After an intriguing set of international fixtures, Premier League action resumes this weekend and are arguably the stand-out fixture for the weekend is Newcastle United’s trip to Norwich City.
The Canaries currently sit in 17th position on 28 points in the Premier League table, three points ahead of Newcastle with Sunderland sandwiched in-between on 26 points.
Aston Villa are in last place on a disappointing 16 points, and many observers and pundits alike feel it has become a case of two from three to join the Villains in relegation to the Championship.
Norwich City vs Newcastle United:
The corresponding fixture at St. James’ Park between these two sides finished in a one-sided 6-2 win for the Magpies, with attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum managing to find the net four times.
It’s very unlikely there will be eight goals this time around, with Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez working hard in training on making his side tactically astute and compact out of possession.
Norwich will head in to the match confident after beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 last time out, and Alex Neil’s side know that victory over their rivals will all-but condemn them to relegation.
That said, both teams struggle for goals and a low-scoring draw seems the most likely. Prediction: 1-1.
Sunderland vs West Bromwich Albion:
Sunderland have been in good form despite results not particularly going there way, while West Brom’s season seemingly ended some time ago when safety was all-but assured upon reaching 39 points.
This is certainly an opportunity for the Black Cats to pick up all three points, and in some ways it’s a must-win game for Sam Allardyce’s men as harder fixtures await between now and May.
Both teams will play a similar direct style, yet Sunderland’s passion and dogged determination should give them the advantage and a home victory wouldn’t be all too surprising to see. Prediction: 2-1.
Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea:
Aston Villa’s fight against the drop seemingly petered out weeks ago and Remi Garde’s recent departure came as little surprise as the club now focus on what needs to be done in the Championship.
Chelsea are in good form, and still remain unbeaten in the league under caretaker boss Guus Hiddink.
Villa’s home record against Chelsea isn’t too bad, but an away victory is largely expected. Prediction: 0-2.
And here is how the Premier League table could look on Monday, with Sunderland back in 17th position ahead of Norwich on goal difference: