The international break and domestic cup replays creates a fixture pile up, so April is going to be crazy. Every Premiership team is going to play three times in the first ten days of the month. It’s the time of the year fantasy football managers hate with rotation highly likely, if your players weren’t injured playing internationally of course.
Burnley v Stoke
Stoke play away twice in the space of four days and then host Liverpool, so their form is likely to continue it’s downwards trend. Burnley have the opportunity to close the gap on their mid-table rivals and may well do so here. They will however have to rely on a small squad for this busy period. 1-0.
Leicester v Sunderland
Things are looking up for Leicester, especially with a predicted win against Stoke three days prior to this. Their problem now however is that from April 1 to April 18 they have a game every three days, with the real test two successive away games against Everton and Atletico Madrid. They’ll look to put this one to bed early but may not have the squad to compete on two fronts. 1-1.
Watford v West Brom
An end of season nothing game come early. Watford are seven points clear of relegation and West Brom won’t realistically finish any higher than 8th. Watford have been poor since the turn of the year, despite a win at the weekend. 0-2.
Manchester United v Everton
Now this is a game. The only reason United will finish above Everton this season but realistically they’ve not been any better. Both teams have injury issues, especially in defence and I fancy Lukaku to take advantage here. The returns of Zlatan and Herrera will greatly aid United though and they might just nick it. 3-2.
Arsenal v West Ham
Never mind Wenger, Bilic is in real trouble. The Emirates is a tough place to go but another loss sees them potentially finishing the season in the bottom half after two successive Europa League qualifications (and early exits). Sanchez is going to be frustrated and I would not want to be Winston Reid come Wednesday. 2-0.
Hull v Middlesborough
This is huge. Boro did well to get a point out of Swansea but Hull seem up for the fight, shown in their win against West Ham. Niasse looks like he has a point to prove. 1-0.
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Hard to predict. Southampton have won three of their last ten, while Palace have won four in a row, most notably beating Chelsea last week despite taking a battering. The Saints also haven’t had a single draw in that time. They’re on course for a mid-table finish, which isn’t disastrous, but certainly a backwards step from 6th last year. It’s likely to be a bad end to the season on the south coast. 0-1.
Swansea v Tottenham
Defeats against Hull and Bournemouth along with the weekend’s draw against Boro really put Swansea back in the relegation fight. I think Spurs will be too strong, even without Kane. Pochettino will want to finish the season well and keep it tight until their talisman returns. They’ll also have renewed hope after Chelsea somehow lost to Palace. 0-2.
Chelsea v Manchester City
Chelsea could be in trouble here. Both teams possess great quality and I see both teams scoring but City narrowly winning to make the season’s end much more tense and exciting. 1-2.
Liverpool v Bournemouth
Much has been made of Liverpool’s form against sides lower than themselves but I think they’ve finally overcome that. There’s no chance of a repeat of December’s 4-3. Next season I think the Reds need to invest in a quality striker and let Sturridge go though. Mane is their top scorer with 12. Every other team in the top seven has a player that has outscored that number. 3-0.