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Hindsight's Premier League predictions

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE: Man City are on the brink of the PL crown (Ernest Simons)

FAREWELL TO another Premier League season. And what a season it has been. From the miraculous escapes of Sunderland and Crystal Palace to the three-horse title race that last until last weekend.

The title should be Manchester City's - all they need is a win or a draw against West Ham. But if they lose and Liverpool win, then the Reds will be crowned champions for the first time in 24 years. It would be a dream come true for Steven Gerrard, but one unlikely to materialise, considering City's attacking class.

Voice of Sport editor Rodney Hinds picks over the final round of games and will soon be left wondering what to do with himself until the World Cup comes around.

All matches at 3pm unless otherwise stated

Sunday, May 11

Cardiff – Chelsea

Both of these sides could do without this fixture. The hosts are already relegated while Chelsea’s failure to beat the league’s minnows throughout the season has cost them any chance of winning the coveted Premier League crown. City will want to head to the Championship on a high while Blues boss Mourinho will want to head to his holidays on a vibrant note. Chelsea’s greater class to nick all three points.

Fulham – Crystal Palace

This will be the last top flight derby that Fulham contest for a while. Felix Magath’s side capitulated against Stoke last week to seal their demise. Relegation gives the German boss a chance to blood talented youngsters next term in a bid to regain their status. Palace have been a revelation under Tony Pulis and must already be looking forward to the 2014-15 campaign. Pulis deserves to be a contender for manager of the year such has been the job he has done at Selhurst Park. Away win.

Hull – Everton

The FA Cup finalists have had a decent return to the Premier League. Manager Steve Bruce’s savvy and astute transfers have been pivotal to the team’s success. If he can add further positive signings in the summer they could avoid second seasonitis. Everton will still be licking their wounds having just failed to secure a Champions League spot which seemed theirs only a few weeks ago. The plus points for their season has been their loan signings and the form of England rookie Ross Barkley. Draw.

Liverpool – Newcastle

Despite the 3-3 nightmare against Crystal Palace, the hosts will still need to eke out a win just in case Manchester City slip up against West Ham. If Liverpool do fail to win the Premier League crown it will be down to defensive lapses. They are wonderful going forward – with Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling in their ranks - but they have been sloppy in terms of conceding. But they still have hope, however slim. Their matches against Newcastle have always been minor classics! Reds romp.


REALITY CHECK: Man United’s De Gea and Evra (right) have endured a torrid season (Ken Passley)

Man City – West Ham

City destroyed Aston Villa 4-0 and now only need a point against West Ham to seal a second PL title in three years. With a spine of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, the hosts must fancy their chances of coming out top dogs again. However, the East Enders won’t roll over but they might not be able to quell what is likely to be a light-blue tide. City’s last title triumph came on the final day of the season, via goal difference, against a London club (QPR). Expect the same result – ultimate success again with yet another home win.

Norwich – Arsenal

Sunderland’s win against West Brom in midweek ensured that Norwich were relegated prior to this match. City have been woefully short of goals all season and it has eventually caught up with them. The gamble of replacing manager Chris Hughton with the youth team coach has not worked and they’ve paid the price. The Gunners, with Champions League football almost secured, will look to punish Norwich even further. In Olivier Giroud, Arsenal possess a striker in form. Gunners shoot the poor Canaries down.

Southampton – Man United

The Saints have been one of the revelations of the season. Their passing game has been a joy to watch and in Adam Lallana they have a real diamond. Next term will be a greater test but they look to have the tools to do well again. United’s home loss to relegation-threatened Sunderland was a reality check for interim boss Ryan Giggs and all concerned with United. The Theatre of Dreams – which has witnessed 11 home losses – has become the Theatre of Nightmares as David Moyes will testify. Home win as the Saints overcome the Red Devils.

Sunderland – Swansea

Gus Poyet deserves the freedom of the Northeast. The Sunderland boss has secured their top flight status despite being red hot favourites to plummet into the Championship when he arrived at the club. He has done so with his favoured passing game, which is further testament to his coaching ability. He has got the best out of the likes of Fabio Borini, Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback. Swansea’s campaign has also had its fair share of drama and worry but they have managed to grind out results when required. Swans take the spoils.

Tottenham – Aston Villa

Any team that loses the likes of Gareth Bale is always likely to suffer and Spurs have done just that. Head coach Tim Sherwood has done well but this is likely to be his final match in charge. The same fate awaits Villa boss Paul Lambert. There is talk of a takeover at the club and after yet another disappointing season, Lambert’s time might just be up. Spurs go marching in!

West Brom – Stoke

This Midlands derby could be an entertaining and unpredictable encounter. Both sides are stress free so anything could happen at the Hawthorns on Sunday. Pepe Mel’s WBA have struggled for most of the season while Stoke have been upwardly mobile under new boss Mark Hughes. The experienced Hughes has got rid of his inhibitions and has got the previously much-maligned City playing with something of a swagger. Away win.

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