Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Steven Beacom's Premier League predictions

The Premiership is fast coming to its conclusion. And this weekend I have a feeling a lot of things will be sorted out at the top and bottom of the table.

Sports Editor Steven Beacom gives his verdict on all the top flight games with Paddy Power providing the odds.

All games kick-off at 3pm on Saturday unless stated.

BLACKBURN v PORTSMOUTH

Basically because the north east sides are so dreadful, these two won’t even the need the usual 40 points to safeguard their Premiership futures.

Both have had disappointing campaigns but are going to get away with it and stay up.

All that is really left for them is to try and finish on some sort of high.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Blackburn 21/20 Portsmouth 11/4 Draw 9/4

BOLTON v SUNDERLAND

Everything went right for Sunderland last week. Until they actually stepped on to the pitch themselves.

Middlesbrough lost, West Brom lost and Newcastle lost.

But then, you’ve guessed it, Sunderland went and lost as well to an Everton side with one eye on the FA Cup final.

So, Sunderland are still in a bit of bother. I’ll still be surprised if they go down — even if some of their displays recently merit relegation — not because they will win their last three games but due to the fact the other sides below them will be lucky to win one.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Bolton 11/10 Sunderland 5/2 Draw 23/10

EVERTON v SPURS

Everton are going for fifth, and given all their injury problems this season, they probably deserve it.

Spurs should take a long hard look at Everton and their fantastic achievements when they are at Goodison Park tomorrow. Tottenham should be up just behind the big four, not in mid-table.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Everton 5/4 Spurs 11/5 Draw 23/10

FULHAM v ASTON VILLA

Well, I did say to you last week that Villa were the team to back because surely they would be victorious sooner rather than later after a dreadful run. The 1-0 victory over Hull should set them up for another success at the Cottage.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Fulham 13/8 Villa 17/10 Draw 11/5

HULL v STOKE

This should be a mighty match and one in which Hull could finish up with a crucial victory.

When these two were promoted last season, most though they would go straight back down. It’s looks as if Stoke will survive and I still think Hull will do the same.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Hull 6/5 Stoke 23/10 Draw 23/10

WEST BROM v WIGAN

West Brom have two home games left this season. The other is against Liverpool. They will win one of those games. It won’t be against a team managed by a Spaniard. Look out Wigan then.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: WBA 13/10 Wigan 21/10 Draw 23/10

WEST HAM v LIVERPOOL

(Saturday 5.30pm)

Tricky match this for Rafael Benitez’s side but they should come through it and move back to the top of the table. They won’t stay there unless City and Arsenal do them a massive favour, but Kopites should be encouraged that after years of being out of the title race at Christmas they will actually lead it on May 10.

A word on the happy Hammers. They have done superbly lately, but might just find the class of Steven Gerrard and the returning Fernando Torres too much.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: West Ham 11/2 Liverpool 8/15 Draw 29/10

MAN UNITED v MAN CITY

(Sunday 1.30pm)

United were awesome against Arsenal in midweek. They took the bull by the horns and refused to let go. Arsene Wenger’s players were just relieved to hear the final whistle. United had it easy. I’ll wager they’ll get it a bit tougher on Sunday when City visit the Theatre of Dreams.

City fans would love nothing more than to see Robinho (pictured), Stephen Ireland and co turn up the heat on United’s bid for the title. Almost as much as Liverpool supporters in fact.

City won at Old Trafford last season and have started to perform a lot better away from home, so that will give Kopites hope. What won’t is another United display like the one on show at the Emirates.

I reckon the very best Rafa Benitez can hope for is a draw, and given the confidence United are now playing with even that is too big an ask.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: United 4/11 City 17/2

Draw 7/2

ARSENAL v CHELSEA |(Sunday 4pm)

What a nightmare week for these two. Arsenal were humiliated. Chelsea were simply left stunned. I felt no sympathy for the former but some for the latter; though, if Didier Drogba had scored that easy chance the Blues would not have needed to complain about the ref and those ’penalties’.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Arsenal 6/4 Chelsea 15/8 Draw 11/5

NEWCASTLE v MIDDLESBROUGH (Monday 8pm)

The biggest north east derby in years. The simple fact is that whoever loses this match on Monday night will be playing Championship football next season.

It is massive. Both teams have been in appalling form, defensively and in attack so don’t go expecting free flowing football. It should be compelling though with so much at stake. Home advantage could tell and big players you would think will come to the party.

Michael Owen hasn’t been that since his injury in the 2006 World Cup but in my opinion he’s the most likely hero on Monday night.

Beacom Prediction:2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Newcastle Evens Boro 14/5 Draw 12/5

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