Matchday 34 of the Premier League will kick off with Southampton entertaining Leicester City at St Mary’s on Friday night. The Saints suffered a 9-0 humbling in the same fixture last season, and they will be aiming to dent the Foxes’ top four hopes with a return to winning ways.
It won’t be easy with the Midlands outfit flourishing up front with the exceptional form of Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigeria international has bagged 12 goals and two assists from his last nine appearances in all competitions.
The main focus of attention this weekend will be the clash between arch-rivals Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford. The Reds are four points adrift of the top four, and they face a must-win situation to stay in the Champions League race.
Here is our preview for Matchday 34 of the Premier League.
Southampton vs Leicester City – April 30:
The Saints had an impressive first half to the season, but their form has dropped off significantly since the turn of the year. They have picked up just seven points from the last 15 league games which is relegation form. With the presence of Danny Ings, the Saints possess a scoring threat, but their defence has been a huge letdown this year. The Foxes should secure a routine victory with Iheanacho in the form of his life at the moment.
Southampton 1-3 Leicester City
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City – May 1:
Palace put up a good showing against the Foxes on Monday night, but they were eventually beaten by a world class strike from Iheanacho. We don’t see them replicating the performance against the Cityzens, who are cruising to a third league title in four seasons. Pep Guardiola may make wholesale changes due to Champions League commitments, but any City line-up is a force to reckon with.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Leeds United – May 1:
It has been a strange campaign for Brighton, who have failed to make the most of their scoring opportunities. They tend to dominate games and create chances, but ultimately pay the price for poor finishing. The latest Leeds United news is mostly positive – the Yorkshire team should be beaming with confidence after going unbeaten against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. We fancy them to come on top in a free scoring contest.
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-3 Leeds United
Chelsea vs Fulham – May 1:
The Blues were hugely impressive in the first half of their Champions League semi-final tie at Real Madrid, but were unable to capitalise on their chances. They still managed a credible 1-1 draw and crucially, are now dominating the Chelsea news headlines for the right reasons. Fulham face a must-win situation to give themselves a fighting chance of survival. However, they may struggle to outwit their west London rivals, who have proved tough to beat since Thomas Tuchel took charge.
Chelsea 1-0 Fulham
Everton vs Aston Villa – May 1:
The Toffees will face the Villains twice this month due to fixture rescheduling from earlier in the season. The Toffees secured a fortuitous 1-0 win over Arsenal last week after a Bernd Leno howler. They are now within six points off the top four with one game in hand. Their home form has been dismal with only five wins from 16 games, but we fancy them to beat the Villains, who are winless in their last three matches.
Everton 2-1 Aston Villa
Newcastle United vs Arsenal – May 2:
The Magpies salvaged a point against Liverpool after a 95th-minute equaliser from Arsenal loanee Joe Willock. Willock has been hugely instrumental in recent weeks, and his four goals have helped them secure eight points. He is ineligible to face his parent club this weekend, and this should play into the hands of the Gunners, who have excelled on the road in recent months.
The bulk of the Newcastle United news in recent weeks has been negative, but despite the Magpies having almost secured Premier League football for another season, it’s not going to be a fun end to the campaign. They need wins, but it’s unlikely that they will get one here.
Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal
Manchester United vs Liverpool – May 2:
The Red Devils will be in midweek action against Roma in the Europa League. On the contrary, Jurgen Klopp’s side don’t have any European commitments, and they will have the fresher set of players for the Old Trafford showdown. Despite this, the game could end in a stalemate as United will be determined to deter the Reds’ top four hopes. Six of the previous nine league meetings have ended in draws.
Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur vs Sheffield United – May 2:
Spurs suffered another final disappointment as they were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final. They have now gone 13 years without any silverware, and face a battle to keep Harry Kane at the club beyond the summer. There will be a strong response after the demoralising defeat, and relegated Sheffield could be on the wrong end of a heavy defeat. The Blades beat Brighton 1-0 last weekend, which was only their fifth win of the campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Sheffield United
West Bromwich Albion vs Wolverhampton Wanderers – May 3:
The Baggies faced heartbreak against west Midlands rivals Aston Villa last weekend as the Villans equalised in stoppage time. They find themselves nine points adrift of safety, and may need to win their remaining five matches to have any chance of beating the drop. Wolves suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Burnley recently, but will be aiming to put their city rivals on the brink of relegation.
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Burnley vs West Ham United – May 3:
The Clarets produced their best showing of the campaign in the stunning 4-0 win at Wolves. However, the lack of consistency remains their concern. The Hammers were poor in the 1-0 defeat to the Blues last weekend where they went with a defensive approach, although key decisions went against them. They are still in the top four race with a three-point deficit. David Moyes’ side should revert to the regular playing style, and pick up a much-needed win.
Burnley 1-3 West Ham United
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and 11v11.com