West Ham vs. Spurs
Those pesky Spurs won’t give up their title chase and have the chance to heap further pressure on Chelsea with a trip to White Hart Lane. London derby wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal the last two games should give Tottenham the leg up on Friday at the Olympic Stadium against a West Ham side with nothing overly important to play for.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace
The first game in a three-game home stand may sound like respite for a City team in shaky form as of late, but when you consider City have won just half of their 16 league matches at the Etihad this season, it may prove counter-productive. But with top four on the line, expect City’s urgency to pick up as they see off a Palace side not quite out the woods just yet as they seek safety.
Bournemouth vs. Stoke City
Both are pretty much home and dry in mid-table with no pressures to worry. Expect a pre-season like feel to this late season matchup.
Burnley vs. WBA
Last week’s win at Crystal Palace should be enough to see Burnley play consecutive seasons in the top flight for the first time in almost 50 years. A win over a West Brom side stuck in eighth for what seems like forever would put the icing on the cake, but a point could do just the same
Hull City vs. Sunderland
Marcos Silva’s fighting bunch earned a precious point at St. Mary’s last week and, with a relegated Sunderland visiting the recent fortress known as the KC Stadium, look for Hull to take another step to salvation with a fifth straight home win.
Leicester City vs. Watford
Same point tally (40), but coming off different ends of 1-0 results, the hosts winning at WBA, the latter with a hard luck loss against Liverpool. Home has been very welcoming for the champs since Craig Shakespeare took over; expect the Foxes to maintain their 100% home record in the league since the managerial change in February.
Swansea City vs. Everton
Swansea picked up a vital point at Old Trafford last week, but without the services of Jefferson Montero and Wayne Routledge for Everton’s visit, building on that momentum will be difficult. While Gylfi Sigurdsson has damn near moved heaven and earth to try and keep the Swans alive in the Prem, proverbial hell awaits him and the Welsh side as the Toffees will loosen Swansea’s grip on survival.
Liverpool vs. Southampton
In a matchup between Liverpool and arguably its feeder club, a hungry Liverpool side look prime to reclaim Champions League football. The Saints always give Reds fans headaches, but they can breathe easy as Liverpool take another big step towards a top four place
Arsenal vs. Manchester United
The Gunners are in the last chance saloon after another big game flop in the North London derby. Knowing anything less than a win ends their impressive run of 19 straight UEFA Champions League berths, and with United rotating as they have an eye on closing out their Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo, this is the best chance yet for Arsène Wenger to finally get one over on arch-rival, Jose Mourinho, in the league. That long-awaited win comes at the Emirates on Sunday.
Chelsea vs. Middlesbrough
Boro blew a golden opportunity at boosting their survival hopes as they let a 2-1 lead slip late against Manchester City last week. Now, they face a Chelsea side who arguably passed their biggest remaining test on course to the league title against Everton last week and will be meticulous in their efforts to go through to the final day with the trophy sealed. Easy W for the Blues on Monday night.
Southampton vs. Arsenal
A win against United will be the charge for Arsenal to make their last push at the top four right? Wrong. Unfortunately (yet unsurprisingly) for Gunners fans, this team finds it hard to build on prosperity and, should they knock off the Red Devils, a midweek trip to St Mary’s, where Arsenal haven’t won since December 2003, will bring them back to Earth quickly. Also facing a trip to another house of horrors at Stoke’s Brittania Stadium next weekend, there’s simply too much for Arsenal to overcome. Their usually automatic top four charge finally ends here.
Here’s a full round-up of Ric’s picks: