The highlight games for this next set of EPL games are WEST HAM versus MAN CITY and CHELSEA versus LEICESTER. 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.
Please note all prices quoted below were correct at the time of publication
There are 9-Game Week-37 fixtures plus 3-rearranged ties from Game Weeks-33, 18 and 27 all taking place on Thursday 19th May.
It’s 33, 18 and 27, in that order due to the kick-off times of said matches.
All these 37-set of fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-13, starting on Sunday the 15th of May to allow Liverpool and Chelsea to steal the limelight on the 14th with the showpiece FA Cup Final between Jurgen’s Reds and Thomas’s Blue Engines, taking place at Wembley.
There’s a National Holiday In Germany.
(Obviously, that’s just a bit of fun, with the two managers being German.)
TOTTENHAM v BURNLEY
12.00 in England
Tottenham gained a great point in the late Saturday evening kick-off at Anfield, getting a draw against Liverpool by a 1-1 scoreline.
Son Heung-Min scored the opener from a Ryan Sessegnon pass that gave Spurs an unexpected lead midway through the 2nd-half.
Jurgen’s Reds did equalise from a shot that took a wicked deflection off Rodrigo Bentancur.
Whilst the draw put a massive dent in Liverpool’s title challenge, the point doesn’t really help the chance of Tottenham gaining a Top Four finish.
Spurs sat 5th in the table, on Saturday night, with 62-points from 35-fixtures completed.
That was 4-points adrift of Arsenal who sat in the final Champions League position before the two North London giants faced each other later in the week.
In that Derby at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Thursday, Arsenal came out of the blocks like Linford Christie pressing the Tottenham backline immediately.
Spurs weathered the early onslaught and then went on the attack themselves, forcing the Gunners’ Right-Back, Cedric Soares to push over Son Heung-Min in the area to concede a penalty.
Although Aaron Ramsdale has probably faced 100s of spot-kicks from Harry Kane, whilst away with England, it’s likely Double A-Ron hadn’t saved that many.
When HK takes a penalty, it usually results in a goal and that’s exactly what happened after 22-minutes.
Son had tormented the Arsenal Defender, Rob Holding for the opening 20-minutes, with the Gunner, constantly fouling the Spurs attacker, until
receiving a Yellow Card for living up to his name, holding back Nice-One Son.
A few minutes later, the Duel In London between Son and Rob was over, with Mr Holding, resembling Hulk Hogan from the WWF, the wrestlers, not the wildlife folk, smashed Mr Heung-Min in the face and received another Yellow and the subsequent Red Card.
In truth, it could have been a straight Red but the referee was lenient.
Either way, it was an early bath for Rob Holding.
Harry Kane, then scored a 2nd, an easy headed goal from a corner to give Tottenham a comfortable lead at the break.
The half-time words from Antonio Conte must have just been simple,
‘Keep a-Calm and a-Carry On’
Which is just what Spurs did, with Son Heung-Min adding a 3rd-goal within a minute of the restart.
With no further action, it was a victory for Tottenham by a 3-0 scoreline.
Antonio’s Spurs remain in 5th, with 65-points, however, close the gap between themselves and Mikel’s Young Guns, to just a point, both having played 36-times.
Tottenham have a far better goal difference, being plus+23, compared to Arsenal’s plus+11.
Arsenal are still in the driving seat for a Top Four finish but as the saying goes,
‘It ain’t over until the fat lady sings!’
Or in this world one lives in now, a rebooted version is,
‘It ain’t over until the slightly rotund, Young person, either male, female or gender-neutral, starts singing!’
It somehow doesn’t have the same ring to it but as Mr Weller once sang,
‘This is the Modern World!’
Burnley’s brilliant resurgence since Sean Dyche left and Michael Jackson took temporary charge, came to a shuddering halt on Saturday, with the Clarets suffering a devastating home defeat against the Claret and Blues of Aston Villa by a 3-1 scoreline.
Maxwell Cornet scored a late goal in the 91st-minute which was ultimately just a consolation after Villa had scored 3-earlier strikes, 2 in the 1st-half and 1 after the break.
With Leeds United suffering a defeat on Sunday and Everton getting a victory, Burnley dropped to 17th, with Everton jumping above both, leaving Leeds United in the relegation zone.
Frank Lampard’s Blues played again on Wednesday but could only manage a draw against Watford.
Jesse’s Whites also played but suffered a defeat against Chelsea, meaning it really does look like a straight shootout between Burnley, Leeds United and Everton as to who stays in the Premier League and who’s heading for the Championship.
MJ’s Clarets have 34-points from 35-fixtures, the same as Jesse’s Whites, both now 2-points behind Frank’s Toffees.
However, Leeds have played an extra fixture.
The fight to stay in the Premier League continues with this difficult away day trip to North London.
Following this tough trip down South, Burnley face Aston Villa again on Thursday, this time at Villa Park, so the relegation scenario will be clear come the final fixture against Newcastle on the 22nd.
The Claret faithful may have to start looking at the Man (and Woman) in the Mirror.
At Turf Moor for the Game Week-13 affair that took place in February instead of last November when the original tie was supposed to be played, Ben Mee scored the only goal of the game to give Burnley the victory over Tottenham by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Tottenham at Odds On 1/3, the draw at 4/1 and 8/1 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 2/1 that Son Heung-Min Scores First and slight Odds On 20/21 that Tottenham Score in Both Halves.
ASTON VILLA v CRYSTAL PALACE
14.00 in England
Aston Villa have confirmed their Premier League status following Saturday’s away day victory against Burnley by a 3-1 scoreline.
Whilst it wasn’t likely that Villa would be relegated with 40-points, to now have 43, just eases the pressure for everyone concerned.
Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia scored in the 1st-half, with Ollie Watkins adding a 3rd after the break.
Burnley did score a late consolation but Aston Villa held on for the win that lifted them to 12th, with 43-points from 34-fixtures.
Following the fixture against Burnley, it was then a visit from Liverpool in a rearranged midweek tie that saw Aston Villa roll over and have their Claret and Blues tickled to allow Jurgen’s Reds to continue the challenge for the Premier League title.
Whilst that’s not strictly true, Villa did suffer a defeat against a 2nd-string Liverpool side by a 2-1 score, however, did put in a professional display, to make Jurgen’s victory look a bit more convincing.
Douglas Luiz surprised the visitors by scoring after 3-minutes but 3-minutes later, Jurgen’s Reds equalised and then scored the winner, midway through the 2nd-half to inflict the predicted defeat on Stevie G and his Villains.
Aston Villa remain 12th in the table, still with 43-points, now from 35-fixtures played, after the midweek set of rearranged games.
Crystal Palace got the points from the Roy Hodgson Derby at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with Wilfried Zaha converting a penalty on the half-hour mark to give Patrick’s Eagles the victory over Hodgson’s Hornets by a 1-0 scoreline.
The win also confirmed Watford’s relegation from the Premier League.
Crystal Palace sit 11th in the table with 44-points from 35-played.
Following this fixture against Aston Villa, Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace take on Frank Lampard’s Everton in a rearranged affair on Thursday.
Stevie G got the victory over his old midfield adversary Patrick V, when Aston Villa ventured South to Selhurst Park at the end of November 2021.
Matty Targett scored after 15-minutes to give the away team a lead at the break.
John McGinn added a 2nd late on in proceedings but that wasn’t the end of the goals with Marc Guehi replying for the Eagles in the 95th-minute, ultimately just a consolation with Aston Villa holding on for the victory by a 2-1 away day scoreline.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at 11/10, the draw at 5/2 and 12/5 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/2 that Ollie Watkins Scores First and slight Odds On 10/11 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v BRIGHTON
14.00 in England
‘Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again, Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again.’
There’s a strange phenomenon that’s happening in the bars, pubs and clubs in Leeds and surrounding areas, in that the jukebox’s in the said drinking establishments have deleted the Joy Division song, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’
written in 1980 by the excellent Stephen Morris, Peter Hook, Brendan Sumner and Ian Curtis, all band members of the brilliant group from Manchester.
This is ironic really because that’s where Kalvin Phillips will be playing his football next season.
The Elland Rd outfit sit in the final relegation place following the weekend’s defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates and the rearranged midweek tie against Chelsea at Elland Rd.
At the Emirates, Leeds suffered a defeat by a 2-1 away day scoreline, which in truth wasn’t that bad considering Luke Ayling had a moment of sheer madness in the 26th-minute.
Somehow, Luke, who was the Whites Captain for the day, went charging towards the corner flag where Gabriel Martinelli had the ball and dove in, 2-footed when the only danger being, that Arsenal would get a throw-in.
It’s debatable whether the Yorkshire pudding cost Leeds the game but there was simply no need for the tackle.
The daft thing about it is it could quite easily be Luke’s last ever game in the Premier League.
Whilst that does sound dramatic, look at it from another angle.
Mr Ayling is now banned for 3-games, Leeds only had 3-Premier League fixtures left.
The game against Chelsea, this home tie against Brighton, then a final trip down the M1 to London to take on Brentford.
If Leeds United are relegated then Luke’s next game in a White shirt will be in the Championship.
That said, despite being a Yorkshire pudding on Sunday, the lad is a great player so if Leeds are relegated then a Premier League team could and should take Mr Ayling to preserve his Premier League status.
One final thing to add to ‘Luke-gate’ as the papers are calling it, Luke Ayling started his career at Arsenal, however, never made the first team, before finding his way up North to West Yorkshire, via Bristol City, which maybe was the subconscious reason for the indiscretion at the Emirates on Sunday.
After Arsenal had notched twice, before half-time, Diego Llorente scored for Leeds in the 2nd-half to give hope of a comeback.
Unfortunately for the travelling Whites, all reeling from the price of a pint in London, with most deploying a tactical manoeuvre of ordering 1-pint and 4-straws, there wasn’t a 2nd-goal to add to Diego’s strike.
On that, there was a sign recently pictured outside a pub in London and this is not a joke, that read,
‘Pie and a Pint, Only £17.’
The added caveat to that was the offer was only available on Monday and Tuesday, which begs the question,
How much does it cost for the rest of the week?
At Elland Rd on Wednesday night, Dan James did a similar thing to what Luke Ayling did, at roughly the same time of the game, diving in recklessly on Mateo Kovacic that resulted in a straight Red Card in the 24th-minute.
Another game that the Yorkshire puddings had to play for over an hour with 10-men.
Chelsea had scored before DJ’s indiscretion to give Thomas’s Blue Engines a lead at the break.
Ten-man Leeds United then conceded twice more in the 2nd-half to ultimately suffer a defeat by a 3-0 scoreline, leaving Jesse’s Whites in the bottom 3, with a far inferior goal difference than that of Burnley and Everton.
There is a possibility that following this Game Week-37 set of fixtures, Leeds United will have, all but had their relegation confirmed.
Marching On Together.
(Back to the Championship!)
At the Amex in late November, a Seagull ran off with the scorers’ pencil, thinking it was a chip, which was lucky really as both teams couldn’t muster up a goal in a draw by a 0-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Leeds United at 8/5, the draw at 5/2 and 8/5 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 8/5 that Raphinha Scores Anytime and that 8/5 that Neal Maupay Scores Anytime.
WATFORD v LEICESTER
14.00 in England
The inevitable has happened following the defeat on Saturday against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Watford are officially relegated to the Championship following the loss in the ‘Old Boy Derby’ with Patrick’s Eagles getting the victory over Hodgson’s Hornets by a 1-0 score.
After conceding a penalty on the half-hour mark, which was converted by Palace, Watford were then reduced to 10-men, when Hassane Kamara was shown a 2nd-Yellow and ultimately a Red with 20-minutes remaining.
Although Roy wouldn’t have wanted the relegation to be confirmed by his old mates, in truth the drop into the Championship wasn’t all down to Mr Hodgson.
The other old-timer at Vicarage Rd, Mr Ranieiri, has to accept some of the blame too plus the owners, who somehow decided to get rid of Xisco Munoz, a young up and coming manager and replace the Spaniard with Waldorf and Statler.
In the 36-fixtures completed after the midweek tie against Everton, the Watford record reads, 6-Wins, 5-Draws and 25-Losses.
Xisco’s record was,
Played-7, Won-2, Drew-1, Lost-4.
Claudio’s record was,
Played-13, Won-2, Drew-1, Lost-10.
Roy’s record is,
Played-16, Won-2, Drew-3, Lost-11.
So neither of the two managers that the Pozzo family brought in after sacking Xisco Munoz, have won more games than the Spaniard.
Would it not have been better to keep Xisco the Disco? so that his dancing shoes would have got to know the managers’ ways over the next 29-fixtures that Mr Ranieiri and Mr Hodgson have overseen.
It would be impossible to prove whether keeping Xisco in the job would have kept Watford in the Premier League but the statistics are there and in John Newsome’s opinion, the Spaniard was sacked too early on in the campaign and should have been allowed more time to perfect his moves on the Vicarage Rd dance floor.
Before the midweek visit of Everton, Watford sat 19th in the table with 22-points from 35-fixtures.
Following the midweek visit of Everton, Watford sit 19th in the table with 23-points from 36-fixtures.
Roy Hodgson has called time on a wonderful career that has seen the legend, manage all over the globe, including being at the helm of Liverpool and Inter Milan.
This time last year, it was supposed to be the end for Roy but the Old Boy was enticed back to manage Watford.
Surely now, Mr Hodgson will be spending more time at home watching the Food Channel and hopefully not annoying Mrs Hodgson too much.
All the best Roy.
Leicester suffered a loss against Everton on Sunday, with the Foxes succumbing to a defeat against the Toffees by a 2-1 score.
After conceding an early goal, Patson Daka equalised, however, the parity didn’t last long, with Everton scoring again before half-time.
With no further goals, Leicester suffered the loss.
Brendan’s Wonderfuls were knocked out of the Europa Conference League (no, still no idea!) on Thursday which basically ended the season so it was not a surprise defeat on Sunday.
After the visit of Everton, it was a visit from Dean Smith’s Norwich on Wednesday, that did give Leicester the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.
After a goalless 1st-half, Jamie Vardy scored twice, with James Maddison adding a 3rd to give the Foxes the comfortable victory by a 3-0 score.
The Foxes sit 10th in the table with 45-points, from 35-fixtures played.
Leicester have 3-fixtures left to complete the season, then it would be fair to say that a fresh batch of players are needed for the next term.
There’s a rearranged fixture against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, following this game against Watford, then a final tie facing Southampton at the King Power.
The Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy is 36 in January and whilst the young Man of Steel doesn’t look to be slowing down, there have been a few injuries this term and Father Time eventually catches up on everyone, even Jimmy V.
Rod Stewart and Lennon the Puppy were happy on Sunday, following the weekend’s football.
Sir Rod, wearing an old Everton shirt with ‘Sharp’ and ‘9’ on the back, in honour of the great Scottish forward, Graham Sharp, was over the moon that the Toffees had beaten the Foxes.
On Saturday, Mr Stewart’s beloved Green and White Hoops got a victory against Hearts (who?) in the SPL, giving Celtic a 9-point advantage over the arch Glasgow rivals Rangers, before the Gers’ victory against Dundee United (who?) on Sunday, reduced the gap back to 6-points.
With just 2-fixtures remaining, it would mean that Celtic have to lose both games and Rangers win both of their fixtures, to prevent the Green and White Hoops from becoming the Scottish Pub League Champions.
Following Wednesday night’s SPL games, where Celtic got a draw against Dundee United (who?) Rod’s beloved Green and White Hoops are the new Champions of Scotland.
Rod was wearing his own Green and White jersey, with ‘Jinky Jimmy Johnstone’ on the back and Lennon had a Celtic doggy jumper on, both elated that the title was going back to the Green-side of Glasgow after a year in the Blue section.
Whilst Rangers have surrendered the Pub League title, the Teddy Bears secured a place in the Europa League Final against Eintracht Frankfurt, which takes place on Wednesday the 18th of May, in the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, Seville, Spain.
Eintracht had secured their place in the Final by inflicting a defeat on West Ham by a 1-0 score at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, following a victory the week before, at the London Stadium by a 2-1 scoreline.
The Australian branch of this EveryTip column, Braveheart and Jonny, plus Ilkley’s newest resident, the Widster and John Newsome have fond memories of attending the Deutsche Bank Park, in Frankfurt, back in June 2006, when England played against Paraguay in the opening Group game of the World Cup in Germany.
There was a very excited OzScot over in Melbourne on Thursday night, which is Friday morning in Ozland, dressed in the famous Scottish attire from that well-known film, Mrs Doubtfire, celebrating and rightly commenting to John Newsome, that a team from a Pub League have got to the Final of the 2nd-best European Competition.
To add to that, Rangers were only in the Europa League, having failed to secure a place in the Champions League group stages, suffering a 2-legged defeat against Malmo of Sweden, in the qualifying rounds back in August 2021.
That said, fair play to Rangers and fair play to the loveable Braveheart who has stuck by his first footballing love through thick and thin, or as is known locally, Widster and Jonny.
Good lad and up the ‘Gers, there will be the original Mr Hall, looking down, very happy.
Still a Pub League though!
For those not familiar with the said Scottish Premier League, since 1986 (37-years, including this season) the winner of the SPL has been either Rangers or Celtic.
Both teams had 18-Titles apiece until this 2021/22 campaign, in which Celtic have edged their noses in front having 19-wins.
Prior to the 1985/86 season, there were 3-different winners.
In 1982/83, Dundee United, under the guidance of Jim McLean, won the title, then Aberdeen, managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, finished first in both 1983/84 and 84/85.
This prompted the hierarchy at Old Trafford to go to Scotland and bring Fergie down to Manchester.
It was then the dominance of the Glasgow clubs for the next 37-years.
Whether it is considered derogatory to call the Scottish Premier League a ‘Pub’ League, is for others to dwell on, John Newsome refers to the league as a pub contest, firstly because there are only Celtic and Rangers that win the trophy and secondly and much more importantly, it’s just a bit of fun guys and dolls.
Rod and Lennon were out in the streets, dancing and singing the famous song, with Mr Stewart now not bothered that Brendan Rodgers has gone and not bothered either that Leicester had got a victory over Norwich.
‘He’s Celtic, United but Ange has decided that Glasgow is the best place to be.’
Leicester ran out comfortable winners against Watford at the King Power last November, with the Foxes getting the victory over the Hornets by a 4-2 score.
James Maddison scored 1st for the home team with Josh King replying for Watford before Jamie Vardy scored twice to give Leicester the lead at the break.
Emmanuel Dennis pulled a goal back for the Hornets on the hour mark but the Foxes restored the 2-goal advantage when Ademola Lookman scored the 4th within minutes of Dennis the Menaces strike.
With no further goals, Brendan Rodgers got the victory over the Leicester legend that is Claudio Ranieri, who will be forever highly thought of at the King Power Stadium.
A quick note to add, these two met in January in the 3rd-round of the FA Cup, with Leicester also scoring 4-goals in a victory by a 4-1 scoreline.
Don’t be surprised if there are a few goals today.
Betfred offer Watford at 23/10, the draw at 13/5 and 11/10 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 3/1 that Leicester Win To Nil.
WOLVES v NORWICH
14.00 in England
Probably the surprise result of the weekend was Wolves, gaining a point from a draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop was happy.
Thomas’s Blue Engines and the flip-flop wearing Gold and Blacks, who hadn’t scored a goal in over 400-minutes went in goalless at the break at the Bridge, however, Chelsea scored twice in the 2nd-half before Trincao pulled a goal back for Wolves, in the 79th-minute.
Bruno Lage had only just sent Tricky Trincao on and was repaid within 2-minutes.
When it appeared that the 4th-defeat in a row was on the cards, Captain Conor Coady equalised in the 97th-minute (97th!) to gain a great away day point.
The Lage Louts had a brilliant ride back up the road to the Midlands celebrating with a Lager or several.
Wolves sat 8th in the table with 50-points from 35-played, before the midweek visit of Man City.
That remains the same, other than it’s now 36-fixtures completed, following the devastating defeat at Molineux against an inspired Man City side that saw Kevin De Bruyne score 4-goals and Raheem Sterling-1, to run out victorious by a 5-1 scoreline.
Leander Dendoncker had equalised for Wolves after KDB’s opener.
Norwich suffered a loss on Sunday, succumbing to a defeat against West Ham by a 4-0 score, 3-conceded before the break and the 4th in the 2nd-half.
That sentence could have been copied and pasted and used time and again over the season, with just the opponents and the score being changed.
It was the 4th-loss in a row and the 3rd in succession that the Yellow Canary’s have failed to score.
Number 5 and 4, respectively, came along on Wednesday when Leicester inflicted a defeat on Norwich by a 3-0 score.
All of the goals were scored after the break.
Norwich remain at the foot of the table with 21-points from 36-fixtures played.
There is this game against Wolves at Molineux and then a final contest against Tottenham at Carrow Rd before this sorry season is over and the faithful can look forward to fixtures in the Championship.
Back in November, these two served up a very entertaining goalless draw at Carrow Rd.
Don’t expect many goals today.
Betfred offer Wolves at Odds On 4/9, the draw at 10/3 and 13/2 for Norwich to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Raul Jimenez Scores First and slight Odds On 10/11 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
WEST HAM v MAN CITY
14.00 in England
West Ham inflicted a defeat on Norwich at Carrow Rd on Sunday getting the away day victory by a 4-0 scoreline.
First-half goals by Michail Antonio sandwiched between 2-Said Benrahme strikes gave the Hammers a comfortable lead at the break.
Manuel Lanzini added a 4th, midway through the 2nd-half to give David Moyes Boys the convincing win.
West Ham remain 7th in the table, with 55-points from 36-fixtures played.
Manchester United are immediately above with 58-points from 37, however, although a victory in the game in hand would see the Hammers jump above the Red Devils, the game in hand is this fixture against Pep’s High Flying Blues.
The result softened the blow following Thursday’s 2nd-leg of the Europa League Semi-Final where Eintracht Frankfurt got the victory by a 3-1 aggregate score over the 2-legs.
Aaron Cresswell was shown a straight Red Card after 17-minutes leaving the Hammers with 10-men for the remaining 73-minutes.
It could have left Double A-Ron in the bad books with David Moyes, however, the Gaffer, Mr Moyes was also shown a Red Card, midway through the 2nd-half.
The on-field referee, Jesus Manzano, sent David to the stands after a few choice Scottish words were aimed at the official.
The Spanish referee shouldn’t expect a Christmas card with a London postmark on it this year.
Whilst the defeat against Frankfurt was a blow, the European adventure by the Hammers shouldn’t be lost in translation and barring a shocking turn of events in the next 2-fixtures remaining, then West Ham will be in Europe next season, whether that’s the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.
Either way, the Bubbles will need their passports once again.
There’s a term that is often used that is referred to as,
‘The business end of the season!’
These penultimate fixtures are the business end, where it’s possible that the trophies for winners and wooden spoons for the losers are decided.
That said, it’s more than likely that the losers, i.e, the relegated teams, have already been confirmed whereas the winners, that is the Premier League Champions will still have to be decided next week.
The Business End!
Man City have had an indifferent week where the emotions of the Citizens, whether players, staff or fans have been as high as the top of the Shard, then as low as a newly paved tarmac driveway, following Wednesday’s 2nd-leg Semi-Final of the Champions League.
To explain for those not up to date.
Man City took a slender 4-3 advantage from the 1st-leg, over to the Bernabeu with the possibility of beating the mighty Real Madrid to face Liverpool in the Final in Paris at the end of the month.
Liverpool had confirmed their place the night before.
Riyad Mahrez scored for Man City, midway through the 2nd-half to give Pep’s High Flying Blues a 2-goal advantage going into the 90th-minute.
Job done, surely, the real fans or Real faithful had started to leave the iconic stadium.
Rickster in Manchester was celebrating, texting the Serg with affectionate Wat’s Apps, with the Sergeant being both a Super Red Barnsley fan and a United follower.
Then Madrid scored in the 90th-minute to reduce the aggregate score to 5-4.
No mither, as the Mancs say, which means ‘it doesn’t matter’, the referee is going to blow the whistle and Pep’s High Flying Blues are in the Final.
Unfortunately, before the referee could get the said whistle to one’s mouth, Real Madrid scored again, in the 92nd, to give the tie an extra 30-minutes, with the aggregate score from the 2-legs, now 5-5.
The texts stopped.
Five minutes into the extra 30, Ruben Dias inexplicably dove in on Madrid’s Karim Benzema, conceding a penalty, that Karim dusted himself down and wasn’t going to miss.
Man City, who were thinking that the Champions League Final place was theirs, were knocked out, leaving the Premier League the only gong on offer this term.
Another year, without winning the Top European Competition and now 11-years since Pep Guardiola has guided a team to be the Champions League Winners.
Man City took out the frustration of losing the Semi-Final by inflicting a devastating defeat on Newcastle by a 5-0 score at the Etihad on Sunday.
The Citizens had watched Liverpool only manage a draw, against Tottenham on Saturday evening, meaning the two Premier League Heavyweights were on the same 83-points, with Liverpool at the summit having scored 3-more goals.
With City scoring 5 on Sunday, it not only means, Pep’s Blues are back at the top with 3-points more than Jurgen’s Reds but also have scored 2-more and have a plus+68 goal difference as opposed to Liverpool’s plus+64.
Liverpool gained a victory on Tuesday against Aston Villa to join Man City on 86-points, however, remained 2nd due to the 2-1 score.
Man City then took on Wolves on Wednesday and re-established the 3-point gap following the exhilarating victory at Molineux by a 5-1 scoreline.
It really was the Kevin De Bruyne show against Bruno’s Gold and Blacks, with KDB scoring the 1st 4-goals.
Wolves had equalised the opener from Kevin but the Belgium maestro added another 2 before the break and a 4th in the 2nd-half before Raheem Sterling added the 5th to give Man City the stunning win.
Pep’s Blues have 89-points from 36-fixtures and sit proudly at the summit with the 4th Premier League title from the last 5-seasons, just a couple of games away.
The goal difference now, is Man City have a plus+72 and Liverpool have a plus+65.
That basically means that Man City could effectively lose 1 of the 2-remaining games and still win the title on goal difference.
However, that said, Man City will likely win against West Ham and Aston Villa and Liverpool will win their games against Southampton and Wolves, meaning Pep’s High Flying Blues will be this season’s Premier League Champions.
Man City got the victory at the Etihad in November, inflicting a defeat on West Ham by a 2-1 score.
Ilkay Gundogan scored after half an hour to give City a lead at the break.
Fernandinho added a 2nd in the 90th-minute, however, that wasn’t the end of the goals with Manual Lanzini scoring a consolation for the Hammers in the 94th-minute to give the travelling Bubbles something to sing about on the rattler home.
The Cock-er-knees love a sing-song.
Betfred offer West Ham at 13/2, the draw at 4/1 and Odds On 4/11 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 13/10 that Kevin De Bruyne Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 10/11 that Man City Score in Both Halves Win To Nil.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Ederson- Man City
RIGHT-BACK- Joao Cancelo- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Conor Coady- Wolves
CENTRE-BACK- Pontus Jansson- Brentford
LEFT-BACK- Oleksandr Zinchenko- Man City
MIDFIELDER- Emiliano Buendia- Aston Villa
MIDFIELDER- Trincao- Wolves
MIDFIELDER- Kevin De Bruyne- Man City
FORWARD- Romelu Lukaku- Chelsea
FORWARD- Eddie Nketiah- Arsenal
FORWARD- Son Heung-Min- Tottenham
STAR MAN- Kevin De Bruyne- Man City
EVERTON v BRENTFORD
16.30 in England
Everton jumped out of the relegation places on Sunday following a victory against Leicester by a 2-1 score.
There were a couple of surprising goal scorers, with Vitali Mykolenko and Mason Holgate notching in the 1st-half to give Frank Lampard’s Everton the win.
Leicester had equalised Vitali’s opener but the ex-Barnsley Boy, Mason Holgate was on hand to head home the winner, before the half-time cup of tea.
With Leeds United and Burnley both losing, Frank’s Toffees jumped above the two, into 16th, before Wednesday’s rearranged fixture against Watford.
Following the goalless draw at Vicarage Rd, Everton remain in 16th-place with 36-points from 35-fixtures completed.
Two points more than Burnley and Leeds United, with the Toffees and the Clarets having 3-fixtures remaining, whilst the Whites only have 2.
Added to that, Leeds United’s goal difference is far more inferior than the others, which could be significant come the end of the season.
Leeds have a minus-38 goal difference.
Burnley have a minus-17.
Everton have a minus-19.
Brentford got a great victory on Saturday, inflicting a defeat on Southampton at the Wellard Stadium by a 3-0 scoreline.
Pontus Jansson and Yoane Wissa scored before the break, with Kristoffer Ajer adding a 3rd, in the 2nd-half, to get the win.
What will irk the Bees faithful, is the lacklustre performance put in against Manchester United at Old Trafford last Monday.
United are rubbish at the moment so Brentford will feel it was a missed opportunity, in not at least getting a point.
Thomas’s Bees sit 13th in the table with 43-points, being one of the teams that have completed all 36-fixtures.
It would be good if Brentford can hang on to Christian Eriksen with the Dane’s contract running out at the end of the season and many a team wanting to sign the 30-year old, despite the health issues.
A single Ivan Toney goal scored after 24-minutes from the penalty spot, was the difference between these two teams at the Wellard Stadium in November, with Rafa Benitez still at the Everton helm
If one remembers, Everton took on Brentford in the 4th-round of the FA Cup at the beginning of February, which just happened to be Frank Lampard’s first game in charge at Goodison Park.
The Toffees got the victory over the Bees by a 4-1 score.
Betfred offer Everton at slight Odds On 19/20, the draw at 5/2 and 11/4 for Brentford to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/4 that Richarlison Scores Anytime and Odds On 10/11 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
NEWCASTLE v ARSENAL
20.00 in England
Newcastle were convincingly beaten on Sunday at the Etihad against Man City with Pep’s Blues inflicting the defeat on Eddie’s Magpies by a 5-0 scoreline.
The last 2-goals were conceded when 90-minutes were up on the clock so Mr Howe will feel the score was a bit harsh on his Black and Whites, however, that is football and everyone learns from a young age, that the game doesn’t finish until the referee blows the final whistle.
What will have been a positive for the travelling Toon Army is Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier got 20-minutes at the end, following time on the sidelines due to injury.
That said, Callum missed, what’s referred to as a sitter, when clean through on goal with just Ederson to beat and Kieran was left treading water when Jack Grealish ran past him down the wing to assist in the 4th-goal.
The Bury Beckham started life at the Etihad but wasn’t used by Roberto Mancini, going out on loan to Barnsley FC for the 2010/11 season, then signing permanently for Burnley.
The rest, as one says, is history.
Once fit both Callum and Kieran will certainly enhance Eddie Howe’s Magpies.
Newcastle sit 14th in the table, with 43-points, from 36-fixtures completed.
Arsenal got a professional victory over Leeds United on Sunday at the Emirates by a 2-1 score.
Ex-Leeds United loanee, Eddie Nketiah, starting for Arsenal for the 5th-time in succession, the first time that has happened, took advantage of some poor footwork by the Leeds goalkeeper and tapped home to score the opener after 5-minutes.
Five minutes later, Eddie added his and the Gunners 2nd, to give Arsenal the lead at the break.
Leeds United had been reduced to 10-men following a moment of madness by the Whites skipper and ex-Arsenal youngster, Luke Ayling.
Unfortunately for the watching Gooners, the home team couldn’t take advantage of having the extra man for just over an hour and actually conceded a 2nd-half goal.
With no further action, Arsenal held on for the victory that gave them 66-points going into the North London Derby.
Four points ahead of Tottenham.
With the fixture at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium finishing in a humiliating defeat by a 3-0 scoreline, Arsenal remain in 4th-place, still with 66-points, from 36-fixtures played.
The Gunners were woefully poor on Thursday after initially starting quickly against Spurs.
Once Tottenham had come up to temperature, Arsenal were overrun, conceding an early penalty, that was converted, then having Rob Holding sent off for 2-bookable offences, resulting in a Red Card just after the half-hour mark.
Spurs scored a 2nd to lead at the break, then within a minute of the restart, all Mikel Arteta’s inspirational half-time team talk was out of the window, with Tottenham adding a 3rd in the 47th-minute.
It is still in Arsenal’s hands to get a Top Four finish and if a victory is secured against Newcastle away and Everton at home, then a Champions League place is in the bag, which hasn’t happened since the 2015/16 season.
Arsenal have a far inferior goal difference to that of Tottenham, having a plus+11, compared to a plus+23.
Tottenham’s 2-remaining fixtures are Burnley at home and Norwich away.
All to play for.
Mikel’s Young Guns got the victory over Eddie’s Magpies back in November at the Emirates by a 2-0 scoreline.
After a goalless 1st-half, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli scored the Arsenal goals to get the win.
It’s fair to say that Newcastle have improved since, so this trip up North for the Gunners could be a tough ask, however, the Gooners will enjoy the cheap-(er) ale in Newcastle and will be confused getting change from a ’score’
when asking for a Pie and a Pint.
A ‘score’ in money is £20.
Betfred offer Newcastle at 16/5, the draw at 13/5 and slight Odds On 5/6 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 21/10 that Chris Wood Scores Anytime and 11/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
SOUTHAMPTON v LIVERPOOL
19.45 in England
Southampton have become the latest Premier League team to swap the football boots and strip for the flip-flops and sun-vests, knowing that the season is coming to an end.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints suffered a convincing defeat on Saturday against Brentford by a 3-0 away day scoreline.
There weren’t many positives to take from the fixture in London, other than the girls and boys had a great day out in the Big Smoke, thinking £20 for a Pie and a Pint was, in the Saints’ words,
Southampton sit 15th in the table with 40-points from 36-fixtures played.
Following this tough ask against Liverpool, Wreck-It Ralph’s final fixture is a trip to the East Midlands to face Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
Whilst it’s still mathematically possible to be relegated with 40-points, it would take a bizarre set of results from Everton, Burnley and Leeds United to leave Southampton in the bottom 3.
However, watch this space.
As the great John Lennon would say,
‘All you need is t’pub’
The Scousers definitely needed the pub after the weekend’s football results that saw their idols struggle to gain a point from a draw against Tottenham at Anfield by a 1-1 score.
The late Saturday evening fixture was a bonus for the watching millions who normally have to watch a horrendous programme hosted by Paddy McGuiness trying to be funny
The lads no Peter Kay!
As has been documented in this column on a few occasions, Liverpool didn’t drop 2-points because they only drew against Tottenham, Jurgen’s Reds gained a point.
The excitable media, whether on TV or Radio like to say that Liverpool dropped 2-points in their race for the Premier League title against Man City.
To once again explain, Liverpool had 82-points before the fixture against Tottenham.
Following, Luis Diaz late deflected strike that put the scores level at 1-1, the Reds now have 83-points and for 24-hours were at the summit of the Premier League, with the same 83 as Man City but with a slightly superior goal difference.
Liverpool didn’t have 85-points, failed to get the victory, so dropped to 83.
Whilst it wasn’t the result the Anfield Rappers wanted, it was still a point gained.
Earlier in the week, Jurgen’s Reds had secured their place in the Champions League Final, with an aggregate victory over Villarreal by a 5-2 scoreline.
Twenty-four hours later, 89-minutes into the 2nd-Semi-Final between Real Madrid and Man City, Jurgen Klopp and everyone connected with the Anfield club must have thought that it was a Final against Pep’s High Flying Blues.
Half an hour later, it was confirmed that Liverpool will face Real Madrid in the Champions League Final in Paris at the Stade de France, on the 28th of May 2022.
The younger viewers won’t remember but the older listeners will, especially the Liverpool faithful, that on the 27th of May 1981, almost 41-years ago to the day, Liverpool faced Real Madrid in Paris at the Parc Des Princes in the Final of the European Cup.
John Newsome was 11 at the time but still remembers watching the Final in front of the 22-inch television at the family home.
Whilst having no affinity to Liverpool, as mentioned a couple of weeks back, John Newsome’s football tribalism is as follows,
Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, the World, Aliens!
If Brazil ever face the Plutonians of Pluto, get ready, the Samba Boys will have full support from this Barnsley Boy.
It’s just like watching Brazil.
So the 11-year old mad football fan sat cheering on the Scousers, even threatening to get a Perm in one’s hair, which actually occurred a few years later but John has had counselling for that particular hairstyle faux pas.
Alan Kennedy scored the only goal of the game, late on in proceedings to give Liverpool the European Cup for the 3rd-time in 5-years.
1977, 1978 and 1981, all under the guidance of the great Bob Paisley.
Forty-one years later, Liverpool and Real Madrid are back in Paris, albeit at the newer venue in the newer version of the European Cup but nevertheless in the showpiece finale of the 2021/22 campaign.
Liverpool got a victory against Aston Villa in the rearranged fixture that gave the Reds 86-points, the same as Man City but remained 2nd in the Premier League table, with an inferior goal difference.
Man City got a victory against Wolves in their rearranged affair 24-hours later, so the status quo at the summit remains the same.
The rumours are uncorroborated that Stevie G was wearing an old Liverpool jersey with ‘Gerrard’ and ‘8’ on the back, throughout the fixture at Villa Park on Tuesday.
Jurgen’s Reds got the win against Stevens Claret and Blues by a 2-1 scoreline, with goals from Joel Matip after 6-minutes and Sadio Mane an hour later.
Joel’s goal cancelled out an earlier Villa goal that stunned the travelling Red faithful.
Liverpool come into this fixture after Saturday’s FA Cup Final against Chelsea at Wembley, so could be the new holders of the trophy or disappointed by the defeat.
At Anfield in November, Diogo Jota scored twice added to a Thiago Alcantara strike to give Liverpool a convincing lead at the break.
Virgil Van Dijk added a 4th, just after the restart to give Jurgen’s Reds the victory over Wreck-It Ralph’s Saints by a 4-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Southampton at 6/1, the draw at 17/4 and Odds On 2/5 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Mo Salah Scores First and 6/4 that Liverpool Win To Nil.
EVERTON v CRYSTAL PALACE
19.45 in England
Everton will have played their Game Week-37 affair against Brentford before this fixture against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Thursday.
It’s quite conceivable that Frank Lampard’s Toffees will be safe come this penultimate game of the season.
Considering just a couple of weeks ago, when it appeared that Everton were heading for the Championship, it is an amazing achievement for the Toffees.
Patrick Vieira’s Eagles head to Merseyside following the Game Week-37 adventure to Villa Park.
It’s 150-miles from Selhurst Park to Villa Park, then 100-miles from Villa Park to Goodison Park (a lot of Parks!)
Would it be worth going straight to Everton from Aston Villa on Sunday, instead of turning around and going home, then returning to Merseyside for the Thursday Night Football?
Just something to consider.
Crystal Palace inflicted an easy defeat on Everton in the Game Week-16 affair at Selhurst Park back in December 2021.
Conor Gallagher scored just before half-time with James Tomkins adding a 2nd just after the hour-mark.
Salomon Rondon pulled a goal back for Everton before Conor added his 2nd and Palace’s 3rd to give Patrick Vieira the victory over Rafa Benitez by a 3-1 score.
These two met in the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup in March, with Patrick’s Eagles also getting the victory, this time against Frank’s Toffees, by a 4-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Everton at 8/5, the draw at 6/4 and 8/5 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 8/5 that Richarlison Scores Anytime and 7/4 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime.
ASTON VILLA v BURNLEY
20.00 in England
Aston Villa will have played 3-times, before this rearranged Thursday Night Football fixture against Burnley.
Firstly, facing today’s opponents at Turf Moor on the 7th, then Liverpool (10th) and Crystal Palace (15th) both at Villa Park.
It was a victory against Burnley on the 7th, then a defeat against Liverpool on the 10th.
That suggests the Game Week-37 fixture against Crystal Palace will end in a draw, however, it’s not an exact science.
Burnley meet Tottenham at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Sunday so depending on the result in North London, it’s quite conceivable that the Clarets are once again, in the relegation zone.
This is the 2nd meeting between these two teams in the space of 12-days with the Game Week-36 affair taking place before this rearranged fixture because of the horrendous Coronavirus situation.
Stevie G’s Aston Villa inflicted a devastating defeat on Michael J’s Burnley in that fixture just short of a fortnight ago come kick-off.
It was October 2020, that Burnley last travelled to Villa Park, with both teams under different managers (Dean Smith and Sean Dyche) and both failing to trouble the scorers with the game finishing in a draw by a 0-0 score.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at Evens 1/1, the draw at 6/4 and 2/1 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Jacob Ramsey Scores Anytime and 15/8 that Wout Weghorst Scores Anytime.
CHELSEA v LEICESTER
20.00 in England
Chelsea come into this rearranged affair following Saturday’s FA Cup Final against Liverpool at Wembley.
As that tie is in the future and John Newsome does not have a DeLorean, the result isn’t known just yet so Thomas’s Blue Engines could be ecstatic from winning the FA Cup or wounded from the defeat against Jurgen’s Reds.
If one remembers, the 2020/21 FA Cup Final was between these two teams, with Youri Tielemans scoring a superb goal to give Brendan’s Wonderful’s the Trophy.
Leicester will have faced Watford on Sunday, with the Foxes hoping not to get stung by an already relegated set of Hornets.
At the King Power Stadium in mid-November, Chelsea got the away day victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante scored before the break, with Christian Pulisic adding the 3rd, midway through the 2nd-half to give Thomas’s Blue Engines the win over Brendan’s not so Wonderfuls.
Betfred offer Chelsea at slight Odds On 10/11, the draw at 2/1 and 3/1 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and 13/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.