The Steifmaster WEEK 35 BPL Predictions
The Steifmaster WEEK 35 BPL Predictions
The Barclays Premier League is approaching its tail end but there are still twists and turns expected especially at the top and bottom of the league. This weekend, league leaders, Liverpool, take their title hunt to Carrow Road, one of their favorite hunting grounds with relegation-threatened Norwich providing the opposition. Demba Ba and co at Chelsea welcome bottom side Sunderland in a crucial match for both sides while there’s also the battle for the fourth spot with Arsenal hosting Hull City and Everton welcoming former manager, David Moyes, and his Manchester United troops to Goodison Park. What a weekend this could turn out to be! Here are my picks for the weekend.
Chelsea 1-1 Sunderland (Saturday, 7:30pm)
Chelsea are considered as only third favorites for the Premier League title after Liverpool and Manchester City but the Blues could move to the top of the log this Saturday at least until Liverpool play Norwich on Sunday afternoon. Jose Mourinho’s play host to relegation threatened Sunderland knowing anything other than three points will keep their title charge alive. They Blues were lucky to leave Wales with maximum points last weekend when they got pushed to the end by Swansea until Demba Ba popped up with a goal which made all the difference. Their opponents this weekend, Sunderland, looked like they would get a famous away win at the Eitihad in midweek but a clanger from Viktor Mannone allowed Samir Nasri’s to grab an equalizer for the Citizens. That result should act as a warning shot to title chasing Chelsea and co. Gus Poyet’s Sunderland are currently placed at the foot of the table and they need three points rather than one to guarantee them top division football next season. Stamford Bridge may not be the ideal venue to go searching for three points but the Black Cats will relish causing an upset especially after coming so close in Manchester. They may be having contrasting interests as far as life in the Premier League is concerned but both sides know only victory will put them on course to achieving their ambitions. I foresee frustrations for the hosts and a hard-earned point for Sunderland.
Norwich 1-4 Liverpool (Sunday, 2pm)
Liverpool are only four wins away from being declared Kings of England. Just four wins. Sounds easy right? It isn’t. They may have won 10 matches on the trot, in the process equaling their club record in the Premier League era, but the next four games are beyond doubt the most crucial in the club’s Premier League history. The most immediate challenge is Norwich City. The Reds have scored 18 goals in the last four matches against the Canaries with Luis Suarez grabbing three hat-tricks thus the league leaders will be favorites against the hosts who are only two points clear of the relegation zone. Liverpool further cemented their title credentials last weekend with their 3-2 win over Manchester City which means they have destiny in the own hands. Victory here and favorable results in the Manchester City and Chelsea games and the Merseyside outfit will inch closer to their 19th Premier League title. With Chelsea the next opponent in a fortnight in what is already being billed as the title deciding clash, Brendan Rodgers’ men should be able to cruise past Norwich who have a tough run-in with games against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Another goals galore at Carrow Road? Enter Luis Suarez.
Arsenal 3-1 Hull City (Sunday, 4:05pm)
Arsenal’s quest to finishing within the top four got a major boost in midweek and they didn’t even have to play. Everton, their closest rival for the fourth position that almost guarantees Champions League football next season suffered a surprise 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace at Goodison Park. The defeat left the Toffees in 5th position, one point behind the Gunners. Judging by previous experience, Arsene Wenger has always found a way to work his magic and steer his team to Champions League. Last season, they needed victory against Newcastle in the last game of the season to qualify and victory they got. Like Liverpool, the Gunners need to win their last four matches to achieve their dream of finishing in the top four. First in waiting is Hull City who look to have secured another season in topflight English football. Steve Bruce’s side are 6 points clear of the relegation zone and with a game in hand but there shouldn’t be complacency on their side with 12 points still to fight for. Arsenal triumphed 2-0 in the reverse fixture early in the season and have lost only one of their last five meetings against the Tigers. Should be another routine win here to the Londoners.
Everton 2 1 Manchester United (Sunday, 6:10pm)
Everton’s chase for Champions League football suffered a major dent in midweek after they went down 3-2 against visiting Crystal Palace. The defeat left Everton in 5th place, a point adrift of Arsenal with the Gunners having a fairly easier run-in as compared to Roberto Martinez’s side. After facing Manchester United this weekend, The Toffees travel to St. Mary’s stadium for a battle against Southampton before hosting Manchester City and finishing with an away game at Hull City. Their weekend opponents, Man United, are definitely out of Champions League contention but can still qualify for Europa League. David Moyes’ side haven’t played since the 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich early this month. The Red Devils were lost by a solitary goal in David Moyes’ first clash against his former employers and this match will provide him with yet another chance to redeem his fading image as a top class manager. The shock Crystal Palace loss aside, Everton are a hard nut to crack at Goodison. With the possibility of playing Champions League next season their major motivation, Martinez will set up his team for victory against the visitors. An interesting match ending in victory for the hosts.
Manchester City 1-1 West Brom (Monday, 10pm)
Manchester City seem to be bottling it already. With five points dropped in their last two encounters, destiny is no longer on Manuel Pellegrini’s City. If a defeat to Liverpool last weekend was costly, the midweek draw against Sunderland was almost catastrophic as it meant City will still be three points behind Liverpool if they win their game in hand. They face another relegation candidate in the shape of West Brom at the Eitihad on Monday night with Yaya Toure expected to miss after limping off against Liverpool. By the time this match kicks off, the Citizens could find themselves 9 points adrift of top spot should Liverpool win at Norwich as expected. West Brom are dangling dangerously in 16th position with only three points keeping them above the relegation zone. Pepe Mel’s side blew a 3-goal lead to draw 3-3 against Tottenham Hotspurs last weekend, their 15th stalemate of the season. Like the Chelsea-Sunderland match, this will be a clash of two clubs with contrasting interests. Like the Chelsea-Sunderland match, I see spoils being shared.
And That’s thesteifmastertake!!