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Steven Beacom's Premier League predictions

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Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

This could be the most important weekend of the season in terms of the tile race and battle to finish fourth.

Sports Editor Steven Beacom will keep you right with his predictions for all the Premier League games with Paddy Power providing all the odds.

Games kick-off at 3pm on Saturday unless stated.

BIRMINGHAM v HULL

After a shocking result last weekend going down 4-1 at home to Burnley, Hull have to hit back and fast otherwise Iain Dowie will have come in to two different clubs at the back end of successive seasons and seen them relegated. It was Newcastle last year in partnership with Alan Shearer and now the Tigers are in real danger. Dowie definitely would not have chosen to go to Birmingham in their bid to pick up points. Alex McLeish’s men have been superb at home this season and the best big Iain can hope for is a point, but even that may be beyond him and Hull.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Birmingham 3/4 Draw 5/2 Hull 15/4

BLACKBURN v EVERTON

Blackburn are hard to beat at home. Everton are just hard to beat full stop. Draw written all over this one.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Blackburn 13/8 Draw 23/10 Everton 13/8

FULHAM v WOLVES

I’ll be interested to see what team Roy Hodgson picks for this one. After all, Fulham are safe in the league and all their ambitions this season now relate to winning the Europa League. I know — I can’t believe it either! Fulham play Hamburg in the semi-finals on Thursday and if there are any players with minor knocks or feeling a little weary, surely Hodgson will rest them. Ironic that Fulham face Wolves, who know all about picking an understrength side.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Fulham evens Draw 12/5 Wolves 11/4

MAN CITY v MAN UNITED (Saturday 12.45pm)

This is huge. I know in the recent past Manchester City have looked at derbies as a chance to give their long suffering fans something to crow about. This time though, apart from bragging rights, they actually have something else to play for — a Champions League place. The race for fourth is effectively between Spurs and City, who play each other later in the season. That will go a long way to deciding who will be hammered by Barcelona at some point next season, but this weekend could turn out to be just as important. Should City manage to beat United, that would put massive pressure on Spurs, who host Chelsea later in the day. Will City beat United? I wouldn’t guarantee it. Yes, Carlos Tevez will be desperate to deliver against his old club (please let him and Gary Neville have a 50/50 tackle) and of course Craig Bellamy will fancy taking Rio Ferdinand to the cleaners again, but Sir Alex Ferguson will have his players pumped up and then some for what could be their last big match of the campaign unless Chelsea slip up. It should be entertaining especially if Wayne Rooney is involved.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: City 17/10 Draw 12/5 United 6/4

STOKE v BOLTON

Bolton deserved a point at the very least at Chelsea in midweek. I reckon that’s what they’ll get at Stoke, who are on course to finish in the top 10 — a marvellous achievement for Tony Pulis and his side.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Stoke evens Draw 9/4 Bolton 3/1

SUNDERLAND v BURNLEY

Bar beating Manchester United at Turf Moor early in the season, Burnley fans will remember their nine months back in the big time for last weekend’s drubbing of Hull. They would happily settle for a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light. They won’t get it though.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Sunderland 8/15 Draw 14/5 Burnley 11/2

SPURS v CHELSEA (Saturday 5.30pm)

Just as huge as the match at Eastlands. Chelsea will have looked at this fixture knowing that victory will all but seal the title as they could still afford to lose at Anfield and clinch the Premier League with wins at home to Stoke and Wigan. Anything other than three points for Chelsea, though, combined with United managing to beat City and suddenly the battle to finish champions takes on a new complexion. Chelsea will need to improve on their display against Bolton that’s for sure. As for Tottenham, they are sure to still be on a high after overcoming Arsenal. Gunners fans will still be wondering how. As is usually the case Arsene Wenger’s men played Spurs off the park for long periods, but the brilliance of Michael Dawson and Ledley King at the back plus goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes saw them home. More of the same will be needed tomorrow.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Spurs 3/1 Draw 5/2 Chelsea 10/11

PORTSMOUTH v ASTON VILLA

Villa look like a team shot to pieces. Lightning is clearly striking twice, but even they should be able to beat Pompey reserves. Just a hunch this, but I reckon Martin O’Neill is leaving Villa Park.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Pompey 9/2 Draw 13/5 Villa 4/6

WIGAN v ARSENAL (Sunday 1.30pm)

There was only one bright note for Arsenal supporters during their defeat to Spurs and that was the return of Robin Van Persie. What a class operator he is and how the Gunners have missed him. Arsenal’s loss (the title race is over for them now) could well turn out to be Holland’s gain in the World Cup.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Wigan 11/2 Draw 14/5 Arsenal 8/15

LIVERPOOL v WEST HAM (Monday 8pm)

This week I received a lot of texts from Premier League footballers. Reason? Well, over the past couple of months whoever appears in the picture for these predictions goes on to score that weekend, play a blinder or on many occasions do both.

Craig Bellamy, Florent Malouda, Fernando Torres, Darren Bent and Didier Drogba are just a handful of players to have delivered. I was thinking who deserves a break this week and one name sprung to mind — Steven Gerrard (pictured). The Liverpool captain has had a nightmare season. His form hasn’t reached anything like the levels it can, he’s had niggly injuries and he’s had to put up with Rafael Benitez’s increasingly ridiculous decision making. He could be leaving the club at the end of the season so this could be one of his final games at Anfield. If so, he deserves to go out on a high. He won a Cup final on his own against West Ham once and will inspire the Reds to victory on Monday night.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Liverpool 4/11 Draw 7/2 West Ham 8/1

Belfast Telegraph