thumbnail Hello,

Roberto Mancini's side could trip up once again in the race to claim their first title in 44 years, while Arsenal are tipped to continue their resurgence against David Moyes' team

In a huge schedule this week, we have mixture of Premier League and FA Cup action to look forward too.

Focusing first on the Cup, arguably the biggest tie of the round sees Everton face Sunderland. The Toffees come into the game off the back of a Steven Gerrard inspired 3-0 loss at Liverpool, with the midfielder netting a hat-trick.

David Moyes celebrated 10 years in charge at Goodison last Wednesday, and he will be desperate to mark it with an FA Cup semi-final berth if they can get a victory over the rejuvenated Sunderland.

Chelsea face Championship side Leicester City with confidence at a record high for the season after their 4-1 victory over Napoli and resulting progression to the Champions League quarter-finals.

The final two FA Cup games include a Tottenham side coming off the back of three defeats in a row against relegation threatened Bolton, and the previously mentioned Liverpool host Stoke.

Looking to the weekend Premier League fixtures, 10th and 11th-placed Fulham and Swansea will be battling it out at Craven Cottage and bottom of the table Wigan will be hoping to build on their draw away at Norwich when hosting West Brom. A win will see them escape the relegation zone.

On Sunday, Manchester United have the chance to increase their one-point lead over Manchester City when they make the trip to Molineux to face a Wolves side who have claimed just one point from their first three games under new boss Terry Connor.

Newcastle, stung by a last minute winner from Thomas Vermaelen against Arsenal on Monday, will be hoping to keep up the pressure on fifth-placed Chelsea in the search for a Champions League spot when the impressive Norwich come to town.

If that wasn’t enough, there are six more Premier League games to whet your appetite on Tuesday and Wednesday. The highlight being Wednesday’s match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Eithad Stadium.

Roberto Mancini will be desperate for three points to keep in sight of United after dropping down to second place for the first time since October last weekend.

Elsewhere Aston Villa welcome Bolton and Sunderland travel to Blackburn on Tuesday.

Finally, three teams in the battle for qualification to Europe next season are in action. Tottenham will be hoping to right the wrongs of the reverse fixture when they host Stoke, the underwhelming QPR have Liverpool coming to town and Everton face a revitalized Arsenal.

Without any further ado, here are the predictions from our very own Goal.com writers:

Everton
0-1
Sunderland

SAM BISBY SAYS...


In the week where he celebrates 10 years in charge of Everton, David Moyes has not had much reason to cheer. A comprehensive victory for Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday evening ensured the Red half of Merseyside completed the double over their local rivals this season.

Steven Gerrard’s heroics blighted a busy week for the Scot, but a home tie in the FA Cup against Sunderland gives Moyes another chance to celebrate in style, banking on Everton’s recently impressive form at Goodison Park. Unbeaten in seven games on their own turf, The Toffees will be confident of reaching Wembley for the first time since their 2009 final defeat to Chelsea.

However, last weekend was a positive one for the Black Cats as they completed a narrow win over Kenny Dalglish’s side, and after knocking out Arsenal in last round of the FA Cup Martin O’Neil’s men will be feeling confident they can keep their run going.


Fulham
2-2

Swansea City

JOE DOYLE SAYS...

Swansea are well known for the attractive brand of football they have displayed thus far in the Premier League, but they will come up against some formidable opponents in Fulham, at least in their home form so far this season, after impressive wins against Stoke, QPR and Wolves in recent weeks.

It will be interesting to see how Martin Jol's side bounce back from a disappointing defeat away to Aston Villa, but in truth their away form has never been the best, and back on their home patch against strong opposition in Swansea they will have to be at their peak.

The visitors will have to make sure they can stop Fulham’s attacking line of Clint Dempsey, Pavel Pogrebnyak, and, most interestingly, Moussa Dembele. The Belgian has been moved from striker to central midfielder in his time at Craven Cottage, and impressed. If the 24-year-old does play in the centre alongside Danny Murphy, it could be a position that the Welsh side look to expose with their neat passing style as he is not the strongest defensively.

Wigan
1-2
West Brom

ALEX FISHER SAYS...

With one win at home all season back in August, fortunes at the DW Stadium this campaign for Wigan have not been positive. However, the fact that they are still just two points from safety will give everyone involved with the Latics hope of survival, however slim.

West Brom have had something of a resurgence in recent weeks although defeat to Manchester United ended a great run that included victories over an in-form Sunderland, Chelsea and local rivals Wolves.

I am expecting to see a fast flowing game of football but one where chances are limited. Clinical finishing will be key. With that in mind, all signs point towards an away victory, and  I expect to see Roy Hodgson’s side leaving Lancashire with all three points and Roberto Martinez praying the sides above him suffer the same fate.

Tottenham
3-1
Bolton

JAY JAFFA SAYS...

Suddenly the pressure is on. Tottenham have lost three consecutive Premier League games, and although that was interspersed with an FA Cup win over Stevenage, Harry Redknapp's team are under the microscope.

It was this time last year that Spurs ran out of gas as the gruelling schedule of Champions League football combined with their league campaign began to take its toll. Fans will be praying the losses to Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton are just a blip and though an away trip to a revived Chelsea is on the horizon, the club have two winnable home fixtures in Bolton and Stoke to get back on track.

Owen Coyle's Bolton haven't scored away against Premier League opposition in over 360 minutes of football but Saturday's crucial win in the six-pointer with QPR will undoubtedly put a spring in their step.

That said, Tottenham can be irresistible at home and I suspect Redknapp will silence the doubters and get his side back to winning ways with a confidence-boosting trip to Wembley.

Wolves
0-3
Manchester United

JAKE WATSON SAYS...

This clash between Wolves and Manchester United brings two sides that are desperate for three points, but for entirely different reasons.

Wolves sit just one place and one point above the foot of the table whereas United are looking to extend their lead at the top of the league.

The home side have not made a bright start under interim boss Terry Connor and probably prefer playing away from home with support becoming increasingly frustrated at the action on the pitch and in the boardroom.

United have the best away record in the league and as we move into the final third of the season this is where Sir Alex Ferguson's side are traditionally in perilous form and I expect this to be a formality at Molineux for the reigning Premier League champions.


Chelsea
2-0
  Leicester City

WAYNE VEYSEY SAYS...

It will be intriguing to see if Chelsea's old warriors can follow up their mid-week miracle with a performance of similar drive and desire.

This fixture has little of the glamour of Wednesday's epic showdown with Napoli but it offers a path to the club's best hope of ending a fractious season with a trophy.

Do the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien have the legs to swat aside Championship opposition after 120 exhausting midweek minutes? Will they even be selected?

The dilemma for interim manager Roberto Di Matteo is to maintain the team's restored zest at the same time as preserving 30-something limbs.

Newcastle United
 
2-1
  Norwich City
 
ROB STEWART SAYS...


Newcastle may have written off their Champions League chances following the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal but they should get their quest for Europa League football back on track against the Canaries.

If they are to do so then they will need Demba Ba to get back to his goalscoring ways, because the striker has failed to score in the last four Newcastle games that have yielded just two points.

The Senegalese man will fancy his chances of adding to his 16-goal tally for the season against a side who have only kept one clean sheet this season, and he will probably get amongst the goals whether it is Papiss Cisse or Hatem Ben Arfa partnering him up front.

However, at the other end of the field, Grant Holt will think he can get the better of Newcastle centre-backs Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson and add to the double he scored in his side’s 4-2 win over the Alan Pardew’s side earlier in the season at Carrow Road.

Liverpool
2-1
Stoke City

RYAN BENSON SAYS...


Sitting in seventh-place and 10 points off the desired Champions League places, it is fair to say that Liverpool have had a disappointing season in the league. However, it has been a different matter in the cups.

The Reds went all the way in the League Cup, winning the competition after a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Cardiff City at Wembley, and now they welcome Stoke to Anfield in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

In their ten cup ties this season, Kenny Dalglish’s men have only failed to win once, away at Manchester City where they fought to a 2-2 draw, but Tony Pulis’ team have a habit of frustrating the bigger sides in England's top flight.

On the way to this stage of the competition, Stoke have had to win three away matches against lower-league opposition, and you can expect them to set out determined to stifle Liverpool’s home advantage.

Aston Villa
2-0
Bolton
 
SAM BISBY SAYS...

Aston Villa’s miserable winless run finally ended last weekend in a dreary performance against Fulham and came largely thanks to the young Austrian Andreas Weimann and the striker’s last minute winner.

The victory eases the pressure off of Alex McLeish for now and the Scot will no doubt see Tuesday’s clash with relegation battlers Bolton as another chance to get three points on the board and distance themselvesfrom the clutches of the drop-zone.

Much like Villa, the Trotters got their first league win last weekend since their defeat of Liverpool at the end of January and were able to rise out of the bottom three. However, Owen Coyle faces a busy few days at the helm with a visit to Tottenham in the FA Cup scheduled on Saturday before they travel to the Midlands with fitness being a premium against Harry Redknapp’s quick, attacking play.

Blackburn
2-1
Sunderland

MARK FORDHAM SAYS...

Blackburn Rovers’ first clean sheet of the season last weekend against Wolves resulted in them moving out of the relegation zone, and another victory on Tuesday could give them some much needed breathing space from the bottom three.

If that’s going to happen then they will be looking towards the likes of Yakubu and Junior Hoilett to once again provide the goal scoring threat. The pair have combined for 18 of the team’s 40 Premier League goals this season.

Sunderland come into the game having responded well to two defeats in a row in February with a draw and victory against Newcastle and Liverpool respectively and will feel confident that they can get something from the game.

With murmurings of discontent beginning to quieten down somewhat, Steve Kean can go one step further to ensuring fans stay right behind him with another three points on Tuesday.

Manchester City
1-1
Chelsea

GREG STOBART SAYS...

It is squeaky bum time for both clubs and this is a game which could put another dent in City’s title hopes after their defeat to Swansea in their last Premier League outing.

We simply don’t know how City will handle the pressure in the run-in but the visit of a Chelsea side full of confidence could threaten their 100 per cent home record.

I’m looking forward to seeing if the Blues can maintain the standard set in the Champions League victory over Napoli on Wednesday night - but they have been so unpredictable this season with some of their defending being terrible.

John Terry and Co. can’t afford an off-night against the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, but you do sense that Chelsea will gather momentum now following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.

I expect a tight game, with Chelsea trying to frustrate City and test the nerve of Roberto Mancini’s men. The effect of the home support, who are desperate for a first title in 44 years, will be crucial.

Tottenham
2-1
Stoke City

ANDREW KENNEDY SAYS...

Following a weekend of FA Cup action, attention will turn back to the Premier League with both Harry Redknapp and Tony Pulis looking to reinvigorate faltering league campaigns.

Victories over Swansea and Norwich have kept the Potters firmly amongst the mid-table pack, yet Stoke’s current position of 13th will not be the return expected following the hysteria that welcomed summer signings Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome and the underwhelming Wilson Palacios.

Spurs on the other hand have been dragged from the title race and back into the battle for fourth following consecutive league defeats to Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton, with their north London rivals now just a point behind them after their recent resurgence.

Despite their slump in form, Spurs have still continued to threaten, and I expect them to get back on track at White Hart Lane with a reversal of the scores from the controversial clash at the Britannia in December.

Everton
1-2
Arsenal

SAM BISBY SAYS...

Arsenal should be well rested when they make the trip to Merseyside in midweek with the Gunners playing no part in the FA Cup quarter-finals, and will hope to have conserved their momentum from a five-match winning streak.

Thomas Vermaelen’s late winner against Newcastle United proved that the north London outfit certainly have the spirit to ensure a top-four finish, and with fifth-placed Chelsea taking on Manchester City a day later, Arsene Wenger’s men will look to take advantage of what could ultimately be a six-pointer.

Everton of course will have participated in the weekend’s FA Cup action against Sunderland and their game with Arsenal will be the fourth of five in a testing two-week period for the Toffees.

Arsene Wenger’s men will be travelling to a stadium where Manchester City, Tottenham and Roberto Di Matteo’s men have all lost, and Everton should be up for another tussle with the big boys. But the hosts tough schedule and the Gunners' replenished energy might just make the difference and see the Frenchman’s side power on to victory.

QPR
1-2
Liverpool

WAYNE VEYSEY SAYS...

With the possibility of relegation straight back to the Championship sending tremors through QPR, this game matters more to the Londoners than it does to Liverpool, whose top-four hopes have all but been extinguished.
 
I am looking forward to seeing whether the compact Loftus Road arena can be an inspiration for Mark Hughes' team and create a noisy and intimidating atmosphere.
 
The methods of Hughes and his backroom staff are yet to yield results. A dreadful run of five defeats and two draws in their last seven matches mean that QPR begin a fiendishly difficult run-in (Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City also figure in their final 10 games) desperately needing to generate some kind of momentum.
 
Which Liverpool will turn up? The attractive, inventive side that comfortably swatted Everton aside in the Merseyside derby or the unconvincing also-rans who have spluttered against so many bottom-half teams this season?

Related

From the web