Premier League Predictions – Final Day
Arguably the most exciting title race in Premier League history must be settled this weekend as Man City and Liverpool face one final test in their respective bids to be named the 2018/19 champions.
Final days are renowned for throwing up strange results – will that trend continue this Sunday?
Here are our Premier League predictions for Gameweek 38…
PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS – FINAL DAY
Brighton vs Man City
Case for the home side: On the face of it, the struggling Seagulls are an opponent City might have handpicked for this final day scenario, but Chris Hughton’s side have shown time and again they can make life difficult for ‘Big Six’ sides even if they struggle to carve out chances. It could take time for Pep’s side to find a breakthrough with Brighton’s defensive pairing of Dunk and Duffy more than likely to dig their heels in.
Case for the away side: Man City have been relentless in the race to the finish, winning 13 games in a row, and finding different ways to win as well – as the tight victories over Burnley and Leicester City demonstrate. Against a Seagulls side eight games without a win, it seems a stretch to see the home side overly troubling them.
Verdict: Pep’s boys to seal the deal on the South Coast. 0-2
Burnley vs Arsenal
Case for the home side: It’s been another successful season for Sean Dyche in keeping Burnley punching above their weight in the Premier League, even if they failed to scale the heights of 2017/18. As always, the Clarets will make life difficult for their more illustrious opponents.
Case for the away side: Arsenal answered their critics by holding their nerve in midweek to bag a clinical win against Valencia and book their place in this season’s Europa League Final. Feelgood factor alone at achieving that goal could help them relax here.
Verdict: Thursday night’s efforts to take their toll on Unai Emery’s side. 1-0
Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth
Case for the home side: The Eagles are finishing this season as one of the division’s form teams – mostly thanks to strong displays away from Selhurst Park. Against a Bournemouth side on the beach, a stress-free performance here could help them sign off a difficult campaign at home with all three points.
Case for the away side: It was touch and go, but a signature win for the Cherries against Spurs sends Eddie Howe’s side into this game with plenty of confidence. Their away form has been as poor as Palace’s home form – can they exploit any frustration creeping in at Selhurst by snatching the win?
Verdict: Some home comfort at last for Roy Hodgson. 3-1
Fulham vs Newcastle
Case for the home side: Scott Parker has stabilised Fulham since their relegation, with their notoriously leaky defence finally showing signs of holding up on home soil in recent games. Now Scott Parker has got the job on a permanent basis, signing off with a confident win would do his cause no harm as he starts the difficult rebuild process at Craven Cottage.
Case for the away side: The speculation about Rafa Benítez’s future continues to rumble on, but one thing’s for sure – the Magpies boss lives and breathes football and won’t want to end the season on a defeat, regardless of whether this turns out to be his final act in the Toon hotseat. Newcastle also have one of the best final day records of any side in this league – winning nine and drawing seven of their 23 final Premier League fixtures.
Verdict: A flat farewell to the Premier League for the Cottagers. 0-1
Leicester City vs Chelsea
Case for the home side: Brendan Rodgers already looks to be transforming Leicester into a side that could genuinely challenge the ‘Big Six’ monopoly next season with the Foxes looking far more threatening in attack compared to his pragmatic predecessor, Claude Puel. They ran Man City close and will fancy their chances against a Chelsea side weary from Europa League efforts.
Case for the away side: Eden Hazard showed nerves of steel to send Chelsea into the Europa League Final from the penalty spot. With many pundits anticipating this could be his final league game in a Blues shirt, could he inspire Maurizo Sarri’s side with one last show-stopping performance?
Verdict: The Foxes’ exciting young side to put a marker down for next season. 2-1
Liverpool vs Wolves
Case for the home side: Confidence will be through the roof at Anfield after one of the most famous nights in the club’s history as they ran riot against Barcelona in midweek despite missing several key players. With Man City in the box seat, the Reds almost have nothing to lose by attacking here from the get-go. Expect goals – even if Wolves end up adding to the party too.
Case for the away side: Could the Wolves paradox strike yet again and catch Liverpool cold? The harder the opponent Wolves play, the better they seem to perform, so a comfortable victory at Anfield for the home side is by no means a foregone conclusion.
Verdict: A bittersweet win for the Reds. 2-1
Man Utd vs Cardiff
Case for the home side: The success of a whole host of rivals won’t have gone unnoticed in midweek in the Man Utd dressing room. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will be more than aware that Utd fans deserve a performance from his underperforming stars and could be tempted to throw in some fresh talent to at least finish a below-par campaign on a high.
Case for the away side: Relegation can do funny things to a club, especially when all pressure and anxiety is lifted as a club accepts its fate. Cardiff have kept themselves competitive virtually all season, and with Neil Warnock’s future uncertain, could this spirited – if limited – Bluebirds squad give one of football’s great characters one final parting shot with a shock win at Old Trafford?
Verdict: Finally some joy for Ole against his old side. 2-0
Southampton vs Huddersfield
Case for the home side: It’s been touch and go at times, but the appointment of Ralph Hasenhüttl ultimately proved a masterstroke at St Mary’s, as the Austrian eventually came up with just enough of a winning formula to drag the Saints clear of any realistic relegation trouble. Unlike previous regimes, under Hasenhüttl the Saints look like a side that merits Premier League status – and they should have little trouble seeing off rock-bottom Huddersfield.
Case for the away side: A gutsy point at home to Man Utd showed there are still signs of life in Jan Siewert’s side, even if the Terriers’ run-in has appeared to be the longest farewell lap in history. History suggests they might not be back some time, so don’t be surprised if Huddersfield play with freedom and make the most of their final Premier League outing against a Saints side that will hardly be pushing at 100%.
Verdict: The Saints to sign off with all three points. 2-0
Spurs vs Everton
Case for the home side: A goal difference swing in Arsenal’s looks implausible, but don’t expect a man as professional as Mauricio Pochettino to allow his side to take their eyes off the ball in this one, even if the midweek celebrations transform into a subdued performance for the home side.
Case for the away side: It could be a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ for Spurs, with attention understandably focused on the Champions League Final. Can an improved Toffees side on the road put a slight dampener on the celebrations? It’s a free hit for Marco Silva’s side who will want to lock up a respectable top-eight finish.
Verdict: Tired legs but all three points for Tottenham. 1-0
Watford vs West Ham
Case for the home side: ‘The Battle For A Top Half Finish’ might not exactly bring the neutrals flooding in, but nevertheless, a Top 10 finish would be an exceptional return for Watford given they have never finished higher than 13th in the Premier League era. That return, combined with an FA Cup Final appearance, would also do wonders for Javi Gracia’s CV should any high-profile vacancies appear in the near future.
Case for the away side: It’s been a season of steady consolidation for West Ham, but one with plenty of positives for Manuel Pellegrini with the club never realistically in relegation danger. The Hammers’ downfall continues to be their tendency to trip up in this kind of game, so a win here ahead of planning for next season would be a statement that Pellegrini is aiming higher next season.
Verdict: Party time starts early for the Hornets ahead of the FA Cup. 2-1
Find all our Premier League Predictions here.
All image sources from PA Images
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