Premier League Predictions: Leicester complete fairytale with trophy day party, Manchester United boost top-four bid, while relegation battle goes down to the wire
On the weekend that the champions lift their Premier League trophy, who does Mark Young think will come out on top in the battle for Europe and top-flight survival?
Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United
Norwich and Manchester United both have different things to fight for when they face off at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon.
The Canaries are in the relegation zone with three games to go, and desperately need three points to put the pressure on Sunderland and Newcastle United.
Champions League-chasing United will be hoping to go one better than their draw with champions Leicester at Old Trafford, but they’ll have to do it without Marouane Fellaini, who is banned for their final three league games of the season for his part in Sunday’s clash with Robert Huth.
Norwich were narrowly defeated by a single goal at the Emirates against Arsenal the evening before, and could suffer a similar blow this weekend as the drop to the Championship looms ever closer.
Sunderland 2-1 Chelsea
Sunderland’s penultimate home game of the season is against Chelsea, who are fresh from handing Leicester the Premier League title.
The Blues came from 2-0 down to draw with Tottenham on Monday night, delivering the title to the King Power Stadium with two games to spare. It was a great second-half performance from Chelsea – something that can’t be said too much for this season.
The Black Cats are one point adrift of Newcastle, and therefore safety, so they would love to start a great escape against last season’s champions.
Chelsea have been poor for the majority of the season, and despite getting themselves up for a derby against Spurs, it could be Sunderland who bring the current ninth-placed side back down to earth, whilst helping their own cause.
Aston Villa 0-2 Newcastle United
Rafa Benitez is working out for Newcastle at the moment, with the club out of the relegation zone following their 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace last week.
With one less game to play than their rivals, the Magpies know that anything less than three points against already-relegated Aston Villa would be a poor return. Andros Townsend has made the Geordies tick since his January move from Tottenham, with his superb free kick winning all three points last time out.
The Villans, meanwhile, have only won three games all season, and conceded two late goals to lose at Watford last weekend.
Aston Villa are down and out, and Benitez and his Newcastle side can take full advantage going in to the last game of the season at home to Tottenham next weekend.
Leicester 3-1 Everton
Having won the league on Monday despite kicking a ball, Leicester will be receiving the Premier League trophy when they host Everton on Saturday.
Though the Foxes will be in party mode, manager Claudio Ranieri has stated his intent for his players to finish the season strongly. However, they will be without suspended defender Huth and Danny Drinkwater.
Everton have only won one in their last eight league games, and a visit to the new champions will not have been their preferred way to bounce back from a desperate FA Cup semi-final defeat.
With pressure continuing to pile on Roberto Martinez, he’ll be hoping that Leicester take their foot off the pedal, but Ranieri and co should claim three points in front of a jubilant home crowd.
Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal
Fresh from a disappointing trip to Madrid, Manchester City will look to return to the Champions League with a victory over Arsenal.
City are three points off Arsenal in fourth, but only four points ahead of United in fifth, who themselves are only one in front of West Ham, with the latter two set to play each other next week.
The Gunners’ victory over Norwich last week has them in a very dominant position, but they will still be looking over their shoulders with a game to play, should they lose at the Etihad.
Wednesday may have taken its toll at the Bernabeu, and City could be in further trouble for next season as Arsenal can stifle their rivals and hold out for a point despite the negative air around the Gunners at present.
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