John Newsome has a supply of red bull cans at the ready as he pours through the stats and scours the latest team news to deliver his unique and detailed preview of all the upcoming English Premier League week 30 matches. 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 time of publication.
NORWICH v SOUTHAMPTON
This Friday fixture kicks-off at 18.00 PM in England and gives both the Canaries and Saints their first match after the Lockdown.
This game is on Sky Sports but will be shown free-to-air on Pick, which on the Sky Box is channel 159 and on Freeview is channel 11, so at least something good as come out of this pandemic, some Top Flight football is free to watch.
Norwich remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table following a 1-0 defeat away at Bramall Lane when they last played back in March.
Daniel Farke’s Canaries conceded the goal midway through the 1st-half and had almost an hour to get back into the game but the Blades shut out Norwich to inflict another defeat on Daniel’s boys.
With just 21-points, 13-less than today’s visitors, Norwich are 6-points away from safety and with only 9-games remaining, it’s looking increasingly likely that Norwich will be travelling to Huddersfield, Reading and Stoke next season, however, not Barnsley as the Reds from Oakwell will themselves be relegated to the Third Tier, due to the incompetent running of the club by owners who haven’t a clue about football.
After a brief renaissance that saw Southampton gain vital victories in December and January, Wreck-It Ralph’s Saints have now suffered 4-defeats from their last 5-Premier League games, the last being a 1-0 defeat against Newcastle in March.
Southampton’s impressive young striker, Moussa Djenepro had an indifferent 30-minutes, not only not scoring a goal but getting a straight Red Card following a horror challenge on Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden, so young Moussa has an extended Lockdown and won’t have kicked a ball in anger for almost 4-months by the time his ban is up.
The dreaded VAR (that’s back as well!) got involved in Moussa’s sending off and informed the on-field referee, Graham Scott to go and look at the pitch-side monitor.
At first, the St Mary’s ground-staff looked confused as they didn’t know where the monitor was, having been redundant for most of the season.
One of the eagle-eyed staff pointed out the monitor to Graham and after having another look at the challenge by Moussa, rightly decided to show the Red.
Twenty-Nine games into a Thirty-Eight game season and the pitch-side monitors are now being used, however, still not for every decision just potential Red Card incidents.
Whilst a positive, the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Official’s Limited) and it’s boss Mike Riley should hang their heads in shame having made a mockery of the VAR, from the start.
The 10-men failed to break down the 11-men of Newcastle and succumbed to a late goal to ultimately lose the tie.
Newcastle did miss a penalty too in the 1st-half with the spot-kick saved by the Saints stopper, Alex McCarthy.
The 34-points gained already, isn’t yet enough to give Ralph Hasenhuttl security and he will feel that a couple of more victories is what is needed to keep them in the Premier League and will definitely target this fixture against the team at the bottom of the table.
In early December, at St Mary’s, Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand gave the Saints a 2-0 lead going into the break.
Teemu Pukki pulled a goal back in the 2nd-half but Southampton held on for the 2-1 victory.
Bet365 offer Norwich at 3.20, the Draw at 3.40 and 2.25 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 7/2 that Teemu Pukki Scores First and slight Odds On 5/6 that Danny Ings Scores Anytime.
TOTTENHAM v MANCHESTER UNITED
As Robert Smith of The Cure once said ‘Friday I’m In Love’
What a cracker of a game to watch on a Friday Night, with the Just Eat and the Vino.
Late football kicking-off at 20.15 PM in England live on Sky Sports.
What a game at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham facing up against his old club Manchester United where the fire was starting to come back into the Red Devil’s, prior to the Lockdown after Dracula sucked the life out of them in his reign at United.
Tottenham went behind in theIr last game at Turf Moor and trailed 1-0 at the break.
Fortunately for Jose and his Spurs, Burnley conceded a penalty early in the 2nd-half, with which under fire Tottenham striker Dele Alli coolly slotted home to equalise.
The game finished 1-1 with both teams taking home a point.
Mr Alli, unfortunately, won’t be putting on the boots for this game as the lad is banned following a video released by a so-called mate.
Tottenham have 41-points and sit in 8th-position in the Premier League table, a point more than their North London rivals Arsenal (prior to Arsenal’s trip to the Etihad) and 4-points less than today’s opponents.
Spurs lost against RB Leipzig in the 2nd-leg of the Champions League tie and are now out of that particular competition.
Manchester United completed a Premier League double over Noisy Neighbours City in their final game in March, with another masterclass performance from new boy Bruno Fernandes who has quickly become a fans favourite at Old Trafford.
With United having a free-kick just outside of the City penalty area, a superb piece of innovative thinking saw Bruno scoop the ball over the City wall and into the path of Anthony Martial who shot and scored United’s opener.
To be fair, the City ‘keeper should have saved Tony’s effort but that won’t bother the faithful.
City did have most of the possession against United but failed to really cause the Red Devil’s problems other than a couple of moments late in the game.
With time running out, the City ‘keeper made another gaffe, throwing the ball supposedly to his left-back, yet the ball fell nicely to Scott McTominay who superbly slotted home from 30-yards into the open City goal.
It could be argued that United were lucky against the Noisy Neighbours but a win is a win and that is now 3-victories over City this season, 2 in the Premier League and 1 in the Carabao Cup Semi-Final, however, that victory wasn’t enough to go through to the final as United had lost the 1st-leg of that tie.
United are unbeaten in 10-games in all competitions, 5 in the Premier League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer beginning to win over the faithful after a turbulent time.
As mentioned on a few occasions in this EveryTip column, Ole has a series of Phases to go through to get United back eating at the top table.
It was never going to be a quick fix but as of the modern football fans instant demands, it did look at one point that Ole wouldn’t get the opportunity to continue achieving his Phases.
That in itself didn’t make any sense as Manchester United needed to put their faith in Ole after the failures of David Moyes and Jose Mourinho.
It would be too harsh to include Louis Van Gaal in the same failure sentence as the Two Ms, Moyes and Mourinho, as Louis technically didn’t fail, just wasn’t backed by the United hierarchy.
Remember, Louis had just won the FA Cup, prior to his sacking and finished 5th in the Premier League which was an improvement on David’s tenure.
It looks from the outside that Louis fell out with a few players and with Jose on the market, the bosses at Old Trafford decided to bring in the Dark One.
Ole is literally picking up the pieces from the failed manager debacle and with 2-Phases achieved, there are a couple of big months coming up for the Norwegian gaffer who will be hoping to break into the Top 4 and try and win the FA Cup and Europa League.
Whenever the Summer Transfer Window opens, Phase 3 starts with the recruitment of at least 3-players that will enhance United.
However, due to the break, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are now fit and will be like new signings to United, so the CV has worked in United’s favour.
Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Harry Kane are names that are being banded about.
The trio will cost millions but United have millions.
Considering Ole hasn’t had the services of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, United are in prime position to compete against Liverpool and Man City next season.
A lot will say that there is no way Ole can compete with Jurgen and Pep.
Maybe, maybe not but Manchester United as a club can compete with Liverpool and Man City, that’s for certain.
Forgotten man Alexis Sanchez maybe returning to Old Trafford in the summer, which will be like another new signing, if Alexis recreates the form shown at Arsenal that granted him a move to Old Trafford.
Despite mixed emotions about Paul, with some wanting the French midfielder out of Manchester, Paul is still a class player and with the wind blowing in the right direction, Paul would enhance any team.
The problem is, the direction is not necessarily going Paul’s way and a lot of the wind comes from his enigmatic agent Mino Raiola.
Would Tottenham sell Harry Kane? Would Harry want to join Manchester United?
Most Tottenham fans would be up in arms if Harry contemplated moving to Old Trafford, however, money talks and Harry will turn 27-years old at the start of the new season, with Tottenham going backwards under Dracula, a £150 Million offer to Daniel Levy and £300,000 a week for Harry, could just tempt the England striker up North.
By the way, Tottenham have just taken out a £150 Million loan, coincidence?
After Ole has bagged the FA Cup in July, imagine the United line-up in the Community Shield against Liverpool in early whenever!
David De Gea in goal, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Brandon Williams, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane.
If David De Gea is sold, Dean Henderson is a ready-made replacement, Luke Shaw can compete with young Brandon, Eric Bailly is quite an adequate substitute for Harry or Victor.
With Andreas Pereira, Dan James, Tahith Chong, Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe and others waiting in the wings, United are in the ascendancy.
Nemanja Matic has been offered a new 1-year deal to stay in Manchester and whilst the Serbian midfielder probably won’t play that many games next season, his knowledge and experience in the dressing room will be invaluable to the youngsters.
In the 20-games that Nemanja has started this season, United have kept a clean sheet in 14 of them.
There is a 16-year old youngster currently playing in the Championship for Birmingham City.
It’s rumoured that United are in talks with the Midlands club to sign the youngster, even giving him and his parents a tour of Carrington, Manchester United’s training complex.
Jude Bellingham is a midfielder who is currently taking the Championship by storm for Birmingham, including a comprehensive display against Barnsley FC where it was seen at first hand, just how good young Jude is.
Birmingham beat Barnsley by a 1-0 scoreline that night, with Jude getting the assist for the goal.
Whilst nothing is confirmed, Jude could just be at Old Trafford come the start of next season.
Ole’s Wheels comfortably beat Jose’s Spurs back in early December at Old Trafford in what was only Jose’s 3rd-game at the Tottenham helm.
Marcus Rashford scored both goals, the 2nd a penalty, in the 2-1 victory against Spurs with Dele Alli getting the Lillywhites reply.
Bet365 offer Tottenham at 2.80, the Draw at 3.40 and 2.40 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
WATFORD v LEICESTER
Early Saturday Afternoon kick-off at 12.30 PM in England, live on BT Sports.
After getting the result of the season, prior to Lockdown, beating Liverpool, it was a bit like after the Lord Mayor’s Parade for Watford when they headed over to South London and came away with nothing following a 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace in the Hornets last fixture, before the extended break.
Probably what Nigel Pearson and his boys can take as a positive from the defeat is none of the clubs around them in the relegation battle won either.
Watford sit just outside of the bottom 3 with 27-points, the same 27 as Bournemouth who are in the drop zone and West Ham who sit just above the Hornets by way of a better goal difference.
The 1-0 defeat at Selhurst Park, was 1 of 4, 1-0 scorelines in the 7-Premier League fixtures played.
Liverpool v Bournemouth finished 2-1 in favour of the Champions elect, Wolves v Brighton finished 0-0 and Burnley v Tottenham finished 1-1, so there weren’t many goals on that particular Saturday nights Match Of The Day and was interesting to see Gary Lineker and the boys spinning out the 7-games, which accrued only 9-goals in total, maybe at the time, the lads were trying to come up with how to entertain the football fraternity on a Saturday night during the pandemic closure.
This will be an emotional reunion for Big Nigel with his first involvement against the Foxes since he left the club at the end of the 2014/15 season.
Leicester went on to win the Premier League title in the 2015/16 season, with Claudio Ranieri being rightly credited as the manager of the surprise Premier League winners.
However, Big Nigel had assembled most of the Foxes title-winning players and had worked with Kasper Schmeichel, Wes Morgan, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy so in some ways, should be afforded respect at the King Power.
A quick word about Troy Deeney.
Big Troy is a legend at Vicarage Rd and should be afforded tremendous respect so his decision not to return to training, whilst may not have gone down well with a lot of football fans, some who have had to return to their specific jobs without the testing for the virus that these Premier League players have had and are putting themselves and their families at risk everyday, shouldn’t be victimised.
Troy had his reasons.
Leicester got back on track in what turned out to be the final game of the Premier League before the lockdown on Monday Night Football, back in March, smashing Aston Villa by a 4-0 scoreline.
Harvey Barnes took advantage of a poor decision by the experienced Villa ‘keeper Pepe Reina, who inexplicably came running out of his goal in the hope of beating Harvey to the ball.
As Pepe is 37-years old and Harvey B is only 22, it was no contest with Harvey clipping the ball around Pepe and placing the ball into the goal with 2-Aston Villa defenders scrambling back as cover for Poor Pepe, to give the Foxes a 1-0 lead at half-time.
After the break, Brendan introduced Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy who had missed the last few games due to injury and started the game against Villa on the bench.
Within a couple of minutes of Jamie’s introduction, Leicester were awarded a penalty initially by the on-field referee Michael Oliver but then confirmed by VAR.
Jamie stepped up and converted the penalty after Pepe had tried to put Jamie off.
Vards was quick to point out to the Spanish ‘keeper, that he was the man.
After failing to score so far in 2020, Mr Vardy made up for the drought by scoring his 2nd and Leicester’s 3rd with 10-minutes remaining.
Harvey Barnes scored his 2nd too, 5-minutes later to give both Harvey and Jamie 2-goals apiece and Leicester a brilliant 4-0 victory against a sorry Villa side.
The 3-points gained, gives Brendan’s Wonderful Human Beings 53-points, 4-behind Man City in 2nd-position, and 5-more than Chelsea who sit in 4th-place in the Premier League.
It’s rumoured Rod Stewart went out the following day and bought a Watford shirt with ‘STEWART’ on the back.
When these teams met at the King Power back in early December, Hayden Mullins was in temporary charge of the Hornets prior to Nigel Pearson’s appointment.
After a goalless 1st-half, Jamie Vardy converted a penalty, and James Maddison scored in the 95th-minute to give the Foxes a great 2-0 victory.
Bet365 offer Watford at 3.40, the Draw at 3.50 and 2.05 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
BRIGHTON v ARSENAL
A first for the watching millions in England, in the fact that this will be the first Premier League game shown live at 15.00 PM on a Saturday afternoon, on BT Sport.
A first that is, legally, as there are a few boozers that show the Saturday afternoon games, shall one say, through a Dodgy Box.
Well, it gets the punters in and after this current situation, the pubs, more than ever, need to find some way of getting the drinkers back in.
Over the lockdown period, the likes of Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s (other Co-ops and Waitrose’s are available) have kept the girls and boys going supplying the Beer, Lager, Cider, Wine (Nowt wrong with Rose Serg!) and the stronger stuff for the housewives and househusbands that have the kids running around all day.
It’s now perceived that the reason kids go to school is not to learn, it’s to stop the parents from turning to the sauce at 9.00 AM.
Now that it’s known that the supermarkets provide cheapish alcohol, to take away the hurt, the pubs need to not charge £6 quid for a pint or £8 quid for a half glass of vino.
There will be many who want to go down the boozer but the establishments need to be careful not overprice the medicine as folk will think, sod that, off back to Aldi!
Brighton got one of their best results of the season just before the break, despite not scoring against Wolves, the Seagulls didn’t concede either and came away from Molineux with a point following a 0-0 draw.
Although Graham Potter’s men didn’t score, Wolves were flying at the time and to get an away-day point against Nuno’s Gold and Blacks is definitely a positive in a period where Brighton have struggled and slipped down the Premier League table.
The point gained gives the Seagulls 29 so far, 2-more than West Ham, Watford and Bournemouth, who are all vying to keep out of the relegation places and who all lost their last fixtures.
All the Brighton faithful will hope for is to stay ahead of the others then regroup in the summer, with some new recruits, to push on next season.
Arsenal got a professional 1-0 victory against their London rivals, West Ham, in their game before the lockdown and now head to the South Coast for this Saturday Afternoon 15.00 PM kick-off which is a rarity in itself for the Gooners who often watch their beloved Arsenal on a Sunday.
That as become less now that the Gunners did all their fans a favour and decided to pull out of the Europa League for personal reasons.
The personal reason being that they were rubbish and let slip a lead in the 2-legged tie against Olympiacos.
The annoying thing about that affair against Olympiacos was Pep 2’s team won the away leg 1-0 and took a priceless away goal to the Emirates.
After then conceding an Olympiacos away goal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead in the 2nd-period of Extra-Time that looked like it would see Arsenal progress.
Knowing that the faithful were fed up of playing on a Thursday and Sunday, Arsenal conceded an Olympiacos 2nd-goal in the 120th-minute to draw the game 2-2 on aggregate, however, with Olympiacos having 2-away goals, the Greeks progressed and Arsenal return to playing on a Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick’s contract is up at the end of next season, so with just over a year left, talks have begun to try and tie the Gabon striker down.
It’s reported that Pierre wants £300,000 a week, which although a lot of money, £15,600,000 a year, in football terms is within reason as even if Arsenal give Pierre-Emerick a 4-year contract, that’s a total of just over £62 Million.
Arsenal won’t be able to buy a player of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stature and ability for £62 Million then the wages on top, so maybe £300,000 a week is worth it.
The good thing for Pierre and connections is someone will pay it, whether it’s Arsenal or not, there will be takers for the Gabon striker who, as they say up t’north,
‘Knows where t’net is!’
He’s got a nice Crib too, as MTV say.
Arsenal will have played Man City prior to this visit to Brighton as Mikel heads back to the Etihad to reacquaint with Pep.
Brighton stunned the Gunners in early December at the Emirates with Freddie Ljungberg in temporary charge before Mikel Arteta arrived.
Adam Webster scored in the 1st-half to give the Seagulls a lead at the break.
Alexandre Lacazette did equalise within 5-minutes of the restart to give the Gooners hope.
Brighton left it late to get the winner with Neal Maupay scoring the vital goal to give Graham Potter’s boys a great 2-1 victory over Freddie’s limp Gunners.
Bet365 offer Brighton at 3.40, the Draw at 3.50 and 2.15 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
WEST HAM v WOLVES
Late Saturday Afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports, this being a 17.30 PM start time in England.
West Ham suffered a 1-0 defeat away at the Emirates against Arsenal prior to the Lockdown.
It’s now just 1-victory in 9-Premier League games which is worrying times for the Hammers.
That said, the performances in the last few games have been positive, despite the losses so there is still hope for the Bubbles faithful.
The Hammers have 27-points, the same as Bournemouth and Watford and due to the goal difference, West Ham are sitting above both of them.
The problem for David Moyes and West Ham could come from Aston Villa who are only 2-points behind but do have a game in hand over all 3, of the 27-point teams, so definitely all to play for.
Villa will have played that game in hand before this fixture at the London Stadium kicks-off.
Wolves sit in 6th-position in the Premier League table with 43-points, a point more than before the 0-0 draw against Brighton, last time out.
Despite not scoring, Nuno’s Gold and Blacks didn’t concede and whilst most would have had Wolves beat Brighton at Molineux, a point gained is 1-more than Wolves had at the start of the day.
Wolves took on Arsenal’s Europa League conquerors Olympiacos, in Greece, in their last game prior to the halt in the season.
With the Coronavirus in its infancy, that game in Greece went ahead but was played behind closed doors, without fans, so Wolves will have had experience of the empty stadia.
Nuno’s boys got a great 1-1 draw against Olympiacos and take a valuable away goal back to the Midlands once the Europa League reconvenes.
Talking of supermarkets, Pedro Neto scored the Gold and Black vital away goal.
However, that particular 2nd-leg, may not be at Molineux and could quite conceivably be staged as a part of a tournament in one country, where all remaining teams go and stay in a UEFA Bubble, to complete the competition.
When West Ham headed to Molineux back in early December, for the Amazon jungle fixture, Wolves got a 2-0 victory over Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers.
Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone with the Wolves goals.
Patrick had only been on the pitch 2-minutes before his goal.
The Italian striker didn’t have the best of times at Molineux with only 12-appearances and 2-goals in his short stay following his transfer from AC Milan last summer.
Patrick left Wolves in the January Transfer Window and went back to Italy to strut his stuff for Fiorentina.
Bet365 offer West Ham at 3.30, the Draw at 3.40 and 2.15 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
BOURNEMOUTH v CRYSTAL PALACE
The final Saturday game with a 19.45 PM kick-off in England.
Also, this Premier League game is free-to-air with the BBC 1 showing their first live Top Flight football game since 1988.
It’s got to better than watching Alan Carr being Jim Bowen.
Now there’s nothing wrong with old Alan and he’s loved by everyone but Jim Bowen is the man when it comes to Bullseye.
Back in 1988 when the BBC were last showing Division 1 football, Bullseye was brilliant.
It’s a programme about Darts and where a miner from Grimethorpe could quite conceivably win a Speedboat.
Jim was famous for saying, just before the ad-breaks, that it would take him 3-minutes to count out £20 quid and as Peter Kay would say,
‘What’s it in Jim, 2ps’
You get nothing in this game for 2 in a bed and Eddie Howe knows that he gets nothing in this game, if the Cherries don’t perform against Roy Hodgson’s Eagles.
Bournemouth initially stunned the Anfield faithful in their final game before the break, with the Callum of the Wilson’s scoring an opening goal for Eddies Cherries.
Unfortunately for Eddie and his Cherries, that just sparked Liverpool into life and two of Jurgen’s big guns scored midway through the 1st-half to send Bournemouth in at half-time, trailing 2-1.
With no further goals in the 2nd-half, the Cherries suffered another defeat at Anfield and with just 1-point gained from their last 4-Premier League fixtures, Eddie Howe’s boys find themselves in the relegation places, with just 27-points in total.
Bournemouth have some extremely tough games coming up, in truth, all of the Premier League games are tough but with a trip to Molineux coming up next, Eddie and his boys have also trips to Manchester to take on both of the clubs and a final game of the season, an away-day to Goodison Park which will be a big ask if Bournemouth need a result to prevent relegation.
As well as the difficult trips on the road, Bournemouth host, starting with this visit of Palace, Newcastle, Tottenham, Leicester and Southampton.
The signs don’t look good for Eddie who as worked miracles over the past few years but maybe his and the Cherries time in the Premier League are coming to an end.
What was never going to be a high scoring game against Watford, Jordan Ayew scored the only goal early on in the 1-0 victory which gave Palace all 3-points, that victory, like all the previous games, seems a long time ago and it’s as if March, April and May have been blended into one.
The victory gives Roy’s Boys 39-points which should see them safe if anyone was thinking that Palace would be dragged into a relegation battle.
For those who always knew Palace were going to be safe under Roy, then 39-points is really the expectation of where Crystal Palace are.
At nearly 73-years old, Roy Hodgson has been given a contract extension at Selhurst Park which the majority of the Eagle Ultras should be happy with.
Roy will never be Pep, either 1 or 2, never be Jurgen, the Liverpool fans will vouch for that, yet Roy will keep a team in the Premier League.
Ask the Norwich fans what they would prefer, relegation to the Championship or a steady mid-table finish each year in the Premier League which is what Roy virtually guarantees.
In the midweek Amazon Prime fixture back in early December at Selhurst Park, despite Mamadou Sakho being sent off after just 15-minutes, Roy’s Eagles took the spoils with Jeffrey Schlupp getting the solitary goal in the 2nd-half to gain the 1-0 victory against Eddie’s Cherries.
Bet365 offer Bournemouth at 2.45, the Draw at 3.25 and 2.87 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
NEWCASTLE v SHEFFIELD UNITED
A 14.00 PM start time in England, live on Sky Sports and Freeview Pick.
Newcastle got a great 1-0 victory away at St Mary’s in their last fixture back in March, with Allan Saint-Maximin getting the solitary Magpies goal, which is coincidental really, being called ‘Saint’ and scoring against the Saints at St Mary’s.
There was talk that Steve Bruce and Allan had a fallout but even if the pair are not best of friends, Big Brucey just needs to smile and continue to pick Allan SM, which sounds like a local Radio station Hallam FM, because the Magpies are definitely a better side with Allan playing than when he’s on the bench.
Matt Ritchie did have a 1st-half penalty saved by the Saints‘ keeper but luckily for Matt and the following Toon Army, the miss wasn’t costly.
The 3-points gained against Southampton lifts Newcastle above the Saints in the Premier League table and with 35-points, a couple more victories in the remaining 9-games should suffice in keeping Steve’s Boys in the Top Flight for another year.
Considering ex-Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez was lauded by the Toon Army, Steve Bruce is well on the way to amassing more points than the Spanish waiter, who accrued 44 and 45-points in the 2-seasons he took charge of the Magpies in the Premier League.
During the lockdown, Mike Ashley and Newcastle United are in the process of parting company with a Saudi Arabian consortium possibly paying Mike the dollar he wants to head back to London.
Watch this space.
Sheffield United will have played against Aston Villa before this fixture at St James Park and could easily be sitting in 5th-place but for the time being, assume that game hasn’t taken place yet.
Chris Wilder’s boys continued their quest for a potential Europa League qualification for next season with a professional 1-0 victory against Norwich in March.
Blades Legend Billy Sharp got the all-important goal in the 1st-half to give United the win and the 3-points gained lifts the Blades up to 7th-place in the Premier League table with 43-points, the same as 6th-place Wolves, however, having played a game less than Nuno’s boy.
Sheffield United are 2-points behind Manchester United who sit in 5th, with 45-points.
Chris Wilder was happy, honestly but he forgot to let his face know.
Another Blunt that was happy too was little James from Swinton, which is nowhere near Bramall Lane.
It’s rumoured that when James was younger, he supported Sheffield United because he thought they were Manchester United as they both play in Red and White and both have United in their name.
A lot will think that is silly but it really is that simple with little Jimbo.
He’s already washed his Aldi bag for life ready for the big European adventure which is on the horizon and is hoping the dreaded Coronavirus doesn’t scupper his plans for a trip to Aberdeen.
Little Jim is not bothered about the dreaded CV because, as he says, if he can’t pronounce Coronavirus or spell it, it’s not real and James struggles to spell VAR and confuses that with RAV, so he’s no chance with Coronavirus, good job he doesn’t work on Toyota’s.
When asked about the Coronavirus outbreak, Jim went out and bought a load of limes for some reason, bless him.
What James and the rest of the Blunts were happy with was the brilliant display produced by arguably Manchester United’s best goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
Dean is on loan at Bramall Lane but it’s increasingly likely that he will return to Old Trafford at the end of the season if Manchester United decide to sell David De Gea to bring in some funds.
For the time being, Big Hendo is performing brilliantly between the sticks at the Lane, producing a set of World Class saves in the victory against Norwich.
The Toon Army headed for a Thursday night out in Sheffield back in December and saw their beloved Magpies get a great 2-0 away-day victory.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey scored either side of the break to give ex-Sheffield United and Wednesday boss Brucey a win against Chris Wilder, who wasn’t happy.
Bet365 offer Newcastle at 3.40, the Draw at 3.10 and 2.25 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
ASTON VILLA v CHELSEA
Late Sunday Afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports, starting at 16.15 PM in England.
Frank Lampard v John Terry.
The 2-Chelsea and England legends go head to head at Villa Park, albeit John’s role is as the Assistant to Dean Smith but still both in the dugout.
(EveryTip’s Best of 3, Lampard-Gerrard-Scholes and Campbell-Ferdinand-Terry, May 19th and June 5th)
Prior to Aston Villa’s 4-0 defeat against the Foxes back in March, in what turned out to be the final Premier League game before the halt, they did have the best of the Saturday results without even playing, with Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham all losing.
Unfortunately for all connections at Villa Park, Villa were woeful and probably needed the break more than any of the others, to try and regroup.
Following the drubbing by Leicester, it’s now 4-Premier League defeats in a row for the Villains.
Before this tough fixture against the Blues, Villa will have already played in the opening game after the Premier League reconvenes, with their game in hand against Sheffield United, so technically, depending on the result against the Blades, could have lost 5-games in a row.
What may be a concern is the goalkeeper situation where Dean Smith brought in the experienced Pepe Reina, who hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory in the time he’s been at the club.
The 1st-goal against Leicester was down to Pepe Le Pew, who went walkabouts and left his goal abandoned allowing Leicester to score.
It could be argued that Pepe was responsible for Leicester’s 3rd in which the ball went past him easily at the near post.
That said, Pepe will argue that he’s not getting enough cover from his defenders who appear all at sea at the moment.
Tyrone Mings could consider himself unfortunate when it was adjudged the ball struck his arm in the 2nd-half against Leicester that resulted in a penalty being awarded against him.
That’s what usually happens when a team is struggling, decisions go against them and Villa are certainly struggling.
Dean’s Claret and Blues are in the relegation places when the season re-starts, however, a victory in their game in hand would automatically lift them out of the bottom 3 and above Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham, so all is not lost.
Chelsea did hit a bit of form prior to the lockdown and will hope that they can pick up where they left off.
RB Leipzig’s German striker Timo Werner is heading to Stamford Bridge when this extended season finishes, in a deal worth a reported £48 Million.
In Chelsea’s last Premier League fixture, what looked like a tricky affair against Everton, Chelsea blitzed the Toffees, winning both halves 2-0.
Mason Mount and Pedro with the Blues 1st-half, 2-goals and Willian and Olivier Giroud with the 2nd-half, 2-goals to give Frank Lampard’s Blues a great 4-0 victory.
With Manchester United’s subsequent victory in the Manchester Derby, the Blues remain in the lucrative 4th-spot in the Premier League, with 48-points, 3-more than Ole’s Wheels.
Although it looks increasingly likely that Chelsea will exit this season’s Champions League, whenever that particular competition restarts, after losing the 1st-leg of their tie with Bayern Munich by a 3-0 scoreline, the Blues look in prime position to stay in the Top 4 for another crack next term.
The strange thing too is because of Man City’s impending European ban, both the 4th and 5th placed teams can qualify for the Champions League.
Whether that’s Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolves or even Sheffield United it’s up for grabs so to speak.
At Stamford Bridge back in early December, Villa’s Trezeguet equalised a Tammy Abraham opener for the Blues to take both teams in level at the break.
Mason Mount scored Chelsea’s winner within minutes of the restart to give Frank a great 2-1 victory over his mate John Terry.
Bet364 offer Aston Villa at 5.50, the Draw at 4.33 and slight Odds On 1.53 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
EVERTON v LIVERPOOL
Sunday Night Football live on Sky Sports and the new home of football-Pick, channel 159, and Freeview channel 11, with a 19.00 PM kick-off in England.
This fixture sees the 3rd-Merseyside Derby of the season, including the FA Cup contest between the two.
In the Toffees last game prior to the Lockdown, Carlo Ancelotti endured a torrid afternoon on his return to Stamford Bridge where the Italian spent 2-seasons as the boss from 2009-11.
Having been given a 3-year contract at the Bridge, Carlo won the title in his first season then finished runners up to Manchester United in his second season.
Unfortunately for Mr Ancelotti, that wasn’t good enough for Roman Abramovich who sacked the Italian legend after the final game of the 2010/11 season.
Ironically, Carlo’s final game in charge of Chelsea was a 1-0 defeat against Everton.
Within 2-hours of that defeat at Goodison Park, Big Carlo was heading back to Italy, sacked but with a hefty severance pay-cheque in his back pocket.
Although the fans and Frank Lampard gave Carlo a warm welcome at Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Blues taught Everton a football lesson, scoring 2-goals in either half to inflict a 4-0 defeat on Carlo and his Toffees.
Everton slipped a couple of places in the Premier League table down to 12th, with 37-points, so all connected with the Toffees will feel a few more points are needed to stave off a relegation threat.
Against the Cherries back in March, after just 8-minutes, the Anfield faithful must have feared the worse when Bournemouth took an early lead.
Following poor results and displays against West Ham, Atletico Madrid and Watford, Jurgen must have thought the poor run was continuing.
Fortunately for the Reds, Mo Salah equalised midway through the 1st-half then within minutes, Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a 2-1 half-time lead.
Bournemouth put up a fight in the 2nd-half but with no more goals, Liverpool held on for the victory and got back to winning ways.
Then when everyone was booking Open-Topped buses and days off work, the dreaded Coronavirus kicked in and scuppered, for the time being, Liverpool’s Premier League title victory.
Despite the blip against Watford and the break for the CV, Liverpool are going to finally win the Premier League and with 82-points from a possible 87, Jurgen’s Reds are on course to smash the highest points tally in Premier League history.
Liverpool have 9-games remaining with a possibility of achieving 109-points if they win all of those 9-games.
Man City have 10-games left but if successful in all of them, can only get 90-points, so in theory, Liverpool need 9-points to get their coveted 1st-Premier League title and their 1st-League title in 30-years.
A strange scenario could occur this week in that Man City play before this Sunday Night game at Goodison Park.
It’s unlikely to happen but if Man City lose against Arsenal, Liverpool will be crowned Premier League Champions with a victory in their Merseyside rivals back-yard, giving both the Red and Blues the chance to celebrate.
It’s said that the fans won’t turn up at Goodison Park due to the pandemic, however, some are not so sure and it’s felt that there will be a congregation at both Anfield and Goodison.
There’s a situation at the moment regarding White Political Institutions and Black Lives Matter protestors attending rallies in large numbers which shouldn’t be happening, it’s therefore quite possible that the Reds and Blues of Merseyside will turn out on the streets of Liverpool on Sunday night.
A lot of people of a certain generation, grew up seeing Liverpool’s dominance in the late ‘70s and most of the ‘80s and when Kenny Dalglish, who was a hero to many football fans whether Liverpool supporters or not, lead the Reds to the Division 1 title in the 1989/90 season, nobody would have thought it would be 30-years until Liverpool got their hands on the Top Flight trophy again.
Prior to Manchester United winning the inaugural Premier League title in the 1992/93 season, the Red Devil’s themselves had gone 26-years without a title victory.
The hierarchy at Old Trafford brought in Alex Ferguson to stop Liverpool’s dominance and even with the best will in the world, couldn’t have envisaged that Liverpool would go 30-years until their next title win.
In that time, both Kenny and Alex have now become ‘Sirs’ and rightly so, both true legends of British Football.
Mobile Phones are about, the youths won’t comprehend a world where there wasn’t mobile phones.
Although the phones were starting to get produced in 1990, it was simply unimaginable that everyone would have one on their persons.
More importantly, Computers and the World Wide Web, surely there’s a simpler way to say that? were in their infancy.
Facebook and Twitter weren’t even invented back when Liverpool last won the Top Flight title.
When the 50-year old generation were around in 1990, there were no cameras on phones, no Instagram, no paying £8 quid for a Dubbonet and Coke.
In 1990, it was £1.10 for a pint of lager, beer or cider, that’s all the 20-year olds drank.
None of this Disaronno and Cranberry juice malarkey.
When on a Saturday night out, late on in the nightclub and a slow dance was in the offering with a suited admirer, there was no possibility of someone filming a pathetic move, trip, fall or kiss and posting on Social Media the next day just to get ‘likes’
If a slow dance went well or even half-well, telephone numbers were exchanged, that’s not new, however, the telephone number was the home landline.
When the youths of the ‘90s had sobered up on a Sunday morning, it was then a scrambling of the memory as to who’s number was written on the hand, McDonald’s Big Mac lid or forehead.
It was Wednesday before the number was tried, not Tuesday, too soon, not Thursday, too late, Wednesday the landline was dialled.
There were numerous responses to the nervous phone call,
1. Wrong Number (standard)
2. The Time Now Is 7.40 PM
3. He’s not in!
4. She’s not in!
5. Are you in?
6. Hurry up, kick-off in 5.
A simpler time.
Would a 20-year old Millennial prefer a non-mobile, non-social media world where nothing was judged or ‘liked’?
The youths probably would still prefer this current environment, however, there’s a few out there that still hanker for the ‘80s and ‘90s where life was simpler, clothes were better and Gender was girl or boy.
The great thing about the impending Liverpool Premier League title victory is most of the Scousers still have the same clothes and hairstyles from 1990, so that’s got to be a positive.
In what turned out to be Marco Silva’s final game as the Toffees boss at Anfield in early December, Liverpool comfortably beat Everton by a 5-2 scoreline.
The fans certainly were entertained with 6-goals out of the 7, coming in the 1st-half.
Divock Origi opened the scoring after just 6-minutes with Xherdan Shaqiri getting a rare start by Jurgen, adding the Reds 2nd.
Michael Keane pulled a goal back for Everton before Divock added his 2nd and Liverpool’s 3rd soon after Michael’s goal.
Sadio Mane made it 4-1 right on half-time which looked like the end of the 1st-half scoring.
Not so, as Richarlison scored Everton’s 2nd before the whistle to give the Toffees faithful hope of a comeback.
After a goal-laden 1st-half, which saw the scoreline 4–2 at the interval, unfortunately for the Amazon Prime crowd, there was only 1-more notched after the break and that was scored in the 90th-minute by Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum which gave the Red half of Merseyside the victory and spelt the end for Marco on the Blue side.
Bet365 offer Everton at 5.50, the Draw at 4.33 and slight Odds On 1.53 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
MAN CITY v BURNLEY
Monday Night Football at the Etihad, kicking-off at 20.00 PM in England, live on Sky Sports.
Man City will have already played prior to this game against Burnley, with the game against Arsenal but whatever that result is, doesn’t really affect the outcome of Pep’s season.
The Citizens will finish as runners-up behind Liverpool.
City were beaten for the 3rd-time this current term by the Numpty Neighbours Manchester United at Old Trafford prior to the enforced break.
It’s a double defeat against the Red Devil’s in the Premier League, with Pep just winning 1 out of the 4 games the two Manchester clubs have played.
That victory was in the Carabao Cup that helped City win that particular competition.
What is strange about the 4-games between the two clubs, is that 3 of the victories were achieved by the away team, with City winning the 1st-leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final at Old Trafford but losing the home tie at the Etihad as well as the home fixture in the Premier League.
It was significant that Kevin De Bruyne was missing from the game at Old Trafford and the break will, like with a lot of players, have given Kevin the chance to get back fit.
City lacked a cutting edge without KDB and failed to create any real chances on the United goal.
Pep’s Low Flying City are now a massive 25-points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
That game in hand, however, will be played before this visit of Burnley, with City facing Arsenal at the Etihad on Wednesday.
A defeat against Arsenal would mean that Liverpool could win the title on Sunday at Goodison Park which will be a great night for all of Merseyside.
Burnley took an early lead at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium against Tottenham last time out.
Chris Wood with the Clarets goal after just 13-minutes.
Unfortunately, despite continued pressure, Burnley couldn’t add to Chris’s goal and like a bad dog walker, couldn’t hold on to the lead (have that one!) conceding a 2nd-half Spurs equaliser.
The Tottenham goal came by way of a penalty with a rash challenge from Ben Mee which the only question the dreaded VAR had to ask was whether the challenge by Ben was inside or outside of the penalty area.
The replays showed that it was clearly inside the box so a penalty was awarded.
The 1-1 draw was a vast improvement on the 5-0 defeat inflicted by Tottenham on Burnley back at Turf Moor in December.
The point gained gives Sean Dyche’s Clarets 39-for the season so far, which should make them safe from relegation, however, Sean will want a few more points just to cement their Premier League status.
Back in early December at Turf Moor, Man City comfortably beat Burnley by a 4-1 scoreline.
Gabriel Jesus scored twice, 1 in each half, with Roadie Rodri and Riyad Mahrez making it 4-0 before Robbie Brady got a very late consolation for the Clarets.
Bet365 offer Man City at massive Odds On 1.16, the Draw at 7.0 and 15 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.