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Predicting Arsenal v Manchester United and every Premier League game this weekend
After Monday night's celebrations, Manchester United were crowned Champions of England with four games remaining. Thankfully for us all, the Barclays Premier League season has not come to an abrupt halt just yet, – unlike Manchester City's title defence – so we still have a few fixtures to galvanize over as certain achievements – such as Champions League qualification and Premier League survival – become the main priority for the average fan, player and pundit.
With six games this Saturday and three on Sunday, its time to assess and predict this weekends fixtures. Let's get started.
After losing out on the Premiership crown to Manchester United, Manchester City could send out a message to the footballing world this weekend when they host West Ham at the Etihad Stadium. A victory over Big Sam's men will highlight the mental strength and character of City, who trail the league leaders by sixteen points.
However, Sam Allardyce's men are unbeaten in their last five games, and even held the newly crowned champions to a 2-2 draw earlier this month.
Manchester City should expect a tough game against West Ham this Saturday, with Andy Carroll looking particularly dangerous in recent weeks.
David Moyes' men find themselves sixth in the Premier League and a further four points adrift the Champions League spots. Champions League qualification was the dream for Everton Football Club at the start of the season but it appears the Merseyside team have fallen just short at the final hurdle.
However, David Moyes will convince his side that it is not over till its mathematically impossible – which makes me think his side will run out victors against Martin Jol's Fulham.
Currently eleventh, Fulham have had an impressive campaign to date – especially when you consider they lost Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey at the start of the season - and having reached the holy 40 point mark, they can sit back and relax knowing they have another season in the Premier League.
Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton have not tasted defeat since the start of March and are the in-form side coming into this fixture. In their unbeaten run, the Saints recorded victories over Chelsea and Liverpool, whilst holding Swansea and West Ham to draws.
Much has been made of the Ricky Lambert and Jay Rodriguez partnership, who have begun to show their telepathic link in recent weeks. The two Englishman are both shouts for an international call-up, whether we see that any time soon is up to former Baggies boss and current England manager Roy Hodgson.
After starting the season in explosive form, Steve Clarke's men – albeit expected – have somewhat slipped off the radar in recent weeks. However, a top half finish is still an incredible achievement for the Midlands club, who will only hope they can replicate similar form to the start of the campaign next season – and maintain it for longer.
This game has massive potential to be a proper classic. It's 15th hosting 13th in the Premier League with just a point separating the sides both desperate for survival.
With both sides winning last week the threat of relegation has minimized slightly. Chris Hughton and Tony Pullis find themselves six/seven points clear of the dreaded 18th spot, and both will believe one final win will be enough.
Unfortunately I think both men will have to wait an extra week for the much sought after 40 point land-mark.
A Gareth Bale inspired Tottenham stole the show late on last week against last year's Premier League champions Manchester City. Andre Villas-Boas' men scored 3 goals in six minutes and 22 seconds as Spurs came back from 0-1 down to win 3-1.
In what will be a late, final push for fourth spot, this is a must win game for Tottenham and I firmly believe they'll do it.
Roberto Martinez deserves praise for reaching the F.A Cup final with his side, but the man spends every season in the relegation zone for all 38 games. Unfortunately, I think this may be the final season for Wigan Athletic in the Premier League, and with Arsenal hosting Manchester United – it could be the result Spurs need to get back in to the top four.
Liverpool will be without their talisman Luis Suarez for the remainder of the season, something which could knock Brendan Rodgers' men mentally. The Uruguayan has 30 goals in all competitions for Liverpool but is unavailable for selection for the remainder of the season.
Daniel Sturridge could lead the line for Brendan Rodgers' men in the absence of Suarez. The former Chelsea and Manchester City man has 6 goals since his January move and has impressed in a Liverpool shirt.
Despite being six points clear of the drop – Newcastle fans should be worried. Alan Padrew's men are currently 16th in the Premier League, 3 points shy of the 40 point safety mark. A win over Liverpool this weekend could solidify their place in next season's Premier League – it all depends on which Newcastle team turns up.
A few months back, many would of seen this game as a final bought for relegation survival. Unfortunately for Reading and QPR fans, this tie will decide just one thing; who will finish bottom.
There was a glimmer of hope for QPR fans when new owners came in to the club and splashed the cash with new signings. Unfortunately the signings such as Julio Cesar (Inter Milan) Esteban Granero (Real Madrid) and Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea) have all fallen spectacularly short of the club's expectations, and you can expect the trio – among others – to leave the club when they fall into the Championship.
The sacking of Brian McDermott done little to save Reading's Premier League survival hopes. Nigel Adkins will be planning for a swift return back to England's top flight when his side face the inevitable fate of relegation.
Chelsea will be in need of a result this weekend, especially with the possibility of leap-frogging Arsenal back into third. Rafa Benitez's men are just one point behind Arsenal, with a game in hand over their London rivals.
With Arsenal hosting Manchester United on the same day, this game should serve as a massive incentive for Chelsea to get their Champions League qualification quest back on track.
Swansea however should not be written off too quickly. The Welsh club dumped Chelsea out of the League Cup earlier on in the season – and look to have secured a top half finish. It may all depend on which Chelsea show up on the day, but my money's on the London Club.
Arsenal v Manchester United – 1-2 – 16.00 Sunday K.O at The Emirates
Manchester United travel to the Emirates Stadium this season where they will be welcomed with a guard of honour by the Gunners. Rather controversial, when you bear in mind that this time last season Robin van Persie was leading out Arsenal as their captain.
However, after an incredible campaign in the red of Manchester and winning his first Premier League title, Robin van Persie must return to the team, the manager and the fans that made him.
The Arsenal fans should mirror the respect van Persie showed them earlier on in the season when he scored just 3 minutes into the game. Arsene Wenger has confirmed his side will show van Persie the respect he deserves, which will be a fitting way to end the season for Manchester United's number 20.
Fergie now has his eyes set on the record Premier League points mark which stands at 95. If United win their remaining four games they'll finish on 96 – something they're more than capable of doing.
They're my predictions for this weekend's games. As always, feel free to leave a comment on how you think this weekends Premier League games will finish.
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