Manchester United 3-0 Sheff United
Norwich 0-2 Everton
Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa
Wolves 2-0 Bournemouth
Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace
Burnley 1-1 Watford
Southampton 2-1 Arsenal
Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City
Manchester United and Wolves will be looking for wins to close the gap on Leicester and Chelsea, and they should get those wins against a Sheffield United side missing several defensive players, and a Bournemouth side who looks awful against Palace on Saturday. Liverpool should comfortably win against Palace, which will put them within 2 points of their first league title in 30 years. Liverpool can also win the league if Manchester City fail to win at Chelsea.
At the bottton, Norwich look totally gone and are likely to struggle at home to Everton, while Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Watford seem to be the most viable candidates for the remaining 2 spots, with Brighton picking up 4 points since the season resumed, and with Southampton’s win at the weekend. The Saints may be able to secure their safety on Thursday, with win against free-falling Arsenal, and I am predicting that they will get that win. The Gunners shouldn’t be road favourites against anyone at the moment and they may be a team to auto-fade until the end of the season.
Game of the Week: Chelsea vs Manchester City
Manchester City warmed up for Thursday’s showpiece fixture at Stamford Bridge with back-to-back home wins over Arsenal and Burnley, scoring 8 goals and conceding none. Chelsea managed to narrowly edge past Villa 2-1, after Villa went in with a half-time lead. The vital win took Chelsea one step closer to next season’s Champions League.
Despite the lack of goals since the EPL resumed – with both teams only registering in 4 out of the 14 games so far – goals seem to be a certainty in this one. Having averaged 2.2 EPL goals per 90 game since the turn of the year, City are certain to register on scoresheet in this one, while Chelsea, who have scored at least once in nine of their last 11, should have more than enough to respond at the other end.
My combined XI is predictably dominated by City personnel, however, it’s clear that both teams need strengthen at the back in the summer. Chelsea have already invested over £100m on attacking players for next season, but more money may need to be invested in defence, with Anthony Rudiger looking like the team’s only defender good enough to be playing regularly for a top 4 calibre team.
The Blues inability to keep clean sheets has been a major problem all season. The Blues have only secured just 2 clean sheets in their last 11 attempts, and while their aforementioned quality further up the pitch can dig them out of trouble, i think they will fail to outscore the Citizens on Thursday.