The last few games of this Premier League season are afoot and as usual, every football team needs as many points as possible. The relegation battle is extremely close this year with plenty of teams fighting for survival. This weekend could prove to be crucial as many teams in the relegation zone play their struggling rivals.
Aston Villa are currently sitting at 18th in the relegation zone, level on points with Wigan, who have a game in hand. The West Midlands side could break away from the bottom three today if they defeat their local rivals, Stoke City, who are only 4 points clear of Villa and are certainly not safe. Stoke are known to be a difficult side to play at the Britannia Stadium but Villa are in desperate need of points if they are to survive and stay in the Premier League this season. Most will say that this is a must win game for the young Villa squad.
Wigan Athletic have started a trend in recent years of facing relegation for the whole season, but winning in the later stages of the season to keep their place, but can they do it again this year? Wigan will play 19th place Queens Park Rangers (QPR) who are 7 points away from safety but with Harry Redknapp in charge, there is no ruling them out. The match is guaranteed to be full of action as both sides will strive to get 3 points in every remaining match of the season, although looking at history and recent form, Wigan could have a slightly better chance of a victory.
However, the big game of the weekend is at the opposite end of the table, the Manchester Derby, Man United vs Man City. This match is vital for both teams as they are both in serious contention for the title. The Red Devils are 15 points clear of their derby rivals, but if the Sky Blues can manage to defeat United on Monday night, morale could seriously suffer. However, it seems unlikely Sir Alex Ferguson will let his team throw away a 15 point lead, especially considering no team has ever been 15 points clear this close to the end of the season and not won the league.
Every match now is vitally important to each team whether it’s trying to win the title, or simply staying in the Premier League. Some teams such as Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal need to win their games to qualify for next year’s Champions League. This weekend is tough for most squads but it should provide us with one of the most exciting weekends of the season so far with even more shocks and surprises to come in the near future as the Premier League begins to draw to a close.
Premier League predictions for this weekend:
Norwich 1-1 Swansea
Reading 1-2 Southampton
Stoke 1-0 Aston Villa
West Brom 1-3 Arsenal
Chelsea 3-0 Sunderland
Liverpool 2-0 West Ham
Newcastle 1-1 Fulham
QPR 1-2 Wigan
Tottenham 2-1 Everton
Man Utd 3-2 Man City
Author Daniel Foster.
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