EPL Week 38: Bleacher Report Writers Make Their Expert EPL Picks
And suddenly, it seems, the season is over.
It really doesn't seem like it was 38 weeks ago that the Premier League year began, and we were discussing whether Manchester City would be able to defend their title from Manchester United or Chelsea and whether North London would be crowned red or white at the end of the year.
But here we are, and it's definitely been a season to remember.
The focus of the last week will be on which London club will clinch the final Champions League spot, but every team will be playing for pride and will want to finish the season on a positive note—something their supporters will no doubt want also.
Which teams will end the Premier League with victory?
Read on as the Bleacher Report writers bring you their predictions this week.
Leaderboard and Explanation
For those not familiar with the way this works, each writer has to pick a team and a score for every match in the Premier League that week.
A correct pick (e.g. Chelsea win) earns him one point, and a correct score (e.g. Chelsea win 3-0) earns him three points.
Until the end of the season, our writers will also try to predict one player from the week's action who will score a goal. It can be any player from any team, but the only rule is they cannot pick the same player to score more than two weeks in a row. And if he doesn't play, too bad.
A correct selection will earn the writer five points.
Let's take a look at our Bleacher Report experts and how their predictions have held up through the opening weeks of the competition.
** Note: Make sure you check out Bleacher Report's World Football page on Monday to see how the writers finished in their final standings for the year.
|Dan Talintyre||333 points|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||331 points|
|Karl Matchett||316 points|
|Joe Tansey||283 points|
|Will Tidey||282 points|
|Michael Cummings||271 points|
|Sam Tighe||265 points|
EPL Week 38: Player to Score
As mentioned before, from now until the end of the season, our Bleacher Report writers will try to pick a player every week to score at least one goal.
If they can pick correctly, it will earn them extra points, but they cannot pick the same player two weeks in a row. Let's take a look who our B/R writers like to score in Week 38 of the EPL.
|Dan Talintyre||Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur|
|Joe Tansey||Robin van Persie, Manchester United|
|Karl Matchett||Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool|
|Michael Cummings||Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur|
|Sam Tighe||Darren Bent, Aston Villa|
|Will Tidey||Frank Lampard, Chelsea|
Chelsea vs. Everton
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—Stamford Bridge
This game might not have the same aura around it as we thought it might a couple of weeks ago, but the reality is this is still a great matchup that should produce some top-class football.
Chelsea and Everton have been two of the best teams this season, and with both managers taking part in their last game of their respective clubs, you can guarantee that everyone will want to end the season on a winning note when they clash here at Stamford Bridge.
Can David Moyes get one up on his new rivals, or will the European champions prove their dominance once more with a big home victory to consolidate their third spot?
|Dan Talintyre||Chelsea win 2-0|
|Joe Tansey||Chelsea win 2-1|
|Karl Matchett||Chelsea win 2-1|
|Michael Cummings||Draw, 1-1|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Chelsea win 2-1|
|Sam Tighe||Chelsea win 2-0|
|Will Tidey||Chelsea win 3-1|
Liverpool vs. Queens Park Rangers
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—Anfield
Neither Liverpool nor Queens Park Rangers have had the season they were after this year, but both will be looking to finish off strong when they line up at Anfield this weekend.
The Reds will again be without Luis Suarez, but given that the Londoners have been relegated already this year and haven't won in their last eight, they shouldn't find too much trouble here as they seek to make it eight games in a row since their last defeat.
|Dan Talintyre||Liverpool win 2-0|
|Joe Tansey||Liverpool win 3-0|
|Karl Matchett||Liverpool win 4-0|
|Michael Cummings||Liverpool win 2-0|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Liverpool win 3-1|
|Sam Tighe||Liverpool win 3-0|
|Will Tidey||Liverpool win 4-0|
Manchester City vs. Norwich City
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—Etihad Stadium
No Roberto Mancini, no problem for Manchester City—that was the story against Reading last week, and they'll be hoping that it's the same story against Norwich City this weekend.
The Canaries haven't travelled well away from Carrow Road this season and have only won two of their past eight. Their opponents, on the other hand, will still be smarting from their FA Cup defeat to Wigan Athletic and will be looking to finish off the season strong in front of their home fans.
Can they make it five games in a row since their last league defeat?
|Dan Talintyre||Manchester City win 3-0|
|Joe Tansey||Norwich win 2-1|
|Karl Matchett||Manchester City win 3-0|
|Michael Cummings||Manchester City win 1-0|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Manchester City win 3-1|
|Sam Tighe||Manchester City win 3-0|
|Will Tidey||Manchester City win 2-0|
Newcastle United vs. Arsenal
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—St. James' Park
Arguably the biggest game of the weekend here, and for Arsenal, the equation is incredibly simple: Win, and they're through to the Champions League next season. Anything else, and they could be forced to watch their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur take part in the European competition.
The Gunners will definitely be up for this one and should be fine against a Newcastle United side that has very little to play for. However, the Magpies are a tough team to beat at home this season, and the trip to St. James' Park can be a long one for the London-based clubs to make—which could well send this one down to the wire as Arsene Wenger's men desperately chase a European berth.
|Dan Talintyre||Arsenal win 2-1|
|Joe Tansey||Draw, 2-2|
|Karl Matchett||Arsenal win 2-1|
|Michael Cummings||Arsenal win 2-1|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Draw, 1-1|
|Sam Tighe||Arsenal win 2-1|
|Will Tidey||Draw, 1-1 |
Southampton vs. Stoke City
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—St. Mary's Stadium
Both Southampton and Stoke City have won just twice in the past eight games this season but could very well play out an intriguing affair at St. Mary's Stadium this weekend.
The Saints have seemingly lost the aura of having a new manager on board but have still been very tough to break down at home this season, whilst the Potters have struggled away from home—winning just two fixtures away from home all year.
|Dan Talintyre||Southampton win 2-1|
|Joe Tansey||Draw, 0-0|
|Karl Matchett||Draw, 1-1|
|Michael Cummings||Draw, 1-1|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Stoke win 2-1|
|Sam Tighe||Southampton win 2-0|
|Will Tidey||Stoke win 2-1|
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sunderland
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—White Hart Lane
The simplest approach from Tottenham Hotspur this week who need to win—and hope for the best in the Arsenal game—if they're going to play Champions League football next season.
Andre Villas-Boas has done a great job in charge of Spurs in his first season but, having sat in the top four for most of the year, will desperately want to pick up that last spot in the European competition.
Paolo Di Canio will no doubt be his enigmatic self on the sidelines, but with everything to play for, it's hard to see the Londoners getting beat at White Hart Lane this week.
|Dan Talintyre||Tottenham win 3-0|
|Joe Tansey||Tottenham win 2-1|
|Karl Matchett||Tottenham win 2-0|
|Michael Cummings||Tottenham win 2-1|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Tottenham win 2-1|
|Sam Tighe||Tottenham win 2-1|
|Will Tidey||Tottenham win 2-1|
West Ham vs. Reading
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—Upton Park
West Ham will be looking to consolidate their top-half finish when they close out the season against already-relegated Reading—a great achievement for the club in their first season back in the top flight.
Reading were good in patches last week against Manchester City but simply could not connect on the final ball or get their midfield on the same page. That's been the story of the year for the Royals, who would no doubt love to finish the season on a positive note and avoid running last overall.
|Dan Talintyre||Draw, 0-0|
|Joe Tansey||Draw, 1-1|
|Karl Matchett||West Ham win 2-1|
|Michael Cummings||Draw, 2-2|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||West Ham win 1-0|
|Sam Tighe||Reading win 2-1|
|Will Tidey||West Ham win 2-0|
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—The Hawthorns
Sir Alex Ferguson's last game in the Premier League looks set to be an emotional one as the Red Devils celebrate their time with the veteran manager and their title-winning ways this year.
West Brom have lost three in a row and are a far cry from the team that was so dominant at the start of the year—something they'll definitely need to fix if they're to stop the Red Devils here. Will United be able to give Ferguson his parting desire in his 1,500th game at the club?
|Dan Talintyre||Manchester United win 1-0|
|Joe Tansey||Manchester United win 2-1|
|Karl Matchett||Manchester United win 2-1|
|Michael Cummings||Manchester United win 2-1|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Manchester United win 2-1|
|Sam Tighe||Manchester United win 2-1|
|Will Tidey||Manchester United win 3-1|
Wigan Athletic vs. Aston Villa
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—DW Stadium
It was a bittersweet week for Wigan Athletic, who won the FA Cup in dramatic fashion over Manchester City but then were relegated by Arsenal a few days later—the first time they've been relegated in history.
The team that avoided the drop was Aston Villa, and whilst they'll be glad to have survived, they'll have a tough time beating the Latics away from home here. Wigan will want to give their fans a great sendoff and "promise to be back next season," and that's never an easy atmosphere to get a win in.
Especially when the Villans have won just two of their last seven.
|Dan Talintyre||Draw, 1-1|
|Joe Tansey||Draw, 1-1|
|Karl Matchett||Wigan win 3-2|
|Michael Cummings||Wigan win 1-0|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Draw, 2-2|
|Sam Tighe||Aston Villa win 2-1|
|Will Tidey||Aston Villa win 2-0|
Swansea City vs. Fulham
Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET—Liberty Stadium
A seemingly meaningless fixture here between Swansea City and Fulham closes out our predictions for the week, with the Swans potentially able to move up to eighth spot with a win here.
Led by Michu, Swansea have been explosive at times this season but have struggled for consistency—winning just one of their past seven games. However, even that form should be more than enough for Fulham, who have been woeful away from home and don't carry a great run of form with them.
The Cottagers have lost five in a row and haven't won in their last seven games—something that will seemingly make them a real outsider coming into this one.
|Dan Talintyre||Swansea win 3-0|
|Joe Tansey||Swansea win 2-0|
|Karl Matchett||Swansea win 2-1|
|Michael Cummings||Swansea win 1-0|
|Mohamed Al-Hendy||Swansea win 2-1|
|Sam Tighe||Swansea win 2-0|
|Will Tidey||Swansea win 3-0|
Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: Follow @dantalintyre