Gameweek 34 preview

April 19, 2013

20 Apr 15:00 Fulham Fulham v Arsenal Arsenal
20 Apr 15:00 Norwich Norwich v Reading Reading
20 Apr 15:00 QPR QPR v Stoke City Stoke City
20 Apr 15:00 Sunderland Sunderland v Everton Everton
20 Apr 15:00 Swansea Swansea v Southampton Southampton
20 Apr 15:00 West Brom West Brom v Newcastle Newcastle
20 Apr 15:00 West Ham West Ham v Wigan Wigan
21 Apr 13:30 Tottenham Tottenham v Man City Man City
21 Apr 16:00 Liverpool Liverpool v Chelsea Chelsea
22 Apr 20:00 Man Utd Man Utd v Aston Villa Aston Villa

 

There are 4 gameweeks left of this season, and there are 3 teams in this Premier League that effectively have nothing to play for. Swansea, West Brom and Liverpool sit comfortably in mid table, away from relegation, and not quite in touch with Europe – although in both cases, not completely mathematically out of both races. Meaning there are still plenty of players whose minds aren’t set on the beach – just yet. That’s if you believe Manchester United think that City still have a chance of catching them, and that everybody below Fulham will pick up enough points to overhaul them and plonk them in the relegation zone come the end of the season. Neither will happen. Although I live in hope with the first one.

Realistically it’s Reading, QPR plus one of Wigan, Villa or Stoke to go down. The race for Europe is between Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton. Norwich will pick up enough draws to slowly ease their way over the line. Newcastle may not win another game, but neither will Stoke, so they should stay one step ahead of them at the very least, and Sunderland will have gained enough momentum and morale from the 3-0 thrashing of their local rivals last week to see them through to the end.

West Ham, Southampton and Fulham should join the mid table party this weekend. A look at Swansea, West Brom and Liverpool’s recent results suggests they know where this season is heading. Liverpool will want to get as close to Everton as possible and finish in 7th. But they’ll need to get Luis Suarez interested again. It’s 4 without a goal. Last week, for the first time since December, he was transferred out of more FPL teams than he was transferred into, and he appears way down the list of form strikers. West Brom have won just 3 times since the turn of the year, and Romelu Lukaku hasn’t netted in 3 games. Meanwhile, Swansea, since winning the league cup, have won just once. I can’t quite bring myself to dispose of Michu just yet though. Bear in mind that both Swansea and West Brom have a double gameweek in 3 weeks time.

And could it be that some end of season jitters have set in with our leading teams. The race for the April manager of the month is led by Pimp My Side and Inter Ealing. Pimp My Side started well but didn’t quite have the legs to stay apace with the leaders. They’ve been comfortable in and around the top 10. A push for the April prize would be reward for a consistent first Buckets season. Perennial strugglers Inter Ealing are enjoying a Wiganesque renaissance. Their current side is a mix of relegation threatened misfits and a strong title chasing defence. Whose to say that’s not the right end of season combination for picking up the most points? Also in the running are mid table maestros A Few Good Men, Borussia HairBack, Goodbutnosigurdsson and Bermie United. March winners and Buckets Cup champions (Your Ad Here) – they’re bottom.

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