May 13, 2012 by Kyle Brod
Two weeks ago, I made my predictions on the three key races going on in the English Premier League. I still stand by them, although there’s one pick that I would probably change if given the opportunity. My predictions were:
Manchester City wins the league
Arsenal 3rd/Tottenham 4th
QPR, Blackburn, and Wolverhampton relegated
This being said, here are the games to watch on Sunday, ranked from ten to one:
10-Blackburn at Chelsea
Expect to see plenty of backups in this game for Chelsea, as their focus is undoubtedly on the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich next Saturday. After their Tuesday loss to Liverpool, they are locked into the 6th spot, while Blackburn are also locked into the 19th spot. I wish them luck in their quest to get back up to the Premiership next season, but their last game this campaign should be pretty forgettable.
9-Wolverhampton at Wigan
Wigan has completed one of the great escapes and are officially safe from relegation. That’s something I never thought I would say two months ago. On the flip side, Wolves are going to finish in dead last (20th) and will be relegated. Both teams will play hard, but at the end of the day, the result of this match does not mean anything from the final table’s point of view.
8-Aston Villa at Norwich City
As long as they don’t lose by double digits, Aston Villa are safe from relegation, even after suffering from a weak run of form over the past few weeks. Norwich are safe in the mid-table, but a win could see them sneak up a few more spots. Once again, however, the result of this one will not have any major impact on the final table.
7-Liverpool at Swansea City
Liverpool are in a battle to finish above local rivals Everton in the table, so expect to see them go for a repeat performance of their 4-1 victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday. Swansea sit comfortably at 12th right now, but they are a team that could finish in the top 10 with three points. Although both teams know about where they are going to finish, there is still a little bit extra to play for in this final game
6-Manchester United at Sunderland
A win for Sunderland could put them in the top 10. A win for Sunderland would all but hand the title to Manchester City as well. United will need to take three points from this game if they want a realistic shot at the title when the day is over. Surely they don’t want to drop points here and have to rely on QPR even more; the odds are already against them.
5-Bolton at Stoke City
In order to avoid relegation, Bolton have to win this game. Stoke sit in the 14th spot as it stands, so Bolton’s task is not impossible. Any sort of late goal will mean even more this game, and Bolton fans will be keeping one eye on the QPR/Man City game, so long as Bolton are leading, or within reach of a win. If you want to see a team fighting their hearts out, Bolton should be that team this week.
4-Arsenal at West Bromwich Albion
While West Brom looks to finish in their currently held 10th spot, Arsenal can guarantee third place and a Champions League spot next season with a win. They will not want to rely on Tottenham and Newcastle dropping points, and also know that fourth does not guarantee a Champions League spot with Chelsea in the final. Arsenal is yet another team that will go all out for three points on Sunday.
3-Fulham at Tottenham
Fulham have an opportunity to jump both Liverpool and Everton in the table with a win, but all the focus in this London derby will be on Tottenham. A win guarantees them at least fourth in the league, and moreover, a potential Champions League spot. While their own game goes on, Tottenham supporters will be keeping an eye on the Arsenal match, along with the next match on our list.
2-Newcastle United at Everton
I expect this to probably be the most exciting match of the week. With the current goal differential situation, Newcastle need a win to give themselves a shot at a top four finish. On the other side, Everton will be looking to get a result that can see them finish 7th, above their rivals Liverpool. If Newcastle are not winning late in the game, expect to see the game open up and the chances come pouring in.
1-Queens Park Rangers at Manchester City
It’s all in the hands of Manchester City to capture their first title in 44 years. This is a QPR team that lost to Chelsea 6-1 just two weeks ago, and City supporters will hope to have a similar game so that the nerves don’t carry on for too long. However, QPR can clinch safety from relegation with a draw, due to their superior goal differential on Bolton. It may not end up being a close encounter, but with both teams playing for their own respective ultimate achievements, anything can happen. It should be a great final game to watch.