What If: Premier League Gameweek 36

The Premier League what if series returns for another gameweek. With 3 weeks to go in the season the relegation fight is still red hot and teams can now cement finishing positions. Leicester will guarantee top 4 with a win this week and Norwich will be mathematically relegated if they fail to win or Bournemouth don’t lose.

Arsenal vs Liverpool

What would have happened:

Arsenal will be looking for a top 6 finish while Liverpool will be aiming for 100 points still so both teams will have a high incentive to go for it here. The Emirates is normally a ground where Liverpool have found wins hard to come by but they’ve been far more defensively solid this season than in previous years and they should be able to pick off Arsenal on the counter here. Arsenal though will give them plenty to think about and should be able to score. But their defence is still questionable at best and Liverpool have plenty of attacking talent able to exploit that.

Arsenal 1-3 Liverpool

Burnley vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

What would have happened:

Wolves were very lucky to get a 1-1 draw the last time these sides met but they were playing far worse at the start of the season than they are now and I can see them nicking a win in a low scoring game. Burnley only really have the pride of top half left to play for and Wolves are a more talented side on their day and would have Traore starting this time unlike last time these sides played.  A win here should be enough to see them secure a top 6 spot.

Burnley 0-1 Wolves

Chelsea vs Norwich City

What would have happened:

Chelsea should win this one pretty easily. They’re a lot more solid in midfield and defensively than when these sides faced off earlier in the season and Norwich really struggle to score away from home which is probably the main reason they’ll be relegated. This is likely to be a comfortable 2-0 win and 1 step closer to securing a top 4 finish while confirming Norwich’s relegation to the Championship.

Chelsea 2-0 Norwich

Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

What would have happened:

United should have won the reverse fixture between the sides if they’d have been able to finish on that day and with Rashford back and the extra creativity of Fernandes, they should be able to beat a Palace side who haven’t won in a long time and seem to be ready to move onto the following season. This matchup does tend to see both teams score though and if Palace took the lead they may get a result but the likely result for me would be a 2-1 United win.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Man United

Everton vs Aston Villa

What would have happened:

Everton have been very impressive going forward in home fixtures under Ancelotti and they should have too much firepower for Villa here. Villa have the worst defensive record away from home for a reason and I can’t see them getting a goal here since they’ll likely only have around 30-35% possession with Everton also only conceding 2 goals in their last 3 games against better sides.

Everton 2-0 Aston Villa

Leicester City vs Sheffield United

What would have happened:

Leicester match up well here with Sheffield United and with home advantage should be able to get the win that guarantees them top 4. Sheffield United will likely play well though without doing enough and I’d like Leicester to keep a clean sheet here in a cagey 1-0 win with Vardy scoring the winner.

Leicester 1-0 Sheffield United  

Manchester City vs Bournemouth

What would have happened:

City tend to score for fun against Bournemouth and while Bournemouth have improved a lot as of late, I can see City winning comfortably again here. They always finish seasons strongly and the trajectory they would’ve been headed on this season looks no different. Look for Aguero to have a big game and make a late push for the golden boot.

Man City 3-0 Bournemouth

Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur

What would have happened:

Son should finally be fit enough to return to the side and with the boost in attacking power he’ll give Spurs, this should be the time where their performances start to step up again and maybe they’ll finish what has been a deeply disappointing season strongly. Newcastle will feel they’re pretty much safe on 39 points and with a game against Brighton next week a good spot to pick up any points they’ll need to guarantee safely, they can probably lose here to a superior side without too much long term damage since I can’t see them stopping Son and Kane or presenting enough of a threat going forward to majorly trouble a shaky Spurs defence.

Newcastle 1-3 Spurs

Southampton vs Brighton and Hove Albion

What would have happened:

Southampton actually have the worst home record in the league which would normally mean relegation but some good away form has kept them out of being in major danger. Brighton meanwhile would likely take a point here and have the Newcastle home game circled as their way out of jail. The previous fixture was actually fairly even stat wise despite Brighton being undone by a man disadvantage and I can see these sides cancelling each other out.

Southampton 0-0 Brighton

West Ham United vs Watford

What would have happened:

I like West Ham to win this one. This fixture tends to be an open game and the matchup earlier in the season saw 39 shots between both sides. Watford have shored up a bit at the back since but this improvement has mainly been displayed at home and less so away. Meanwhile West Ham will be coming off a game where they’ve scored twice so their attacking players should have some form behind them. I still don’t trust them to keep a clean sheet but I can see them scoring a few here.

West Ham 3-1 Watford

Updated League Table:

Liverpool guaranteed the title

Man City guaranteed 2nd

Leicester guaranteed top 4

Chelsea and Man United guaranteed top 6

Norwich guaranteed relegation

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