Manchester City wrapped up the title after Manchester United’s loss during the week, whilst the top four and relegation battles look to have been run and won, the Europa League spot will be the main point of focus over the final two weeks of the Premier League season. Can West Ham hang on, or will the defending champions scrape their way into European football next season? We’ve got you covered with tips for the biggest fixtures this weekend!
Manchester United vs Liverpool
Friday 5:15am AEST, Old Trafford
Two sides that already hate each other enough, have had two weeks of going back and forth at each other in the leadup to this clash. Although it was done to keep their first choice side available for this fixture, Liverpool weren’t happy with United’s decision to rotate its side against Leicester. So it’s safe to say Liverpool will be out to prove a point on Friday morning. The Reds have had the wood over their rivals in recent seasons, they haven’t lost to Manchester United in the Premier League since 2018.
Their defence has been dominant against the Red Devils in this period, conceding just two goals in the past five Premier League matches against Manchester United. United have struggled this season in the low scoring fixtures that turn into defensive slogs, and Liverpool will be looking to turn this game into a grind. Manchester United have made it clear that their main priority is the Europa League Final, with their spot in second essentially locked in.
For Liverpool, they’re in a scrap just to qualify for the Europa League, in what has been a disastrous campaign as defending champions. They’ll be desperate to get anything they can out of this season, so expect a desperate Liverpool outfit in this match. The way the recent matches between the two sides have played out, expect another low scoring encounter, which should suit Liverpool. The Reds will grind out a win in this clash.
Newcastle vs Manchester City
Saturday 5:00am AEST, St James' Park
Manchester City claimed the title after Manchester United’s loss to Leicester during the week, however it came after an incredibly disappointing loss against Chelsea. The newly crowned champions head to St James’ Park to take on a Newcastle side that have been in great form the last month, winning three of their past five to comfortably avoid relegation. Pep Guardiola was frustrated after the defeat to Chelsea and made it clear he expected a strong response.
City will be looking forward to taking on the Magpies given the absolute dominance they have had over them over the past fifteen years. Since 2006, Manchester City have a record of 23-2-1 against Newcastle in Premier League matches. City have been the most in-form club side in the world since the beginning of 2020, possessing the number one ranked attack and number one ranked defence in the Premier League. They have taken all that’s been in front of them in the Premier League and in Europe, and they’ll be determined to finish this campaign strongly.
Man City may look to rotate their side slightly, but even with a rotated side, they’ve got too much strength across the pitch for Newcastle to cover. Newcastle have been much improved over the past few weeks, but the Champions will be far too strong.
Brighton vs West Ham
Sunday 5:00am AEST, American Express Stadium
Three losses in their last four games has effectively ended their Champions League hopes. West Ham are clinging on to fifth place, sitting just one point ahead of Liverpool, who have a game in hand on West Ham. In the race for a Europa League berth, this game is a must win for West Ham, who have struggled over the last few weeks. West Ham have a great chance to get a much needed win when they travel to the American Express Stadium, to take on Brighton.
Brighton have just one win from its last six Premier League games. Despite the recent form slump, West Ham have been one of the best attacking sides in the Premier League since the beginning of February. If the Hammers can find a way to regain their dynamic ball movement through the midfield, if the likes of Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard will get back to the goal scoring form that saw them inside the top four.
Despite the last four meetings between the two sides resulting in a draw, there have been plenty of goals between these two sides including a 3-3 draw and two 2-2 draws. The attacking nature of recent games between the two sides will suit the Hammers, who will get back to winning ways in a crucial clash.
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