Premier League 2012, Midweek 34 Preview And Fixtures: The Good Teams With Nothing Else Left Duke It Out

Javier Hernandez, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney wait to kick off after Wigan's goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at DW Stadium. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

With the upper-middle part of the table pre-occupied with the FA Cup and the top teams staring down what should be easy wins, all eyes turn to the relegation battle.

Norwich City vs. Manchester City

Saturday, 4/14; 12:45 GMT/7:45 AM ET

Well, City picked up three points on United this weekend. They'll probably win this game, too, because while Norwich isn't all that bad City has something to play for (but not too much!) and will likely remember how good they are. Nothing will be settled until April 30th anyways. And probably not even then. Dumb.

Pick: City, 3-1

Sunderland vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Saturday, 4/14; 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Whatever happens in this game, it never would have happened had Wolves not sacked Mick McCarthy. Because no matter which side of the McCarthy divide you happen to be on, there are really funny jokes.

Pick: Sunderland, 3-1

Swansea City vs. Blackburn Rovers

Saturday, 4/14; 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

These teams play completely different styles and all and that's cool, but Swansea probably doesn't give a crap (and though it's nice to see someone doing something different and all they can be hell of boring) and Blackburn is bad.

Pick: Swansea, 1-0

West Bromwich Albion vs. Queens Park Rangers

Saturday, 4/14; 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET
QPR probably isn't going to go down, but they probably should just on the basis of hey guys, you spent like a bazillion dollars on "can't miss" players in order to avoid relegation. And yeah, 17th probably isn't what you were going for, but it's cool. Djibril Cisse can shave his head into some sort of Pitfall motif for the occasion, and then Joey Barton can wax poetic about the destruction of true social discourse thanks to video games. That'll be fun.

Pick: Draw, 2-2

Manchester United vs. Aston Villa

Sunday, 4/15; 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM ET

Conventional wisdom would dictate that United, fresh off a humiliating loss to Wigan, will come out guns-a-blazin' against a rather non-threatening Villa side. Unconventional wisdom (read: actual wisdom, but lacking in narrative impact) would dictate that United will win by a lot because they're way, way better than Villa.

Pick: United, 4-0

Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic

Monday, 4/16; 20:00 GMT/3:00 PM GMT

Well Wigan, we're pretty much used to this by now. Do your thing and deprive some other team of your awesome manager that deserves way better.

Pick: Arsenal, 2-1

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