EPL Week 38 – Top Picks and Predictions
EPL Week 38 – Top Picks and Predictions avatar

Rodgers expects Sterling to Stay

Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers has said he expects winger Raheem Sterling to stay at the club for the remainder of his contract.

Sterling's future at Liverpool is in doubt. (Getty Images)

Sterling’s future at Liverpool is in doubt. (Getty Images)

Liverpool was due to meet with the 20-year-old on Friday, but cancelled after Sterling’s agent made comments about the player’s intentions.

Aidy Ward reportedly said the England forward would not sign a new deal even if offered “£900,000 a week”.

However, despite the comments and the cancelled meeting Rogers still believes Sterling with remain with the club at least until the end of his contract.

Rodgers said: “Raheem has two years left on his deal and I expect him to see that two years through.”

“I don’t see Raheem being unhappy. Raheem’s representative made it very clear that he wanted to speak at the end of the season.

“Our concentration is on the last game of the season and I’m sure talks will take place over the course of the summer.”

Sterling has been linked with a big money move after rejecting a new $155,000-a-week contract with the club earlier in the season.

 

Hazard and Mourinho complete Chelsea Double

Chelsea have completed an EPL double with midfielder Eden Hazard and manager Jose Mourinho being named the EPL player and manager of the season respectively.

The pair were rewarded after helping guide Chelsea to the EPL title this season with three games left to play.

Hazard has been Chelsea's best player. (Getty Images)

Hazard has been Chelsea’s best player. (Getty Images)

The award means Hazard completes a treble of individual honors having also earned the PFA Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for this season’s displays.

The Belgian international has scored 14 EPL goals this season, including the one that sealed the title against Crystal Palace, and provided eight assists. However, it is his close control and dribbling that has really got people off their seats this season – Hazard topped the dribbling success table with 170 successful dribble.

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Jose Mourniho scooped the manager of the year honor after leading Chelsea to their fourth EPL title. The Portuguese manager was voted top of a shortlist of Ronald Koeman, of Southampton, Garry Monk, of Swansea City, Leicester City’s Nigel Pearson and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger.

It is the third time Mourinho has won the award having previously won the accolade in 2004/05 and in 2005/06 when he led the Blues to their first two BPL title victories.

“I was not waiting for it, I was never Manager of the Month, but I’m happy with it,” said the Chelsea manager. “It’s a club trophy, not an individual one. It’s for me, my assistants, my players, everybody who works with me. It’s something you don’t just get by yourself.

“It’s the icing on the cake but I work for the cake. The Premier League is the real cake but obviously to be the Manager of the Season is nice.”

The Cheslea manager also revealed he hopes goalkeeper Petr Cech will stay with the club, but won’t stand in his way if he chooses to leave.

“I keep saying I would like him to stay,” said Mourinho, who also confirmed Cech would play some part against Sunderland on Sunday.

Cech has been link with a move to London neighbors and rivals Arsenal, and as a replacement for David De Gea at Manchester United who is rumored to be on his way to Real Madrid.

“In case he leaves, I have no preferences (where he goes),” added Mourinho. “I hope he is fit to play the last game of the season.”

Predictions

Week 38 (Final Week) My Predictions
SUNDAY
Arsenal v West Brom 3-1
Aston Villa v Burnley 2-0
Chelsea v Sunderland 3-0
Crystal Palace v Swansea 2-2
Everton v Tottenham 2-1
Hull v Man Utd 1-2
Leicester v QPR 3-1
Man City v Southampton 3-0
Newcastle v West Ham 2-0
Stoke v Liverpool 2-1

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point. The exact score earns THREE points.

Previews

Sunday

Arsenal v West Brom

Arsenal all but confirmed third place and automatic qualification to the Champions League with a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland during the week. The point means Arsenal now sit three-points above Manchester United with a seven goal superior goal difference.

Cazorla has been the maestro in the middle for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

Cazorla has been the maestro in the middle for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

West Brom pulled off a terrific win against EPL champions Chelsea last week to round-off a good second half of the season. The Baggies took an scored an early goal and never looked back eventually winning 3-0.  Saido Berahino scored twice for the West Midlands club to bring his tally for the season to 14 in the EPL and it will be interesting to see if the Baggies can hold on to the young talent over the summer.

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck is out with a knee injury and could even miss the FA Cup final. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mathieu Debuchy have returned from injury, but are unlikely to feature this weekend.

West Brom have no new injury concerns and could name the same side that beat Chelsea last week.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last eight against West Brom, but the Gunners are without a win in their last three EPL games and have gone three consecutive home EPL matches without scoring for the first time since February 2009.

Nevertheless, I think they will want to give their home fans something to celebrate before they head off to Wembley and I expect them to win this game comfortably.

Prediction: 3-0

 

Chelsea v Sunderland

EPL Champions Chelsea lost 3-0 away to West Brom in their last game, but boss Jose Mourinho didn’t seem too concerned and actually blamed his side’s defeat on their rivals, who he claimed had not provided much of a challenge for his team.

The Portuguese coach has a point, as his side basically went untroubled in 2015—Chelsea were actually level on points with Man City on New Years day.

Sunderland confirmed their place in the EPL for another season with a 0-0 draw away to Arsenal—The Black Cats have been involved in nine 0-0 draws in this season’s Premier League, four more than any other side.

Sunderland manager Dick Advocate was in tears after the game, and has done a good job since taking over from former manager Gus Poyet. The Dutchman has tightened up the Black Cats defense and make them difficult to play against, and it has paid off with Sunderland unbeaten in their last five games.

Chelsea are expected to be without the EPL player of the year Eden Hazard, who had three wisdom teeth removed earlier in the week.

Chelsea will be presented with the EPL Trophy this week. (Getty Images)

Chelsea will be presented with the EPL Trophy this week. (Getty Images)

The Champions will also be without Ramires, Oscar and Kurt Zouma who are all out with injuries, while Petr Cech is doubtful because of a calf problem and Cesc Fabregas serves a one-game ban.

Midweek hero goal keeper Costel Pantilimon is ruled out with a knee problem, while Jordi Gomez, Wes Brown and Liam Bridcutt remain out with injuries, and Danny Graham is doubtful with an ankle problem.

Sunderland are unbeaten in their last two games against Chelsea and are actually the only EPL team Jose Mourinho has ever tasted defeat against at Stamford Bridge in the EPL. If the Black Cats were to repeat last season victory it would mean Chelsea would be only the second champions in the last 12 seasons to end with fewer than 86 points—Manchester United took the title with 80 points in 2011.

However, I cannot see anything other than a Chelsea victory on Sunday, and I expect the Blues to put on a show before they collect the EPL in front of their home fans.

Prediction: 3-0

 

Hull v Man Utd

Hull lost 2-0 away to Tottenham last week and now know only a win can save them from relegation. However, even if the Tigers win they will still be relying on Newcastle not winning, as the Magpies sit two-points above them.

The Tigers looked like they were going to escape the drop a month ago after beating Crystal Palace and Liverpool, but they have since lost all three of their EPL games with the loss at home to Burnley looking like the result that sealed their feat.

Ashley Young has shone under Van Gaal. (Getty Images)

Ashley Young has shone under Van Gaal. (Getty Images)

Manchester United drew 1-1 at home with Arsenal, which means United will be unable to leapfrog the Arsenal, unless the Gunners lose on the final day and United win and make up a seven goal difference.

The Red Devils looked good for an hour, but then allowed Arsenal back into the game towards the end. Radamel Falcao was once again industrious, but lacked any quality service and looks like he will move on during the summer, meaning United will have to buy a forward, as Robin van Persie no longer looks like he has the appetite or legs for the top level.

Hull has no new injury concerns or suspensions could name an unchanged team to the one that lost to Tottenham last week.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is a doubt with a hamstring injury, meaning Victor Valdes could make his first start for the Red Devils.

Wayne Rooney looks likely to be missing again with a dead leg, while Jonny Evans and Luke Shaw are unlikely to play.

Manchester United has won 10 straight games against Hull, including seven in the EPL. In fact, Hull last won this fixture in November 1974, a 2-0 home triumph in the old Second Division.

However, the Tigers no nothing but a win can save them from relegation and I expect them and their fans to give everything for this game. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be enough and I expect the Tigers to lose their last home game.

Prediction: 1-2

 

Newcastle v West Ham

Newcastle looked like guaranteeing their survival last week when they took a first-half lead against already relegated QPR. However, they conceded to goals in the second-half to lose the game 2-1 and now need a win to confirm their safety.

Newcastle were in the top-half of the table before they got rid of manager Alan Pardew, but they have been awful since his departure and have gone 10 Premier League games without a win (D1, L9) for the first time since May 2009 – when they were relegated.

Newcastle celebrating their goal in their defeat to QPR. (Getty images)

Newcastle celebrating their goal in their defeat to QPR. (Getty images)

The Magpies can afford to lose or draw the game, providing Hull do not win at home to Manchester United. But if the Tigers do win, then Newcastle will need a win as Hull have a superior goal difference.

West lost 2-1 at home to Everton last week and has now won just one of their last seven games in the EPL. The Hammers were terrific in the first half of season, but they have tailed off in the second-half of the season, and speculation about the future of manager Sam Allardyce has once again surfaced.

‘Big Sam’ does not appear to play the style of soccer the West Ham fans like, but he has got them to 11th in the EPL and I don’t think they can really expect to go much higher.

Newcastle have defender Mark Williamson available again after suspension, while Siem de Jong could also return to the squad after a thigh problem but Papiss Cisse is still not fit enough to start following his knee injury.

West Ham are without defender James Collins who suffered a calf strain, but they should welcome back midfielder Kevin Nolan following a family bereavement.

Both these sides are in bad form, so it is hard to predict how this game will go. West Ham have only lost one of their last four away games to Newcastle, but their players seem like they are already on vacation. Newcastle’s player have not been much better though, but I think the with 50,000 plus Geordie fans cheering they might finally put a performance in.

Prediction: 2-0

 

 

About Anthony Ta

Anthony Ta is a writer for the GotSoccer Magazine, specializing in Premier League, Champions League and the Euros.
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2 Responses to EPL Week 38 – Top Picks and Predictions
EPL Week 38 – Top Picks and Predictions avatar

  1. Neil says:

    SUNDAY
    Arsenal v West Brom 3-0
    Aston Villa v Burnley 2-1
    Chelsea v Sunderland 2-1
    Crystal Palace v Swansea 2-2
    Everton v Tottenham 1-3
    Hull v Man Utd 1-3
    Leicester v QPR 2-0
    Man City v Southampton 2-3
    Newcastle v West Ham 1-2
    Stoke v Liverpool 1-2

  2. Robert Harwood says:

    Hi Anthony

    one pint of Guinness for the winner – 3 pts for correct result and score; 1pt for correct result only
    Arsenal v West Brom 2-1
    Aston Villa v Burnley 2-2
    Chelsea v Sunderland 2-0
    Crystal Palace v Swansea 2-1
    Everton v Tottenham 2-2
    Hull v Man Utd 1-1
    Leicester v QPR 2-1
    Man City v Southampton 3-1
    Newcastle v West Ham 0-2
    Stoke v Liverpool 1-1

    Rob

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