Following an interesting set of results in midweek comes another round of key Premier League fixtures this weekend with two games in particular involving four of the relegation-threatened sides.
Newcastle United, Sunderland, Norwich City, Aston Villa, Swansea City and Bournemouth are all action and with only ten games to go each club will be well aware that points are all that matter at this stage.
Newcastle vs Bournemouth
Newcastle’s remaining home games see four of the bottom seven travel to St. James’ Park with the first of those being Bournemouth who currently sit eight points clear if safety.
The Magpies won the corresponding fixture between the two 1-0, and Steve McClaren has a decent record against Eddie Howe having won four of their past five meetings with the other being a draw.
The Cherries will no doubt be a threat going forward, but Newcastle have one of the better home records of the teams down the bottom and in a must-win game for them, they will pull it off. Prediction: 2-1
Swansea City vs Norwich City
Another crunch game at the bottom of the table sees Swansea City host a Norwich City side who have yet to win a Premier League fixture in 2016 having gone eight league games without a win.
The Swans have improved of late, and head in to the clash coming off the back of a 2-1 midweek win at Arsenal while Norwich suffered defeat at home to Chelsea by the same scoreline.
The Canaries must start picking up points, yet they have too many defensive frailties at present while they struggle to score goals on the road. Prediction: 1-0
Southampton vs Sunderland
Sunderland have undoubtedly improved under Sam Allardyce and their 2-2 midweek draw with Crystal Palace sees them head in to the business end of the season out of the relegation zone.
That said, they have arguably the toughest run-in of those down the bottom and they’ve not kept a clean sheet since November, a run of conceding at least one in their last 14 league games.
Southampton are good all over the pitch, and they will be confident of breaching the Black Cats’ defence having last failed to score at home in December. Prediction: 2-0
Manchester City vs Aston Villa
Aston Villa have long looked like a team destined for relegation, and with ten games to go, only a miracle will now save them as they currently sit eight points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Manchester City are in poor form, and their title bid is under serious threat. However, they will have enough to see off the Villains and they should score a few goals to boot. Prediction: 3-0
Predicted Premier League table after the weekend results: