Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/26/13
With a little more than half of the Premier League season done and the end of the January transfer market approaching, Gameweek 24 is vital to a lot of the clubs.  A good result can be the catalyst to a strong finish to the season, while a bad one can send a team into the transfer market for last minute reinforcements.  Here are previews to three vitals games in the upcoming week: January 29, QPR vs. Manchester City via www.sportsvibe.co.uk In a game that looks very lopsided on paper, bottom of the table Queens Park Rangers host second in the table Manchester City.  While Manchester City is easily the favorite to win the game, Harry Redknapp and his team are determined to climb out of the relegation zone and salvage their season.  A win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge has led the club to believe that there is still a way to close the five-point gap and remain a Premier League team next season.  Though slim odds, the club has continued to splash cash with the signing of French international Loic Remy.  Remy and his game changing abilities may bring the flair QPR has been missing so far this season.  The three points in this game are just as vital for Manchester City.  City cannot afford any slip-ups, as they are already five points behind league leaders Manchester United. Man U should pick up all three points this week when it hosts Southampton, making City’s away visit to QPR a must-win match for the other half of Manchester. Prediction:  QPR make it a tough game, but Mancini and Man City take away all three points.  Final score, 3-1. January 30, Arsenal vs. Liverpool Photo Credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble On Wednesday, sixth placed Arsenal host seventh placed Liverpool in a potential battle for next year’s final Champions League spot.  The outcome of this game could say a lot about who holds that fourth place spot at season’s end.  Theo Walcott has recently extended his stay as a Gunner and is looking to help his team make that spot theirs.  Coming off a 5-1 thrashing of West Ham last week, Arsenal hopes that win will inspire a better run of form for the rest of the year.  Liverpool is also looking for the consistency that they have been missing throughout most of the season.  With the January signing of forward Daniel Sturridge and the return of Fabio Borini from injury, Liverpool is hoping to take some burden off the shoulders of Luis Suarez in the goal-scoring department.  Steven Gerrard and the rest of the team look like they are clicking after a 5-0 win against Norwich City last week; however, they have struggled away from Anfield this year.  This game looks to be a very exciting one for both sides. Prediction:  Liverpool has yet to beat a team placed higher than them in the table this season, but it looks like they are starting to find some consistency.  They manage to win this one at the Emirates.  Final score, 3-2. January 30, Everton vs. West Brom via www.radiocity.co.uk As the Gunners and Liverpool play in London, the other half of Merseyside plays West Brom in Stanley Park. Both teams are fighting for European spots next season and need wins to stay with the rest of the pack.  David Moyes has his Everton team playing solid defense as of late, leading to Sylvain Distin signing a contract extension with the Toffees.  However, they have struggled at the other half of the field with only five goals in their last six games.  Everton sits three points behind Tottenham for the last Champions League spot and will rely on Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini next week to keep them in the race.  Eighth placed West Brom is also looking to play in Europe next year and need a good result to stay in the hunt.  The Baggies have struggled recently, finding themselves winless in their past four games.  With games against Everton, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea all in a month’s time, things are not getting easier for Steve Clarke’s team.  A win in this game for West Brom may air some confidence over the squad for their upcoming fixtures. Prediction:  Tim Howard and his defense hold West Brom for a clean sheet.  Final score, 2-0. -Lang
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