After an eventful end to the week with Claudio Ranieri’s shock departure, teams prepare to go again with the title and safety still to play for.
Chelsea vs Swansea
Chelsea come into this tie with a comfortable lead despite slipping up at Burnley nearly a fortnight ago, only leaving with a point. Swansea will however be tougher opposition after their upturn in form across the last month.
The Blues rested numerous players in the FA Cup so expect a much better performance. Swansea however have been no pushovers at the bigger teams’ grounds after a win over Liverpool then narrow defeat away at Manchester City.
I expect this game to be tight with a narrow defeat for Paul Clément’s side.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Swansea
Result: Chelsea 3-1 Swansea
Crystal Palace vs Middlesbrough
This is a huge six pointer at the bottom of the Premier League. No club managed by Sam Allardyce has been relegated but defeat here and Palace will surely buck that record. They have had a fortnight to get themselves sorted but it won’t be enough here.
Middlesbrough don’t score many goals but expect them to turn the quality on at Selhurst Park, where the Eagles have a dreadful home record. If Stuani comes on off the bench then he will cause some problems for an open defence and nick the win for Boro.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Middlesbrough
Result: Crystal Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough
Everton vs Sunderland
Everton will be a sticky match for a Sunderland side, who are inconsistent when it comes to form.
With Romelu Lukaku back from injury, he will be a problem for the Black Cats and tough to keep out. With the Toffees on a fine league run since the start of 2017, they should ease to a win here.
Sunderland have been in New York trying to improve their team bond and will see the new bond tested instantly upon their return. They should nab a goal through Jermaine Defoe but will be lucky to get at least a draw.
Prediction: Everton 3-1 Sunderland
Result: Everton 2-0 Sunderland
Hull vs Burnley
This match could well have a draw written all over it but both teams need wins for very different reasons.
Hull come into this tie full of confidence after an impressive run of results. They will need to not head onto the pitch overconfident against a Burnley side, who can’t win on the road.
Burnley however need to get back to winning ways after two poor home performances in which they drew with Chelsea before losing to non league Lincoln City. Given the depth of quality in their squad, they should be able to muster up something from this match.
The match itself should be competitive but expect the Clarets to sneak their first away win of the season.
Prediction: Hull 0-1 Burnley
Result: Hull 1-1 Burnley
West Bromwich Albion vs Bournemouth
West Brom are flying and will want a win here in the race for seventh and possible Europa League football. Bournemouth however are still looking for their first post Nathan Ake era win.
Tony Pulis will be delighted with how his Baggies have played so far this season and can see them securing another victory here. They have been strong all over the pitch and will be too much for a weak Bournemouth defence.
The Cherries however are a great bunch of players but need to step up and stop this rot that has seen them slide towards relegation. With Jack Wilshire a doubt, they will need to dig deep but it won’t be enough here.
Prediction: West Brom 2-0 Bournemouth
Result: West Brom 2-1 Bournemouth
Watford vs West Ham
Both clubs are safely in midtable and played out a six goal thriller at the London Stadium in September.
Watford will need to fire on all cylinders to beat the Hammers, who have been impressive away from home since New Year. At Vicarage Road, the Hornets haven’t been in vintage form this form so expect a close match here.
Slaven Bilic will however be looking for his East Londoners to continue their away form but face a stern test here because Watford are well set up to attack. A point apiece wouldn’t be problem here for either club and there is nothing to really split these clubs.
Prediction: Watford 1-1 West Ham
Result: Watford 1-1 West Ham