The FanSided soccer staff make their predictions for the weekend’s Premier League games, including the Manchester derby at the Etihad.
The Premier League title could be decided this weekend, as Manchester City welcome Manchester United to the Etihad. A win would see Pep Guardiola’s side officially clinch the title earlier than any team in the history of the competition.
The Citizens are clearly the better team than United, but Guardiola faces some difficult selection questions with his side in the middle of a Champions League quarterfinal with Liverpool. They lost the first leg 3-0, but will still hope they can make a comeback at home in the second leg.
Does Guardiola play his strongest side to try to wrap up the title, while also reestablishing some confidence following a chastening defeat at Anfield, or rotate in the hope of keeping his starting XI fresh for the second leg?
Whatever side he chooses will be met by a Jose Mourinho-led United who will be desperate to ensure City don’t clinch the title against them. Given a draw will be enough for United to achieve that, we could be primed for a classic Mourinho bus-parking display.
The other standout fixture of the weekend sees Liverpool travel to Goodison Park for the Merseyside derby. Jurgen Klopp faces a similar selection headache to Guardiola, but his side have less to play for, so he may feel more comfortable rotating, even against rivals.
Elsewhere, Brighton play Huddersfield, Southampton travel to Arsenal and Bournemouth take on Crystal Palace in matches that could all have implications on the relegation battle. Stoke, in 19th, and Swansea, in 15th, are separated by only four points.
FanSided’s soccer staff will be competing in a weekly picks league all season. The rules are simple: three points for a correct score, one for a correct result and none for an incorrect result. Here are the picks for matchweek 33:
Our writers don’t have much faith in Mourinho’s side. They all picked City to clinch the title this weekend. Here’s how the predictions table stands heading into the weekend’s matches: