The highlight games for this week’s action are CHELSEA versus LEICESTER and TOTTENHAM versus ASTON VILLA. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 37 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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MANCHESTER UNITED v FULHAM
Sky Sports 18.00 in England
There will be a common theme throughout this week’s column regarding the fact that most of the teams will have one flip-flop on the beach.
The term ‘business end of the season’ refers to the last few games where the results ultimately decide the final league positions and whether a team finish top, in the European places or get relegated. The word ‘penultimate’ means the one before the last, that is, for example, the penultimate bus home, meaning the one before the last bus home.
A word of advice, it’s always better to catch the penultimate bus, as if the last Big Red one is cancelled, it can be a very long walk home, even longer if it’s raining.
This is the Premier League’s penultimate set of fixtures from a season that has changed the dynamic of football in many ways.
The opening game kicked off on the 12th of September 2020 due to the horrendous Coronavirus situation and after 36-games from 38, the season is coming to an end, virtually at the same time as it would have if the start was in August as usual.
The word penultimate is fitting when used in a footballing sense as it is almost like penalty? No? Ok!
Manchester United suffered a double defeat in the space of 48-hours last week, firstly losing against Leicester on Tuesday by a 2-1 scoreline, then 2-days later, against Liverpool by a 4-2 scoreline. It’s slightly gone under the radar, that Ole’s Trollies have lost 3 out of the last 4-games, the 2-midweek and the away leg against Roma, which, although United progressed to the Final, it was still a defeat.
Ole picked a relatively under-strength starting eleven against Leicester, relatively under- strength as some of the players in the United Red, looked like they had won a competition, or were drafted in from the lads on security, however, were still better than Fred.
Mason Greenwood equalised an earlier Foxes goal last Tuesday, before conceding in the 2nd-half to lose that game.
It appears Ole has decided that Dean Henderson is his number 1 between the sticks, with David De Gea being condemned to the Europa League and insignificant games against the likes of Leicester.
Firstly, that decision may just come back and bite the Norwegian and B, David De Gea is still a better ‘keeper than Mr Henderson and should be the Number 1.
David is only 30 and it would be a mistake to discard the Spaniard now, as many clubs will snap the lad up if United are not careful.
Dean is 24 and no doubt will become a Number 1 at Old Trafford but it’s too early to replace DDG with DH.
Following Ole’s decision to name a weakened eleven against Leicester and regardless of whatever spin is put on it, Mr Solskjaer did it, knowing that, if the Foxes beat United then it virtually knocks Liverpool out of the Top Four, thinking (wrongly!) that United’s supposed first eleven would beat Jurgen’s Reds at Old Trafford.
It’s now assumed that Ole’s go-to midfielders are Fred and Scott McTominay, no one on this planet or Fullers can say that John Newsome hasn’t warned every United fan in the World, over the past 12-months, that United won’t win anything with Fred. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picks Fred against Villarreal in the Europa League Final, then Unai’s men will beat Ole’s Trollies.
Against Liverpool, when the supposed first ten were playing against Liverpool (10 as Harry Maguire could not play due to injury) United were simply outplayed by Jurgen’s Reds who systematically dismantled Manchester United, with many errors from several players but mostly Fred and Dean Henderson.
Ole finally saw the iceberg after 63-minutes, taking Fred off and replacing the Brazilian with Mason Greenwood. Unfortunately, that iceberg had already hit the Old Trafford Bow.
Bruno Fernandes had scored after 12-minutes to give United the lead but then errors from Fred, Dean and Fred again, gave Liverpool a 3-1 advantage, which prompted Mr Solskjaer to take young Fred out of the firing line.
Unfortunately, the damage had been done despite Marcus Rashford pulling a goal back to make it 3-2 and give the protesters hope of a comeback. That didn’t materialise and Liverpool added a 4th to put the game to bed.
Most may be disputing the fact that Dean Henderson was at fault for any of the goals but the 2nd, the lad should have come for the cross and the 4th, Dean was in his own 6-yard box, whilst Mo Salah ran the length of the half to easily slot past Mr Henderson.
Peter Schmeichel wouldn’t have been in his own 6-yard box, the Big Dane would have gone and faced Mo and made himself big, hence the sobriquet, Big Dane! David would have too.
In truth, Dean wasn’t the only player at fault, United were way off the pace and Liverpool wanted it more, to keep up the chance of a Top Four finish.
A Million Words could be written in this John Newsome/EveryTip column about the failings of Manchester United, whether it be Ole’s decisions, Fred, Scott McTominay, David or Dean, the Glazers, the protests etc, yet the top and bottom of it, Manchester United are not good enough, granted, there are a few good players but in truth, not enough.
David De Gea, Arron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood, are all class players but count them, there’s 9, from a 30-man squad.
It doesn’t take a UEFA Pro-licenced Coach to deduce that United have a decent defence and a cracking forward line, however, the men in the middle are not good enough and won’t provide the cutting-edge to take United to the table where Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool sit. After 36-games, United have gained more points away from Old Trafford than at home.
Liverpool’s struggles at Anfield have been well documented, yet Jurgen’s Reds have attained the same 30-points from 18-fixtures at home as Manchester United have at Old Trafford. It’s United’s away form that has given them 7-points more than Liverpool.
In previous columns, it was mentioned that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a series of Phases to go through to get Manchester United somewhere back to the Top and it’s accepted that Phases 1-3 have been achieved, yet Phase 4 has stalled somewhat. Donny Van Der Beek was purchased from Ajax for £35 Million yet plays like he was found working on the checkouts of Aldi.
Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic have been class over the years but like everyone, Father Time catches up on one and in the words of the Human League, they play like they were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. Manchester United have 9-extremely good players but consider Man City.
Ederson, Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan (tra-la-la-la-lar!), Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres. Nineteen top-quality players, compared to United’s 9.
Liverpool, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomes, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Georginio Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, James Milner, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah Sixteen top-quality players compared to United’s 9. Chelsea and Leicester have more than 9, Chelsea have N’Golo Kante, who’s worth 3 of United’s 9, just himself.
The Blues have lost 3-times, in all competitions, under Thomas Tuchel from 27-fixtures, N’Golo didn’t play in 2 of those defeats, which tells a story in itself. Ole needs Phase Four to happen, which includes signing 4-high quality players, a Centre-Back to partner Harry, a creative-Midfielder, a wide Right-player and another Centre-Forward.
Four players that could take Manchester United to the next level. Some will ask who those 4-players are? The obvious ones are Kalidou Koulibaly, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Harry Kane.
Those 4 would cost United and the Glazers in the region of £400 Million give or take a few quid and that’s if the 4 would want to come to Old Trafford. Raphael Varane would also be a fit too but would cost £40 Million to prize the lad away from Real Madrid. Madrid Sun v Manchester Rain?
It would be quite easy to offer up a few alternatives but do Manchester United want to eat at the top table again? If so then £400 Million is the price to pay and not scrimp and save, buying players from the Dutch bargain basement.
Another couple of players that could come into United’s squad to partner Big Harry and replace Mr Flintstone are Diego Llorente and Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United.
The Marching On Together crew won’t like to hear that but both Kalvin and Diego are class players and Ole wouldn’t go far wrong in having a chat with Marcelo Bielsa, in his Norwegian Manc Twang that the Chilean Yorkshireman won’t have a clue what Ole’s on about and may just be tricked into saying yes and selling by mistake.
Manchester United, like the other 9-home teams for this penultimate game, will see a number of home fans allowed into the stadium as the lockdown rules are eased.
There will be a maximum of 10,000 spectators allowed into all of the home grounds, which, whilst not a full capacity, it’s a start for the girls and boys, who have proved, are the cherry, on the icing, on top of the football cake.
The slight negative to that, is the Old Trafford faithful, aren’t too enamoured with the owners at the moment and may cause a little bit of disruption on Tuesday Night! The little rascals!
Fulham are leaving the Premier League with a whimper following another defeat on Saturday, this time succumbing to a loss against Southampton by a 3-1 scoreline. After going in at the break trailing by a single goal, then conceding a 2nd, just after the restart, Fabio Carvalho pulled a goal back for the Cottagers in the youngster’s 1st start for the club.
Unfortunately, this just proved to be a consolation, with Southampton adding a 3rd to take the game away from Fulham and inflict another defeat that leaves Scott’s Boys with 27-points from 36-fixtures completed.
Fulham finish off a sorry campaign with this trip up to Old Trafford and a final game at Craven Cottage against Newcastle, before trips to Hull, Peterborough and Bramall Lane in the Championship next season.
One team that could possibly replace Fulham are Barnsley FC, who take on Swansea in the 2-legged Play-Off Semi-Final, the first being at Oakwell on Monday the 17th. There will be 4,500 Barnsley fans in attendance, with John Newsome being one of them.
It will be a tough ask to get to the Promised Land but Barnsley FC are 270-minutes away from the dream of facing Manchester United, Liverpool and the rest of the so-called Big Boys.
At Craven Cottage back in mid-January, United did what as become a trademark this season and came from behind to beat Fulham by a 2-1 scoreline. Ademola Lookman opened the scoring after 5-minutes, with the superb Edinson Cavani equalising 15-minutes later. Paul Pogba scored the winning goal after the break to give Ole’s Wheel’s the victory.
Bet 365 offer Manchester United at Odds On 4/11, the draw at 15/4 and 7/1 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/10 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime and 7/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
SOUTHAMPTON v LEEDS UNITED
Sky Sports 18.00 in England
Southampton ran out comfortable winners on Saturday against already relegated Fulham who have resigned themselves to the fact that is the Championship next term. Che Adams opened the scoring after 27-minutes to give the Saints the lead at half-time.
Nathan Tella, who was introduced as a substitute in the 58th-minute, scored within 2-minutes of entering the field of play, to make it 2-0. Fulham did pull a goal back but Theo Walcott added a 3rd, late in the game, to give Southampton the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
The relegation places have been decided so with the knowledge of being safe, Southampton played without shackles and showed the cardboard faithful what the real Saints fans will get to see against Leeds United, with home fans being allowed in at St Mary’s.
Marching On Together, that will be the sound reverberating around Elland Rd next Sunday, when the Whites faithful will be allowed into the stadium for the final fixture of the campaign.
Before that, Leeds head the long-distance South to St Mary’s to take on a one-footed, flip-flop wearing Saints that could on the beach, that said there wasn’t any evidence of that against Fulham on Saturday. At worse, the trip down will give the Leeds players and staff a chance to thaw out after last weekend’s venture across the M62 to the cold of Turf Moor.
Marcelo Bielsa is renowned for pushing his players to the limit and having his team suffer burnout in the final few outings and that was evident against Burnley as Leeds United smashed Sean Dyche’s Clarets getting a comfortable victory by a 4-0 away-day scoreline.
Obviously, that was tongue in cheek as the reputation of Mr Bielsa, working his team too hard was put to bed on Saturday with a convincing display against a Burnley side that had no answers to Leeds dominance.
After a goalless 44-minutes at Turf Moor, Mateusz Klich picked the ball up and ran unchallenged before coolly slotting home to give Leeds a lead at the break. Jack Harrison added a 2nd on the hour mark just after Rodrigo had replaced Patrick Bamford.
Rodrigo then scored twice to give Marcelo’s Whites the 4-goals and 3-points that leaves Leeds United in 10th-place with 53 for the season, going into this penultimate game.
Manchester United are looking for a decent Defender and Midfielder. However, the Leeds United faithful, both cardboard and real won’t like to read this but Diego Llorente and Kalvin Phillips wouldn’t go far wrong in looking on RightMove at 3-Bedroom Terrace Houses in Salford.
A lot will scoff at that but Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith made the move West, along the M62 and if Diego and Kalvin have decent summers for their respective National teams, Spain and England, at the Euro 2020s, then the silly money talk could come calling on the Nokia 8285 that Marcelo currently uses.
The older viewers will remember Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen making the same journey and the really older listener will remember Jimmy Greenhoff, who started his career at Elland Rd, before playing for Manchester United in the 1977 FA Cup Final victory against Liverpool.
Ironically, Jimmy’s younger brother, Brian, both born in Barnsley, made the journey, East, across the M62, from Manchester United to Leeds United. Marching On Together!
At Elland Rd in January, Marcelo’s Whites gained the victory by a 3-0 scoreline. After a goalless 1st-half, goals from Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Raphinha gave Leeds the win over Southampton.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 7/4, the draw at 13/5 and 11/8 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/10 that Patrick Bamford Scores Anytime and 2/1 that Leeds United Score in Both Halves.
BRIGHTON v MAN CITY
BT Sport 19.00 in England
Brighton dented the hopes of West Ham making the Champions League places, late on Saturday evening gaining a draw by a 1-1 scoreline.
After a goalless 84-minutes, the game at the Amex suddenly sprung into life, with Danny Welbeck opening the scoring for the home side.
Unfortunately for the Seagulls, the bad dog walker was on show and Harry’s men couldn’t hold on to the lead, conceding a Hammers equaliser 3-minutes later, to give both a share of the points. As mentioned earlier, a few teams have one foot on the beach but it is credit to Brighton that they put in a performance against West Ham.
The Seagulls have this fixture against City and a final day trip to the Emirates to try and dent Arsenal’s faint Europa League hopes.
The defeat leaves Graham Potter’s Boys with 38-points, sitting just outside of the drop-zone, however, with the Bottom 3, already gone, Brighton will be playing Premier League football next term. There’s still crazy talk that Graham could become the next Tottenham manager.
A few weeks back, John Newsome offered odds of 100/1 that Mr Potter would be the next Spurs manager.
Firstly, that was just a bit of fun as this EveryTip contributor isn’t a licensed bookmaker and B, Tottenham and Daniel Levy, if wanting to establish their so-called Top Six ambitions, cannot possibly be thinking of employing Harry Potter.
That’s not a personal attack on the current Brighton gaffer, it’s just an opinion based on watching hours and hours of football each week and constantly turning over to the Planets Funniest Animals on Channel 5 when the Seagulls take to the field.
Imagine 60,000 of the LilyWhite faithful at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, all wanting to watch a dog try and weigh himself on some household scales, instead of watching the footie served up by Graham Potter.
There will be 10,000 real Seagull faithful watching this final home fixture against the 2020/21 Premier League Champions.
Man City are the 2020/21 Premier League Champions
Granted not much of a news break as most knew that Pep’s High Flying City were going to be Champions but the confirmation came on Tuesday following, the Numpty Neighbour Manchester United’s defeat against Leicester. So there wasn’t any need for Pep to pick a strong team to head to St James Park on Friday Night.
In last week’s column, John Newsome rightly predicted that City would win, scoring 4, unfortunately, although Pep’s Blues did win and did score 4, it wasn’t To Nil and Newcastle certainly made a game of it, scoring 1st, before Joao Cancelo and Ferran Torres looked to have given City a lead at the break. The teams, however, actually went in level, after City conceded a penalty on the stroke of half-time that was duly converted.
On the hour mark, Newcastle were awarded another penalty that although was initially saved by the veteran goalkeeper Scott Carson, the rebound fell to a Magpie who slotted home to give Newcastle the lead once again.
Ferran Torres then scored twice to complete his hat-trick, with the 3rd, being City’s winner. Ferran’s 1st-goal was sublime.
Scott Carson’s last Premier League appearance was in 2011, 3645-days between that game for West Brom, coincidentally against Newcastle and this outing for Man City against the Magpies. It’s good to see that sentimentality hasn’t gone out of football with Pep Guardiola deciding to give Scott his City debut after spending 2-years at the Etihad without a game.
The lad is 35 now, which in itself is a surprise because Mr Carson looks 40 and although, probably won’t feature too many times for City, could easily do a job for a Championship team, if Scott so wishes.
A quick note on the phenomenon of the term Cash Out’ whilst betting. ‘Cash Out’ means an agreement between the bookmakers and the punter that allows a bet to be settled before the result is known, giving both the punter and the bookmaker the chance of a profit.
For example, a winning £1 bet on at 10/1 returns £10 plus the £1 stake. Let’s say Brighton are 10/1 to beat Man City and are leading with 20-minutes to go.
The punter will win £10 if Brighton hold on and the bookmaker will lose £10 if the Seagulls win, so to soften the blow, the bookies will offer a ‘Cash Out’ of say £6 to the punter, giving the person the chance to take £6 instead of £10 and not having to worry about the outcome, thus saving the bookmaker £4 if Brighton get the victory.
It can then work out in the punter’s favour as if they collect the £6 and Man City draw or win, he or she’s won the bet when effectively they wouldn’t have. On Friday a reputable betting company offered odds of 400/1 for the following in the fixture between Newcastle and Man City. Both Teams to Score in Each Half, 2-Corners Each Team in Each Half and 20-Booking Points For Each Team at 400/1.
John Newsome had 30p (gamble responsibly!) on this 400/1 bet, with a possible return of £120.30. In the 66th-minute, when Ferran Torres had completed his hat-trick to make the scoreline 4-3 in favour of City, the reputable betting company offered a ‘Cash Out’ of £89.02.
At the time there were 24-minutes remaining, both had scored in each half, both had at least 20-booking points (10-booking points is 1-Yellow Card) and Newcastle had 2-corners in each half, with Man City having 2-corners in the 1st-half and just 1, after the break. That meant, for the bet to come in at 400/1, there just needed 1-more Man City corner.
In the 88th-minute, with time running out, John Newsome was offered £40 Cash Out and as the bet was only 30p, took the money. A minute later, City got the 2nd-corner of the half and the 400/1 bet was up. Unfortunately, although £40 was collected, John missed out on £120. Those are the advantages and pitfalls of ‘Cashing Out!’
Phil Foden scored the only goal just before the break to give Pep’s Blues the win over Harry’s Seagulls by a 1-0 scoreline.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at 13/2, the draw at 16/5 and Odds On 4/9 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 21/20 that Sergio Aguero Scores Anytime and 11/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
CHELSEA v LEICESTER
Sky Sports 20.15 in England
Chelsea suffered a defeat in their last Premier League outing, with Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal beating Thomas Tuchel’s Blue Engines by a 1-0 scoreline. The Gunners solitary winning goal came in the 16th-minute after a horrendous error by Jorginho.
The Italian gave a back-pass to his ‘keeper Kepa but didn’t look and hit the ball towards an empty goal.
Kepa the ‘keeper scrambled back and prevented the ball going over the line but only managed to palm it to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who passed to Emile Smith-Rowe to tap home. With no further goals, Chelsea suffered just their 3rd-defeat under Thomas Tuchel, before Saturday’s FA Cup loss, making it now 4-defeats in Mr Tuchel’s time in London.
A few points to take from the game are, firstly, a footballer learns from a young age that if a back-pass is to be made, the ball shouldn’t go between the width of the goal.
Secondly, Kepa Arrizabalaga handled the ball on the line, which isn’t allowed and if Arsenal had not scored, an indirect free-kick would have been awarded. A few of the so-called pundits have stated that because Kepa didn’t catch the ball then the free-kick wouldn’t have happened.
Unfortunately, the goalkeeper doesn’t necessarily have to catch the ball from a back-pass for a free-kick to be given, if he touches with his hand, it’s still deemed an offence, so if Emile had not scored, Arsenal would have had an indirect free-kick on the edge of the 6-yard box. It cannot be any closer.
A quick side note to that is the penalty spot is 12-yards away from the goal line because the area is an 18-yard dimension, so there’s the goal line, the 6-yard box, 6-yards further is the penalty spot and a further 6-yards is the 18-yard line.
The third point to comment on is out of the 4-defeats from TT’s reign, N’Golo Kante didn’t play in 2 of them. That’s how pivotal the lad is for Chelsea. Chelsea remain 4th in the Premier League table, with 64-points, 2-adrift of today’s opposition and just a point ahead of Liverpool in 5th.
Thomas’s Blues have this fixture against the Foxes, plus a final trip to Villa Park, which will have 10,000 Villains inside the stadium, cheering on the home team. There will be 10,000 of the Chelsea faithful at Stamford Brilliant on Tuesday night, all hoping that Chelsea don’t play the same as the encounter against the Foxes at Wembley.
It’s not inconceivable to think that Chelsea could finish outside of the Top Four, with the only possibility of making next season’s Champions League coming via a victory against Man City in the Final.
Leicester come into this game off the back of a Premier League victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford and the excellent FA Cup win on Saturday. Granted, United put out a 3rd-string eleven, saving their supposed best for a game against Liverpool, yet Brendan’s Wonderful’s can only beat the team in front of them.
Luke Thomas scored his 1st-goal for the Foxes after 10-minutes before United equalised 5-minutes later.
Caglar Soyuncu scored the winner, midway through the 2nd-half to give Leicester the victory and a step closer in sealing a Top Four finish. It is still possible to miss out, even with a point today against the Blues.
The Foxes have 66-points, 2-more than Chelsea and 3-more than Liverpool, all with 2-fixtures remaining, however, with these two taking points off each other, Jurgen’s Reds could sneak in between and snatch that 4th-spot. The scenarios are as follows.
Chelsea beat Leicester, Chelsea have 67-points and sit 3rd, Leicester have 66-points and sit 4t or 5th, depending on Liverpool’s result at Turf Moor, with Chelsea to face Aston Villa away and Leicester facing Tottenham at home in the final fixture.
Leicester beat Chelsea, Leicester have 69-points and sit 3rd, confirmed as in the Champions League next season, Chelsea have 64-points, Liverpool have 63-points, with fixtures against Burnley and Crystal Palace.
Chelsea and Leicester draw, Leicester have 67-points and Chelsea have 65, meaning a final day victory for both would give Leicester a total of 70-points and Chelsea 68.
Liverpool beat Burnley, Liverpool have 66-points and sit 4th, going into the final fixtures, regardless of the result of this game. Liverpool win their final fixture that would give them 69-points.
Either Chelsea or Leicester, can’t reach 70-points, one of them can but as they play each other, both can’t, that means one of Leicester, Chelsea or Liverpool will miss out on a Champions League spot.
Both come into this fixture at Stamford Bridge after Saturday’s FA Cup Final at Wembley that saw Brendan’s Wonderful’s collect the trophy with a victory against Thomas’s Blue Engines.
The win gives the Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy, a Premier League and FA Cup winners medal for Leicester, plus makes him the only player to play in every round of the FA Cup, over his career, from Qualifiers when they start in August playing for Stocksbridge Park Steelers, to the Final in May at Wembley. Stocksbridge is a little town in Yorkshire between Sheffield and Barnsley. Top Man Jimmy V!
A quick addition to that is the Australian branch of this EveryTip column bet that Leicester would beat Chelsea.
John Newsome took up that bet against the Scot, Andrew Hall, even allowing the Australian Red the draw as well and subsequently lost a nice few Bob, 10 of them, to be precise. Gamble responsibly!
Rod Stewart was wearing his Chelsea shirt with ‘Stewart’ and ‘76’ on the back on Saturday and although disappointed with the defeat for Thomas’s Blue Engines, even learning a bit of German to converse with Big Tom in his native tongue, when Roddy heads off to Stamford Bridge as the stadiums welcome back fans, kept hold of the shirt to wear for this fixture.
Lennon the puppy was happy as the pooch was thinking that the shirt was heading in his direction.
Sir Roderick was constantly uttering the phrase, ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik’ As Mr Stewart thought that was German for, ‘Chelsea are rubbish!’ Lennon was in the background barking in German, ‘Er ist Celtic, United, aber Brendan hat entschieden, dass Leicester der beste Ort ist’ Woof-Woof!
At the King Power in the cold of January, goals from Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison, before the half-time whistle, gave Leicester the victory against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea by a 2-0 scoreline, that not only inflicted the defeat on the London Blues but led to the renaming of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to Thomas Tuchel’s Blue Engines as Big Frank was down the concrete a few days later.
Bet 365 offer Chelsea at Odds On 4/6, the draw at 11/4 and 4/1 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/2 that Kai Havertz Scores First and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
NEWCASTLE v SHEFFIELD UNITED
Sky Sports 18.00 in England
The Toon Army are back in at St James Park, so get ready Steve Bruce and the boys as the lads and lasses in Black and White, will let the Magpies know their feelings if all is not going well.
Newcastle played in a very entertaining game on Friday evening, however, eventually lost a 7-goal thriller against the Champions Man City, by a 4-3 scoreline. The big Swedish defender, Emil Krafth, got his head onto a corner to score the opening goal of the 7 and give the Magpies the lead in the 25th-minute.
Newcastle then conceded twice before half-time and with the referee about to blow his whistle for a cup of tea, the man in the middle, blew his whistle to award the Magpies a penalty, with the help of the dreaded VAR.
Joelinton, who had previously missed 2 out of 3 spot-kicks, blasted the ball past Scott Carson to take both teams in level at the break.
Early in the 2nd-half, Newcastle were awarded a 2nd-penalty, that for some reason, Joe Willock decided to take, which was strange considering Joelinton was still on the pitch and had confidently despatched the 1st-one. Joe had his penalty saved by Scott but the ball came straight back to the Arsenal loanee who tucked away the rebound to score his 6th-goal of his spell in the Northeast.
City proved why they are Champions and scored twice to take the game away from the Magpies, with a spell towards the end of the game that saw Pep’s High Flyers keeping the ball for over 3-minutes and a string of passes that topped 100, without a Newcastle player touching the ball.
Whilst Steve Bruce should be happy with the effort put in by his Black and Whites, it is another defeat that leaves Newcastle with 39-points, sat in 16th-position, with two games against already relegated Sheffield United and already relegated Fulham. Sheffield United won!
Hang about, that’s not the usual opening line to a Sheffield United preview. However, with the Premier League bags packed all ready for the move to the Championship, the Blades got a great victory against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday evening by a 1-0 scoreline.
The interim boss, Paul Heckinbottom, gave a debut start to the youngster Daniel Jebbison, who is just 17-years old. Big Jebb didn’t disappoint and scored the winning goal on his debut after just 7-minutes.
Daniel did get a 26-minute run-out against Crystal Palace last week but was thrown into the starting eleven by Mr Heckinbottom and repaid the faith with his first goal.
The victory gives Sheffield United 20-points but still leaves the Blades bottom of the table with 2-games remaining, this away trip to St James Park and a final home fixture at Bramall Lane against Burnley.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Bramall Lane is a bit sad this week as although the Blades can now accept fans into the famous ramshackle old stadium, Little Jim doesn’t look like he can get one of the 10,000 tickets available, which in itself is amazing as there can’t be that many people daft enough to be Blunts.
When the little fella found out that there would be 10,000 fans, for some reason Jimbo kept buying Willy Wonka Chocolate Bars as the lad thought that was the way to obtain a ticket. The silly little Blunt.
When the cardboard Toon Army had their night out in Sheffield, a Billy Sharp penalty in the 2nd-half, gave the Blades a rare victory by a 1-0 scoreline. Ryan Fraser saw Red just before the break with 2-quick fire Yellow Cards in the space of 3-minutes. The lad was desperate for a greasy chip butty.
Bet 365 offer Newcastle at Odds On 4/6, the draw at 14/5 and 17/4 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Joe Willock Scores Anytime and 7/4 that Newcastle Score in Both Halves.
TOTTENHAM v ASTON VILLA
Sky Sports 18.00 in England
The Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium will finally see some spectators after a season and a bit of being empty. Tottenham gained a great victory against Wolves on Sunday, to keep alive the faint hopes of a Top Four finish.
Even putting those words into a sentence, brings a chuckle to John Newsome as Tottenham won’t finish any higher than the 6th-place that the win against Wolves puts them. Harry Kane did what Harry does and scored the Spurs opener on the stroke of half-time to take Tottenham in at the break, with a 1-0 advantage.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored the 2nd on the hour-mark to secure the victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
Tottenham have 59-points with the 2-remaining games to play. It would take a victory in the 2-fixtures against Villa and Leicester and hope that both Chelsea and Liverpool lose their remaining games, for Tottenham to sneak into the Top Four.
As this is a prediction column, John Newsome predicts, it won’t happen and Spurs will be playing in the Europa League. The Foxes can’t be caught by Spurs regardless of the results in their remaining 2 but Tottenham will be cheering Brendan’s Wonderful’s on against Chelsea on Tuesday.
Aston Villa twice went in front against Crystal Palace on Sunday but came away from London, empty-handed, following a defeat by a 3-2 scoreline. John McGinn opened the scoring in the 5-goal thriller, after 17-minutes, with Palace equalising just after the half-hour mark.
Within a couple of minutes of the Eagles goal, Anwar El-Ghazi reinstated Villa’s lead to give Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues the lead at the break. The bad dog walker must have brought his mate with him to Selhurst Park, with Aston Villa failing to hold onto the lead on 2-occasions, Crystal Palace, again equalising midway through the 2nd-half.
With 6-minutes remaining, the dog was off, gone, as Villa succumbed to a late Crystal Palace winner, to leave Dean Smith scratching his head, wondering how his team had taken the lead on 2-occasions but lost. Aston Villa sit 11th in the table with 49-points from the 36-fixtures played.
At one point in the season, Villa were 7th, with 3-games in hand but as it’s always pointed out, it’s considered better to have the points on the board than games still to play.
Since January the 1st, 2021, Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues have played 22-Premier League fixtures, gaining 23-points from 6-Wins, 5-Draws and 11-Losses. That simple Math means Villa had 26-points from the opening 14-games, 8-Wins, 2-Draws and 4-Losses, so it’s clear to see the 2nd-half of the campaign hasn’t gone as well as the 1st.
One main reason for that is Jack Grealish has missed 12 of the last 14-fixtures, playing only a bit part in 13 and 14. In those 14-fixtures, without a full Jack, Villa collected 13-points from 3-Wins, 4-Draws and 7-Losses.
Aston Villa end the season against 2-London clubs, Tottenham at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium and a final fixture at home against Chelsea. Although a Game Week-18 fixture, this game at Villa Park in January was postponed due to the Coronavirus situation and took place at the end of March.
Carlos Vinicius, just before the break and a Harry Kane penalty in the 2nd-half gave Tottenham the goals to earn a victory by a 2-0 scoreline. Jose Mourinho was still in charge before Dracula departed for Romania.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at Odds On 11/20, the draw at 10/3 and 17/4 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 13/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
EVERTON v WOLVES
Sky Sports 18.00 in England
The real Toffees faithful will be heading down to Goodison Park on Wednesday all excited and talking as if there’s a leak at the local helium factory. It’s probably a good job that the fans weren’t allowed in last Sunday, following a dismal display against the worse team in the Premier League, Sheffield United succumbing to a defeat by a 1-0 scoreline.
The Blades goal, scored by a 17-year old in the 7th-minute was enough to inflict the defeat on Everton that dents the chance of a European adventure next season.
With 56-points, it leaves Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues in 8th-place, 3-points adrift of West Ham in the new Europa Conference League position. No, not a clue?
What appeared to start out as a great season for the Toffees, going top of the pile last September, may turn out to be a flop, that could see Arsenal and Leeds United overtake Everton.
Arsenal are a point adrift of Carlo’s Blues with 2-fixtures against Crystal Palace and Brighton. Leeds United are 3-points away with fixtures against Southampton and West Brom remaining.
Everton have this one against Wolves and a trip to the Etihad, to face the new Premier League Champions, it’s quite possible, the Toffees may not gain another point, however, can’t finish lower than 10th, even with 2-losses.
Wolves succumbed to a defeat against Tottenham on Sunday by a 2-0 scoreline, with Nuno’s Gold and Blacks definitely having one flip-flop on the beach.
Conor Coady had a great game and was awarded the Man of the Match by the Sky Sports commentator and ex-Manchester United player, Gary Neville, that was until Gary realised Wolves, with Conor in the defence, had conceded 2-goals and lost the game.
Nuno’s men conceded on the stroke of half-time, then a 2nd on the hour-mark to ultimately lose the game which leaves Wolves in 12th-place with 45-points.
The final 2-fixtures are this one against the Toffees and a home game at Molineux against Ole’s Trollies, Manchester United.
Adama Traore apparently has baby oil smothered over his arms to stop the opposition from grabbing hold of him in the attempt to prevent injuries to his shoulder that have occurred in the past. On Sunday at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, the baby oil looked more like sun cream.
Everton secured the victory by a 2-1 scoreline at Molineux back in January, with goals from Alex Iwobi early in the 1st-half and Michael Keane midway through the 2nd. Ruben Neves had equalised for Wolves to take both teams in level at the break.
Bet 365 offer Everton at slight Odds On 10/11, the draw at 13/5 and 3/1 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores First and 12/5 that Fabio Silva Scores Anytime.
CRYSTAL PALACE v ARSENAL
BT Sport 19.00 in England
Crystal Palace came from behind twice against Aston Villa on Sunday to inflict a defeat on Villa by a 3-2 scoreline. Christian Benteke scored just after the half-hour mark to cancel out an earlier Claret and Blues goal, with Villa then scoring again before the break.
Wilfried Zaha again equalised but this time, the goal gave Roy’s Eagles the momentum which led to the youngster Tyrick Mitchell scoring the winner for Crystal Palace in the 84th-minute to give Roy Hodgson, what may just be, one of his final victories in football.
The unknown factor at Selhurst Park, is, have the bosses decided to replace Roy? If anything, Mr Hodgson deserves clarification on his future, just out of the respect that should be afforded the legendary manager.
Roy may have already had a decision on what lies ahead but doesn’t want the outside world to know, however, if that’s not the case, then the hierarchy at Selhurst Park should at least have the decency to let the lad know.
The victory gives Crystal Palace 44-points from 36-fixtures, with a maximum of 50-achievable, if wins come in the final 2-games. That would, at best lift the Eagles up to 11th but more than likely, the 13th-place that Palace currently occupy, is probably the final resting place for the 2020/21 season.
One positive for everyone connected with Crystal Palace and for that matter, everyone who loves football, the Eagle Ultras will be allowed into Selhurst Park for this final home fixture, maybe not at full capacity but it’s definitely a start.
Arsenal somehow beat Chelsea last week in Game Week-36, which took place the previous Thursday night due to Chelsea’s participation in the FA Cup Final.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took advantage of a misplaced back pass by Jorginho which saw Kepa the ‘keeper scramble back and palm the ball away from the goal line, into the path of Pierre-Emerick who coolly passed to Emile Smith-Rowe to tap home in the 16th-minute. Arsenal then held firm for the remaining 74-minutes to get a great, if not surprising victory, against Thomas’s Blue Engines.
That win gives the Gunners 55-points and leaves Mikel’s Men in 9th-place with the faintest of hopes of overtaking Everton, Tottenham and West Ham, to gain a European place, that Arsenal have had for the last 25-years. In truth, it is the faintest of faint chances that will see the Gooners faithful get their passports out for next season.
Mikel Arteta’s boys would have to beat Crystal Palace and Brighton and hope Everton, Tottenham and West Ham, lose both of their remaining fixtures. Whilst Arsenal, more than likely, will beat the Eagles and the Seagulls, it’s a big ask for all 3 of the others to lose their games.
There’s no real chance that the hierarchy at the Emirates will get rid of Pep 2 but if the new campaign doesn’t start well, Mikel may just be enquiring as to how to complete a Job Seekers Allowance form. A drab 0-0 scoreline was served up at the Emirates back in January, with nothing more to add.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace at 6/1, the draw at 16/5 and slight Odds On 1/2 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/4 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime and 11/4 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First.
BURNLEY v LIVERPOOL
Sky Sports 20.15 in England
Burnley were outplayed on Saturday against Leeds United, suffering a home defeat by a 4-0 scoreline. The Clarets conceded just before the break, then another 3 in the 2nd-half to ultimately lose the game and the Roses Bragging Rights with the White of West Yorkshire beating the Red of Lancashire.
Sean Dyche’s boys just need to put that result to bed and set up for this visit of Liverpool.
Burnley have 39-points from the 36-fixtures completed and sit 15th in the table and as the relegation places are confirmed, there’s the opportunity to play without fear. However, if playing without fear, results in the same performance as against Leeds United, it might be better to play with fear.
The Claret faithful, that are allowed back into Turf Moor, all with extra layers on as Burnley is a coat colder than any place in England, even in May, will be cheering on Sean Dyche’s Clarets for this final home fixture. Liverpool’s potential Champions League pursuit is still on track, despite Manchester United’s attempt at derailment, allowing Leicester to comfortably beat a 3rd-string United eleven last week.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to prioritise the game against Liverpool, 2-days after the fixture against Leicester and put a supposedly 1st-eleven out against Jurgen’s Reds after resting those against the Foxes.
It didn’t turn out as planned, in Ole’s attempt to prevent Liverpool’s chance of a Top Four finish, which, due to the result of Chelsea’s Game Week-36, that being a defeat against Arsenal, it’s now back in Jurgen’s hands as to whether Liverpool want to play in the Champions League next season.
Liverpool comfortably beat Ole’s Trollies by a 4-2 scoreline. United took an early lead when a speculative shot from Bruno Fernandes was deflected past Alisson by Nat Phillips. Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino then scored to give the Reds a lead at half-time.
Immediately after the restart, Bobby F scored his 2nd and Liverpool’s 3rd, before United pulled a goal back, giving the cardboard Devils hope of a comeback. That didn’t materialise and Mo Salah rounded off the victory scoring the 4th late in the game that put Liverpool on 60-points.
With a subsequent win against West Brom on Sunday, Liverpool sit 5th, with 63, a point adrift of 4th-placed Chelsea and 3-points away from Leicester in 3rd. That paragraph sounds a bit blasé and although correct, doesn’t tell the full story of the Reds narrow victory against the Baggies. West Brom took the lead after 15-minutes before Mo Salah equalised after 33.
Liverpool were then like one of the Three Little Piggy’s, in the 2nd-half, huffing and puffing but couldn’t blow the Baggies house down and with 94-minutes up on the clock, were awarded a corner that had to be the last kick of the game.
Alisson, who’s the goalkeeper, by the way, decided to go up for the corner and in a pure moment of sublimity, got his head on the cross and guided the ball into the West Brom goal, that gave Liverpool the last gasp victory by a 2-1 scoreline and kept alive the hopes of a Top Four finish.
It was a wonderful moment for the Liverpool faithful and the neutrals who don’t instil tribalism into football and think that everything that an opposing team do is wrong.
Embrace football and embrace the English Premier League as, if the European Super League had come about, moments like Alisson’s header, would not occur, because a 1-1 scoreline would be acceptable, in a division that would be a closed shop without the possibility of relegation and promotion.
It’s good to support your team but don’t offer up hatred towards a fellow man or woman that just happen to follow a club further up or down the road.
As Chelsea play Leicester in Game Week-37, thus meaning one of the two, can’t get 6-points from the 2-remaining fixtures, Liverpool, with 2-victories, against Burnley and Crystal Palace can finish with 69-points.
Chelsea can achieve 70-points with 2-victories, however, if that occurs, it means Leicester, naturally, can only get 69-points. If Leicester win both their remaining fixtures, the Foxes would have 72, however, again, naturally, that would mean Chelsea can only get a maximum of 67-points.
If Chelsea draw against Leicester and both win their final fixture, Leicester would have 70-points and Chelsea 68, which means Liverpool could sneak between the two Blues to gain a Top Four finish and prevent either Chelsea or Leicester from being in the Champions League next season.
The goal difference at the minute is Leicester have plus+21, Chelsea have plus+22 and Liverpool have plus+21. Liverpool will naturally go 4th, if a victory is achieved against Burnley, regardless of the result in the Chelsea v Leicester game.
It could throw up the following scenarios where the points tally for the three teams, going into the final fixtures are,
3rd= Leicester 69-points
4th= Liverpool 66-points
5th= Chelsea 64-points
3rd= Chelsea 67-points
4th= Liverpool 66-points
5th= Leicester 66-points
3rd= Leicester 67-points
4th= Liverpool 66-points
5th= Chelsea 65-points
Burnley were the first of 6-teams that inflicted a home defeat on Liverpool at Anfield, gaining a victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
Ashley Barnes scored a late penalty to earn the victory that started a horrendous set of results at Anfield for Jurgen’s Reds, with Brighton, Man City, Everton, Chelsea and Fulham all beating Liverpool at their iconic home.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at 11/1, the draw at 6/1 and Odds On 1/5 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/4 that Chris Wood Scores Anytime and 11/10 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
WEST BROM v WEST HAM
Sky Sports 20.15 in England
The Boing Boing Baggies will be out in force on Wednesday, well 10,000 of them, giving their boys a send off to the Championship.
West Brom were set for a point on Sunday against the dethroned Premier League Champions, with Hal Robson-Kanu, making his 1st-start in 3 and half-years, scoring after 15-minutes to give Big Sam’s boys a lead.
Liverpool equalised before the break and with 94-minutes up on the clock, West Brom conceded a corner that was surely the last kick of the game.
Jurgen Klopp decided to let his goalkeeper, Alisson, go up for the corner and amazingly the Brazilian stopper, planted his head on the ball and into the back of the Baggies goal, ultimately inflicting a defeat on the home team. Although a defeat, the moment was wonderful and is why the English Premier League is the best in the World.
The defeat leaves West Brom with 26-points, 2nd-bottom of the table, or 19th if the glass is half-full.
It’s yet to be decided as to whether Sam Allardyce will stay on at The Hawthorns or whether the Big Fella will go back to the Breakfast Show, with Alan Brazil on talkSport.
The Boing Boings are the ultimate Yo-Yo club, so will be bouncing back and in the Premier League sometime soon.
West Ham’s hopes of a Champions League place have all but gone after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton at the Amex.
There wasn’t much action in the opening 84-minutes, then Brighton scored, which kicked David Moyes Boys into life.
Said Benrahma, who was a 2nd-half substitute, introduced in the 64th-minute, scored 4-minutes after the Seagulls goal to equalise and with no further action, the game finished in a draw.
Although a point gained, it wasn’t really enough to gain a Champions League place and leaves West Ham in 7th-place, with 59-points, now 5-points behind Chelsea who hold the 4th-place.
Tottenham sit 6th, with the same 59-points, so a victory against the Baggies married with a Spurs defeat, would give West Ham the upper hand over the London rivals, going into the final set of fixtures.
With this being the business end, the worst the Bubbles faithful will expect is a Thursday night adventure to Turkmenistan and could even end up in the Europa Conference League. No, still no idea!
The Hammers have this fixture against West Brom then a final home fixture against Southampton to cement that European finish. West Ham beat West Brom back in January at the London Stadium by a 2-1 scoreline.
Jarrod Bowan scored the 1st for the Hammers on the stroke of half-time with Matheus Pereira equalising just after the restart.
Michail Antonio got the winner midway through the 2nd-half to give David Moyes the victory over ex-Bubble boss Sam Allardyce.
Bet 365 offer West Brom at 9/2, the draw at 16/5 and slight Odds On 11/20 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Matheus Pereira Scores Anytime and 4/1 that Jesse Lingard Scores Two Plus Goals.
Ex-professional footballer known affectionately as The Beast, Jon Parkin continues to offer his input and has kindly given his predictions for Game Week-37
Manchester United 2 v Fulham 0
Southampton 1 v Leeds United 2
Brighton 0 v Man City 3
Chelsea 2 v Leicester 1
Newcastle 2 v Sheffield United 1
Tottenham 2 v Aston Villa 2
Everton 2 v Wolves 0
Crystal Palace 1 v Arsenal 1
Burnley 1 v Liverpool 2
West Brom 1 v West Ham 2
JP had 5-correct results from the 13-fixtures last time out but significantly, Jon had 1-correct score.
John Newsome had 4-correct results from the 13-games with 0-correct scores.
A quick tally was added up and since Jon started giving his predictions, the Beast has 82-correct results with 20-correct scores from 174-games played.
John Newsome is slightly behind with 76-correct results and 14-correct scores, The Bouncy Castle extending his lead over JB, with 2-Game Week’s to go.
All to play for