So, Chelsea ended up winning the league in unspectacular fashion last weekend, and now there is not much else to play for. Or is there? After dramatic finishes in the past couple of years, it is a bit underwhelming when a season finishes without any real surprises. Nonetheless, the Champions League spots are still to be decided, and the fights to avoid the Europa League and relegation are still boiling away.
Recap from previous results:
Liverpool v QPR: Lucky Gerrard bails out both club and self in a thrilling finish for the Reds.
Manchester United v West Brom: Pulis pulls a Mourinho to perfection as the Baggies all but ensure safety.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace: Chelsea officially become champions in the most careful way possible.
Tottenham v Manchester City: Better from Tottenham, but a sublime Aguero the difference.
Hull City v Arsenal: Great performance from the Gunners to keep up their strong finish.
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich: Another loss for Bayern and another free kick scored for Calhanoglu.
Sevilla v Real Madrid: Thrilling tie for the neutrals as a CR7 hat-trick was too much for a determined Sevilla unit.
Napoli v AC Milan: Convincing win for Napoli as they crush an AC Milan lacking quality.
NE Revolution v Toronto FC: Giovinco makes the difference with an excellent free kick from distance.
The biggest game in the EPL will be between Chelsea and Liverpool, from Stamford Bridge. It will be interesting to see how Chelsea line up for this one given that their job is done and they have nothing to play for, while Liverpool are desperate for a remote chance to make the top four. Crystal Palace take on Manchester United and you can already sense the bus has parked. Whose bus will it be? Stoke City v Tottenham may bring a few surprises, as have many Stoke City and Tottenham games in recent history *ahem* Charlie Adam…..*ahem* Danny Rose… Manchester City face QPR, and something tells me they will perform sloppily in this game but get away with it. Arsenal host Swansea at the Emirates, and we should all expect to see a beautiful field given the shared award of best pitch with Old Trafford.
In mainland Europe there is the small matter of Lazio v Inter Milan, a fixture which has had lots to play for in recent memory, except only Lazio will be looking at European football next season this time round. AC Milan face AS Roma, and the chances that Milan put in a better shift than against Napoli are high, yet there will only be one winner and that will be Roma. Marseille host AS Monaco, and Ligue 1 also heats up as the finish line approaches. Toronto FC face Houston Dynamo at the new and improved BMO Field, and Torontonians will celebrate the first MLS home fixture of the season!
Summary of Matchday 35:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
Matchday 36: Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Mohaned: Milan vs Roma. Big game? Historically perhaps, but not on the weekend. This game is all to play for, for Roma, who would like to cement their second place position as they sit only one point ahead of third place Lazio. Milan on the other hand are playing for pride while Inzaghi is playing to keep his job, as they sit in the woeful 11th position. Rudi Garcia’s squad have gotten back a lot of their injured players recently and have been on a better run of form than a month ago, when they couldn’t win to save their lives. I’m going with a 2-1 for Roma.
Alexander: Toronto FC v Houston Dynamo: Our beloved Toronto FC have endured a difficult start to the season. So much so that there have already been replace-the-manager rumours. Nonetheless, after two wins on the bounce and a long-awaited return to BMO field, I reckon the Reds will go marching on, this weekend. Seven away games in a row has been a gruelling task but with 30,000 packing BMO cheering them on and with Altitdore and Giovinco really starting to hit form, Toronto FC should have enough momentum to see them through. Owen Coyle’s Houston, on the other hand, have only won two games so far this season, and come into this on the back of two straight home losses, including an absolute thumping by FC Dallas. Will they be glad to get out of Texas for a bit? Perhaps, but I don’t think the vacation will be enough for them. 2-0 to TFC.
Bernie: Chelsea v Liverpool: The season is over for Chelsea. They could easily just go to the beach and forget about the last three games of the season. Jose Mourinho isn’t that type of manager though. The second string will play in this match, that’s for sure, but that doesn’t mean that Chelsea will let up in any way. Jose Mourinho is proud of his home record for Chelsea and will have no interest in losing a home match to a team he despises. On the flip-side, Brendan Rodgers needs to come out and attack Chelsea. Perhaps revenge will be on his mind for the Gerrard slip last season. This time around they need to take advantage of Man United’s recent slip ups in the league to push ahead for a final Champions League spot. To do that they have to beat Mourinho’s men. A tough ask which is why I’m going 1-0 Chelsea.
Rishay: Crystal Palace v Manchester United: Possibly the most boring game of the weekend in store. Palace will undoubtedly park the bus and look to capitalize on their golden opportunity against a United side that will dominate in all other departments except the scoreboard. Seems like an appropriate prediction given the last couple of rounds of results! Palace are safe, and don’t really have much to play for except devil’s advocate (no pun intended), as the Red Devils will need to find their scoring boots if they are to get a result from this one. I see a 2-1 win for Manchester United.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions