Premier League preview and fixtures, Week 33: The league’s a mess; it’s in my kiss

Scott Heavey

I have no idea what’s going on, and neither do you. Just watch some football and enjoy this fascinating trainwreck called the Premier League.

Arsenal vs. Norwich City

Emirates Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Arsenal's game-in-hand over Spurs will be gone after this game, which means this result will determine whether the Gunners enter the final six in the top four or with ground still to cover. They'll be doing battle with a Norwich team that's won just once in their last ten games, but Arsenal will need a win in order to leapfrog Tottenham and the Canaries have been quite good at grinding out results away from home this season, with only Everton having managed the same number of draws on the road.

Pick: Arsenal, 2-1

Aston Villa vs. Fulham

Villa Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

It wasn't all that long ago that Aston Villa looked very much dead in the water, seemingly all progress the team had made under Paul Lambert was erased on a fateful December day at Stamford Bridge. Things didn't much pick up in January, and as winter turned to spring (theoretically at least) Villa looked one of the likelier sides to be playing in the Championship next season. But over the past few months it's been a different story, and Villa now sit 16th, winners of three out of their last four and bearing little resemblance to their former selves. Villa's given themselves enough of a cushion that a win over Fulham isn't absolutely vital, but those three points would clearly make the remainder of the season--which includes a trip to Old Trafford and a chance at redemption against Chelsea--significantly less stressful than it otherwise would be.

Pick: Villa, 2-1

Everton vs. QPR

Goodison Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

It's really getting close to the point--if it hasn't already--that QPR's relegation becomes all but a mathematical certainty. Becoming only the second team to defeat Everton at home all season is the kind of thing that could keep a glimmer of hope alive, but even taking the unlikelihood of such a thing transpiring out of the equation, the odds would remain incredibly bleak for their survivial. There are probably actual lessons here, but nearly every person on earth that cares about such things has a different idea of what those lessons are. In the end, the important thing to try to do if not becoming QPR is the goal, is to be something other than horrible at football.

Pick: Everton, 3-1

Reading vs. Liverpool

Madejski Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Much like QPR, the finality of Reading's relegation is mostly a question of "when" rather than "if." at this point. The Royals put up a spirited mid-season fight, but in the end it would appear as though they just didn't have quite enough to survive, which isn't unexpected but is in some ways depressing nonetheless. Liverpool likely continue to entertain the idea of Champions League football, but Europa is clearly the more achievable goal; with one of the spots already claimed by Swansea and the distinct possibility that the FA Cup winner will come from outside of the top 4 as well, even that could require quite the finish.

Pick: Liverpool, 2-0

Southampton vs. West Ham

St. Mary's Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Both sides are (probably) clear of the drop, neither side has any chance of Europe, and the odds of a top-half finish look quite slim. Still, Southampton is a joy to watch and Sam Allardyce is liable to do something entertaining. You could do worse.

Pick: Southampton, 3-1

Newcastle United vs. Sunderland

St. James' Park; Sunday, 12:00 GMT/7:00 AM ET

Of the derbies contested in the Premier League this season, the Tyne-Wear is arguably the nastiest. And with Sunderland's horrible form dropping them ever closer to the bottom three and Newcastle still unable to escape the clutches of the relegation battle, there's even more at stake here than usual. Newcastle is the more talented side and would likely be favored based on that and their home field advantage alone, but Sunderland has been so appallingly bad over the past three months that it tips the scales even further. There was clearly some renewed spirit shown in Paolo Di Canio's debut against Chelsea, and Sunderland will need all that and more to avoid dropping even further into the mire.

Pick: Newcastle, 2-0

Stoke City vs. Manchester United

Britannia Stadium; Saturday, 14:05 GMT/9:05 AM ET

Stoke's horrendous 2013 isn't exactly something that's flown under the radar, and seeing as how United's title win has yet to be confirmed it's very tough to see the Potters managing a result from this one. This isn't the same Stoke that we've seen in years past, and the fragility they've shown since the new year is the kind of thing this United team feeds on.

Pick: United, 2-0

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