Predictions

Changing fortunes?

The final Saturday of this season sees Manchester City and Arsenal hoping that their luck has changed.

 

City have lost their last two games against Leicester whilst Arsenal haven’t won at Stoke since 2010.

 

Victory is vital if either side are to be in next season’s Champions League. Could their fortunes be about to change here?

 

There are also three fixtures during the blackout period, with only Swansea needing a result.

 

Manchester City vs Leicester City (12:30pm)

 

Both sides need three points for different reasons.

 

Whereas Man City are fighting for a top four result, Leicester are looking to equal the worst ever finish by the defending Premier League champions.

 

This match could be interesting because the Foxes want to finish this season on a high, ready for another title tilt next season.

 

City’s home record is strong with only one defeat, although they have drawn seven out of 18 games at the Etihad.

 

Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne have been in strong form lately so will be tough opposition for whoever is in Leicester’s defence.

 

If those two can continue their form and attack with pace, expect to see plenty of goals.

 

There’s however two things that might cost Guardiola’s side here.

 

They’re back in action on Tuesday night against West Brom, which may affect the team selection. Any injuries here could prove costly if they slip up in their final two fixtures.

 

The last six meetings at the Citizens have seen Leicester walk away with 15 out of 18 points. That stat means that at least a draw is needed to get something for this coming week.

 

With so much at stake, a draw here is probably a positive for both sides. City however seem to like playing on Saturday lunchtimes so they will probably edge it.

 

Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Leicester City

Result: Manchester City 2-1 Leicester City

 

Bournemouth vs Burnley (3pm)

 

This might look like a dead rubber but a potential top half finish awaits the winner.

 

There is no top flight history between these teams so expect a thriller, if any of the Cherries’ recent games are to go by.

 

Looking at their overall record for this fixture, Burnley have won the last seven clashes.

 

Their away form this season however has been woeful apart from a win in their last away game.

 

Defence might be key because Bournemouth have leaked nearly 20 goals in their last ten home matches. Burnley themselves have struggled to keep clean sheets on the road all season.

 

The key battle will be between the in form Joshua King and Sam Vokes. If both players score, anything could happen come full time.

 

Hopefully both sides will take this seriously, despite nothing riding on it. If they don’t then a goalless draw is probably the only outcome.

 

Prediction: Bournemouth 0-0 Burnley

Result: Bournemouth 2-1 Burnley

 

Middlesbrough vs Southampton

 

Middlesbrough might be down but will want to give home fans, reason for optimism ahead of next season.

 

Southampton have had plenty of off pitch dramas to deal with this season. Now that things are quietening down, their form has started to improve.

 

Goals have been few and far for both clubs all campaign. Something has to give here after a tight win for the Saints in the reverse fixture, back in October.

 

I can’t see any decent entertainment here because both sides cancel each other out goal wise.

 

Southampton have avoided defeat on four of their last five trips to the Riverside. They should just about maintain that record.

 

Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-0 Southampton

Result: Middlesbrough 1-2 Southampton

 

Sunderland vs Swansea

 

Defeat for Swansea here could result in relegation, come Sunday mid afternoon.

 

Paul Clement will be confident of a win, given that his Swans have lost just once to Sunderland in the Premier League.

 

The Black Cats’ home form is pathetic without a goal in six of their last seven matches at the Stadium of Light.

 

Swansea however can’t stop conceding on the road this season. They need to do something here if want to try and retain their top flight status.

 

David Moyes’ men however are playing without pressure after already being sent down. This could well prove to be Swansea’s undoing like it was to Hull last weekend.

 

I think that we might see some goals here but with a tight win for Swansea, who will bring that extra desire.

 

Prediction: Sunderland 1-2 Swansea

Result: Sunderland 0-2 Swansea

 

Stoke vs Arsenal

 

Arsenal must overcome a double nightmare, if they are to keep up their recent form.

 

Stoke might be on a barren run but can cause trouble here given their strong record in this fixture.

 

Arsene Wenger has not seen off any of Mark Hughes sides away from the Emirates in their last eight meetings.

 

Recent meetings at the Bet 365 Stadium between these sides have been tight with the odd 1-1 here and there.

 

With a midweek fixture, expect Arsenal to try and get a win ahead of two tricky fixtures

 

Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Arsenal

Result: Stoke 1-4 Arsenal

 

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