Premier League 2012, Mid-Week 37: It’s Never, Ever Going To End

Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle United tangles with Ramires of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at the Sports Direct Arena in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Tuesday's Premier League games are nothing to write home about, but both Wednesday games are massive in the European and relegation races.

Not a whole lot of time to catch one's breath this week, is there? The Premier League is back with a mid-week quartet of games that could have major implications on the European places and the relegation battle. Well, two of them could. The other two are largely pointless.

Liverpool vs. Fulham

Tuesday 5/1; 19:45 GMT/2:45 PM ET

Seeing as how this game is on International Workers Day, I think Fulham should partake in a sympathy strike and Liverpool ("the Reds," let's not forget) should lead the crowd in a rousing chorus of "Solidarity Forever." The whole thing can be finished off with Luis Suarez scattering one of the last remaining envelopes of Joe Hill's ashes to the wind. It would probably be more entertaining than the actual game will be.

Pick: Draw, 1-1

Stoke City vs. Everton

Tuesday 5/1; 19:45 GMT/2:45 PM ET

In case you couldn't figure it out for yourself, this is the other pointless game. I suppose Everton supporters would love to finish above Liverpool, but that's not the kind of thing neutrals are going to care about. Stoke City losing could also keep the possibility of their being passed by one of the clubs below them for the all-important 14th place alive, but Stoke would have to lose out while Wigan has a 6 goal difference to erase, Bolton has an even steeper to hill to climb with a 12 goal difference, and Aston Villa is Aston Villa.

Pick: Everton, 2-0

Chelsea vs. Newcastle

Wednesday 5/2: 19:45 GMT/2:45 PM ET

This game could theoretically have a major impact on the final Champions League place, but there are so many unknowns (one of which won't even be resolved until the season is over) that we won't really have any better idea which clubs will be representing England once this game is over. Realistically, the better narrative for this game is "which team can make a mess of things despite pretty much everything out of their control going right" and though this season's performance (domestically, at least) would seem to make Chelsea the favorite in that category, it's tough to ignore such a proud Newcastle tradition.

Pick: Chelsea, 3-1

Bolton Wanderers vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Wednesday 5/2: 19:45 GMT/2:45 PM ET

Two teams with a chance to save their seasons in very different ways; a Spurs win will allow them to stay in 4th for the moment and creep to within striking distance of Arsenal in 3rd (which, depending on how things go in Munich could be the all-important slot this season) while a Bolton win would pull them out of the relegation zone and level with Villa and Wigan on points. That Bolton will have some justifiable hope of winning this game is illustrative of just how deeply schizophrenic these teams have been this season. In any case, no matter the result it's going to throw at least one of the two races into a fair bit of chaos, possibly both. And really, that's all anyone can hope for at this point.

Pick: Spurs, 3-2

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