Merson's predictions: Tottenham to narrow gap on leaders Leicester
Manchester United and Crystal Palace to seal FA Cup final spot
Last Updated: 26/04/16 5:58pm
Sky Sports' Paul Merson is back to look ahead to another crucial round of Premier League fixtures.
Eight points off a maiden top-flight crown, Leicester, without the suspended Jamie Vardy, host Swansea on Super Sunday as they look to stretch the gap between themselves and Tottenham.
Second-placed Spurs will be waiting, ready to pounce if the Foxes slip up when they entertain West Brom on Monday Night Football.
Before all of that, the race for survival takes centre stage as Sunderland look to move out of the relegation zone when they face Arsenal at the Stadium of Light in Sunday's early kick-off.
There is also the little matter of the FA Cup semi-finals, where Crystal Palace, Everton, Manchester United and Watford jostle for a place in the Wembley showpiece.
Read on to see who the Magic Man is backing...
Last week's predictions
|Norwich 0-3 Sunderland||1-1|
|Everton 1-1 So'ton||2-2|
|Man Utd 1-0 Aston Villa||3-0|
|Newcastle 3-0 Swansea||2-1|
|West Brom 0-1 Watford||2-0|
|Chelsea 0-3 Man City||2-1|
|B'mouth 1-2 Liverpool||1-2|
|Leicester 2-2 West Ham||2-1|
|Arsenal 1-1 Palace||3-0|
|Stoke 0-4 Spurs||0-4|
Leicester v Swansea - Super Sunday, 4.15pm
This game was a gimme for Leicester last week, now Jamie Vardy is suspended it's not. I don't think Vardy is a great player but without him how are Leicester going to open up the game? He stretches defences and creates space for midfielders on the ball and I can't see who will be able to replace that pace.
I just don't see Leicester winning without Vardy, he is a massive, massive miss. Swansea will just play around halfway, suffocate the Foxes and come away with a point which will blow the title race wide open.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)
Tottenham v West Brom - Monday Night Football, 8pm
Fair play to West Brom, they got their 40 points on the board early doors ahead of an atrocious final run of fixtures. It starts with Spurs, who were outstanding at Stoke. It doesn't even pain me to see Spurs where they are at the moment, they are a very good team. Hopefully their success kicks Arsenal into gear. If this Tottenham team stays together and they get a couple more players they'll be favourites for the title next season.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Sunderland v Arsenal - Super Sunday, 2.05pm
I watched Arsenal on Sunday and it was one of the flattest performances I've seen, they just went through the motions. It was so quiet at the Emirates that I heard Petr Cech shout 'keeper' when clearing a ball. How is that possible in front of 60,000 people? Arsenal beat West Brom on Thursday, but they should have beaten Palace too. Sunderland, meanwhile, have picked up under Big Sam, winning at Norwich last week. I fancy them to edge closer to safety with a point, but they do need to score first.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Man City v Stoke - Saturday, 12.45pm
The problem with Man City is that you don't know which team is going to turn up. Will it be the one that won 3-0 at Chelsea or will it be the team that came off the pitch lucky to have earned a 1-1 draw with Newcastle? Stoke are on holiday and you cannot play football with flip-flops on! They've done their hard work, though, they're safe and you can understand that, particularly when a few players will be at the Euros. I suspect Sergio Aguero will be rested as City will have one eye on the Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid, but I still expect them to win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)
Aston Villa v Southampton - Saturday, 3pm
What score do you want? I can't see anything other than a Southampton win. I felt sorry for Joleon Lescott in the week because his comments about relegation being a relief were not meant like that. He meant the club could concentrate on bouncing back next season, so a lot of the criticism he received was unwarranted. Villa should give the kids a chance and see what they're like ahead of next season - see who can be kept and who can't.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)
Bournemouth v Chelsea - Saturday, 3pm
This is a hard game. Chelsea could have conceded six against Man City on Saturday, their season is over, they've got players going to the Euros and they can't win a game. I'm not sure which way the game will go but I expect a game full of goals, with Bournemouth needing to bounce back from their defeat to Liverpool.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2 (Sky Bet odds 12/1)
Liverpool v Newcastle - Saturday, 3pm
I was impressed with Newcastle against Man City, they were good. Liverpool keep on getting better and better under Jurgen Klopp and they put Everton to the sword in the derby. I fancy Liverpool here but, with a Europa League semi-final with Villarreal coming up, they may rest players - that said they still turn in decent performances when they do change their team. This is where luck in the relegation fight comes in because if Liverpool were challenging for the top four they would play a full-strength side, and that may help Newcastle's cause. I expect Liverpool to just earn the win but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a draw.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 7/1)
|Newcastle 1-1 Man City||0-2|
|Liverpool 4-0 Everton||3-0|
|Arsenal ?-? West Brom||3-0|
FA Cup semi-finals
Everton v Man Utd - Saturday, 5.15pm
I don't see how Roberto Martinez can last if he loses at Wembley. He has got things horribly wrong this week. He should have played his strongest team and won against Southampton and then told fans he had to rest everyone against Liverpool in preparation for the semi-final. Instead he rested everyone against Southampton and got booed off and then played his best team against Liverpool and got battered. For the first time he looked lost on the sidelines, the fans have turned and I don't see how he can hold on if they lose. I felt sorry for him but it's a situation of his own making, this is a good team that is nowhere.
United will win at Wembley, I can't see Everton stopping them. Marcus Rashford is some player and his goal against Villa was as good as it gets - he'll be a top-drawer player. Three months ago you would have backed Everton to win this game all day long, not now.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds 15/2)
Crystal Palace v Watford - Sunday, 4pm
I fancy Palace here, they've just got the edge over Watford. Deeney, who missed a penalty at West Ham, and Ighalo have gone quiet recently and confidence at the club can't be great. When the game starts to open up Palace have got more match winners for and I expect them to just edge a tight contest.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds 6/1)
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