Goal.com Predicts: Manchester City 3-1 Sunderland, QPR 1-1 Arsenal, Newcastle 2-1 Liverpool, Blackburn 1-3 Manchester United

Our reporters believe that the Gunners will fail to extend their run of wins to eight, whilst the race for sixth place will be effectively decided on Tyneside on Sunday
There were plenty of twists and turns in the race for the Premier League title and the increasingly hard-fought battle for a top-four finish last week.

Now, the clubs must do it all again as they attempt to find form ahead of the run-in which will decide how successful their season has been.

Two of this season's Champions League-chasers are in action on Saturday as Chelsea face a trip to Aston Villa, who could yet be dragged into the relegation mire, whilst Arsenal meet QPR, who are without doubt in a dogfight to stay up.

Elsewhere, 19th-placed Wigan, buoyed by last weekend's win over Liverpool, face Stoke at the DW Stadium whilst their Lancashire rivals Bolton take on Wolves in a relegation six-pointer.

Former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson returns to Merseyside as his West Brom side meet Everton at Goodison Park and fellow mid-table sides Fulham and Norwich City clash at Craven Cottage.

Meanwhile, Manchester City, who earned a point against Stoke last weekend, will hope to keep their perfect home Premier League record intact against Sunderland.

On Sunday, the two sides currently battling for sixth place meet at the Sports Direct Arena, as Newcastle do battle with Liverpool, whilst Tottenham will hope to keep their top-four bid on track against the impressive Swansea City at White Hart Lane.

The final fixture of this week's Premier League action sees Manchester United feature on a Monday yet again, as they make the short journey to face Blackburn whose defeat last week means they are far from safe yet.

And so, here is how our Goal.com writers think it will all turn out:

Aston Villa


These two clubs have not had the seasons that they would have been hoping for to date, though for Chelsea under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, there may be a chance to resurrect a faltering campaign.

Alex McLeish came to Aston Villa in the summer under a lot of controversy as he moved from fierce city rivals Birmingham. Armed with a talented squad and a number of high-profile stars, there is no doubt that they have been huge underachievers in the Premier League this season.

Chelsea started and stuttered under Andre Villas-Boas before he was disposed with to be replaced by former Blues player Di Matteo until the end of the season. Their league form has been turned around while also appearing favourites to progress to the Champions League semi-finals.

15/2 Jake Watson's predicted 2-0 win to Chelsea is 15-2 with William Hill
One win in their last eight for Villa at home does not make good reading and with Chelsea resurgent and fighting for fourth spot I can only see one winner here - and I expect it to be comfortable.


West Brom


Everton find themselves on the better side of a tough run of fixtures relatively unscathed, having posted wins over Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham in the last month.

Though the Toffees received something of a reality check with defeats against city rivals Liverpool and high-flying Arsenal, getting back to winning ways against Swansea proved that they are set to continue their customary strong finish.

They face a West Brom side who are five places but just four points behind them in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Saturday.

7/1 David Lynch's predicted 2-0 win for Everton is 7-1 with Sportingbet
However, the Baggies have followed up three consecutive wins with two losses and a draw and looked out of sorts in defeat to Newcastle last weekend. That could mean that, following his disasterous spell with Liverpool last season, Roy Hodgson could be set to suffer yet more misery by the Mersey at the hands of the Blues.

Norwich City


The Cottagers were last in action on Monday night at Old Trafford and did themselves no disservice in a 1-0 defeat. In fact, they could have come away with a point had referee Michael Oliver spotted the blatant trip by Michael Carrick on Danny Murphy in the penalty area as the game concluded.

But Fulham aren't a team famed for their great away form - it's their home form that has been the real positive this season, even if they were beaten 3-0 by the one of the league's other newcomers in Swansea last time out.

Norwich earned a good win over relegation strugglers Wolves last weekend, but their two-goal hero Grant Holt picked up a silly red card late in the game, making himself unavailable for this fixture in the process.

7/1 Joe Doyle's predicted 2-1 win for Fulham is 7/1 with Bet365
It should be a pretty tight game at Craven Cottage. The Canaries have been playing some nice football, but I think Martin Jol's side should have enough fire power to beat them, as long as Danny Murphy starts.

Manchester City


It’s getting tense at the top for the Manchester clubs as we enter the home stretch of league fixtures. Of course, Manchester City dealt themselves a cruel blow after being unable to dispose of Stoke City, with some thanks going to Peter Crouch’s wondrous effort.

Many will think that Roberto Mancini’s hopes of his first Premier League title are in the balance, but the men in blue have continued to impress on home turf and have an almost imperious touch when playing at the Etihad.

It’s the end of March and City have claimed a win in all 15 of the home fixtures, a record that rivals Manchester United failed to keep up, with even more losses than draws at Old Trafford.

11.0 Sam Bisby's predicted 3-1 win for Manchester City is 11.0 with 188Bet
This weekend should entertain in a similar fashion, with Sunderland stepping into the frame at a time that the Black Cats have seemingly run to the conclusion of their honeymoon period with Martin O’Neill and I can only see the spoils going to the hosts yet again.



I am looking forward to seeing sone fantasy football from Arsenal as they attempt to end a marvellous March on a high.

All of the attacking components of Arsene Wenger's team have been oiled to perfection in recent weeks as Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and company have tried to dispel the one-man team myth for good.

QPR represent a considerable challenge for the high-flying Gunners at their atmospheric, crammed stadium.

13/2 Wayne Veysey's predicted 1-1 draw is 13/2 with Paddy Power
Last time out, they delivered one of the comebacks of the season when they came from 2-0 behind against Liverpool with 13 minutes left to win 3-2.

Wigan Athletic
  Stoke City


Wigan’s huge win over Liverpool last week has reignited their Premier League survival hopes with another three points and, if results go their way this weekend, they could even move out of the bottom three.

Roberto Martinez's side could not have picked a more important time to get that key victory and they now face a Stoke side with little to play for this season apart from trying to get as high in the table as possible.

The Latics stayed up on the last day of last season thanks to a goal from Hugo Rodallega against Tony Pulis’ side and they’ll need more of the same from him along with Victor Moses if they’re going to achieve the same feat this campaign.

9/1 Simon Sinclair's predicted 2-1 win for Wigan is 9/1 with William Hill
Stoke will be a stern test for the Latics, as last week’s draw with Manchester City showed, and Pulis will hope that Peter Crouch will score a few more goals like his incredible volley to fire the Potters into the top 10.

I can see this being a close game but, because of their big win last week, I think Wigan will get the three points.

  Bolton Wanderers

Wolves’ match against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday is the definition of the term ‘must-win game’. Terry Connor has presided over four defeats in a row and, since taking over last month, has taken home just one point.

His team are now four points adrift at the bottom and, if they taste defeat again on Saturday, it is going to be very difficult for them to stay up with a seven-point gap to make up.

Having scored just one goal in the last four matches, Connor must be working on his team’s attacking play to take advantage of a Bolton defence that has been suspect at times this season.

Mark Fordham's predicted 2-1 win for Bolton is 9/1 with Sportingbet
Owen Coyle’s men somehow managed to put on a performance against rivals Blackburn last Saturday on an emotional afternoon. I think that they will have enough in the tank to see off a team that is completely bereft of confidence.

Newcastle United


Andy Carroll and Newcastle have been heading in different directions since he left Tyneside for Merseyside last year. The Liverpool striker is about to see for himself how much his old club have progressed since he left, while his career went backwards, when he goes back to his old stamping ground for the first time since his £35 million switch to Anfield.

There was widespread condemnation of Toon owner Mike Ashley when he let the Newcastle No. 9 move but, thanks to astute scouting by Graham Carr and smart management by Alan Pardew, the Magpies have kicked on without him.

Newcastle once relied on Carroll’s aerial prowess but in Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse now have one of the most mobile and incisive attacks in the Premier League.

Rob Stewart's predicted 2-1 win for Newcastle is 10/1 with Bet365
Liverpool fans might want rid of Carroll but their Magpies counterparts would not want him back because their club have moved on in his absence. There will be plenty of sympathy for Carroll among Geordies but former Newcastle left-back Jose Enrique can expect a hostile reception.

Tottenham Hotspur
Swansea City


I'm hoping this game provides the easy-on-the-eye football expected from two of the most attractive attacking teams in the Premier League.

Swansea have impressed so much this season that Brendan Rodgers is being linked with the Tottenham job should Harry Redknapp take over as England manager.

The Swans' will come to White Hart Lane with no fear, having proved this season their faith in Rodgers' philosophy of passing football.

Greg Stobart's predicted 3-2 win for Tottenham is 32.0 with 188Bet
Spurs need all three points and the key for the hosts will be to put Swansea under pressure with fast-paced, swashbuckling football. It will be interesting to see if Aaron Lennon is put straight back in the side to provide speed and balance.

Tottenham's defence looks a little rocky to me at the moment, but if their finishing is up to scratch I think they will nick it.

Blackburn Rovers
Manchester United


This game always seems to come around towards the end of the season when United need to secure all three points to aid their perennial title challenge.

It's no different this year, and Sir Alex Ferguson's side are likely to start this game level on points with rivals Manchester City under the lights at Ewood Park.

I think Ferguson will pick an attacking line-up and the United fans will fill the Darwen End to make the atmosphere feel as good as a home match for the visitors.

Greg Stobart's predicted 3-1 win for Manchester United is 9/1 with Paddy Power

Blackburn have really stepped up their form recently and I'm looking forward to seeing how much pressure under which they can put United - something with which opponents have struggled in the last couple of months.

United are in their ruthless, win-at-all costs mode at the moment and I think that they should be too strong for Blackburn here, especially if they score first.