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Premier League Final Day Fixtures: Predicting Perfect Pandemonium

Time flies when you’re having fun. This is certainly the overwhelming sentiment when talking about this season’s Premier League campaign.

With more twists and turns than a sped-up ivy vine, the English top flight has once again succeeded in captivating it’s baying public, with both ends of the table putting on a show of epic proportions.

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But it’s not over yet, and with Gameweek 38 hoving triumphantly into view, I thought it prudent to take a last minute look at all ten of Sunday’s fixtures, and see where the real action will take place:

Cardiff vs Chelsea

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‘Stop attacking! Take it easy!’

While this can be described as a dead rubber game considering the absence of Premier League incentive, I fully expect this to turn out to be a cracker, with both sides with lots to prove in Wales.

Cardiff, although already relegated from the top flight, will want to end their season with a bang, and give their fans something to cheer about following what has been a disastrous season on all accounts.

Their opponents, Chelsea, will also want to leave their supporters buoyed, with the club roundly critisised of late due to some one-dimensional, defence-orientated performances.

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While Jose Mourinho’s tactic of shutting up shop worked wonders against the likes of Liverpool and Atletico Madrid (in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final), a dour home draw to Norwich last time out saw the Blues booed-off by their own fans, with the lap-of-honour after the match only watched by less than a half-capacity Stamford Bridge.

My Prediction: Cardiff 1-4 Chelsea

A Chelsea onslaught is expected, with Cardiff potentially playing an open game, looking to catch their illustrious opponents off guard.

A big win in Wales would be a fitting way to end the season, with Chelsea expected to undergo a transformation of sorts this summer, and emerge a vivacious attacking quantity after the summer frivolities in South America.

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Fulham vs Crystal Palace

Relegated Fulham have put on a brave face of late, with manager Felix Magath insisting that he will remain in charge of the club in the Championship next season, despite his relatively high European stock.

The former Bayern Munich boss will be desperate for his players to show some some spirit in the face of the ‘Pulis wall’, which has kept Palace comfortably in Premier League relevance this season, despite the club looking doomed earlier on in the campaign.

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Chamakh: ‘Where can I play, boss?’
Pulis: ‘Uuuuum…’

Tony Pulis has led a revival only matched by Gus Poyet’s Sunderland, with Palace having a better defensive record than both Liverpool and Tottenham this season!

My Prediction: Fulham 0-0 Crystal Palace

The mighty wall of Eagles (no, doesnt work) will surely keep the Cottagers at bay. If you’re not a fan of one of these teams, you’d be mad to tune in.

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Hull vs Everton

FA Cup finalists Hull City have made a fair old game of it this season, with Steve Bruce guiding his team to safety, but only just. He will probably rest some of his key players ahead of their Wembley date with Arsenal, making life that bit easier for Everton, who have kind of lived up to their nickname in recent weeks, coming unstuck when the going got tough.

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..in the mud..

The Toffees were firmly in the hunt for fourth spot, and at one point had the jump on Arsenal, but after three defeats from their last four games, Roberto Martinez’ side have dropped off the pace, and now need to avoid defeat to claim fifth place ahead of Tottenham, with Arsenal now an uncatchable seven points ahead.

My Prediction: Hull 1-3 Everton

An Everton walk in the park, most probably, but Hull will want to go into the FA Cup final on a high, and could prove to be a handful.

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Liverpool vs Newcastle

Right, here we are then. One of the two biggest and most important games of the final day comes at Anfield, with Liverpool gunning for blood, and a timid Newcastle up for the slaughter.

Forget mathematically possible scenarios. To have any chance of a first Premier League title in 24 years, Brendan Rodgers’ side need to win, and Manchester City need to lose.

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While there are bizarre permutations to this thrilling title race, it ultimately boils down to a win or lose scenario, and considering the meekness of Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side of late, you would expect Liverpool to comfortably smash the Geordies. But Crystal Palace’s stunning 3-3 draw last weekend proves that there is nothing too extraordinary for this season’s title race.

My Prediction: Liverpool 4-2 Newcastle

Expect a mental affair up north, with Liverpool giving their fans multiple heart-attacks and just taking the lead…probably even before half-time!

It will surely be up to City to end this…

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Manchester City vs West Ham

Who dares to stand in the way of the mighty City and their second league title in two years? Sam Allardyce’s West Ham, with Liverpool hoping for a nothing short of a miracle from the team Jose Mourinho once claimed played ’19th century football’.

Well, the Chelsea boss has rather had to bite his tongue in recent weeks, but the fact remains that Liverpool’s lingering hopes rest on a David and Goliath clash, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side expected to open up their opponents like a bag of crisps.

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With just two loses in their last 14 games (to Chelsea and Liverpool), Yaya Toure looking omnipotent, Edin Dzeko always in the right place at the right time, and star-striker Sergio Aguero fit to take part, it all looks pretty grim for the Hammers, Liverpool, and Chelsea, who could see their goals-scored record smashed by the champions-elect at the Etihad.

City don’t even have to secure the win! With their goal difference bettering Liverpool’s by 13 going into the game, a draw will surely see them take the title on goal difference.

But what if…

My Prediction: 2-0

Lets hope West Ham keep things pretty even at least half time! I fully expect City to win the match, and lift the Premier League trophy, but there’s every possibility that they’ll leave it late. Aston Villa frustrated them for over an hour last weekend…

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Norwich vs Arsenal

While we’ve seen pretty much everything this season, Arsenal have not taken a team apart, as is almost customary for Arsene Wenger’s Gunners. It’s actually been quite the other way around!

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Arsenal have been on the receiving end of some horror results this season, which put paid to their once very promising title challenge, but I can see them putting poor Norwich to the sword, with the Canaries coming to the end of not only a set of nightmare fixtures, but also the end of their stay in the Premier League.

My Prediction: Norwich 1-5 Arsenal

If Arsenal turn on the style, it will be a terrifically exciting game to watch. Maybe Wenger should play Bendtner…

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Southampton vs Manchester United

Ryan Giggs’ last game in charge of United will hopefully be one to remember, with Southampton worthy opponents, placed just one spot below the Red Devils in the Premier League table.

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While this season has been largely one of misery and dejection for the soon-to-be deposed Champions of England, Manchester United have much to look forward to, with Dutch manager Louis van Gaal sure to take the reigns in the summer, and with a fascinating transfer window just around the corner.

Whether the United faithful want their side to qualify for the Europa League or not will be redundant if Spurs avoid defeat at home to Aston Villa.

My Prediction: Southampton 2-2 Manchester United 

Hell, I’ll go out on a whim here and put down a exciting, high scoring draw. If it was good enough for Sir Alex in his last game, it can be good enough for Giggsy! I wonder if he’ll pop himself on for one last hurrah in the closing stages…?

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Sunderland vs Swansea

This season’s overwhelming success story (along with Crystal Palace), Sunderland’s Houdini-esque escape from the smothering clutches of relegation has been nothing short of spectacular, with Gus Poyet’s brave Black Cats beating both Manchester United and Chelsea in their own back yards last month, with a only a late Samir Nasri strike preventing Manchester City from falling to the same fate.

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They will be looking to round off the season in the best way with a win over Swansea, who have struggled for a while now, but have Wilfried Bony up top, who is a candidate for signing of the season.

My Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Swansea

Another scalp for Poyet’s panthers, with a summer of intense refection awaiting Swansea.

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Tottenham vs Aston Villa

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Yes, the above scene did actually happen. Jan Vertonghan will be missed at the back for Spurs against Villa (he is out with a calf injury), with the Belgian known for his ‘stop-at-nothing’ mentality in defence (apart from when playing against Chelsea. Then it becomes a ‘give-them-everything’ scenario).

Tottenham have spiraled out of control since the departure of Gareth Bale last summer, with the £100m+ outlay in attempting to adequately replace him with a brand new team backfiring horribly.

Villa have also lost the plot recently, and will be glad to get to the finish line with their Premier League status intact.

My Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Aston Villa

Will surely be an anticlimactic end to the season for both sides. Here’s hoping poor Roberto Soldado gets on the scoresheet. Dear oh dear.

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West Brom vs Stoke

If there wasn’t enough selection available, if it takes your fancy, the Premier League’s tenth game on Sunday sees Mark Hughes’ Stoke take on the all-but-mathematically safe West Brom, how have staved off relegation successfully by the skin of their teeth.

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My Prediction: West Brom 0-0 Stoke 

Has all the makings of a dour draw. Both sides safe, with nowt to play for. If your eyes wander, I wouldn’t fight it.

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Final thoughts:

If you have access to two separate screens (which thankfully I do), I humbly suggest you tune in to both Liverpool and Manchester City’s final 90 minutes today. If this season has taught us anything, its to not take ANYTHING for granted!

While one expects City to take the title, Liverpool will surely fight to the end, and if West Ham can stand tall in the shadow of the giant, then we may have a last day to rival that of two years ago, with Sergio Aguero’s now famous late intervention against QPR sending football fans world-wide into an unprecedented state of shock!

Time flies when you’re having fun; but it also has a tendency to stand stock still in the face of truly magical Premier League finales.

Here’s hoping….

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For more from me, follow me on Twitter: @tragatehouse or check out my blog: http://goodbadribery.blogspot.hk

What do you think will happen today? Is it Liverpool or Manchester City for the title? Get your last minute predictions in, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

One Comment to Premier League Final Day Fixtures: Predicting Perfect Pandemonium

  1. Chelsea 3 Vs 0 Cardiff city