All games 15:00 kick-off.
CHELSEA v. BLACKBURN, Stamford Bridge
With their loss against Liverpool on Tuesday, Chelsea have nothing left to play for in the league this season, and all eyes will be on their Champions League final against Bayern Munich on the 19th. For Blackburn too, the outcome of this game means nothing – they will be playing their football in the Championship next season regardless.
For this reason, the game may not be too exciting a match-up, Chelsea probably more interested in their players coming through the encounter unscathed than the result itself. Blackburn have put in some decent displays without result this year, but the demoralising effect of their relegation this week and the huge shadow cast over the club currently should mean Chelsea still have enough to edge it.
What to watch out for: Debuts. With nothing riding on the outcome, each manager may take the opportunity to try out some new faces.
Chelsea: Turnbull; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand; Essien, Romeu, Ramires, Malouda, Sturridge; Torres
Blackburn: Robinson; Lowe, Dann, Hanley, Olsson; Orr, Pedersen, N’Zonzi, Olsson; Hoilet, Yakubu
Recent form: Chelsea – WDDWLL; Blackburn – LLLWLL
EVERTON v. NEWCASTLE, Goodison Park
Newcastle have had a wonderful season and a guaranteed Champions League spot is still up for grabs should they beat Everton at Goodison. Everton meanwhile are playing simply for the pride of finishing the top team on Merseyside, and the galvanising effects this can have on David Moyes’ squad are not to be underestimated.
Ultimately, though, it is Newcastle who need the result here more, and the Magpies who are likely to chase it. With the likes of Ba and Cisse upfront, it is difficult to see them failing to score, and their essential attacking approach may mean they have too much for Everton.
What to watch out for: Amongst the many things Moyes has brought to Everton is a great obstinacy, and they will be doing everything in their power to block Newcastle’s route to the Champions League qualifying spots.
Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines; Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar; Cahill, Jelavic
Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Gutierrez; Guthrie, Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa; Cisse, Ba
Recent form: Everton – DWDWDD; Newcastle – WWWLWL
MAN CITY. v. QPR, Etihad Stadium
This should be the game in which Manchester City claim their debut Premiership title. QPR need to take points from City in order to guarantee their top-flight survival, but the Sky Blues possess too much attacking prowess to allow this to happen.
Despite City’s goal difference already being vastly superior to that of title rivals Manchester United, they will want to make absolutely sure there is no way their neighbours can turn it around, and so QPR may find themselves on the end of a real battering here.
Suggestions that City will suffer from big-game nerves should not come to fruition – these players have been in these situations before, it is only the colour of their shirts that may have differed.
What to watch out for: Mario Balotelli. Should this game not be going his way, City boss Roberto Mancini will likely look to the hot-headed young Italian. Should he be able to provide a tell-tale contribution, the situation is perfect for one of his unique brand of home-made t-shirts.
Man City: Hart; Richards, Kolo Toure, Kompany, Clichy; Barry, Nasri, Yaya Toure, Silva; Aguero, Tevez
QPR: Kenny; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Young; Barton, Diakite, Derry, Taarabt; Cisse, Zamora
Recent form: Man City – LWWWWW; QPR – LWLWLW
NORWICH v. ASTON VILLA, Carrow Road
Norwich will wish to produce a decent performance in order to thank the fans for their support during what has been a very successful season for Paul Lambert’s team. Lambert will almost certainly still be present at Carrow Road next season, and under his stewardship the Canaries are perfectly set to continue their improvement.
The same cannot be said of Aston Villa. If the majority of fans get their way, it will not be Alex McLeish at the helm at Villa Park. Many Villains fans have been unimpressed with the uninspiring brand of football chosen by McLeish as the team seem to have taken a step back from the promising Martin O’Neil era only a few seasons ago. Whether it is McLeish or someone else in charge next season, they will need to find a way for their team to score goals away from Darren Bent, or risk another disappointing year.
What to watch out for: Dissent. Should this be another lacklustre display from Villa, the travelling fans will surely have a lot to say about their manager and club situation.
Norwich: Ruddy; Ward, Whitbread, Bennett, Martin; Naughton, Fox, Surman, Hoolahan; Holt
Aston Villa: Given; Lichaj, Collins, Baker, Warnock; Gardner, Herd, Agbonlahor, Ireland, Bannon; Weimann
Recent form: Norwich – DWLLLD; Aston Villa – DLDLDD
STOKE v. BOLTON, Britannia Stadium
Bolton have to win if they want to be playing in this league again next year – it is that simple. They have endured a difficult year, having to overcome poor displays as well as tragedies such as Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest, but a victory here and a failure to win from QPR may mean they can put this year to rest.
Stoke have enjoyed another season in which they solidified their Premiership status, and will be glad to be away from the relegation drama at the bottom. As ever with Stoke, they will make it very difficult for Bolton to score – any hopes Wanderers may have of erasing the goal deficit between themselves and QPR will have been extinguished at conception.
If Bolton are to win, Owen Coyle must light a fire under his men for one last time this season and hope that their willingness to win can drive them towards a hard-fought victory here. Stoke will not make it easy for their visitors, and I just do not see Bolton having enough to win here.
What to watch out for: Kevin Davies. There are very few footballing situations yet to be experienced by this old hand, and he will need to provide the calming influence on his team, keeping his teammates focused on the game and away from panic.
Stoke: Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Pennant, Whitehead, Whelan, Etherington; Crouch, Walters
Bolton: Bogdan; Ricketts, Ream, Wheater, Alonso; Miyaichi, Davies, Reo-Coker, Petrov; Klasnic, Ngog
Recent form: Stoke – WDLDDL; Bolton – LDWDLD
SUNDERLAND v. MAN UTD, Stadium of Light
This is the worst time for Sunderland to be playing United. The Red Devils know that in all likelihood, anything less than a big win will see them relinquish their title to City – and so a big win is what they will chase.
This season has been remarkable in that United have failed to see the championship out as one would expect. In years gone past, Alex Ferguson’s men would wrap the title up with a minimum of fuss. Not so this season. Whether they have been rattled by the emergence of a real threat from Manchester City or their squad is simply weaker than in previous seasons, United have made heavy work of it this time around, and may pay the price.
Regardless, I still fully expect them to beat a Sunderland side whose form has tailed off dramatically of late, and it will depend on the result at the Etihad as to who finishes the afternoon as champions.
What to watch out for: Chewing gum. Ferguson is famous for the amount he chews, but this is one of the most important games he has ever been involved in. Expect his jaw to be working overtime.
Sunderland: Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback; Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner
Man Utd: Da Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Carrick, Scholes, Jones, Valencia; Welbeck, Rooney
Recent form: Sunderland – DLDDDL; Man Utd – WLWDLW
SWANSEA v. LIVERPOOL, Liberty Stadium
Swansea’s attractive, attacking form of football has proved successful and drawn favourable comparisons from all corners this season, and the Swans will be able to reflect happily on their first season in the Premier League. Their form has dipped of late, but they will be pleased with their showing regardless.
This is in stark contrast to their rivals. Liverpool will not be pleased with their league performance, and no attempts to mask their struggles with the Carling Cup will hide the fact that the Reds have been well below par. They are finding their feet and their form of late, however, and the resurgent Andy Carroll still has a lot to prove to Reds fans. If he is able to continue his recent from he will be one step closer to finding a place in the hearts of the Anfield faithful, and perhaps a place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2012 in the process.
What to watch out for: Long balls. Both teams have performed better this season when the ball is kept on the floor, and so lofted passing may be rare. With Carroll on the pitch, however, the temptation to send the ball to him through the air will always exist.
Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Monk, Williams, Taylor; Routledge, Britton, Sigurdsson, Allen, Sinclair; Graham
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique; Henderson, Shelvey, Maxi, Downing; Suarez, Carroll
Recent form: Swansea – LLWDDL; Liverpool – DWLWLW
TOTTENHAM v. FULHAM, White Hart Lane
Along with Arsenal and Newcastle, Tottenham remain in the hunt for third place and the final guaranteed Champions League spot. It seems likely that they will need to beat Fulham to get it, as well as relying on results from elsewhere, and Harry Redknapp will encourage his men to get forward at all opportunities in pursuit of goals which could prove crucial.
Fulham’s away from has not been the best this year, and Spurs will fancy their chances against their London rivals in a game which ultimately holds significance only for the home team.
What to watch out for:
Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Sandro, Modric, Parker, van der Vaart, Bale; Adebayor
Fulham: Schwarzer; Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise; Murphy, Dembele, Ruiz, Dempsey, Duff; Pogrebnyak
Recent form: Tottenham – DLLWWD; Fulham – WDWLWW
WEST BROM v. ARSENAL
West Brom have been impressive this season, playing attractive football under Roy Hodgson and taking more points than many would have predicted at the start of the year. A 10th placed finish will be seen as a job well done by all involved.
Arsenal have recovered from a disastrous beginning to their season and now have one hand on third place and Champions League football next season. They need a win here to make sure of this, though, and will be all guns blazing from the get-go. A year with no Champions League would be disastrous for the Gunners, and they will be hell-bent on making sure they secure third spot.
What to watch out for: A celebratory farewell for Hodgson. Whilst most Baggies fans will surely be sad to see him go, they will be aware that the job he leaves them for is the highest accolade an English manager can receive – and will wish him all the best with his future endeavours.
West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Brunt, Andrews, Scharner, Tchoyi; Long, Odemwingie
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Song, Arteta, Ramsey; Walcott, Rosicky, van Persie
Recent form: West Brom – WLWWDD; Arsenal – WWLDDD
WIGAN v. WOLVES, DW Stadium
Wigan have survived another flirt with the drop – it must be frustrating for Wigan fans to see their team struggle for much of the season only to turn it on when they really must. Still, the Latics recent from has been nothing short of outstanding and has included several big teams amongst their scalps, and there is little reason to suggest that impressive run will end here.
Wolves have deserved their relegation and will have a lot of work to do over the close season. They will bring a fighting attitude to the DW just as they displayed against Everton last week, but Wigan should out-pass, out-play and out-score them on the day.
What to watch out for: Wolves’ Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle, amongst potential others. It is unlikely that the Wolves men will remain at Molineux next season, and may well use this match as a reminder to anyone all those watching that their talent is of Premiership quality.
Wigan: Al Habsi; Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce; McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Moses; Di Santo, Maloney
Wolves: Hennessey; Stearman, Johnson, Bassong, Ward; Kightly, Davis, Edwards, Jarvis; Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher
Recent form: Wigan – LWWLWW; Wolves – LLDLDD
Follow James Tremain on Twitter: @james_tremainTags: arsenal, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premier League, QPR, Tottenham Hotspur