed. Let’s jump into this weekend's action!
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: In the first match of the weekend, Liverpool travel to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace. Liverpool will look to keep a firm hold on their top 4 spot against a Crystal Palace team that is battling relegation. Jurgen Klopp will certainly have the mid-week Champions League tie with Manchester City on his radar which may influence his team selection. Crystal Palace may be missing their skillful winger, Wilfried Zaha, as he is listed as doubtful while he recovers from a knee injury. The brilliance of Liverpool’s Mo Salah should be too much for Palace’s shaky defense to handle. However, I think Liverpool will be caught looking ahead to their Champions League match and will drop points in a 1-1 draw in front of a rowdy Selhurst Park.
LR: Crystal Palace 1- Liverpool 3
PB: Crystal Palace 1 - Liverpool 1
Manchester United vs Swansea City: Manchester United will welcome the Swans to Old Trafford for a match that sees both teams fighting to hold onto their spots in the table. United look to keep their hands on 2nd place while Swansea City find themselves in 14th place, just 3 points out of the relegation zone. All eyes will be on Manchester United’s midfielder Paul Pogba as he looks to silence his critics and build upon his positive play with the French national team over the international break. Swansea will be without forward Jordan Ayew as he serves his three-match ban for his straight red against Huddersfield. I think United has too much quality and will eventually breakthrough a defensive Swansea City for a 3-0 win.
LR: Manchester United 2- Swansea City 1
PB: Manchester United 3 - Swansea City 0
West Ham vs Southampton:Southampton travels to London for a massive match in the relegation battle against West Ham. This will be West Ham’s first match at London Stadium since their 3-0 disaster against Burnley that featured chaotic scenes in the stands and angry fans invading the pitch. This match is a must-watch simply to see how the West Ham fans act. A loss for either team will put them in the relegation zone with just a handful of matches to play. I see both teams playing cautiously and it ending in a 0-0 draw.
LR: West Ham 1- Southampton 1
PB: West Ham 0 - Southampton 0
Newcastle United vs Huddersfield Town:Both teams are currently out of the bottom-three but certainly are not guaranteed safety from relegation. Huddersfield have not scored since February and will be playing in a tough environment at St. James’ Park. Newcastle look to continue their run of good form in the premier league and hope to put more space between them and the relegation zone. I see Newcastle coming out with a 1-0 win that forces Huddersfield to slide further down the table.
LR: Newcastle United 0- Huddersfield Town 0
PB: Newcastle United 1 - Huddersfield Town 0
Brighton vs Leicester City:Brighton hosts Leicester City in a match-up between two teams coming off losses in the FA Cup quarter-finals. Leicester City will try to refocus after a heartbreaking loss in extra-time to Chelsea. Jamie Vardy will look to keep up his good form after scoring for England over the international break. Brighton are 6 points out of relegation but with matches against Crystal Palace and Huddersfield still to come they shouldn’t feel too comfortable. I expect the skill of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to show as Leicester City earn a 2-1 victory.
LR: Brighton 1- Leicester City 2
PB: Brighton 1 - Leicester City 2
Watford vs Bournemouth: Both of these sides are comfortably occupying mid table positions, and will not be facing relegation come May. With that being said, there is still plenty to play for for both sides. This is a difficult game to predict, but I feel Eddie Howe will have his team better prepared for the match and will end up stealing all 3 points before the full time whistle blows.
LR: Watford 1- Bournemouth 2
PB: Watford 1 - Bournemouth 0
West Brom vs Burnley: West Brom are quickly heading towards the Championship, and I don’t see their slide towards relegation getting any easier this weekend. West Brom are 10 points from safety and only have 7 games left, while Burnley could finish in a Europa League spot at the end of the season. Sean Dyche will have his team focused until the very end of the season, and finishing in a Europa League spot would be a massive achievement for a club like Burnley. Maybe some of the bigger sides in the Premier League will look at Sean Dyche in the summer, who has been one of the most impressive managers in the league this year.
LR: West Brom 0- Burnley 2
PB: West Brom 0 - Burnley 1
Everton vs Manchester City: Manchester City’s march towards the Premier League title is nearly complete, as they need to win their next two games to seal the deal. Pep Guardiola will have one eye on their Champions League tie with Liverpool, but will want to wrap up the title as soon as possible. Some pundits have predicted for Guardiola to rotate his side for their match at Goodison Park, but I see him playing a full strength team in order to pick up all 3 points.
LR: Everton 1- Manchester City 3
PB: Everton 1 - Manchester City 2
Arsenal vs Stoke City: Stoke City desperately need to pick up points in order to avoid relegation, while Arsenal have been cut adrift in the race for a Champions League spot. Despite this, I see Arsenal having too much quality on the day for the Potters, who will have to pick up the points they need to avoid relegation another weekend. Ozil, Aubameyang, and co should comfortably pick apart Stoke’s weak defense.
LR: Arsenal 3- Stoke City 0
PB: Arsenal 4 - Stoke City 1
Chelsea vs Tottenham: In the biggest game of the weekend, Chelsea welcome Tottenham to Stamford Bridge. This game has massive implications on the top 4, and is a great opportunity for Chelsea to close the gap on those places. I hope this game is entertaining and is very difficult to call, but I see Chelsea pulling through in the end as they should be desperate to close the gap on the 4 teams ahead of them. If they lose, they could be 8 points adrift from fourth place, which would make their task of finish in a Champions League spot nearly impossible.
LR: Chelsea 1- Tottenham 0
PB: Chelsea 2 - Tottenham 1
Follow @SoccerNosebleed for more!