Top Five Remaining Premier League Matches of 2014

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With about a month and a half left in the year 2014, there are still plenty of good Premier League matches left to be played before January 1st. Whether it be the heated rivalry of a derby, top of the league clash or relegation battle, these matches are shaping up to be the best remaining matches of the year.

There are plenty of matches which could be on this list, but we will only be looking at matches occurring during the next month and a half. So without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.

5. November 29th: QPR v. Leicester City “Fighting to Survive”

You must fight to survive. That saying has never been more relevant this season. Two teams currently sitting in relegation territory — QPR and Leicester City — will be attempting to make sure that they are not one-and-done Premier League clubs. Both clubs have struggled as of late, and they will be battling to survive for most of the season. With all three newly-promoted sides — Burnley being the other — sitting bottom of the table, there is a chance of all of them finding themselves relegated after one season.

QPR has struggled the most of the three, and will need a complete overhaul of the squad if the club is to remain in the Premier League. Leicester City on the other hand, only recently began to struggle. Look for both sides to try to get the most out of this match, but I predict that the honors will be shared, with each side earning a single point.

4. December 21st: Newcastle v. Sunderland “Tyne–Wear Derby”

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One of the most heated derbies in English Soccer, as Newcastle and Sunderland are huge rivals. It’s matches of this nature which outside observers love to watch, and the clubs supporters either anticipate or dread, depending on their sides’ performance. The match could also prove to be a relegation battle considering Sunderland’s performance so far. Newcastle could also be caught up in the relegation affair, should they return to their early season form.

Being one of the most heated derbies in England puts this match on this list. Ask any supporter from either side which Premier League club they have to defeat? Their answer will always be their rival. With Newcastle hosting Sunderland, they (Newcastle) should have the advantage. Sunderland will be needing some points out of this match if they hope to remain in the Premier League next season. Look for Newcastle to take the win though, their current form should be too much for Sunderland to overcome.

3. December 21st: Liverpool v. Arsenal “Battle for Europe”

Two struggling clubs, one match. The “Battle for Europe” is exactly what this match is. Two clubs which will need a result against the other if they are to have any hope of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season. Arsenal have struggled due to the lack of defenders at the club. The soonest help which could arrive for Arsene Wenger’s squad will be in January when the transfer window opens. Until then, the squad will have to make do with the players the club currently have.

Liverpool on the other hand, have other problems to deal with.The squad is weak in many areas, with most of the players performing below par — much lower than expectations. The high point of the season came when Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge played up front — and that was a long time ago. With Mario Balotelli expected to leave the club in January, and captain Steven Gerrard becoming more and more frustrated with the club, it is only a matter of time before an implosion occurs. Arsenal should have the ability to take three points in this match, and get their campaign back on track.

2. November 22nd: Arsenal v. Manchester United “Struggling Giants”

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Like the match before it, this encounter pits together two struggling giants of Premier League soccer. Manchester United will head to London to face rival Arsenal, in what will be an incredibly important match for both clubs. With both these teams needing to somehow get back to winning ways if they are to salvage anything from this season, look for this match to possibly be one side’s turning point.

Manchester United will need to get their act together for this match. They need three points if the club wish to return to Champions League soccer next season. Louis Van Gaal will need a good performance from his team, so look for Manchester United to come out with their foot on the gas. The main goal will be to attack the weak Arsenal defense, striking early and often to try to take a quick lead in the match. If they do this, Manchester United should have enough to take, and win this match over their old rivals.

1. December 28th: Southampton v. Chelsea “Battle for Top of the Table”

Possibly the first top of the table match this season. If the table holds until the end of December, second placed Southampton will host leaders Chelsea in what could be the biggest match of the season, and biggest match in Southampton history. The winner of the match could take a major step toward possibly winning the Premier League. The question for the match will be: Can Southampton remain near the top of the table?

If they can, the match will be their most important. If Southampton can’t hold form, it will  just be another match. The form of Southampton will be the decider in this match. If the saints can stay true to form up to the match, they may be able to pull off a shocker and defeat the currently undefeated Chelsea. If not, Chelsea should be able to win this match with ease, all but wrapping up the Premier League title before the new year.