2018/2019 will surely go down in the annuls as one of the most thrilling Premier League campaigns of all and it still isn’t over, with just a single point separating Man City and Liverpool. John Newsome runs the rule over all matches taking place on Sunday, as the curtain finally falls and silverware gets lifted. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday
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WATFORD v WEST HAM
The final fixtures of the 2018/2019 Premier League season with all 10-games and 20-clubs kicking off at exactly the same time. That time being 3.00 PM on Sunday 12th of May 2019.
The Hornets final Premier League fixture will be seen as just a warm-up for their FA Cup Final appearance against Man City the following Saturday. Watford find themselves in 10th position in the Premier League Table after their penultimate game away at Stamford Bridge resulting in a 3-0 defeat against the Blues.
Javi Gracia’s men can’t finish any higher than 8th so entry into the Europa League competition next season, depends solely on victory in the FA Cup final. The players won’t intentionally give less than 100% in this final fixture but human nature will take over and subconsciously the Hornets will have one eye on next weekends Final and all will want to come out of the game against West Ham unscathed.
West Ham are currently in 11th position in the Premier League Table, a point behind Watford and will feel this game at Vicarage Rd is very winnable considering Watford’s circumstances. The Hammers final home game of the season at the London Stadium resulted in an easy 3-0 victory against Southampton. Southampton had confirmed their Premier League status for next season so were on the beach and Marco Arnautovic took advantage of the Saints sun cream getting 2-goals in either half.
Ryan Fredericks completed the scoring for the Bubbles setting them up for this final fixture away at Vicarage Rd. West Ham will leapfrog Watford with a victory but 10th is probably the highest position Manuel Pellegrini can expect of his players. The Hammers faithful will want more from their Irons next season and a couple of new signings could see them push on for at least a chance to finish in a Europa League position next term.
At the London Stadium 3 days before Christmas, Watford beat West Ham 2-0. Big Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu were Watford’s goal scorers giving the Hornets an early 3-point Christmas present.
Bet 365 offer Watford at 21/20, the Draw at 5/2 and 12/5 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/1 that Marco Arnautovic Scores First and 11/8 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
Away Win 0-2
TOTTENHAM v EVERTON
Tottenham were beaten last Saturday away at the Vitality losing 1-0. The surprise in that result was Tottenham were reduced to 9-men and still held Bournemouth for the majority of the game only to succumb to a late, late Cherries goal in the 91st-minute. Son Heung-Min was shown a straight red card just before half-time and Juan Foyth was given his marching orders just after the break.
Tottenham had been beaten in their 1st-leg Champions League Semi-Final prior to the Bournemouth game. Ajax came to Tottenham’s new home and went away with a 1-0 victory and the vital Away Goal. Before this game against the Toffees, the Champions League adventure will have been decided. Probably what Tottenham can take to the 2nd-leg away at Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena is Real Madrid and Juventus both came away with positive results in their Champions League encounters there before losing at home to go out of that competition. In both ties against Real and Juve, Ajax were at home first.
Ajax actually lost the 1st-leg against Madrid 2-1 but then went to the Bernabeu and hammered Real Madrid 4-1 to progress to the Quarter-Final. In that Quarter-Final against Juventus, Ajax drew their home tie 1-1. They then went to Turin and beat Juventus 2-1 to set up the tie against Tottenham. To come away from The Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium with just a 1-0 advantage will give Mauricio’s men confidence to go to Ajax and try and get to their first Champions League final.
The problem for Mr Pochettino is he is running out of players through injuries. Son Heung-Min won’t be eligible for this final Premier League game but is available for the 2nd-leg of the Semi-Final so has the opportunity to continue his season by giving his all in the away leg in Amsterdam. Due to Arsenal and Manchester United being rubbish, neither can catch Tottenham for the 4th spot in the Premier League so Mauricio may put all his eggs in the Champions League basket leaving Everton to enjoy themselves at the swanky new stadium.
The Toffees will have had 9 days to prepare for their visit to London after playing their penultimate Premier League game on Friday Night. Everton comfortably beat Burnley 2-0 at Goodison Park and were helped on their way through a Ben Mee own goal in the 1st-half. Seamus Coleman made it 2-0 before 20-minutes had been played and played out the remaining 70-minutes relatively easily without much trouble from Sean Dyche’s Clarets. Marco Silva finds his Toffees in 8th-position in the Premier League and is the best he can hope for in his first season on Merseyside.
Depending on Leicester’s results Everton could drop to 9th. All in all an acceptable season for Marco considering some of the performances the Toffees faithful have had to endure this term. The Marco Silva Swing-o meter is definitely in the ascendancy and like the majority of mid-table clubs, will want to push on next season and see recruitment as key to where they want to be.
Just prior to Christmas at Goodison Park, Tottenham beat Everton 6-2 in a very entertaining pre-festive Fixture. Theo Walcott had given Everton the lead but Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli and Harry Kane gave Tottenham a 1st-half advantage. Christian Eriksen made it 4 after the break before Gylfi Sigurdsson replied for Everton. Son and Harry both got a double on the day to give Tottenham a comfortable away victory.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at slight Odds On 10/11, the Draw at 11/4 and the same 11/4 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/1 that Everton Win to Nil and 22/1 for a 2-0 Scoreline in favour of Everton.
Away Win 0-2
SOUTHAMPTON v HUDDERSFIELD
After confirming their Premier League status for next term, the Saints went to the London Stadium in their final away fixture and with one foot on the beach and the other one in their flip-flop, gifted the Hammers 3 easy goals in a 3-0 defeat. That won’t trouble the faithful too much although they will want to get at least a point in this last fixture to finish above their South Coast rivals, Brighton. Ralph Hasenhüttl has done a brilliant job to stave off relegation following Mark Hughes departure from St Mary’s. Surely Marks time at Southampton will mean it will be a long time if not ever before Mr Hughes gets another Premier League job.
Brilliant! The Premier League Fixture Compilers have had a bit of fun with the Terriers faithful deciding to send the Huddersfield fans on a long journey South down to Hampshire in a 9 hour, 500-mile, last day, round trip. M1, A43, M40, A34 then onto St Mary’s. Huddersfield enjoyed probably their best result of the season gaining a point in a 1-1 draw against struggling Manchester United. After conceding an early goal in Sunday’s game against the Red Devil’s, Isaac Mbenza equalised for the Terriers then smashed the corner flag to bits which resulted in an 8-minute interval in the game before a replacement corner flag was found. The scene where the ground staff were attempting to replace the flag was reminiscent of a scene from the Chuckle Brothers.
Rest in Peace Barry! Huddersfield will be playing Barnsley FC next season and with 2 other Yorkshire clubs exiting the Championship, Sheffield United going up and Rotherham going down, there will only be 4 Yorkshire clubs in the Championship next term. Leeds fans will argue that there will only be 3 but in truth and in the words of Joy Division “Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again! Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again” Huddersfield will hope Leeds are not promoted being only 15 miles from Elland Rd and will have the Yorkshire derbies against Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley to look forward to.
There is the possibility that a 5th Yorkshire club could be in the Championship if Doncaster Rovers come through the League 1 playoffs but that’s for the future. What is certain is Huddersfield will be visiting Oakwell next season after the Super Reds won promotion to the Championship finishing 2nd behind Luton in League 1. Check out HalfTimePie for all of Barnsley FC news. Rest In Peace Little H!
Bet 365 offer Southampton at Odds On 4/11, the Draw at 7/2 and 8/1 for Huddersfield to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/5 for there are Under 2.5 Goals and 14/1 Huddersfield Win to Nil.
Away Win 0-1
LIVERPOOL v WOLVES
Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports. Liverpool entertain Wolves at Anfield knowing that a victory still may not be good enough for them to win their 1st Premier League title and their 1st League title in 29 years following Man City’s victory against Leicester on Monday Night Football. The brilliant 3-2 victory away at St James Park against Newcastle came at a cost with both Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino both getting injured and will miss the midweek Champions League game against Barcelona. After being on the wrong end of a 3-0 Scoreline against Lionel and the Barcelona Boys, that particular competition looks over so Jurgen will go all out to win the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers did his old club no favours on Monday Night Football with the Foxes unable to get a point at the Etihad meaning it is now out of Liverpool’s hands as to the destiny of the Premier League Title. The PFA Footballer of the Year Award went to Virgil Van Dijk and Big Virgil celebrated his award by opening the scoring at St James Park. Mo Salah scored the 2nd for the Reds before getting injured and being replaced by Divock Origi. With the scores level at 2-2, Divock did himself no harm in his quest to get himself a start for the visit of Barcelona and for this final fixture against Wolves. With time running out, Divock came up with the winning goal to give Liverpool the much-needed 3-points to prolong their season and give them the opportunity to win the Premier League Title.
Wolves have guaranteed 7th-position in the Premier League Table with a 1-0 victory over already-relegated Fulham. Leander Dendoncker got Wolves solitary goal giving the Gold and Blacks their 3rd win in a row. The 7th-position will be good enough for entry into the Europa League if and only if Man City beat Watford in the FA Cup final. If Watford pull off a surprise victory against City then Wolves will miss out on the Europa League.
It’s rumoured Nuno Espirito Santo has gone out and bought himself a Replica City shirt, with his fellow countryman’s, the Bernardo of the Silva’s, name on the back, got himself a few Oasis CDs and learned the words to Blue Moon. He even refused a telephone call from Sean Dyche. At Molineux just before Christmas Mo Salah and PFA Footballer of the Year Big VVD got the goals in a 2-0 victory. Wolves did get revenge a couple of weeks later, knocking Jurgen’s men out of the FA Cup.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at Odds On 2/7, the Draw at 19/4 and 8/1 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 12/1 Virgil Van Dijk Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 Liverpool Win to Nil.
Home Win 3-0
LEICESTER v CHELSEA
Leicester went to the Etihad on Monday Night Football to try and help Brendan Rodgers old club Liverpool and get at least a point to help prevent Man City gaining the Premier League Title. Unfortunately, after showing brief glimpses of fight against City, in reality, City blew the Foxes away beating them 1-0 and Leicester now only have the possibility of gaining one further place from their current position of 9th to 8th and that would only occur if Everton lose. Brendan has got a good basis to build on in the summer and with a few additions could be the team to break into the Top 6.
What was significant in the game at the Etihad is Leicester were still too cautious and Brendan might argue that if they were a bit more expansive than City would have scored more. That might be true but when Leicester did show a bit of forward thinking they did trouble City, however, the forward play was few and far between. Like most teams against City, they sat back too much. Is the way to beat City sitting back? No. Will teams do the same next season? Yes. Maybe it’s time to come up with another solution.
Chelsea confirmed their Top 4 place and entry into next season’s Champions League with an emphatic 3-0 victory against Watford at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain got the Blues goals which took them up to 3rd in the Premier League Table. With Arsenal and Manchester United only managing a 1-1 draw in their respective Sunday games, both can no longer catch Chelsea and with Tottenham’s loss against Bournemouth the day before find themselves in 3rd-position. Not bad for a team who are supposedly rubbish under Sarri-Ball.
Before this game at the King Power, Chelsea will have played their 2nd-leg of the Semi-Final of the Europa League and with the tie poised at 1-1, the Blues have a great chance to progress to the Final and the possibility of facing Arsenal. This pre-Christmas Fixture at Stamford Bridge resulted in a great 1-0 victory in favour of the Foxes with Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy getting the solitary goal.
Bet 365 offer Leicester at 5/2, the Draw at 23/10 and 11/10 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 Jamie Vardy Scores First and 6/4 Eden Hazard Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
FULHAM v NEWCASTLE
After 3 great wins for Scott Parker and his Fulham boys, the already relegated Cottages were brought back down to earth on Saturday losing 1-0 against Wolves. No disgrace there and Scott will move on and make sure Fulham give there all in their final Premier League game before heading back to the Championship and taking on Luton Town and Barnsley FC. When Fulham were promoted to the Premier League last season, Luton were just leaving League 2 after gaining promotion to League 1.
Next season they will meet each other on level terms which is why everyone loves English Football. What’s more remarkable is that the last time Fulham were in the Premier League in 2014, Luton weren’t even in the Football League. Whilst Scott Parker has done a brilliant job steadying the Cottage Ship after the exploits of Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri he may still miss out on the permanent job as Shad Khan is rumoured to be looking at appointing a more high profile manager. Scott should remain patient as there will be offers for the McDonald’s Boy.
Newcastle were extremely unlucky not to get anything against Liverpool in the Saturday Night game at St James Park. Christian Atsu and Salomon Rondon gave the Toon Army hope of a great result but unfortunately for the Magpies, Liverpool scored a late winner to take the spoils in a 3-2 victory. Newcastle and Rafa Benitez are safe in the Premier League and all the faithful are hopeful that Rafa puts pen to paper on a new contract keeping him on Tyneside for the foreseeable future. Mike Ashley needs to put his hand in his pocket and support Rafa in recruiting more players for next season’s exploits in the Premier League. Maybe Rafa could ask Scott if Aleksandar Mitrovic is available.
The Toon Army must also thank the Sunderland fan who is employed in the Premier League Fixture Compiler Department who must have been giggling sending the Magpies down to London on a Sunday. Brilliant! At St James Park 3-days before Christmas, another brilliant decision from the Premier League Fixture Compilers, both teams were too excited for the arrival of Santa and couldn’t muster up much in the way of goals with the game finishing 0-0.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 13/8, the Draw at 12/5 and 17/11 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores First and 6/4 Salomon Rondon Scores Anytime.
CRYSTAL PALACE v BOURNEMOUTH
Crystal Palace beat Cardiff 3-2 on Saturday effectively sealing Cardiff’s relegation. Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi and Andros Townsend got the Eagles goals with Martin Kelly getting an own goal to try and give Cardiff a bit of hope. Roy’s men are 3-points off West Ham with the same goal difference so a victory married with a Hammers loss would leapfrog Palace above West Ham which would definitely appease the Eagles Ultras.
Bournemouth left it very late to beat Tottenham at the Vitality in the Early Saturday Afternoon kick-off. Nathan Ake got the late winner in the 1-0 victory over Spurs but what’s most surprising from the win is Eddie and the Cherries played against 9-men, not 10-men! 9-men for most of the 2nd-half and only broke down Tottenham in injury time.
After a great start to the season which saw Bournemouth in the Top 6 at one point now as petered out into something of a damp squib. The winner of this final game will take bragging rights with only a point between the 2 clubs. Crystal Palace have the point more than Bournemouth so if they avoid defeat, Roy Hodgson will finish above Eddie Howe’s men.
In October at The Vitality, Bournemouth got the better of Crystal Palace beating the Eagles 2-1. David Brooks and Junior Stanislas got the Cherries goals with Patrick Van Aanholt replying for Crystal Palace.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace at slight Odds On 4/5, the Draw at 3/1 and the same 3/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 for Crystal Palace to Score a Penalty and 18/1 for Bournemouth to Miss a Penalty.
Home Win 2-0
BURNLEY v ARSENAL
Burnley are safe and have had 9-days rest before this final fixture against Arsenal at Turf Moor. Sean Dyche and his Clarets went to Goodison Park on Friday Night Football and were well beaten losing 2-0 against the Toffees. That’s 1-point from a possible 9 for Burnley and they will be looking forward to their break after a very long season which started back in early July in the Europa League. That experience in Europe definitely halted the Clarets momentum and it’s rumoured Sean gave Nuno a call to advise him not to finish 7th. Nuno didn’t answer.
Arsenal and Manchester United have both decided they weren’t bothered about finishing in the Top 4 after being given countless opportunities to get there. With Tottenham’s loss against Bournemouth the day before, that gave Arsenal the opportunity to catch their North London rivals. After getting a very dubious early penalty awarded for a supposed tackle on Nacho Monreal. Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang gave the Gunners a lead against Brighton on Sunday. The early goal should have been the catalyst to push on for the victory against Brighton who were confirmed safe after Cardiff’s loss the previous day. That wasn’t the case and The Gooners conceded an equaliser midway through the 2nd-half.
The Draw means Arsenal are 3-points behind Tottenham in 4th-place but have a far inferior goal difference so even a win against Burnley and a subsequent Tottenham loss wouldn’t be enough to overhaul Spurs. Arsenal will have played their 2nd-leg of their Europa League tie against Valencia and have a 2-1 advantage in that particular tie. It’s now the only way that Arsenal can gain entry into the Champions League. Arsenal could effectively meet Chelsea in the Europa League final with the winners gaining automatic entry into the Champions League.
The irony confined in the possibility of Chelsea beating Arsenal in that final is it would prevent 5-English teams gaining entry into the next season’s Champions League competition so Sarri-Ball should allow Unai to win. That’s for the future. For now, Unai Emery has to try and beat Sean Dyche.
When these teams met 3-days before Christmas, Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang got 2 and Alex Iwobi were the Gunners goal scorers in a 3-1 victory. Ashley Barnes got the Burnley goal whilst the score was only 2-0, giving the Clarets faithful hope of a comeback.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at 11/5, the Draw at 11/4 and 11/10 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/1 Chris Wood Scores First and 7/4 that Arsenal Score in Both Halves.
BRIGHTON v MAN CITY
Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports. Brighton had their Premier League status confirmed prior to their visit to the Emirates on Sunday. Cardiff’s loss against Crystal Palace on the Saturday meant Chris Hughton’s boys were guaranteed another season in the Promised Land. That gave the Seagulls the confidence needed to go to the Emirates and express themselves against a nervy Arsenal side. After a very dubious decision was awarded against Dale Stephens in the early stages of the game, Brighton went behind from the subsequent Penalty kick which was awarded to Arsenal after Dale and Nacho Monreal simply collided. The majestic Glenn Murray scored Brighton’s equaliser on the hour mark and the Seagulls comfortably held out for a great point.
Chris needs some recruitment next season as the enigmatic Mr Murray is the club’s leading goal scorer this term getting 12-goals. Not bad for a 35-year-Old who will be 36 come September but Brighton cannot keep relying on his goals. The next highest Brighton goal scorer is Shane Duffy who has 6-goals. Considering Big Shane is a Centre Back it’s evident where Chris needs improvement. Aleksandar Mitrovic is heading for the Championship after relegation with Fulham and wouldn’t be a bad shout if Chris had the money to purchase Big Mit.
Man City have their destiny in their own hands after a hard-fought victory against Leicester on Monday Night Football. After Liverpool’s victory on Saturday Night Football, Pep’s High Flying City once again were playing catch-up. City know a victory against Brighton will give them back-to-back Premier League titles.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at 20/1, the Draw at 17/2 and a massive Odds On 1/10 for City to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/5 that there are Under 3.5 Goals and 3/1 Sergio Aguero Scores First.
Away Win 0-2
MANCHESTER UNITED v CARDIFF
Manchester United are once again rubbish it’s official. United couldn’t even beat the worse team in the Premier League on Sunday only gaining a point in a 1-1 draw away at Huddersfield. Like Arsenal’s game against Brighton, United scored early on which should have given them the momentum to go all out for the win to try and get into the Top 4. Scott McTominay got United’s goal after 8-minutes but United couldn’t get another and succumbed to a Terriers equaliser in the 2nd-half. Paul Pogba did hit the crossbar twice with a 1st-half header and a 2nd-half strike but that really is the closest United came to scoring a 2nd. Alexis Sanchez had a rare start for United but came off injured after the break. That may be the final time the United faithful will see Alexis in a Manchester United shirt and a move away from Old Trafford would be good for both parties.
The Equaliser Edward Woodward needs to support Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his recruitment of a lot of players. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Fred, (Fred!!) Romelu Lukaku, Andreas Pereira, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Matteo Darmian are all not good enough at United and should be shipped out. Out of the current crop of players, there are only a handful that can be considered Manchester United players. David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are probably the only players Ole should keep and there are question marks against De Gea, Shaw, Lindelof and Lingard. Ander Herrera looks as if he’s off to Paris Saint Germain and David De Gea could move back to Madrid.
Ander Herrera will be a really big miss for United and if there is any hope of him staying at Old Trafford, The Equaliser needs to act fast and do all in his power to keep Ander. Recruiting players to Old Trafford will be difficult enough and there are not many players of Herrera’s ability out there. This is not a quick fix situation at Old Trafford, the recruitment has to be staged, to bring in players not only of quality but also with the right temperament, the right attitude, in stages. Harry Maguire would be one player with the right temperament who should be looked at.
The right 2 or 3 recruits, at the moment, can improve the fringe players who have a future at Old Trafford, given these new signings have the right minerals. In 12-months time, the United faithful should not expect to be Premier League Champions. United need to be in the Top 4 and have a Cup run of sorts. They will be playing on a Thursday Night too in the Europa League which means a lot of Sunday games. The starting point for United and Ole’s wheel is to produce 11 players who will run, fight, sweat, perform and give everything for the Red and sometimes Pink shirt. Then in 12-months time re-assess where they are and go again.
Whenever honesty persists, you’ll hear the snap of broken ribs, of anyone who’ll take no more of the lying persons roar, in Chile, in Poland, Johannesburg, South Yorkshire. A stone’s throw away, now we’re there. United will come again.
Cardiff’s fate was confirmed after a 3-2 loss against Crystal Palace at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday. In truth, the defeat against Palace wasn’t the reason Cardiff were relegated. The season is 38-games long and Cardiff, along with Huddersfield and Fulham were simply not good enough and were relegated on merit. Neil Warnock has worked miracles in South Wales and should be applauded for his achievements initially getting Cardiff promoted last season and giving their fans a great ride in the Promised Land which almost went to the final game.
Bobby Reid got a late 2nd for Cardiff after they were helped on their way from a Palace own goal. Unfortunately, they were already 3-1 down when Bobby scored. Cardiff had to endure the emotional non-Transfer of Emiliano Sala and after the sad loss of Emiliano in the tragedy which occurred in January, the relegation pales into insignificance compared to the families loss. Rest In Peace. Emiliano! Cardiff wouldn’t go far wrong in keeping Mr Warnock just for the time being and see where the club are in December when his contract is up for review.
Bet 365 offer United at Odds On 1/5, the Draw at 6/1 and 10/1 for Cardiff to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 for Marcus Rashford to Score First (Marcus is due a goal) and 11/5 for there to be Under 2.5 Goals.
Home Win 2-0