Last updated on June 30th, 2017 at 01:57 pm

EPL Predictions & Team News 4 & 5 Apr

Well, we have made it into the month of May which can only mean the football season is coming to an end. Football fans are out in short sleeves, Wigan are out fighting for their Premiership lives and somewhere Pascal Chimbonda is still wearing gloves!

Fulham v Reading – Saturday 4 May – 1500KO

At this time of season we normally get a lot of fixtures with nothing riding on them, fortunately this is one of only two fixtures this week. A lot of credit should go to Martin Jol for getting Fulham into a position this early where they are in no danger of relegation, especially after putting together a side of older players and loanees. Reading however were finally put out of their misery last week and instead of going out with a bang they went out in a dull nil all draw with QPR, a poor advert for Championship football next season if ever I saw one!.

Premier League Team News: Berbatov should be fit despite an ongoing calf problem. However Sidwell is still suspended and Petric has a hamstring problem. Hope Akpan will return to the squad for the Royals and Nigel Adkins will have to make a decision on who to play in goal, the in-form McCarthy or the fit again Federici.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Bryan Ruiz

Norwich v Aston Villa – Saturday 4 May 2013 – 1500KO

Hands up, did anyone one have two teams down for scoring 6 goals last week in the EPL? And if you did manage to predict that I bet you didn’t have Villa down as one of them! They were impressive against Sunderland on Monday and recovered immediately when being pegged back to 1 all, where they seem to have failed so many times this year. If either side wins this it will take them above the magical 40 points line and hopefully safety. The end of the season can’t come quick enough now for Norwich, they desperately need to scramble one more win, but this is going to be a struggle for a side who has only won 1 in 8 and seem to be playing more negatively by the week.

I think deep down, many of the guys feel Norwich are more likely to pick up points next week to West Brom, especially after Villa embarrassed Norwich in the cup earlier in the season. Stranger things have happened though!

Premier League Team News: The Canaries should welcome John Ruddy back after nearly half a year out with a thigh injury. Turner is still injured and Kamara will make the last appearance of his loan spell. Villa should line up the same as Monday night.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-2
Dream Team Star Man: Christian Benteke

Swansea v Manchester City – Saturday 4 May 2013 – 1500KO

The other meaningless fixture!! Swansea are still sitting in the top half of the table despite not winning in 6 games and that run looks like it may well be extended when they meet City who played some good football last week against West Ham. City players could well be playing for their futures as I expect a few movements in and out during the summer.

Premier League Team News: Chico is in a race against (chico) time to be fit for this one, and The Swans will also be without injured midfielder Roland Lamah. Joe Hart should be passed fit for City despite a back injury suffered last week, before his howler against West Ham.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-3
Dream Team Star Man: Yaya Toure

Tottenham v Southampton – Saturday 4 May 2013 – 1500KO

Spurs have managed to achieve their 5th place in the league so far without winning a Saturday 3pm fixture all season, and I expect them to break that jinx against a Southampton side who will have two players suspended after their crazy fixture against West Brom last weekend.

Premier League Team News: Dembele will have a late fitness test on a hamstring strain but Spurs are boosted by the return of Adebayor and Livermore to the squad. The Saints are without the suspended Danny Fox and Gaston Rameriz, but full-back Luke Shaw should return from injury.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-1
Dream Team Star Man: Gareth Bale

West Brom v Wigan – Saturday 4 May 2013 – 1500KO

It truly is do or die time for Wigan now, they are 5 points from safety and are now deep in trouble, if they don’t pick up 3 points here the writing may well be on the wall. West Brom have improved in their last 1 and a half games, by playing 3 strikers, however they may have to rethink this tactic after Fortune’s sending off last week.

Premier League Team News: As mentioned above Fortune starts a 3 match ban, as well as skipper Chris Brunt who is injured. Figueroa may have played his last game for Wigan after being ruled out for the remainder of the season and has been heavily linked with a move to West Ham. Ben Watson returns to the squad for the first time since November.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Romelu Lukaka

West Ham United v Newcastle – Saturday 4 May 2013 – 1500KO

Well last week I criticised the TV executives who only put Newcastle v Liverpool on TV in hope of another 7 goal bonanza, and they nearly got it! Newcastle are now back in the relegation scrap and ‘sources’ around the club are talking of a split dressing room. Big Sam will love the opportunity to get one back over his former employers and to be fair with 5 victories against the Geordies since he was sacked he normally does!!

Premier League Team News: West Ham have no new injury problems, Noble may replace O’Neil in the starting XI though. Debauchy is suspended for Newcastle after his sending-off last week but the much missed Coloccini could return after back problems.
Premier League Betting Prediction:  2-0
Dream Team Star Man: Andy Carroll

QPR v Arsenal – Saturday 4 May 2013 – 1730KO

Well, QPR’s brief EPL stay ended with a whimper last weekend, and there has been much soul searching by Chairman Tony Fernandes and Harry Redknapp this week, who has claimed his side is not good enough to be in the top half of next seasons Championship! Let’s see if that has the required effect this week against an Arsenal team who must win this to keep their remarkable Champions League qualifying history alive.

Premier League Team News: Rangers welcome back Bobby Zamora after a three match ban, but may still be without Chris Samba. Walcott may be preferred in the central strikers role over Podolski for The Gunners.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Dream Team Star Man: Theo Walcott

Liverpool v Everton – Sunday 5 May 2013 – 1330KO

The two sets of fans will be looking at this fixtures in very different ways. The red side of Liverpool will be thinking if we win this we can still finish above Everton, whilst the blue side will be thinking if we win this we can still qualify for Europe. Unfortunately for both sets of fans, I think they could cancel each other out which would do neither side much good! This is officially the feistiest fixture in EPL history with the most red cards shown, and don’t be surprised to see another one!

Premier League Team News: Liverpool are already without Suarez and will be hoping Steve Gerrard overcomes a shoulder problem to be fit for the derby. Phil Neville and Darron Gibson are both out injured for Everton.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Danny Sturridge

Manchester United v Chelsea – Sunday 5 May 2013 – 1600KO

They are coming thick and fast for Chelsea at the moment, it was only on Thursday that they qualified for the Europa Cup final, this game, and then they have a make or break match in midweek against Spurs. Which fixture will Rafa rotate his squad for? Both are important if Chelsea want to finish in the top 4. Sir Alex will be well aware of this and if Chelsea are stopped from qualifying for Champions League it could significantly restrict their hands in the transfer market for next season.

Premier League Team News: Vidic is fit again for the Champions who also welcome back Paul Scholes who probably only has three appearances left before his expected second retirement. Demba Ba will return for Chelsea after being cup-tied in midweek as well as Ashley Cole who was suspended. Eden Hazard went off injured in midweek and may be rested as a precaution.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Juan Mata

Sunderland v Stoke – Monday 6 May 2013 – 2000KO

The Makems have failed to win a Monday night game since 2002, a run that takes in 17 games!! Maybe it was this stat which was playing on their minds when Villa destroyed them last Monday! Even though their goal difference took a hammering in that fixture, it is still far superior to anyone around them in the table and that is worth a point at this time of the year. Stoke are now over their wobbles and bizarrely could even jump into the top half of the table if results go their way!!

Premier League Team News: Sunderland are without Sessegnon for the rest of the season after failing to overturn his red card against Villa. Stoke have defensive problems with both Wilkinson and Wilson rated as doubtful.  Etherington may start ahead of Whelan.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Asmir Begovic

There we have it, 3 days and a full list of super intense football. And of course good luck to all Championship Teams on their final weekend. Forest, Palace, Leicester, Bolton Wolves and more still have much to play for!

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