Ahead of the penultimate weekend in the Premier League season, Ray Parlour has outlined his predictions for some of the key top flight clashes
Newcastle vs. Liverpool
Liverpool were much better than the scoreline suggests against Barcelona and Jurgen Klopp was rightly proud of the team’s performance. On another night they could have scored two or three and I think they will find the net more than once at St James’ Park.
Newcastle can play with the freedom of a side now safe from relegation but Liverpool are still fighting for that title and I can see them picking up another three points here.
Manchester City vs. Leicester
A rare full week off for Manchester City and I think they’ll be chomping at the bit to get out there when this game comes around on Monday night.
Leicester have been excellent under Brendan Rodgers and there’s lots to be optimistic about for them ahead of next season. But this could be a difficult night for them. If City were away in this fixture I’d give Leicester a chance of a result but with it being at the Ethiad and Pep’s men being on such a roll, I’ll tip them to come out on top in an entertaining game.
Bournemouth vs. Tottenham
Bournemouth are a funny side, one week they look very dangerous and like they could score a bucket full like they did at Brighton, the next week they disappoint. It must be frustrating for Eddie Howe but the most important thing for them is that they’re safe in the Premier League for another season.
Spurs were disappointing against Ajax and this is another massive game for them in their hunt for a top four place. But with Sissoko and Son back in the starting lineup I fancy them to edge this one.
Arsenal vs. Brighton
For all their struggles of recent weeks, you’ve got to fancy Arsenal to pick up three points in this fixture. Their home form, with the exception of that defeat against Crystal Palace the other week, has been very good and though we know Brighton will set up with everyone behind the ball and try to frustrate the Gunners, Arsenal should have enough.
Unai Emery knows if they don’t win this one, their top four hopes are effectively over, so I’ll back them to get the victory.
Chelsea vs. Watford
This is another one like the Arsenal vs Brighton game which on paper looks a formality for the home side. But recent results have shown us there are no easy games and Watford will enjoy coming to Chelsea.
The Hornets have been excellent this season and playing in the FA Cup Final is a brilliant way for them to round off the campaign. Chelsea have more to play for in the league of course and that might be the difference in this one.
Huddersfield vs. Manchester United
If United don’t win at Huddersfield then questions really will start to be asked about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and whether he was the wrong appointment.
The wheels have really come off since that winning run when he first took over, but I think you have got to give him the summer and a transfer window before you can start judging his performance.
Huddersfield are down and not showing anywhere near enough quality to get a result against anyone at the moment. I think United should be comfortable enough and get the win they need to have an outside chance of the Top 4.
Cardiff City vs. Crystal Palace
This is a huge game for Cardiff. Effectively their last chance saloon. If they don’t win they know they are down, regardless of what Brighton do against Arsenal on the Sunday.
It’s not the number one fixture Neil Warnock would have chosen, given Palace’s away record this season, but Cardiff’s need is much greater than their opponents and that should level the playing field.
Unfortunately for Cardiff I think that defeat at Fulham last time out will ultimately cost them as I can only see them getting a point from this one.