The penultimate game of the season is upon us and things have settled down. The Champions of almost every league in Europe have been decided. La Liga, as well, is all but decided. Rumours have been circulating of managerial and player movements. A worthy note must be made of our predictors and contributors this season. For all 38 match days we have had an extremely close race and a champion will be crowned soon! Until then, let’s move on to recap last week’s fixtures, before getting into this week’s:
Recap from previous results:
Stoke City v Tottenham: Another win for Stoke City against a toothless Tottenham outfit.
Crystal Palace v Manchester United: Palace battle admirably but Manchester United lucky to bag the points.
Manchester City v QPR: Only one team was on the pitch in this one #ByebyeQPR
Chelsea v Liverpool: Dour 1-1 draw with Steven Gerrard scoring some goals at the tail end of his Reds’ career.
Arsenal v Swansea City: Swansea are possessed and have done the double over Arsenal this season.
Marseille v AS Monaco: Marseille close the gap on Monaco to make the CL qualification very tense!
Lazio v Inter Milan: 2-1 win on the road for Inter, but Lazio still looking at CL qualification themselves.
AC Milan v AS Roma: A surprise victory for AC Milan over AS Roma, who seem to lack motivation these days.
Toronto FC v Houston Dynamo: Poor home opener performance from TFC, with Houston bagging the points.
This match day brings the battle between Manchester United and Arsenal from Old Trafford. United will be looking to avenge their FA Cup exit against these same opponents in March, while Arsenal will be looking to respond after their shock loss to Swansea at home on Monday. Tottenham face Hull City at home and Hull might just steal the points as they must win to avoid relegation. Swansea City host Manchester City and will look to continue their impressive run of form against the giants. Man City are coming off a huge win and will have to work hard not to be complacent against Swansea. Liverpool face Crystal Palace at home, and this Crystal Palace team is the one that eventually stopped Liverpool from winning the league last year in the famous “Crystanbul” match that will live long in Premier League memory. Finally, West Brom host Chelsea in what is likely to be a total non-event.
In Germany this weekend a match between VFL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund very much encapsulates a battle between a newcomer and a has-been. It may be slightly harsh to criticize Dortmund in this manner but Wolfsburg will be replacing them in Europe next season. In Spain, the much-anticipated Atletico Madrid v Barcelona encounter takes place, although this fixture won’t have the same emphasis as it did last season, where the teams fought it out for the title on the last day of the season. This time round, Barcelona are comfortably in first place and all but Champions. In Italy, Inter Milan host Juventus in one of the biggest matches in Seria A. Juventus were champions long ago and now find themselves in the Champions League final. Will they be able to keep up their motivation to defeat their league rivals? New England Revolution host Toronto FC in our MLS feature fixture this weekend. A struggling TFC side will find it difficult against NER, who sit second in the Eastern Conference.
Summary of Matchday 37:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
Matchday 37 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Mohaned: Manchester United vs Arsenal: Second place is in City’s hands right now, which makes this probably a third place decider. Both these sides are destined for a top four finish but the game’s importance stems due to both teams trying to avoid a playoff game to get into the Champions League. United are coming off an unconvincing win against Crystal Palace, while Arsenal have lost their undefeated streak to Swansea City. Both sides are playing for more than the three points here. Arsenal fans want to finally beat United in the League, after having done so in the FA Cup this season. United fans will not want to lose to their rivals at home. If Arsenal lose this, they will need to win their remaining two games to guarantee third spot. A draw on Sunday would all but guarantee it for them. To keep their third spot dream alive, United will have to win. Key players to watch would be, in my opinion, Fellaini and Young for United, and Sanchez and Ramsey for Arsenal. I’m going with a narrow Arsenal victory; 1-0 Arsenal.
Alexander: Atletico Madrid v Barcelona: It’s been an odd season for Atleti. Despite spending well in the summer, nobody could have expected them to repeat last season’s miracle, and so they have performed to par, for all intents and purposes. Somehow, though, there is a nagging feeling that they could have done better. Draws against teams they’d have expected to beat, a disappointing Champions League exit and the prospect of Chelsea stealing Griezmann from them leave a slightly bitter taste in the end-of-season mouth. Nevertheless, the renewal of Simeone’s contract remains the most important event of the Rojiblancos’ season, and they’ll be challenging against next time around. That is, of course, unless this mesmeric Barcelona side continue to blow away anything that lies before them, like a Bruce Willis character in, well, any of his films. Luis Enrique’s side have been truly phenomenal of late, and not even Atleti’s dogged defensive discipline will be able to contain the three-pronged alliance of
elves, dwarves and men Neymar, Messi and Suarez. 3-1 to the Catalans.
Bernie: NE Revolution v Toronto FC: Toronto FC have disappointed us all since their inception. Last season’s big money move for Bradley and Defoe didn’t pay off and this time out with Jermaine Defoe gone and Sebastian Giovinco in, the problems persist. Michael Bradley is the captain but seems more of a liability than the player who impressed at Chievo and infrequently at Roma. Greg Vanney is out of his depth and the defense is just woeful. The Revolution got to the playoff finals last season and currently sit second in the Eastern Conference. Toronto will have to reach a level I don’t believe they are capable of to beat Jermaine Jones and co. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore need Michael Bradley, Bruno Cheyrou and Damien Perquis to step up. If not, this loss will dent their confidence and the excitement the loyal Toronto fans came into the season with. Unfortunately I don’t think they have it in them…yet. 2-1 New England
Rishay: Inter Milan v Juventus: A battle in the Italian league that has a lot of history. Inter v Juve has always been one for the neutrals. In today’s game, only Juventus seem to carry the same weight in football as they have in eras past. Inter are a shadow of their former selves but with every fallen champion there is a silver lining of hope, and of a team in transition before a great cycle of success. This fixture is a match between Juventus at arguably the peak of their powers in their current state, against Inter who are either at the start of a new cycle or at the end of a cycle. Juventus have put themselves in a CL final position and will probably be exhausted from their travels, along with the fact that they are already domestic champions. Inter would love to put one past their dear rivals here and this is the opportunity to do it. 2-1 Inter Milan.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions