The highlight games for this weekend’s action are LIVERPOOL versus EVERTON and ASTON VILLA versus LEICESTER. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 25 EPL matches with his unique and insightful commentary. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
Please note all prices quoted below were correct at time of publication.
WOLVES v LEEDS UNITED
BT Sport 20.00 in England.
Premier League Friday night football returns with Nuno’s Gold and Blacks hosting Marcelo’s Whites. These Game Week-25 fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-5 that took place in mid-October 2020.
It’s difficult to tell who’s the eldest between the two managers but it’s actually Marcelo with Nuno being just 47-years old. Yes, 47, not the 70 that he looks. Marcelo is 65-years old but looks a lot younger than the ex-Portuguese goalie.
Wolves beat Southampton in the early kick-off on Sunday, coming from a goal behind to beat Wreck-Its boys by a 2-1 scoreline.
Southampton scored midway through the 1st-half, to leave Nuno’s men trailing at the break.
Wolves were awarded a penalty 8-minutes after the restart, which Ruben Neves coolly despatched.
Supermarket man Pedro Neto, scored the winner in the 66th-minute to give the Gold and Blacks a great away-day victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Wolves actually lost against Southampton, 3-days before the victory, suffering a defeat in the FA Cup that prevented Nuno’s men from progressing. It’s a question as to whether Wolves would have preferred the victory in the Cup, rather than the Premier League as, there isn’t any danger of being relegated and a cup-run would have been good for all connected with the Molineux outfit.
If anyone is querying that, reverse the question on Southampton, are the Saints faithful happy that they are still in the FA Cup and comfortable in the Premier League despite the defeat against Wolves on Sunday?
Although Leeds United suffered a defeat against Arsenal on Sunday by a 4-2 scoreline, the Elland Rd outfit are the most entertaining team of the Premier League with Marcelo’s Whites becoming the much-loved side for the neutrals. The true football fan loves to watch Leeds United as it’s virtually guaranteed that a goal or six is in the offering.
Leeds conceded 3-goals before the break, then a 4th, within 2-minutes of the restart at the Emirates but still never gave up and scored 2-goals from Pascal Struijk and Helda Costa.
Pascal’s nickname in the Leeds United dressing room must be Alphabet. No?
The defeat leaves Leeds in 11th-place in the table with 32-points, a place and 2-points more than today’s opponents.
There’s no danger of relegation so even the ardent Whites faithful, whether cardboard or not, should know that Leeds United, hopefully, still with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, will be playing Premier League football next term.
Whenever honesty persists, you’ll hear the snap of broken ribs. Of anyone who’ll take no more, of the lying persons roar. In Chile, In Poland, Johannesburg, West Yorkshire. A stone’s throw away, Now we’re there. Leeds, Leeds, Leeds, Leeds, Leeds!
At Elland Rd back in October, a 2nd-half Raul Jimenez goal was the difference between the two sides as Wolves gained the away-day victory by a 1-0 scoreline. A rare occasion that Marcelo’s Whites haven’t scored in a match.
Bet 365 offer Wolves at 7/5, the draw at 9/4 and 19/10 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 that Patrick Bamford Scores First and 12/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
SOUTHAMPTON v CHELSEA
BT Sport 12.30 in England.
Southampton host Chelsea in the early Saturday afternoon kick-off. The Saints took the lead in the Sunday afternoon start against Wolves, with Danny Ings scoring midway through the 1st-half to give Wreck-It’s men a lead at the break.
Unfortunately for the Saint’s, Wolves scored twice in the 2nd-half to inflict a defeat on Southampton, leaving Ralph Hasenhuttl’s boys with 6-defeats from the last 6-Premier League games.
The strange thing is, in between those 6-defeats, Southampton beat Wolves in the FA Cup and progress to the Quarter-Finals of that competition. As mentioned in the Wolves preview, even though Wreck-Its men are on a poor run in the Premier League, there’s no real danger of a relegation battle so a nice cup-run will please the faithful.
Out of the 8-teams remaining in the FA Cup, there are 7-Premier League teams and 1 from the Championship.
Southampton just so happen to have been drawn against the Championship side and have only a short trip along the South Coast to the Vitality to take on Bournemouth.
The Saints have 29-points from 23-fixtures played so do have a game in hand over the teams around them.
Chelsea moved ahead of Liverpool on Monday with a comfortable victory against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge by a 2-0 scoreline.
Tammy Abraham suffered an injury in the 20th-minute and was replaced by Britain’s foremost Rylan Clark-Neal lookalike, Olivier Giroud. Ten minutes later, Olivier opened the scoring for Thomas’s Blues to ease the nerves of the cardboard faithful.
Timo Werner, who had gone a thousand-minutes without a goal, scored Chelsea’s 2nd to give the Blues a 2-0 lead at the break.
With no further goals in the 2nd-half, TT’s Chelsea earned the victory to lift the Blues above Liverpool and West Ham into 4th-place, with the same 42-points as the Hammers but with a slightly superior goal difference.
Thomas Tuchel’s men progressed to the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup by beating Barnsley FC by a single goal.
The Championship side gave Chelsea a run for their victory with Mr Tuchel admitting that his boys were lucky to get the win at Oakwell.
When Frank Lampard’s Chelsea entertained Wreck-It Ralph’s Saints back in Game Week-5, the game finished in a very entertaining draw by a 3-3 scoreline.
Timo Werner, before he was rubbish, scored twice in the 1st-half giving the Blues a half-time lead.
Danny Ings had pulled a goal back before the break to leave Southampton 2-1 behind.
In the 2nd-half Che Adams levelled the scoring, however, the parity didn’t last long with Kai Havertz scoring a couple of minutes after Che’s equaliser.
Jan Vestergaard left it very late to earn a point for the Saints, scoring in the 92nd-minute to leave the cardboard Chelsea fans gutted.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 7/2, the draw at 14/5 and slight Odds On 3/4 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/8 that Danny Ings Scores Anytime and 10/3 that Jorginho Scores Anytime.
BURNLEY v WEST BROM
Sky Sports 15.00 in England.
Burnley literally stunned Crystal Palace on Saturday in the traditional 15.00 kick-off.
Within 10-minutes at Selhurst Park, Sean Dyche’s Clarets were leading 2-0. Joey Gudmundsson and Jay Rodriguez scoring to stun Palace.
Matt Lowton added the 3rd, within minutes of the restart and with no more goals, Burnley gained a great away-day victory by a 3-0 scoreline. Probably the only downside to the day out in London was Ben Mee sustained a head injury late in the game.
Luckily for everyone concerned, Ben was alright and could be available for this fixture against the Baggies.
During the January Transfer Window, Sean was after a South Korean player called Son Tu-Yu to partner Ben at the back but the deal didn’t materialise.
Burnley sit 16th in the table with 26-points which, although the position is a little precarious, the points are 8 more than Fulham who sit in the final relegation place and a massive 13-points more than today’s opponents who sit 2nd bottom of the table.
West Brom scored after 90-seconds against relegation-threatened Manchester United on Sunday.
There was silly talk that Mbaye Diagne’s goal was as a result of a foul on Victor Lindelof, even Graham Souness in the Sky Sports studio said it was a foul.
As this EveryTip contributor knows the reputation of Mr Souness, the reference ‘silly talk’ isn’t referred to Graham’s comment, just to everyone else’s as it wasn’t a foul, sorry Big Souness, it was just Mbaye being stronger than the Swedish defender.
Don’t take on Graham, if anyone wants to know just how fierce the Scot was whilst playing, Google the lad and watch some of his tackles from behind the couch.
West Brom conceded an equaliser before half-time but held on for a priceless point from the 1-1 draw. The point gained leaves Big Sam’s Baggies with 13 for the season, still, 2nd-bottom or 19th, if the glass is half full.
West Brom will be relegated, it’s just whether Big Sam is still at the helm or as departed to keep his record of never having a team relegated under his watch, because if Mr Allardyce stays at The Hawthorns then that record is gone.
The dollar Sam is getting may just be worth the indignation of taking a team down to the Championship.
The Bank Manager and Mrs Allardyce won’t care if Big Allardychio, has his name on a relegated team or not.
In October, West Brom, still under the guidance of Slaven Bilic, served up a very exciting goalless draw for the cardboard faithful. Enough said.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at Odds On 19/20, the draw at 23/10 and 3/1 for West Brom to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Matheus Pereira Scores Anytime and Odds On 4/6 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
LIVERPOOL v EVERTON
Sky Sports 17.30 in England.
Relegation-threatened Liverpool lost their 3rd-Premier League fixture in a row on Saturday, despite taking the lead through Mo Salah in the 67th-minute, at the King Power, against Leicester.
New boy Ozan Kabak was straight into the back-line alongside Jordan Henderson who, although is a class player and is definitely comfortable at the back, should be in his usual midfield role.
After Mo had scored, a bizarre 8-minutes, resulted in the Foxes scoring 3-times to ultimately inflict a defeat on Jurgen’s Reds by a 3-1 scoreline.
With the dreaded taking an age to decide whether Harvey Barnes was tripped in the area or out of the area, the on-field referee decided it was a free-kick, not a penalty.
James Maddison didn’t care, Jim just smashed the ball past Alisson to level the scores.
Ozan then had a nightmare debut moment, after initially playing his first 80-minutes tentatively, the Turkish defender made an error that resulted in Leicester scoring.
Following a ball over the top, Ozan and Alisson collided, leaving the other James, Mr Vardy to run on and tap into an empty net.
Within a minute, Liverpool had conceded 3 and the game was gone, leaving Jurgen’s Reds with a 3rd-consecutive defeat, the first time that has occurred since 2014, coincidentally whilst Brendan Rodgers was at the Anfield helm.
The defeat leaves Liverpool with 40-points from 24-fixtures, a massive 13-points behind Pep’s High Flying City and 6 points behind Manchester United and Leicester respectively.
After all of Game Week-24 fixtures were completed, Jurgen finds his Premier League Champions in 6th-place.
Before this game against Everton, Liverpool take on RB Leipzig in the 1st-leg of the Last-16 tie in the Champions League.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, the tie against RB Leipzig will be played in Budapest, Hungary to enable Liverpool to re-enter England without going into Quarantine. A note to mention to Carlo Ancelotti, it might be an idea to leave Jordan Pickford on the bench and keep Robin Olsen between the sticks.
By the time this Merseyside Derby kicks-off, it will be 126-days since Jordan Pickford ended Liverpool’s title defence, when the Toffees ‘keeper lunged at Virgil Van Dijk, injuring the Liverpool defender ruling him out for the remainder of the season.
A lot will say that Liverpool’s poor show this term as nothing to do with the Reds losing Big Virgil, well to all those people, it as!
Jurgen’s Reds are simply not the same team without Virgil Van Dijk, it’s purely as simple as that and Mr Pickford is the reason that Virgil isn’t playing.
Whether JP meant to inflict the injury or not is a debate for others, the fact is, the England goalkeeper’s reckless challenge on the Liverpool defender, that went unpunished, is the reason that Man City will win this season’s Premier League title.
To that end, the Liverpool players and staff may consciously or subconsciously try and inflict retribution on Jordan Pickford. Be warned!
Everton suffered a surprise home defeat against Fulham on Sunday by a 2-0 scoreline. After a goalless 1st-half, the Cottagers scored twice to stun the Toffees who had the chance to leapfrog today’s Merseyside opposition, albeit, being on goal difference with the same points.
However, the defeat leaves Carlo’s Blues in 7th-place, with 37-points, 3-fewer than a struggling Liverpool side but Everton have only played 22-games, not the 24, Liverpool have completed.
The Toffees do play one of the 2, games in hand before this trip to Anfield, however, it is against Pep’s High Flying City so the points difference may remain the same.
It’s difficult to predict who’s the form team between the two Merseysiders so this game could finish in any number of results, with both easily capable of a victory, plus the draw being on the table too.
Sadio Mane scored after 3-minutes at Goodison Park back in October, with Virgil then departing in the 11th.
Michael Keane headed the equaliser in the 19th-minute, taking advantage of the fact Big Virgil was in the dressing room.
After the break, Mo Salah gave Liverpool the lead, which again was quickly equalised by Everton, with the Sheffield Superstar 2, Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring for the Blues. There was still time for a last bit of drama, with Richarlison receiving a straight Red Card in the 90th-minute.
A Merseyside Derby wouldn’t be the same without a sending off. In the 92nd-minute, Jordan Henderson had his winner ruled out by the dreaded VAR for a toe being offside.
Both the Reds and the Blues left Goodison Park with a point each from a Desmond 2-2 draw.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at Odds On 1/2, the draw at 10/3 and 5/1 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 12/5 that Mo Salah Scores First and 6/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
FULHAM v SHEFFIELD UNITED
Sky Sports 20.00 in England.
This game is affectionately known as the ‘Two worst teams in the 2020/21 Premier League’ Derby.
Granted not the catchiest of titles that absolutely nobody refers it too but it is the truth as Fulham and Sheffield United are just rubbish and both will be heading for Oakwell next season. Fulham did get the result of the weekend, going to Goodison Park and coming away with the points following a victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
Josh Maja, on-loan from Bordeaux, scored twice in the 2nd-half to give Scott’s Boys a great win that, although leaves them still in the relegation places, Fulham, with 18-points, are now just 7-away from Newcastle who are the team to catch.
Before Newcastle play again, Scott’s Boys will have played twice so could find themselves, just a point behind the Magpies, depending on results.
Sheffield United suffered another defeat on Monday, this time at the London Stadium against West Ham.
After an initial penalty was cancelled out by the dreaded VAR, the Blades conceded one, just before the break, that wasn’t going to be overturned this time and was despatched by the Hammers to leave Chris Wilder’s men a goal behind at half-time.
West Ham then scored twice in the 2nd-half to inflict the defeat by a 3-0 scoreline, the 19th of the season for Sheffield United, that leaves them rock bottom of the Premier League table with 11-points from 24-games played.
That’s 14-points from safety and simply put, means Happy Chris and his fellow Blunts will be travelling the short distance over to Barnsley next term to lose against the Super Reds.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Bramall Lane, is over the moon with the prospect of visiting his first footballing love next term but is also worried that the Oakwell outfit could actually be promoted themselves, replacing the Blades in the Top Flight.
Little Jimbo would still be happy though, getting the chance to continue cheering on his favourite team in the Premier League.
After last week’s episode, where the little Blunt thought it was Valentines Day on the 7th, the lad then went and forgot on the 14th, which didn’t go down well with his lovely girlfriend. The week before, with the ‘R’ Whites Fizz on show, James had given the lucky lady a set of tea towels and some cleaning products for the romantic day. The Blunt is all heart!
At Bramall Lane back in October, 2 penalties after the break were the difference between Scott’s Boys winning instead of eventually drawing by a 1-1 scoreline.
Aleksandar Mitrovic missed his spot-kick early in the 2nd-half before Billy Sharp converted his to equalise an earlier Ademola Lookman opener for Fulham after Big Mit’s miss.
Billy rarely misses a penalty and was only on the pitch 4-minutes before given the opportunity to score. The point really wasn’t any good to either team, with both still sitting 19th and 20th in the table. Ronald McDonald Scotty rued Aleksandar’s missed kick.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 6/5, the draw at 9/4 and 23/10 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 13/2 that Ivan Cavaleiro Scores First and 11/4 that Billy Sharp Scores Anytime.
WEST HAM v TOTTENHAM
Sky Sports 12.00 in England.
West Ham were briefly in the Champions League places on Monday night after a professional victory against Sheffield United by a 3-0 scoreline.
Briefly because at the final whistle, Chelsea kicked-off in their Game Week-24 fixture that Thomas Tuchel’s Blues won to jump into the 4th-place, nudging the Hammers back down to 5th, with the same 42-points as Chelsea but a slightly inferior goal difference.
What will delight all connected with West Ham is the Bubbles are above the current Premier League Champions, Liverpool who drop down to 6th in the table and in danger of missing out on a European place next term.
Declan Rice overruled Jesse Lingard when the Hammers were awarded a 1st-half penalty, minutes before the break, which was converted giving West Ham the lead.
Declan thought he’d got the chance, earlier on in the game when the referee pointed to the spot but the dreaded overturned the decision.
When the penalty was awarded, Jesse wanted to take it but DR Declan was having none of it and promptly scored West Ham’s first penalty of the season.
Issa Diop headed a 2nd, early in the 2nd-half to take the game away from the Blades.
Ryan Fredericks scored in the 96th-minute, which was literally the last kick of the tie to give the Hammers the comfortable victory.
West Ham have a plus-9, goal difference, with Chelsea having a plus-16, leaving David Moyes Bubbles in 5th-place, 4-places and 6-points more than today’s opponents.
Tottenham suffered their 4th-defeat in 5-Premier League fixtures on Saturday, although the latest loss can be forgiven as no one is beating Man City at the moment so the 3-0 scoreline, whilst a defeat, should be just put to bed and moved on from.
Jose Mourinho won’t think like that as a loss against his arch-rival Pep Guardiola will hurt the Dark One.
In between the Premier League fixtures Spurs were dumped out of the FA Cup in a bizarre game against Everton that finished in a 5-4 scoreline after extra-time. That’s now 2 of the 4 competitions that Dracula will not be winning this term with just the Carabao Cup and Europa League to play for.
The final of the Carabao Cup pits Jose against Pep once more. Good luck Tottenham!
Spurs sit 9th in the Premier League with 36-points from 23-fixtures played. A significant factor from the defeat against Man City on Saturday was that Dele Alli and Gareth Bale saw a little bit of game-time, both coming on as 2nd-half substitutes.
The Man City defenders were scared stiff when DA and GB entered the field of play. Dele carrying garlic for some reason and Gareth with a hairbrush.
Tottenham head to Hungary to face Austrian side, Wolfsberger AC in the Europa League on Thursday, before this London Derby.
Before everyone starts shouting Wolfsburg is in Germany. Firstly, it’s not Wolfsburg, it’s Wolfsberger who are an Austrian team, once previously managed by Gerhard Struber who went on to manage Barnsley FC in the Championship and who is now the boss of the New York Red Bulls.
Secondly, the tie is to be played at the Puskas Arena in Budapest due to the Quarantine laws at the moment.
At the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium in Game Week-5, Tottenham scored 3-times in the 1st-half to comfortably control the game.
The Tottenham Two were on fire as usual with Son Heung-Min opening the scoring in the 1st-minute with Harry Kane adding 2 and 3 before 17-minutes were on the clock.
David Moyes must have got into his boys at the break, with West Ham scoring 3-goals in the final 10-minutes to come away with a draw from a remarkable 3-3 scoreline.
Fabian Balbuena, a Davinson Sanchez own-goal and a brilliant Manuel Lanzini strike with seconds remaining, gave Moyes Boys a surprise point after Jose had thought the victory was in the bag at half-time.
Interestingly, Gareth Bale was introduced in the 72nd-minute when Tottenham were comfortably in charge of the game, then conceded 3-goals with GB on the pitch. Gareth has only featured 5-times in the Premier League since.
Bet 365 offer West Ham at 13/8, the draw at 9/4 and 7/4 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 7/2 that Jesse Lingard Scores Anytime and 3/1 that Harry Kane Scores First.
ASTON VILLA v LEICESTER
Sky Sports 14.00 in England.
Aston Villa played out a goalless draw late on Saturday evening with not much more that can be said about the game. It looked like the players, from both sides, were more concerned about who was going to be unmasked as the winner on the Masked Singer. Turns out it was someone called Joss Stone, whoever he is?
Villa sit 8th in the table with the same 36-points as Tottenham but from only 22-fixtures so Dean Smith will feel his men are in a false position, however, it is perceived that having the points on the board is better than having games in hand.
Leicester looked in total control on Saturday against Liverpool, despite falling behind early in the 2nd-half.
Before the break, the usually composed original Sheffield Superstar, Jamie Vardy missed, what could be considered as, 3 ‘sitters’
A tame header that the Liverpool ‘keeper saved, a tap in that should have been put away and a shot that hit the bar and went over.
It looked initially that Jimmy V was offside when put through so may have just assumed he’d be flagged, however, on second looking, Jamie was clearly onside so the strike would have counted.
Liverpool took the lead in the 67th-minute which kicked Brendan’s Wonderful’s into life sparking a brilliant reverse of fortune for the Foxes.
After a penalty was awarded to Leicester, for a trip on Harvey Barnes, the dreaded VAR got involved, informing the on-field referee Anthony Taylor, that the foul was outside the area.
James Maddison took the free-kick and scored.
The linesman immediately flagged but the dreaded decided that it was a good goal and overturned the linesman’s flag to give James the goal.
Soon afterwards, a horrendous error by Alisson and the new Centre-Back, Ozan Kabak, allowed Mr Vardy to make up for his 3-misses in the 1st-half, tapping home into an empty net.
Harvey Barnes got in on the act scoring the Foxes 3rd, to give the ex-Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers a great victory over the current gaffer Jurgen Klopp.
One of Leicester’s sponsors are Pari Match, an online betting company, so it’s fitting to mention the following after Brendan’s time at Anfield.
Empty hours spent combing the street, in daytime showers they’ve become our beat. As they walk from cafe to bar, wish they knew where they are because they’ve clouded their mind and now it’s all out of time.
Empty skies say try to forget, the better advice is to have no regrets. As they tread the boulevard floor, will they see once more, because they’ve clouded our mind until then it’s biding our time?
It’s only sad in a natural way and to enjoy sometimes feeling this way, the gift one gave is desire, the match that started our fire.
Empty nights with nothing to do, to sit and think, every thought is for you, to get so restless and bored, so he goes out once more, hating to feel so confined, feel like we’re wasting our time.
The brilliant victory by a 3-1 scoreline, as predicted by this EveryTip column in the Game Week-24 preview, gives Leicester 46-points, from 24-games and took them temporarily up to 2nd in the table, until Manchester United’s draw against West Brom on Sunday, leaving Brendan’s Blues, in 3rd, the same 46-points as United but a slightly inferior goal difference to Ole’s Zebras, 7-points behind Man City and now 6-points ahead of Jurgen’s Reds.
Rod Stewart was livid and threw his Liverpool shirt with ‘Stewart’ and ‘76’ on the back, straight at Lennon.
The pooch, however, was one step ahead and after Harvey Barnes had scored the Foxes 3rd-goal, Lennon was off, laughing his paws off, barking, ‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be’
The mood didn’t improve, when later, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, beat Kilmarnock (who?) in the SPL, to move 24-points ahead of Celtic in the table.
Twenty-Four hours later, Lennon nudged his nose around the living room door to see that Sir Roderick had calmed down after his beloved Green and White Hoops had beaten St Johnstone (who?) in the Scottish Pub League.
Unfortunately, even though Celtic had gained a victory, it’s only a matter of time as to when Rangers win the Scottish Premier League to end the dominance of Celtic who have won the last 9-titles but won’t be getting 10 in a row.
The pooch isn’t bothered though and received a couple of doggy treats from Penny whilst Rod looked around for his Zimmer frame.
Leicester head to the Czech Republic on Thursday to face Slavia Prague, for the 1st-leg of the Last-16 tie in the Europa League.
This tie can take place in the Czech Republic as the Quarantine doesn’t affect that country.
Happy Birthday to April Hall, aka Benjamin Button, who looks absolutely beautiful for a 50-year old young lady, celebrating her 50th on February 15th, in Melbourne, Australia. Love you always April x
This Midland Derby at the King Power was looking like a stalemate until Ross Barkley popped up in the 91st-minute to give Villa the points from a 1-0 away-day scoreline.
Bet 365 offer Aston Villa at 9/5, the draw at 12/5 and 11/8 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 10/3 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 7/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
ARSENAL v MAN CITY
Sky Sports 16.30 in England.
Arsenal scored 4-goals on Sunday against Leeds United but still weren’t sure of the victory until the referee blew the final whistle.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in the 1st-half then completed his hat-trick, within 2-minutes of the restart.
Hector Bellerin had given the Gunners a 3-0 lead at the break. After Pierre-Emerick’s superb treble, Leeds then pulled 2-goals back to give the cardboard Gooners a nervy final few minutes.
Mikel’s Men held on for a victory by a 4-2 scoreline that lifts Arsenal above Leeds United into 10th-place, with 34-points from 24-fixtures.
Leeds are 2-points adrift but have only played 23-times.
The Gunners are just a place and 2-points behind the North London rivals Tottenham. Arsenal face Benfica in the Last-16, 1st-leg tie in the Europa League on Thursday, however, the fixture will take place at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, in Greece, again because of the Coronavirus situation.
Man City continued their dominance of football on Saturday beating Tottenham by a 3-0 scoreline.
Although City are the top boys at football this present time, Pep’s boys are rubbish at penalties, with Ilkay Gundogan (tra-la-la-la-lar!) being the latest Citizen to miss a spot-kick, last time out against Liverpool, so when Ilkay was tripped in the box and the penalty awarded, it was a guessing game as to who would step up.
There were rumours that Ederson was the next man to take a kick but those rumours were quickly quashed when Roadie Rodri took the penalty and although, wasn’t convincing, did put City a goal in front at half-time.
Ilkay Gundogan (tra-la-la-la-lar!) then scored twice after the break to give Pep and his boys a great victory over Dracula’s Spurs.
The mantra, ‘If John Stones plays, City Win To Nil’ was back on show which is now the Barnsley Stone’s 17th-game from 20-fixtures without conceding a goal.
Man City are sat proudly at the summit of the Premier League table with 53-points from 23-fixtures played, which is 7-points more than the Numpty Neighbours who are 2nd and a massive 13-points more than relegation-threatened Liverpool.
What that basically means is City are the new 2020/21 Premier League champions.
Some might say, ‘that’s a bit premature’, however, some high street bookmakers have already paid out to those with the foresight to bet on City.
When Pep 2 took his team to face Pep 1 in October, a Raheem Sterling goal midway through the 1st-half, was the difference between the two.
Arsenal’s North London rivals, Tottenham, are the only team to beat Man City, in all competitions since the game at the Etihad.
Bet 365 offer Arsenal at 11/2, the draw at 10/3 and slight Odds On 1/2 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/4 that Ilkay Gundogan (tra-la-la-la-lar!) Scores Anytime and 8/5 that Man City Win To Nil.
MANCHESTER UNITED v NEWCASTLE
BT Sport 19.00 in England.
Ole’s at the Wheel, the wheel of fortune, by the looks as it’s once again 2-steps forward and Fred steps backwards.
The regular readers of this column will know John Newsome isn’t a fan. Not against Fred as a person, he seems like a lovely kid but football-wise, Manchester United won’t win anything with Fred in the team. It’s as simple as that!
If anyone wants to disagree please feel free to do so but Fred, for all his endeavours, isn’t going to ever enhance Manchester United.
Against West Brom on Sunday, United fell behind after 90-seconds. Some will say that it was a foul on Victor Lindelof, others, the sensible ones, know that Victor has to be stronger in those situations.
The whole of the United backline were way too deep and should have been at least 10-yards further up the pitch.
The goal then wouldn’t have occurred even if the same scenario played out. Bruno Fernandes scored just before the break to get Ole’s Elephants back into the game.
Earlier on in the afternoon, Wolves went in at the break trailing and came out for the 2nd-half after a volley from Nuno and overturned the deficit to beat Southampton. That didn’t happen at The Hawthorns.
It’s not known what Ole said at the interval to his boys but it probably just went, ‘Happy Blooming Valentines Day lads and Happy Birthday to you Edinson, blooming 34, I can’t blooming believe it’
In the 2nd-half, after that resounding speech, United were just as rubbish. Ole took Fred off in the 79th-minute but it was simply too late for Donny Van Der Beek to influence proceedings.
The point gained by Manchester United, because as always mentioned, it is a point gained, not 2-points lost as some say, as one can’t lose something that’s not there in the first place. The point gives Ole’s Trollies (a new name!) 46 for the season so far, from 24-fixtures, the same as Brendan’s Wonderful’s but with a slightly better, (Bruno Fernandes) goal difference.
Seven-points adrift of the Noisy Neighbours and 6-ahead of Liverpool. The thing that the United faithful, both cardboard and real, need to worry about, is the potential relegation battle, with Ole’s Zebras only 31-points above the drop-zone.
To those scoffing at that sentence, Ole has played 2-defensive midfielders against Sheffield United and West Brom, 2 of the 3, worst teams in the Premier League and has come away with 1-point from a possible 6.
To reiterate, keep picking Fred and Manchester United will not win anything and Ole may just be ringing Frank up to see how the Job Seekers Allowance form is filled in.
Ole’s Efelants play in Europe before this fixture against Newcastle, however, not in the Champions League, as due to the aforementioned Ole and Fred, United were dumped out of that particular competition and placed into the Thursday night Europa League, where the Grey Devil’s face the Spanish side, Real Sociedad but not in Spain, in Turin, Italy at Juventus stadium, the Allianz Arena. There will definitely be a certain CR7 in attendance to watch his old team.
Newcastle are probably the only team in the bottom-6 of the Premier League that could get caught by the relegation placed sides.
On Monday Night Football, Steve Bruce’s Magpies were convincingly beaten at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea by a 2-0 scoreline.
The defeat, which is the 9th from the last 13-Premier League games, leaves Newcastle, 4th from bottom, with 25-points from 24-fixtures played.
Burnley and Brighton have a point more but look to be playing a lot better than the Magpies who have hit a bit of a tricky spell, which may not improve after this trip to Old Trafford.
Fulham, who sit in the final relegation place, are 7-points behind Newcastle but play their game in hand and the Game Week-25 fixture, before the Magpies game against Manchester United, so could, with a victory in both games, cut the gap to just 1-point.
In Game Week-5, Ole’s Wheels got a great victory by a 4-1 scoreline.
At St James Park, back in October, Newcastle went in front early in the tie, when Luke Shaw scored an own-goal past David De Gea.
Harry Maguire equalised to take both in at the break, level.
Bruno Fernandes surprisingly missed a penalty in the 2nd-half but did score United’s 2nd.
Arron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford added 3 and 4, with both scored after the 90-minutes were up.
Bet 365 offer Manchester United at Odds On 1/4, the draw at 5/1 and 10/1 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Edinson Cavanni Scores First and 11/10 that Manchester United Win To Nil.
BRIGHTON v CRYSTAL PALACE
Sky Sports 20.00 in England.
Whilst everyone in Britain and surrounding areas were watching the final of the Masked Singer, Brighton hosted Aston Villa in the Saturday night football that even the players couldn’t be bothered to compete in, wanting to get in front of the telly to watch a giant Seagull take the mask off to reveal Boris Johnson or whoever, trying to sing.
The fixture against Villa ended in a goalless draw with the point gained giving Graham Potter’s men 26 for the season from 24-games competed in, which is 3-less than today’s opponents.
If Brighton achieve a victory in the M23 Derby, Harry’s Seagulls will go above Crystal Palace on goal difference, however, after saying that, a win for Roy’s Eagles, in the battle of the birds, will put Palace 6-points clear of Brighton. A draw leaves the gap at 3-points.
Crystal Palace were trailing by 2-goals within 10-minutes of the start against Burnley on Saturday.
It’s probably a good job that the Eagles Ultras weren’t allowed into Selhurst Park, as it would have been an angry mob venting their frustration at Roy’s Boys.
Burnley scored a 3rd just after the break to inflict a defeat on Crystal Palace by a 3-0 scoreline which leaves the Eagles with 29-points from 24-games played. Just 3-points more than Burnley and today’s opponents.
Crystal Palace won’t be relegated as there are 3-worse teams than Roy Hodgson’s men (Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United) but the Ultras both cardboard and real, won’t be happy with the current performances and will want improvements.
The main problem is, Crystal Palace rarely win without Wilfried Zaha who is currently injured and looks to be out of action for a while. In 20-games that Mr Zaha has missed, Palace have lost 18 of them.
The Eagles need to find a way of playing without Big Wilf and with players like Eberechi Ezri, Jordan Ayew, Jairo Riedewald and Gary Cahill at the back, Crystal Palace should be able to perform, like the U2 song, with or without you (Wilfried Zaha).
Alexis Mac Allister, who’s actually Argentinian not Scottish, scored in the 90th-minute to cancel out an earlier Wilfried Zaha goal for Palace to give both a share of the points from a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park in October.
There was still time for late drama after Mac’s goal, with Lewis Dunk receiving a Red Card in the 93rd-minute to beat his mates into the shower.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at slight Odds On 4/5, the draw at 5/2 and 10/3 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 8/5 that Neal Maupay Scores Anytime and 7/4 that Brighton Score in Both Halves.
LEEDS UNITED v SOUTHAMPTON
Sky Sports 18.00 in England.
A rearranged Game Week-18 tie, from January, that was postponed due to Southampton’s involvement in the FA Cup.
By the time this game comes around, both teams could be level on points, depending on the results from the Game Week-25 fixtures.
Before the weekend fixtures, Leeds have 3-points more than Southampton, with Marcelo’s Whites away at Molineux and Wreck-It’s Saints hosting Chelsea.
Bet 365 offer Leeds United at 6/5, the draw at 23/10 and 23/10 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Patrick Bamford Scores First and 3/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Ex-professional footballer known affectionately as The Beast, Jon Parkin, continues to offer his expert knowledge and has kindly given his predictions for Game Week-25, plus the extra from Game Week-18.
Wolves 2 v Leeds United 2
Southampton 1 v Chelsea 1
Burnley 1 v West Brom 0
Liverpool 1 v Everton 1
Fulham 1 v Sheffield United 2
West Ham 2 v Tottenham 1
Aston Villa 1 v Leicester 2
Arsenal 0 v Man City 2
Manchester United 2 v Newcastle 0
Brighton 2 v Crystal Palace 1
Leeds United 2 v Southampton 2