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Following the international break, the Barclays Premier League returns this weekend and Red Card’s Andy Penders gives his predictions
With only eight games remaining in the Premier League and a point separating most of the top teams, the chase for a place in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League is heating up.
We take a look at who is expected to further cement its place in Europe and who will be thwarted.
Arsenal vs Liverpool (4 APR, 7.45PM)
Liverpool aims to return to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League and get its push for a top-four finish back on track, but it’s going to be tough against an Arsenal side that is bang in form at the moment.
Earlier this season, the teams played out a 2-2 draw at Anfield, while in last season’s corresponding fixture, Arsenal claimed a 2-0 win. It seems that the Gunners have the upper hand here, so we will side with the team from North London.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
Manchester United vs Aston Villa (4 APR, 10PM)
Four wins on the spin for Manchester United doesn’t tell the whole story as to what’s happening with Louis van Gaal’s side. It seems as though, through a mixture of good luck, injuries and positional changes, the Red Devils are hitting their best form of the season.
The Villans may have won two of their last three matches but they travel to Old Trafford knowing that last season the Red Devils put four past them, despite them having the lead. Expect something very similar this Saturday.
Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Aston Villa
Everton vs Southampton (4 APR, 10PM)
Has Everton turned the corner? Before the last two Premier League games, the Goodison Park outfit had recorded one win in 12 Premier League games. However, wins against Newcastle and QPR have seen Roberto Martinez’s side steady the ship.
Southampton is always dangerous and controls the vast majority of the games it plays, so it makes for a close affair.
Last season, Everton won the match 2-1 thanks to a Romelu Lukaku winner and I expect the same to happen this time around.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Southampton
Chelsea vs Stoke (5 APR, 12.30AM)
You have to love this sort of game. Chelsea had 17 shots at goal in this fixture last season, and was fouled 18 times. Stoke had three efforts to try to trouble goalkeeper Petr Cech.
You know this Sunday’s match at Stamford Bridge will take exactly the same pattern.
In Eden Hazard, I believe Chelsea has the player of the season so far and I think the Belgian will be influential once again and get on the score sheet.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Stoke
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City (7 APR, 3AM)
This Tuesday morning match will be one of the top in this round of fixtures. Alan Pardew has his Crystal Palace side playing with pace and width thanks to Saha and Bolassie, and they should make life very difficult for Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
Manchester City’s last away trip ended in defeat against Burnley so Palace will believe that the points are for the taking. However, City is the league’s top goal scoring side, has had the most passes in the league this season, and has had the most shots at goal as well, so I expect plenty of goals in this match.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-4 Manchester City
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