Meg was certainly mystical in round 9, ending my two-match winning streak with a narrow 8-7 victory. This time I’m taking on one of the Midlands’ hottest young acting talents, and long-time suffering West Brom fan Dave Towns!
*All matches kick off at 15.00 on Saturday, May 2nd unless stated.
Leicester City vs Newcastle United
How different the landscape is from just over a month ago. Back then Leicester languished a full 17 points beneath Newcastle, but with a win here they would close the gap to just one, inflicting an eighth successive defeat on their fellow basement dwellers. That’s what will happen, as victory will see Foxes gaffer Nigel Pearson refrain from all talk of ostriches.
Newcastle have been dragged into a relegation dogfight since Alan Pardew ditched the club to join the more ambitious Crystal Palace. Leicester manager Nigel Pearson went on an ostrich related rant during the press conference after his side’s 3-1 mid-week loss at Chelsea, but he’ll have more to smile about this time.
Aston Villa vs Everton
Tim Sherwood has given Villa players and fans their belief back. Suddenly the erstwhile out of sorts Christian Benteke is once again a force to be reckoned with. Everton have gone on a blazing run of form recently, but are in mid-table limbo with Europa League ambitions, thus the Villains should prevail.
Everton are already getting the sun cream out, whereas Villa are into squeaky-bum time. It’s now or never for Tim Sherwood’s improving side, and I can see Everton obliging by rolling over.
Liverpool vs Queens Park Rangers
Brendan Rodgers has received plenty of flak for failing to build on last season’s success. Inflated transfer fees saw the £65m Luis Suarez windfall spent on the likes of Dejan Lovren and Mario Balotelli. Terrible travellers QPR are seemingly resigned to relegation.
This really is last chance saloon for The Hoops. Lose at the weekend and they might as well start planning for life in the Championship. Liverpool are dragging themselves over the finishing line like a dog with no hind legs, so don’t be surprised when Rangers take the points.
Sunderland vs Southampton
Dick Advocaat’s impact on Sunderland has been negligible, despite yet another Tyne-Wear derby success. When 82 year-old Jermain Defoe, and (alleged) child molester Adam Johnson are your best players you’re in trouble. Saints have been brilliant all season, but the Mackems’ desperation will earn them a precious point.
Southampton are playing with pride and remain in contention for a Europa League spot. Sunderland seem to be excited by the prospect of hosting Bristol City next season, a loss here could see them cut adrift of safety.
Swansea City vs Stoke City
Swansea have reached a record 50 Premier League points in another excellent season, but Stoke have really impressed me this term, with Mark Hughes getting the best from a host of previously inconsistent players – the future is bright at the Britannia stadium.
This is the game that Tony Cottee will be watching for Sky Sports, and the former West Ham goal-sniffer is in for a long afternoon, with nothing set to happen in this for 90 minutes..other than the ref possibly dying from boredom.
West Ham United vs Burnley
Burnley’s season has fizzled out, with Danny Ings’ dry spell seemingly consigning them to playing their football next season in the second tier, although the out of contract forward will have no trouble finding a new club. West Ham have similarly fallen off a cliff in recent months, expect a dissatisfying point apiece.
Much like the Swansea/Stoke match this has snooze-fest written all over it… but a caveat will arrive when James Collins nets a blinding own goal in the 80th minute to provide three precious points for the Clarets!
Hull City vs Arsenal
Two teams in decent form meet at the KC Stadium, and a point will be satisfying enough for both. Ultimately Hull won’t be relegated and Arsenal will easily qualify for the Champions League.
Hull’s good run is set to come to an end. Arsene Wenger will wear a massive coat and not notice anything apart from the penalty claim that the ref (correctly) turns down.
Manchester United vs West Brom
United will be a force again next season, with such a vibrant second half to their campaign confirming that Van Gaal was certainly a shrewd appointment. West Brom are all but safe, so this loss won’t be of great consequence to their season.
I never bet on West Brom, they always prove me wrong. Except this time, probably. Man United to come out of the blocks quickly and Pulis to have no plan B.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
Chelsea have ground out some important results in recent weeks, a trait that looks set to continue with a narrow victory against Palace. With so many wild card players, the visitors are always good for a goal, although newly crowned PFA player of the year Eden Hazard should sparkle in the face of lumbering opposition defenders.
Chelsea will seal the Premiership title at Stamford Bridge. The champagne will be flowing by half time and no-one will realise that make-weights Crystal Palace are even there.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City
It’s a strangely transitional phase for both of these teams; Spurs have never fully reached their potential since selling Gareth Bale, while City overspent on mediocre players in the summer, and the likes of Toure and Kompany seem to be on the decline. A draw will sum up where they’re at.
Spurs tend to struggle against the top teams, particularly Manchester City. Despite Manuel Pellegrini clearly being on his way out, the visitors will have a field day against Tottenham’s high line, with Eric Dier in particular exposed.
Mystic Meg’s victory last weekend sees her slot into equal third in the Premier Predictions table, Kureen still leads guest pundits 66-62, with only a few weeks of the season remaining.