So close: Edin Dzeko wheels away in delight after breaking the deadlock against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night. *AFP photo
So close: Edin Dzeko wheels away in delight after breaking the deadlock against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night. *AFP photo

That’s done and dusted then, surely.

It would take a monumental capitulation for Man City not to be crowned Premier League champions come Sunday.

Manuel Pellegrini’s team displayed the patience required of champions against Aston Villa on Wednesday night — a quality one could argue title rivals Liverpool still have to learn.

While Aston Villa defended with heart — if I hear the phrase ‘parked the bus’ one more time I might have to hurt someone —  City didn’t panic, knowing their array of stars were clinical enough to convert the chances when they came their way.

And while Liverpool will likely beat Newcastle, a club so devoid of direction they haven’t signed a player on a permanent deal in 18 months, there appears little chance of West Ham beating a charged-up City at the Etihad.

But this has been crazy season and you can’t help but hope for one more dramatic episode.

City, though, have the look of champions. 

All 11am kick-offs

SUNDAY

Cardiff v Chelsea

The Blues will want to keep the pressure on Liverpool in the hope of claiming second. In truth, that doesn’t really matter as Jose Mourinho will end the season trophyless, while dismal Cardiff are sent straight back to the Championship.

Prediction: 1-3

Fulham v Crystal Palace

The Cottagers must look at their fellow Londoners enviously — what can happen if you get a good manager in at the right time. Fulham, it has to be said, have been led appallingly at board level and fully deserve relegation. A case of taking their EPL status for granted, perhaps? Palace are proof of what can be done if everyone is pulling in the right direction.

Prediction: 1-1

Hull v Everton 

The FA Cup final is on the horizon for the Tigers and one suspects that will provide Everton with all the encouragement they need to finish a fine season off in style. Roberto Martinez really has looked a class act.

Prediction: 0-2

Liverpool v Newcastle

They look like they will come up short — and their defence will surely be strengthened in the summer — but Liverpool have surprised everyone this season. They have Champions League football again and the players will be desperate to sign off with at least a consolation win.

Prediction: 3-2

Man City v West Ham

It would take the choke of the century for City to capitulate here — and it’s hard to see that happening, especially with players such as Yaya Toure bossing things in midfield. Blue Moon rising… again.

Prediction: 3-1

Norwich v Arsenal

Difficult to feel sympathy for the Canaries, who have paid for a lack of firepower and failed to see the season through with their manager, who they sacked when the damage had already been done. The Gunners faded badly but have the chance to salvage a rare trophy next weekend.

Prediction: 2-2

Southampton v Man Utd

There’s no doubt Ryan Giggs has restored some of the United feel about Old Trafford, although the defeat against Sunderland highlighted the huge job that lies ahead… probably for Louis van Gaal. Saints have been excellent this season. Will Adam Lallana stay? He’ll surely be in Brazil.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunderland v Swansea

Party time on Wearside  and rightly so. Incredible job by Gus Poyet to keep them in the division with superb late-season form. They’ll be expecting a much better time next campaign, as will Swansea, who have handed Garry Monk the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

Prediction:  2-0

Tottenham v Aston Villa

Tim Sherwood: part man, part gilet. Surely this will be the last time we see Sherwood in the Spurs dugout. The players don’t appear to have too much faith in him, while he’s become a bit of a laughing stock. AVB anyone? 

Villa are pretty abject, though, and won’t have much to offer here.

Prediction:  3-0

West Brom v Stoke

The Baggies stayed up inspite of themselves, really. Another club arguably too hasty in getting rid of their manager, Steve Clarke, and then stumbling when it came to replacing him. 

Prediction:  1-2

English Premier League standings


Pos/Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

1 Man City

37

26

5

6

100

37

63

83

2 Liverpool

37

25

6

6

99

49

50

81

3 Chelsea

37

24

7

6

69

26

43

79

4 Arsenal

37

23

7

7

66

41

25

76

5 Everton

37

20

9

8

59

39

20

69

6 Spurs

37

20

6

11

52

51

1

66

7 Man Utd

37

19

6

12

63

42

21

63

8 Saints

37

15

10

12

53

45

8

55

9 Newcastle

37

15

4

18

42

57

-15

49

10 Stoke

37

12

11

14

43

51

-8

47

11 C. Palace

37

13

5

19

31

46

-15

44

12 West Ham

37

11

7

19

40

49

-9

40

13 Swansea

37

10

9

18

51

53

-2

39

14 Sunderland

37

10

8

19

40

57

-17

38

15 Aston Villa

37

10

8

19

39

58

-19

38

16 Hull

37

10

7

20

38

51

-13

37

17 WBA

37

7

15

15

42

57

-15

36

18 Norwich

37

8

9

20

28

60

-32

33

19 Fulham

37

9

4

24

38

83

-45

31

20 Cardiff

37

7

9

21

31

72

-41

30