Premier League preview & predictions: Gameweek 30

It is Easter weekend and Premier League football returns following the pause for the March international break, with the 2020/21 season getting ever closer to its conclusion and every point now of huge importance to each club.

Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal on Saturday night is perhaps the pick of the fixture list, but leaders Manchester City also travel to Leicester and the pressure is on Manchester United to win.

Saturday 3 April

Chelsea vs West Brom

Thomas Tuchel is still unbeaten as Chelsea manager | Clive Rose/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 12.30 (BST)
Where is it being played? Stamford Bridge
TV channel? BT Sport

Chelsea remain unbeaten under new manager Thomas Tuchel and have taken 22 points from a possible 30 in the Premier League since the German took over from Frank Lampard in January.

Victory at home against a West Brom side 10 points adrift of safety seems like it should be another three points in the bag and could give Chelsea a stronger grip on fourth place.

If West Brom are to have any chance of survival and Sam Allardyce keep hold of his record of never being relegated as a manager, they need to start winning games immediately.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 West Brom

Leeds vs Sheffield United

A top half finish is within reach for Leeds this season | Gareth Copley/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 15.00 (BST)
Where is it being played? Elland Road
TV channel? Amazon Prime

A top half finish is definitely within reach for 11th place Leeds this season, which would represent an impressive achievement in their debut year back in the Premier League.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team remain inconsistent, but the fact is they have outscored every other side currently in the bottom half as well as several in the top half - including Chelsea - and are firm favourites to win this west vs south Yorkshire derby.

It is already too late for Sheffield United. Although not quite mathematical they will have to get more points in the final nine games to survive than they have managed so far in the first 29.

Prediction: Leeds 3-0 Sheffield United

Leicester vs Manchester City

Kelechi Iheanacho is the March player of the month | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 17.30 (BST)
Where is it being played? King Power Stadium
TV channel? Sky Sports

Leicester thrashed Manchester City 5-2 in the reverse of this fixture at the Etihad Stadium back in September. The Foxes have stayed among the top clubs and are on course to finish in the top four, although a repeat of that early season demolition is unlikely.

This is a big test for Leicester, especially as Chelsea are already expected to have closed the gap on them by beating West Brom at home earlier in the day.

Only a catastrophe would now prevent City from winning a third Premier League title in four years and a fifth overall in the last decade. Failure to get all three points here wouldn’t be a major issue.

Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Manchester City

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Liverpool could save their season with a strong finish in the remaining fixtures | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 20.00 (BST)
Where is it being played? Emirates Stadium
TV channel? Sky Sports

Two teams that have had poor seasons compared to expectations ahead of the campaign go head to head at the Emirates Stadium in Saturday’s late evening kick-off. A win for either Arsenal or Liverpool here could be an important catalyst to a strong finish.

Defending champions Liverpool have lost six of their eight Premier League games but were at least victorious against a struggling Wolves side in their last outing before the international break.

Arsenal are actually unbeaten in the league since losing narrowly to Manchester City in February and showed character to fight back from 3-0 down to get a point against West Ham last time out.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool

Sunday 4 April

Southampton vs Burnley

Southampton have been in dire Premier League form in 2021 | Robin Jones/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 12.00 (BST)
Where is it being played? St Mary’s
TV channel? Sky Sports

Southampton and Burnley commence the Premier League action on Easter Sunday with a midday kick-off on the south coast. Both have an identical points tally and goal difference.

Relegation is unlikely to become a genuine threat for either of these teams, but getting more positive results on the board and climbing towards the 40-point milestone is still vitally important.

Southampton have only taken seven points from a possible 39 on offer this calendar year, whereas Burnley have been much more steady and have only lost one of their last eight league games.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Burnley

Newcastle vs Tottenham

Newcastle have been fully sucked into a relegation battle | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 14.05 (BST)
Where is it being played? St James’ Park
TV channel? Sky Sports

Newcastle looked to have just about averted a full blown crisis following five consecutive defeats in January, but three draws in winnable games from late February and a 3-0 defeat by Brighton in their last outing before the international break left the Magpies just two points above the drop zone.

Spurs’ form is heading the other way. There have been setbacks of late, including a north London derby defeat to Arsenal and an embarrassing aggregate collapse in the Europa League, but they have taken maximum points from four of their last five Premier League games.

For Spurs, a win is crucial for their re-born top four hopes.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Tottenham

Aston Villa vs Fulham

Fulham could escape the relegation zone with a win | MATT DUNHAM/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 16.30 (BST)
Where is it being played? Villa Park
TV channel? Sky Sports

Depending on the Newcastle result earlier in the afternoon, Fulham could see this game against Aston Villa as their chance to finally escape the relegation zone.

Scott Parker’s team have lost three of their last four, but those defeats were all at Craven Cottage and their win during that run was at Anfield. The Cottagers are actually unbeaten in eight straight Premier League away games since 5 December.

Meanwhile, Villa haven’t won any of their last three home games and their only win at all since early February was a narrow away victor over Leeds.

Prediction: Aston Villa 0-1 Fulham

Manchester United vs Brighton

Man Utd are looking to stay ahead in the race for second place | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 19.30 (BST)
Where is it being played? Old Trafford
TV channel? BT Sport

It seems like an eternity ago now, but Manchester United got lucky when they beat Brighton at the Amex Stadium back in September. The Seagulls were the better team that day, but United won thanks to a very late penalty in the 10th minute of stoppage time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s have dramatically improved since then, although they have only rarely been convincing in their performances since briefly topping the table in January.

Brighton won two in a row immediately prior to the international break, which came after a run of five without a win before that.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Brighton

Monday 5 April

Everton vs Crystal Palace

Can Dominic Calvert-Lewin keep up his England goalscoring form? | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 18.00 (BST)
Where is it being played? Goodison Park
TV channel? Sky Sports

Everton were disappointed to lose at home to Burnley in their last game and slipped back behind Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the Premier League table as a result.

The Toffees have actually lost two in a row, undoing the good work they had done before that, yet are still well in the congested battle for at least a Europa League place.

Palace will be satisfied that they are not in immediate danger of a relegation battle but will need to find more consistency if they are to creep into the top half before the season is over.

Prediction: Everton 1-0 Crystal Palace

Wolves vs West Ham

West Ham are still in the race for a top four finish | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 20.15 (BST)
Where is it being played? Molineux
TV channel? Sky Sports

In the final game of the long Easter weekend on Monday night, West Ham will be hoping to further their chances of finishing in the top four after being leapfrogged by Chelsea last month.

By kick-off at Molineux, it is possible that the Hammers could have fallen from fifth to seventh because of other results, and the pressure will be on to get a good result themselves.

Wolves are having a poor season by their own recent standards and have only won three of the 15 Premier League games they have played since Christmas.

Prediction: Wolves 1-2 West Ham

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Source : 90min