Last weekend was a catastrophic one for some of BPL’s big boys. Chelsea were unable to make an impression away at Swansea and lost via a lone goal just as three goals in six minutes damaged United’s chances of finishing in the top 4. In London it was a cacophony of goals when Arsenal drew 3-3 at West Ham. The race for the Spanish Primera Liga was flung wide open when Barcelona lost quite unbelievable at Sociedad, a result which was a prequel to their UCL loss and ouster at Atletico. Real Madrid demolished Eibar 4-0 to force their way back into Liga contention. A look then at what they will be up against.
Getting Back Up
Manchester United suffered a crushing defeat at Tottenham which saw their hopes of a top four finish dashed. But the race is still on and what they must do is get themselves back up.
Aston Villa could confirm their relegation status on Saturday, a deserved fate considering that manager Eric Black’s target is just to ‘win a game’ for Villa. Visiting a United side in a hurry to pick themselves back up, winning a game for Villa might not happen on this soon.
Scweinsteiger, Shaw and Januzaj are still out for United while Herrera is a doubt. Amavi, Agbonlahor and Kovak are all injured for Villa.
Kickoff: Saturday, 3pm
Venue: Old Trafford (Manchester)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Prediction: Manchester United to demolish Villa.
Making the Most
Chelsea are trying to salvage whatever is left of their season, which isn’t much by the way. Languishing in 10th place and nine point points behind 5th place Manchester United, all that is left is to make the most of the rest of the season.
Manchester City on the other hand are in a gruelling battle for the top 4 as well as in the running for the UCL title. Coming up against a side they have managed to beat only once in their last 17 BPL meetings, nothing short of a win would make their top 4 dreams more of a reality.
Hazard, Terry, Matic, Remy and Zouma are still injured for Chelsea while Cahill and Willian are doubts. Sterling is out for City while Kompany is doubtful.
Kickoff: Saturday, 5.30pm
Venue: Stamford Bridge (Chelsea)
Referee: Mike Dean
Prediction: This is a tough one but I see a City win.
Arsenal fumbled at West Ham, an exhibition that cost them two points as well as bruised their title hopes. But the Gunners refuse to be undone and Saturday would show just how well they can bounce back.
Crystal Palace are battling for their very survival, a situation one probably wouldn’t have imagined earlier in the season. But a pathetic run of ailing form has seen them capitulate and drop to the very crust of the league table. On the road against an Arsenal side trying to resuscitate their title hopes, Alan Pardew’s men need to be at their best if they must survive it.
Arsenal will be without Carzola while Wilshere and Rosicky are doubts. Hangeland, McArthur and Chamakh are all out for Palace.
Kickoff: Sunday, 4pm
Venue: Emirates Stadium (Arsenal)
Referee: Roger East
Prediction: Arsenal to overcome.
Right Back in it
Real Madrid cashed in on Barcelona’s back to back losses to hurl themselves right back into the chase after that overwhelming display against Eibar. They can’t afford another loss.
Sitting at second place from bottom and with just a paltry 28 points to show for their season, Getafe are endangered. But they are just two points behind safety and Saturday will show just how hard they are willing to battle for survival. But they have lost 13 of their last 14 encounters versus Madrid, a record they need to improve if they must survive.
Velasquez is out injured for Getafe while Medran is suspended. Danilo is suspended for Madrid.
Kickoff: Saturday, 3pm
Venue: Coliseum Alfonso Perez (Getafe)
Referee: Alfonso Alvarez
Prediction: Madrid to win. Getafe could get a draw if they fight hard enough.
Back to Back losses to Real Madrid and Real Sociedad sent Barcelona plunging from grace to somewhere very close to grass. That drab run of form has flung the Liga title race wide open with Atletico and Real Madrid hot on the heels of the leaders.
Valencia eked out a 2-1 victory over visiting Sevilla last weekend, consolidating their 14th spot while looking for a flourish to end the season with. Coming up against a wounded Barcelona side, they can afford to relax and play their own game, after all they aren’t chasing anything and more importantly, nothing is exactly chasing them. Looking for a fine finish their season, a result against the defending champions might be all the flourish they require.
Ramirez and Mathieu are injured for Barcelona while Turan is suspended. Cheryshev is injured for Valencia while Bakkali is suspended.
Kickoff: Sunday, 7.30pm
Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Referee: David Fernandez
Prediction: If Valencia relax and play their game as I think they would, they could get a draw. Else I see a Barcelona win.
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