The highlight games for the next set of EPL matches are NOTTINGHAM FOREST versus ARSENAL and MAN CITY versus CHELSEA. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and 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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A bumper edition, with 13 Premier League Previews covering a full set of 10 fixtures and 3 rearranged games, starting on the 18th of May and finishing on the 25th, before the Final Game Week-38 ties.
NEWCASTLE v BRIGHTON
19.30 in England
Newcastle played in a great away game against Leeds United at Elland Rd on Saturday with both sharing the points from a draw by a 2-2 score.
Desmond The Archbishop was happy.
In a fixture that saw 3 penalties awarded and a Red Card to the Leeds Defender Junior Firpo, the match lived up to expectations for a team chasing a Top Four spot and another fighting relegation.
Leeds scored first before being awarded a penalty to potentially make it 2-0.
Luckily for the travelling Toon Army in attendance, Nick Pope pulled off a superb save denying the Whites a 2nd.
Newcastle were then awarded their own penalty, the first of two, that was coolly slotted home by Callum Wilson, taking both teams in level at the break.
Callum then converted a 2nd penalty to give the away team a lead.
Ten minutes later, Leeds scored an equaliser and with time running out, the Whites Defender was shown his 2nd Yellow Card and subsequent Red.
A great game for the Neutrals that leaves Newcastle still in 3rd place, however, now with the same 66 points as Manchester United, following their victory against Wolves but with a better goal difference.
Liverpool remain on the coattails of both clubs, following their victory against Leicester on Monday Night Football.
Jurgen’s Reds have 65 points but have only 2 games remaining, whereas Newcastle and Manchester United have 3 fixtures to complete.
Newcastle face Brighton tonight and Leicester on Monday, both at St James Park, then a final fixture against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Two victories from the 3 games will guarantee a Champions League place for next season.
The goal difference is as follows,
Newcastle have a plus+32, Manchester United have a plus+10 and Liverpool have a plus+28.
Liverpool can only achieve 71 points, Newcastle and Manchester United will have 72 if 2 victories are achieved by both from any of the final 3 games.
Brighton got hammered against Everton by a 5-1 scoreline, at home, then headed to the Emirates to take on the 2nd best team in the Premier League and gained a victory by a 3-0 score.
As Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara would say,
Goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan gave the Seagulls the brilliant win that also put an end to Arsenal’s title hopes.
Brighton sit in 6th place with 58 points coming into this rearranged fixture against Newcastle.
There is then a game against Southampton on Sunday, a visit from Man City next Wednesday and then a final away day against Aston Villa, giving the opportunity to attain a total of 70 points.
That would be a big ask but is not impossible and would certainly give Roberto De Zerbi’s boys a good chance of a Champions League place, with the added bonus of at least a European adventure next season.
In the reverse fixture at the Amex back in August 2022, the Magpies flew the long-distance South to meet up with their Bird mates, the Seagulls to see both teams play out a goalless draw.
It was a long way to see a draw by a 0-0 score.
One predicts there will be goals tonight.
Betfred offer Newcastle at slight Odds On 19/20, the draw at 11/4 and 5/2 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/5 that Callum Wilson Scores Anytime and 7/2 that Alexis Mac Allister Scores Anytime.
These set of fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-17 and 19 that took place over the period of Boxing Day until just after the New Year celebrations, with some being the first games after the World Cup.
TOTTENHAM v BRENTFORD
12.30 in England
The penultimate game of the season for both of these Londoners, sees Tottenham coming into the game off the back of a defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Harry Kane scored his obligatory goal, a penalty in the 90th minute, however, Villa had already scored twice to inflict the defeat on Tottenham by a 2-1 score.
That was Harry’s 27th goal of the season, which normally would have the lad at the Top of the Goal Scoring Chart, however, there is a certain Norwegian/Leeds person who has 9 notches more.
There is talk about where HK will be next season and probably the destination is still unknown but one thing is for certain, Harry will not go abroad as he will want to surpass Alan Shearer’s Premier League Goal Record of 260.
Manchester United could grab Mr Kane with an £80 Million offer, then it’s whether Daniel Levy would sell or have the possibility of Harry leaving for nothing next season.
Probably the favourite destination is to stay at Tottenham, which would be a shame for him as he won’t win anything at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino is in at Stamford Bridge and could tempt Harry to go over London but without Champions League football, why would HK join Chelsea?
Manchester United do appear to be the ideal club for Harry, however, this EveryTip contributor does think that Mr Kane will stay at Tottenham and help build a statue to look at, rather than any Winners Medals.
Brentford gained the expected victory over West Ham on Sunday.
The Hammers are virtually safe and in the middle of a Europa Conference League Semi-Final so David Moyes was never going to risk players such as Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen, to name but 3, so the predicted victory for Brentford by a 2-0 scoreline, came true.
Bryan Mbeumo scored the opener with Yoane Wissa adding the 2nd to give the Bees a lead at the break.
With no 2nd-half goals, Brentford held on for the points, which leaves Thomas Frank’s Bees in 9th place with 53 points.
The two remaining games are this one against Tottenham and a final home fixture against the team that will be the Premier League Champions by then, Man City.
At the GTech Stadium on Boxing Day, neither team could land a knockout blow with the game finishing in a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop was happy.
Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney scored to give the Bees a lead before Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg added the LilyWhites goals giving both teams the share of the Christmas points.
Betfred offer Tottenham at slight Odds On 5/6, the draw at 3/1 and 11/4 for Brentford to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 7/5 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime.
BOURNEMOUTH v MANCHESTER UNITED
15.00 in England
Bournemouth come into this penultimate fixture following a defeat against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The Cherries conceded a goal in each half to suffer the loss by a 2-0 away day scoreline.
Bournemouth remain in 14th place with 39 points and are safe for another year in the Promised Land which is simply brilliant for Gary O’Neil who took over as the Caretaker following a disastrous defeat against Liverpool by a 9 (Nine)-0 score back in August 2022.
There is this home fixture against Manchester United to thank the faithful for the support then a final game away against Everton that could potentially result in the Toffees being relegated.
Another 3.00 PM outing for Manchester United, after last week’s fixture, allowing the Red Devils to get down to the South Coast and back in a reasonable time.
Manchester United gained a professional victory over Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday, by a 2-0 score, as predicted in this EveryTip column last week.
Marcus Rashford has picked up a slight injury and was rested, maybe for the upcoming FA Cup Final but United do need at least 6 points to guarantee a Champions League place for next season.
As explained earlier in the Newcastle preview, Erik’s Reds have 66 points with 3 games remaining, this one away at the Vitality plus 2 home fixtures against Chelsea and Fulham.
Liverpool are chasing the final Champions League place but can only achieve a maximum of 71 points.
United and Newcastle can get to 72 points from 2 victories out of the remaining 3 for both clubs.
Anthony Martial scored the opener against Wolves but United left it late to seal the victory, with Alejandro Garnacho scoring the 2nd in the 94th minute, having only been introduced with 10 minutes remaining.
At Old Trafford for the New Year fixture
Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford scored the goals that gave Manchester United the home victory by a 3-0 scoreline and the Red Devils faithful a Happy Start to 2023.
Betfred offer Bournemouth at 9/2, the draw at 18/5 and Odds On 1/2 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Chris Billing Scores Anytime and 21/20 that Manchester United Score in Both Halves.
FULHAM v CRYSTAL PALACE
15.00 in England
The Roy Hodgson Derby.
Big Roy had an eventful 3 years at Craven Cottage that did see a Europa League Final appearance against Atletico Madrid, finishing as Runners-Up, following a defeat to the Spanish team by a 2-1 score.
Fulham come into this fixture off the back of a comfortable away day victory against Southampton on Saturday.
After a goalless 1st-half, Carlos Vinicius and Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the goals to give the Cottagers the win by a 2-0 score.
Fulham stay in 10th place with 51 points from 36 games played.
There is this home game against Palace then a trip up North to Old Trafford for the final game of the campaign, which will see Fulham remain in the Premier League for back-to-back seasons, which hasn’t happened for a while, as it’s usually just one, then relegation.
A goal in each half from Eberechi Eze, saw Crystal Palace gain the easy victory over Bournemouth on Saturday by a 2-0 scoreline, with both teams being sponsored by Ambre Solaire.
The On The Beach Derby saw both play out a game that was easy on the eye with neither in fear of relegation, just wanting to finish the campaign and head for Skegness.
Along with this fixture against Fulham, there is a final home game against Nottingham Forest on the 28th.
Fulham gained the away day victory over Crystal Palace on Boxing Day getting the points from a 3-0 score.
Bobby Decordover-Reid scored the opener in the 1st-half before Tyrick Mitchell was shown a straight Red Card giving the Cottagers a man advantage for almost an hour.
That man advantage then became 2, when James Tomkins was shown a 2nd Yellow Card and the ultimate Red just after the break.
Tim Ream and Aleksandar Mitrovic added 2 and 3 to give Marco Silva’s men the London bragging rights over Patrick Vieira’s Eagles.
Betfred offer Fulham at 7/5, the draw at 12/5 and 15/8 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores First and Evens 1/1 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
LIVERPOOL v ASTON VILLA
15.00 in England
Liverpool are still in the hunt for a Champions League place following the professional victory over Leicester on Monday Night Football.
Jurgen’s Reds inflicted the defeat on Dean’s Fading Foxes by a 3-0 away night score.
Curtis Jones, whose name has all the letters of Scouser in it, scored 2 great goals and was easily the Man of the Match.
It’s Man of the Match by the way, as it was a game in the Men’s Premier League, that involved Men, so the annoying phrase of Player of the Match is redundant.
If it was a fixture contested by both Males and Females, then the term Player of the Match can be used, however, in this instance, it’s the Man of the Match, as all are Men!
Trent Alexander-Arnold then scored a beautiful 3rd, with all 3 goals coming from assists by the Egyptian King, Mo Salah.
TAA has had conversations questioning his ability over the season, which is a reasonable argument as Trent cannot defend against quality players, as proved in the Champions League tie against Real Madrid where Vinicius Junior ran the lad ragged.
It’s obvious the lad is talented, just not as a Defender.
Jurgen Klopp has pushed Trent forward who now plays in the supposed position of an Inverted Fullback.
What that basically means is,
‘Stay forward Trent Double-A and provide ammunition for the attackers, you’re rubbish at defending!’
Maybe Liverpool just need a new Right Back and have Trent as a Midfielder.
Liverpool sit in 5th place with 65 points, a point less than Manchester United and Newcastle but only have 2 fixtures remaining, this one against Aston Villa and a final game against Southampton.
It’s likely that both games are victories for Jurgen’s Reds, however, that would only achieve 71 points, whereas Manchester United and Newcastle can get to 72 points with 2 victories from the 3 remaining, so it’s out of Liverpool’s hands as to whether it’s a Champions League place or Thursday Night Football.
All the Reds can do is win the 2 games left and put pressure on United and the Magpies.
Aston Villa gained a comfortable victory over Tottenham on Saturday, with goals from Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz giving Unai’s Claret and Blues the points from a 2-1 score.
Spurs scored a very late consolation that did make the final few minutes a bit nervy for the Villains in attendance at Villa Park.
Aston Villa sit in 8th place with 57 points, the same as Tottenham but have a slightly inferior goal difference.
Along with this fixture against Liverpool, Villa then face Brighton at home in the final game, which could decide who plays in Europe next season.
Mo Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Stefan Bajcetic scored the knockout goals on Boxing Day to give Liverpool the away day victory over Aston Villa by a 3-1 score.
Ollie Watkins with the Villa consolation goal.
Betfred offer Liverpool at Odds On 4/9, the draw at 18/5 and 11/2 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Mo Salah Scores Two Plus Goals and 11/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
WOLVES v EVERTON
15.00 in England
Wolves suffered the predicted defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Following a goal conceded in both halves, Julen Lopetegui’s Gold and Blacks succumbed to the loss by a 2-0 scoreline.
It’s fair to say that Wolves, sitting in 13th place with 40 points are safe and will be in the Premier League next season, thus making the decision to get rid of Bruno Lage, a correct one, which might not be the case for Leicester, Leeds United, Everton and certainly Southampton.
After a brilliant victory against Brighton last week, Everton suffered a defeat on Sunday.
Granted the loss was against Pep’s High Flying Blues, by a 3-0 scoreline, leaving the Toffees in 17th place with 32 points.
A place and a point above the drop zone, with just this fixture away at Molineux and a home game against Bournemouth to try a stave off relegation.
Yerry Mina scored the opener for Frank Lampard’s Everton at Goodison Park, however, Mr Mina’s goal proved to be just a consolation as Daniel Podence and a very late Rayan Ait-Nouri winner gave Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves the away day victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Betfred offer Wolves at 13/8, the draw at 23/10 and 13/8 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Ruben Neves Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores Anytime.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Ederson- Man City
RIGHT-BACK- Kyle Walker- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Ethan Pinnock- Brentford
CENTRE-BACK- Lewis Dunk- Brighton
LEFT-BACK- Pervis Estupinan- Brighton
MIDFIELDER- Eberechi Eze- Crystal Palace
MIDFIELDER- Deniz Undav- Brighton
MIDFIELDER- Ilkay Gundogan- Man City
FORWARD- Curtis Jones- Liverpool
FORWARD- Julio Enciso- Brighton
FORWARD- Erling Haaland- Man City
STAR MAN- Ilkay Gundogan- Man City
NOTTINGHAM FOREST v ARSENAL
17.30 in England
Nottingham Forest played in a great game against Chelsea on Saturday at the City Ground with both teams sharing the points from a draw by a 2-2 score.
Desmond was happy.
Taiwo Awoniyi scored twice, one before a Raheem Sterling double then the second to equalise and gain Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees, what could turn out to be a valuable point.
Nottingham Forest sit in 16th place with 34 points.
Leeds United are in the last relegation spot with 31 points and can only achieve a maximum of 37 if they gain 2 victories from their remaining 2 games, meaning Forest can effectively seal safety with a victory against Arsenal today.
Granted a tough ask but the Gunners could be sulking from losing the Premier League race so Steve’s Trees could capitalise.
Nottingham Forest have a minus-31 goal difference, compared to Leeds’ minus-25, however, that will change in the next two games.
Having said all that, one would rather be a Leeds United follower than a Forest faithful as the Whites face West Ham and Tottenham in their final fixtures, with Forest facing Arsenal and Crystal Palace away.
Everton face Wolves at Molineux and then Bournemouth at Goodison Park.
Leicester take on Newcastle at St James and then West Ham at the King Power.
So here’s the predicted scenario.
Nottingham Forest suffer a defeat today against Arsenal and go into the final fixture against Crystal Palace sitting in 16th place with 34 points.
Leeds United gain a point against West Ham and sit in 17th place with 32 points going into the final Game Week.
Everton suffer a loss against Wolves at Molineux (Wolves are a better team at home) and sit in 18th place with the same 32 points as Leeds but with an inferior goal difference.
Leicester suffer a defeat against Newcastle and sit in 19th place with 30 points going into the last game against West Ham.
West Ham would have 38 points if the predicted draw against Leeds United occurred meaning they will be safe going into their final fixture against Leicester.
The Game Week-38 fixtures would mean Leicester have to win and hope both Leeds United and Everton suffer defeats to send both teams back to the Championship.
These are all scenarios and will become clearer after this weekend’s games are over.
Arsenal suffered a devastating defeat against Brighton at the Emirates on Sunday that basically gifted the Premier League Title to Man City.
That sentence may appear harsh and City were more than likely going to win the title regardless, however, at the business end of the season, especially being at home, the defeat by a 3-0 scoreline, put in simple terms, leaves Arsenal 4 points adrift of Man City with 2 fixtures remaining.
Man City have 3 fixtures so if City get the expected victory against Chelsea on Sunday, the Premier League Top Chocolate stays at the Etihad for another 12 months.
As is the brilliance of our beloved English Premier League, this Gunners fixture against Forest takes place the day before Man City host Chelsea at the Etihad, so the reality is, Arsenal have to win or the title is handed to City without Pep’s Boys getting their boots muddy.
Arsenal gained an easy victory over Nottingham Forest at the Emirates by a 5-0 scoreline.
Gabriel Martinelli, a Reiss Nelson brace, Thomas Partay and Martin Odegaard were the Gunners goal scorers.
Betfred offer Nottingham Forest at 9/2, the draw at 7/2 and Odds On 8/15 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Gabriel Jesus Scores First and 9/5 that Arsenal Win To Nil.
WEST HAM v LEEDS UNITED
13.30 in England
David Moyes fielded what could be considered a weakened side against Brentford on Sunday.
West Ham gained a victory over AZ Alkmaar in the 1st-leg of the Europa Conference League Semi-Final clash and head to Holland (the Netherlands) on Thursday with a 1-goal advantage, following the win at the London Stadium by a 2-1 score.
Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were rested for the trip across the Capital to face Brentford which did result in a defeat by a 2-0 scoreline.
West Ham sit in 15th place with 37 points and whilst not mathematically safe, it would take a complex set of results to send the Hammers down.
The Hammers remaining fixtures are this one against Leeds United then a final away trip to the King Power to take on Leicester.
Even if West Ham suffer defeats in both, Leicester can only achieve 36 points, Leeds can only get 37 points and would have to overturn a 9-goal deficit, such is the Hammers superior goal difference and Everton would have to beat Wolves and Bournemouth to gain 38 points.
So basically, the Bubbles need not worry and just concentrate on the Europa Conference League.
‘Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again, Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again.’
Sam Allardyce registered the first point since arriving at Elland Rd, in the quest to avoid relegation.
Patrick Bamford had the opportunity to score a 2nd for Leeds on Saturday against Newcastle when the Whites were awarded a penalty.
Luke Ayling tapped home after 7 minutes at Elland Rd to give the home team an early lead before being awarded the spot-kick.
Unfortunately, for the Marching On Together crew, Patrick fluffed his lines and had his tame kick saved by Nick Pope.
Mr Bamford has received a lot of abuse since then, including threats made to his family.
Grow up people and get a life, this is a game of football, stop with the Keyboard Warrior rubbish sitting in your Mums bedroom and leave folk alone!
Leeds then conceded 2 penalties that were scored before Rasmus Kristensen equalised midway through the 2nd-half to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 2-2 score.
Junior Firpo, who it’s fair to say was living on the edge all game, finally received a 2nd Yellow Card and the ultimate Red in the 91st minute to beat his mates into the dressing room and put the kettle on.
Leeds sit in the final relegation place with 31 points and really need to gain at least a victory today at the London Stadium or in the final fixture against Tottenham at Elland Rd, to try and prevent heading back to the Championship.
Marching On Together!
At Elland Rd for the Game Week-19 affair, both teams shared the points from a draw by a 2-2 score.
The Archbishop gave a New Year nod of approval.
Wilfried Gnonto scored the opener for Leeds with Lucas Paqueta equalising for the Hammers to take both teams in level at the break.
Gianluca Scamacca added a 2nd for West Ham just after the restart before Rodrigo replied for the home team.
With no further goals, both teams said Happy New Year.
Betfred offer West Ham at 13/10, the draw at 5/2 and 2/1 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Michail Antonio Scores Anytime and 15/8 that a Penalty is Awarded.
BRIGHTON v SOUTHAMPTON
14.00 in England
Brighton come into this Sunday Game Week-37 affair having faced Newcastle on Thursday, then following today’s fixture, the Seagulls have another rearranged game against Man City on Wednesday, once again at the Amex to allow the faithful to give their team a great sendoff for a brilliant season.
Southampton have been officially relegated following last weekend’s fixture against Fulham where the Saints suffered another defeat, this time by a 2-0 scoreline.
That left Ruben Selles’ men rooted to the foot of the table, on 24 points with just 2 games remaining, this one against Brighton and a final fixture hosting Liverpool.
Adam Lallana scored the opener at St Mary’s on Boxing Day, with the unfortunate Romain Perraud being credited with the 2nd.
Solly March added a 3rd for Brighton just after the restart before James Ward-Prowse scored a consolation for Southampton.
James had seen his penalty saved but tapped home the rebound.
Brighton gained the away day victory by a 3-1 score.
Betfred offer Brighton at Odds On 2/9, the draw at 11/2 and 11/1 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Alexis Mac Allister Scores First and slight Odds On 4/6 that Brighton Score in Both Halves.
MAN CITY v CHELSEA
16.00 in England
Man City hammered Everton on Sunday gaining a victory at Goodison Park by a 3-0 score.
Ilkay Gundogan scored 2 superb goals with Erling Haaland getting his obligatory goal in between Ilkay’s strikes.
It would have been interesting to see what Man City would have done if awarded a late penalty, after last week’s debacle against Leeds United.
It’s doubtful whether Erling would have given Ilkay the ball on this occasion.
The brilliant win, an hour or so before Arsenal kicked off their Game Week-36 affair against Brighton, gave Pep’s High Flying Blues 85 points, and a 4-point advantage at the summit of the Premier League, with 3 fixtures remaining.
Arsenal subsequently suffered a defeat, which means if City gain a victory today, then the Premier League Title is staying in Manchester for the 5th time in 6 years and the 3rd year in a row.
Only Manchester United have achieved 3 successive Premier League Titles.
Arsenal do play before Man City this weekend, so if the unthinkable happened that Mikel’s Young Guns suffer a defeat against Nottingham Forest, then the Title is retained without the City players going out onto the pitch.
Man City play Brighton on Wednesday then a final away fixture at the GTech Stadium on Sunday the 28th.
The Citizens are already singing,
‘It’s coming’s home!’
There is the little matter of the 2nd leg of the Champions League Semi-Final which takes place at the Etihad on Wednesday.
The tie is all square at 1-1 from the 1st leg at the Bernabeu.
Chelsea gained a point from a draw by a 2-2 score on Saturday, with Raheem Sterling scoring twice in the fixture against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
The point leaves Frank Lampard’s Limpy Lionel’s in 11th place (11th!) with the same 43 points as Roy Hodgson’s Eagles.
Chelsea face Man City today, Manchester United on Thursday then a final home fixture at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle.
Pep’s High Flying Blues gained the New Year victory over Graham Potters Old Wizards by a 1-0 score back in January at Stamford Bridge.
Riyad Mahrez with the solitary winning goal, midway through the 2nd-half.
Three days later, Man City gained a victory over Chelsea at the Etihad in the 3rd-Round of the FA Cup, progressing from a 4-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Man City at Odds On 1/4, the draw at 5/1 and 10/1 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/2 that Erling Haaland Scores Two Plus Goals and Evens 1/1 that Man City Win To Nil.
NEWCASTLE v LEICESTER
Eddie Howe’s Magpies will have taken on the Seagulls before this visit from the Foxes, that depending on the weekend results, could see Leicester already relegated or needing a victory tonight (which is unlikely) to avoid the dreaded drop.
Newcastle host Leicester then a final fixture against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to cement the Champions League place for next season.
Leicester suffered a devastating defeat against Liverpool last Monday by a 3-0 scoreline, which effectively sealed their relegation fate.
Liverpool were simply too good.
Whilst not mathematical, the Foxes sit in 19th place with 30 points and just 2 games remaining, this one against Newcastle then a final fixture at the King Power against West Ham.
It looks like a tough ask but all Dean Smith can hope for is Leicester gain at least 1 victory in the remaining 2 and the Whites plus the Toffees suffer defeats in their final 2 fixtures.
It’s unlikely to happen but the dream of staying in the Promised Land will remain until the Fat Lady Sings.
Seven years ago, Leicester were Premier League Champions.
Relegation will hurt the Foxes Faithful, however, as of today, the dream is still alive.
Good luck Foxes!
Newcastle gained the Boxing Day victory over Leicester at the King Power with 1st-half goals from Chris Wood, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton giving the Magpies the points from a 3-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Newcastle at Odds On 4/11, the draw at 4/1 and 13/2 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Callum Wilson Scores First and 8/5 that James Maddison Scores Anytime.
BRIGHTON v MAN CITY
20.00 in England
Brighton’s 3rd fixture in 6 days and 4th in 11, sees the Premier League Champions Elect visit the Amex.
Brighton come into this fixture following games against Newcastle away and Southampton at home and off the back of a brilliant performance against Arsenal at the Emirates, that effectively handed today’s visitors the Premier League Title.
Man City could head the long-distance South as confirmed winners of the Title, depending on results over the weekend.
That said it is a matter of when, not if, Pep’s High Flying Blues retain the Premier League Crown and the 5th Top Flight title in 6 years.
There’s a certain Ricky Jennings over in Manc Land that is ecstatic, however, one knows Ricky is truly a Barnsley fan, eh Rickster!
At the Etihad back in October 2022, Erling Haaland scored twice in the 1st-half, the 2nd being from the penalty spot, to give City a lead at the break.
Leandro Trossard pulled a goal back for the visitors just after the restart before Kevin De Bruyne added a 3rd and took the game away from Brighton, giving Man City the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
Betfred offer Brighton at 5/2, the draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 5/6 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/5 that Ilkay Gundogan Scores Anytime and 5/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v CHELSEA
20.00 in England
The Final Fixture before the Final Fixtures take place on Sunday.
Manchester United take on Bournemouth at the Vitality before this fixture against Chelsea at Old Trafford.
That’s followed by a final home game against Fulham who will still be hurting from the FA Cup fixture that saw Willian, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Marco Silva all receive a Red Card.
It’s unlikely that the referee will be Chris Kavanagh.
Chelsea will have been up in Manchester on Sunday, taking on the Noisy Neighbours Man City that could have seen Pep’s High Flying Blues seal the Premier League Title.
Along with this trip to Old Trafford, Frank Lampard’s Blues have a final fixture against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge to round off a truly horrendous season for all connected with Chelsea.
Good luck Mauricio Pochettino!
At Stamford Bridge in October, both teams shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Jorginho converted a penalty in the 83rd minute that looked like it would earn Chelsea the victory, however, Casemiro equalised for United in the 95th minute to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.
Betfred offer Manchester United at Odds On 4/6, the draw at 3/1 and 100/30 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/1 that Bruno Fernandes Scores First and 6/4 that Manchester United Win To Nil.
Saturday 2nd May 1998
LEICESTER v BARNSLEY
15.00 in England
The penultimate game of Barnsley’s first-ever season in the Premier League.
The relegation wasn’t confirmed before the fixture at Leicester’s old Filbert St Ground but the writing was on the wall.
It’s quite a coincidence that 25 years ago Barnsley were on the brink of relegation with 2 fixtures remaining and 25 years on, Leicester are on the brink of relegation with 2 fixtures remaining.
Barnsley take on Bolton in the 2nd-leg of the League One Play-off Semi-Final at Oakwell on Friday night, with the tie evenly poised at 1-1 from the 1st-leg in Bolton.
It’s quite conceivable that Barnsley can gain promotion to the Championship and face Leicester next season following the Foxes’ relegation.
That’s for the future, for now, it was a trip down the M1 to Leicester to watch the Super Reds try a stave off the drop but in truth just to complete 19 away trips of a memorable year.
Armed with the Egg Mayonnaise Sandwiches and the doctored Bottles of Coca-Cola, with Mr Smirnoff in attendance, the girls and boys of the Red and White Army set off South to watch their idols.
The Foxes, under the guidance of Martin O’Neill, lined up as follows,
Kasey Keller, Matt Elliott, Steve Walsh, Steve Guppy, Neil Lennon, Muzzy Izzet, Robbie Savage, Theo Zagorakis, Tony Cottee, Emile Heskey and Ian Marshall.
Graham Fenton for Tony Cottee 83rd Minute
Danny Wilson sent out these legends for the Final time on the road.
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Darren Barnard, Arjan De Zeeuw, Adie Moses, Scott Jones, Neil Redfearn, Eric Tinkler, Jan Age Fjortoft, Clint Marcelle and Ashley Ward.
Jovo Bosancic for Eric Tinkler 56th Minute
Martin Bullock for Scott Jones 59th Minute
Andy Liddell for Jan Age Fjortoft 69th Minute
In the Leicester Sunshine, a boozer was found to have a few pre-match pints before venturing into the old Ground.
The Barnsley players were nervous and in truth, the constant struggle just to exist had started to take its toll on them, this eventually led to a Leicester goal scored by Theo Zagorakis in the 57th minute that ultimately gained the victory for the Foxes by a 1-0 scoreline.
It was over, the inevitability of suffering relegation was confirmed and whilst some shed tears, John Newsome got out the Coca-Cola bottle and had a couple of swigs.
Some asked for a sample and once taken, there were the odd complaints of,
‘That Cokes off!’
It was a steady depressing ride back up the road to Barnsley but there wasn’t a dilemma this week as to whether to stay Out or go Out/Out.
The boys and girls went straight into the Town Centre pubs and drank the night away, drowning the sorrows of the day and the confirmed thought that next season, there wouldn’t be any trips to Old Trafford, Highbury or Anfield.
Also, not understanding, that as of May 2023, 25 years later, there hasn’t been another adventure in the Promised Land, for Barnsley FC, with no signs of promotion to the Premier League occurring anytime soon.
15-Tottenham 43 pts (minus-12 goals)
16-Wimbledon 43 pts (minus-12 goals)
17-Bolton 40 pts (minus-18 goals)
18-Everton 39 pts (minus-15 goals)
19-Barnsley 35 pts (minus-43 goals)
20-Crystal Palace 30 pts (minus-35 goals)
Home Win 1-0
After 5 previous attempts this season, Rangers finally gained a victory over Celtic on Saturday, with the Teddy Bears taking advantage of the Green and White Hoops over celebrations on the Tennents Super, following the Scottish Pub League Title Win.
The loveable OzScot took 3 days off work and hired an Open Top Bus following the victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
One day for each goal scored.
Whilst riding around the streets of Melbourne, Braveheart and Lad did look a bit silly being just the two on the 55 Seater Bus.
The driver couldn’t understand what was happening but was happy to play along and drove all day with Kylie on the Bus’ CD player singing,
‘I’m spinning around!’
Over and over and over again!