Connect in the back of the net

While the battle for the Premier League title looks like it will be won by Chelsea, there is still much to play for at both ends of the table.

Top-four spots are up for grabs and, following their loss to the Blues, Manchester City will look to bounce back against Hull City at the Etihad.

 

Rallying

This looks a home banker on paper but the Tigers are rallying under Marco Silva and, having beaten doomed Middlesbrough on Wednesday, they have moved out of the relegation zone.

The Yorkshire outfit are one of the in-form teams of 2017 and appear a much more organised and cohesive unit than over the first half of the campaign.

Bournemouth have been inching themselves towards safety and a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in mid-week saw them reach the 35-point mark.

Next up is the visit of Antonio Conte’s table-topping side and Eddie Howe will see any sort of a return as a bonus such is Chelsea’s form this season.

 

Second place seemingly sewn up

Tottenham appear to have second place and a spot in next season’s Champions League wrapped up although there is still time for things to change.

Spurs of old could be brittle but Mauricio Pochettino has moulded his men into a strong side who have made a habit of winning games at the death.

Watford visit on Saturday and, with the Hornets having garnered 37 points and near certainties to play top-flight football next season, will they be up for it? Apparently not as Spurs hammered them 4-0 with Son Heung-Min bagging a brace.

 

Must-win affair

Liverpool are third and travel to the Potteries to take on a Stoke side who are stumbling over the safety line.

Forty points is usually considered the benchmark for clubs to avoid relegation and, having taken just one point from their last four games, Mark Hughes’ side are still four points shy of that target.

The Reds are unbeaten in five but will see this game as a must-win affair with the chasing pack not far behind in pursuit of a top-four finish.

At the wrong end of the standings there is a proverbial ‘six-pointer’ between West Ham and Swansea City at the London Stadium.

After their poor start to proceedings, the Hammers rallied to mid-table but are right in the mire after a disastrous run of results.

 

Not safe yet

The Swans occupy the final relegation spot, with Slaven Bilic’s men five points better off, and a win for the Welsh outfit would drag the Londoners into serious bother.

Middlesbrough look dead and buried after defeat to Hull and face a Burnley side who snapped a seven-match win-less run by taking care of Stoke this week.

The Clarets are not safe yet, however, and so will be up for the clash at the Riverside.

The mid-table battle between West Brom and Southampton at the Hawthorns has all the makings of a draw but you can never tell in the Premier League and so a glance at betting tips will help decide which club to side with.

The Baggies have long been safe and have 44 points already while Saints are on a decent run of their own and should be fine on 37 points.

 

Championship football beckons

Things will get no easier for basement boys Sunderland on Sunday as Manchester United visit the Stadium of Light.

Surely set to play Championship football next term, David Moyes’ side need to win virtually all of their games to stand any chance of survival and United have been in no mood to lose this season.

It is true that the Red Devils no longer tear teams apart like during the Sir Alex Ferguson era, but should have too much for the Black Cats on Wearside.

 

Resurrected

Finally Everton’s pursuit of a top-four finish will continue when champions Leicester arrive at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The Toffees have enjoyed an excellent campaign and have an outside chance of playing in Europe’s elite club competition next season.

Victory over the Foxes will be essential for that to happen but the Midlanders have won five consecutive Premier League games and now look back to their best.

Jamie Vardy has found his scoring boots and Craig Shakespeare’s men will fancy their chances of continuing their run on Merseyside.

 

Like O-Posts on Facebook

You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts