The final knockings of the 2022/23 Premier League season are upon us and fates up and down the table are starting to be sealed.
Gameweek 36 has more crucial fixtures in the title race, with sides jostling to finish in European spots and clubs frantically looking to push away from the relegation scrap.
Manchester City will look to add to their lead over Arsenal when they visit Everton, with the Gunners playing Brighton later on Sunday.
Here’s 90min‘s predictions for the upcoming weekend of action.
There’s narrative galore at Elland Road in the weekend’s first fixture as Sam Allardyce leads Leeds against former club Newcastle.
United were beaten in Allardyce’s first game at Manchester City and are running out of games to escape the drop, Newcastle, on the other hand, can take a giant leap towards Champions League qualification with all three points.
They were limp and nullified in the defeat to Arsenal but should manage to leave Yorkshire with a win and one over their old manager.
Prediction: Leeds 1-2 Newcastle
Southampton’s situation looks pretty dire right now. They have to beat Fulham at St Mary’s to be in with a chance of staying up, but even then it’s a case of delaying the inevitable.
The Saints are primed for a return to the Championship and their fate could be sealed by a Fulham side with little to play for. The Cottagers did, however, show little mercy to fellow strugglers Leicester in their most recent outing.
Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Fulham
It still seems ridiculous Chelsea started the season with Thomas Tuchel and ended it with Frank Lampard, the German’s predecessor at Stamford Bridge. Graham Potter was even at Stamford Bridge, if you can think that far back.
The Blues are scrapping for a top half finish but face a Nottingham Forest side full of zip and vigour looking to push away from the bottom three. Wins over Brighton and Southampton have lifted Steve Cooper’s side up to 16th.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Nottingham Forest
Aston Villa’s renaissance under Unai Emery has stalled slightly with losses to Manchester United and Wolves of late but have the perfect opportunity to get back on the horse when they host Tottenham at Villa Park.
Spurs did end a run of four games without a win by beating Crystal Palace last time out but have fallen out of the Champions League picture, sitting five points behind Liverpool in fifth.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham
Manchester United’s place in the Champions League next season has become less assured after losses to Brighton and West Ham, but a top four spot is still theirs to claim in the run-in.
Erik ten Hag’s side start that European bid against Wolves, who are mathematically safe from relegation having been bottom before the World Cup break.
With Liverpool in hot pursuit, a win would calm the nerves around Old Trafford.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-0 Wolves
Crystal Palace and Bournemouth acted at different points in the season in replacing their failing managers but have been repaid with Premier League survival or close to it.
The two sides are separated by only a point in the current standings, with the Cherries the fourth best team in the league based on form over the last six games.
It should be an entertaining affair with two teams looking for one final win that quashes any lingering anxiety.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth
Some wobbly late season performances derailed Brentford’s bid for Europe but they are still looking to secure their best Premier League finish, with the standard of 13th set in 2021/22.
They face a West Ham side on Sunday who took a step towards reaching the Europa Conference League final by beating AZ Alkmaar in the semi final first leg on Sunday.
Prediction: Brentford 1-1 West Ham
Everton shocked most of the Premier League with a devastating display of attacking football at Brighton, Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucoure both scored braces in a hefty 5-1 win, though they’ll be worked harder by treble chasing Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side were held by Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi final. Changes will be made to their starting XI, but the Citizens should still have enough quality to earn all three points.
Prediction: Everton 0-2 Manchester City
Assuming City beat Everton, the pressure is then on Arsenal to keep the title race alive by winning at home against Brighton.
The Gunners were strong in their 2-0 win at Newcastle, banishing memories of a hurtful defeat at St James’ Park last season.
Brighton looked tired and weary in the heavy defeat to Everton. They should respond enough to run Arsenal close, but the home side are still favourites.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-2 Brighton
Rounding off the weekend is a clash between relegation worriers Leicester and Champions League hopefuls Liverpool.
The Foxes looked rather hopeless in their 5-3 defeat to Fulham last time out despite cutting the deficit late on and any such rubbish defending will be punished by the in-form Reds, with Mohamed Salah enjoying a great end to the campaign.