What If: Premier League Gameweek 35

The Premier League What If series returns for another gameweek. With 4 weeks to go, the main excitement can be found in the relegation with 6 teams looking to avoid filling the relegation spots and with Chelsea taking a 4 point lead over United in the race for 4th last week we’ll see if they can kick on and seal 4th place for themselves.

Liverpool vs Burnley

What would have happened:

Both teams don’t have too much to play for but Liverpool do at least have the incentive of pushing for getting over 100 points and beating Man City’s record. They’d need 9 points in their last 4 games to do that and they should be able to win this one fairly comfortably. Burnley do have a decent record at scoring at Anfield though and I could see them getting 1 here but it won’t be enough to stop a comfortable Liverpool win.

Liverpool 3-1 Burnley

Bournemouth vs Leicester City

What would have happened:

This is another really tough game for Bournemouth in their fight to stay up and I could really see this one going either way. I’m going to take Leicester in this one though as I trust them far more at the back than I do Bournemouth and they need to win here to stop themselves getting dragged down into the top 4 scrap, they’re a better side than Bournemouth and Vardy has a very strong record against Bournemouth which is a good sign for them. Bournemouth have been really unlucky this season with when they got their injuries and it could cost them dearly. 

Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester

Manchester United vs Southampton

What would have happened:

Both teams have improved a lot from when they faced off earlier in the season but United were very unlucky to draw that day and I can see them making amends here and keeping the pressure on Chelsea. I do expect Southampton to score here though since they have tended to play well away from home this season and they should be able to keep it close. This would also be the sort of time I’d expect Rashford to return for United which should mean they improve further for the rest of the season.

Man United 2-1 Southampton

Norwich City vs West Ham United

What would have happened:

West Ham were very comfortable winners the last time these sides played but Norwich are better at home than they are away and could give West Ham quite a few problems this time with West Ham coming into this one in poor form. West Ham really struggle away as well but will be desperate for a result here and I could see this one turning into an entertaining draw with both sides going for it. 

Norwich 2-2 West Ham

Watford vs Newcastle United

What would have happened:

These sides are very evenly matched but I can see Watford edging this one for a couple of reasons. Nigel Pearson has never lost to Steve Bruce and secondly Newcastle have a terrible defensive record away from home, Watford tend to average 1 goal scored and 1 goal conceded a game at home and in this simulation will have scored 3 goals last week so I’d be more confident in them finding the net than Newcastle who are scoring less than a goal a game away from home.

Watford 1-0 Newcastle

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Everton 

What would have happened:

I believe this will be a tighter game than the 3-2 we saw earlier in the season and I can see Everton getting a result out of this one. Richarlison gave Wolves nightmares last time and with Wolves not being the best at winning at home I can see this being a draw. I don’t trust Everton at the back enough to confidently say they’d get 3 points here and their away record against the top sides this year has been really poor but I think they match up quite well here.

Wolves 1-1 Everton

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester City

What would have happened:

Man City have scored 8 in their last 2 games against Brighton and while I believe Brighton are a better side than their league position indicates, I think they’ll be comfortably beaten here by a superior side having already lost 4-0 at the Etihad earlier in the season. I’d expect Aguero to do most of the damage here and put Brighton back into the relegation scrap.

Brighton 0-3 Man City 

Sheffield United vs Chelsea

What would have happened:

This is an interesting game. The 2-2 at Stamford Bridge earlier in the year was probably the first game for a lot of people that put Sheffield United on their radar as a team that were more than just the relegation fodder a lot of people expected to be at the start of the season. The atmosphere at Bramall Lane is unique compared to the rest of the league and with this game effectively being a last stand for Sheffield United’s top 4 hopes, the stadium would be rocking. I could see Chelsea being unsettled by this and going behind, but I think they’d get a draw out of this one. They still are the better side overall so their class would help them escape with a point.

Sheffield United 1-1 Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal

What would have happened:

Both teams will be disappointed by how their seasons will have ended up, but that won’t matter for this game as the North London Derby is always an extremely competitive and entertaining game. Mourinho vs Arteta would be a very interesting tactical matchup of old vs new and I can see Arsenal winning this. Mourinho has struggled tactically against managers he’s less familiar with and a fully motivated Arsenal side can be very good on their day. With Bergwijn still out and Son maybe only getting an off the bench role here, I don’t see Spurs having the firepower to beat the vulnerable Arsenal defence as much as they should do.

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace

What would have happened:

Palace beat Villa 1-0 earlier in the season after a red card and an awful VAR decision cost Villa a late equaliser. Palace did create more chances on the day though and Villa’s defence is a major concern in this one. At Villa park these sides are evenly matched and though Villa need to win this, I can see this likely being a frustrating 1-1 draw. Palace have been tough to beat away all season and their solid defence alongside their penchant for nicking a goal can get them a point here.

Villa 1-1 Palace

Updated League table:

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