HomeArsenalPremier League 2019-20: Fixtures and Predictions | Gameweek 32

Premier League 2019-20: Fixtures and Predictions | Gameweek 32

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Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea on Thursday evening ended Liverpool’s three-decade-long wait for a league title.

While the celebrations on Merseyside will continue for weeks, there are still seven games left in the season for each team and many more stories are still to unfold.

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The Champions League spots still need to be decided with teams such as Leicester, Chelsea, Manchester United and Wolves in the reckoning at the moment.

The delicious prospect of the fifth-placed team getting a place in next season’s Champions League if Manchester City’s ban gets upheld in the Court of Arbitration for Sports will add further drama to the proceedings.

Norwich City look doomed for relegation but only a point separates Watford in 16th from Bournemouth and Aston Villa, who are currently occupying the drop zone. Liverpool will celebrate but the next round of games will go a long way on deciding the European and the Premier League fate of a number of teams.

Aston Villa vs Wolves (Prediction 0-2):

Aston Villa have earned two points in three games since the restart but are still very much in the Premier League drop zone – in 19th place with 27 points.

While the tightness of the relegation fight means a win could leapfrog a number of teams and into safety, for the time being, the Villans will be desperate to avoid a defeat.

With trips to Liverpool and Everton before the end of the season and home games against Manchester United and Arsenal ahead of them, Dean Smith’s team have a tough run-in until the end of the campaign.

Wolves’ 1-0 win over Bournemouth earlier this week brought them level on points with Manchester United in fifth place.

Nuno Espirito’s side are very much in the reckoning for Champions League qualification and are gunning for Europe at the moment.

A win will put pressure on Manchester United, who will be in FA Cup action at Norwich City this weekend and will very much put them in line to be in next season’s European Cup.

Villa will hope to get something from a game at home against Wolves but the away side will very much be the favourites take all three points.

Watford vs Southampton (Prediction 1-1):

Watford lost 1-0 at Burnley on Thursday evening and it was a slip for a team who have looked like beating the drop this season since the arrival of new manager Nigel Pearson.

They are still 16th in the Premier League table but only a point separate them from teams in the relegation zone.

Pearson will hope to see his side get back to somewhere close to their best when they host Southampton on Sunday at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets are hopeful that their home form will be enough to get them the points needed to secure their Premier League status for one more season.

Southampton were primed to take points off a wounded Arsenal on Thursday evening but a 2-0 defeat at home to the Gunners did come as a shock for a team who have recovered after a woeful start to the season.

They are still ten points ahead of the drop zone and are 14th in the Premier League table.

Only a catastrophic series of circumstances will bring them back in the relegation scrap but Ralph Hasenhuttl will hope that his side do not get complacent at this stage of the season.

Watford’s home form and Southampton’s relative safety in the league table suggests that this game could see both teams share a point each. However, a win for the home side would be a massive boost in their hopes to stay away from relegation.

Crystal Palace vs Burnley (Prediction 2-0):

Crystal Palace were on a four-game winning streak before they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Palace are tenth in the Premier League table and are hoping to make a late charge for a European place in the last seven games of the season.

But avoiding relegation was the goal at the start of the season and their Premier League status for one more season is more or less sewn up.

Roy Hodgson will be trying to make sure that the focus of his side do not shift with seven games left in the campaign.

Their home form has been good and the Eagles will hope to bounce back from a bad defeat with a win at Selhurst Park when they host Burnley on Monday night.

Burnley are level on points with Palace in the Premier League table and are also gunning for a top-half finish.

Talk of Sean Dyche leaving the club at the end of the season was put aside as they defeat Watford at home on Thursday.

But away form has always been Burnley’s Achilles Heels, and if the Palace players remain focused, they are likely to win all three points at home on Monday night.

Brighton vs Manchester United (0-2):

Brighton won their first game of the calendar year when they beat Arsenal at home last weekend and earned another point at Leicester on Tuesday.

Four points from their last two games have given them a massive boost in the race to stay in the Premier League next season. They have managed to build a six-point lead over teams in the relegation zone since the restart.

But the Seagulls are still far from guaranteeing safety as home against Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City in the next few weeks will test their resolve. Graham Potter will hope to minimize the damage in the next few games and take whatever comes from these fixtures to ensure safety.

Manchester United are going into the game on the back of a 13-game unbeaten streak in all competitions where they have scored 33 goals and conceded just three times.

Their form has brought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back from the brink and they are now one of the favourites to reach next season’s Champions League and the manager has admitted that they are even gunning for third place in the Premier League table.

The Red Devils are very much the favourites to beat Brighton and Solskjaer will hope to avoid any slip-ups in the league.

Arsenal vs Norwich City (Prediction 2-0):

Back-to-back defeats at Manchester City and Brighton seemed to have sucked the life out of Arsenal once the Premier League season resumed.

But a 2-0 away win over Southampton came as much-needed relief to Mike Arteta and his team on Thursday evening.

Arsenal are still six points off fifth-place Manchester United but it seems increasingly likely that they won’t be in next season’s Champions League.

Arsenal are desperate to get back to the European high table and will hope to keep the sides above them honest with another win at home against Norwich on Wednesday.

Norwich are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table and while they still have a mathematical chance of staying up, no one is placing bets on them doing so at the moment. They have just two wins in their last ten league games and are seven points off safety at the moment.

Arteta will hope that there are no more slip-ups at home and Arsenal are likely to take all three points and push Norwich further towards the Championship.

Bournemouth vs Newcastle United (Prediction 1-1):

Bournemouth have lost five of their last six games in the league and are looking at at the difficult task of saving their Premier League status for one more season.

They are still just a point of safety, but the Cherries’ form have been on the downturn for a while.

They will be facing a Newcastle side who have looked good since the restart and are unlikely to get drawn into the relegation scrap after earning four points from their last two games.

Eddie Howe remains hopeful that his side can remain in the Premier League next season but is aware that they have to start picking up points soon starting with the home fixture against Newcastle on Thursday.

With games against Manchester United, Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City left, Bournemouth are in desperate need of a win at home on Thursday to keep their hopes of staying in the Premier League alive.

But given Newcastle’s form, it seems unlikely that they will lose at Dean Court next week.

Everton vs Leicester City (Prediction 1-0):

After four Premier League games without a win, Everton came back to winning ways with an away victory over Norwich City on Wednesday.

The Toffees are not in any danger of getting dragged into the relegation scrap but they are also some way away from fighting for the European spots in the last seven games of the season.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti will be guarding against his players thinking about next season with nothing to play in the current campaign.

Leicester are third in the Premier League table but their form even before the pandemic-induced break was not encouraging and they have looked listless since the restart.

With just four wins in their last 15 Premier League games, the Foxes are now looking over their shoulders in the race to finish in the Champions League spots.

They are just a point ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea and Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that third place is very much in his team’s sights.

The away side will hope to rekindle their campaign on Merseyside on Wednesday but given their form, Everton start as favourites to win the game at home.

West Ham vs Chelsea (Prediction 0-2):

West Ham are not in the relegation zone on the basis of a superior goal difference to Bournemouth and Aston Villa, who are both level on points with the Hammers.

They have lost their last three Premier League games and have just two wins in their last ten. David Moyes has remained confident that his side have enough quality to beat the drop but results on the pitch have not been going their way.

They will be up against a resurgent Chelsea side at London Stadium on Wednesday night with the Blues coming into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over Manchester City at home.

Frank Lampard’s side have a five-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United and are currently the favourites to clinch a Champions League spot for next season.

Lampard will be hoping to avoid a slip-up in the local London derby on Wednesday night and his side are the favourites to win all three points and further complicate matters for West Ham.

Sheffield United vs Tottenham Hotspur (0-1):

Sheffield United’s hopes of clinching a European spot have been quickly evaporating since the restart.

They only managed a point against Aston Villa in their first game back and have suffered back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Newcastle United and Manchester United respectively.

Chris Wilder has been unable to field his best eleven due to injuries and suspensions and has been scratching for answers for his side’s downturn in form.

Tottenham’s 2-0 Premier League win over West Ham rekindled their hopes of sneaking into the Champions League spots but they are still four-points off fifth-placed Manchester United and nine off Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho is acutely aware that any more slip-ups could end his side’s hopes of being in the Champions League next season.

But the north London side are going into the game as favourites to beat a Sheffield United side, who have been struggling to emulate their pre-pandemic league form.

Manchester City vs Liverpool (2-2):

With the Premier League title sewn up, it is difficult to gauge how the Liverpool players will react to playing against last season’s Champions at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s side have been woefully off the pace in the title race and have allowed Liverpool to win the league with seven games left in the season.

A defeat at Chelsea on Thursday night laid bare the problems in his squad.

But Guardiola will be looking for a reaction from the players and his side will be hoping to lay down the early marker and let Liverpool know that next season won’t be this easy for them if they want to a second league title in a row.

It would be understandable if the Liverpool players are a little distracted after winning the club’s first league title in three decades.

But Jurgen Klopp will look to make sure that his side is somewhere close to the best when facing their closest challengers in the league.

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