Matchday 27. Only 11 games to go in the league this season! As we mentioned last week, “Squeaky Bum Time” is now in full swing. Let’s recap what happened last weekend:
Recap of scores from Matchday 26:
Chelsea 1-1 Burnley: A shock for the champions-elect as Burnley stole a point from the Bridge.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal: The Gunners come away with a good win, but only just, after a frantic finish.
Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle: Silva shows pure class as City trample Newcastle to gain two points on Chelsea.
Swansea 2-1 Manchester United: The Swans pick up a famous season double against United.
Tottenham 2-2 West Ham: A superb game for the neutrals as Spurs show their fighting spirit again.
Everton 2-2 Leicester City: Sloppy draw for a team mired in mediocrity against another team fighting relegation.
Southampton 0-2 Liverpool: Probably one of the more exciting games of the day, as Liverpool gain ground in the race for the top four.
Matchday 27: The Theatre of Dreams will host Sunderland this weekend and Manchester United v Sunderland is the perfect way to bounce back for the Red Devils after their loss to Swansea. Liverpool v Manchester City is undoubtedly the game of the weekend, and both teams have a point to prove. Liverpool have realized that a top four finish is by no means beyond them while City are looking to bounce back from their midweek loss to Barcelona in the CL. Arsenal v Everton is the final game in the Premiership as Chelsea and Tottenham contest the League Cup final on Sunday. Arsenal will look to keep their league form going while Everton….well, I’m not really sure what this game will bring for them. Does anyone know?
There are some big games on the continent this weekend, starting with The Ruhr Derby, as Dortmund v Schalke 04 promises to be a thriller. Will Dortmund be able to continue their good league form of late and climb back to the top, or will their great rivals thwart their efforts?
AS Monaco v PSG is an exceptional battle. The Ligue 1 table looks pretty good for the neutrals and you should really have a look at it to appreciate how important this fixture is. PSG have been stuttering in the league. Frankly, it doesn’t really look like they care about it too much. Monaco meanwhile come into this after an impressive away win over Arsenal.
AS Roma v Juventus is the big match in Italy, and despite having many chances to close the gap on the Turin giants, Roma have a chance to play their way back into title contention by winning and reducing the margin to six points (or lose and be out of the race).
Think you can predict any of these games? Have a go yourself!
Summary of Matchday 26:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
A mediocre week for all the pundits, but, given the small number of games predicted, the performances were not bad.
Matchday 27 Predictions:
Games of the Week
Bernie: Monaco vs PSG: A few seasons ago this was the battle of the nouveau riche in French football. Now that Monaco have downsized just a little bit by sending Falcao to Manchester and James to Madrid, the fixture has lost a bit of it’s luster. However, after Monaco humiliated Arsenal is the Gooners’backyard, this game has all the makings of a thriller. Paris Saint Germain need to stamp their authority on this one in order to prove to the nation that they aren’t already a spent force. If Dimitar Berbatov, Martial and Moutinho et al shows up like they did in London then the few fans that Monaco have are in for a treat. If not, Cavani, Zlatan, Lucas, Thiago Silva, David Luiz (I really could go on for ever) and co. will take full advantage. It’ll be tight but I’m not sure Monaco have another world class performance in them this season so 1-0 PSG.
Alexander: Roma vs Juventus: Neither side are in sparkling form, but where Roma are dropping points left, right and centre, Juve seem to be grinding out wins. A midweek Champions League victory over Dortmund will also give them confidence, and with Roma’s goals drying up despite the addition of Seydou Doumbia, I see this being a tight affair but a narrow Juventus victory. With any luck it won’t be quite as controversial as it was the last time the two sides met. The title is as good as won for The Old Lady. Roma must now secure second spot, as Napoli are chasing them down. 1-0 to the Old Lady.
Mohaned: Liverpool vs Man City: A season ago, with five games to go, Liverpool beat City 3-2 with a brilliant Coutinho last gasp winner. With only Chelsea in their way and a gap larger than three points, the title was theirs for the taking. Gerrard cried, Rodgers cried, Coutinho’s mom cried. We know the story. Then Gerrard slipped and Crystanbul happenned. Now a year later, this game signifies an important three points for securing Champions League football instead of the title. Liverpool have been in good form due to their newly found defensive stability as well as the return of Daniel Sturridge. City will want to keep the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the table. Lets hope its an exciting one. I’m going for a 2-2 draw.
Rishay: Manchester United vs Sunderland: After a second defeat to Swansea this season,the critics were once again out to get Luis Van Gaal. However, it should be pointed out that the 11 players on the pitch are the ones who earn their results. Out of form and fast falling out of favour with the fans, Van Persie should feel that his days at the club are numbered. United are lacking an attacker with movement and pace, which leaves the rest of the squad with too much work to compensate. Sunderland will be looking to exploit any weaknesses but have a dismal run of just four wins in 26 games. If there was ever a game United would want to get them back on track, this would be it. The race for the top four is getting ever closer. 3-0 Manchester United.
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