Dave Coyne previews this weekend’s Premier League fixtures and fancies Liverpool and United to win at home & City to beat Tottenham away.
Liverpool vs Queens Park Rangers
After suffering defeat to Hull City last week, Brendan Rodgers is under huge pressure to secure a win. For the club and his own career. Liverpool know that with Southampton and Tottenham still firmly in the race for a Europa League place, they cannot afford to drop any more points. However, they face a crisis up front with Daniel Sturridge ruled out and Mario Balotelli looking doubtful after the Hull game.
Despite only suffering one defeat in their last four league games (to Chelsea), two draws see QPR stranded four points from safety in the dreading relegation zone. With Manchester City away next. They will, however, be spurred by their heroic home efforts against Liverpool earlier in the season when a dramatic Steven Caulker own goal handed the Reds a win in the closing minutes.
Liverpool won the corresponding 2013 fixture and I simply can’t see QPR securing an upset with such big stakes on the line for Rodgers and Liverpool.
Liverpool to beat Queens Park Rangers: 1 Point @ 2/5 generally.
Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion
United need at least six points from their last four games to secure a top four position. But to do so they will have to return to form which saw them win six games on the trot before back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Everton. Radamel Falcao is likely to replace the injured Wayne Rooney and with Van Persie and Januzaj still working their way back to full fitness, United could struggle up front on Saturday.
West Brom have taken four points off Crystal Palace and Liverpool in their last two games and have already surpassed last season’s total haul of 36. The Baggies are likely to throw everything they have at United and could be boosted by the return of attacking threat Callum McManaman.
Interestingly, the last time these two sides met at Old Trafford, WBA came away 2-1 winners. But with so much on the line for United, it is difficult look past a home win this weekend.
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Spurs take on City at White Harte Lane this Sunday and hope to continue their push for European football next season. This same fixture last year saw Tottenham take a 1-5 hammering in their own back yard and they will no doubt be looking to rectify that this weekend. They also have an added incentive of overtaking Liverpool after their loss to Hull last week.
City’s drop in form over the past two months has seen them fall far behind table toppers Chelsea with thirteen points now separating the two. With such a large gap, a league title looks beyond City but automatic Champions League qualification is still up for grabs and will mean alot to players hoping for an extended summer rest.
If the last few fixtures are anything to go by, there should be plenty of goals with at least five scored in the last three meetings of these two teams. Despite Kane’s form for Spurs, the overall attacking prowess of City should prove the deciding factor on the day.
Manchester City to beat Tottenham: 1 Point @ 21/20 generally.