It’s coming thick and fast. The Champions League and Europa League knockout phases are now causing the fixture schedule to burst at the seams. Managers are under immense pressure to get the balancing and rotation of their squads right as we approach the final stretch of the season. This weekend we have two mouth-watering encounters with Liverpool hosting Manchester United in the Premier League, and El Clasico in La Liga.
Recap of scores from Matchday 29:
Arsenal vs West Ham: Easy 3-0 for the home side. West Ham missing many players.
Burnley vs Manchester City: Most surprising result of the weekend. City continue horrible form losing 1-0.
Chelsea vs Southampton: Southampton dominance. Game ended in a draw as widely predicted.
Everton vs Newcastle: Home side rubbishing bad form claims, winning this convincingly, 3-0.
United vs Spurs: United’s best performance of the season against abject Spurs. Mata and Fellaini instrumental. 3-0.
Swansea vs Liverpool: Some would say a lucky 1-0 for Liverpool. I say, gutsy performance.
Summary of Matchday 29:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
With all the English sides out of Europe, they will be turning their focus to the domestic competitions. Liverpool and Arsenal have the FA Cup to look forward to in addition to the league. Most will tell you Chelsea have that wrapped up while City, United, Liverpool and Arsenal contend for the coveted top-four spots.
Manchester City face Westbrom, but as we saw last weekend, all bets are off with this City team. They look devoid of creativity in attack and lackluster in defence. Arsenal are away to Newcastle and are in a great run of form. Their 2-0 win at Monaco, although it was not enough, solidified their run of form which sees them having won 11 of their last 12 games.
The two big games of the week will definitely be Liverpool vs Manchester United at Anfield as well as El Clasico. Liverpool have been on an unstoppable run of form lately while Manchester United come into this on the back of their best performance this season. If both these teams are at their best we are in for a very exciting game that could be a defining moment in the top-four race. In Spain, the top two sides lock horns. Real Madrid are in turmoil, while Barcelona are, as you would expect from the league leaders, in fine form. They brushed Manchester City aside in the Champions League.
Matchday 30 Predictions:
Games of the Week
Bernie: Manchester City vs West Brom: The reigning Premier League champions got dumped out of Europe by the very team whose holistic approach to football they’ve been trying their utmost to recreate. Their Abu Dhabi owners have spent more than £1bn on players since they took over. Two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a Capital One Cup are a good return. However, you spend that money to be as good as Barcelona, not just domestic contenders. Now that they have seen that they are nowhere near Barcelona, they must focus on West Brom. Under Tony Pulis, the Baggies have been reinvigorated. No one loves Tony Pulis more than me, however it won’t be enough. Man City will be up for this especially since Manuel Pellegrini’s job is likely on the line. As a result I have to go with City… 2-1.
Alexander: On the weekend of El Clasico, QPR vs Everton is intriguing me. To say that QPR have been better at home than away this season is a massive understatement. I also think Chris Ramsey is about due to win another game. Everton may have done well overall in the Europa League, and won their last Premiership fixture 3-0, but their league form has been so patchy that I can envisage them slipping up, here. Goals from Austin and Zamora will down the Toffees, and have fans screaming for Martinez’s head once again. The downside to being right, of course, would be a modicum of happiness for Joey Barton. 2-1 QPR.
Mohaned: El Clasico. Neymar. Bale. Suarez. Benzema. Messi. Ronaldo. This is for sure, the top single fixture on the footballing calendar. It brings together two of the most successful clubs in world football that undoubtedly have the two best players in the world. Let me tell you, their supporting cast isn’t too shabby either. Madrid had a 2014 to remember. Probably their best year in decades. This didn’t continue into 2015. Barcelona have grabbed the bull by the horns, have dominated their games in the CL and regained the lead in La Liga. Madrid need a win to leap frog the Catalans, while Barcelona only need a draw to stay in pole position. Barca will have a little disadvantage having had a midweek CL tie, but they are in hot form. I see them winning this. 3-1 at the Camp Nou..
Rishay: Liverpool v Manchester United: Probably more exciting than El Clasico this weekend, an age-old rivalry stemming from the English industrial revolution. Manchester United travel to Liverpool in a tale of the two most successful English sides of all time. Both teams are in similar places this season, with Liverpool just behind in 5th, and United in 4th. Both teams are fighting for the prized Champions League spots, and both have had positive results in recent weeks. It is almost too close to define an outright winner. Liverpool are formidable at Anfield and United have not been at their best on the road this season. Does form really go out of the window in these fixtures? Of course it does. Something in my gut tells me that United will take the spoils in an absolute thriller. 2-1 United.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions