Friday, May 15, 2015

EPL 2014/15 - Week 37

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of irrelevant matches during the last 2 weeks of EPL football given that Chelsea have bagged the title and QPR and Burnley are the known clubs for relegation. There is only one last spot left for the drop and that is where the rest of the excitement lies as there are 5 teams that are potentially liable to be caught out.

Southampton v/s Villa. Soton are huffing and puffing at the moment. They have enjoyed a successful season and have a shout at the Europa League. Villa need a point to be totally safe and I think they will not have any problem getting it. A draw cannot be ruled out with 2 teams going in seemingly opposite directions. Draw.

Burnley v/s Stoke. The hosts are toast and will go down after a dreadful spell over the past few weeks. They have performed admirably in many matches over the season  but their lack of goals, particularly over the above-mentioned spell, have broken them. Stoke are solid but don't have much to play for. This could go any result but for selection sake, I will go for an away win because Mark Hughes' team are superior. Away win.

QPR v/s Newcastle. Rangers are down but Newcastle still have lots to play for in their remaining 2 matches. No-one thought they would be real candidates for the drop a few months ago when Pardew was at the helm. Even when caretaker manager Carver took over, they looked like a mid-table team until the day they lost striker Papiss Cisse for a long period, in rather silly fashion. They will have to go for full points here because their last match against West Ham looks tricky. I don't think they will get the win but a share of the spoils could be likely. Draw.

Sunderland v/s Leicester. This is the 6-pointer of the week-end without a doubt. The winner of this match will very likely be out of the woods. The home team surprised and won at Everton last week-end and will need to display a similar disposition to overcome a less formidable but resurgent Leicester, winners of 6 of their last 7 matches. The Foxes are on an amazing run and their form has been equally good on the road as at home. I think this could be a high-scoring affair and I wouldn't be surprised if it ended in a draw, that however would not be the best outcome for both teams. Draw.

Tottenham v/s Hull. Much of this match will depend on how Spurs tackle this match, as they don't have much to play for except for the Europa League. Naysayers are stating that they are not interested getting in that league again, as in the past few years. That remains to be seen, but Hull for sure, will need 3 big points to try to avoid the drop. They need a result at White Hart Lane to set up their last home match against Man Utd. I think they will squeeze at least a point out of this and will luck might get the win. Draw.

West Ham v/s Everton. This is a meaningless match and with Everton having seemingly applied the brakes lately, I think the hosts will probably edge this. Home win.

Liverpool v/s Crystal Palace. This will be captain Gerrard's last match at Anfield. The Kops' hopes for UCL football next year are hinging on a thread and need a win at the very least to keep the hopes alive. Palace have nothing to play for, which is why I tip to get a royal send-off from Anfield at the end of the 90 minutes. Home win.

Swansea v/s Man City. Both teams have nothing to play for, but with City in such rampant, albeit too late form, I will go with the away team just edging this. Away win.

Man Utd v/s Arsenal. This is more a match for bragging rights as Arsenal are secure for UCL football while Man Utd need a point to officially get theirs. The hosts will be missing Rooney. The Gunners got an FA Cup win earlier at Old Trafford, a result that rather flattered them as the Red Devils looked value for at least a draw. Arsenal left their foot off the pedal against Swansea in their last match and I wonder whether the upcoming FA Cup final is weighing on their minds. A draw looks very likely here. Draw.

WBA v/s Chelsea. Another meaningless match and if the odds for a home win are near double digits, I'd say go for it. Home win.

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