The highlight games for the next set of EPL matches are NEWCASTLE versus ARSENAL and BRIGHTON versus EVERTON. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 35 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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These set of fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-17 and 19 that took place in late December and early January, apart from the West Ham v Manchester United fixture which is the reverse of the Game Week-14 affair that was played in October.
MAN CITY v LEEDS UNITED
15.00 in England
Don’t adjust one’s eyes, a 3.00 PM football match? on a Saturday afternoon? live on TV (Sky Sports?)
Yes, that’s correct and the reason for this is to allow the men of this country and surrounding areas the chance to watch something other than the Coronation of our King Charles the Third.
Her indoors will no doubt have the TV on from Dawn until Dusk and whilst it is a momentous occasion for our beautiful country, the blokes will want a bit of respite come mid-afternoon and will be off down the boozer, coincidentally called The King Charles to watch a bit of football.
Now most reading that will immediately think,
Yes, it does appear to be that way but also it’s just a bit of fun.
It does appear nowadays that every word spoken or written is scrutinised and checked to see if one is Politically Correct.
However, this is the United Kingdom, now under the realm of King Charles the Third after 70 years of reign by the beautiful Queen Elizabeth the Second.
Great Britain is a great place to live so for the time being, let’s keep it that way and just have a laugh every now and again when folk make harmless comments about life.
God Save Our Gracious King and to everyone concerned, one hopes it’s a joyful and triumphant day.
That said, John Newsome will be down at The King Charles, with a pint of Guinness (other beverages are available) in hand, watching Man City (hammer) v Leeds United as well as the Horse Racing from Newmarket.
Man City jumped above Arsenal to the summit of the Premier League following Sunday’s victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Kevin De Bruyne was missing through injury and it did tell as City were lacking something.
A bit like 0% Lager!
It supposedly tastes the same (it doesn’t!) but no one gets drunk.
Whilst some people don’t like alcohol and some religions don’t allow it, which is to them and their prerogative, a lot do and whilst companies such as Guinness or Stella Artois or even Tanqueray are producing drinks that have Zero Percentage Alcohol, what really is the point?
The fact that one drinks the said Guinness, Stella or Gin is to get a wobble on and to take away the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Drink Responsibly and in moderation like everything.
Man City, without KDB, is like a non-alcoholic drink, looks the same, in the same packaging but just lacks something.
That’s exactly how Pep’s High Flying Blues were on Sunday at the Cottage.
Erling Haaland converted a penalty after 4 minutes with the spot-kick awarded 3 minutes earlier.
It was noticeable that the Big Leeds Lad did grab the ball straight away as he wasn’t letting Riyad Mahrez nick another goal off him like in the FA Cup Semi-Final.
Erling didn’t miss this time and scored his 50th goal of the campaign.
Fulham did equalise before Julian Alvarez scored a stunner to give City a lead at the break.
With no further goals in the 2nd-half, Man City held on for the points from a 2-1 scoreline, elevating Pep’s Blues to the summit, with 76 points from 32 fixtures completed.
Arsenal did return to the Top after Tuesday’s victory against Chelsea but then Man City finally started a new Game Week at the summit after the rearranged fixture against West Ham on Wednesday.
Despite David Moyes setting up his Hammers to frustrate Pep’s Blues, a Nathan Ake header at the start of the 2nd-half, Erling’s 51st goal of the campaign and a Phil Foden strike late on, gave Man City the victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
No that’s not a typing error, Erling Haaland has scored 51 goals so far this season, 35 in the Premier League, 4 in the Cups (League and FA) plus 12 Champions League notches.
Thirty-five is also a Premier League record for the season, surpassing Alan Shearer’s and Andy Cole’s tally of 34, which, by the way, came from a 42-fixture campaign before the Premier League was reduced to 20 teams.
Added to that, folk were questioning whether Mr Haaland is good for Man City.
Man City are now clear at the summit with 79 points from 33 games completed.
A point more than Arsenal, who have completed 34 games.
There is the added bonus of a plus+57 goal difference as opposed to Arsenal’s plus+42, which is worth a point in itself.
It’s been mentioned a few times in this EveryTip column that Erling Haaland, although a Norwegian Viking, was actually born in Leeds, West Yorkshire back in 2000.
Erling’s dad Alfe-Inge, was playing for Leeds United at the time and annoying Roy Keane, then signed for Man City just after Young Erling was born.
It’s just a pity that the Big Lad chose Norway to play for instead of England.
‘Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again, Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again.’
It’s quite appropriate doing this column on the 1st of May as there is a Bank Holiday in England referred to as the May Day Holiday, which occurs on the Monday nearest the 1st of May which this year just happens to coincide.
‘Mayday’ is also a distress call, it is recognised internationally as a message calling for help in a time of extreme distress.
As in the fact that Leeds United are currently in extreme distress and are heading for the Championship.
The Leeds hierarchy have sacked Javi Gracia.
The decision was taken on Monday morning to pull the plug on Javi’s reign at Elland Rd, put out the distress call and bring in Red Adair aka Sam Allardyce for the final 4 fixtures to try and secure the place in the Top Flight.
It’s only the fact that there are 3 worse teams than the Whites at the moment that is preventing the West Yorkshire puddings from being in the drop zone.
Patrick Bamford did score when Leeds were trailing by 2-goals to nil against Bournemouth on Saturday but it proved to be just a consolation with the Cherries scoring 2 more and running out easy winners by a 4-1 scoreline.
Following all of the current games, Leeds United slipped to 17th place in the table, with the same 30 points as Leicester, who sit in 16th and Nottingham Forest who occupy the final relegation spot.
Everton have 29 points and sit in 19th place.
It’s probably right to assume that Southampton have gone so it really does look like the other two relegation places are going to be contested between the Toffees, the Tricky Trees, the Foxes and possibly the Hammers, however, West Ham do have 34 points.
West Ham have to face Manchester United, Brentford, Leeds United and Leicester so could be dragged back into the battle.
Including this tough game against Man City at the Etihad, Sam Allardyce and his Assistant, Karl Robinson’s Leeds have to face Newcastle and Tottenham at Elland Rd and as mentioned, West Ham at the London Stadium.
Sam usually brings his trusted General Sammy Lee with him but the ex-Liverpool Right-Back is on Jury Service.
The Jury is out on whether the Whites stay up or go down.
Some of the West Yorkshire puddings are still in Bournemouth trying to find their Kia Sorrento.
Marching On Together (back to the Championship!)
At Elland Rd just after Christmas and the first game back following the World Cup, Pep’s High Flying Blues gained a victory over Jesse’s Whites by a 3-1 away day score.
Roadie Rodri and an Erling Haaland brace gave Man City the points with the Alphabet Man Pascal Struijk scoring a consolation goal for Leeds United.
Betfred offer Man City at Odds On 1/7, the draw at 7/1 and 14/1 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 11/2 that Erling Haaland Scores a Hat-Trick and 7/4 that there are Over 4.5 Goals.
BOURNEMOUTH v CHELSEA
15.00 in England
Bournemouth will be playing Premier League football next season.
It doesn’t seem two minutes ago since Scott Parker’s Cherries had suffered a devastating defeat against Liverpool by a 9 (Nine)-0 score.
Gary O’Neil took temporary charge then following rumours of Marcelo Bielsa heading to the Vitality, the New Owners, who include Adonis Creed (Michael B Jordan) decided that Gary was the main man.
It’s been tough for Mr O’Neil but it was always going to be that way for Bournemouth and for that matter, all of the Bottom 10 teams.
The Premier League of 20, is really a 2-tier set-up, with probably the Top 10 being separated from the Bottom 10 at the beginning of the season.
On Saturday, Bournemouth reached 39 points, the same as today’s opponents, following a victory against Leeds United by a 4-1 scoreline.
Elevating the Cherries up to 13th with 4 games remaining.
Against Leeds, goals from Dominic Solanke, Antoine Semenyo and a brace by Jefferson Lerma gave Bournemouth the cementing victory.
Leeds did score when they were 2 goals down.
Gary O’Neil doesn’t need telling that the hard work starts now in recruiting for next season to try and stay in the Promised Land.
Rocky Balboa is happy, although not given an outing in the latest instalment of the Creed trilogy.
The fixture between Arsenal and Chelsea should have taken place on Saturday the 29th but due to Police interference was delayed until Tuesday the 2nd of May.
The Coronation of King Charles takes place at Westminster Abbey the following Saturday and it had been suggested that several officers were requested to take a day’s leave on the final weekend in April to ensure they were available for duty on May the 6th.
The Metropolitan Police have since revealed that they only wanted to push the kick-off time forward by an hour to ‘help mitigate antisocial behaviour and crime associated with later weekend kick-offs’.
However, the Premier League allegedly rejected that proposal and decided to move the date entirely.
A police statement read,
‘The Metropolitan Police engaged with the Premier League, Arsenal and Islington Council, through a Safety Advisory Group since February, to negotiate an earlier weekend kick-off for the Arsenal v Chelsea football match, when notified of the proposed television scheduling of 17.30 on 29th of April.
This was a preventive and proactive measure to help mitigate Antisocial Behaviour and crime associated with later weekend kick-offs.
The Metropolitan Police suggested an earlier kick-off time on the 29th of April to minimise crime and disorder and the impact on fans, which was declined by the football partners who instead chose to play the fixture on an alternative date.
A new date of Tuesday the 2nd of May at 20.00 has now been agreed.’
Chelsea are just rubbish at the moment and continued the slump against Arsenal on Tuesday, succumbing to a defeat at the Emirates by a 3-1 scoreline.
Noni Madueke scored the Chelsea goal midway through the 2nd-half, however, the damage was already done with Arsenal having already scored 3.
The ex-Gunner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the game but only lasted 45 minutes, touching the ball just 9 times, with 4 of those being kicks from the restart after the goals and the initial kick-off.
The rest of the team chosen by Frank Lampard wasn’t much better and it’s quite apparent that everyone connected with the Stamford Bridge outfit wants the season to finish as soon as possible.
There is still no news of a permanent Manager with the rumour that Mauricio Pochettino is coming in being just that, a rumour.
Obviously, Mauricio doesn’t want to be associated with Chelsea at the present time and why would he?
Once the final fixture against Newcastle is over, it’s more than likely that Mr Pochettino will be announced as the next gaffer of Chelsea.
The Blues sit in 12th place with the same 39 points as today’s hosts, so the winner will be above the loser.
Including this fixture at the Vitality, Chelsea have 5 games remaining.
Bournemouth, Man City and Manchester United away and Nottingham Forest and Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
It’s quite possible that Frank Lampard’s Blues won’t add to the 39-point tally.
Back in the Game Week-17 affair, Chelsea actually gained a victory over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge by a 2-0 scoreline.
Kai Havertz and Mason Mount with the 1st-half goals.
Betfred offer Bournemouth at 5/2, the draw at 5/2 and 21/20 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Dominic Solanke Scores Anytime and 5/1 that Bournemouth Win To Nil.
TOTTENHAM v CRYSTAL PALACE
15.00 in England
The Spurs faithful had to wait until their team were trailing by 3 goals to nil against Liverpool on Sunday before Tottenham started playing.
Last week, Newcastle scored 5 goals before 21 minutes were up on the clock, this week, against Liverpool at Anfield, the home team scored 3 goals before 15 minutes.
Harry Kane then scored to leave Tottenham trailing at the break.
Son Heung-Min added a 2nd before Richarlison scored an equaliser in the 93rd minute that would surely earn Tottenham a point, surely?
Unfortunately not, as Lucas Moura gave a terrible pass that allowed the Liverpool Striker, Diogo Jota to run on and score the winner, with Tottenham ultimately suffering a defeat by a 4-3 scoreline.
Sandwiched in between the losses against Newcastle and Liverpool was a drawn game against Manchester United, which again, saw Tottenham concede 2 goals before starting to play.
Ryan Mason has the tough task of trying to get his players to perform from the first whistle to the last and not give the opposition a start.
Tottenham now drop below Liverpool and Brighton into 7th place with the same 54 points as Aston Villa (8th) both having 4 games remaining and both facing each other in a week.
Going back to what was mentioned in the opening comments of this Game Week-35 Preview and how words, whether spoken or written, are over-scrutinised, there was a bit of absolutely pointless discussion over a comment made by the brilliant Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler in the Liverpool v Tottenham game.
Son Heung-Min, who is South Korean, grappled with Coady Gakpo, which prompted Martin to say that it was like,
Supposedly, fans were outraged, outraged, stating Mr Tyler’s comments were perceived as racist.
Well, girls and boys, the comments are in no way racist!
Stop scrutinising everything that is spoken or put in writing.
Who are these people who take offence at everything?
John Newsome doesn’t know ‘who they are’ but certainly knows ‘what they are’ and that is ‘idiots and imbeciles!’
‘Get A Life!’
Martin Tyler is a National Treasure and John Newsome remembers The Voice from the 1970s when football wasn’t on TV as much as nowadays.
Martin used to commentate on Yorkshire TVs’ The Big Match, which was ITV’s equivalent to the BBC’s Match of the Day, shown on a Sunday afternoon.
Keep on keeping on Mr Tyler!
Crystal Palace continued their fine form under Roy Hodgson by gaining a victory over West Ham at Selhurst Park on Saturday by a 4-3 scoreline.
Goals from Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp and an Eberechi Eze converted penalty, giving Roy’s Eagles the win over David’s Hammers.
Wilfried’s goal was his first since scoring against the Hammers in November.
West Ham did score 3 and it appears a close game but in truth, Crystal Palace were much the better side, however, are susceptible to set pieces, with the Hammer’s goals coming via corners.
That’s something that Roy Hodgson needs to work on and make sure his players don’t concede corners.
Crystal Palace sit in 11th place with the Magical 40 points from 34 games completed.
Roy and his trusted sidekick Ray Lewington have done their job in keeping Palace in the Premier League.
Antonio Conte’s Spurs gained a comfortable away night win over Patrick Vieira’s Eagles at Selhurst Park back in January for the Game Week-19 encounter.
After a goalless 1st-half, Harry Kane scored twice, with Matt Doherty and Son Heung-Min adding 3 and 4 to give Tottenham the victory over Crystal Palace by a 4-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Tottenham at slight Odds On 4/5, the draw at 3/1 and 3/1 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 11/4 that Harry Kane Scores First and 10/3 that Eberechi Eze Scores Anytime.
WOLVES v ASTON VILLA
15.00 in England
Wolves were just awful against Brighton at the Amex on Saturday, succumbing to a defeat by a 6-0 scoreline (Six!)
Four goals before the interval and 2 in the 2nd-half did the damage to Julen Lopetegui’s Gold and Blacks leaving Wolves in 14th place with 37 points from 34 fixtures played.
Aston Villa suffered a rare defeat on Sunday, against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
A single United goal just before the interval was enough to give the home team the victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
That was Villa’s first defeat since the fixture against Arsenal in February, leaving Unai Emery’s Claret and Blues in 8th place with the same 54 points as 7th-placed Tottenham but with a slightly inferior goal difference.
Tottenham have a plus+6, with Villa’s being a plus+4 goal difference, so not many between the two, however, Spurs have scored a lot more but also conceded more.
As mentioned, Tottenham have to come to Villa Park next week, which could decide who plays in Europe on a Thursday Night.
Danny Ings equalised an earlier Daniel Podence goal back in January at Villa Park, to give both a share of the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Danny then swapped his Claret and Blue Villa jersey for a Claret and Blue Hammers shirt.
The two Spanish Managers had already met once this season in a La Liga fixture where Unai’s Villarreal drew against Julen’s Sevilla by the same 1-1 scoreline.
It wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility that a 1-1 scoreline comes up today.
Betfred offer Wolves at 15/8, the draw at 9/4 and 6/4 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/2 that Ruben Neves Scores Anytime and 9/2 that Ollie Watkins Scores First.
LIVERPOOL v BRENTFORD
17.30 in England
Liverpool played in a stunning 7-goal thriller against Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday, gaining the victory by a narrow 4-3 scoreline.
Curtis Jones, Luis Diaz and a Mo Salah converted penalty gave Jurgen’s Reds an early lead with no signs of what was to come.
Tottenham reduced the deficit to 3-1 just before the break, before scoring twice to level with the final whistle about to blow.
Luckily for the Anfield Rappers in attendance, Diogo Jota scored the winner in the 94th minute, 90 seconds after the Spurs equaliser, to leapfrog Liverpool above Tottenham, into 5th place.
Jurgen’s Reds then took on Fulham at Anfield on Wednesday evening.
Mo Salah converted a penalty at the end of the 1st-half to give the home team a lead at the break.
With no further goals, Jurgen’s Reds held on for the victory over Marco’s Cottagers by a 1-0 score.
Liverpool now have 59 points, 5 more than Tottenham and Aston Villa, all having completed 34 fixtures.
Aston Villa do have to visit Anfield in the penultimate game of the campaign.
That said, it’s now Brighton who are on the coattails of Liverpool, with the Seagulls now 6th in the table, with 55 points, however, have only completed 32 fixtures, not the 34 Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa have.
Brentford registered back-to-back victories on Saturday, gaining all 3 points from the fixture against Nottingham Forest at the GTech Stadium.
After conceding a goal on the stroke of half-time to trail at the break, late goals from Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva earned the Bees the victory over the Tricky Trees by a 2-1 score.
Brentford sit in 9th place with 50 points from 34 games played.
A superb return for Thomas Frank’s team.
That was Ivan Toney’s 20th goal of a brilliant season.
Well done Mr T!
Brentford gained the victory over Liverpool in the Game Week-19 fixture back in January at the GTech Stadium.
The unfortunate Liverpool Defender Ibrahima Konate was credited with the Bees’ opening goal.
Yoane Wissa added a 2nd, just before the interval.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled a goal back for the away team before Bryan Mbeumo rounded off the scoring to give Thomas Frank’s Bees the victory over Jurgen Klopp’s Reds by a 3-1 scoreline.
Betfred offer Liverpool at Odds On 4/9, the draw at 4/1 and 5/1 for Brentford to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/2 that Mo Salah Scores First and 9/5 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- David De Gea- Manchester United
RIGHT-BACK- Kieran Trippier- Newcastle
CENTRE-BACK- Lewis Dunk- Brighton
CENTRE-BACK- John Stones- Man City
LEFT-BACK- Oleksandr Zinchenko- Arsenal
MIDFIELDER- Deniz Undav- Brighton
MIDFIELDER- Pascal Gross- Brighton
MIDFIELDER- Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United
FORWARD- Jamie Vardy- Leicester
FORWARD- Callum Wilson- Newcastle
FORWARD- Danny Welbeck- Brighton
STAR MAN- John Stones- Man City
NEWCASTLE v ARSENAL
16.30 in England
What a great fixture to watch with a post-Coronation hangover that not many folk in the country have seen two of.
Coronations that is!
Only the folk aged 70-plus will have seen Liz’s bash back in February 1952 and let’s be honest, a lot of those won’t remember the day, bless them.
Newcastle come into this Sunday Session against Arsenal off the back of their 8th victory from the last 10 games, the other 2 being surprising defeats.
Twenty-four points from a possible 30, with only Man City having a better record over the last 10 fixtures.
Against Southampton at St James Park, last Sunday, the Saints scored first to lead at the break, however, Eddie Howe must have got into his boys in the dressing room as the Magpies came out stronger in the 2nd-half.
Callum Wilson, who was introduced as a substitute for the restart equalised within 10 minutes of coming on.
The unfortunate Saints star, Theo Walcott turned past his own Goalkeeper before Callum scored his 2nd and Newcastle’s 3rd to gain the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
Newcastle sit in 3rd with 65 points, a place and 13 points adrift of today’s opponents but virtually guaranteed a Champions League spot, with just the ‘i’ to be dotted and the ‘ons’ crossed to cement the European tour next season.
Get those Passports renewed Toon Army!
Newcastle face Arsenal, Brighton and Leicester at home, with trips to face Leeds United and Chelsea in the remaining 5 games left.
Arsenal temporarily jumped back to the summit of the Premier League table following the easy victory against Chelsea at the Emirates on Tuesday.
Two 1st-half goals by Martin Odegaard and a Gabriel Jesus strike gave Mikel’s Young Guns the lead at the break.
Frank Lampard’s Limpy Lionel’s did pull a goal back in the 2nd-half but in truth never troubled the team that are second-best in the Premier League this season.
As mentioned, Arsenal had swapped places with Man City following City’s victory against Fulham on Saturday, however, only sat at the top for 24 hours until Pep’s High Flying Blues got the win against West Ham on Wednesday, which leaves Arsenal in 2nd place where it’s more than likely the Gunners will stay for the remainder of the campaign.
Man City play first this weekend so Arsenal could be 4 points adrift come kick-off at St James Park.
Arsenal’s final 4 fixtures are away trips to face Newcastle and Nottingham Forest, then Brighton and finally Wolves at the Emirates.
Despite being at the summit for so long and then coming 2nd, the Gooners faithful should be extremely proud of their Young Guns.
The surprise in the reverse fixture back at the Emirates in January was that neither team could find the back of the net, resulting in a draw by a 0-0 score.
John Newsome is sticking his neck out and predicting that there should (will) be goals today to celebrate King Charles 111s first official day in charge.
Betfred offer Newcastle at 7/5, the draw at 11/4 and 13/8 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/2 that Alexander Isak Scores First and 7/5 that Gabriel Jesus Scores Anytime.
WEST HAM v MANCHESTER UNITED
19.00 in England
The David Moyes Derby, as absolutely nobody is referring this game to.
Check out the timing of this fixture, 7.00 PM on a Sunday evening in England, which has got to be better than watching Call The Midwife, or the horrendous Great British Bake Off, where folk end up in tears because their Victoria Sponge has a soggy bottom.
West Ham have completed 2 games this week, succumbing to defeats against Crystal Palace on Saturday and Man City on Wednesday.
At Selhurst Park, goals from Tomas Soucek, Michail Antonio and Nayef Aguerd weren’t enough to prevent the loss with Palace scoring 4 to give Roy Hodgson’s Men the victory over David Moyes Boys by a 4-3 scoreline.
It was then another away game, this time a long trip up North to the Etihad to face Man City.
David Moyes did set up his Bubbles to frustrate City but the 3 goals scored by the home team in the 2nd-half were enough to see the 3rd defeat in succession and the 2nd in the space of 4 days.
Following the defeat against City on Wednesday, the Hammers sit in 15th place with 34 points from 34 games completed.
West Ham’s remaining fixtures are Manchester United and Leeds United at the London Stadium and Leicester and Brentford away.
Added to those is a 2 legged affair against AZ Alkmaar in the Semi-Final of the Europa Conference League.
Ones forever blowing Bubbles.
Bruno Fernandes scored the only goal of the game against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday, giving United the victory over Villa by a 1-0 score.
It was then a long trip South to face Brighton at the Amex on Thursday, with the game finishing in the same manner as the FA Cup Semi-Final, that being with a penalty as the last kick.
However, this time there wasn’t a penalty shootout, it was by way of a Luke Shaw handball that the referee Andre Marriner, didn’t originally see but the dreaded VAR did and rightly awarded Brighton a spot-kick.
Unfortunately, for the travelling Red Devils it was a handball and it was a correct decision.
The converted penalty meant Manchester United suffered a defeat by a 1-0 scoreline.
Manchester United sit in 4th place with 63 points from 33 games completed.
Liverpool sit just below with 59 points but have a better goal difference.
United have a game in hand, which would mean that Erik The Reds team have to suffer 3 defeats in the remaining 5 to miss out on a Champions League spot.
At Old Trafford for the Game Week-14 affair back in October 2022, a single Marcus Rashford goal, just before the half-time cup of tea, gave Manchester United the victory over West Ham by a 1-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer West Ham at 9/4, the draw at 13/5 and 11/10 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 11/4 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime and 9/5 that Manchester United Score in Both Halves.
FULHAM v LEICESTER
15.00 in England
Fulham have hit a bit of a brick wall of late succumbing to 7 defeats in the last 9 fixtures, with 2 victories thrown in between.
Six points gained, from a possible 27, have seen Marco’s Cottagers slip to 10th in the table with 45 points from 34 games played.
This week, Fulham have suffered a defeat against Man City at the Etihad by a 2-1 scoreline and a loss against Liverpool at Anfield by a 1-0 score.
Two decent displays that did result in a narrow loss, however, the 2 were still a defeat on the record.
Marco Silva wasn’t happy with the award of the penalty at Anfield that ultimately cost Fulham at least a point.
Aleksandar Mitrovic serves the last of the 8 game ban today so should be back for the remaining 3 fixtures against Southampton, Crystal Palace and ironically Manchester United, the team Big Mit was playing against when the indiscretion occurred with the referee Chris Kavanagh.
Take it easy Aleksandar!
Leicester gained a point against Everton on Monday Night Football, with the game at the King Power Stadium ending in a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop was happy!
After conceding a penalty early on in proceedings that was converted by the Everton Striker and Sheffield Superstar 2, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the original Sheffield Superstar, Jamie Vardy, did what Jimmy V does and scored a superb equaliser, rounding Jordan Pickford and slotting home into an empty net.
Leicester were then awarded a penalty themselves but the surprise in that is the excellent Mr Vardy was overruled by James Maddison who took a shocker of a spot-kick and just chipped the ball into Jordan’s hands.
Apparently, JP had instructions on his water bottle that read,
‘James Maddison-Down The Middle’
‘Jamie Vardy-Back Of The Onion’
If only the original Man of Steel had taken the kick, Leicester may have gained all 3 points, however, the Toffees scored a 2nd themselves to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.
The point gained leaves Leicester in 16th with the same 30 points as Leeds United and Nottingham Forest and a point more than Everton.
Leicester do have the better goal difference of the 3 teams on 30 points, by a considerable margin.
Leicester- Scored 46 and Conceded 59 (minus-13).
Leeds United- Scored 43 and Conceded 67 (minus-24).
Nottingham Forest- Scored 30 and conceded 52 (minus-22).
The Foxes’ remaining fixtures are Fulham and Newcastle away and Liverpool and West Ham at the King Power Stadium.
It should be a great run-in for all of the bottom 6 clubs, with 4 vying for a place in next season’s Promised Land and 2 (along with Southampton) heading for the Championship and trips to Plymouth, Ipswich and quite possibly Barnsley.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the only goal of the game back in January at the King Power giving Marco Silva’s Fulham the home victory over Brendan Rodgers Leicester by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Fulham at 8/5, the draw at 12/5 and 8/5 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/1 that Andreas Pereira Scores First and 7/4 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime.
BRIGHTON v EVERTON
17.30 in England
Brighton smashed Wolves at the Amex on Saturday, gaining a brilliant victory by a 6-0 scoreline.
Deniz Undav, Danny Welbeck and Pascal Gross all scored 2 goals to give Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls the win.
Following that fixture at the Amex, Brighton then hosted Manchester United on Thursday.
With the scores level at 0-0, an in-swinging corner saw the United Defender Luke Shaw, slam dunk the ball, reminiscent of Koby Bryant, to gift the Seagulls a penalty.
World Cup Winner Alexis Mac Allister superbly converted and that was that, a brilliant last gasp winner giving Brighton the victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
Brighton sit in 6th place with 55 points, however, have only played 32 games, not the 33 and 34 that the other teams around have completed.
Everton gained a great point from the Monday Night Football against Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
In a relegation 6 pointer, neither could advance with the game finishing in a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop was happy.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted an early penalty before Leicester scored twice.
On the stroke of half-time, the hosts had the opportunity to increase the lead when awarded a penalty of their own.
Fortunately, Jordan Pickford had done his homework on the Foxes spot-kick taker, James Maddison, even having instructions written on a water bottle.
James kicked the ball straight down the middle, which is what Jordan expected and simply grasped the ball into his arms.
Alex Iwobi scored an equaliser just after the interval and with no further goals, both teams shared the points.
That’s Everton’s 4th draw from the last 7 fixtures with the other 3 being defeats, meaning just 4 points accrued from a possible 21.
Everton sit in 19th place with 29 points, 1 adrift of Nottingham Forest, Leicester and Leeds United who all have 30.
The Toffees’ remaining 4 fixtures are against Brighton and Wolves on the road and Man City and Bournemouth at Goodison Park.
Good luck Sean Dyche!
Kaoru Mitoma scored first when these two teams met at Goodison Park in January, to give Brighton a lead at the break.
Evan Ferguson, Solly March and Pascal Gross then scored to take the game away from Frank Lampard’s Everton and give Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton the away day victory by a 4-1 scoreline.
Demarai Gray converted a late penalty to score a consolation for the Toffees before the Seagulls flew off to face up against the Liver Birds.
Betfred offer Brighton at Odds On 1/3, the draw at 4/1 and 15/2 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer that 15/8 Alexis Mac Allister Scores Anytime and 6/5 that Brighton Win To Nil.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST v SOUTHAMPTON
20.00 in England
Nottingham Forest scored first against Brentford at the GTech Stadium on Saturday, with Danilo slotting home on the stroke of half-time.
However, 2 late goals from the home team saw another defeat for Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees to leave Forest in the Bottom Three, with 30 points from 34 games played.
Leeds United and Leicester, who are above Nottingham Forest, also have 30 points so there is still time, however, games are running out with just 4 remaining.
The final 4 Forest fixtures are Southampton and Arsenal at the City Ground and Chelsea and Crystal Palace away.
Southampton suffered their 6th defeat in the last 9 games on Saturday with the others being draws, 3 points from a possible 27 leaves the Saints at the foot of the table with 24 points from 34 fixtures completed.
That’s now 6 points from safety with 4 games remaining, which, although not mathematically confirmed, it does look like Southampton are heading for the Championship.
Stuart Armstrong scored the opener at St James Park on Sunday but 3 Newcastle goals after the break, gave the home team the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
It would mean that all of Everton, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Leicester have to lose at least 3 of their remaining 4 and Southampton win all 4 for the chance to stay up, taking goal difference into account too.
It’s not going to happen and the Saints, whoever is in charge will be playing Championship football next season.
Southampton face Nottingham Forest and Brighton on their travels and Fulham and Liverpool at St Mary’s.
Taiwo Awoniyi scored the solitary winning goal for Nottingham Forest at St Mary’s back in January to give the Tricky Trees the victory over the Saints by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Nottingham Forest at 21/20, the draw at 12/5 and 13/5 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Brennan Johnson Scores First and 5/2 that James Ward-Prowse Scores Anytime.
Saturday 18th April 1998
BARNSLEY v TOTTENHAM
15.00 in England
This game, although 25 years ago, still lives long in the memory of the Red and White Army, as the outcome could have changed the whole direction of the season for Barnsley.
It was the usual pre-match routine of donning the jeans, the Adidas Gazelle’s and the Barnsley shirt, a splash of Aramis and a Bus ride into Town for a few beers and the usual chat regarding the visit of those Tottenham boys and girls.
The Super Reds had already inflicted a defeat on Spurs at Oakwell in the FA Cup a couple of months earlier so were not phased on the day, knowing that Barnsley weren’t afraid of the established Premier League team.
To reiterate a constant point, there weren’t any Smartphones back in 1998, no Apps or Social Media platforms, just a few folk who had a Motorola or Nokia, so the girls and boys just met up in the pub hoping someone else would be knocking about.
After a few beers, it was a steady walk up the hill to Oakwell, calling at Sailor Syds for a Quarter of Midget Gems.
No doubt the PC brigade will have those changed to a different name in the near future.
Vertically Challenged Jelly Items.
JB is sticking with Midget Gems!
Danny Wilson sent out the following legends for this crucial game,
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Darren Barnard, Arjan De Zeeuw, Adie Moses, Scott Jones, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Eric Tinkler, Jan Age Fjortoft and Ashley Ward.
John Hendrie for Scott Jones 76th Minute
Clint Marcelle for Eric Tinkler 88th Minute
Christian Gross chose the following LilyWhites,
Ian Walker, Colin Calderwood, Sol Campbell, Stephen Carr, Ramon Vega, Nicola Berti, Ruel Fox, David Ginola, Allan Nielsen, Les Ferdinand and Jurgen Klinsmann.
Chris Armstrong for Jurgen Klinsmann 46th Minute
Darren Anderton for Les Ferdinand 70th Minute
Martin Bullock had terrorised Sol Campbell in the FA Cup tie and took that brilliant form into this Premier League game, once again, running the England Centre Back ragged to create the opening goal for Neil Redfearn, midway through the 1st-half.
Jurgen Klinsmann had spent the night in the Barnsley General Hospital when the German visited Oakwell for the FA Cup tie.
Mr Klinsmann couldn’t make an impact in this game and was taken off by Christian Gross at half-time, with the Swiss Manager sending on Chris Armstrong.
Coincidentally, Christian’s middle name is Jurgen.
Tottenham scored an equaliser just after the restart.
When one peruses the Tottenham lineup, it might come as a surprise to know that the goal scorer was Colin Calderwood.
The away team then had Ramon Vega sent off for a Professional Foul on Ashley Ward.
Basically, Ramon, hauled down Ash as the lad was in on goal.
Barnsley now had 25 minutes with a man advantage to try and get a vital victory.
However, it was the 10 men who were the better side and in truth, if it wasn’t for some fine saves by David Watson, the Super Reds could have easily suffered a defeat on the day.
As it turned out, neither could score another goal with the game ending in a draw by a 1-1 score.
Barnsley had faced Tottenham four times that season, with a record of,
Barnsley- 1 Win, 1 Loss and 2 Draws.
Tottenham- 1 Win, 1 Loss and 2 Draws.
Although the record is identical, it probably would be the Tottenham faithful who were the happiest with the Win and a Draw coming in the Premier League games.
Those 4 points, effectively kept Spurs in the Promised Land.
If one looks at the Premier League table below, it shows Tottenham having 37 points and Barnsley having 35, with 3 fixtures remaining.
Barnsley needed to gain all 3 points on that Saturday afternoon in April 1998 to stand a chance of survival.
As it turned out, 3 would have given the Super Reds 37 points, 3 short of 40, which Bolton achieved but were still relegated.
Everton also had 40 but stayed up on goal difference.
Both Everton and Bolton scored 41 goals, however, the Toffees conceded 56 as opposed to the Trotters conceding 61.
On the last day of the 1997/98 Premier League campaign, Everton went into proceedings with 39 points and sat in the final relegation place.
Crystal Palace had 33 points, were bottom and already relegated.
Barnsley had 35 points and were also already down, however, Everton faced Coventry at Goodison Park and needed at least a point and hope Bolton, who were out of the drop zone on 40 points, suffer a defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Newcastle, Tottenham, Wimbledon and Sheffield Wednesday all finished the campaign with 44 points.
At the final whistle of a scintillating season, Bolton did suffer a defeat against Chelsea by a 2-0 scoreline and Everton gained that valuable point against Coventry from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Meaning, the Toffees and the Trotters swapped places and the 3 teams they were promoted to the Premier League a year before, were all heading back to the Championship.
Bolton did return for the 2001/02 Premier League campaign, ironically also finishing with 40 points, however, this time staying up, with 36 points the relegation tally.
Crystal Palace had to wait 6 seasons before getting back to the Top Flight but only managed one year and were relegated, coincidentally with 33 points again.
Barnsley have never managed to return to the Promised Land and spent just that beautiful year between August 1997 and May 1998, rubbing shoulders with the elite of English Football.
Following the draw against Tottenham, the Barnsley boys and girls headed back into Town for a few post-match beverages, with talk of,
‘That Ginola’s rubbish!’
No one believed that as David is a legend and simply sublime on the football pitch but it was just comforting words to take away the pain of knowing that one’s idols were heading back to the Championship with future trips to Bradford, Crewe, Tranmere, Stockport, Grimsby and Bury.
Can one believe, those six historic great teams were in the Championship back in 1998?
Bradford City were actually promoted to the Premier League following the 1998/99 campaign.
Now five of those clubs are languishing in the Fourth Division or League Two in new money, with the unfortunate Bury not even being in existence anymore.
Barnsley have achieved a Play-off spot in League One this season, with the chance to get back to the Championship and will face either Bolton or Derby in the Semi-Final.
The conversation in the Pub continued well into the night and the usual dilemma of home or the Night Club came to the fore.
It was a slow dance with the opposition, whispering in her ear, whilst smooching to Alexander O’Neil,
‘So anyway love, that David Ginola is rubbish!’
‘Another half of Cider?’
The Sunday morning routine was the same, pushing the new Youth on a swing in Locke Park for 2 hours before a nice dinner at Joan and Malc’s and an afternoon nap.
Then it was another night in Barnsley Town Centre with the Stick Thrower, Ilkleys Newest resident and the Little Fat Fella before going back to the grind on Monday morning, singing the Boomtown Rats tune, knowing there were just 3 Premier League games remaining, with 2 of those being at home.
Those were the days!
15-Newcastle 40 pts (minus-8 goals)
16-Everton 39 pts (minus-9 goals)
17-Tottenham 37 pts (minus-18 goals)
18-Barnsley 35 pts (minus-40 goals)
19-Bolton 34 pts (minus-23 goals)
20-Crystal Palace 29 pts (minus-29 goals)
A couple of weeks back it was mentioned that the Scottish FA Cup had reached the Semi-Final stage and threw up the ties of Celtic v Rangers and Falkirk v Inverness.
Having been bombarded with messages from the loveable OzScot Down-under, informing one that Rangers were definitely going to win,
‘I am absolutely convinced mate, 2-1 Rangers, lump on!’
It wasn’t much of a surprise when Rangers suffered another defeat against their bitter Glasgow Rivals Celtic.
So the Blue half of the City will finish the season Trophy wise, with the same as what’s in John Newsome’s Bank Account.
Celtic have played Rangers 5 times this season and have 4 wins and a draw on the record.
Due to the way the Scottish Premier League arrange the final 5 games of the campaign, there is a 6th meeting between the two Glasgow Giants coming up on the 13th of May.
Which is significant really because it will be ‘unlucky for some!’
The ‘some’ are Braveheart and Lad over in Melbourne and the rest of the Teddy Bears.
Celtic have 92 points and Rangers have 79 points in the Pub League both with 5 games remaining.
This basically means the Green and White Hoops will be crowned Champions of Scotland on Sunday if a victory against Hearts (who?) is achieved.
Which is ironic really considering it’s the King’s Coronation this weekend.
One won’t expand on that statement.
The loveable OzScot and Boy will be up and spinning around for the procession around the Green End of Glasgow.
Rangers have finally recorded a victory over Celtic this campaign with the Teddy Bear Women inflicting a defeat on the Green and White Hula Hoops on Thursday evening by a 1-0 scoreline.
Probably the best thing about the Scottish Women’s Pub League is the leaders are another Glasgow outfit called Glasgow City.
So similar to the Men’s Pub League, the Women’s SPL is now split into a 2 x 6 Team League which includes Glasgow City, Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic, with the Edinburgh Ladies of Hearts (who?) and Hibernian (who?) as well as the Women of Partick Thistle (who?).
Partick is a suburb of Glasgow.
Not far to travel for the Young Female Rascals.
In the relegation group, the bottom team are just called Glasgow Women, whose record this season is currently,
Played 28, Won-0, Drew-0 and Lost 28, scoring 8 goals and conceding 137.
The rumour that this club is really the Rangers Men’s team in disguise needs to be put to bed right now or Braveheart/Kylie has threatened to Stop Spinning Around!