United bus next as Guardiola faces dilemma
Manchester City can clinch the Premier League title with victory over local rivals Manchester United tomorrow.
The game, sandwiched between the two legs of City’s Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool, provides Pep Guardiola with a dilemma.
Does he send his star players out to grab Mancunian bragging rights or rest his top men in a possibly futile attempt to win the biggest trophy of all?
Guardiola’s men now look to face an impossible task to turn around a three-goal deficit to Liverpool after a poor performance in the first leg of their quarter final.
They failed to record a single shot on target at Anfield and struggled defensively. In order to get any semblance of confidence back ahead of the return match, he must pick his strongest team in an attempt to get the feel-good factor back.
11am kick-offs unless stated
Everton v Liverpool, 8.30am
The Merseyside Derby kicks off a great weekend of football and it’s difficult to know the personnel Jürgen Klopp will field given this game falls between the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City. If Klopp plays his first choice eleven, they will beat an Everton side who look average under Sam Allardyce. Prediction: 0-2
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Bournemouth have all but secured their place in the Premier League next season but the same cannot be said for their opponents, who sit just one place above the relegation zone. Roy Hodgson’s men were unlucky to come out of the game against Liverpool last week with no points and can make amends here. Prediction: 1-2
Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield are grimly keeping their heads above water in the battle to avoid relegation and might fancy their chances against a team who have lost their last three games. Brighton probably need four points from their last seven games to guarantee Premier League football next season. They will get three of them here. Prediction: 1-0
Leicester City v Newcastle United
Newcastle have won just three away games this season against strugglers Swansea, Stoke and West Ham. Leicester City don’t fall into that bracket and should have enough firepower to edge a tight game. Prediction: 2-1
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur
Things look bleak for Stoke, who have won just once in nine matches since appointing Paul Lambert as manager in January. That statistic is unlikely to improve against a team with goal machine Harry Kane making a return to the starting line-up. Prediction: 0-2
Watford v Burnley
Burnley occupy seventh place, which will be good enough to qualify for the Europa League if one of the top four teams wins the FA Cup. That would be a remarkable achievement for Sean Dyche’s men but they may face a setback in their ambitions by tasting defeat at Vicarage Road. Prediction: 2-0
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City
The only question left about West Brom’s dismal season is will they win another game? They have lost eight straight in the league and the Hawthorns faithful are not going to have anything to cheer about tomorrow. Prediction: 1-2
Manchester City v Manchester United, 1.30pm
Pep Guardiola’s men will have no greater incentive than winning the title against their local rivals. United manager José Mourinho will have had an entire week to get his team fired up and might be able to postpone City celebrations for another week with the aid of his bus. Prediction: 1-1
Arsenal v Southampton, 10.15am
Supporters of clubs fighting against relegation must have been thrilled to see Mark Hughes appointed as manager of Southampton. A 3-0 defeat away to West Ham in his first league match in charge will have done nothing to dissuade his critics and his team look up against it again. Prediction: 2-0
Chelsea v West Ham United, 12.30pm
Chelsea’s league season is all but over after their 3-1 defeat by Tottenham last week and their hopes of silverware rest solely on the FA Cup. West Ham put in an improved performance last week and will be looking to take advantage of the home team’s lack of confidence. However, they may be out of luck. Prediction: 2-1
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