EPL Week 25 Predictions: Struggling Squads Who Will Score Much-Needed Wins

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  (L-R) Craig Gardner and Adam Johnson of Sunderland celebrate following their team's 2-1 victory in the penalty shootout during the Capital One Cup semi final, second leg match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on January 22, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

After the shocking victory by Chelsea at Manchester City, the title picture could not be any hotter, with four genuine contenders emerging. 

However, it is at the other end of the Premier League where the bottom ten clubs are separated by just six points, per BBC Sport.

Fulham sit at the bottom of the table on 19 points for the season, with 11th placed Stoke City on just 26 points. There is zero room to breath. 

So, which teams will take the opportunity to pull away from the pack in Week 25 and take one small step closer to safety? 

Current 2013-14 Premier League Table
PositionTeamPlayedGoal DifferencePoints
10Aston Villa24-727
16West Brom24-623
17Crystal Palace24-1823
18West Ham24-922
BBC Sport


Swansea City vs. Cardiff City

After last season's heroics, many felt Michael Laudrup would carry his team to greater things and build on their League Cup-winning exploits at Wembley.

But this year has been anything but simple for the Dane, as his side sits just three points above fierce local rivals Cardiff, who are rooted in the relegation zone. 

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 03:  Swansea City player Nathan Dyer (r) challenges Cardiff player Jordon Mutch during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Swansea at Cardiff City Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by S
Stu Forster/Getty Images

In such derby matches, the form book goes out of the window, and anything can and usually does happen. 

However, Swansea will feel that a victory over Cardiff would be more than just acquiring the bragging of South Wales and would see them thankfully propelled further away from the danger zone. 

Even though they are the home side, I think Swansea would be pleased with a point in such a volatile fixture given their form.

But on this occasion, I think they will edge out their most hated of opponents and snatch a narrow victory. 

Prediction: 2-1


Crystal Palace vs. West Bromwich Albion

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04:  Matej Vydra of West Brom is tackled by Hiram Boateng of Palace during the Budweiser FA Cup third round match between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns on January 4, 2014 in West Bromwich, Englan
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The transformation at Crystal Palace in recent weeks has been nothing short of spectacular. 

The team most tipped for relegation has a new manager in Tony Pulis, and the veteran manager has dragged his team out of the relegation zone and only four points off 10th placed Aston Villa.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Hull City at Selhurst Park on January 28, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Pulis has added the fighting spirit his Stoke teams used to show in abundance every week to his new club, and they now have a genuine chance of survival as others falter around them.

They have only conceded two goals in their last three games, winning two of those matches with accompanying clean sheets, per Squawka.

West Brom themselves have a new manager in Pepe Mel and currently sit equal on points with Palace in 16th place.

Mel's team came away with a credible draw against Liverpool and Luis Suarez this past weekend, but they desperately need to start winning matches. 

But with Palace at home and Selhurst Park becoming "Fortress Pulis," it is not difficult to envisage yet another win for the Eagles.

Prediction: 1-0


Sunderland vs. Hull City

HULL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Sunderland's Phillip Bardsley volleys wide of the goal past Hull City's Robbie Brady during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Sunderland at KC Stadium on November 02, 2013 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Ti
Tim Keeton/Getty Images

After the shambolic departure of Paolo Di Canio, Sunderland have more than stabilised under the stewardship of Gus Poyet.

Poyet has slowly climbed the table with his team, and in the process, he's taken his club to a Wembley final, with opponents Manchester City waiting for them in the League Cup. 

In Adam Johnson, the Black Cats have the form winger in the Premier League.

He has now scored seven times in 22 appearances, per Squawka, and he is a possible candidate for PFA Player of the Year should his electric form continue until the end of the season.

HULL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Hull City's Manager, Steve Bruce (L) clashes with Sunderland's Manager, Gus Poyet during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Sunderland at KC Stadium on November 02, 2013 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Tim K
Tim Keeton/Getty Images

Hull City have been a stable ship under Steve Bruce but still only lie two points above the relegation zone. 

But his team is like two different sides at home and away, showing incredible steel and collecting points at the KC Stadium but consistency failing at opposition grounds. 

With Sunderland's amazing recent form, it is very hard to see anything but a victory for Poyet and his team.

A victory for either side could see them climb to as high as 10th place. 

Prediction: 3-1


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