EPL Predictions 3 – 5 May 2014
Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:08 pm
A week ago when I sat here writing, it had started to look like the title race was all but over, but thanks to a Steven Gerrard slip, and some disciplined counter attacking football, we are now heading down to the wire and it is still a three horse race at that. As things are still also tight at the bottom of the table and for the last Europa Cup space, there is only one meaningless fixture which is a rarity at this time of the year.
West Ham United v Tottenham – Saturday 3 May 2014 – 1245KO
This fixture could go a long way to secure the future of both managers who are under pressure for vastly different reasons, Big Sam is now looking increasingly vulnerable in his position as manager with the natives tiring of his style of football, his attitude towards them and lack of youth and speed within the side, whilst Tim Sherwood is always having to counter newspaper reports that the Spurs board are still looking for a different boss for next season with De Boer from Ajax being the latest to be linked.
Sam could help his survival chances however by engineering a third win of the season over Spurs, after winning 3-0 at White Hart Lane early in the season, and following it up with a win in the League Cup.
Premier League Team News: Barring loan striker Borriello, West Ham have a full squad to pick from as they look for a treble over Spurs who are now missing Andros Townsend who had an ankle operation this week that rules him out of the World Cup. Walker and Lamela are also out for the last two fixtures whilst Vertonghen is back training, he is unlikely to feature.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-3
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Christian Eriksen
Aston Villa v Hull City – Saturday 3 May 2014 – 1500KO
A run of just one point from the last 6 games has seen Villa slip back into the relegation fight, although with their superior goal difference to those around them, they will have to see one of either Fulham or Norwich picking up at least a win and a draw from their remaining fixtures, something which the bookies see as improbable and will give you 9/1 on this happening.
Hull are not mathematically safe, but after coming back from two behind against Fulham last week, Steve Bruce can mentally have a break and start planning for the FA Cup final in two weeks.
Premier League Team News: Full-back Bennett is touch and go for the home side after missing last weekend’s defeat to Swansea. Okare is back in training now for Villa but is likely to be eased back to fitness for the start of next season. Steve Bruce is expected to name his strongest possible side.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Gabby Agbonlahor
Manchester United v Sunderland – Saturday 3 May 2014 – 1500KO
There was certainly a feel good factor back at Old Trafford with the Class of ’92 in charge led by the most decorated member in Ryan Giggs, however the first 40 minutes of his tenure wasn’t plain sailing as they struggled to break Norwich down. They did however, turn it on in the second half with Juan Mata being particularly impressive.
2 weeks ago, Sunderland looked doomed to at least a season of Championship football, but an unlikely win against Chelsea followed by a demolishing of Cardiff sees them out of the bottom three and with their advantageous goal difference helping them out, they are perhaps only 3 points from safety with their destiny in their own hands.
Premier League Team News: Wayne Rooney has a tight hamstring that means he will miss this match and Ryan Giggs will have to decide whether to draft in fit-again Van Persie or start with Mata who impressed from the bench last weekend. Poyet will keep faith with the same side that comprehensively beat Cardiff last weekend.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Danny Welbeck
Newcastle v Cardiff City – Saturday 3 May 2014 – 1500KO
Another manager under severe pressure from the fans is Alan Pardew after losing their 6th game in a row so meekly against Arsenal on Monday. His side looks bereft of ideas at present and his falling out with players like Ben Arfa isn’t helping his cause, however I think they can at least send a few Geordies home happy tonight by beating a Cardiff side with only 7 wins all season and who were shocking last weekend in a must win fixture.
Premier League Team News: Ben Arfa is out of favour with Alan Pardew and will not play. De Jong is fit again though and re-joins the squad. Cala is suspended after his sending off last weekend which means all 46 teams to ever play EPL football have had a man sent off! Turner is expected to replace him.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Loic Remy
Stoke City v Fulham– Saturday 3 May 2014 – 1500KO
Fulham will be glad they are playing an opposition with nothing to play for today. Their chances of survival were looking pretty bright around 16:30 last Saturday when 2 nil up at home to West Brom and cruising, but by 16:50 Shane Long had put them back in the shadows and relying on others to help them out.
Stoke were a little flat when suffering defeat against Spurs last week, and Mark Hughes will be hoping that his side, still with a prospect of a top half finish will be able to take advantage of any nervous tension in the air.
Premier League Team News: Stoke will be without skipper Ryan Shawcross for the first time this season after his sending off for two yellow cards last weekend. Etherington could play some part in what is expected to be his last appearance at The Brittania. Fulham finally have Mitroglou fit, and could throw him in at the deep end!
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: David Stockdale
Swansea City v Southampton – Saturday 3 May 2014 – 1500KO
Garry Monk could do with a win to help his chances of being in charge of The Swans next season in this weekend’s only meaningless fixture.
With both sides favouring a style of football which sees you retain possession particularly in their own half, and with nothing riding on it, this game could be a little tedious!
Premier League Team News: Spanish pair Rangel and Michu are missing for Swansea, whilst Chico returns from suspension in time for this fixture. The Saints are without Schneidelin and Lambert as well as long term problems with Rodriguez and Ramirez.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Wayne Routledge
Everton v Manchester City – Saturday 3 May 2014 – 1730KO
This fixture will go a long way to deciding which way the Premier League trophy heads, and is one of those unique times where both sets of supporters are probably hoping for the same result. A City win!
Everton have started to look a little weary in the last few games, which is probably understandable as they have a pretty small first team squad, but take nothing away from Roberto Martinez’s achievements this season. I really wasn’t sure if he was up to the job after watching the way Wigan defended at times but I’m happy to hold my hands up on this one.
City, buoyed by Chelsea’s win at Anfield last week really came out the traps flying against Palace last Sunday and were good value for their win. I can see their attacking prowess which now seems to be clicking back into good form being too much for Everton here.
Premier League Team News: Jagielka gives both his side and England a boost after returning to first team action for the first time in almost 3 months. Everton have midfield problems with Pienaar still injured and Barry ineligible. City may have the bonus of naming Silva on the bench after three games out, but may leave him out until their midweek fixture.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-2
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Sergio Aguero
Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion – Sunday 4 May 2014 – 1330KO
By the time this fixture comes round this could be another meaningless fixture with Arsenal guaranteed Champions League football for a 17th successive time and The Baggies survival guaranteed.
I thought Arsenal put in a decent performance against a poor Newcastle side, and I always love to see headed goals like the one Giroud scored after crosses from wide areas.
With 7 points from a possible 12, West Brom have found form at a good time and they defended well when beating West Ham last time out. The form of Ben Foster since his return from injury in the second half of the season has been the crux of their good form and I suspect he will be the busier of the two keepers this weekend.
Premier League Team News: Sagna is out for the home side with Jenkinson expected to replace him. Gibbs is also fit again for The Gunners. Pepe Mel has now new worries and could choose the same starting XI that beat West Ham last weekend.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Ben Foster
Chelsea v Norwich – Sunday 4 May 2014 – 1600KO
Norwich’s one small glimmer of hope will be that Chelsea suffer some sort of negative reaction to their midweek Champions League exit to Athletico in midweek.
Unlike their last few games, Chelsea will be expected to be on the front foot in this one, and I can’t but feel if you like a long range punt that the 16/1 still available on them to pick up the title is about as generous as the bookies get.
Norwich will perhaps have to wait until Arsenal’s visit to Carrow Road next weekend to get the win they need to have any chance of survival, which with the visitors possibly resting players ahead of a Cup Final the week after isn’t as improbable as it may sound.
Premier League Team News: Ramires is suspended for The Blues who have doubts over the fitness of Terry, Oscar, Hazard and Eto’o. Yobo is fit again for the first time since mid-March for the visitiors who are likely to be without Pilkington.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Mohamed Salah
Crystal Palace v Liverpool – Monday 5 May 2014 – 2000KO
What a difference a week makes! Liverpool had one hand the Premier League trophy last week, but with Steven Gerrard slipping when seeing Demba Ba rushing towards him he’s perhaps seen his last chance of ever lifting the title disappear.
Manager of the month for April, Tony Pulis doesn’t need too much encouragement to set his stall out to get a result and I can see him pretty much following out the template Jose Mourinho has left for him.
Premier League Team News: Palace have a full side available again after Dikgacoi overcame his injury that forced him to miss last weekend’s game against City. Sturridge may have to settle for a spot on the bench again for Liverpool who are still without the suspended Henderson.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Julian Speroni