Spurs vs. Bournemouth
Seven straight wins in all competitions has led Tottenham to solidifying its spot as the second best team in England without doubt. Whether they can catch Chelsea with seven matches to go remains a huge question mark, but this may be the week they make up ground on the league leaders and make this a race again. Expect three easy points for Spurs at home yet again.
Crystal Palace vs. Leicester City
Surprising bossing Arsenal in the Russian’s upset alert of the week, Palace are six points clear of the relegation zone with a game in hand and looking confident under the stewardship of the escape specialist, Sam Allardyce. With Leicester again having one eye towards the Champions League next week, look for Palace to capitalise on the Foxes distractions and further cement their EPL status.
Everton vs. Burnley
Things should feel much better than they are at Goodison Park as Everton’s Europa League fight gathers momentum and Romelu Lukaku continues to bang in the goals. But in a week where the Prem’s leading scorer’s contract situation was again at the forefront as well as a police investigation into a racially insensitive newspaper article about Ross Barkley, distractions may well cause Everton to drop points they have no business dropping against Burnley.
Stoke City vs. Hull City
Hull’s hold on to safety could be loosened with a trip to Stoke City, who are winless in their last five league games. While a potential scalp for the visitors, expect a desperate Potters side to take home the points.
Sunderland vs. West Ham
Dead and buried. Sunderland are 10 points from safety with seven games left and can officially be pronounced at this points. A Premier League staple since 2006, the Black Cats seem resigned to life in the Championship and with West Ham in town, look for the mood to become even gloomier with another defeat.
Watford vs. Swansea
Swansea, a team known for attacking zeal over the years, can’t buy a goal. Two goals in their last five league games (four of them losses) leaves them in a dogfight for Premiership survival and a trip to Watford threatens to make that fight harder. Look for the Hornets to sting the Welsh side early and often on Saturday.
Southampton vs. Manchester City
The Saints have been a banana skin of sorts to City over the years, and could prove so again as free-scoring January signing, Manolo Gabbiadini, returns from a groin strain. But with City determined to solidify their top four standing before their FA Cup semi-final showdown against Arsenal, Pep Guardiola’s men will scrape through at St. Mary’s and get the W.
West Brom vs. Liverpool
Same scenario applies here as West Brom has given Liverpool fits year in and year out. But with West Brom stuck in eighth, and having nothing to play for really, the top-four chasing Reds won’t waste this chance to further tighten their grip on a Champions League place as they’ll come away from the Hawthorns with the points.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea
Winless in its last eight league matches against Chelsea matched with a underwhelming home record spells trouble for the Red Devils. They have been thoroughly over matched in two matches at Stamford Bridge this season and, while expecting United to give everything against their rivals, look for the league leaders to frustrate old boss, Jose Mourinho, yet again.
Middlesbrough vs. Arsenal
Things have reached an all-time low in the Wenger era and last Monday’s 3-0 no-show at Crystal Palace may have been the coup de grâce. Fans frustration has peaked, player verve has floored and the club seems toxic from top to bottom. The next five weeks or so will reveal whether there is any light at the end of a dark, scary tunnel. Against Middlesbrough, who have their own stresses to bear, Arsenal will find a way to earn a bit of reprieve in a very uncertain time
Here’s a full round-up of the Russian’s picks: