Game-week 35 confirmed what most of us already knew – that Liverpool and Manchester City are streets ahead of the other clubs in the Premier League. Both gained maximum points, while the other ‘top-6’ sides laboured. Next stop in this classic head-to-head is Anfield, where few predict anything other than a rout. John Newsome previews all of the game-week 36 encounters. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday
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LIVERPOOL v HUDDERSFIELD
Friday Night Football live on Sky Sports sees relegated Huddersfield head to Anfield to be Jan’s Lambs to his fellow German countryman Jurgen’s slaughter. Jan and Jurgen are both Borussia Dortmund disciples which is apt seeing as its Easter. However, that said, there isn’t really much comparison between the 2 Germans. Jan is 15-years younger than Jurgen and played in a provincial German Club side. The only probable thing they have in common is that they coached at Borussia Dortmund. Jan has been employed by Dean Hoyle who is the Huddersfield Chairman on the undertaking that he has made the same appointment he made when Dean employed David Wagner. Life isn’t like that. Taking a chance on a guy no one has heard of because the first decision proved a success isn’t a good business model. David Wagner played for Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz ( with Jurgen!) and Schalke, Jan played for Mayen. Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.
Liverpool jumped back to the summit of the Premier League with a superb victory against Cardiff on Sunday. Georginio Wijnaldum and Old stager James Milner got the goals that took Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League. James converted a penalty, which he doesn’t miss but then did an old man walking with a stick celebration. James is an old man now 74 next month, so to score a penalty for Liverpool is quite remarkable. James Milner came on the scene at the same time as Wayne Rooney. His age rival Wayne Rooney is playing in the MLS for DC Trump. So for James Milner to be still performing in the Premier League and be playing for a side competing for the Premier League Title is a real credit to old man James. To be fair to Wayne Rooney it wasn’t his decision to go to the MLS and if up to Wayne would have stayed in the Premier League. Jose decided otherwise.
Huddersfield did manage a goal against Watford last Saturday through but as usual, the Terriers Lost. Karlan Ahearne-Grant gave the Huddersfield faithful a goal to cheer late on in the 2-1 defeat against Watford which as been a rare occurrence at home this season. At the John Smith Stadium in October, Mo Salah surprisingly was the only goalscorer in the 1-0 victory for Liverpool.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at massive Odds On 1/11, the Draw at 10/1 and 28/1 for Huddersfield to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 for Sadio Mane to Score the First Goal and 8/13 for Liverpool to Win to Nil. Which although is Odds On, £130 to win £80 is Great Value.
Home Win 4-0
TOTTENHAM v WEST HAM
Early Saturday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports sees Tottenham host their London rivals West Ham at their brand new stadium. This will be Tottenham’s 5th competitive game at the new stadium which Mauricio’s men have won the previous 4. Scoring 8 goals and conceding none. One of the 4 previous games was a superb 1-0 victory over Man City in the Champions League. That 1-0 victory enabled Tottenham to go to the Etihad and despite losing the 2nd leg tie, the fact that they shut out City at home meant that their 3 away goals in the 4-3 loss against City were enough to help them progress to the Semi-Final of that particular competition. The Spurs faithful return quickly to their swanky new home after Tuesday night’s 1-0 hard fought victory over Brighton. Christian Eriksen left it late to get the solitary goal to seal the victory. They remain in 3rd place in the Premier League with London rivals Chelsea 3-points adrift and North London rivals Arsenal 4-points adrift. All to play for at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
West Ham head the short distance over London off the back of a 2-2 draw against Leicester last time out. Michail Antonio and Lucas Perez were the Hammers goal scorers to earn West Ham their 1st-point in 4 games. Lucas was unfortunate not to get a 2nd goal when the score was 2-1 in favour of the Bubbles. He was adjudged offside when he was played through. The replays showed he was marginally onside. It’s said that things equal themselves out over the season, however, next season, with the introduction of VAR, that goal would have stood and West Ham would have been leading 3-1 going into the final stages of the game against Leicester. Next season VAR will equal everything out. The so-called big teams won’t get away with so many bad decisions made by the officials. There will still be controversy because VAR will be used for subjective decisions too. The main thing about VAR though will be the line calls which are not subjective. Line calls are fact. At the London Stadium back in October, an Erik Lamela goal just before the break was the difference between the two sides giving Tottenham the London bragging rights.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at Odds On 2/5, the Draw at 7/2 and 13/2 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Son Heung-Min Scores First and 5/2 Marco Arnautovic Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
FULHAM v CARDIFF
Remarkably, after their relegation was confirmed, Fulham have started to win games of football. Interim boss Scott Parker has managed back-to-back victories against Everton and recently a brilliant away victory against Bournemouth. Aleksandar Mitrovic won and converted a 2nd-half penalty to give Fulham a 1-0 victory over a struggling Bournemouth side. Scott has done himself no harm at all in his ongoing interview for the permanent manager’s position and the Cottages faithful must now have hopes of a quick return back to the Promised Land after a season in the Championship which will hopefully include a visit to Oakwell to take on the might Barnsley FC.
A loss at Craven Cottage wouldn’t necessarily confirm Cardiff’s relegation, however, after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat against Liverpool, Neil Warnock’s boys are 3-points adrift of Brighton and have a far inferior goal difference compared to the Seagulls, so effectively, with 3-games to go could still catch Brighton but would need a lot of results, goals and permutations to go their way. Neil will fight until the end and if the inevitability of relegation happens, should stay on as Cardiff boss, if only to give the Championship referees some earache too. The Premier League referees certainly won’t miss Big Neil on the touchline, however, his antics and comments are funny. If the Cardiff heir-achy decide to keep Neil on following relegation, Neil will get a great reception when he visits Oakwell next season.
When these 2 met at the Cardiff City Stadium back in October, goals flowed, with Cardiff getting a great 4-2 victory. Andre Schurrle put Fulham in front early in the 1st-half but Cardiff quickly wiped out the lead through Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid. Ryan Sessegnon scored Fulham’s 2nd to make the scores level at the break. Callum Paterson made it 3-2 midway through the 2nd-half before Kadeem Harris, who had only just come on as a replacement for Josh, got Cardiff’s 4th and a valuable 3-points for Neil’s Bluebirds.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 6/4, the Draw at 11/5 and 15/8 for Cardiff to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores First and 15/4 that Fulham Win to Nil.
Home Win 2-0
WATFORD v WOLVES
This game is a repeat of the recent FA Cup Semi-Final which Wolves remarkably gave away a 2-goal lead and lost the tie 3-2. Watford drew 1-1 with Southampton midweek to maintain their pursuit of a 7th-place finish and the possibility of a Europa League place. Andre Gray got a late equaliser after Shane Long had put the Saints ahead with just 8 seconds on the clock. The fastest Premier League goal ever beating the record held by the great Tottenham goal scorer Ledley King. The strange thing is if Watford beat Man City in the FA Cup final and then ultimately one of the other 3 teams finish 7th in the Premier League, finishing 7th will not be enough to qualify for the Europa League. The only way the team who finishes 7th enter the Europa League is if Man City win the FA Cup.
Wolves, along with today’s opponents Watford, Leicester and Everton, are all fighting for a possible 7th-place finish. The Gold and Blacks too played midweek entertaining Arsenal at Molineux. Not only entertaining the Gunners but smashing them 3-1 denting Arsenal’s hope of a Top 4 finish. Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota put Wolves 3-0 ahead in the 1st-half. Wolves did concede late on but it only proved to be a Gooners consolation. In October at Molineux, Watford took the spoils beating Nuno’s men 2-0. Etienne Capoue And Roberto Pereyra got 2-quick fire goals midway through the 1st-half to send the Hornet faithful back down the M1 very happy.
Bet 365 offer Watford at 11/8, the Draw at 23/10 and 19/10 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/5 that there are Over 2.5 Goals and 3/1 Watford Score in Both Halves.
CRYSTAL PALACE v EVERTON
Crystal Palace got arguably the result of the weekend last Sunday beating Arsenal 3–2 at the Emirates. Arsenal rarely lose at home but Roy Hodgson somehow masterminded a great away day performance to stun the Gunners. Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur got the all-important goals in the win. In the last 9 Premier League games, Crystal Palace have either won or lost. The last 5 being a pattern of Won, Lost, Won, Lost, Won, so on that basis are set to lose against Everton. However, that’s not how football works and the Eagles faithful will be relishing the visit of an inform Everton side to prevent the pattern from continuing.
Everton will probably argue with Crystal Palace as to who did get the result of the weekend after humiliating Manchester United on Sunday. Marco Silva’s Swingometer took a dip after the defeat against Fulham but certainly swung back in his favour after the brilliant 4-0 victory over Manchester United. The Toffees outworked, outfought and outran a very poor United side who have lost there way at the moment. Richarlison got Everton off to a great start with a superb volley past De Gea. Gylfi Sigurdsson then hit a speculative shot at De Gea’s goal which De Gea decided to watch the ball go past him. Lucas Digne got the Toffees 3rd and forgotten man Theo Walcott came off the bench to Score Everton’s 4th and inflict Manchester United’s 5th away defeat in a row. That victory was Everton’s 4th out of their last 5 games and the 3-points took them temporarily up to 7th position in the Premier League Table until the midweek games. After the midweek games, the Toffees drop to 9th, a point behind Watford and 2-points behind Wolves, where Wolves emphatic victory over Arsenal put them in that 7th-place. It’s a possibility that 7th won’t mean anything but if Man City beat Watford in the FA Cup Final, their Europa League place for winning the cup will go to the 7th-placed team who will be 1 from the 4 of Everton, Watford, Wolves and Leicester.
Crystal Palace have left it late to join that mix but Roy will want to finish as high as possible and a victory against Everton will reduce the gap between the 2 clubs to just 4-points. When these 2 teams last met back in October at Goodison Park, Everton ran out 2-0 winners. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun got 2 late goals to seal the win and take all 3-points. Luka Milivojevic takes a decent penalty and a couple of pundits recently said that Luka never misses a penalty. The pundits though weren’t at Goodison Park in October when Luka had the chance to give Palace a lead when awarded a penalty but the usually reliable Luka missed. Admittedly that was a one-off for Luka and he hasn’t missed since but that’s miss knocked the Eagles against the Toffees and Marco got the victory over Roy.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace at 17/10, the Draw at 23/10 and 31/20 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 7/1 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores First and 10/3 that Luka Milivojevic Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
SOUTHAMPTON v BOURNEMOUTH
Southampton got another point on Tuesday in their quest to stay in the Premier League. Shane Long scored for the Saints after just 8-seconds giving him the record of the fastest ever Premier League goal beating the record held by Ledley King for Tottenham. It was looking like Southampton would get all 3-points at Vicarage Rd to virtually guarantee their safety but conceded a late equaliser. The point gained at Watford puts Southampton on 37-points, 6 ahead of Cardiff with 3-games to go, so mathematically the Saints can still be caught. This south coast Derby sees Bournemouth travel the short distance east over to St Mary’s to take on Wreck-It Ralph’s side. A visit from the Cherries is probably what the Saints faithful would desire to get the chance to pick up the needed points as Bournemouth have one foot on the beach and just putting the flip-flop on the other foot.
Bournemouth are safe on 41-points but lost 1-0 at the weekend against already relegated Fulham. That was another home defeat for Eddie and the Cherries and the Vitality faithful haven’t seen a victory since January. South coast pride may kick in for this fixture against the Saints, that said Ralph needs the points more to stave off the relegation threat. When Southampton headed west back in October both teams found the goals hard to come by and the game fizzled out into a drab 0-0 draw.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 21/20, the Draw at 5/2 and 12/5 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/10 for Under 2.5 Goals and 12/1 for another 0-0 Scoreline.
Home Win 2-0
BRIGHTON v NEWCASTLE
Late Saturday Afternoon Football live on BT Sport. Brighton host Newcastle off the back of a visit to Tottenham’s Billion Pound Home. Chris Hughton didn’t get any favours from the team he played for losing that game in midweek against Tottenham 1-0. Brighton remain 3-points above Cardiff but do have a far superior goal difference over the Bluebirds. Chris will have looked at his remaining fixtures and will definitely have targeted this home game against Newcastle as one to gain vital points from. After this home game against Newcastle, Brighton have arguably 2 of the harder games than Cardiff having to visit the Emirates to take on Arsenal then hosting Pep’s High Flying City in the final game of the season with the possibility of City needing to win to take the Premier League Title. The Seagulls need to beat Rafa’s boys. As the meerkats say “Simples”.
Newcastle easily beat Southampton 3-1 on Saturday to record back-to-back victories. Ayoze Perez scored a superb hat-trick for the Magpies getting his 1st 2 in the 1st-half then completing the 3 with time running out. Rafa should be up there for the Manager of the Year awards after steering Newcastle to where they are. The Toon Army will want more from their beloved team next season and Mike Ashley will have to spend some of his pennies to keep Rafa at the club because he will be in demand. In October at St James Park, a Biram Kayal goal for Brighton was the difference between the two sides.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at 6/5, the Draw at 21/10 and 5/2 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 13/2 for a 0-0 Scoreline and 7/4 for there to be Under 1.5 Goals.
LEICESTER v ARSENAL
The first of three Sunday games sees Leicester entertain Arsenal at the King Power live on Sky Sports. Leicester got a late equaliser at the London Stadium last time out with Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy opening the scoring for Leicester and Harvey Barnes getting the late said equaliser earning the Foxes a 2-2 draw. Things could have and should have been different if the linesman had not flagged West Ham’s Lucas Perez offside when he was marginally on. At that point Leicester were trailing 2–1 and should have been 3-1 down. Next season that goal will stand. Harvey Barnes is a tremendous young talent who has been at Leicester since a youngster but has been out on loan a few times and is fondly thought of in Barnsley after a loan stint at Oakwell. Good luck for the future Harvey.
Arsenal lost away at Molineux on Wednesday night meaning back-to-back losses for Unai’s boys following the defeat against Crystal Palace on Sunday. The 3-1 defeat away against Nuno’s men left Arsenal in 5th-place in the Premier League Table. Socratis got the Gunners consolation goal at Molineux. Manchester United also lost and it appears no one wants to take control of the 4th-place leaving Chelsea in that last Champions League spot. The Gunners are doing their utmost to allow Tottenham to finish above them, which, although is kind of them, the Gooners faithful won’t be happy. Arsenal are 4-points behind Tottenham in 3rd, a point behind Chelsea in 4th and 2-points above Manchester United in 6th. When Leicester visited the Emirates back in October Arsenal comfortably beat Leicester 3-1. Mesut Ozil capping off one of his rare good performances with a goal in the 1st-half after Hector Bellerin had scored an own goal to give the Foxes the lead. Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang scored a double in the 2nd -half to give Arsenal all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer Leicester at 15/8, the Draw at 12/5 and 7/5 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 12/5 that Leicester Score in Both Halves.
Home Win 3-1
BURNLEY v MAN CITY
The middle game on Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports. Burnley host Man City after their Monday Night Football away at Stamford Bridge. The Clarets faithful would have loved the Premier League Fixture Compilers who decided to send them down to the smoke on Easter Monday. At least they could tuck into their Easter Eggs on the train down. A chef on a Saturday cooking programme has just made a meal with leftover Easter Eggs. Who has leftover Easter Eggs? There’s no such thing. A leftover Easter Egg is just foil from the said Easter Egg. No kid in the world thinks “I know what I ‘ll leave some of this Easter Egg”
Burnley got a great result away at Stamford Bridge frustrating Sarri-Ball resulting in Maurizio being sent to the stands. Jeff Hendrick gave the Clarets the lead against Chelsea before 2 quick-fire goals seemingly made the Burnley task impossible. Not so, Ashley Barnes equalised with only 25-minutes played so a goal-fest looked on the cards. However, with a combination of dogged defending and a bit of time wasting, no more goals were scored and Burnley held on for the point to guarantee their Premier League status for next season.
Man City beat quiet neighbours Manchester United on Wednesday which could ultimately be the game that wins them back-to-back Premier League Title’s. The Bernardo of the Silva’s got City’s 1st just after the break and after being a substitute, Leroy Sane, who effectively changed the game when he was introduced by Pep, scored City’s 2nd. That win and the 3-points takes City back to the summit of the Premier League and now have played the same number of games as Liverpool. With 3-games left, City are 1-point ahead of Liverpool and along with this fixture at Turf Moor, have games against Leicester at home and a final game away at the Amex against Brighton. Pep will feel all are winnable but Brighton could be fighting for survival come that final fixture so Liverpool can still dream. When these 2 met at the Etihad in October, City hammered Burnley 5-0. Pep’s team showed their full array of talent with 5 different scorers. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in the 1st-half. The Bernardo of the Silva’s, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane completed the rout after the break.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at 14/1, the Draw at 7/1 and Odds On 1/7 for City to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 2/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals and 4/1 Raheem Sterling Scores First.
Away Win 0-2
MAN UNITED v CHELSEA
The final game of Game Week 36 sees Chelsea head to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United live on Sky Sports. Manchester United tried their best against Noisy Neighbours City On Wednesday but put simply, are just not good enough and the Blue half of Manchester left Old Trafford the happiest after United succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. United have hit a real slump and the players who played so well when Ole took over the Wheel, have simply stopped now. United lie in 6th-place in the Premier League Table and along with Arsenal, who are 2-points ahead and Chelsea who are 3-points ahead, can’t decide whether they want to play Champions League football next season or play in the attritional Europa League. Ole needs to ring Sean Dyche up and see if finishing 6th is a good idea. United need an overhaul.
They were once a brand new Rolls Royce Phantom with all the mod-cons and new gadgets floating through the Premier League. Unfortunately, like a lot of prestige things, the Phantom has been garaged for a number of years and is now covered in cobwebs. The 4-tyres are flat and the oil has leaked and the bodywork has become discoloured and outdated. The Phantom needs a complete overhaul, the 4-tyres (Fred, Matic, Pogba and Lukaku) are flat, the oil (De Gea) has leaked all over and the bodywork (Smalling, Jones, Young, Lindelof, Lingard, Shaw, Mata, Pereira, McTominay, Darmian, Sanchez, Martial) needs a complete paint job. The Equaliser has to back Ole and the biggest club in the world needs a complete overhaul including a big paint job. Has Ole ever watched the day, passing by his door? Powerless to change its course, his feet fixed to the floor. When all the people he thought he knew are changing more and more even the girl he thought would see, seems only to ignore. Has Ole ever had it Blue?
Chelsea were left frustrated on Monday Night only managing a draw against Burnley in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful. After going behind early in the game, Chelsea responded with 2 quick-fire goals from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain giving Sarri-Ball hope that they would push on and get the victory. Not so, Burnley had other ideas and quickly equalised themselves with still three-quarters of the game remaining. There were no more goals in the said three-quarters and Maurizio Sarri lost his cool before the end seemingly feeling frustrated by Sean Dyche’s time-wasting tactics. At Stamford Bridge in October, Chelsea took the lead in the 1st-half through Antonio Rudiger. Anthony Martial scored twice for United after the break and with 6-minutes of added time already played, Ross Barkley came up with a very, very late equaliser for the Blues, sparking wild celebrations in the dugout, a lot of which were aimed directly at Jose Mourinho who had said a few words prior to the fixture.
Bet 365 offer United at 13/8, the Draw at 23/10 and 13/8 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/2 that Marcus Rashford Scores First and 6/4 that Eden Hazard Scores Anytime.
Home Win 2-1