The highlight games for the weekend’s action are LEICESTER versus ARSENAL and TOTTENHAM versus CHELSEA. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 25 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.
BETFRED - Best Lucky 15/31/63 Bookmaker - Simple to use on mobile - Great horse racing promotions & extra place races for existing customers too - TRY BETFRED HERE
Please note all prices quoted below were correct at the time of publication
All of these set of fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-2 which took place over the weekend of the 13th of August 2022.
FULHAM v WOLVES
20.00 in England
Fulham gained a narrow victory against Brighton on Saturday with a single Manor Solomon goal being the difference at the Amex.
Marco Silva’s Cottagers jump above Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls into 6th place with 38 points but Fulham have played 2 more games than Brighton, who have this weekend off so it will be 3 more after this Friday Night affair.
Wolves suffered a shock defeat against Bournemouth on Saturday, by the same 1-0 scoreline as today’s hosts.
A Cherry goal just after the half-time cup of tea was the difference between the two, which leaves Julen Lopetegui’s Gold and Blacks in 15th place with 23 points from 23 played.
However, that is only 3 points above West Ham who are in the drop zone, so Wolves do need to get back on track to avoid another relegation battle.
Back in August, Bruno Lage was still at the Wolves’ helm, however, neither team could muster up a goal with the game at Molineux ending in a draw by a 0-0 score.
Aleksandar Mitrovic did miss a penalty late on in proceedings that would have earned the points for Marco Silva’s men.
Betfred offer Fulham at 5/4, the draw at 12/5 and 21/10 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores First and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
NEWCASTLE v BRIGHTON
Postponed due to the Carabao Cup Final
EVERTON v ASTON VILLA
15.00 in England
Everton gained a narrow victory over fellow relegation rivals Leeds United on Saturday with the veteran Right-Back Seamus Coleman scoring a spectacular, if not, slightly fortunate winning goal.
Whilst it appeared Seamus was going to cross the ball in for a Toffee header, Mr Coleman’s shot bamboozled Illan Meslier and found its way into the net.
The victory lifts Sean Dyche’s Blues out of the relegation zone and dumps Leeds United into the Bottom Three.
Everton sit in 16th place with 21 points from 23 fixtures completed.
The same 21 as Bournemouth but with a slightly better goal difference than the Cherries.
This really is the proverbial 6 pointer.
As this is the weekend that Newcastle face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final both of their fixtures are postponed so it’s fitting to pay tribute to the ex-Newcastle, Chelsea, Bournemouth and Everton star, Christian Atsu who sadly died last week, following the devastating earthquake in Turkey.
Rest in Peace, Christian Atsu.
Aston Villa suffered a defeat against Arsenal at Villa Park on Saturday, with the Gunners gaining the victory by a 4-2 scoreline.
Those reading that would assume Arsenal were the more dominant team and in truth, they were, however, the score was 2-2 with 93 minutes up on the clock until a speculative strike from Jorginho, hit the crossbar and the ball rebounded back off Emiliano Martinez’s head and found the net.
That wasn’t the end of the goals.
Unai’s Claret and Blues were awarded a corner, so Emiliano decided to go up to potentially score an equaliser.
Unfortunately, the ball was cleared from the resulting corner, up to the Arsenal Striker, Gabriel Martinelli who raced through and tapped into an empty net.
When this occurs, it’s usually the Manager that has instructed the goalkeeper to go up, however, Unai Emery made it clear afterwards that Mr Martinez did this off his own back but wouldn’t be doing it again.
Stick to goalkeeping Emiliano, it did win you a World Cup Winning Chocolate.
Coincidentally Una and Emiliano were at the Emirates back in Mr Emery’s ill-fated spell as Manager of Arsenal in 2018/19, however, Unai didn’t pick Mr Martinez and was sent out on loan.
Ollie Watkins scored the opener against Arsenal on Saturday, which was quickly equalised by the Gunners.
Philippe Coutinho then scored a brilliant individual goal to give the home team a lead at the break.
Arsenal once again equalised on the hour mark and when it appeared that both would share the points with time almost up, the fun started with the Emiliano show.
Aston Villa sit in 11th place with 28 points from 23 games played.
The two England Midfield Maestros, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were in charge of these two teams back in Game Week-2.
Danny Ings scored first for Villa to give the home team a lead at the break.
Emiliano Buendia added a 2nd midway through the 2nd-half before the ex-Everton Left-Back Lucas Digne thought he’d help out his old mates and scored an own goal.
Luckily for Lucas and the Villains in attendance, Stevie G’s Claret and Blues held on for the victory over Frank’s Toffees by a 2-1 scoreline.
Both are now sharing memories of playing alongside each other in an England shirt, whilst sitting together in the Job Centre, filling out a Job Seekers Allowance form.
Betfred offer Everton at 13/8, the draw at 11/5 and 7/4 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Demarai Gray Scores Anytime and Odds On 4/6 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v SOUTHAMPTON
15.00 in England
The Battle of the Caretakers.
‘Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again, Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again.’
Following a feisty affair at Goodison Park that resulted in another defeat for Leeds United, the Whites drop into the relegation zone, sitting in 19th place with 19 points from 23 fixtures completed.
Everton gained the victory by a 1-0 scoreline, with Illan Meslier being caught out at the near post, assuming Seamus Coleman was going to cross the ball but instead smashed past the French stopper from out wide.
There was a bit of confrontation between the two teams but as usual, it was just handbags as no one really wants to throw a punch or two in front of the watching Millions.
That can’t be said for the Marching On Together crew as the West Yorkshire puddings are always up for a rumble.
Marching On Together (back to the Championship!)
A strange phenomenon occurred the other day when in the same week, Leeds United sacked Jesse Marsch and Southampton sacked Nathan Jones and within a matter of days, the Saints hierarchy wanted Jesse in as Manager to replace Nathan.
As Kammy would say,
These Managers just swap ties nowadays.
Luckily for the Saints faithful, contract talks broke down with Mr Marsch and now, the Caretaker boss, Ruben Selles, is going to remain in charge possibly until the end of the season, as it’s reported that the Southampton players have responded positively in training.
That positivity manifested itself into a great performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Selles’ Saints gaining a surprise victory against Potter’s Poor Wizards by a 1-0 scoreline.
Just as the referee was about to blow his whistle for the half-time Pie, Southampton were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area.
With James Ward-Prowse in attendance that always has the potential to produce a goal and that’s exactly what happened with JWP scoring one of his trademark goals.
The Saints remain at the foot of the table with 18 points, however, there are only 10 points between 11th place (Aston Villa) and 20th (Southampton), so any team that puts a string of wins together will climb the ladder pretty quickly.
If Southampton are relegated, James Ward-Prowse will be in demand and should still be in the Premier League regardless.
Eighteen points gained, with 6 of those coming from victories against Chelsea.
At St Mary’s back in mid-August, both shared the points from a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop was happy!
After a goalless 1st-half, Rodrigo scored twice for Leeds to give Jesse’s Whites a comfortable lead with half an hour to go.
Southampton, who were still under the guidance of Ralph Hasenhuttl, rallied together and goals by Joe Aribo and Kyle Walker-Peters, earned the home team a valuable point.
Betfred offer Leeds United at slight Odds On 19/20, the draw at 5/2 and 11/4 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Patrick Bamford Scores Anytime and 2/1 that Che Adams Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v ARSENAL
15.00 in England
Leicester started brilliantly against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and but for a couple of great saves from David De Gea, could easily have been in front at half-time.
However, unfortunately for the travelling Foxes in attendance, it was the home team that took the lead to leave Leicester trailing at the interval.
United then added 2 more goals after the break to eventually inflict the defeat on Brendan’s Wonderfuls by a 3-0 score, as predicted in this EveryTip column last week.
Leicester sit in 14th place, with 24 points from 23 games played.
Arsenal had been overtaken at the summit of the Premier League following the defeat against Man City last Wednesday, with City gaining the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
Coming into the weekend’s fixtures, both Pep’s High Flying Blues and Mikel’s Young Guns had 51 points, with Arsenal playing first to try and regain the lead at the Top.
After going a goal behind Bukayo Saka (who had scored against Man City on Wednesday) equalised against Villa before the home team scored again to leave the Gunners trailing at the break.
Oleksandr Zinchenko scored on the hour mark and with time running out, Jorginho saw his 30-yard screamer hit the crossbar and rebound into the net off the head of the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
That wasn’t the end of the action, with Gabriel Martinelli racing through to score into an empty net after Emiliano had gone up for a last-minute corner.
So two ‘errors’ by the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper!
The victory by a 4-2 away day score, put Arsenal back to the summit for a couple of hours until Man City’s fixture against Nottingham Forest had finished.
It was assumed that City would comfortably inflict defeat on Forest but despite 74% of possession, Man City could only manage a draw which meant that Arsenal regained Top Spot with 54 points from 23 games played.
Man City are 2nd with 52 points but have played a game more than the Gunners and both still have to face each other at the Etihad.
Manchester United are in 3rd place with 49 points from 24 fixtures completed but have faced both Arsenal and Man City home and away.
There was a goal-fest back at the Emirates, with Mikel’s Young Guns gaining the victory over Brendan’s (not so) Wonderfuls by another 4-2 scoreline.
23’ Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
35’ Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
Half-time Packet of Monster Munch.
53’ William Saliba- Own Goal (Leicester)
55’ Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
74’ James Maddison (Leicester)
75’ Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
Full-time Dubonnet and Coke.
Betfred offer Leicester at 18/5, the draw at 3/1 and Odds On 7/10 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Harvey Barnes Scores First and 2/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- David De Gea- Manchester United
RIGHT-BACK- Emerson Royal- Tottenham
CENTRE-BACK- Virgil Van Dijk- Liverpool
CENTRE-BACK- Lisandro Martinez- Manchester United
LEFT-BACK- Antonee Robinson- Fulham
MIDFIELDER- James Ward-Prowse- Southampton
MIDFIELDER- Jordan Henderson- Liverpool
MIDFIELDER- Marcus Tavernier-Bournemouth
FORWARD- Manor Solomon- Fulham
FORWARD- Darwin Nunez- Liverpool
FORWARD- Marcus Rashford- Manchester United
STAR MAN- Marcus Rashford- Manchester United
WEST HAM v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
15.00 in England
West Ham suffered another defeat on Sunday in the final fixture of Game Week-24, this time against Tottenham at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
The loss by a 2-0 scoreline, as predicted in this EveryTip column last week, leaves the Hammers in 18th place with 20 points from 23 games played.
When looking at the fixture list at the beginning of the season, it would have been assumed that Nottingham Forest would be the team in the drop zone come the end of February and not West Ham.
David Moyes needs to turn things around or the Bubbles could be watching Championship football next term.
West Ham are still in Europe, with the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League still to be finalised as there is somehow another qualification round to take place next week, that doesn’t involve the Hammers.
There are another 8 teams that have completed the 1st-leg of a playoff series to be added to the 8 Group Winners of the Conference League from before Christmas, giving a last-16 knockout which West Ham will be part of.
Nottingham Forest stunned Man City at the City Ground on Saturday, gaining a surprise point from a draw by a 1-1 score.
After conceding a 1st-half goal and only having 26% possession of the ball, it was assumed that the away team would push on after the break and get the expected victory.
Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees were having none of that and in a rare attack, Chris Wood, who was a 2nd-half substitute, tapped home an equaliser from close range, following great wing play by Morgan Gibbs-White.
The point gained leaves Nottingham Forest in 13th place, with 25 points from 23 games played.
A great result for the Tricky Trees.
Taiwo Awoniyi scored for Forest on the stroke of half-time at the City Ground in August to give the home team a lead at the break.
The dreaded VAR had cancelled out 2 goals before West Ham were awarded a penalty midway through the 2nd-half that gave the visitors a chance to draw level.
Unfortunately, for the Bubbles, Declan Rice had his tame spot-kick saved by Dean Henderson and with no further goals, the Tricky Trees inflicted the defeat on the Hammers by a 1-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer West Ham at Odds On 8/11, the draw at 13/5 and 4/1 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Jarrod Bowen Scores First and 3/1 that Jesse Lingard Scores Anytime.
BOURNEMOUTH v MAN CITY
17.30 in England
The surprise in this fixture is it’s Bournemouth that come into the game off the back of a Premier League victory and not Man City.
Gary O’Neil brought back Marcus Tavernier into the starting eleven after Marcus had been injured and had missed 8 games before coming on as a substitute in last week’s draw against Newcastle.
Mr Tavernier repaid the manager by scoring the solitary winning goal in the victory over Wolves at Molineux, giving the Cherries all 3 points from a 1-0 scoreline.
The win lifts Bournemouth out of the Bottom Three into 17th place with 21 points from 23 games completed.
As mentioned earlier, there are 10 points separating all of the bottom 10 teams, who have all completed 23 fixtures, so it really is anyone’s to avoid relegation.
Man City gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.
It really wasn’t ’City’s Ground’ as despite 74% possession and endless chances, Man City could only produce a Bernardo Silva goal on the day, which was cancelled out by Forest late on in proceedings.
Last Wednesday, Pep’s High Flying Blues gained a brilliant victory against Arsenal by a 3-1 score to jump to the summit of the Premier League.
However, following all of the Game Week-24 fixtures, Man City drop back to 2nd, with 52 points from 24 games played.
Arsenal are back at the Top with 54 points and have only completed 23 games.
The Numpty Neighbours, Manchester United have closed the gap on the Noisy Neighbours and sit in 3rd with 49 points.
Man City head to Austria on Wednesday to face RB Leipzig in the 1st-leg of the last-16 Champions League knockout clash.
The return game of that particular contest isn’t until the 14th of March 2023, with City playing 4 fixtures between now and then.
There was a surprise in the reverse fixture at the Etihad.
The surprise being that although Man City gained the victory by a 4-0 scoreline, that man Erling Haaland didn’t score any of the 4.
Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden scored to give City a comfortable lead at the break.
Man City rarely need any help but Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma wanted to and was credited with an own-goal to give Pep Guardiola’s men the victory over Scott Parker’s Cherries.
Betfred offer Bournemouth at 11/1, the draw at 9/2 and Odds On 1/4 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/5 that Riyad Mahrez Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 4/5 that Man City Score in Both Halves.
CRYSTAL PALACE v LIVERPOOL
19.45 in England
Note the start time, 19.45 on a Saturday evening.
The actual reason for this is astounding in reality.
Sky Sports chose the game to put on live but as a substitute for the Bournemouth v Man City fixture which is scheduled for 17.30.
Sky (incorrectly) assumed that Man City would reach the Final of the Carabao Cup so had Crystal Palace v Liverpool lined up to slip into that slot.
Unfortunately for the Anfield Rappers, City haven’t made the Final (and neither have Bournemouth) so that particular fixture stays as the original TV game and Patrick v Jurgen starts at 19.45, still on Sky Sports.
Despite the late kick-off, it’s got to be better than watching,
Masked Professional Sewing Bee Dancing On A Roof Whilst Making A Cake rubbish.
The Scousers need to be on the ball when arranging travel down to London and hope the Rattler companies are not on strike.
Crystal Palace are off to the Town Hall to rename themselves as Crystal ‘1-1‘ Palace.
Eberechi Eze headed home an Albert Sambi Lokonga cross to give Palace a lead midway through the 2nd-half against Brentford on Saturday and with time virtually up on the clock it looked like 3 points were on the cards.
However, the Bees scored an equaliser in the 96th minute (96th) to knock the stuffing out of the Eagles and give Patrick’s Palace their 5th 1-1 scoreline out of the 23 games played so far this term.
That’s on top of 3 games that have finished with a 0-0 scoreline.
Eight drawn games out of 23, with 6 wins and 9 losses, giving Crystal ‘1-1‘ Palace 26 points, leaving Mr Vieira’s men in 12th place in the table.
After not registering a win in 2023, Liverpool have now back-to-back victories in the space of 5 days.
Following the win against Everton at Anfield on Monday, Jurgen’s Reds went NorthEast to St James Park and inflicted a defeat on Newcastle by the same 2-0 scoreline as against the Toffees.
Darwin Nunez and Coady Gakpo scored the goals before 18 minutes were up on the clock to seal the 3 points which in truth was against the run of play.
Then a bizarre incident occurred when a long ball downfield from Alisson saw his opposite number, Nick Pope dive on the ball and handle it way outside of his area to not only give away a free-kick but receive a straight Red Card.
That meant that Eddie Howe had to take off Elliott Anderson and send on Martin Dubravka as the replacement goalkeeper.
The significance of that ludicrous decision by Mr Pope is, now the lad cannot play in next Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final against Manchester United.
Added to that, Martin Dubravka cannot play either as Martin had a couple of games, in goal for Manchester United in the early rounds against Aston Villa and Burnley.
That could mean that the ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius could make his debut in the Final at Wembley.
Karl Darlow, who has played for Newcastle over 80 times and is still on the books at St James Park is currently out on loan at the Championship side Hull but isn’t likely to be recalled.
Liverpool won’t worry about that problem that’s for Eddie Howe but as there’s no Newcastle preview this week, due to the said Final, John Newsome just wanted to explain the situation.
The back-to-back victories for the Reds leave Liverpool in 8th place with 35 points from 22 games played.
Seven points adrift of Tottenham in 4th, however, Jurgen’s Reds have 2 games in hand on Antonio’s Spurs.
That said, this column always states that it is considered better to have the points on the board than games in hand.
Liverpool host Real Madrid at Anfield on Tuesday before this visit to Selhurst Park, in the 1st-leg of the Champions League knockout stage.
As with all this round of the Champions League, there’s a 3-week gap until the return leg comes around.
As this is the 30th Anniversary of the Premier League, John Newsome would like to revisit a few games over the course of the season that were featured in this EveryTip column back on the 24th of March 2020, when the first Lockdown was issued due to the Coronavirus situation.
There were 10 games featured in that column, however, only 5 of the fixtures, feature teams that are in this season’s Top Flight.
The Greatest Premier League Football Games of All Time
March 24, 2020, by Every Tip
‘Monday 5 May 2014
CRYSTAL PALACE 3 v LIVERPOOL 3
Despite running away with the 2019/20 Premier League title, Liverpool, prior to Jurgen Klopp’s arrival, had some up and down years throughout the 27 that the Premier League has been in existence.
Back in May 2014, Brendan Rodgers was at the Anfield helm who were sitting pretty with 80-points at the top end of the Premier League table before this trip to Selhurst Park for a Bank Holiday Monday Night fixture against Crystal Palace and knew a convincing victory would keep their title challenge going.
Man City also had 80 points but were at the summit on goal difference so Brendan had been hoping for a convincing victory to go 3-points ahead of City, plus score a few goals in the process.
The Liverpool starting eleven that night included Raheem Sterling (yes!), Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez before he took his biting over to Barcelona.
Philippe Coutinho was a substitute and replaced Raheem in the 78th minute.
When Raheem left the field of play, his Liverpool boys were leading Palace by 3 goals to nil, so job done as far as Mr Sterling was concerned.
Joe Allen had opened the scoring for Brendan’s Wonderful Scousers just before the 20-minute mark.
After the break, the unfortunate Damien Delaney deflected a Daniel Sturridge effort past Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.
Within minutes of Damien’s own-goal, Mr Teeth, Luis Suarez scored Liverpool’s 3rd to comfortably give the Reds (or Whites as Liverpool were wearing their away kit) a 3-0 cushion.
Raheem was taken off with just over 10 minutes to go but before he had time to put on his tracksuit top and take a sip of his energy drink, Crystal Palace had pulled a goal back.
Big Damo Delaney made up for his earlier error by scoring a superb goal from a 25-yard shot, albeit similar to him with the Sturridge effort, which took a wicked deflection past Simon Mignolet.
Current Stoke City striker, Dwight Gayle, then plying his trade for Tony Pulis, who was the manager of Crystal Palace at the time, scored 2-late goals to send the Eagle Ultras wild and dent Liverpool’s title challenge.
The point gained did put Brendan’s boys at the top of the Premier League table, however, only by a point and the Reds had now played a game more than Man City and had only 1-game left.
The Premier League is a 38-game competition so to win a title, or to be relegated isn’t defined by just one game but all connected with Liverpool will feel, that game away at Selhurst Park, on a May Day Bank Holiday Monday, when they let slip a 3-0 lead to ultimately come away with just a point, did go along way in costing the Anfield outfit the title.
City fans will argue that they would have still won the Premier League even if Liverpool had been victorious against Palace.
Man City won both of their remaining games, gaining a total of 86-points and Liverpool won their one remaining game, giving them 84-points so in reality, the City fans were right as even with a victory against Crystal Palace, Liverpool would have had the same 86-points as Man City but with an inferior goal difference.
Probably the defining game that did cost Liverpool the title was the week before the Crystal Palace fixture when Liverpool suffered a 2-0 defeat at Anfield against Chelsea.
The game against Chelsea will be forever remembered for a slip, literally, by Steven Gerrard that allowed Demba Ba in to score late on for Chelsea.
There was a great song immediately composed by the football fraternity that went something like,
‘Steve Gerrard, Gerrard, he slipped on his Bloomin bum, he gave it Demba Ba, Steve Gerrard, Gerrard’
Well, that’s the clean version anyways.
There is a Sports Psychologist called Steve Peters who works with top sports stars and teams.
Liverpool had sought the expertise of Mr Peters in the hope that he could give them the edge to win their 1st-Premier League title.
Another of Steve Peters’s clients is the Snooker legend, Ronnie O’Sullivan.
At the same time that Liverpool were capitulating at Selhurst Park, Big Ronnie was competing in the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.
If one is not familiar with the Snooker World Championship, the final takes place over 2 days and is played over 35-frames.
The 2 days are usually the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday at the beginning of May.
In the 1st-days session, Ronnie had taken a 10-5 lead against Mark Selby.
With just 2-frames left of the day’s play, Ronnie missed a Yellow ball that would have given him a lead of 6-frames and looked for all intent and purpose that a 6th-World Title was in the offering for the Rocket.
Missing the Yellow allowed Mark back to the table to claim the 16th frame and that missed opportunity from Ronnie literally knocked the stuffing out of him.
Mark won the final frame of the day, to trail 10-7 overnight.
Like Liverpool against Palace, Ronnie himself capitulated and blew the lead, only winning another 4-frames, whilst Mark won 13 out of the last 17 frames to take the title by a scoreline of 18-14.
It’s fair to say that Steve Peters had a very bad Bank Holiday Monday.
‘Steve Gerrard, Gerrard!’
At Anfield back in August 2022, both shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Wilfried Zaha scored in the 1st-half to give the away team a lead at the break.
Then a moment of madness by Darwin Nunez saw the Uruguayan see a straight Red Card for sticking his forehead into the face of Joachim Andersen.
Luis Diaz (remember him?) equalised for the home team on the hour mark and with no further goals, 10-man Liverpool held on for a point against 11-men Crystal Palace.
Betfred offer Crystal Palace at 18/5, the draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 7/10 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/5 that Darwin Nunez Scores Anytime and 9/5 that Liverpool Win To Nil.
MANCHESTER UNITED v BRENTFORD
Postponed due to the Carabao Cup Final
TOTTENHAM v CHELSEA
13.30 in England
A quick note regarding this London Derby, the Carabao Cup Final takes place at Wembley a couple of hours later so there will be a lot of football fans in and around North London on Sunday afternoon.
Tottenham gained a victory over West Ham on Sunday with 2nd-half goals from Emerson Royal and Son Heung-Min enough to give the home team the points from a 2-0 scoreline.
Antonio Conte, who has just undergone surgery for Gal-bladder problems remained in Italy following Tottenham’s Champions League defeat against AC Milan last Tuesday.
The Italian missed the fixtures against Marseille back in November and Man City a fortnight ago, with Cristian Stellini taking charge of both games plus a 3rd against West Ham on Sunday.
Cristian oversaw the 3rd Spurs victory under his watch, with questions now being asked as to why?
The answer is probably just a coincidence for the time being but if Tottenham continue to win under Mr Stellini and lose under Mr Conte then a decision could be made to swap the Manager.
The victory against the Hammers lifts Spurs above Newcastle into 4th place, with 42 points from 24 fixtures completed.
It’s fair to say that Chelsea are struggling at the moment, following a devastating home defeat against Southampton (Southampton!) on Saturday by a 1-0 score.
A single Saints goal on the stroke of half-time was enough to give the away team the points.
Chelsea suffered a defeat against Borussia Dortmund in the 1st leg of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.
Prior to that, Graham Potter’s Old Blue Wizards had drawn 3 games and were knocked out of the FA Cup.
In fact, 2023 has reaped just 1 victory in all competitions for the Blues.
Southampton, who sit at the foot of the Premier League table, have 18 points, yet 6 of those have been gained against Chelsea.
Graham Potter came out after the latest defeat and stated,
‘The problem is not of my making.’
The lads the Manager, he picks the team, granted the players are the ones that cross the white line but if they are not performing, then Mr Potter has the power to not send them out over the white line and choose someone else.
It’s not like Chelsea haven’t enough players.
The new owner, Todd Boehly has stated that Graham is the man, yet for how much longer?
The fans will dictate whether Harry Potter stays around or is down the concrete and if the losing streak continues, Graham may just need to use his wand to fill out a Job Seekers Allowance form.
Chelsea sit in 10th place with 31 points from 23 fixtures completed.
Thomas Tuchel was still in charge of his Blue Engines when Antonio Conte’s Spurs visited Stamford Bridge in August.
Both shared the early points from a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop gave a nod of approval.
Kalidou Koulibaly scored first to give Chelsea the lead at the interval.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg equalised midway through the 2nd-half.
Reece James then scored to put the hosts back in front before Harry Kane equalised again for the away team in the 96th (96th!) minute.
Harry rarely scores in August.
The late goal sparked a near riot on the touchline with Thomas and Antonio getting out their handbags and clashing.
Both were then shown a (pointless) Red Card by the on-field referee Anthony Taylor.
Betfred offer Tottenham at 7/5, the draw at 23/10 and 2/1 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 5/2 that Tottenham Score in Both Halves.
Saturday 7th February 1998
BARNSLEY v EVERTON
15.00 in England
The David Watson Derby.
Barnsley had suffered a defeat against Everton at Goodison Park back in September 1997, so were hoping not to repeat that and try and gain a victory, or at worst a draw.
The Red and White Army were out in force for the visit of the Blue Scousers, with the usual pre-match routine of several beverages in the Town Centre pubs and a steady jaunt up the hill to Oakwell.
Danny Wilson sent out the following legends,
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Darren Barnard, Arjan De Zeeuw, Chris Morgan, Adie Moses, Jovo Bosancic, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Jan Age Fjortoft and Ashley Ward.
John Hendrie for Jan Age Fjortoft 62nd Minute
Georgi Hristov for Chris Morgan 86th
Howard Kendal’s Toffees,
Thomas Myhre, John O’Kane, David Watson, Craig Short, Michael Ball, Gareth Farrelly, Tony Grant, Mitch Ward, Nick Barmby, Duncan Ferguson and Mickael Madar.
Claus Thomsen for Nick Barmby 46th Minute
Danny Cadamarteri for Mickael Madar 62nd Minute
John Oster for John O’Kane 83rd Minute
Jan Age Fjortoft opened the scoring for the Reds, after 24 minutes, gaining a first goal in a Red shirt.
The new Forest Green Manager and Toffee legend, Duncan Ferguson scored the equaliser for the away team just before the half-time pie and Bovril, heading home from close range.
Tony Grant scored for Everton just after the restart, to send the high-pitched Scousers berserk in the open-topped away end.
No roof for the visiting fans coming to Oakwell back then and it’s fair to say the Red and White Army did a rain dance before every home game, just to see the opposition getting wet through.
The Barnsley Rascals!
Following a speculative shot from Ashley Ward that hit the bar, Darren Barnard, who was the Left-Back but unusually the most advanced Red, somehow bungled home an equaliser midway through the 2nd-half.
With no further goals, a Jovo Bosancic-inspired set of Super Reds managed to gain a point from a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop in Red was doubly pleased.
Jovo was sublime on the day and for that matter a brilliant Midfielder during his time at Oakwell.
Mr Bosancic, a Serbian, started his football journey in the Yugoslavian First Division playing for Vojvodina until the troubles broke out in 1992, which eventually led to the disbandment of Yugoslavia.
After a spell in Portugal, JB arrived in Yorkshire in July 1996 from the Portuguese club Campomaiorense.
Whilst not wanting to make light of the troubles in Yugoslavia, there were a few places in Barnsley, back in the mid-nineties, that resembled a war-torn country.
Jovo was a class above most of the Championship Midfielders and after settling into life in Barnsley, quickly became a fan favourite that eventually led to immortality, helping the Super Reds gain promotion to the Promised Land at the end of the Serbian’s first year in Yorkshire.
The stint in the Premier League was always going to be tough for everyone with Jovo’s experience being no exception, especially after starting the campaign injured and not really getting up to speed until November 1997.
Mr Bosancic had a nightmare start to life as a Premier League player making his debut in the Top Flight in the fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford, which resulted in a defeat by a 7-0 scoreline.
In early November, Jovo scored in back-to-back games against Blackburn and Southampton.
Those were the only Premier League goals by the Serbian, who had converted a penalty in the fixture against Man City in the Championship a year earlier.
Despite only having one season in the Promised Land, Jovo Bosancic as well as the other members of the squad will always be remembered by the Red and White Army.
All the best for the future Jovo.
In between the Game Week-24 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and this fixture against Everton, Barnsley had an FA Cup 4th Round Replay to fit in against Tottenham at Oakwell that took place on the 4th of February 1998, 3 days before the clash against the Toffees.
After a draw at White Hart Lane by a 1-1 scoreline, with Sol Campbell scoring for Spurs and Neil Redfearn equalising for Barnsley, it was a return up in Yorkshire for Christian Gross’s LilyWhites.
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Darren Barnard, Arjan De Zeeuw, Chris Morgan, Adie Moses, Jovo Bosancic, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, John Hendrie and Ashley Ward.
Espen Baardsen, Sol Campbell, Stephen Carr, Ramon Vega, Clive Wilson, Nicola Berti, Stephen Clemence, Ruel Fox, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and Jurgen Klinsmann.
David Howells for Clive Wilson 53rd Minute
Chris Armstrong for Nicola Berti 68th Minute
Garry Brady for Jurgen Klinsmann 79th Minute
Barnsley produced a sublime performance inflicting a defeat on Tottenham by a 3-1 score.
After a goalless 1st-half, Ashley Ward scored a great header from a Neil Redfearn cross, then after Tottenham had a chance cleared off the line at one end, the ball broke to Martin Bullock whose mazy run past all of the Spurs Defenders, almost produced a goal.
Eventually, after Martin’s run ended in a scuffed shot that was saved by Edsen Baardsen, Mr Bullock regained the ball and passed to Neil Redfearn who blasted home to give the Super Reds a 2-goal lead.
David Ginola pulled a goal back for Spurs from a free-kick before Darren Barnard produced another wonder goal smashing the ball from the corner of the area, into the back of the net and celebrating just in front of John Newsome.
A simply brilliant performance from Barnsley that set up a scintillating 5th Round tie.
As this was a replay, the draw had already been made so the opponents for the winner were known and that opponent was Manchester United at Old Trafford, which took place following the Game Week-25 fixture against Everton.
More on that next week.
Tottenham and Barnsley faced each other 4 times over the 1997/98 campaign, twice in the Premier League and twice in the FA Cup.
The record was,
Tottenham 1 win and 2 drawn.
Barnsley 1 win and 2 drawn.
The 2nd drawn fixture comes up in Game Week-35, which does offer up more excitement.
The FA Cup victory is the only time Barnsley have inflicted a defeat on Tottenham, in 8 games since 1950, when the Reds gained the points (only 2 back then) in a game in the equivalent of today’s Championship.
15-Wimbledon 29 pts (minus-2 goals)
16-Everton 28 pts (minus-7 goals)
17-Tottenham 26 pts (minus-17 goals)
18-Crystal Palace 23 pts (minus-16 goals)
19-Bolton 23 pts (minus-19 goals)
20-Barnsley 22 pts (minus-39 goals)
Nothing to get excited about at the top of the Pub League in Scotland, where the status quo remains the same following the weekends run about.
Celtic remain at the summit with 73 points from 26 games played and Rangers are still in 2nd, with 64 points from the same number of games.
A bit boring really.
There are 12 fixtures remaining, which means the Green and White Hoops have to suffer a defeat in at least 3 of the games to allow the Teddy Bears a chance of overtaking at the top.
Considering that Celtic have only lost once this season, it’s asking a lot to now lose 3 and Rangers win all 12.
The lovable OzScot, spinning around in Melbourne won’t accept that but it is the reality and come May, Celtic will be the Scottish Pub League Champions with Rangers finishing in 2nd place.