The highlight games for the weekend and early next week’s action are MAN CITY versus LIVERPOOL and NEWCASTLE versus MANCHESTER UNITED. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 29 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.
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All these fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-11 which took place in mid-October 2022.
MAN CITY v LIVERPOOL
12.30 in England
The Premier League is back after the International Break, for the final furlong of a scintillating 2022/23 campaign and what a fixture to kickstart the run-in.
There will be no fools on show at the Etihad with Pep’s High Flying Blues hosting Jurgen’s Reds for a mouthwatering tie.
Although one of these two is not in a title race this season, Man City are still in the hunt for Top Spot but will surely have to admit defeat to Arsenal if Liverpool gain the victory today.
Man City didn’t play in the Game Week-28 set of fixtures due to competing in the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup and progressing to the Semi’s following a convincing victory against Burnley by a 6-0 scoreline.
The old City Captain, Vincent Kompany is in charge of Burnley and whilst it was an emotional return to the Etihad for Big Vince, the Lancashire club got a taste of the Erling Medicine, with Mr Haaland adding another 3 goals to his tally.
The Norwegian/Leeds lad has now scored 42 goals (Premier League 28, English Cups 4, Champions League 10) with still a possible 18 fixtures remaining to break all kinds of records.
That’s 11 Premier League games, the Semi-Final and possible Final of the FA Cup and then the Quarter-Final of the Champions League, with the Semi-Final and Final to come if Man City progress.
Prior to the 3 goals scored against Burnley, Erling scored 5 (yes five!) against RB Leipzig in the 2nd-leg of the last-16 Champions League tie.
After gaining a draw by a 1-1 score, in Germany against Leipzig, it was considered that the tie at the Etihad would be difficult.
Mr Haaland scored 5 of the 7 that City got and was taken off by Pep with half an hour remaining, so could have scored any number.
Sergio Aguero is currently 5th on the all-time Premier League goal-scoring chart with 184 goals in a City shirt.
That was over 10 years.
Despite the prolific goal-scoring prowess of the Argentinian, who is Man City’s all-time leading scorer, Sergio never beat the season goal-scoring record of 38 held by Tommy Johnson from the 1928/29 season.
Erling has now surpassed that 94-year-old record.
The Everton legend Dixie Dean scored 60 goals in one season (1927/28) so Mr Haaland does have the opportunity to get close to Dixie’s record.
Coincidentally, Tommy Johnson left Man City in 1930 and signed for Everton as a Strike partner for Dixie Dean.
With Man City not playing in Game Week-28, it has allowed Arsenal to extend their lead at the summit of the Premier League to 8 points over City.
If Pep’s High Flying Blues suffer a defeat today against Jurgen’s Reds, that would make retaining the Premier League, a very arduous task.
Liverpool come into this fixture at the Etihad off the back of a surprise defeat against Bournemouth and then being dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.
After suffering a drubbing against Real at Anfield by a 5-2 scoreline in the 1st-leg, Liverpool then narrowly lost the 2nd-leg at the Bernabeu by a 1-0 score.
It was thought that Liverpool would make the Top Four but as mentioned in this EveryTip column back at the beginning of March, how?
The following couple of paragraphs were written on March 1st, 2023 by John Newsome,
‘There has been a lot of talk from (so-called) experts that Liverpool will still make the Top Four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
A couple of questions John Newsome wants to ask are,
How and in place of which team that are currently in the Top Four?
1-Arsenal have 21 points more than Liverpool, which means the Gunners would have to lose at least 6 games out of the remaining 14 and the Reds win all 15 of their matches for Liverpool to match Arsenal on the same points.
So that scenario is unlikely.
2-Man City have 19 points more, with 13 games remaining, so again would have to lose at least 7 of those 13 and Liverpool win all 15 for City to drop below them.
Scenario number 2 isn’t likely either.
3-Manchester United have 13 points more, so would need to lose at least 5 of the remaining games.
Whilst not impossible and bearing in mind, Liverpool take on Manchester United next, it is unlikely considering both teams’ form at the moment.
4-Tottenham are possibly the only realistic team that Liverpool can catch, currently having 9 points more than Liverpool and have completed 25 games, plus like the other 3, have to face each other before the end of the season.
So 4th place is probably the only option to gain access to next season’s Champions League.
Those scenarios also have an extra caveat in the fact that it’s assumed Newcastle and Fulham, who sit in 5th and 6th respectively, suddenly disappear.
So once again, John Newsome asks, how can Liverpool make the Top Four?
It might just be a year in the Europa League or worse still, the Europa Conference League (no idea!)’
Obviously, the above figures have changed slightly but Liverpool now sit in 6th place, with 42 points, which is 27 adrift of Arsenal, 19 adrift of Man City, 8 away from Manchester United and 7 off Tottenham, who currently occupy the Champions League places.
Newcastle sit in 5th with 47 points so Liverpool, have to make up 5 points to jump above the Magpies.
Added to that is Brighton and Brentford also have 42 points, with the Seagulls having only completed 25 fixtures.
So really, nothing has changed in March, other than Tottenham have now played 2 games more than Newcastle and Liverpool.
Again, how do Liverpool make the Top Four?
At Anfield, back in October for the Game Week-11 affair, a single Mo Salah goal, midway through the 2nd-half was the difference between these Giants giving Jurgen Klopp’s boys the points by a 1-0 scoreline.
Despite gaining the victory, klipperty Klopp lost the plot late on and was shown a straight Red Card by the on-field referee, Anthony Taylor.
These two did meet just before Christmas at the Etihad with Man City gaining the victory over Liverpool by a 3-2 score, to progress in the Carabao Cup.
Betfred offer Man City at slight Odds On 4/7, the draw at 16/5 and 9/2 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Erling Haaland Scores Two Plus Goals and 6/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
BOURNEMOUTH v FULHAM
15.00 in England
After the surprise victory against Liverpool, Bournemouth suffered a defeat against Aston Villa last time out which keeps Gary O’Neil’s Cherries in the relegation zone.
The defeat against Villa by a 3-0 scoreline, leaves Bournemouth in 19th place with 24 points from 27 games completed.
Fulham suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats before the International break, this time against Arsenal following the previous loss against Brentford.
In truth, Mikel Arteta’s Young Guns were simply too good for Marco Silva’s Cottagers with Arsenal getting the victory by a 3-0 score.
That drops Fulham down to 9th place with 39 points from 27 games played.
That wasn’t the end of the football for Fulham as Marco’s Men took on Manchester United in the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup and following an Aleksandar Mitrovic goal just after the interval, the Cottagers were looking good for a place in the Semi.
Then a couple of minutes of madness happened, which really wasn’t needed.
Willian saved a Jadon Sancho effort which would have been acceptable if Will-I-an was the Fulham goalkeeper, however, as everyone knows, the Brazilian is a Midfielder, not a Stopper.
What was strange was the on-field referee, Chris Kavanagh pointed for a corner.
It was the dreaded VAR who had to point out to Chris that Willian had handled the ball.
Technically that is what VAR are for, however, John Newsome was sitting at home, 60 miles away and saw the handball, so why isn’t the on-field referee seeing this live?
The penalty was rightly given but then there was chaos, Willian was correctly shown a Red Card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity, Marco Silva was shown a Red Card for somehow thinking the penalty award was incorrect and venting his anger towards anyone who would listen, then a 3rd Red Card was shown to Aleksandar Mitrovic for not only complaining to Chris Kavanagh but also pushing Mr K.
Unfortunately, Big Mit, that’s not acceptable.
It was Mother’s Day in England, however, the referee gave cards out to the Fulham lads but forgot his old Mum who was sitting watching the telly thinking,
Fulham were knocked out of the FA Cup suffering a defeat against Manchester United by a 3-1 score.
Aleksandar is now facing a lengthy ban following the lads’ indiscretion.
Willian won’t be playing today either and Marco will be up in the stands, being banned from the dugout.
Happy Mother’s Day.
The Archbishop was happy when these two met at Craven Cottage back in October 2022.
Dominic Solanke and Jefferson Lerma scored for the Cherries in the 1st-half with an Issa Diop reply for the Cottagers in between the two goals.
An Aleksandar Mitrovic converted penalty just after the restart gave Fulham an equaliser and with no further goal both shared the points from a draw by a 2-2 score.
Betfred offer Bournemouth at 6/4, the draw at 23/10 and 9/5 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Chris Billing Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
ARSENAL v LEEDS UNITED
15.00 in England
Arsenal took advantage of Man City’s FA Cup weekend by gaining a victory over Crystal Palace and extending their lead at the summit of the Premier League to 8 points.
Goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Granit Xhaka and a couple from Bukayo Saka, gave Mikel Arteta’s Young Guns the points from a 4-1 scoreline.
Palace had scored before Bukayo’s 2nd.
Arsenal sit at the top with 69 points from 28 games played, granted 1 game more than Man City have played but 8 points is a massive gap.
All connected with the Gunners and Gooners will be cheering on the Scousers before this 3.00 PM fixture starts as a defeat for Man City would give Arsenal one hand on the Premier League title.
Bukayo Saka put in a couple of great performances for England against Italy and Ukraine, culminating in scoring a beautiful goal on Sunday at Wembley.
The following was put in this EveryTip column by John Newsome, back on the 2nd of October 2019, over 3 years ago.
‘Unai Emery did play a new kid who will go on to be a star.
Watch out for the name Bukayo Saka over the next few months.
Saka had already played a couple of games so far and scored in the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt.
He is definitely one to watch.’
Not a bad prediction.
The Joy Division tune is put on hold this week as Leeds United surprised everyone, even themselves, by not only gaining a victory against Wolves at Molineux but also scoring 4 goals in the process.
Goals from Jack Harrison, Luke Ayling and Rasmus Kristensen gave Leeds a comfortable lead with half an hour remaining, however, 2 goals from Wolves left the Marching On Together crew a little jittery going into the closing stages.
Wolves did have a player sent off for a horrendous challenge on Luke Ayling that could have easily resulted in Luke’s leg being broken.
The 4th goal came in the 97th minute with Rodrigo confirming the victory by a 4-2 away day scoreline.
Whilst sitting in the relegation zone before kick-off, Leeds United then jumped up to 14th place with 26 points from 27 fixtures completed.
It’s still tight at the bottom with just 4 points separating Crystal Palace in 12th and Southampton in 20th.
So anyone who strings a few victories together will pull away from the relegation battle.
Some of the West Yorkshire puddings are still in the Midlands looking for their passports as they were convinced that they needed them to enter Molineux.
Will the Joy Division ditty be back next week?
Marching On Together.
At Elland Rd, a Bukayo Saka goal 10 minutes before the half-time cup of tea was the difference between the two legendary clubs, giving Mikel’s Young Guns the victory over Jesse’s Whites by a 1-0 score.
Patrick Bamford did have the chance to equalise but missed a penalty midway through the 2nd-half.
This iconic fixture at the Emirates does usually produce goals so expect a few today.
Betfred offer Arsenal at Odds On 2/7, the draw at 9/2 and 9/1 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/5 that Gabriel Jesus Scores Anytime and 11/10 that Arsenal Win To Nil.
BRIGHTON v BRENTFORD
15.00 in England
Brighton had Game Week-28 off and instead took part in a one-sided FA Cup tie against Grimsby.
The Seagulls progressed to the Semi-Final by inflicting a defeat on the Haddocks by a 5-0 scoreline.
Evan Ferguson scored a couple then followed that up by notching for the Republic of Ireland against Latvia as well as sharing the stage with Kylian Mbappe on Monday when France were the visitors to Dublin.
Evan has only just turned 18 years old but is already establishing himself in the Brighton team and will be a top player over the coming years, which will draw a few admirers from the Big Boys of the Premier League and Europe.
The Boy could be an ideal fit for Manchester United if Harry Kane decides to stay at Tottenham.
Coincidentally, there could be a live audition at Wembley, with Brighton drawn against Manchester United in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup.
The Seagulls are in 7th place in the table with the same 42 points as Liverpool and today’s opponents but have only completed 25 games, not the 26 that the Reds have and the 27 the Bees have played.
The faithful are asking,
‘Who needs Graham Potter?’
As mentioned, Brentford sit just below Brighton with the same 42 points, the 42nd gained from a draw against Leicester last time out.
Mathias Jensen scored the opener before the Foxes equalised just after the break to give both a share of the points from a 1-1 score.
Ivan Toney finally (finally!) saw game time in a Three Lions shirt when Gareth Southgate gave Mr T 10 minutes against Ukraine on Sunday.
Although Ivan was disappointed because he had bet on a 3-0 scoreline.
Sorry IT, just a bit of fun.
When the Seagulls flew to the GTech Stadium for the encounter in October, an Ivan Toney double gave Thomas Frank’s Bees the victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Brighton at Odds On 8/13, the draw at 3/1 and 4/1 for Brentford to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Ivan Toney Scores First and 7/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
CRYSTAL PALACE v LEICESTER
15.00 in England
The decision finally happened at the beginning of the International Break.
That decision was to sack Patrick Vieira with Crystal Palace not registering a victory since New Year’s Eve.
The latest defeat against Arsenal by a 4-1 scoreline, was the final game that Mr Vieira oversaw, which is ironic really, due to Patrick being a Gunners legend.
If one looks at the scoreline, there is a ‘1’
with Jeffrey Schlupp scoring Crystal Palace’s first goal since scoring against Brentford on the 18th of February, which resulted in a draw by a 1-1 score.
The old Boy, Roy Hodgson was sat at home with her indoors watching Homes Under the Hammer reminiscing about Dion Dublin diving in the 90th minute to earn Coventry a penalty against Barnsley in 1998 when the phone rang.
Mrs H answered and turned to Roy,
‘Roy, Roy, ROOOOY! there’s someone called Steve (Steve Parish) on the phone.’
Mr Hodgson got up out of the recliner and spoke to Steve.
‘Hello, who? Steve?
No, I don’t need Sun Life Insurance, what?
No, I don’t want to sponsor a Donkey, I’m watching one on Homes Under the Hammer!’
Eventually, Mr Parish got the chance to explain and somehow convinced Roy Hodgson to go back to Selhurst Park for the remainder of the season.
Now there are so many connotations to that scenario that need to be made, however, this EveryTip column just wants to put these comments out there.
Roy Hodgson is a decent bloke and a great coach but is 75 years old.
Granted, Mr Hodgson will get Palace organised and set up but that really isn’t the problem for the Eagles.
Apart from the 4 goals conceded against Tottenham and Arsenal, Crystal Palace have only conceded a further 9 in the other 10 fixtures, with 4 that finished in a 1-0 scoreline to the opposition, 3 that finished in a 1-1 score and 2 ending in a goalless draw.
So Patrick Vieira did appear to have his Eagles set up and organised, it was scoring goals that was the problem, which is now Roy Hodgson’s problem.
One final thought, there was a club last season that were struggling and decided that Roy was the answer, with Mr Hodgson being appointed for the final 3rd of the campaign.
How did that end?
Watford were relegated!
Good luck to all connected with Crystal Palace.
Leicester themselves are struggling but did manage to pick up a point against Brentford before the International Break.
Harvey Barnes scored just after the half-time cup of tea to equalise an earlier Bees strike and with no further goals both shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
The draw stopped a 4 game-losing streak and was the first point gained since the victory against Tottenham at the beginning of February.
Leicester sit just above the relegation places in 17th with 25 points from 27 fixtures played.
As mentioned, there are only 4 points between Crystal Palace in 12th and Southampton in 20th so a couple or more victories will see a team pull clear of the drop zone.
This fixture really is a 6 pointer with the winner going above the loser.
A ‘6 pointer’ is when two teams face each other and have similar or the same number of points so if one team wins, they get 3 points and the losing team are prevented from getting 3 points, hence it’s referred to as a ‘6 pointer’
At the King Power Stadium back in October 2022, the scorer wasn’t needed with Patrick’s Palace and Brendan’s (not so) Wonderfuls failing to find the back of the net, resulting in a draw by a 0-0 score, or as of the Oasis tune, ‘Some Might Say’ a goalless draw.
Betfred offer Crystal Palace at 8/5, the draw at 11/5 and 9/5 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer slight Odds On 5/6 that Both Teams Do Not Score and 2/1 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Emiliano Martinez- Aston Villa
RIGHT-BACK- Matty Cash- Aston Villa
CENTRE-BACK- Luke Ayling- Leeds United
CENTRE-BACK- Ezri Konsa- Aston Villa
LEFT-BACK- Dan Burn- Newcastle
MIDFIELDER- James Maddison- Leicester
MIDFIELDER- Mathias Jensen- Brentford
MIDFIELDER- James Ward-Prowse- Southampton
FORWARD- Bukayo Saka- Arsenal
FORWARD- Wilfried Gnonto- Leeds United
FORWARD- Alexander Isak- Newcastle
STAR MAN- James Maddison- Leicester
NOTTINGHAM FOREST v WOLVES
15.00 in England
Nottingham Forest suffered their 4th defeat from the last 6 games last time out with Newcastle getting the victory at the City Ground by a 2-1 scoreline.
Emmanuel Dennis scored first for Forest but the home team conceded on the stroke of half-time to take both teams in level.
With time running out, Moussa Niakhate handled the ball in the area and conceded a 93rd-minute penalty which the Magpies converted to inflict the defeat on the Tricky Trees.
Nottingham Forest sit in 16th place with 26 points from 27 played.
Wolves sit in 13th place but have only a point more than today’s opponents and have played a game more, so again this is another proverbial 6-pointer with the winner going above the loser.
Wolves suffered a surprise home defeat at Molineux against Leeds United last weekend, when the away team scored 3 goals with Jonny having a bizarre 20 minutes.
The Spanish Midfielder made a mistake that led to the Whites 3rd goal.
Jonny then redeemed himself by scoring a superb 40-yard volley after seeing the Leeds Goalkeeper out of his box.
It was then ‘Jonny, we’re Sorry but you are going off’ when the Wolves player made a horrendous challenge on Luke Ayling that eventually resulted in a straight Red Card.
Eventually, as the on-field referee Michael Salisbury initially showed a Yellow but then changed to a straight Red following a review ordered by the dreaded VAR.
Wolves did reduce the deficit to 3-2 before Jonny’s indiscretion but the extra man eventually told with the visitors adding a 4th in the 97th (97th!) minute to confirm the defeat by a 4-2 scoreline.
Julen Lopetegui’s Gold and Blacks sit in 13th place with 27 points, a point more than today’s opponents but have completed 28 games.
A quick note regarding added injury time, such as the 13 minutes at the end of the Wolves v Leeds United game.
Football’s International rule-making body ‘IFAB’ (International Association Football Board) has announced plans to increase the ‘Effective Time’ being played during matches.
Effective Time is basically the juicy action when the ball is in play, not when Jordan Pickford takes 2 minutes for a goal-kick.
‘The Effective Time at the recent Aston Villa v Brentford fixture was 43 minutes.’
said Pierluigi Collina who chairs FIFA’s Referees.
‘I don’t think someone wants to pay to watch a match that lasts 43 minutes.’ added Mr Collina.
Italian former World Cup referee Pierluigi Collina has been given figures that show Premier League matches have an Effective Time of 54.49 minutes, while it is even lower in the Scottish Premier League at 50.42 minutes.
Champions League matches have an Effective Time of 58.07 minutes.
IFAB has decided the actual amount of time that the ball should be in play is around an hour.
Whether that materialises is for the future but it is something to think about considering folk pay good money for a ticket to the match or a subscription to Sky Sports and BT Sport and should be able to watch more than 43 minutes of actual action (Effective Time!)
A Ruben Neves converted penalty just after the half-time Bovril was the difference when these two Midlanders met at Molineux, giving the temporary Manager Steve Davis (not the Snooker player!) the victory over Steve Cooper.
Betfred offer Nottingham Forest at 15/8, the draw at 21/10 and 8/5 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Brennan Johnson Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Ruben Neves Scores Anytime.
CHELSEA v ASTON VILLA
17.30 in England
Chelsea are unbeaten in the month of March, registering 2 victories and a draw in the Premier League as well as a win in the Champions League to progress to the Quarter-Finals.
The drawn game came in the last fixture before the International Break against Everton, with the Blues gaining a point from a 2-2 score.
Joao Felix and a Kai Havertz converted penalty cancelling out the Toffee’s goals.
Chelsea sit in 10th place with the same 38 points as Aston Villa so the proverbial ‘6 pointer’ comes up again, with the winner today going above the loser.
A quick note regarding the Champions League Quarter-Final, Chelsea have been drawn against Real Madrid and with that specific competition, the Semi-Final draw is also known.
If Graham’s New Blue Wizards do manage to get the victory over Los Blancos, managed by the ex-Chelsea Manager Carlo Ancelotti, the Blues then face either Man City or Bayern Munich for a place in the Final.
An added caveat to that,
Who have Bayern Munich just appointed as their new Manager?
That’s right, Thomas Tuchel.
There are a lot of scenarios to take place before Chelsea face Bayern but as Jimmy Greaves once said,
‘Football, it’s a funny old game!’
As mentioned, Aston Villa have the same 38 points as today’s hosts but sit a place below the Blues on goal difference.
Villa comfortably gained the victory over Bournemouth last time out with goals from Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Emiliano Buendia giving Unai Emery’s Claret and Blues all 3 points from a 3-0 scoreline.
The winner today will end the weekend higher in the table than the loser.
Graham Potter’s Blues gained the victory over Steven Gerrard’s Claret and Blues in the Game Week-11 fixture at Villa Park.
A couple of goals from Mason Mount, 1 in each half, gave Chelsea the points by a 2-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Chelsea at Odds On 8/13, the draw at 11/4 and 9/2 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Kai Havertz Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Ollie Watkins Scores Anytime.
WEST HAM v SOUTHAMPTON
14.00 in England
West Ham are a strange team this season, unable to string a win or three together in the Premier League but remain unbeaten in the Europa Conference League.
The Hammers had the Game Week-28 off due to the FA Cup taking place with their opponents Man City being in the Quarter-Finals.
The last result in the Premier League was a draw by a 1-1 score against Aston Villa.
Bookending that fixture against Villa was a home and away tie against AEK Larnaca, with the Bubbles getting a nice tan from a bit of Winter-Sun in Cyprus.
The victory over the 2 legs by a 6-0 aggregate score, sees West Ham take on the Belgian team Gent, so another nice little trip over the water for the Bubbles to sample a few Stella Artois.
Yes, Stella is a Belgian lager not French and the girls and boys from the London Stadium have to pass the factory in Leuven on the way to the Gent ground.
Gent sit in 4th place in the Jupiler Pro League, (Jupiler is a beer).
Coincidentally, there’s another Belgian team called Genk who sit at the top of the Belgium Pub League.
John Newsome wants to offer a Public Service Announcement to the Claret and Blues faithful.
If one is planning a trip over to Belgium, to see the game against Gent, don’t make the mistake of putting ‘Genk’ in the Sat Nav or route planner as there are around 100 miles between the two towns.
Remember Bubbles, it’s Gent with a ‘T’ not Genk with a ‘K’.
West Ham sit in the final relegation spot with 24 points from 26 fixtures completed.
Southampton played in a superb game against Tottenham last time out, somehow gaining a point from a draw by a 3-3 score.
Che Adams equalised an earlier Spurs goal within seconds of the 2nd-half restart before the away team scored 2 more to take a convincing lead.
Theo Walcott (remember him!) scored a 2nd for the Saints before the brilliant James Ward-Prowse coolly converted a penalty in the 93rd minute to earn a well-deserved point.
Unfortunately for the Saints faithful, it wasn’t enough to lift Southampton off the bottom of the table.
Ruben Selles’ men have 23 points from 27 games completed.
As mentioned earlier it is tight at that end of the table with the bottom 9 teams having just 4 points between them.
A quick note regarding JWP, somehow Gareth Southgate left the lad out of the recent England squad.
Surely James is a better pick than Kalvin Phillips who has hardly played for Man City this season.
Is it because Kalvin is a City player and James is a Southampton player?
If the Saints are relegated James Ward-Prowse should become available and despite what Mr Southgate thinks, would enhance any team in the Premier League, especially Manchester United.
Back in October, Romain Perraud scored for the Saints in the 1st-half giving Southampton a lead at the break.
Declan Rice equalised for West Ham midway through the 2nd-half and with no further goals, both teams shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Betfred offer West Ham at Odds On 8/11, the draw at 11/4 and 18/5 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Jarrod Bowen Scores First and 7/5 that Che Adams Scores Anytime.
NEWCASTLE v MANCHESTER UNITED
16.30 in England
Newcastle come into this fixture off the back of a victory against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground last time out.
After conceding an early goal, Alexander Isak scored at the end of both halves, the winner being a converted penalty to give Eddie Howe’s Magpies the victory over Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees by a 2-1 score.
Alexander looks to be coming good for the run-in which could propel Newcastle back into the Top Four.
Currently sitting in 5th place with 47 points, Newcastle are just 2 adrift of Tottenham and 3 away from today’s opponents so a victory over Manchester United would see Eddie’s Magpies join United on 50 points.
Added to that, Tottenham don’t play until Monday so Newcastle will be at least 4th if a victory occurs today.
Although a big ask, it is at St James Park with 50,000 of the Toon Army roaring on their Black and White idols.
Tottenham have played 2 games more than both Newcastle and Manchester United.
Manchester United come into this fixture at St James Park after securing a place in the Quarter-Final of the Europa League and the Semi-Final of the FA Cup, setting up ties against Seville and Brighton respectively.
However, there are 3 Premier League fixtures before the Europa League 1st-leg on the 13th of April.
United face Newcastle today (2nd April), Brentford on the 5th and then Everton on the 8th.
If fact, Manchester United have 9 fixtures in all competitions throughout the month of April.
In the last Premier League outing, Southampton frustrated United at Old Trafford with the game finishing in a draw by a 0-0 score.
Added to that disappointing result, Casemiro was shown a straight Red Card, the second in the space of 3 Premier League games.
In the Brazilians’ trophy-winning career playing for Real Madrid, the lad never received a straight Red, obviously, Casemiro was sent off a few times but on those occasions, it was as a result of 2 Yellow Cards.
Now Cassie has had 2 straight Reds in quick succession and receives a 4-game ban, meaning he will miss vital games against Newcastle, Brentford and Everton, having already served the 1st of the 4, against Fulham in the FA Cup.
Casemiro did score for Brazil in the recent fixture against Morocco but his goal wasn’t enough with Brazil suffering a defeat by a 2-1 score against the World Cup Semi-Finalists.
Manchester United sit in 3rd place with 50 points, 1 more than Tottenham but have only completed 26 games.
This coming week, with 3 fixtures in quick succession, it’s anyone’s guess where Erik’s Red Devils will be in the table.
It’s been mentioned earlier that the great Jimmy Greaves would often say,
‘Football, it’s a funny old game!’
Well that comment is prevalent with the following,
Real Madrid hammered Liverpool over 2-legs in the Champions League by a 6-2 scoreline.
Liverpool hammered Manchester United in the Premier League by a 7-0 scoreline.
Manchester United hammered Barcelona over 2-legs in the Europa League by a 4-3 scoreline (ok not necessarily ‘hammered’ but still got the victory!)
Barcelona are 12 points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
‘Football, it’s a funny old game!’
At Old Trafford in October 2022, both teams failed to trouble the netting with the Game Week-11 encounter finishing in a draw by a 0-0 score.
There will be goals today (hopefully).
As this is the 30th-Anniversary of the Premier League John Newsome would like to revisit a few games throughout 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
‘Sunday 20 October 1996
NEWCASTLE 5 v MANCHESTER UNITED 0
This was a poignant game for this EveryTip contributor as 2-days before this brilliant victory for the Magpies, John lost his faithful dog after being together for 15 years.
Mac was brought into the Newsome family on the 29th of September 1981.
The elder sister of the Newsome clan was allowed to get a puppy but being 16, her doggy-attention span lasted barely a week, then a 12-year-old football fanatic took over the role of puppy walker.
The good thing about dogs in the 1980s was that dogs were dogs.
When you threw a stick the dog would run away for four hours, nowadays dogs get treated like children in England.
Thing is, they are not children, they are dogs, the clues in the title.
They look like dogs.
When you take them to the park, all they do is sniff other dogs’ bits.
Sometimes a dog walker will be in the park chatting some sort up and the dog is sniffing their dog’s bum.
Then the dog does its business in the middle of the football field, not in the wood bit, no the dog has to go in the middle of the field.
So then the modern dog owner has to go over with his bag and pick it up.
The reason England are not producing good Young footballers is that the business is now picked up.
In the ‘80s the youths used to dribble around the said dog business in the middle of the park.
Paul Gascoigne was the player he was because he lived on a Newcastle housing estate where dogs were everywhere.
So Gazza honed his skills dribbling around the dog’s doo-doo.
Nowadays, with the owner picking up the stuff with his or her bag, it’s becoming detrimental to the English game.
Macca Doobs was 9 years old before he understood ‘come here’ by that time, this contributor was 21 years old.
On many occasions, the boy had to ring his mates up, on the landline and say that he would be late to the boozer because he couldn’t find the dog.
For 15 years Mac was the best pal ever, 23-years later, he’s still in a box, in a cabinet and is spoken to every day.
Rest in Peace Macca Doobs.
Having had to have the old fella put to sleep, 2-days before, it was a Sunday afternoon on the sofa watching Newcastle wipe the floor with the then Premier League Champions, Manchester United.
Defender Darren Peacock opened the scoring for the Magpies after 12 minutes, which in today’s game may not have been allowed with Goal-line Technology.
The referee Steve Dunn had no hesitation in awarding the goal to Darren.
David Ginola added a 2nd on the half-hour mark and with no further goals, Newcastle went in at the break, leading 2-0.
In the 2nd-half, Les Ferdinand made it 3-0 before the Newcastle legend that is Alan Shearer scored the Magpies’ 4th.
The final goal in the 5-0 victory was a superb, sublime chip from the Centre-Back Philippe Albert which in Belgium is a sexy name but in Newcastle, it’s just Phil Albert who could be a butcher.
Kevin Keegan was still at the helm after the previous season’s capitulation that allowed Sir Alex the victory in the mind games, so this was a very sweet moment for the Doncaster-born legend gaining a little victory against Sir Alex.
In life, little victories are priceless, everyone gets a little victory every now and again and once the occurrence happens, rightly celebrate.
Kevin Keegan celebrated in October 1997.
Hope Macca Doobs has a few doggy treats up in heaven with Joanie.
Betfred offer Newcastle at 7/5, the draw at 12/5 and 15/8 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Marcus Rashford Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
EVERTON v TOTTENHAM
20.00 in England
Everton gained a great point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out from a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop was happy.
After a goalless 1st-half, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ellis Simms scored the Toffees goals to get a well-deserved draw.
Both goals were to equalise the Chelsea strikes.
That’s now 3 games unbeaten for Sean Dyche, with 2 finishing with the same 2-2 scoreline, so goals are coming, however, it’s at the other end that seems to be the worry.
One noticeable thing is Sean doesn’t appear to fancy Conor Coady, with the England Defender being benched for the last 4 fixtures and only chosen by Mr Dyche for the first 4 games at the beginning of his tenure as Manager.
In those initial 4 games that Conor played, Everton won 2 and lost 2, conceding 4 goals.
In the last 4 that Conor hasn’t started, Everton have won 1, drawn 2 and lost 1 but have conceded 8 goals, with a Centre Back pairing of James Tarkowski and Michael Keane.
It does appear that Sean prefers Michael Keane to Conor Coady.
Michael is an ex-Burnley player so Sean Dyche does know the lad but not to tell the Gingerbread Man what to do, John Newsome does prefer Conor Coady.
Everton sit in 15th place with the same 26 points as Leeds United (14th) and Nottingham Forest (16th) but have played a game more (28) than the others.
What is happening at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium?
Goals from Pedro Porro, Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic should have been enough to give Tottenham the victory over Southampton (who are at the bottom of the table!)
The Saints did equalise Pedro’s initial goal.
However, the ‘Spursy’ term came to the fore with the players retreating deep when leading by 3 goals to 1, allowing Southampton to gain momentum which eventually led to a 2nd Saints goal.
With time virtually up on the clock, the jittery Tottenham players conceded a penalty and with James Ward-Prowse on the pitch, the outcome was inevitable (unless he’s playing against Leicester!)
James smashed the ball past his old neighbour Fraser Forster to earn a great point from a draw by a 3-3 score.
Antonio Conte then went into a meltdown in a post-match press conference, blaming everyone and his mother for the failings at Tottenham.
*********BREAKING NEWS *************
Tottenham part company with Antonio Conte!
The rant spelt the end of Antonio’s tenure, with both parties agreeing to go their separate way.
Mr Conte’s contract was due to expire in the Summer but Daniel Levy has decided enough is enough and has put Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason in charge for the remaining 10 fixtures.
In reality, it’s basically an easy job at the moment as the players’ fitness takes care of itself, there are no real tactics to employ as Tottenham play the same way in the majority of games and with Harry Kane in the team, Spurs will always have a chance.
Tottenham remain in 4th place with 49 points but have played 2 games more (28) than those around them.
Congratulations to Harry Kane for breaking Wayne Rooney’s England goal-scoring record.
HK now has 55 and counting.
At the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, following a goalless 1st-half, a Harry Kane converted penalty and a goal from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg gave Antonio Conte’s Tottenham the victory over Frank Lampard’s Everton by a 2-0 away day scoreline.
Betfred offer Everton at 11/5, the draw at 11/5 and 11/10 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 21/20 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
Tuesday 31st March 1998
BLACKBURN v BARNSLEY
19.45 in England
If one looks at the date of this fixture and then looks at last week’s Game Week-28 match, there appears to be an anomaly, however, this game against Blackburn was initially postponed due to Barnsley’s Quarter-Final tie against Newcastle which took place over the Game Week-29 weekend.
Subsequently, Game Week-30 and 31 had already taken place before this rearranged 29 fixture at Ewood Park on the final day of March 1998.
The girls and boys loaded the Ford Escort with Tuna and Sweetcorn sandwiches and the souped-up bottle of Coca-Cola with the Russian additive for the trip West along the M62 to Blackburn.
The ex-Serg was collected from Manchester then a local boozer near the revamped Ewood Park was sought for a few pre-match pints of whatever was on offer.
John Newsome had visited Blackburn and Ewood Park a few times over the years, however, due to Sir Jack Walker’s injection of Steel Money, the stadium looked a lot different from the inaugural visit to the Lancashire club back in 1981, when both teams had progressed to Division 2, which was the equivalent of todays Championship.
This fixture between these two iconic B Teams stems back to February 1913, when Barnsley, as holders, hosted Blackburn in a FA Cup tie.
At the time in March 1998, the two hadn’t met at Ewood Park since November 1991.
John’s first trip to watch the Super Reds back in 1981 was with a couple of family members in a brand-new Ford Fiesta.
Ewood Park was a bleak place, a very old-fashioned ground (one couldn’t actually call it a stadium) with a tin roof and terraces that one did things on that is not suitable to print.
However, back in the 1970s and 80s most grounds were like that, the youths are spoiled now, having seats and a roof.
If some don’t know, Blackburn is a Town just North of Manchester which like a lot of those in the region was once a Mill Town, producing textiles for the country.
Sir Jack Walker had a Steel Company in the Town which was sold to British Steel, thus allowing Sir Jack to get involved with the Football Club.
That subsequently produced the new-look Rovers team that were initially promoted from Division 2, to become part of the 22 teams in the inaugural Premier League campaign of 1992/93.
Within 2 years of promotion to the Promised Land, Blackburn Rovers became Premier League Champions in 1995.
People say, ‘money can’t buy you happiness.’
Yes, it can!
It can also buy one a Premier League Title.
In reality, most football teams buy success, it doesn’t happen naturally.
Barnsley could be considered an exception to the rule when gaining Promotion in 1997.
No one foresaw that, not even the Red and White Army.
Barnsley didn’t have a Steel Magnate that bank-rolled a promotion-winning team.
The Super Reds gained promotion through grit, determination and hard work, with homegrown players in the team, such as David Watson, Adie Moses and Nicky Eaden, all born within a stone’s throw of Oakwell.
Scott Jones and Chris Morgan coming through the ranks too.
The iconic Pit Town of Barnsley didn’t have a Jack Walker, no disrespect to Sir Jack, the lad did what he had to do for his beloved Blackburn.
Barnsley had folk who had battled the Germans (twice), battled the 3-day working week, the power cuts of the 1970s, the Miners’ strike of the 80s where people didn’t work for a year and went to Soup Kitchens to eat.
Kids who didn’t get a Christmas present in 1984, didn’t have a Turkey Dinner, people who loved a rest bite of a Saturday afternoon at Oakwell, taking 90 minutes time out from the stresses and strains of life.
Man City have Erling Haaland, Barnsley have Coal!
No one will ever beat the Barnsley Boys and Girls!
Coal will live on forever, bring fuel to the people of the future and provide light in ever-decreasing darkness.
Nicky Eaden has a pub in the Barnsley Town Centre that has been frequented on numerous occasions by this EveryTip contributor.
In a recent podcast, Nicky did mention that Andy Liddell, on the coach home from the opening game of the 1996/97 campaign at the Hawthorns against West Brom (John Newsome was there!)
stated the following,
‘We will get promoted this season!’
To which Nicky replied,
‘Shut up daft!’
Mr Liddell was like Nostradamus!
The Big Fella from Manchester who used to be a Serg but now throws sticks in parks (on a Wednesday, the Big Lad has a dog in attendance, which makes the stick-throwing relevant!) was the boss of Nicky Eaden at the Coop in Hoyland, which is a suburb of Barnsley and where the brilliant Little H resides from.
Back in the day, the ex-Serg gave Nicky an ultimatum, either concentrate on stocking shelves and collecting Trollies at the Coop, Hoyland Common Branch or go off and play football.
Unfortunately, for the Cooperative and the Manc/Barnsley lad, Nicky decided that he was a better footballer than he was at pricing up tins of Spaghetti Hoops.
So joined Barnsley FC where it’s fair to say, although not always recognised, is a true Barnsley legend!
Nicky went on to play for Birmingham, Wigan and Nottingham Forest plus a few run-outs at the end of the road for Lincoln, Halesowen, Solihull Moors and finally Kettering, which coincidentally is the first club that the loveable OzScot followed.
However, saying that, Braveheart has had more clubs than Nick Faldo!
Top Man Nicky Eaden!
Back in Blackburn, sat having a steady pint before the game, the girls and boys were confident of a win against a Rovers team that couldn’t get the victory at Oakwell, with that reverse fixture back in November 1997, finishing in a draw by a 1-1 score.
Sir Kenny Dalglish picked the following set of Rovers players,
Tim Flowers, Stephane Henchoz, Colin Hendry, Jeff Kenna, Chris Sutton, Gary Flitcroft, Billy McKinlay, Stuart Ripley, Tim Sherwood, Jason Wilcox and Martin Dahlin.
Damien Duff for Stuart Ripley 63rd Minute
Allan Fettis for Tim Flowers 65th Minute
Kevin Gallacher for Martin Dahlin 72nd Minute
Danny Wilson sent out the following legends.
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Darren Barnard, Chris Morgan, Adie Moses, Scott Jones, Jovo Bosancic, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Georgi Hristov and Ashley Ward.
Clint Marcelle for Martin Bullock 58th Minute
Darren Sheridan for Clint Marcelle 84th Minute
Andy Liddell for Scott Jones 89th Minute
The Swedish Striker Martin Dahlin only scored 4 goals for Rovers but one of those was against the Reds, with Big Martin getting the early opener on the night.
The travelling faithful were optimistic while chomping on the half-time Pie and the optimism improved when Georgi ‘Boy’ Hristov scored the equaliser midway through the 2nd-half, giving this EveryTip contributor and the rest of the Red and White Army hopes of at least an away night point.
Unfortunately, for the Yorkshire faithful, those hopes were dashed late on, with Blackburn’s Kevin Gallacher scoring what proved to be the winner in the 87th minute.
Kevin had come on as a substitute for Martin 15 minutes earlier.
Another defeat for Barnsley and another depressing journey home, that included several gulps of the Coca-Cola mix.
As this was a school night, it was straight home to bed after dropping the Big Fella off in Manchester, ready for another day’s graft with diminishing hopes of Barnsley staying in the Promised Land.
As mentioned, although this was a Game Week-29 affair, 30 and 31 had taken place so the Super Reds only had 7 fixtures remaining to try and avoid relegation.
15-Newcastle 36 pts (minus-7 goals)
16-Tottenham 34 pts (minus-16 goals)
17-Everton 33 pts (minus-11 goals)
18-Barnsley 31 pts (minus-39 goals)
19-Bolton 30 pts (minus-19 goals)
20-Crystal Palace 26 pts (minus-27 goals)
Home Win 2-1