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The gap at the top of the Premier League is expected to stay at five points, while the Latics should pull further away from relegation and the Blues will defeat the Gunners

Another weekend, another round of Premier League fixtures, and there are a number of crucial games at the top, the bottom, and in the race for the Champions League.

First up is the huge game in the dash for a top-four spot, as Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. The Blues are likely to be more than a little tired after their midweek exertions against Barcelona, and Arsenal will be hoping to bounce back from their shock defeat to Wigan on Monday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Martin O'Neill takes Sunderland back to his former club Aston Villa, who will be hoping to take three points as they try to avoid being sucked into the relegation dogfight.

Blackburn are certainly candidates to go down this season and they will face tough opposition in the form of Norwich City at home after a run of five straight defeats.

Meanwhile, Roberto Martinez's Wigan side are on their travels again as they face Fulham at Craven Cottage. The Latics will hope to extend a run of four wins in five, including victories against Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.

The race for the Premier League title is also hotting up and, against Everton, Manchester United will have a chance to extend their lead at the top to eight points over their rivals Manchester City, who are in action later that day away to Wolves.

Here is how Goal.com’s experts see this weekend’s ties panning out ...

Arsenal
1-2
Chelsea

WAYNE VEYSEY SAYS...


There are plenty of fascinating sub-plots in this north-west London derby - how Arsenal cope without lucky omen Mikel Arteta, the extent of Roberto Di Matteo's rotation policy and the amount of tension in the Emirates Stadium atmosphere.
 
Then, of course, there is the main storyline - the battle for the last two Champions League places, which was given a new lease of life by Wigan Athletic's shock win on Monday.
 
I am most looking forward to see whether Di Matteo picks his strongest team for the match - as he did against Barcelona in midweek and at Wembley last Sunday - or whether he tweaks his side with one eye on Tuesday's rematch at the Camp Nou, Chelsea's biggest match of the season.
 
11/1 Wayne Veysey's predicted 2-1 win for Chelsea is 11/1 with Bet365
The centre-forward and central midfield selections will be the big giveaway. If mid-thirtysomethings Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard start their third match in seven days, then we will know that Champions League qualification is uppermost in Di Matteo's mind. If not, the risk is that all the European eggs will be thrown in a basket marked 'Barcelona'.

Aston Villa
1-2
  Sunderland

RYAN BENSON SAYS...

Considering some of the talent available to them, Aston Villa have endured a desperately poor season and, unless they can at least muster some brief resilience, Alex McLeish could very easily be looking at his second relegation in as many years.

Villa are sitting six points ahead of Bolton, who occupy the final relegation place, but, with Owen Coyle's side having a game in hand and still to face McLeish's team, their fate is far from certain following a run of just one win in 11 Premier League matches.

Facing McLeish's Villans on Saturday are Sunderland, managed by former Villa boss Martin O'Neill, who will take control of his first league match at Villa Park since leaving just over a year-and-a-half ago.

11/1 Ryan Benson's predicted 2-1 win for Sunderland is 11/1 with Bet365
Although the hosts are in freefall, O'Neill cannot boast significantly better recent form, with the Black Cats winning only three of their last 11 matches. However, given their league position, the Mackems will be disappointed if they fail to pick up three points.

Blackburn
1-1
Norwich City

MARK FORDHAM SAYS...

A month ago, Blackburn easily brushed aside Sunderland to give themselves breathing space in the battle to stay in the Premier League.

With some supposedly winnable games to come in their next five fixtures, Rovers fans perhaps thought that their team were safe.

Five defeats later and Ewood Park is under a cloud of doom and gloom. Defeat this Saturday against Paul Lambert’s men would be absolutely catastrophic - in fact, anything less than a win and the death knell could well be sounding for Steve Kean.

6/1 Mark Fordham's predicted 1-1 draw between Blackburn and Norwich City is 6/1 with Bet365
Norwich City, however, sit very comfortably in 11th place with four games to go in a season when many observers would have expected these two opponents' roles to have been reversed by this stage.

Expect another spirited performance from the Canaries and, if they show as much adventure as against Spurs in their last away game, Ewood Park will be a glum place to be.

Bolton
1-0
Swansea City

SAM BISBY SAYS...

Swansea City achieved a feat last weekend that not many would have expected from the plucky Welsh side by breaking the magic 40-point mark with a comprehensive win over Blackburn.

Not only have the Swans reached the vital milestone in their inaugural Premier League season, but they could also finish their impressive campaign in the top 10.

Bolton, meanwhile, remain in the thick of a messy relegation battle and currently rely on their two games in hand – starting with Aston Villa next week and then Tottenham eight days later – to pull through and make the most of their advantage to pip the likes of QPR and a resurgent Wigan side.

8/1 Sam Bisby's predicted 1-0 win for Bolton is 8/1 with Bet365
Swansea’s inconsistent away record makes this difficult to predict, but the Trotters’ determination to push for survival in front of their own crowd could prove to be the difference in a hard-fought fixture.

Fulham
1-2
Wigan

JOHN STAMMERS SAYS...

Wigan will be hoping for a second successful trip to the capital this week, after shocking Arsenal with a 2-1 victory at the Emirates on Monday.

Defeating Manchester United before that, the Latics are a team in form and, after a tough period, have earned a five-point cushion from the relegation zone.

Saturday's trip to Craven Cottage, where they face a side with little more to play for, is a golden opportunity for them to all but secure safety.

However, it won't be easy. Martin Jol's men have been in fine form at home this season, netting 32 times - surprisingly, more than Newcastle. Wigan have also leaked goals on their travels, conceding 33 on the road compared to 15 at the DW Stadium.

12/1 John Stammers' predicted 2-1 win for Wigan is 12/1 with Bet365
Despite this, the visitors have invaluable momentum and I think that the possible prospect of a comforting eight-point gap between them and the bottom three will spur them on to another win.

Newcastle
2-1   Stoke City

ROB STEWART SAYS...

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is trying to play down his club’s Champions League hopes in public but, the way things are going, his team could end up sneaking into third place this season.

If the Magpies secure a sixth successive Premier League win for only the third time since they joined the elite under Kevin Keegan in 1993, they will intensify the pressure on third-placed Arsenal. 

They say that momentum is everything and if that rings true then Newcastle could be looking forward to ending the season on a high because they have developed that habit of not playing particularly well and still winning.

7/1 Rob Stewart's predicted 2-1 win for Newcastle is 7/1 with Bet365

With Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa in sizzling form, it would be no surprise if mid-table Stoke are brushed aside but, then again, Tony Pulis and his charges will fancy playing the party-poopers and set-pieces could cause Newcastle plenty of anxiety.

QPR
1-1

Tottenham
 
JOSH CLARKE SAYS...


If Spurs aren’t careful, the top-four finish that has looked a shoo-in for the entirety of the season will go to pot.

I’m looking forward to a uncompromising test of character for Harry Redknapp’s men after their FA Cup mauling at Wembley, with the trip across London to Loftus Road a problematic match for a team bereft of confidence.

QPR’s on-and-off form will have Mark Hughes ripping his hair out but if there’s one thing that the Hoops boss can rely on, it’s consistent home performances. Three wins on the bounce – against Swansea City, Arsenal and Liverpool – have given the club hope in their battle against the drop.

11/2 Josh Clarke's predicted 1-1 draw between QPR and Tottenham is 11/2 with Bet365
The stakes are high for both clubs and, though Spurs would happily take an ugly 1-0 win, I’m not convinced that they have the bottle to defy a QPR team that has looked both stylish and resilient in their recent home encounters.

Manchester United
3-0
Everton

GREG STOBART SAYS...

The defeat at Wigan showed that United are not immune to feeling the pressure and on Sunday they face an Everton side that never make life easy.

Sir Alex Ferguson will drum into his players the need to take the three points to make sure they go into the Manchester derby with a gap of at least five points.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Wayne Rooney plays against his former club, especially as his all-round play has been a little off-colour recently, despite an impressive goals return.

Everton come into the game on the back of the immense disappointment of losing to rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend.

7/1 Greg Stobart's predicted 3-0 win for Manchester United is 7/1 with Bet365
I’m not sure how much fight they will have when they come to Old Trafford but they are always organised and committed.

United will need to be patient and I think their wide men will be key to securing a comfortable victory.

Liverpool
2-0
West Brom

DAVID LYNCH SAYS...


Following their 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Merseyside rivals Everton at the weekend, the Reds must now turn their attention to rectifying what has been a disappointing league campaign.

Sunday's clash with West Brom at Anfield could perhaps be seen as the perfect opportunity to maintain their cup confidence with a win over mid-table opposition - however, there is a widely known sub-plot to this game.

Baggies manager Roy Hodgson is making his first return to Anfield since his unceremonious removal as manager and replacement by the man currently at the helm, Kenny Dalglish.

11/2 David Lynch's predicted 2-0 win for Liverpool is 11/2 with Bet365
The Croydon-born boss will be keen to prove a point to fans who never truly warmed to him but he may just find that several players whom he marginalised during his time on Merseyside - such as Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson - could equally be out to exact revenge. This could mean that West Brom's current run of disappointing form will we be extended by a buoyant Liverpool.

Wolves
0-5
Manchester City

ALEX FISHER SAYS...


These two teams are experiencing very different seasons and their outlooks on the final four games couldn't be further apart.

There haven’t been too many things to smile about for Wolves. Since sacking Mick McCarthy, they have been on a downward spiral and now find themselves cut adrift at the bottom of the table as favourites for relegation.  

Meanwhile, at the other end of the standings, City have found their mojo again and they showed last weekend that they are back to their fluent best – a scary thought for all Wolves supporters.

18/1 Alex Fisher's predicted 5-0 win for Manchester City is 18/1 with Bet365
City have scored 10 goals in their last two games and I expect them to add quite a few more to that as they attempt to overhaul United at the top of the table. Wolves can only pray results go their way elsewhere and they have still got a chance at survival.

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