Paul Merson's predictions for Premier League GW 35 fixtures

The Premier League title race is heating up
The Premier League title race is heating up

The Premier League is quickly approaching the business end of its season and we're in for an entertaining finish in the next few weeks. With only a handful of games left to play, teams now know exactly what they need to do to achieve their objectives.

Manchester City and Liverpool have been different class so far and I expect them to play against each other in the UEFA Champions League final. Neither team can afford to take the Premier League lightly, however, and it's quite probable that they'll have to win the rest of their matches this season.

Arsenal took a massive stride towards a top-four finish at Manchester United's expense. Tottenham remain hot on their heels and face a couple of crucial tests this month.

The relegation zone has also seen its fair share of scrapping, with Leeds, Burnley, and Everton currently fighting for survival. Here are my predictions for this weekend's Premier League fixtures.

Newcastle United vs Liverpool

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League
Liverpool v Everton - Premier League

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

Watford vs Burnley

West Ham United v Burnley - Premier League
West Ham United v Burnley - Premier League

This is a massive game, and Everton will be watching it as well. Burnley seem to have turned a corner - they managed a draw against West Ham and they've secured two victories on the trot. If they win this game, the pressure on Everton will be severe.

Watford have missed too many chances this season. They've lost so many consecutive home games in the Premier League, and I just don't see them pulling off a victory here. They're nine points adrift at the moment and will need to win all their matches to survive.

Burnley have got some nice fixtures this month and if they don't beat Watford, they don't really deserve to remain in the top flight. This is a must-win game for Burnley.

Prediction: Watford 0-1 Burnley

Southampton vs Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace v Southampton - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Southampton - Premier League

This is a testimonial match, really. It's a nothing game. Both teams have got nothing to play for and you'd hope that they go out and express themselves.

There should be a few goals in this game. James Ward-Prowse is a very good player, and I'm a big fan. This is a great game for these players to go out and just play, because there is absolutely no pressure.

Prediction: Southampton 2-2 Crystal Palace

Aston Villa vs Norwich City

Norwich City v Aston Villa - Premier League
Norwich City v Aston Villa - Premier League

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

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

If I was Arsenal, I'd be going after Ruben Neves. Manchester United are going to be after him as well. I'm not sure how Wolves are going to keep him at the club, to be honest.

I'd like to think there will be goals in this match. This is a hard game, because there isn't a lot between these two teams. Wolves have fizzled out recently, and Brighton have had a bit of a resurgence.

Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Leeds United vs Manchester City

Atletico Madrid v Manchester City Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Atletico Madrid v Manchester City Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

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

Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

From Leicester's point of view, this is not an interesting game. They have two big matches against Roma with this fixture in between, and I'm sure they'll rest a few players here.

Harry Kane's transfer situation remains uncertain at Tottenham. It all depends on whether they can finish in the top four in the next few weeks. He has a chance of beating Alan Shearer's record, and it can only happen at Tottenham. He can't do it with a team like City, because he won't play against many of the lesser teams in the Premier League.

This is a good game for Tottenham and I'd expect them to win it. Leicester will have one eye on their European games and I don't see anything but a Tottenham victory here.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Leicester City

Everton vs Chelsea

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League
Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

Wow, this is a big game. If Burnley win, Everton will be four points behind them before they start this match. They played well against Liverpool, and they'll need to get a result this weekend.

This is a pretty good time to play against Chelsea, and Everton will have to make the most of it. A draw won't be good enough for them, but they'll have to take what they can get.

Everton's approach against Chelsea will depend on what happens in the Burnley game. If Burnley win, Everton will need to make sure they don't lose this weekend.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Chelsea

West Ham United vs Arsenal

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League

West Ham's approach against Chelsea was mind-blowing. They rested three of their best players - Michail Antonio, Declan Rice, and Jarrod Bowen - to prepare for their Europa League tie.

If West Ham do win the Europa League, I think Declan Rice has no excuse but to stay at the club. If they don't win it, however, he may well leave for a club that plays in the Champions League.

This is the perfect time for Arsenal to play West Ham and beat them. This is a nothing game for West Ham, but it could prove to be a massive result for Arsenal.

Prediction: West Ham United 0-2 Arsenal

Manchester United vs Brentford

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League
Everton v Manchester United - Premier League

This might be Cristiano Ronaldo's last year in the Premier League. He'll want to play in the Champions League - he's played in it all his career. I'd be surprised if Erik ten Hag wants him there to be honest - he's trying to build his team, and Ronaldo is 37 years old.

PSG could go for him and make him their short-term replacement for Kylian Mbappe. PSG only want one thing - the Champions League. Ronaldo is a proven asset in the competition - he's scored goals, he sells shirts, he's done it all.

Ligue 1 is an easy league, and Ronaldo will be able to focus on the Champions League at PSG. With Lionel Messi already at the club, we may well see two of the greatest players of all time playing for the same team.

Manchester United have more immediate concerns, however, and this'll be a hard game for them. The way Brentford have been playing, they could pull this off. Who would've thought this was possible one, two, or ten years ago?

Brentford are going to go out there expecting to win this game. They'll have a go at Manchester United and I think they'll cause them a few problems this weekend.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-2 Brentford

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Edited by Paul Merson
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