As the race for the title, European qualification and, of course, the grueling dogfight at the bottom of the table continue, this weekend could see a number of upsets that throw each race wide open.
Just 10 sides are set to feature in Week 29 due to FA Cup quarter-final commitments, with key matches still taking place at both ends of the Premier League table.
Tottenham's trip to top-of-the-table Chelsea presents Tim Sherwood's side with an excellent chance to close the gap on the top four. Meanwhile, Cardiff host Fulham in a game which sees the league's bottom two sides look to give their survival chances a glimmer of hope.
Here are predictions for Week 29 with a closer look at a few highlighted matches below.
|March 8||12.45 p.m GMT, 7.45 a.m. ET||West Brom v Man United||2-2|
|March 8||3 p.m. GMT, 10 a.m. ET||Cardiff v Fulham||0-2|
|March 8||3 p.m. GMT, 10 a.m. ET||Crystal Palace v Southampton||2-1|
|March 8||3 p.m. GMT, 10 a.m. ET||Norwich v Stoke||1-1|
|March 8||5.30 p.m. GMT, 12.30 p.m. ET||Chelsea v Tottenham||1-2|
West Brom v Manchester United
Thanks to Manchester City's Capital One Cup win, fierce rivals United could have been handed an unexpected chance of maintaining European football next season.
Because of City's win, sixth place in the Premier League has opened up for Europa League qualification, adding extra significance to the match in the Midlands.
This is a game of great importance for the 17th-placed Baggies, who look to move away from the relegation zone with a win over David Moyes' men. West Brom are currently one point above Sunderland with one game in hand over Cardiff and Fulham.
Despite the hosts looking to cap survival, winger James Morrison spoke with reporters about life at the Hawthorns and constant struggles inside the club, per the Express and Star, via Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail:
There just seems to have been a lot of s**t going on. It does feel like a soap opera – you should try being involved in it.
It’s been one thing after another at West Brom with managers changing and people getting suspended.
It’s probably hassle that we didn’t need. There was even talk of the new manager going last week.
Morrison's outburst will do no favours for his side going into the fixture, but West Brom's resolve—and knowledge of their 2-1 win at Old Trafford under Steve Clarke—will give Baggies players and fans hope of an upset.
That, coupled with Manchester United's disappointing form and European commitments, provides West Brom with a chance to do the double on the champions and give their own season a much-needed spark of life.
Prediction: West Brom 2-2 Manchester United
Norwich v Stoke
The hosts' 4-1 defeat at Aston Villa will have done no good for the confidence of Chris Hughton's side, as they sit just four points above the relegation zone.
The Canaries' board have stuck by their man despite a tough Premier League season. As tweeted by OptaJoe, Norwich have struggled mightily to convert their chances:
8.1% - Norwich City have converted the lowest percentage of shots into goals in the Premier League. Caged.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 2, 2014
Nevertheless, the side must pick themselves up and dust themselves down as they prepare to take on Mark Hughes' Stoke City, who gave their own survival hopes a major boost with a 1-0 win against title-chasing Arsenal.
The win, expertly dispatched by Jonathan Walters' penalty, continued the Potters' fine form of picking up eight points from the last five matches. This has steered Hughes' men to two places above 15th-placed Norwich.
Galvanised by team spirit and looking to make amends for the horror show at Villa Park—which saw Wes Hoolahan give Norwich an early lead—it will be the Canaries who start sharply as they look to make home advantage count.
However, Stoke have proven hard to beat and their solid defence of late will see the side narrow the margin on the match. Walters will be looking to add to his goal against the Gunners.
Prediction: Norwich 1-1 Stoke
Cardiff v Fulham
Any match at the bottom of the league is sure to have its peaks and troughs, and that will be no different between these two sides.
Fulham remain rooted to the bottom of the league, four points adrift of safety but safe in the knowledge that a win against Cardiff could act as the springboard to safety that they desperately need.
They will require a big win too, with a goal differential of minus-34 suggesting that the side will have to rest on points alone if they're to survive. It's a similar story with Cardiff, with a goal differential of minus-30, but they're one point closer to West Brom.
Who will win the battle at the bottom?
The Bluebirds' inability to put Spurs to the sword in their last fixture, in a game with little incident, highlighted just why Cardiff are struggling at the wrong end of the table. They lack the ability to take the game to their opponents.
They'll have to make their possession count against Fulham, though, who will be looking for revenge after their 2-1 defeat to Cardiff earlier this season.
The Cottagers created plenty of chances against Chelsea in the 3-1 derby defeat, with a number of opportunities arriving from set pieces.
Cardiff will have to look to make their defensive presence count if they're to shut out Fulham in what promises to be a fast and frantic six-pointer.
A win for the visitors would provide an excellent catalyst as they prepare for matches against Aston Villa, Norwich, Hull, Stoke and Crystal Palace before the end of the season.
Victory in Wales would be a win in just one of five six-pointers this season, and with time ticking down, there's no room for error here.
Prediction: Cardiff 0-2 Fulham
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