The entire English Premier League season will all come down to one day.
Manchester City's midweek victory over Aston Villa put the club back on top of the table with a two-point lead over Liverpool. It also eliminated Chelsea from contention as they sit four points back with just one match remaining.
Still, the two squads on top will be involved in an exciting final day of action as they each look to bring home a league title. With other places in the standings on the line, Matchday 38 is certain to be a thrilling one.
Here is a look at the standings coming into the week with predictions for Sunday's biggest matches.
|17||West Bromwich Albion||37||7||15||15||42||57||-15||36|
|Date||Time (BST)||Time (ET)||Home||Predicted Score||Away|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Cardiff City||0-2||Chelsea|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Fulham||1-1||Crystal Palace|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Hull City||1-2||Everton|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Liverpool||3-1||Newcastle United|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Manchester City||1-0||West Ham United|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Norwich City||2-2||Arsenal|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Southampton||0-1||Manchester United|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Sunderland||2-1||Swansea City|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||Tottenham Hotspur||0-0||Aston Villa|
|May 11||3 p.m.||10 a.m.||West Bromwich Albion||1-2||Stoke City|
via ESPN FC
Manchester City vs. West Ham United
Although Manchester City got off to a slow start against Aston Villa, two second-half goals by Edin Dzeko gave the team the advantage in what became a 4-0 victory. In the win, the club moved to historic levels offensively:
Manchester City is the second team to score 100 goals in a Premier League season. 2009-10 Chelsea had 103.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) May 7, 2014
With a two-point lead and a significant advantage in goal differential, City likely just need to earn a draw in the upcoming match to win the league. This is likely to keep them relatively conservative compared to their normal level.
Manchester City will try to keep possession and avoid mistakes in order to keep West Ham off the scoresheet. Considering the club has lost four of its last five matches, this should not be difficult.
Offensively, the club will find a way to break through as they have so often at the Etihad Stadium this season:
Manchester City: Have only failed to score in 2 of their 28 home games in all competitions this season (against Chelsea and Barcelona) #MCFC— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 7, 2014
After scoring, the defense will ramp up as the players will do anything necessary to avoid a loss. This should be enough to help secure the win and come away with the team's second league title in three years.
Prediction: Manchester City 1, West Ham 0
Liverpool vs. Newcastle United
As soon as they conceded three goals against Crystal Palace to finish with a draw, Liverpool were aware they put themselves in a terrible position. Even manager Brendan Rodgers admitted the disappointment, via Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail:
Manchester City are the clear favourites - we tried to play Roy of the Rovers football. We needed to win tonight. Man City have two home games and we needed to win tonight to keep the pressure on.
I think City will go on and win their two games now - they will be champions.
The Reds will now need to earn a win while Manchester City suffers a surprising loss. While this is not likely, it does not mean they will give up heading into the final day.
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge will remain aggressive in this match and try to fire as many shots at the net as possible. With the way this duo has scored this year, a bunch of them will go into the goal.
While Liverpool are likely to give up some good looks on a counter-attack, this should not lead to more than one goal by a club that has struggled on the road lately. Newcastle United have gone scoreless in their last four matches away from home.
This will be enough for Liverpool to pull away and do their part to try to win a title.
Prediction: Liverpool 3, Newcastle United 1
Manchester United vs. Southampton
Although Manchester United have had a miserable year by almost any metric, they can save a little bit of respect by earning a spot in the Europa League. A win against Southampton and a Tottenham loss would give them sixth place, which is enough to get into the European tournament.
While this was clearly not the goal heading into the year, it is certainly better than nothing.
If United want to pull this off, they have to show the effort that was on display in the last match against Hull. The squad utilized its young talent such as James Wilson and Adnan Januzaj, and these players responded with a 3-1 win.
It was obvious that these men cared more about being on the pitch than some of the others who have been going through the motions for much of the season. There is a lot of talent on the roster, and the ones who want to play will get a chance.
Even against a tough opponent such as Southampton, Manchester United will come out with enough energy to gain the advantage early and hold on for a win.
Unfortunately, Tottenham will need just one point to secure a sixth-place finish and a spot in Europa League. With a home match against Aston Villa, Spurs should be able to pull this off.
Prediction: Manchester United 1, Southampton 0
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