English Premier League Predictions: Week 32

The boredom of international football is finally over as we move into the tail end of what has been an extraordinary and exhilarating season of Premier League football. There are some interesting battles and some high profile matches this week and we carefully analyse and arrive at the most possible outcome at the end of each 90 minutes.

Aston Villa v Chelsea

2-Apr-2016, 12:45 GMT

To say that the season has not gone to plan for either of these teams would be an understatement as Aston Villa take on Chelsea at Villa Park. Despite being unbeaten in the league since Guus Hiddink took over, the Blues have struggled for any fluency and have drawn far too many games. With Costa still suspended, Remy will probably start in attack leaving the world at large wondering why on earth they signed Alexandre Pato in the January transfer window.
Having parted ways with Remi Garde, a reaction of sort should be expected from Villa’s players. Yet 6 losses in a row suggests that the players have pretty much given up and are just awaiting the inevitable relegation. Poor as Chelsea are, they should still have just about enough to put away an insipid Villa side.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea

Arsenal vs Watford

2-Apr-2016, 15:00 GMT

Having been dumped out of the FA Cup quarter-finals by Watford a few weeks ago, Arsenal will be eager for revenge as they welcome Watford to the Emirates Stadium. 11 points being Leicester City albeit with a game in hand, Arsene Wenger’s men cannot afford a single slip up in their final 8 games. Their masterful dismantling of Everton a fortnight ago should set the bar for their performances between now and the end of the season.

2016 has not been a good year for Watford, their FA Cup run aside. Their 11 league games since the turn of the year have seen them lose 7 matches, only managing 8 points from a possible 33. The goals seem to have dried up for Odion Ighalo as the Hornets struggle to find the back of the net. Arsenal need a win far more than Watford and they will be getting another 3 points this weekend.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Watford 

Bournemouth v Manchester City

2-Apr-2016, 15:00 GMT

Losing 4 of their last 6 fixtures, Manchester City’s league form has fallen off a cliff. Worst yet is that the goals seem to have dried up, with City drawing a blank in 3 of their last 4 games. Much of City’s hopes lie on the shoulders of Kun Aguero, especially with Yaya Toure and David Silva looking out of sorts.

Bournemouth were spanked 3-0 by Spurs two weeks ago, bringing an end to a run of 3 consecutive victories. Eddie Howe’s side play good football on the day but anything less than a City win will be considered a huge shock. It was a one-sided affair the last time these two sides met near the start of the season where City ran out comfortable winners 5-1. The Sky Blues should win here again but by a smaller margin.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-3 Man City

Norwich City v Newcastle United

2-Apr-2016, 15:00 GMT

An enormous game at the bottom of the table as Norwich City welcomes Newcastle in what is the textbook definition of a relegation six-pointer. A 1-0 win over West Brom a fortnight ago propelled Norwich City to the relative safety of 17th place, 3 points ahead of visitors Newcastle United. Alex Neil will be desperately hoping to build on that crucial win with another against Newcastle United.

Newcastle’s manager Rafa Benitez has found his team to be a tough nut to crack so far, having only managed to come back and draw against Sunderland two weeks ago. While his team have belatedly shown some hunger, the loss of keeper Rob Elliot has struck another blow to Benitez’s side. With a relegation battle a new experience for Benitez, expect home advantage to help the Canaries to orchestrate a narrow victory over the Magpies.

Prediction: Norwich 2-1 Newcastle

Stoke City v Swansea City

2-Apr-2016, 15:00 GMT

Sitting comfortably in 8th place, Stoke City might still have one eye on Europe whereas Swansea’s 1-0 win over Villa last time around pretty much guaranteed their Premier League status for another season. Jack Butland’s injury while on England duty will have been a real blow to Mark Hughes’ side with the England international one of the stand-out performers so far.

With little to play for on both sides, much will depend on which set of players will be more motivated. Home advantage should be telling as the Potters should have enough to see off the Swans.

Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Swansea

Sunderland v West Brom

2-Apr-2016, 15:00 GMT

Sam Allardyce was gutted not to get all 3 points against Newcastle United last weekend and this week his Sunderland side host Tony Pulis’ West Brom at the Stadium of Light. Two points from safety, the Black Cats know that they have to win this match, with their next few fixtures against the likes of Leicester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton.

Tony Pulis had done what he always does, keeping teams safe, and with West Brom sitting pretty in 11th spot, the Baggies have little to play for. A game between Allardyce and Pulis will probably not be an encounter that keeps anyone on the edge of their seats. The fact that Sunderland desperately need the points though should just about be enough of an edge for Sunderland to take all 3 points.

Prediction: Sunderland 2- 1 West Brom

West Ham v Crystal Palace

2-Apr-2016, 15:00 GMT

Champions League chasing West Ham welcome Alan Pardew’s free falling Crystal Palace side to Upton Park this weekend. The Hammers lie in 5th place, a solitary point behind Manchester City and in much better form. Indeed, they were disappointed not to take all 3 points against Chelsea a fortnight ago where they led on two occasions but could only eventually take a point.

Crystal Palace hold the unwanted record of being the only team without a win in 2016 in a horrific run that has seen then go from 5th to 16th. While they have a FA Cup semifinals to look forward to, there is a real danger that they could get relegated if their league form doesn’t improve. A draw seems likely between the two London teams.

Prediction: West Ham 2-2 Crystal Palace

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur

2-Apr-2016, 17:30 GMT

The last time Liverpool met Spurs was Jurgen Klopp’s first match in charge of the Reds that ended in a 0-0 draw. Indeed, it was also the first time that any team out-ran Mauricio Pochettino’s side in a frantic encounter that was somewhat low on real chances.

Since then, Klopp’s Anfield revolution has been a hit and a miss while Pochettino’s men have gone from strength to strength. Roberto Firminio is a doubt with a hamstring injury and Christian Benteke is likely to miss out with a knock but Klopp can count on Daniel Sturridge in attack. For Pochettino, his five English players have returned unscathed from international action with Harry Kane looking sharp with a goal against Germany.

Liverpool will probably make a good fist of it but their defensive frailties will eventually tell as Spurs should prevail and cut the gap to Leicester City to just two points.

Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Spurs

Leicester City v Southampton

3-April-2016, 13:30 GMT

With just 7 games to go, every match must feel like a cup final for Leicester City as they take on Southampton this week. Claudio Ranieri’s men have a clean bill of health injury wise, with star striker Jamie Vardy and midfielder N’golo Kante both scoring for their countries. Four 1-0 wins from their last five games suggest that the Foxes have a forged a new-found defensive steel in them to grind out results.

Ronald Koeman’s Saints will be soaring after a come from behind 3-2 win against Liverpool last time around and will be looking for another win at the King Power Stadium. Southampton failed to show up in the first half of that match though and were lucky to still be in the game. They cannot afford to start the game in such a lacklustre manner against Leicester this week as well.

Another narrow victory for Leicester should be on the cards as they take yet another step to their first ever league title.

Prediction: Leicester 2-1 Southampton

Manchester United v Everton

2-Apr-2016, 16:00 GMT

Everton travel away from the pressure of Goodison Park to face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the last game of this weekend. Roberto Martinez’s men just failed to show up a fortnight ago as they were thoroughly outplayed by Arsenal in a 2-0 defeat. Rumours of Romelu Lukaku’s imminent departure this summer would have done little for the Toffee’s morale as their semifinal place in the FA Cup remains their only solace in what has been a disappointing league campaign for Martinez’s talented side.

Louis Van Gaal has come out to say that his job is on the line if United do not finish 4th and rightfully so. Their narrow derby victory over Manchester City has kept them in contention yet they have often taken two steps back after taking one forward. The Dutchman will have his work cut out to prevent any more lapses as United cannot afford to drop any more points in a race for fourth place.

Manchester United should have just about enough to eek-out a narrow victory in what should be an engaging encounter.

Prediction: Man United 2-1 Everton