A huge weekend of Premier League football is almost upon us with vital games at the top and bottom of the division.
Liverpool travel to the North East as they continue their pursuit of the league title against high-flying Newcastle United on Saturday (30 April) lunchtime, while Manchester City head to West Yorkshire to take on a Leeds United side fighting to stay in the league.
These are two tough away fixtures for City and Liverpool, which come on the back of their Champions League semi-final first legs in midweek.
Both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful that this will be the weekend where their rival drops points to put them in the driving seat for the title as we enter the last few weeks of the season.
Aston Villa are also without a win in five games and Steven Gerrard will be desperate for three points against struggling Norwich City on Saturday to calm the nerves and give his side further breathing space from the bottom three with Villa not yet safe from relegation.
Former Villa midfielder Paul Merson has given his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures in his latest Sportskeeda column.
Here’s what he said.
Newcastle United vs Liverpool
“You’ve got a team that’s won four on the trot playing against a phenomenal Liverpool side this weekend. This game will tell Newcastle how far they’ve come and how far they’ve got to go.
“I’d be shocked if Jurgen Klopp rotated his team this weekend. Villarreal were well out of their depth last night and aren’t going to score three goals next week. Liverpool can even afford to lose that game, but they cannot drop points here.
“Liverpool must win this game because a draw is no good. City and Liverpool are miles ahead of every other Premier League team at the moment. Newcastle have done great - don’t get me wrong - but they’ll face a different kind of opponent in Liverpool.”
Prediction: Newcastle United 1-3 Liverpool
Aston Villa vs Norwich City
“Aston Villa are struggling at the moment. If they don’t win this game, they’ll go six matches without a victory, and that’s never good for a team.
“This is going to be a tough game for Villa as they’re not pulling up any trees at the moment. Norwich were slaughtered by Newcastle last week but they’ll fancy their chances here.
“Aston Villa are playing a massive game this week and they will need to show up against Norwich.”
Prediction: Aston Villa 3-0 Norwich City
Leeds United vs Manchester City
“Even in their biggest game next week, I couldn’t possibly name a Manchester City eleven!
“Their squad is so big - it’s ridiculous. I don’t think they’ll have much of a problem with the Real Madrid game.
“I see nothing but a City win here. Liverpool will probably win their game, so this is another massive match for them. Leeds have been harder to beat since their new manager has come in, but I don’t see how they’ll stop Manchester City.”
Prediction: Leeds United 0-3 Manchester City
You can see Merson’s predictions for every Premier League game this weekend, on the Sportskeeda website, here.
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