Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 34: Open Thread
Manchester United could nail down the Premier League title with a win today. Not mathematically, but if they do win, they’ll open up a nine point gap at the top of the table. And I seriously doubt that Manchester United would drop that many points in their final three games of the season.
But before we jump to conclusions, Everton has a fighting chance against United. The Toffees have the second best form in the league currently. From their last six games, they’ve won four and drawn two. And despite their awful start to the season, they would leapfrog Liverpool into sixth position with a win today. Can they do it? If it was at Goodison Park, yes. At Old Trafford, where Man United have not lost all season? I don’t think so.
If the title race is dead and buried by the time the 10am ET/3pm GMT games are ready to kick off, then we at least have the battle to avoid relegation to contend with. Saturday gives us a must-win match for both teams between Sunderland and Wigan Athletic. Only Blackpool are on a worse run of form in the Premier League now other than Sunderland. Steve Bruce’s side have lost five of their last six matches (the other one being a draw). Wigan, meanwhile, will be brimming with confidence after their impressive win against Blackpool last week. While the match is at the Stadium of Light, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Wigan win all three points here.
The other relegation battle is between Wolves and Fulham. All Fulham needs is a win here and they should be safe for next season. But anything less will be worrisome for Mark Hughes’s side. Wolverhampton Wanderers, meanwhile, are sitting bottom of the table. But a win at home could lift them up three places and out of the drop zone depending on how the other clubs above Wolves do. If Mick McCarthy’s side will be in the Premier League next season, three points is a necessity today.
In the other 10am ET matches, Stoke City will be hoping for a win against Aston Villa to confirm their place in the Premier League next season. Blackpool will be praying for a home win against Newcastle United. Tottenham will have a chance to temporarily move into fourth place with a win against high-flying West Bromwich Albion. And last but not least, Birmingham will be hoping for some points when they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.
In the last match of the day, Chelsea face West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. The Hammers are facing the Blues at the worst possible time. Chelsea have the best form in the Premier League right now based on the last six games. Plus, they’ve now leapfrogged Arsenal into second place. They have one eye on the Premier League title if United stumble. West Ham United would love to get all three points. But considering the circumstances, one point would be precious.
Before, during or after the games today, post your rants, raves, questions or observations in the comments section below. It promises to be an exciting day with so much on the line for so many Premier League clubs.