Chelsea are edging toward the Premier League title after their midweek win over Manchester City. The Blues are seven clear with eight to go, although Tottenham will still believe they can overhaul the champions elect.
The Blues face Bournemouth this weekend while Tottenham host Watford, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men still bouncing after their late 3-1 win at Swansea.
Elsewhere, time is running out for David Moyes, who hosts former club Manchester United on Sunday with Sunderland firmly rooted to the foot of the table. United have problems themselves, with the Premier League’s arch draw specialists four points outside the top four.
How will the latest round of fixtures go? Have your say in our match polls.
BOURNEMOUTH: A fantastic run of form from Bournemouth combined with a recent slip from Chelsea suggest that perhaps the home side could actually cause an upset against the league leaders. It’s admittedly a big task but with the Vitality Stadium crowd behind them the Cherries should be aiming for the win.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Chelsea — Will Kent
CHELSEA: Wednesday night’s victory over title rivals Manchester City made last weekend’s shock defeat to Crystal Palace look like an aberration. The Palace loss will ensure Antonio Conte and Chelsea take nothing for granted on the south coast vs. a Bournemouth side who have done well this season against the Premier League’s top teams at home. With the finishing line in sight, the Blues will go all out to win.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Chelsea — Mark Worrall
TOTTENHAM: Spurs’ confidence will be sky high after Wednesday’s nail-biting last minute victory at Swansea. The concern is fatigue. Tottenham’s squad is already stretched through injuries and Watford will have had an extra day’s recovery from their midweek win against West Brom. But Victor Wanyama looks set to return and Tottenham should have enough in the tank to see off a side that has all but secured their season’s objective of Premier League survival.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Watford — John Crace
WATFORD: Watford will go into arguably their hardest remaining fixture facing a selection crisis. Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl are sidelined due to injury, while Miguel Britos is suspended after his midweek dismissal against West Brom. With relegation worries banished, the Hornets will be looking to continue a recent run of improved form in a game which sees them start as clear underdogs.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Watford — Mike Parkin
SUNDERLAND: David Moyes’ side may now be resigned to playing for pride. But can that be enough to end their goal drought, defend more convincingly and surprise everyone by beating Manchester United? With the fight against relegation all but lost, Sunderland’s chances of an upset, even in another disappointing season for United, are slim.
Prediction: Sunderland 0-2 Manchester United — Colin Randall
MAN UNITED: Struggling Sunderland should offer Manchester United some respite from their woes at home, given that their visitors have one of the best away records in the league. David Moyes’ side have failed to score in their past six league games and have lost five and drawn one of those contests, so even a subpar United should prevail with something to spare.
Prediction: Sunderland 0-2 Manchester United — Musa Okwonga
CRYSTAL PALACE: For all the talk of Arsene Wenger leaving and Arsenal struggling, they still have the quality needed to win difficult games. Palace’s injury problems come at the worst time, too. It all leads to the expectation that Arsenal will get a win at Selhurst Park.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal — Rob Sutherland
ARSENAL: Arsenal are in recovery and a 3-0 win over West Ham in midweek gave them a much healthier outlook. With Palace’s good run of form ending at the hands of Southampton, it could be a fruitful trip to South London on Monday night.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal — Tom Adams
MAN CITY: With all the air seeping out of City’s title challenge, the job now is to maintain some form of focus for a run-in where the FA Cup takes obvious precedence. This task is suddenly made trickier by Hull’s excellent response to Marco Silva’s prompting. More trouble looms.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Hull — Simon Curtis
HULL CITY: The resurgence under Silva continues to amaze and spirits are high after back-to-back wins lifted Hull out of the relegation zone. Manchester City present a challenge, but while Hull might not have the talent to win, they do have the character to run their hosts close.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Hull — Phil Buckingham
STOKE: Having seen their team lose the past three in a row, the thought of facing a dangerous Liverpool side doesn’t exactly fill Stoke fans with hope. It’s a fixture that has seen the Potters concede four goals in each of their past two meetings, so in the context of their current poor run of form, avoiding another heavy defeat should perhaps be the extent of their ambitions.
Prediction: Stoke 0-3 Liverpool — James Whittaker
LIVERPOOL: Stoke are strong at home so Liverpool might forget they’re also in the bottom 10 and, as such, one of the teams they generally struggle to beat. The Reds also can’t defend properly and so, even if Divock Origi and Philippe Coutinho maintain their recent good form, it’s doubtful the rest can exploit it.
Prediction: Stoke 2-2 Liverpool — Dave Usher
EVERTON: The visit of a revitalised Leicester should be a good test for an Everton squad with an increasingly youthful look due to injuries and suspensions. Ashley Williams’ absence puts further pressure on an already stretched defence as the Blues seek home comforts after two frustrating away games.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Leicester — Luke O’Farrell
LEICESTER: Leicester look to make it seven wins in a row, at Goodison Park this weekend, a place they have already won at this season in the FA Cup. However, the victory streak has to end at some point and taking maximum points on Merseyside is a tall order. Leicester looked tired against Sunderland and have one eye on Atletico Madrid next week in the Champions League, potentially tempting Craig Shakespeare into changes.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Leicester — Ben Jacobs
MIDDLESBROUGH: It’s another huge game for Boro, who haven’t won a league match in 2017. Burnley’s poor away record hasn’t gone unnoticed and the goal-shy hosts will be desperate to build on the positives of their 4-2 defeat at Hull — they scored twice! — but it won’t be easy.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-1 Burnley — Catherine Wilson
BURNLEY: Victory over Stoke on Tuesday released the pressure that was building on Burnley and with Boro seemingly set for the drop, this is a chance to finally get that first away win of the season. Sean Dyche’s men know three points at the Riverside will effectively secure safety and they can get them on Saturday.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-1 Burnley — Jamie Smith
WEST HAM: Hopefully Andy Carroll can keep up his excellent goal-scoring record against relegation rivals Swansea. Confidence is low in Stratford, however, and fans will need to generate some vocal support to galvanise the hapless Hammers. This will be a tense encounter that could go either way.
Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Swansea — Peter Thorne
SWANSEA: The last 10 minutes notwithstanding, Swansea held on pretty well against a sharp Spurs side on Wednesday night. Assuming squad morale can recover in time, the Swans will head to London knowing they have to beat a West Ham side that have lost five in a row. Their chances will increase if Fernando Llorente can return.
Prediction: West Ham 0-1 Swansea — Max Hicks
WEST BROM: After two consecutive away games, West Brom return to The Hawthorns to face Southampton. Tony Pulis will be hoping he can field a fully fit attacking midfield trio of Nacer Chadli, James Morrison and Matt Phillips for the first time in five weeks — a combination that proved so successful earlier in the season.
Prediction: West Brom 3-1 Southampton — Matthew Evans
SOUTHAMPTON: Southampton have found it hard to break down West Brom in recent seasons, and despite their midweek win over Crystal Palace it is hard to see where the goals will come from, especially if Manolo Gabbiadini is again sidelined.
Prediction: West Brom 0-0 Southampton — Alex Crook
Middlesbrough, sinking quickly, really need a win over Burnley to kickstart their relegation fight. Hull, who escaped the bottom three in midweek, face a Manchester City side scrapping for fourth place.
There’s plenty to play for at both ends of the table — predict the outcome of each match in our polls and have your say in the comments.
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