EPL Predictions Week 33: Premier League Picks, Key Players and Fixture Info

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

Manchester City's Yaya Toure celebrates after scoring against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super

With Arsenal all but surrendering their role as title challengers, it is now left to three teams to battle it out for glory.

Liverpool are now the new title leaders after their 4-0 deconstruction of a Tottenham side with minimal fight in their belly.

However, Manchester City are still the favourites to capture their second Premier League crown, with two games in hand on the rest of the top four, per BBC Sport.

They lie four points behind the Reds at present, but must visit Anfield on April 13. 

Chelsea's championship hopes hang by a thread after their shock 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Here is a list of all the coming fixtures for Week 33:

Premier League Week 33 Fixtures and Predictions
FixtureDateTime (GMT)Prediction
Manchester City v SouthamptonApril 512:45 p.m.3-1
Aston Villa v FulhamApril 53 p.m.2-1
Cardiff City v Crystal PalaceApril 53 p.m.2-1
Hull City v SwanseaApril 53 p.m.1-2
Newcastle v Manchester UnitedApril 53 p.m.1-2
Norwich v West BromApril 53 p.m.2-2
Chelsea v Stoke CityApril 55:30 p.m.2-0
Everton v ArsenalApril 61:30 p.m.2-1
West Ham v LiverpoolApril 64 p.m.1-4
Tottenham v SunderlandApril 78 p.m.2-0

Key Players

Yaya Toure

Jon Super

After their recent draw at the Emirates against Arsenal, Manchester City and Yaya Toure both know that the margin for error has decreased further.

The former Barcelona player has once again furthered his reputation this season with his dynamic play and wonderful goals. 

His statistics for a central midfielder of his type are fantastic.

He now has 17 goals from his 29 league appearances, per Squawka. It is a goal ratio that any striker playing in England would be proud of. 

Former Arsenal midfielder and World Cup winner Patrick Vieira recently waxed lyrical about Yaya, as reported by Simon Mullock of The Mirror

The former star said that Toure should be named as Player of the Season ahead of Luis Suarez because of his exploits from midfield.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Manchester City player Patrick Vieira in action during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester City and KKS Lech Poznan at City of Manchester Stadium on October 21, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Mullock reports that Vieira said:

When you are voting for the best player, it shouldn’t just be about the number of goals you have scored or the number of assists you have made. It should also be about whether you have done great things against the biggest teams in the biggest games. If you take that into account, then no one in the Premier League comes close to Yaya Toure.

Yaya’s level of performance is very high in every game – and if you look at him in the biggest games his consistency is absolutely fantastic. People talk about Suarez and Hazard – and let me say that they are two players I really admire – but when it comes to scoring goals, making goals and performing at a high level in the most important matches, they don’t even get close to Yaya.

Toure will need to be at his best again this weekend as his team entertain a very good Southampton side.

The South Coast team's England contingent have been in excellent form of late, but they will have to be at another level of form to stop Yaya at present.

Toure has ripped opponents to shreds all season long, and that does not seem to be likely to stop in the near future.

Philippe Coutinho 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 30:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates scoring the third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 30, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/G
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

With Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge carrying the Liverpool charge for most of this season, the Reds now have a fit and in-form Philippe Coutinho to add further weight. 

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder had his season hampered by injury earlier in the year, but he has recovered to play 27 times in the Premier League, scoring four times, per Squawka.

The Brazilian international has been hugely influential in the past few games, leading former Reds legend Jamie Carragher to acknowledge his contribution.

Carragher analysed Coutinho on Sky Sports recently, as seen here

Brendan Rodgers made a fine addition in Coutinho when he stole him away from Inter Milan, and now his capture is really starting to bear fruit. 

With Liverpool now facing what could be a tricky away day at West Ham, Coutinho will have to solidify his form further, and offer Suarez and Sturridge the assists they need to keep the Anfield club's title challenge on course.

With the finish line so close, the continued contribution of the young starlet will be vital for Rodgers and his team. 

Juan Mata

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  Ashley Westwood of Aston Villa competes with Juan Mata of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on March 29, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Pho
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United may have very little to play for in the Premier League for the rest of this season, but the complexities of their future are being ironed out right now.

And no player will be more central to this process than record signing Juan Mata.

The Spanish midfielder scored his first goal for the Red Devils this past weekend in the 4-1 victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

The player took to Twitter and his personal blog to tell the world of his happiness. 

He tweeted:

Mata also wrote in his One Hour Behind blog:

It’s not only about my goal -as I said I will never forget it-, it’s also about enjoying football, about that amazing moment when you and those supporting you feel so happy. You shout and celebrate, hear the ovation from the fans and you know they are happy. Believe me, that is the best energy in the world, a feeling i can hardly describe.
Our win on Saturday was special because we went from 0-1 down to prove to ourselves all the things we are capable of. We know our position in the table is not what the club and the fans deserve, but we are working to improve it.

United travel to St James' Park on Saturday to face a Newcastle team who appear to already be on their summer holidays. It gives Mata and his team-mates a further opportunity to inch towards recovery and achieve a respectable finish to their beleaguered campaign.

If David Moyes can get the best from Juan Mata in the next few weeks, it could change the destiny of United for the next few years, as he plans to overhaul the club. 

Mata is a world-class footballer and the Red Devils can shape their hopes and ambitions around his talent, but only if Moyes plays him in the correct role.

Against Newcastle, Mata will once again resume the role of No. 10 behind Wayne Rooney, and if he can provide the ammo for the England international, United could once again become the force that they previously were, not too long ago.  


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