After 37 action packed match days in the course of the 2018/19 season, the English Premier League enters the last match day on Sunday. Everything else other than that the winner is decided; top four, top six and relegated clubs. In the title race, holder Manchester City are just one win away from successfully defending the title since 2008/09 when city rivals Manchester United then under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson retained the title.
On the other hand, Liverpool head into the final day of the league season looking to win their tricky tie against a rampant Wolves and hope that City drop points away at the Amex Stadium to win a first title in nearly three decades. The odds are stacked against the Reds, who have made it a habit of succeeding in the face of adversity as was the case in midweek, can lady luck bring the Holy Grail to Merseyside?
Here, we take a look at each and every one of these matches and what to expect as the 2018/19 season comes to an end.
Brighton v Man City
A match where it is hard to see anything other than a City win. Pep's side will be looking for their 14th successive league win to help them seal the title.
Man City have not been at their creative best in their last two games against Burnely and Leicester but have still found a way of grinding a 1-0 win each time. It has been about when the ball finds the back of the net and once it does going into game management mode and hardly looking troubled. At Leicester on Monday night,the Citizens needed a moment of inspiration from captain Vincent Kompany to get all the three points.
City would love an early goal, to calm any nerves and control proceedings but they may have to be patient on the south coast. They'll need to curve open Brighton although I do believe they eventually will. The longer the score stays at 0-0 or they even find themselves trailing, and reports come in from Anfield that Liverpool are winning their tie, the more pressure will mount as has been the case in their last two game.
Brighton are safe. Crucially too, they have started scoring goals again. They may not be the most prolific side in the league but they have found the back of the net in each of their last two games, an improvement for a side that had gone seven games without a goal. Like the showed against Arsenal last time out, given the chance they can cause problems too. They nearly won that game at the death only for failure to keep composure in front of goal to deny them the three points.
Their strength is in defence, retaining their shape and being compact. Playing at home for the last game of the season, the fans would probably prefer to see their team have a little bit of a go attack-wise. However, Brighton are likely to be set up focusing on disrupting the flow of the game and making things difficult for Man City rather than going out to attack.
Chris Hughton will be encouraged that his side lost by a single goal against City in last month's FA Cup semi-final. That was largely because their gameplan was to stop City and they'll probably try to keep things tight again this time too. The last time City lost the final game of the season, they played a Chris Hughton managed Norwich side.
Prediction: Brighton 0-1 Man City
Value Pick: Asian Handicap +2.25 Brighton Win @1.83/ Under 4.5 Goals @1.45
Burnley v Arsenal
Arsenal travel to Turf Moor looking to hold onto fifth place and avoid the Europa League qualification round next season. Of course, the Gunners could bypass the competition completely if they can beat rivals Chelsea in the Europa League finals in Baku later this month. Arsenal would need to win 0-8 (or less depending with the margin by which Spurs would lose their game) and hope Tottenham lost their game against Everton to finish in the top four.
Away from home, Arsenal have struggled for consistency this term losing eight of their 18 league games on the road so far this term. Arsenal's big weakness is their leaky back and after blowing their most realistic top four chances with some schoolyard defending in the 1-1 draw against Brighton, they'll be in for another test for their back-line.
Burnley kept Man City out at Turf Moor for more than an hour at the end of April with Pep's side requiring the intervention of Goal Line Technology to clinch a narrow 0-1 win. The Clarets are unlikely to sit deep though when Arsenal come to town. Up against a Burnley side with nothing to play for except pride but Arsenal should expect no walkovers with Burnley likely to play with more freedom than they have in the past few macthes..
Burnley have lost 10 of their last 12 games against Arsenal in all competitions drawing once and winning once. After a poor showing against Everton and up against an Arsenal side with a continental cup final to look forward to, Sean Dyche's side could grab a point.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Arsenal
Value Pick: Burnley DNB @2.20/ Double Chance Burnley or Draw @1.70
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
Crystal Palace have lost just one of their past five games a run that has seen them climb to 12th place. The Eagles have won 19 points at Selhurst Park compared to the 29 points they have won on their travels but they should be able to finish off their campaign on a high-note in front of their home fans.
On the other hand, Bournemouth won their last home game of the season at home last weekend. Although the Cherries struggled to produce an impressive performance against a Tottenham side who played the large chunk of the second half with nine men, they did just enough to win all the three points. Bournemouth have scored eight goals in their last two league away games and will be worthy opponents to Roy Hodgson's Palace here.
At 13th, Bournemouth are just one place behind Palace after a topsy-turvy campaign. Like the hosts, Eddie Howe's side never looked like they were in serious danger of the drop. Bournemouth are very good in attack and one gets the feeling that had they shored up their leaky defence they might have managed only their second top-ten league finish since they finished in ninth place in 2016-17.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Bournemouth
Value Pick: Over 2.5 Goals & BTTS @1.95
Fulham v Newcastle
Fulham had a successful spell with Scott Parker as caretaker manager, so much so that Parker has been handed the reigns on a permanent basis. The Craven Cottage side have won each of their last two home league games. This is their last top-flight game, at least the next 15 months, and they'd like to sign off with a win in front of their own fans but Newcastle may have other plans.
Rafa Benitez's side played their part in a thrilling game against title hopefuls Liverpool at St James’ Park last weekend eventually falling to a Divock Origi deflected 86th min winner and losing 2-3. Fulham have only let in a single goal in their last four games but will be up against a Newcastle side featuring Salomon Rondon, Ayoze Perez and Christain Atsu. This should be an entertaining farewell for the hosts.
Prediction: Fulham 1-2 Newcastle
Value Pick: Under 3.5 Goals @1.50
Leicester v Chelsea
Any hope of a seventh place finish and a possible Europa League appearance, should City win the FA Cup, for the hosts was dashed the moment Vincent Kompany thundered in a power strike into the top corner. Leicester have nothing to play for and are up against a Chelsea side who have already guaranteed a spot in the next season's Champions League.
The Foxes will be looking to complete the double over Chelsea and they'll be the fresher of the two sides after Chelsea's continental duties on Thursday which saw the game against German side Eintracht Frankfurt go to post match penalties. That gives the hosts the slight edge in another entertaining game at the King Power stadium. Anyone fancy a Jamie Vardy winner or a James Maddison free kick?
Prediction:Leicester 1-0 Chelsea
Value Pick: Asian Handicap +0.25 Leicester Win @1.84
Liverpool v Wolves
Champions League finalists for the second year running, Liverpool have enjoyed an impressive season that should have seen them win their 19th top-flight title. However, Man City's own consistent performances mean that this will be the first time in English top-flight football history that a side with over 90 points fails to win the league, it has been that entertaining. Should Man City drop points at the Amex, Liverpool will be lurking in the wings ready to capitalize and win their first Premier League title.
However, most factors point to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid at the beginning of June that Jurgen Klopp's side will clinch win the major trophy their immaculate season deserves.
Liverpool have to win this game to have any hope of winning the title, and the bank on on a rare Man City slip up. However, the winning itself will take some effort in what promises to be a mouth watering clash given how good this Wolves side have been and the goal threat they possess.
Wolves enjoyed a solid first season back in the Premier League and are bound to finish seventh in the log. This could see the newcomers feature in Europe next season should Man City go on to win the FA Cup. Should Liverpool avoid defeat here, the Reds will go unbeaten at home for a second successive season, thanks to fortress Anfield and its atmosphere.
This will be an interesting game as two attacking teams face each other. Wolves will be a tough nut to crack but this Liverpool team is always finding ways to win, if they need a goal they'll get it.
Prediction:Liverpool 2-0 Wolves
Value Pick: BTTS-No @1.75
Man Utd v Cardiff
Cardiff's relegation status was confirmed last time out. The Bluebirds have failed to keep a cleansheet in any of their last 15 travels to Old Trafford. An out of sorts Man United was held to a 1-1 by another relegated side, Huddersfield Town, last weekend and might struggle to break down Neil Warnock's deep sitting side.
It will be a huge summer for both clubs. At United, it will be a summer of transition and rebuilding with a number of departures and arrivals expected. Manager Ole Gunnar will be keen to rebuild the playing staff in his own image and it will be interesting to see how many of those who make the team sheet for this game will still be United players come next season. This is a tought ask even for an experienced manager and Ole Gunnar will have his work cut out for him.
For Cardiff, their hopes of a swift return to the Premier League will be banked on whether the Welsh club can keep hold of manager Neil Warnock. His current deal is set to expire at the end of the season, that is after this game. He has a solid record in the Championship and he is able to build his desired sides on tight budgets without having to spend fortunes. If Warnock is to oversee next season, you can bet that Cardiff will be very competitive in the second tier.
Prediction: Manchester United 0-0 Cardiff
Value Pick: BTTS- No @2.00
Southampton v Huddersfield
Southampton were ruthlessly exposed by West Ham last time out. It means that the Saints have shipped in six goals in just two league games. The hosts should have enough quality, depth and motivation to bag all the three points although you feel Huddersfield will be encouraged by the point they picked up against Manchester United last weekend.
Huddersfield will be dropping to the Championship and although they got a positive result against United on Sunday, Southampton should do just enough to end their season on a high at home. The Saints will be looking forward to next season under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl with a lot hope and you should keep an eye out on the arrivals at the St. Mary's this summer.
Prediction: Southanpton 3-0 Huddersfield
Value Pick: Over 2.5 Goals @1.61
Tottenham v Everton
Tottenham have guaranteed their place in the top four for the fourth successive season, unless they suffer a meltdown here. After an energy sapping game against Ajax in midweek, Spurs face an Everton side looking to revenge the 6-2 home defeat from the reverse fixture at Goodison Park just before Christmas. Tottenham have struggled in the Premier League of late but have done enough to just make into the top four.
Everton have kept a clean sheet in eight of their last 10 league games. However, both sides will be on the scoresheet at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Spurs will be on a high after their triumph in Amsterdam,and deservedly so, they have just qualified for their first ever Champions League finals. Mauricio Pochettino is likely play to strong team here given their fixture against Liverpool in Madrid is still three weeks away.
Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Everton
Value Pick: BTTS @1.61
Watford v West Ham
Watford still have an FA Cup to go and a possible Europa League qualification should they see off Manchester City. If the Hornets can avoid defeat here, they will secure a top-half finish in the league for the first time since 1986/87 season.
Watford were unlikely to maintain their flying start, in which they won their first four league games. However, over the course of the season, Watford have shown more consistency than the West Ham.
West Ham could win a third successive game and shown signs of improvement of late. A win here will see Watford to go into the FA Cup Final on a high. West Ham have won their last two in the league while keeping a cleansheet in both games. Should Watford win, they'll have successfully completed the double over West Ham for the first time in their history.
Prediction:Watford 3-1 West Ham
Value Pick: Over 3.5 Goals @2.37
-Predict the winner of all the ten Premier League games
Liverpool 4-0 Wolves
Brighton 3-2 Man City etc
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