With only two games of the season left to play, there are several races that could end this week.
With ten teams in action, we’ve previewed all five of Saturday’s Premier League matches.
Bournemouth vs Tottenham
The Champions League semi-final looming next week complicates matters a little for Tottenham. Four points clear of fifth-place, they can afford to ease off a little in the last Premier League games. Draws are not a disaster.
Given the squad depth problems that Spurs have, it would be no surprise at all to see a heavily rotated team in this match. Bournemouth might only have midtable league position to play for, but every place up the table is worth a significant amount financially.
Currently 14th, the Cherries could slip as far as 16th or rise as far as 11th before season-end. That’s several million pounds difference and, off the pitch as well as on it, every little counts. That might be enough to inspire Eddie Howe’s team to a surprise victory, even if they’ve lost three of their last five league games.
Newcastle vs Liverpool
Liverpool may not have the squad depth to fully rotate, but the strength of their team in this match will be indicative of what Jurgen Klopp thinks his team’s chances are in the Premier League and Champions League.
Newcastle have been in good form on the surface, but their recent results have been against softer opposition. Their two recent wins since mid-April have come against Leicester and Southampton.
Liverpool are back on their horse after a wobble, having won their last ten games in all competitions. They also won the reverse fixture this season 4-0. The signs are good for them to continue their pursuit of the title.
Cardiff vs Crystal Palace
The maths is fairly simple. If Cardiff lose, they’re down. If they draw, they need two Brighton defeats and another victory themselves next week.
Those two Brighton defeats are a distinct possibility, as they play Arsenal and Manchester City to round out the season, but Neil Warnock is not a man to leave his fate in others’ hands.
Unfortunately, Cardiff have lost four of their last five games. Their top scorer in the league is midfielder Victor Camarasa, who has a measly five goals, the last of which was on March 31.
In fact, out of Cardiff’s four top scorers (Camarasa on five and three players on four), three of them have at least as many yellow cards as they do goals.
That’s not a good sign, particularly against a team who put three past Arsenal and even managed to get past Manchester City’s tough defence recently.
West Ham vs Southampton
If form is anything to go by, then this could be an odd match. Both sides have only won one of their past five in the league.
Four points off tenth, West Ham have little to play for and, safe and sound in the Premier League for another season, Southampton will be preparing their system for next season.
Some of West Ham’s more fringe players might be due a run-out, with Samir Nasri having had a lack of game-time since joining in January.
The past three seasons have all seen each team win one and lose one of their league meetings. West Ham won the first this season, does that mean Southampton are due to get the points this time around?
Wolves vs Fulham
A month ago, you’d have barely needed to ask which of these teams stood the best chance of winning.
It was almost exactly this time in March that Fulham were officially relegated, a 4-1 defeat to Watford consigning them to Championship football next season. But since then, they’ve won every game, beating Everton, Bournemouth, and Cardiff.
Wolves are back in form after a shaky spell in mid-April, though. Their last two games saw them beat Arsenal and Watford in the league and they look like they’ve solidified seventh-place.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s team will want to give their fans a good send-off for the season, but the Cottagers won’t be an easy opponent.
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