The highlight games for the next set of EPL matches are ARSENAL versus BRIGHTON and LEICESTER versus LIVERPOOL. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 36 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 of these fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-18 that took place over the 2022/23 Old/New Year period.
Before one starts this Preview John Newsome just wants to mention that exactly 15 Year’s ago to the Day, on the 13th of May 2008, the World lost a beautiful woman, this EveryTip contributor’s loving Mum, Joan.
There will be a few drinks partaken on Saturday evening, by Tracy, Jane and John, in memory of Our Joanie.
Fifteen years gone in a flash.
God Bless You Mum xxx
LEEDS UNITED v NEWCASTLE
12.30 in England
‘Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again, Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again.’
Big Sam Allardyce, who compares himself with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, bless him, oversaw an opening day defeat against Man City on Saturday by a 2-1 score.
In truth, although the scoreline looks close, the actual game wasn’t.
If it had been a Boxing Match, the referee would have stopped the fight at half-time.
Rodrigo did score a late consolation that made the final 5 minutes or so interesting but 2 earlier goals by Man City, ultimately cost Sam’s Whites the game.
Leeds were never expected to gain a victory at the Etihad so, in theory, it was a free hit for Mr Allardyce, however, this game against Newcastle will be just as tough.
The strange situation regarding bringing Sam Allardyce to Elland Rd is Leeds United could actually lose all 4 of the games the Big Lad is in charge of and still be relegated costing the club a lot of money.
Apparently, Big Sam is set to get £500,000 for the 4 games, regardless of the results, plus another £2.5 Million if successful in keeping Leeds up.
Not bad that, better than putting a pound on the Lotto Thunderball and having a 1 in 8 Million chance of winning £500,000.
Following all of the Game Week-35 results, Leeds sit in 19th place with 30 points.
The remaining 3 fixtures are this one against Newcastle, away against West Ham and a final home game at Elland Rd against Tottenham.
It’s quite conceivable that those 3 games won’t reap many points, however, probably the game to target is away at the London Stadium, as the Hammers will have just finished their 2-legged tie against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League and due to West Ham now being safe, if successful in that competition, David Moyes Boys might not be on song against the ex-Hammers gaffer Sam Allardyce.
That’s for the future, for now, the Whites are preparing for the visit from Newcastle.
A few of the West Yorkshire puddings could miss this fixture as some are still in Manchester at the Trafford Centre, thinking it’s a Train Station and can’t understand why Miss Selfridges don’t actually sell fridges.
Marching On Together!
Newcastle head to Elland Rd, which is the closest Premier League ground to St James Park, to face Leeds United off the back of a defeat against Arsenal on Sunday.
Eddie’s Magpies couldn’t take advantage of the Toon Army’s backing at St James Park, succumbing to a home loss against Mikel’s Title Chasing Young Guns, by a 2-0 score.
That leaves Newcastle in 3rd place with 65 points from 34 games played.
It was assumed that Manchester United would leapfrog Newcastle into 3rd following the later game on Sunday between United and West Ham.
However, Erik’s White and Black Devils put in a lacklustre performance and suffered a defeat themselves, meaning the Magpies stay in 3rd with 65, United are 4th with 63 points, Liverpool are 5th with 62, Tottenham are 6th with 57 and Brighton are 7th with 55 points.
This is the scenario for whom gets the remaining 2 Champions League places.
Newcastle face Leeds United and Chelsea away and Brighton and Leicester at St James Park, meaning a total tally of 77 points can be achieved.
Manchester United take on Bournemouth away but significantly face Wolves, Chelsea and Fulham at Old Trafford with a possible tally of 75 points.
Liverpool have games against Aston Villa at Anfield, plus Leicester and Southampton away, meaning, if victories are achieved in all 3, then the end tally will be 71 points.
Tottenham face Brentford at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, as well as Aston Villa and Leeds United on their travels, giving a total of 66 points if 3 victories are gained.
Brighton are the interesting ones as although the Seagulls are currently sitting in 7th place, Roberto De Zerbi’s men have fixtures against Arsenal, Newcastle and Aston Villa away from home, plus Southampton and Man City at the Amex.
It’s an unlikely scenario but just for argument’s sake, say Brighton did achieve 5 victories from those remaining games, it would give the Seagulls 70 points.
It would also equate to Newcastle’s final tally being 3 points less as only one of the two can gain a victory when the two face each other.
Added to all that are Aston Villa, who will have a bearing on the teams above them having to face Liverpool, Tottenham and Brighton in their final 3 fixtures.
The Premier League title race is between Man City and Arsenal, with both now being confirmed as the Winners and 2nd place, it’s just a matter of which place either team wants.
The extra excitement from this campaign is who will finish 3rd and 4th, plus who will be playing on Thursday Night Football.
If Man City win this year’s Champions League it will mean the Top Four only play in the Champions League next season, regardless of City’s Premier League position.
The team who finishes in 5th place will be in the Europa League Group Stage, they are not given City’s place for winning the Title and Champions League.
This season’s FA Cup winners will get a place in the Europa League Group Stage, however, as the Finalists are the 2 Manchester clubs, if both finish in the Top Five, that Europa League place will go to the team that finishes 6th.
Added to that the Carabao Cup Winners gain entry into the Europa Conference League, however, if one remembers, Manchester United won that trophy so that place will go to the team who finish 7th.
So as it stands at the moment, the European places for next season are,
West Ham **if successful in the Europa Conference League**
Europa Conference League-
If West Ham do win the Europa Conference League this season, then the Hammers gain automatic entry into the Europa League, so 8 English teams can be in next season’s European Competitions, however, that is not based on League position.
The team who finish in 8th place in the Premier League will not qualify for Europe.
One hopes that clears that up.
At St James Park, on New Year’s Eve, both teams were more excited about the pending celebrations than football, as neither could find the back of the net, with the game finishing in a draw by a 0-0 score.
Betfred offer Leeds United at 18/5, the draw at 16/5 and Odds On 4/6 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Callum Wilson Scores First and 6/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
ASTON VILLA v TOTTENHAM
15.00 in England
After a string of 10 games unbeaten with 8 wins and 2 draws, Aston Villa have now suffered back-to-back defeats, the latest being against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.
What was always going to be a tight affair between the 2 Midland teams that have the ex-La Liga Managers in charge, Wolves got the points from a narrow 1-0 scoreline.
That leaves Aston Villa in 8th place, with 54 points from 35 games played.
As mentioned, the result in Villa’s 3 remaining fixtures will have a bearing on where the 3 teams immediately above will finish.
Unai’s Claret and Blues have to face Tottenham and Brighton at Villa Park and Liverpool at Anfield.
Tottenham finally registered a victory under Ryan Mason on Saturday, with Spurs inflicting a defeat on Crystal Palace by a narrow 1-0 scoreline.
Harry Kane with the solitary winning goal on the stroke of half-time.
Tottenham remain in 6th place with 57 points from 35 games completed.
As well as this tough trip to Villa Park, Spurs have a penultimate game against Brentford at home and then a final fixture against Leeds United away at Elland Rd, which could potentially send Sam’s Whites down.
There’s no news of a permanent Manager yet but no doubt a few contenders will emerge over the next few weeks.
Goals from Emiliano Buendia and Douglas Luiz gave Aston Villa the away day victory by a 2-0 score back at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at 6/5, the draw at 13/5 and 21/10 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Ollie Watkins Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Harry Kane Scores Anytime.
CHELSEA v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
15.00 in England
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea actually gained a victory on Saturday, the first since Big Frank returned to Stamford Bridge just over a month ago.
Goals from Conor Gallagher, Benoit Badiashile and Joao Felix gave Franks Blues the victory over Gary O’Neil’s Cherries by a 3-1 away day score.
Bournemouth had equalised Conor’s opener.
The valuable win gives Chelsea 42 points, leaving the Blues in 11th place with 4 games remaining.
Those fixtures are against both the Manchester clubs, at the Etihad and Old Trafford, within the space of 4 days so it’s more than likely that the Chelsea faithful will have a nice holiday in Manchester’s Sunshi-iiine.
Bookended between those Manc games are Nottingham Forest and Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
Today’s opponents Nottingham Forest got the victory from a brilliant 7-goal thriller against Southampton at the City Ground on Monday Night Football.
The goals going in as follows,
18’ Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest)
21’ Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest)
25’ Carlos Alcaraz (Southampton)
44’ Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest)
Half-Time Pork Scratchings.
51’ Lyanco (Southampton)
73’ Danilo (Nottingham Forest)
90+6’ James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Full-Time Guinness and Black
The brilliant much-needed victory by a 4-3 scoreline, lifts Forest out of the drop zone up to 16th with 33 points from 35 games played.
The Tricky Trees remaining 3 fixtures are this one away at Stamford Bridge, plus a trip to Selhurst Park for the final match.
Sandwiched in between is the small matter of a home game against Arsenal at the City Ground.
Steve Cooper could easily achieve a victory against the Flip Flop Eagles so will want to be in contention to stay up, come that final fixture on the 28th of May.
As U2 once warbled,
‘All is quiet on New Year’s Day!’
It was a bit like that when Graham Potter’s Blue Wizards travelled to the City Ground at the beginning of the year, with a Serge Aurier goal for Forest cancelling out an earlier Raheem Sterling strike to give both the New Year points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Betfred offer Chelsea at Odds On 4/9, the draw at 7/2 and 13/2 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Kai Havertz Scores First and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
CRYSTAL PALACE v BOURNEMOUTH
15.00 in England
As is the usual case with Crystal Palace, the Eagles embark on their Summer Holidays with the final few fixtures remaining as usually safe from relegation and have no chance of a European place.
Roy’s Boys succumbed to a defeat against Ryan’s Rebels on Saturday with Tottenham getting the victory over Crystal Palace by a 1-0 scoreline.
Whilst it would be unkind to suggest the players had one flip-flop on the sands, it’s rumoured Wilfried Zaha arrived at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium armed with an Eagle Lilo and Factor 15 Ambre Solaire.
Palace sit in 12th place with the same 40 points as Wolves, both safe now with 3 games remaining, this fixture against Bournemouth and then a final game at Selhurst Park against Nottingham Forest, added to those a short trip to Craven Cottage sandwiched in between.
Where are those sunglasses?
Bournemouth, sitting in 14th place with 39 points, whilst technically, not mathematically safe, are safe.
It would take all sorts of connotations and bizarre results to make a team on 39 points get relegated.
Matias Vina scored to equalise an earlier Chelsea goal at the Vitality but 2 further Blues goals meant Gary O’Neil’s Cherries suffered a defeat against Frank Lampard’s Blues by a 3-1 score.
Bournemouth face Palace and Everton on the road and Manchester United at the Vitality.
The Everton fixture is the final game of the campaign that could see the Toffees relegated.
Patrick Vieira’s Eagles gained a great away day victory over Gary O’Neil’s Cherries at the Vitality on New Year’s Eve.
Jordan Ayew and Eberechi Eze with the 1st-half goals to give Crystal Palace the win by a 2-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Crystal Palace at slight Odds On 9/10, the draw at 13/5 and 3/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Wilfried Zaha Scores First and 9/5 that Crystal Palace Score in Both Halves.
MANCHESTER UNITED v WOLVES
15.00 in England
A rare 3.00 PM outing at Old Trafford for Manchester United and the Red Devils faithful.
There haven’t been many rants about Manchester United of late, due to the club just being the same as for the past 10 years.
Sir Alex Ferguson won the 2012/13 Premier League Title and then gracefully retired, leaving the club in the hands of David Moyes.
It’s fair to say the great club have gone downhill from there, granted David’s not to blame but is part of the decline in the Old Trafford outfit.
Instead of coming in, grabbing a deckchair and a Cee-gar and saying to the staff who had just won the Premier League Title,
‘Crack on lads!’
Mr Moyes got rid of Rene Meulensteen and Mike Phelan and brought in his own team.
Granted, that was David’s prerogative but bringing in The Hair, also known as Marouane Fellaini, was the beginning of the end.
David Moyes lasted 8 months at Old Trafford and in the Scots lads’ final fixture, ironically against Everton, Mr Moyes suffered a defeat by a 2-0 scoreline.
United eventually finished 7th in the 2013/14 season.
It was then Louis Van Gaal, who elevated United up to a 4th and 5th placed finish in the 2014/15 and 15/16 campaigns respectively.
Added to that Manchester United won the FA Cup at the end of the 2015/16 season under the Dutch Legend.
The Dutch Legend, Louis Van Gaal was then sacked, whilst still holding the FA Cup aloft and replaced by the enigmatic Jose Mourinho for the 2016/17, 17/18 and the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
The Portuguese Man won a Europa League Trophy and a Carabao Cup triumph, whilst finishing 6th and 2nd respectively in the Premier League.
It was then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s turn.
Jose, by the way, could be heading to France this summer to oversee Paris Saint Germain.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won the Manchester United Manager Competition where one had to write the answers on a postcard and post it to Old Trafford.
The problem with that, if the answer was Ole Gunnar, what was the question?
OGS was in charge of Manchester United for the remainder of the 2018/19 season, all of 2019/20 and 2020/21, helping United to finish 6th, 3rd and 2nd.
Following the poor start to the 2021/22 campaign, Ole was down the concrete and apart from the 2nd placed finish in a Coronavirus-affected season, won exactly nothing in the way of Trophies.
The Norwegian did oversee a Runners-Up medal in the Europa League but like Jose previously, kept choosing Fred and Scott McTominay in the team.
Just saying as everyone one knows the mantra of,
‘United won’t win anything with Fred and Scott’ is over, as United won the Carabao Cup this season.
Absolutely brilliant for everyone connected with the Old Trafford outfit.
The Energy Drink Cup!
The Noisy Neighbours on the Blue Side of Manchester are jealous as anything,
A serious question by John Newsome and this EveryTip column, under Erik Ten Hag, have Manchester United improved since, Ralph Rangnick, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal and David Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson?
The answer is subjective and for others to decide, however, it’s perceived Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal have improved over the past 10 years, have Manchester United?
Granted Chelsea have had a bad season but that’s mainly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and politics, not necessarily down to Football.
Tottenham are just Tottenham and won’t win the Premier League anytime soon.
Liverpool are an ageing team but are finishing the campaign strongly and Jurgen Klopp will have his new boys there or there about next season.
Arsenal are like those new boys who are promoted, the first season is remarkable but in season 2, the opposition know what to do.
Mikel’s Young Guns have now put down a target for others to aim at.
Chelsea will be back.
Brighton will improve if Roberto De Zerbi stays, Newcastle will continue under the Saudi regime and Aston Villa will be in and around the Top Eight under Dick Emery.
‘Ooh you are awful but I like you!’
Say the Villains.
So going back to the question regarding Erik Ten Hag, have Manchester United improved?
Erik brought in Casemiro, who firstly, without wanting to sound derogatory towards the Brazilian and against Body Image, needs to contact Slimming World and go on the Red and Green Days,
John Newsome doesn’t want to cause controversy with regards to Body Image as everyone has the right to look and be the way they want.
However, that doesn’t count when one is a Premier League footballer and one is earning £300,000 a week playing for Manchester United.
The guy has dropped in standard over the past few weeks and isn’t providing much to the United team.
Manchester United brought in Wout Weghorst and Marcel Sabitzer on temporary deals in January.
This is Manchester United, not Salford City.
How does one expect their idols to push on by bringing in those two?
WW is no doubt a decent bloke, probably rivals Fred as the club’s Designated Driver but come on, this is Manchester United!
If Erik is making these decisions then the guy will be following David, Louis, Jose, Ole and Ralph out of Manchester.
As mentioned in previous columns, John Newsome is not a UEFA A or B Licenced Coach and neither are most of the Red Devil faithful but everyone can see what’s needed to improve United.
Another subjective question,
How far are Manchester United away from Man City at the current moment?
Some deluded folk will reply,
‘Not far off!’
Da Dur- wrong answer!
Manchester United are planets away from Man City, the FA Cup Final may just prove that.
United need Harry Kane, go out and buy.
James Ward-Prowse will be available, go out and buy.
Look at Defenders like Lewis Dunk, Ethan Pinnock and players who put their bodies on the line.
Midfielders like JWP, plus 100s playing all over the World.
Make some of these highly paid Scouts who watch football, earn their money.
What are these guys actually doing?
If suggesting Wout Weghorst and Marcel Sabitzer to Erik as potential players for Manchester United, then that money for the Scout isn’t well spent.
If United want to pay John Newsome to suggest recruitment, this EveryTip contributor is open to offers.
Werder Bremen’s Niclas Fullkrug scores goals for fun, as does Randal Kolo Muani who stars for Eintracht Frankfurt.
Enes Unal, a Turkish Forward plays for Getafe in La Liga and has notched 14 times, only behind Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema in the goal-scoring charts.
Have the United Scouts looked at these players?
Liverpool are rumoured to be after Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister.
Why aren’t United enquiring?
Added to Alexis is Kaoru Mitoma, again it would at least be worth an enquiry.
United sit in 4th place, with 65 points, following Sunday’s defeat against West Ham by a 1-0 scoreline.
Erik’s remaining games are against Bournemouth away and importantly, against Wolves, Chelsea and Fulham at Old Trafford, to try and stay in the Champions League positions.
Wolves secured their Premier League place for another season on Saturday, gaining a victory over Aston Villa by a 1-0 score.
The excellently named Toti with the solitary winning goal in the 10th minute.
Wolves sit in 13th place with 40 points, the same as Crystal Palace both having 3 fixtures remaining.
Those games are against Manchester United and Arsenal on the road and Everton at Molineux.
At Molineux, it was Manchester United that let in the New Year Celebrations following Wolves letting in a single Marcus Rashford goal midway through the 2nd-half to give Erik’s Reds the victory over Julen’s Gold and Blacks by a 1-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Manchester United at Odds On 2/5, the draw at 18/5 and 7/1 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 2/1 that Antony Scores Anytime and 13/10 that Manchester United Win To Nil.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Jordan Pickford- Everton
RIGHT-BACK- Trent Alexander-Arnold- Liverpool
CENTRE-BACK- Angelo Ogbonna- West Ham
CENTRE-BACK- Nayef Aguerd- West Ham
LEFT-BACK- Aaron Cresswell- West Ham
MIDFIELDER- Kevin De Bruyne- Man City
MIDFIELDER- Tom Cairney- Fulham
MIDFIELDER- Dwight McNeil- Everton
FORWARD- Abdoulaye Doucoure- Everton
FORWARD- Harry Kane- Tottenham
FORWARD- Mo Salah- Liverpool
STAR MAN- Dwight McNeil- Everton
SOUTHAMPTON v FULHAM
15.00 in England
Southampton suffered another defeat on Monday Night Football, this time against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground by a narrow 4-3 scoreline.
Carlos Alcaraz, Lyanco and a James Ward-Prowse converted penalty in the 96th minute weren’t enough to gain anything following Forest’s 4 goals.
Southampton remain at the foot of the table with 24 points from 35 fixtures, 6 points away from safety.
As well as this game against Fulham, there is a trip along the South Coast to the Amex to take on Brighton followed by a final home fixture against Liverpool.
If the Saints suffer a defeat today, relegation will be confirmed.
Fulham played in an 8-goal thriller on Monday, gaining a victory over Leicester by a 5-3 scoreline.
The goals going in as follows,
10’ Willian (Fulham)
18’ Carlos Vinicius (Fulham)
44’ Tom Cairney (Fulham)
51’ Tom Cairney (Fulham)
59’ Harvey Barnes (Leicester)
70’ Willian (Fulham)
81’ James Maddison (Leicester)
89’ Harvey Barnes (Leicester)
Full-time Pizza and Garlic Bread
Leicester did miss a penalty too.
The brilliant victory for the Cottagers keeps Marco Silva’s boys in 10th place with 48 points from 35 games completed.
Fulham face Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage, this game against Southampton at St Mary’s plus a final fixture against Manchester United on the 28th.
Be careful Marco and Aleksandar!
There were 13 goals scored in Saturday and Sunday’s 7 Premier League games, then 21 in the 3 fixtures on Monday.
James Ward-Prowse scored twice at Craven Cottage on New Year’s Eve, however, one of those was an own goal that gave Fulham a lead.
James then converted a penalty just after the break but it wasn’t enough for the Saints with Joao Palhinha scoring the winner for the home team late on in proceedings.
Aleksandar Mitrovic did have the chance to add to the score when Fulham were awarded a penalty in the 95th minute, however, Big Mit missed but the Cottagers held on for the victory over the Saints by a 2-1 score.
Betfred offer Southampton at 7/4, the draw at 23/10 and 6/4 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that James Ward-Prowse Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores Anytime.
BRENTFORD v WEST HAM
14.00 in England
Brentford suffered a defeat on Saturday, against Liverpool at Anfield.
A Mo Salah goal was the difference between the two clubs, giving Liverpool the points from a 1-0 score.
Brentford sit in 9th place with 50 points from 35 games played and have this visit from West Ham, a visit from Man City on the last day of the season and a trip to the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium to face Tottenham in between the 2 home games.
West Ham gained a victory over a pitiful Manchester United team on Sunday evening by a 1-0 score, with a single Said Benrahme strike on the half-hour mark the difference between the two clubs.
It’s fair to say David De Gea gifted Said his goal with a horrendous error, however, it was still a win for David Moyes against his former team.
That victory gives West Ham 37 points from 35 played, which, whilst not mathematically safe, the Hammers should be playing in the Premier League next season.
There is the little matter of the Europa Conference League Semi-Final against AZ Alkmaar with the 1st leg this Thursday at the London Stadium, then the 2nd leg next week, after this trip to the GTech.
Don’t be surprised if David puts out a few fringe players on Sunday against Brentford to save the team for Europe.
There’s no point risking Declan Rice and some others if West Ham have a chance to progress to the Final of that particular competition.
The Hammers face Brentford and Leicester away and Leeds United at home in the final 3 remaining Premier League games so could have a significant bearing on who is eventually relegated.
The Bees burst the Bubbles at the London Stadium back in December with goals from Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva giving Brentford the away day victory over West Ham by a 2-0 scoreline.
If one remembers, West Ham then knocked Brentford out of the FA Cup a week after the Premier League encounter.
The Hammers getting the victory over the Bees in the 3rd-Round at the GTech Stadium by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Brentford at 11/10, the draw at 12/5 and 5/2 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Ivan Toney Scores First and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
EVERTON v MAN CITY
14.00 in England
Good luck Sean Dyche and the Toffees.
That said, probably Everton gained the best result of Game Week-34, heading to the Amex to take on Brighton and gaining a brilliant away day victory by a 5-1 scoreline, yes 5-1!
Two goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure, an own goal credited to the Seagulls Goalkeeper and 2 Dwight McNeil strikes gave Sean Dyche’s Toffees the points from a 5-1 scoreline.
Brighton scored a consolation when the score was 4-0.
That lifted Everton out of the relegation places, up to 17th with 32 points from 35 games completed.
Now 2 points above the drop zone, with 3 games remaining, those being this one against Man City, away at Molineux against Wolves and a final home fixture against Bournemouth on the 28th of May.
It’s fair to say Southampton are relegated, so it leaves Leeds United and Leicester both trying to go above Everton.
In the same Game Week that the Toffees face this tough ask against Man City, Leeds take on Newcastle at Elland Rd and Leicester face Liverpool at the King Power.
All 3 at home, yet all 3 against teams in the Top Six, all fighting for either the Premier League Title or a Champions League place.
It’s quite conceivable that all of Leeds United, Leicester and Everton will lose over the weekend, leaving all in the same position.
Nottingham Forest currently with 33 points, face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, so if any of Leeds, Leicester or Everton can gain a victory and Forest suffer a defeat, they would jump above Forest as all have a better goal difference than Steve Cooper’s men.
Nottingham Forest- Scored 34 and Conceded 65 = minus-31
Everton- Scored 32 and Conceded 53 = minus-21
Leicester- Scored 49 and Conceded 64 = minus-15
Leeds United- Scored 44 and Conceded 69 = minus-25
Man City gained a comfortable victory over Leeds United at the Etihad on Saturday, despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise.
Ilkay Gundogan scored twice in the 1st-half to settle the Citizens’ nerves and when City were awarded a penalty midway through the 2nd-half Ilkay had the chance to score a 3rd.
The usual penalty taker, Erling Haaland gave Mr Gundogan the ball to secure a hat-trick and whilst this was a tremendous gesture, once Ilkay missed it was apparent that Erling should have taken the spot-kick.
Pep Guardiola wasn’t happy and remonstrated to the two of them.
Leeds scored a goal immediately after the missed kick that turned a comfortable situation into a nervy last 5 minutes for Man City.
Pep was not happy!
Luckily the home team hung on for the victory by a 2-1 scoreline, leaving City at the summit of the Premier League with 82 points from 34 games completed.
Arsenal remain on the coattails following their victory on Sunday, just a point adrift but Mikel’s Young Guns have played a game more than Pep’s High Flying Blues.
As well as this trip to Goodison Park, Man City face Chelsea at the Etihad, then Brighton and Brentford on their travels.
Just 1 home fixture from the remaining 4, compared to Arsenal having 2 home games left from their last 3 games.
Arsenal face Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Wolves.
Don’t write the Gunners off just yet as it does appear that City have the tougher run-in with the added extra of the Champions League Semi-Final against Real Madrid.
The 1st-leg at the Bernabeu takes place on Tuesday after this column has been written, so it’s not sure what the score will be.
Man City have 6 games to play over the period between the 9th of May and the 28th.
The 9th, 14th, 17th, 21st, 24th and 28th.
Arsenal have 3 to play, the 14th, 20th and 28th.
At the Etihad, it was Frank Lampard’s Everton that gained a respectable point from a draw against Man City by a 1-1 scoreline.
Erling Haaland opened the scoring that should have seen City push on, however, the Toffees defended resiliently and equalised through a Demarai Gray goal midway through the 2nd-half to give both teams a share of the points.
Betfred offer Everton at 9/1, the draw at 9/2 and Odds On 2/7 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/2 that Erling Haaland Scores Two Plus Goals and slight Odds On 9/10 that Man City Score in Both Halves.
ARSENAL v BRIGHTON
Arsenal gained a professional victory over Newcastle at St James Park on Sunday by a 2-0 away day score.
Martin Odegaard scored the opener with the unfortunate Fabian Schar being credited with the 2nd.
Following Man City’s victory a day earlier, it was imperative that Arsenal gained the victory to keep up the Title Challenge.
Mikel’s Young Guns remain in 2nd place with 81 points, a point adrift of Man City with 3 games remaining, however, those 3 games are this one against Brighton at the Emirates, a trip to the City Ground then a final home game against Wolves who won’t have anything to play for and will most probably be on the beach.
Granted Nottingham Forest will be fighting for the Premier League lives and Brighton will want to improve following Monday’s horrendous display against Everton.
The Title is still in Man City’s hands but Arsenal will fight on until the battle is over.
As mentioned earlier, Man City have 6 games to complete over the same period that Arsenal only play 3 times.
That means that the Title could be decided on the Final day of this brilliant campaign.
After gaining a superb victory over Manchester United last week, Brighton somehow managed to not only lose against Everton at the Amex on Monday but suffer an embarrassing defeat by a 5-1 scoreline.
Everton only registered 5 shots on target and all of them found the back of the net.
Alexis Mac Allister did score a consolation midway through the 2nd-half but the damage had already been done, denting Brighton’s hopes of a Top Four finish.
The Seagulls sit in 7th place with 55 points, however, do have 5 games remaining to try and get into Europe next season.
The 5 games are this one against Arsenal, Southampton and Man City at home and Newcastle and Aston Villa away.
If a victory was achieved in all 5, it would mean Brighton would finish with 70 points.
That would mean Newcastle could achieve 74, (taking into account that Brighton have to face Newcastle and if the Seagulls beat up the Magpies, Newcastle can only gain another 9 points), Manchester United can achieve 75, especially with 3 of their remaining 4 fixtures being at Old Trafford.
Liverpool can achieve 71 in total from their remaining 3 and Tottenham can achieve 69, with victories from their remaining 3.
Aston Villa have 54 points with 3 fixtures remaining, however, those are against Tottenham, Liverpool and of course Brighton.
So Villa will have a big say in who finishes in the Top Four.
It is now looking like the remaining 2 Champions League places are between Newcastle, Manchester United and Liverpool, with Tottenham, Brighton and Aston Villa fighting it out for the prospect of Thursday Night Football in Israel or Scotland.
At the Amex on New Year’s Eve, Arsenal gained the victory over Brighton by a 4-2 away day scoreline.
The goals going in as follows,
2’ Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
39’ Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Half-time Seagull Pie
47’ Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)
65’ Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton)
71’ Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
77’ Evan Ferguson (Brighton)
Full-time Fish and Chips
Happy New Year.
Betfred offer Arsenal at slight Odds On 4/5, the draw at 3/1 and 3/1 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Gabriel Jesus Scores First and 7/5 that Alexis Mac Allister Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v LIVERPOOL
Leicester are in big trouble following the Bank Holiday Monday Massacre from Fulham.
Despite Harvey Barnes scoring twice and a James Maddison converted penalty at Craven Cottage, it was the 5 goals conceded by the Foxes that gave the home team the victory by a 5-3 score.
On top of that, Jamie Vardy missed a penalty before James scored his.
Leicester drop into the relegation places, now in 18th with the same 30 points as Leeds United, both 2 points adrift of Everton who are considered safe for the time being.
The Foxes’ remaining fixtures are Newcastle away, which is sandwiched in between this home game against Liverpool and a final home game against West Ham on the 28th of May.
One can only say,
Good luck Foxes!
Liverpool registered back-to-back home victories by the same 1-0 scoreline on Saturday.
This time against Brentford with the same goal scorer as against Fulham, Mo Salah getting the solitary winning goal.
That is Jurgen’s Reds’ 6th Premier League victory in succession and the 4th out of the 6 being at Anfield.
The brilliant run of form has lifted Liverpool up to 5th in the table, with 62 points from 35 played, a point adrift of Manchester United and 3 away from Newcastle, however, both have a game in hand over the Reds.
Liverpool’s remaining 3 fixtures are this one against Leicester, a home game against Aston Villa and a final day away trip to St Mary’s to take on Southampton who will have had their relegation confirmed by then, thus meaning it could be a tricky game for Jurgen’s Reds as the Saints will play without pressure or inhibitions.
Manchester United and Newcastle are probably still favourites to fill the 2 remaining Champions League places but the Reds will push both until the end.
Liverpool can only achieve a maximum of 71 points if they win their remaining 3.
Newcastle can get to 71 points with victories from 2 of their remaining 4 and have a far superior goal difference over Liverpool, which will be worth an extra point, so can afford to suffer a couple of defeats.
Eddie Howe won’t want to and will know the scenario.
Manchester United will get to 72 points if a victory is achieved in just the 3 home fixtures, so could even lose the away game against Bournemouth and still finish above Liverpool.
If one remembers this reverse fixture at Anfield on the 30th of December, then one will know that the Leicester players scored all 3 goals that resulted in a Liverpool victory by a 2-1 away night score.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall opened the scoring for the Foxes after 4 minutes before the fun occurred.
One calls it ‘fun’ from the outside looking in as everyone connected with Leicester will know it wasn’t funny.
Just before the half-time whistle, the unfortunate Fox Defender Wout Faes had 7 minutes of madness, scoring not 1 but 2 own goals, giving Liverpool a lead at the break.
With no further goals in the 2nd-half, Liverpool gained all 3 points.
Betfred offer Leicester at 9/2, the draw at 7/2 and Odds On 8/15 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Mo Salah Scores First and 6/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Saturday 25th April 1998
BARNSLEY v ARSENAL
15.00 in England
Barnsley had been hammered at Highbury back in October 1997, with the Gunners inflicting a defeat on the Super Reds by a 5-0 home scoreline.
The Red and White Army were out in force for this penultimate home game of the season, still optimistic that Barnsley would avoid relegation.
One says that but the optimism sort of came from the Carling Lager served in the Town Centre boozers.
It was the usual pre-match routine, up early, a bit of breakfast then donning the Barnsley shirt, the Levi Twisters and the Adidas Gazelle’s.
John Newsome has had the same pair of Gazzelle’s for over 30 years but like Triggers Broom, have given them an update on a few occasions.
After meeting up in the designated pub and a few pints talking rubbish,
‘Yeah, we’ll hammer those Gooners today!’
Nobody actually believed that as Arsenal had overtaken Manchester United and were now at the summit of the Premier League with 3 games remaining.
In the Sunshine of late April 1998, the girls and boys headed off up the hill to Oakwell to see how their fading idols would perform against the League Leaders from London Town.
Danny Wilson sent out this weary set of legends,
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Arjan De Zeeuw, Scott Jones, Darren Barnard, Adie Moses, Eric Tinkler, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Clint Marcelle and Jan Age Fjortoft.
Ashley Ward for Clint Marcelle 51st Minutes
Jovo Bosancic for Eric Tinkler 65th Minute
John Hendrie for Jan Age Fjortoft 75th Minute
Arsene Wenger sent out these Superb Gunners,
David Seaman, Nigel Winterburn Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, David Platt, Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka and Dennis Bergkamp.
Christopher Wreh for Nicolas Anelka 75th Minute
The Gunners destroyed the Super Reds with goals from Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars giving Arsenal the victory by a 2-0 away day scoreline.
Dennis was simply unplayable that day, scoring one and being a Menace throughout the 90 minutes.
If one peruses the Arsenal lineup, both Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira played in the World Cup Final, 78 days later, with Emmanuel scoring in the victory against Brazil by a 3-0 scoreline.
John Newsome, The Manchester Stick Thrower and the Little Fat Fella were in Majorca on the day of that Final.
The Boys had ventured over the water on a Pilgrimage to find themselves.
As it turned out, the most important thing the 3 of us found was that a Pair of Twos is really a useless hand in 13 Card Brag.
Pair of Twos!
It’s amazing to think that exactly 12 months to the day before the Arsenal defeat, Barnsley got the victory over Bradford to secure promotion to the Promised Land, 12 months later, relegation back to the Championship loomed very large and with 2 fixtures remaining, the fate was about to be sealed.
It was then the usual dilemma of whether to stay Out or go Out/Out.
John Newsome stayed out until it was time to call it a day then a Kay Bab and Taxi home ready for another Sunday pushing the Youth on the swing in Locke Park, learning her to swim in the Metrodome and then dinner at Joan and Malcs followed by an afternoon nap, ready for another night back in Barnsley Town Centre, which in its day, rivalled any place in the World.
The following has been published before in this EveryTip column but seeing as May is giving everyone 3 Bank Holidays, it’s worth repeating again.
One player playing at the moment, who is one of Erling Haaland’s International Team-mates is Mathias Normann, a 25-year-old Norwegian Midfielder.
Whilst the player is certainly proving his worth at Carrow Rd, the name. Normann evokes memories of a wonderful time for John Newsome.
Back at the beginning of 1990, John, who had just turned 20 and was about to enjoy his 21st birthday, enjoyed numerous special nights in the local called The Norman.
Granted, an ‘N’ less but regardless, an endless amount of fun, throughout a person’s life.
Many of the youth venture to Ibiza and frequent the legendary Beach Club, or go down Beach Rd in Malia, as well as other haunts such as Ayia Napa or Magaluf.
Imagine these places, in Barnsley?
Most will scoff at that!
Are you joking?
However, The Norman, in the centre of Monk Bretton, Barnsley, back in early 1990, was a legendary place to be of a Bank Holiday Monday.
The car park, the size of 2-tennis courts, was packed to the edges, with youths, aged 18-30.
Bear in mind too that the Premier League wasn’t invented at the time, there wasn’t any wall-to-wall football or sports news outlet.
It was a primitive time.
Sun shining, music blaring, drinks on tap.
A momentous occasion in one’s life.
This was a time when pubs weren’t allowed to stay open for the hours on offer now.
A different period in history when one was young, carefree and single.
Now, John is old, carefree and single!
Back then, Mr Newsome was young, careless and alone.
However, a great time in one’s personal journey.
Meeting your mates, at The Norman, whoever turned up, there were no mobile phones to text folk, a game of pool, then into the legendary car park to fail with the opposition.
You didn’t think you were about to fail but you did!
There are levels in relationships, one person fancies another, that person then fancies someone else but a Bank Holiday Monday at The Norman often levelled the playing field.
An attraction that was way off the scale sometimes produced an affectionate embrace.
Different times, simple times, nice times!
The in-house DJ played Unbelievable, by EMF, Nothing Compares To You, by Sinead O’Connor, All The Man I Need, by Whitney Houston, I’ve Been Thinking About You, Londonbeat and the Kings of Wishful Thinking by Go West.
The chat-up lines on offer were from those tunes,
‘Hi love, nothing and I mean nothing, compares to you, you are unbelievable and I’ve been thinking about you, yes I’m the king of wishful thinking but am I all the man you need?’
‘No? Ok then, another pint please bar-person!’
It was The Norman, (1-N!) from 11 until 3-ish, a 200-yard walk to The Sun, a quick pint in the sunshine and then around to the Butchers Arms.
It’s dancing time now, Kareoke was new but a blast of Elvis was sometimes offered, sometimes asked.
‘We’re caught in a trap!’
It’s 5-ish, about 8-pints in, the sunshine was like a drug, Beach Club Ibiza had nothing on this, this is Monk Bretton, Barnsley, a part of Bernslai, that was first mentioned in the Doomsday Book back in 1086.
Another 100-yard walk to the Pheasant, a game of pool and a rinse, then along to the Working Men’s Club.
Joan and Malc were in playing bingo, hoping for a big win.
The turn was about to perform but you were kicked out if making a sound when the caller was on.
Joan and Malc just laughed and we were on our way, past The Norman, down to the Full House.
It’s 8.00 pm now, there’s a wobble on but it’s still light, Ibiza is light still at 8.
After a rinse in the Full House, it’s a mile track down the hill to Antonio’s. Back in the day, Antonio’s was a gay bar and halfway between Monk Bretton and town.
Although it was 1990, the boys and girls didn’t care if one was gay or straight, nowt to do with anyone else, just live life the way one wants and to the full.
Stigmas are for other towns, Barnsley was with it!
A little kiss was on the cards and maybe a smooch on the dance floor but things were becoming hazy.
It’s 9.00 PM by now, it’s time to bale, home James, or John, a walk (or stagger!) up the hill and bed, ready for the next Bank Holiday Monday in Monk Bretton.
Not a patch on The Norman!
Two fixtures remaining against Leicester at Filbert St and Manchester United at Oakwell.
15-Newcastle 40 pts (minus-10 goals)
16-Tottenham 40 pts (minus-16 goals)
17-Everton 39 pts (minus-11 goals)
18-Bolton 37 pts (minus-21 goals)
19-Barnsley 35 pts (minus-42 goals)
20-Crystal Palace 29 pts (minus-32 goals)
Away Win 0-2
The Scottish Premier League has finally been won by Celtic, finally as it was a case of when and not if.
Celtic gained a victory against Hearts (who?) on Sunday to clinch the Pub League Title, regardless of the Rangers’ results from now on.
The loveable OzScot over in Melbourne has had 2 days of mourning but is up, refreshed and Spinning Around ready for Saturday’s 6th Old Firm meeting between the two Glasgow Rivals this season.
All Braveheart/Kylie and Lad can hope for is that the Celtic players have partaken in a little too much Tennents Super and are still hungover from the celebrations.
However, as this is a prediction site, John Newsome predicts another Celtic victory.
‘I’m Spinning Around, move out of my way, I know I’m a Teddy Bear forever!’
Happy Birthday Wee Jean xxx