Football Previews

Premier League final day: full fixture list predictions as Liverpool & Man City title battle reaches climax

By William Eldridge

Published: 11:35, 12 May 2019 | Updated: 17:19, 11 September 2021

And it all comes down to this.

This season’s Premier League title race has arguably been one of the most majestically contested this country has ever seen.

Manchester City have full control with one match left to play but they know a slip-up away to Brighton & Hove Albion will leave the door open for Liverpool to claim top spot, providing they beat ‘best of the rest’ Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield.

With top-four all-but finalised, the mid-table pack eyeing up each other in a bid to earn more for a higher finish and relegation already confirmed for three disheartened sides, predicting this round of results is quite a tough task.

Regardless, we have got three Squawka writers to give their predictions for the final round of fixtures in the 2018/19 season.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester City

William Eldridge: The question here is whether Pep Guardiola’s side have the nerve to see the job through. Undoubtedly they are more than capable of defeating the south coast side who have stayed in this division by the skin of their teeth. This season – and this week even – we have seen the impossible become possible so anything is possible. But I can’t see City throwing this title away, meaning Vincent Kompany will lift his second successive Premier League trophy. Brighton 1-3 Man City

James Richards: Manchester City know a win will clinch them the title while every Liverpool fan around the globe will be also supporting Brighton this Sunday. The simple truth is the Seagulls have not won since early March and have only been victorious in two of their last 17 matches. Getting too carried away for a Reds title win is, therefore, unwise but final day football is a funny thing so you never know. That said City have kept seven clean sheets in the last eight Premier League games and making it nine here would come as no surprise to anyone. Brighton 0-2 Man City

Player to watch: Aymeric Laporte – In his first full season, the Frenchman has made 34 Premier League appearances, averaging an incredible pass accuracy of 92.2%. Expect City to have the majority of possession once again.

Burnley vs Arsenal

WE: What a performance on Thursday night. Arsenal’s heroics in Spain ensures their Champions League ambitions are still reachable. They face a side who had Europa League dreams of their own at the start of the campaign but they were quickly cut short. At least they got a trip to Aberdeen out of it. Sean Dyche’s side will see this a real opportunity to finish on a high and the Gunners may be a little jaded to match their European levels. Burnley 2-0 Arsenal

JR: Arsenal will have all eyes on the Europa League final as they head into a pretty meaningless final day jaunt a Burnley. The Clarets themselves are safe so only have pride to play for which in these parts mean avoiding the mirth of Sean Dyche. This is enough to motivate even the most lackadaisical player into running about a bit so Burnley, for me, have the edge in terms of motivation. The Clarets have won three of their last five at Turf Moor and ending on a high note is always nice for the locals. Burnley 1-0 Arsenal

Player to watch: James Tarkowski – The England international has been solid at the back for Burnley – especially in the second half of the campaign – making a league-high 51 blocks.

Crystal Palace vs AFC Bournemouth

WE: The Eagles are such a weird side. Laden with talent, pace and ability, their home form this season has been atrocious, winning just four times, scoring only 14 goals and having just Huddersfield Town below them in the home form charts. In contrast, Bournemouth have picked up one fewer point on the road than Palace’s home record and Roy Hodgson’s side haven’t lost their final home match of a domestic season since 2012 (winning five and drawing once). Expect goals at Selhurst, for once. Crystal Palace 3-2 Bournemouth

JR: Crystal Palace are unbeaten in three as they prepare to host Bournemouth this Sunday. Like most other games in the Premier League this weekend they have absolutely nothing to play for but this should still be an entertaining game. Palace have shown they can produce some excellent counter-attacking football when needed and Bournemouth often score goals by the hat load if you are not on your game as both Brighton and Southampton found out in recent matches. Even though it is a meaningless fixture I still think it could be entertaining. Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth

Player to watch: James McArthur – Although deployed in a variety of roles across the pitch, the Scot has amassed six assists in his 37 appearances, more than any other Palace player, double the amount of star man Wilfried Zaha.

Fulham vs Newcastle United

WE: Both of these sides assumed they would be struggling at the foot of the Premier League table this season. However, Newcastle are the personification of what it means to have a great leader and harmonised squad whereas Fulham have been anti-that this season. Three managers, ‘too’ much money spent and one relegation later, Scott Parker has a rebuild job on his hands. Both will want to end the season on a high and the London side are in decent form following relegation. Fulham 2-0 Newcastle

JR: Scott Parker has been chosen as the man to take Fulham into the Championship next season. It is an interesting appointment given that he lacks experience but performances have improved under the former midfielder which is the most important thing. Newcastle are expecting another battle to keep hold of Rafa Benitez over the summer but he has to take credit for keeping the Magpies away from relegation trouble even if this has been an underwhelming campaign. This will be unlikely to stick long in the memory of either set of fans but at least there is always next year ay! Fulham 1-1 Newcastle

Player to watch: Sergio Rico – Having kept three clean sheets in the past four matches, Rico has also punched the ball (20) more than any player in the division this campaign. Some would say Fulham have been punching being in this division this season…

Leicester City vs Chelsea

WE: Chelsea’s Europa League penalty shoot-out success ensured four English teams in two European finals. But don’t expect Leicester to take too much notice of that. They have been playing some great stuff under Brendan Rodgers and were unfortunate to leave the Etihad without any points on Monday. The Blues will be knackered. Expect them to be hunted down by the Foxes. Leicester 3-0 Chelsea

JR: The Foxes are looking forward to their first summer under Brendan Rodgers as the ex-Celtic boss will have had time to evaluate the squad he inherited. Leicester have lost just two of the last eight but as the season is winding down they don’t have to worry too much about getting a result against Chelsea. Sarri could ring a few changes to his side after the mid-week drama in the Europa League with the Blues having one eye on the final in Baku. With this in mind, it will likely be a party atmosphere at the King Power and the Foxes could get the result to enhance it further. Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea

Player to watch: Jorginho – The Italian midfielder has amassed more passes (3,068) than any other player in the division. To put it into context, his total is just under a third of Cardiff City’s entire passes total this season (10,004).

Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

WE: The glory of their triumph over Barcelona has to be forgotten, with the Reds still praying for a domestic miracle to claim their first league title in 29 years. They come up against a tough Wolves side who can start looking forward to a European adventure themselves. City will win the title but Liverpool will run them close. Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Mohamed Moallim: As good as Wolves have been this should be a game too far even if Liverpool are not exactly at full strength. What should worry the visitors is Jurgen Klopp’s men have shown, against Barcelona, what their squad is capable of and with Mohamed Salah returning expect a long Anfield afternoon for the Premier League’s ‘best of the rest’. Liverpool 3-1 Wolves

Player to watch: Mohamed Salah – Unsurprisingly, no player has had more shots than the Egyptian (132) with Salah netting 22 times. He is favourite to win the ‘Golden Boot’ award, his second successive season.

Manchester United vs Cardiff City

WE: This season has both sides longing for its end, with United falling further behind their rivals and Cardiff’s relegation recently confirmed. Old Trafford on the last day of the season is not an easy prospect for the Welsh side who may see United’s better quality overcome a resilient yet vulnerable defence. Man Utd 3-1 Cardiff

MM: What a horrible end to a season that could have been salvaged. Manchester United are on the outside looking in as their biggest rivals go for European or domestic honours. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign began with a heavy win over former club Cardiff City, now relegated, though it’s hard to see a similar outcome. Man Utd 2-0 Cardiff

Player to watch: Neil Etheridge – Although the shot-stopper has conceded more goals (69) than any other goalkeeper, he has also made the second highest amount of saves (131), meaning Cardiff’s relegation may have materialised sooner had the 29-year-old been elsewhere.

Southampton vs Huddersfield Town

WE: One side down, the other relieved. Ralph Hasenhüttl inherited a squad with enough quality to avoid the drop whereas Jan Siewert did not. Saints to finish on a high here. Huddersfield to look forward to winning again next year. Southampton 4-0 Huddersfield 

MM: Huddersfield will be looking to finish with a flourish and their draw with Manchester United last weekend should put a spring into their step. Southampton, though, have turned it around under Ralph Hasenhüttl and should prove to be strong here. Southampton 3-0 Huddersfield

Player to watch: Jannik Vestergaard – The talented centre-back has won 84 aerial duels in the Premier League this season, more than any of his teammates.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton

WE: Their flight back from Ajax probably didn’t see the Spurs squad talk about how they were going to dismantle this Everton side, who have improved over the last month and look set for an exciting season next time around. They won’t admit it but Spurs will have one eye on Madrid next month, with Everton set to profit. Spurs 1-2 Everton

MM: A point is enough to secure Champions League football next season for Spurs, who can win the whole thing next month, but they should be wary of an Everton side that has turned the corner and seeking revenge following Mauricio Pochettino’s men sacking of Goodison Park earlier this season. This should be a close affair. Spurs 3-2 Everton 

Player to watch: Lucas Digne – The former Barcelona man has produced almost as many crosses (274) on his own than both Crystal Palace and Cardiff (both on 342)

Watford vs West Ham United

WE: A great season for Watford who look set to actually keep their manager this year. The Hammers will likely do the same, with their mid-table finish enough to see progress compared to last time out. An FA Cup final against Man City will force Watford minds to wander. West Ham will look to impress. Watford 1-2 West Ham

MM: Understandably this is the least important of Watford’s final two domestic games of the season. With an FA Cup final on the horizon, you can forgive if minds are elsewhere. That being said, they should provide stiff competition for West Ham, who sit a point below The Hornets. Watford 2-1 West Ham

Player to watch: Etienne Capoue – The midfielder has picked up more yellow cards (13) than any other player in the Premier League this season.