Premier League matchday 37 preview: Man City look to clinch title as Man Utd close in on top 4

By on May 20, 2023

Ilkay Gundogan

The penultimate weekend of the 2022/23 season is upon us and it’s all to play for at the top, middle and bottom of the Premier League table. Here we take a closer look at some of the key games in matchday 37. 

Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal – Saturday, 20th 5.30pm

There is no better place to start than at the City Ground where a huge game will be played on Saturday evening that will have implications at the top and bottom of the division.

Arsenal have enjoyed a sensational campaign and led the way for the vast majority of the season. In March they held an eight point lead over Man City and it looked as though they were going to go on and win their first title in almost 20 years. However, the wheels came off in April as Arsenal collected just three points from their four games against Liverpool, West Ham, Southampton and Man City to hand the initiative to Pep Guardiola’s men.

A humbling 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton means Arsenal head into the weekend action sitting four points adrift of City having played a game more. With just two matches left to play, it means the Gunners need to beat Forest this evening to retain any slim hopes of winning the title. Failure to come away with all three points will hand City the title ahead of their game with Chelsea on Sunday.

As for Forest, they are in desperate need of points but for very different reasons. They currently sit 16th in the table – three points above the relegation zone. A win tonight would all-but secure their top flight status for another year. However, a defeat could see them dragged into the drop zone if other results go against them. So this is a huge game for Forest and they’ll be looking to do City a favour by beating Arsenal in their final home game of the season.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-2 Arsenal

Man City vs Chelsea – Sunday, 21st 4pm

It should be party time at the Etihad Stadium as Man City host Chelsea in their final game of the season knowing victory will secure their fourth Premier League title in five years. The title could be wrapped-up by the time this game kicks-off if Arsenal don’t beat Forest, but City will be confident of getting the job done even if the Gunners win on Saturday evening.

Guardiola’s men have embarked upon a sensational run to close the gap on Arsenal having won their last 11 league games. They’ve also booked their place in the Champions League final after beating Real Madrid in midweek and have an FA Cup final against Man Utd to look forward to. So City are chasing an historic treble and will look to secure the first trophy with a win over Chelsea on Sunday.

The West Londoners head to Manchester off the back of an horrendous campaign so Man City will be confident of claiming the three points. Chelsea currently sit 11th in the table and are set to finish in the bottom half of the division for the first time in over 20 years. They have nothing left to play for and the players checked out weeks ago, so it’s difficult to see them being able to stop City securing the title.

Prediction: Man City 3-0 Chelsea

Bournemouth vs Man Utd – Saturday, 20th 3pm

While the blue half of Manchester is ready to celebrate the title, the red half is hoping to book their place in the top four this weekend. Man Utd sit fourth in the table on 66 points – just one ahead of Liverpool having played one less game. Victory at Bournemouth will open up a four point lead with two games remaining, and if Liverpool also lose at home to Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, then Champions League qualification will be secured for United.

Man Utd will also still have eyes on finishing third as they are just three points behind Newcastle United with a game in hand. The Magpies have a superior goal difference so United will hope they drop points in their last two games so give the Red Devils the chance to snatch third place. Erik ten Hag’s men ended a run of two defeats by beating Wolves 2-0 at Old Trafford last weekend so they’ll be hoping to make it back-to-back victories. It’s never easy to get hold of Manchester United tickets, especially away from home, and it will be tough to secure one for this match as the club closes in on a top four finish.

As for Bournemouth, they are guarantee safety for another season as they sit 14th in the table on 39 points – eight clear of the drop zone with just two matches remaining. So it should be a relaxed atmosphere on the south coast as Gary O’Neil looks to sign off the campaign with a positive result in their final home game.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Man Utd

West Ham vs Leeds United – Sunday, 21st 1.30pm

We have a huge battle at the bottom of the table this weekend as West Ham entertain Leeds United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Hammers booked their place in the Europa Conference League final with a superb 1-0 win over AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night so they could win a European trophy this season.

However, David Moyes’ side must focus on domestic matters this weekend as they need a point against Leeds to secure their Premier League status for another season. West Ham sit 15th in the table – six points clear of 18th placed Leeds. A win for the visitors would be huge as it could lift them out of the bottom three if Everton fail to beat Wolves at Molineux Stadium, while it would also keep West Ham sweating over their top flight status.

A win for West Ham would guarantee their survival and it could relegate Leeds if Everton and Forest win their respective games. So this really is a massive game for both clubs at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Leeds

Liverpool vs Aston Villa – Saturday, 20th 3pm

Liverpool will be looking to keep their top four hopes alive and apply the pressure on Man Utd with a win over Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday. The Reds looked dead and buried only a few weeks ago following a disappointed campaign, but they’ve rediscovered their form and closed in on the top four having won their last six league games on the bounce.

The Merseysiders now sit fifth in the table, just one point behind Man Utd but they’ve played a game more. Therefore, they cannot afford to slip-up at home to Villa if they want to stand any chance of overhauling their rivals to snatch a Champions League qualification spot.

However, it won’t be easy against an Aston Villa side who have been hugely impressive since Unai Emery took charge. The Midlands club are 8th in the table, just one point behind Brighton in 6th, so Villa still have eyes on European qualification if they can beat Liverpool at Anfield this weekend.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa