Another weekend of Premier League fixtures lay ahead and the clubs facing relegation will again be keeping one eye on events at other stadiums up and down the country.
With Middlesbrough taking on an in form Fulham, Stoke facing Blackburn, Portsmouth looking for a win against Bolton and Sunderland playing Hull nearly all the teams involved in the survival battle play each other tomorrow. In addition, bottom side West Brom travel to Man City on Sunday and Newcastle travel to the capital to play Tottenham, with new manager Alan Shearer still searching for his first win.
The Newcastle legend will be boosted with news of the return to fitness of Mark Viduka. The Australian striker has been out of action since the 1st of March due to a niggling achilles injury but could be in line to start against Spurs. Shearer will be especially relieved as it looks as though he will be without forward Obafemi Martins who has not managed to shake off a groin problem.
Regardless of injury worries the former Newcastle United star is hoping that his team can manage to come away from White Heart Lane with the three points. The Magpies currently sit in the bottom three and could be cut 5 points adrift were Sunderland to beat Hull with Newcastle not playing till Sunday.
Portsmouth play host to a Bolton side that were unlucky not to come away from Stamford Bridge with anything last weekend, after a fantastic second half performance. You would have to say that one more victory would all but secure safety for the South coast club, but they have looked so hot and cold recently that you never really know which Portsmouth side will show up. With the return of Glenn Johnson from a one game suspension the Pompey crowd will be hoping that the defensive frailties shown against West Brom last weekend will not be apparent again.
Perhaps the biggest game this weekend at the bottom of the table is that involving Middlesbrough, Gareth Southgate’s side are in desperate need of the win especially with the visit of current Champions Man Utd in a couple of weeks and having to travel to Arsenal next Sunday. Boro are in desperate need of points and things are not looking good at the moment despite a vital 3-1 win against Hull last week. However as they sit second bottom and face the champions, Arsenal and have the Tynne and Wear derby before the end of the season few would bet on their Premier League pedigree being intact at the come the end of the season.
Without a doubt all managers, players and fans alike will be keeping an eye on all the scores in the Premiership not just their own as with only 6 games to go the relegation battle enters its final stages. This could possibly be, the most important weekend of the survival struggle.
Soccerlens Weekend Predictions
Aston Villa v West Ham – Aston Villa to win.
Middlesbrough v Fulham – Draw.
Portsmouth v Bolton – Portsmouth to win.
Stoke v Blackburn – Stoke to win.
Sunderland v Hull – Sunderland to win.
Tottenham v Newcastle – Tottenham to win.
Man City v West Brom – Manchester City to win.