WEST HAM UNITED VS ARSENAL (9TH April, 2016) 11:45GMT
PREDICTION (2-1 TO WEST HAM)
This season has been a good one for West Ham considering the criticisms that followed the appointment of “rookie” manager Slaven Bilic. How he has proved those critics wrong. West Ham could still finish this season with Champions League football but that has to start with a win against title chasers Arsenal. The Gunners have flattered to deceive this season – following their last gasp win against Leicester with a dire display against a make shift Manchester United team. They now sit 11 points off leaders Leicester albeit with a game in hand. They stand an outside chance of clinching the title but it is not in their hands. They have to win all their remaining fixtures and hope for a slip from either Spurs or Leicester – which is highly unlikely. Dimitri Payet has been the star man for the Hammers this season scoring 12 goals. His ability from set pieces have been brilliant – and his goal against Crystal Palace further proved that. He will have to be on song alongside Kouyate and Antonio for the Hammers to stand a chance. Arsenal welcome back keeper Petr Cech who was out injured a month ago. He is unlikely to start but his return will be a boost for them. The Gunners thrashed Watford 4-0 in their last outing with Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez the stand out performers. They will look to continue in such vein against a much sterner opponent. The last time the two met was in the first week of the season where the Hammers came out surprise winners with a 2-0 win. I expect a win for the Hammers.
SWANSEA VS CHELSEA (9TH APRIL, 2016) 14:00GMT
This fixture on opening day of the season marked the beginning of the end for Jose Mourinho after he openly criticized then Chelsea team doctor Eva Caneiro for giving treatment to Hazard leaving his team with nine men following the dismissal of Tibaut Courtois. Now 15 games on after his departure, the Blues are unbeaten. They have really rallied under new manager Guus Hiddink and have climbed up to 10th with an outside chance of European football at least. That task won’t be easy and it begins against Swansea City who after a topsy-turvy season which had the highs of a win against Manchester United have studied their sinking ship after a poor run of form saw them slipping in and out of the relegation zone. They are now 15th and 10 points clear of safety. Chelsea this week announced the appointment of Antonio Conte as the new manager for next season. The Italian is expected to take over the reins after Euro 2016 with the Italian national team. This match promises to be an entertaining encounter as both teams will be looking to finish the season on a high. However I expecting a 1 all draw here.
MANCHESTER CITY VS WEST BROMWICH ALBION (9TH APRIL, 2016) 16:30GMT
Manchester started this campaign on a high but fell off the pace at the crucial time and are now scraping with West Ham and Manchester United for the last Champions League spot. The return of Kevin De Bruyne who was out for six weeks could not have come at a better time in the season. The Belgian international was pivotal in the midweek 2 all draw against PSG which gives City a chance to qualify for the semi-final of the Champions League for the first time in their history. Back to Premier league action against a stoic Tony Pulis led West Brom who drew 0-0 with Sunderland last week with keeper Ben Foster the standout performer. They recorded no shots on target in that match which is worrying especially against a team like City. City also won emphatically last week beating Bournemouth 4-0. It’s likely to be a match between defense and attack but it is unlikely that West Brom can keep such attacking prowess that City possess at bay for 90 minutes.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VS MANCHESTER UNITED (10TH APRIL, 2016 TIME: 15.00GMT)
PREDICTION (1-0 TO SPURS)
The last time these two teams met earlier in the season, United came out on top with a fortuitous Kyle Walker own goal. After that Spurs went on a 14 game unbeaten run and the rest, well, is history. Spurs last week slipped in the title race with a 1-1 draw at Liverpool. That has left them 7 points behind leaders Leicester City with the Foxes outfoxing the chasing pack. They have to get back on track against one of the four teams they have lost to so far this season. Manchester United was stringed together a couple of wins against Manchester City and Everton in the past weeks to take them to 5th and a point behind City in the fight for Champions League football next season. Manager Louis Van Gaal after enduring heaving criticisms seems to be finding his feet once again but as has been the case with United this season, their inconsistencies have been their undoing. They have to be at their best though against this Spurs side which is nothing like the one they beat earlier in the season. Harry Kane will be hoping to stretch his lead in the goal scoring charts after a fine effort against Liverpool took him to a season tally of 22. Spurs youthful side have proved all the critics wrong so far but will be weary of underestimating this United team. I expect an enthralling and entertaining game which will see Spurs edge it
SUNDERLAND VS LEICESTER CITY (10TH APRIL, 2016) 12.30GMT
PREDICTION (2-1 TO LEICESTER)
Yes they are the leaders!! Relegation battlers last season, Champions the next season? Will that will be answered soon enough. Should Leicester win 4 of their remaining 6 fixtures, they would be Champions. Can you imagine! Hosts Sunderland could not have a more contrasting circumstance. The draw last week left them in the relegation zone with a fighting chance as they have one game in hand. They have a daunting task in stopping the Leicester City juggernaut who are slowly but surely grinding to the title with four consecutive one nil wins. That as remarked by Sir Alex Ferguson is the stuff of Champions. The last time these two met on opening day, Leicester came out on top with a 4-2 win. That marked the beginning to this unprecedented campaign so far. The Black Cats will need to have good fortune on their side in order to stop the league leaders as their fight to stay up begins this weekend. Anything less than 3 points could prove costly. The Foxes last outing was a 1-0 win over Southampton albeit with its share of controversies. Captain Wes Morgan grabbed the winner as they marched on to the dreamland.
I expect Leicester to continue their winning streak against the Black Cats with a 2-1 win.