Following the FA Cup fifth round action comes another key weekend for the Premier League’s struggling sides as they look to pick up valuable points in order to boost their survival chances.
Sunderland, Aston Villa and Norwich City are all in action while Newcastle United will be looking on with interest as their planned encounter with Manchester City has been postponed due to the League Cup final.
West Ham United vs Sunderland:
Sunderland will look to build on their 2-1 victory over Manchester United two weeks ago with another positive result against boss Sam Allardyce’s former side West Ham United.
The Hammers have been terrific this season, and they haven’t been beaten at Upton Park since August.
The Black Cats have a huge task ahead of them, but they have improved of late and Allardyce’s knowledge of a number of West Ham players may further help his side’s cause. Prediction: 1-1
Stoke City vs Aston Villa:
Aston Villa are rooted to the foot of the table, having picked up 16 points from 26 matches.
Remi Garde’s men haven’t won an away games since the opening day of the season, and they face a Stoke City side who boast a talented squad capable of scoring plenty of goals.
The chances of Villa picking up a result are slim, though they will put in a more spirited effort than their last outing as they were thrashed 6-0 at home to Liverpool. Prediction: 2-0
Leicester City vs Norwich City:
Norwich travel to the Premier League leaders Leicester having not won a game since early January.
The Canaries are struggling to score goals, and they are struggling to keep them out at the other end – hardly the right recipe for a potential Premier League survival bid.
Leicester have shown little signs in feeling the pressure in their quest for the title, and their blistering pace on the counter will prove too much for Alex Neil’s men on Saturday. Prediction: 3-1
The Magpies are not in action this weekend as their proposed fixture with City has been moved to accommodate Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s Capital One Cup final with Liverpool.
Steve McClaren will be watching on with real interest, and they could potentially climb out of the bottom three if results and goal difference go in their favour.
Predicted Premier League table after the weekend results: