The Foxes have little time to lick their wounds, following the drubbing by Crystal Palace on Saturday. The humiliating defeat cost the Frenchman his job. Does John Newsome predict a swift return to form, now that he has departed? He looks ahead to all matches taking place, in game-week 28.
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LEICESTER v BRIGHTON
The big news coming out of the King Power following Saturday Night’s horror show against Crystal Palace is Claude Puel has fallen on his sword and left Leicester. The Frenchman was increasingly coming under pressure from certain sections of the fans and after the defeat against Crystal Palace, the hierarchy at Leicester decided to part company with Mr Puel. Jonny Evans did manage to equalise against Palace just after half-time but while the big defender did well to score a goal, he wasn’t that great at doing the job he was in the team to do and that was defend. The Foxes capitulated and Palace scored three 2nd-half goals to eventually beat Leicester 4-1. Claude Puel’s side haven’t won a game of football since New Years Day, losing 5 out of their last 6 Premier League games and drawing the other which is usually the catalyst for the bosses to act and with the faithful running out of patience with Claude who’s team selection was often questioned especially the constant resting of Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy, the time has come for a change. The names in the frame for the job at the King Power are Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers who would be a great choice and possibly Rafa Benitez, but Leicester have put Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler in temporary charge until a decision is made. Big Sam Allardyce will be checking his phone and looking out for the Leicester dialling code. Leicester do need a new direction and the faithful will be hoping Mark Hughes isn’t a part of that direction. Leicester are 12th in the Premier League table and are pretty safe, but as they have recently won the Premier League, the fans demand more.
Brighton come into this midweek game against Leicester having not played over the weekend due to Carabao Cup commitments of their opponents. The Seagulls last Premier League game ended in a 3-1 defeat against Burnley and are lying perilously close to the relegation zone just 3 points above the bottom 3 and if results don’t go their way midweek, Chris Hughton’s men could find themselves in that drop zone.
This reverse fixture back in November at the Amex ended in a 1-1 Draw. Glenn Murray scored for Brighton in the 1st-half with Jamie Vardy replying for the Foxes late in the 2nd-half giving both teams a share of the points.
Bet 365 surprisingly offer Leicester at Odds On 5/6, the Draw at 5/2 and 10/3 for Brighton to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 7/4 that Glenn Murray will score Anytime and 8/5 that Jamie Vardy will do likewise.
Home Win 2-0
HUDDERSFIELD v WOLVES
The Huddersfield faithful are getting ready for life back in the Championship after a 2-year stint in the Premier League. Their recent outing was their 13th loss in their last 14 Premier League games with the other only yielding 1 point. So 1 point from a possible 42 is simply not good enough and ultimately is relegation fodder. The 2-0 defeat against Newcastle at St James Park was another loss for new boss Jan Siewart who will be gearing up for life in the 2nd-tier of English football and the possibility of taking on the mighty Barnsley FC who are looking like they will be promoted from League 1. The Terriers didn’t do themselves any favours when defender Tommy Smith was shown a straight Red Card for a horror tackle after only 20 minutes making their task even harder against the Magpies.
Wolves gained a great point down on the South Coast against Bournemouth at the weekend in what turned out to be a game of penalties. Bournemouth scored a 1st-half penalty to lead at the break before Raul Jimenez equalised from the spot in the 83rd-minute. A couple of minutes later, the Cherries were awarded another penalty but this time failed to convert and the game finished 1-1. Wolves are unbeaten in 5 Premier League games now and are comfortable in 8th position in the Premier League table.
Ironically the Terriers last win was against their midweek opponents Wolves beating the Gold and Blacks 2-0 at Molineux back in late November. Aaron Mooy got both goals in that game and although Huddersfield will be relegated, unfortunately for the Terriers faithful, Aaron will more than likely find another Premier League club and should stay in the Premier League.
Bet 365 offer Huddersfield at 4/1, the Draw at 5/2 and Odds On 5/7 for Wolves to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 Offer 5/2 for Wolves to Score In Both Halves and 8/5 for Wolves to Win to Nil.
Away Win 0-2
CARDIFF v EVERTON
Cardiff were beaten on Friday Night at home against Watford. The surprise in the defeat was the scoreline of 5-1 to the Hornets which Neil Warnock could not have possibly envisaged. The Bluebirds make a quick return to the Cardiff City Stadium to try and put right the horror defeat against Watford. Sol Bamba got the Cardiff consolation and despite the heavy loss, they remain just above the relegation places.
Everton’s last game was 17 days ago so in theory should be fresh and raring to go but are struggling and have only won once in the last 5 Premier League games and that was only against Huddersfield so the Toffees faithful are increasingly becoming disgruntled with the enigmatic Marco Silva and the direction the club is going having not really improved since Big Sam left.
This reverse fixture back in November at Goodison Park finished 1-0 to Everton with Gylfi Sigurdsson getting the solitary goal.
Bet 365 offer Cardiff at 9/4, the Draw at 11/5 and 5/4 for Everton to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 13/2 for Sol Bamba to Score Anytime and 4/1 for Richarlison to score the First Goal.
NEWCASTLE v BURNLEY
Newcastle easily beat struggling Huddersfield 2-0 last time out and quickly return to St James Park to take on a resurgent Burnley side in front of the BT Sports cameras. Rafa Benitez has been linked with the Leicester job after the departure of Claud Puel but surely wouldn’t swap Newcastle for Leicester would he ?
New signing Miguel Almiron started for the first time and got 80-minutes under his belt. Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez were the goal scorers against the Terriers giving them a great victory albeit against a very poor Huddersfield side who played with 10-men for most of the game. The 3-points gained eased the pressure on the Magpies but they are still only 4-points above the drop zone and every game in the run-in will be tense for the Toon Army.
Burnley got arguably the result of the weekend beating Tottenham 2-1 at Turf Moor. Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes got the Clarets goals which gave Sean Dyche’s men 3 vital points in their quest for Premier League survival. Chris is a New Zealand International who has played at a World Cup and once spent a month on loan at Oakwell playing a few games for Barnsley FC. To be fair to Big Chris, it wasn’t the best of times for him and he couldn’t hit the proverbial Cows backside with a banjo. His time in Barnsley won’t go down as one of his favourites and he probably is still having councilling but Chris has become a good Premier League player and scores vital goals when required. Ashley Barnes is another good Premier League player who, like Chris, scores vital goals when required and apparently is part Austrian. The Austrian National Football Coach was at Turf Moor on Saturday to watch over Ashley in the hope that Big Ash can possibly get a game over in Vienna. Midge Ure will be pleased.
Back in November at Turf Moor a Ben Mee own goal and a Ciaran Clarke goal gave Newcastle all 3-points in a 2-1 victory over Burnley. Sam Vokes got the Clarets solitary goal. Burnley are 2-points ahead of Newcastle in the Premier League Table.
Bet 365 offer Newcastle at Evens 1/1, the Draw at 23/10 and 14/5 for Burnley to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 14/5 that Miguel Almiron Scores Anytime and 13/2 that Chris Wood Scores the First Goal.
ARSENAL v BOURNEMOUTH
Arsenal make a quick return to the Emirates after Sunday’s comfortable 2-0 win against Southampton. Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were the Gunners goal scorers which leapfrogs Unai Emery’s men above Manchester United back into 4th place in the Premier League. The 2 meet in a couple of weeks time which will be a real cracker of a game both knowing that their Top 4 place could be cemented. Arsenal also have the little matter of a visit to Wembley to take on their North London rivals prior to the Manchester United game as well as a continuation in the Europa League.
Bournemouth played out a 1-1 Draw at the Vitality against Wolves last time out. In an incident-packed game that contained 3 penalties, Josh King put the Cherries in front in the 1st-half via the penalty spot. Wolves equalised in the 2nd-half, again from a penalty and with 5 minutes remaining Bournemouth had the chance to win the game when they were awarded their 2nd penalty and the 3rd of the match. Unfortunately for the Cherries faithful, Josh King couldn’t repeat his earlier conversion and put the ball wide. Although ultimately that miss cost Bournemouth all 3-points, a draw against a very good Wolves side is definitely a point gained. This reverse fixture back in November at the Vitality ended in a victory for the Gunners. Josh King equalised a Jefferson Lerma own goal right on half-time but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the winner for Arsenal midway through the 2nd-half giving the Gooners all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer Arsenal at Odds On 2/5, the Draw at 10/3 and 15/2 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to get the First Goal and 6/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Home Win 3-1
SOUTHAMPTON v FULHAM
Southampton remain in the relegation zone after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal. That’s 2 straight defeats for Wreck-It Ralph’s Saints and although this game against Fulham is very winnable it might not necessarily get them out of the bottom 3. All it will do is increase the gap between them and the Cottages which currently stands at 7-points. It could be argued that Ralph Hasenhüttl hasn’t really improved Southampton and Mark Hughes maybe could have been given time to use his particular skills to move the Saints away from the relegation battle.
Fulham played at the London Stadium on Friday Night and came away suffering yet another loss. After initially taking the lead against West Ham through the red-headed Ryan Babbel, the Hammers took control and eventually ran out 3-1 winners inflicting another defeat on Fulham. Again, like Ralph at Southampton, it could be argued that Claudio Ranieri hasn’t really changed the fortunes of the Cottages and maybe Slavisa Jokanovic should have been given a bit more time to try and turn things around at Craven Cottage. A win for Fulham would reduce the deficit between the 2 clubs languishing in the relegation places to just 4-points but Fulham do look resigned to the drop after just one season in the Top Flight. Fulham have managed just 17-points in total and 3 of those 17 came against Southampton at Craven Cottage back in November. Andre Schurrle and 2 from Alexandar Mitrovic got the Fulham goals in the 3-2 victory against Southampton. Stuart Armstrong got both the Saints goals that day.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at slight Odds On 9/10, the Draw at 13/5 and 14/5 for Fulham to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 that Alexandar Mitrovic Scores the First Goal and Odds On 10/11 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
CRYSTAL PALACE v MANCHESTER UNITED
Crystal Palace got a great victory away at the King Power late on Saturday resulting in Claud Puel losing his job at Leicester. The Eagles went in front through a Michy Batshuayi goal just before the break. Leicester equalised early in the 2nd-half but Crystal Palace over ran the Foxes and scored 3 more goals to gain a 4-1 victory and all 3 points. Luka Milivojevic scored a penalty and rarely misses when given that opportunity and Wilfried Zaha got a couple to inflict another defeat on Leicester and ultimately cost Claud Puel his job. Roy will feel for Claud but unfortunately it is the nature of the very powerful Premier League beast.
Roy Hodgson is now officially the oldest Premier League manager and whilst Roy has not always endeared himself to the English football community, especially after his exploits as England manager, he should be given tremendous credit and respect for his time in football which has included spells has manager in Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and even the United Arab Emirates as well as his stints in England with Bristol City, Blackburn, Fulham, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and now Crystal Palace. A much maligned individual due to the way he talks but a person shouldn’t be defined by the way he speaks or looks. Roy deserves and has earned respect for continually proving that age is just a number and whilst the drive is in someone, they should continue the journey. Respect Roy.
Manchester United are still unbeaten under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and gained a great point in the 0-0 draw against title contenders Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday. The scoreline doesn’t exactly tell the full story with a total of 4 substitutions in the 1st-half due to injuries, 3 of them all United players. Spanish Superstar Ander Herrera who is simply sublime and will flourish under Ole and Michael Carrick will become the best midfielder for club and country over the next few years. Ander is 29 years old and playing the best football of his career. Whilst sometimes previously negative in the way he played, probably due to his manager at United, he now is fast becoming an integral player for United up there with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in that United midfield three. Unfortunately, against Liverpool, Ander was injured early on and was taken off. Nemanja himself was already missing due to injury and Juan Mata sustained an injury in the 1st-half and was replaced by Jesse Lingard. Jesse himself wasn’t 100% fit and maybe was brought back too soon. After a brief appearance, he was taken off before the break and replaced by Alexis Sanchez. Liverpool had their own injury troubles with Roberto Firmino going over on his ankle and having to come off. All 4 injuries sustained in an action-packed 1st-half at Old Trafford. United shut out Liverpool and gained a great point. Liverpool have scored against everyone away from Anfield but couldn’t score against their fierce rivals. The point, however, wasn’t enough to keep United in the Top 4 with Arsenal beating Southampton, United drop to 5th but they do have to play Arsenal in a couple of weeks time so can still overtake them. No peace for the wicked, only war on the poor, They’re batting on pickets, trying to even the score. It’s all inclusive, but the dirt comes free and you can be all that you want to be. There’s room on top, if you tow the line but if you believe all this you must be out of your mind.
At Old Trafford in November, the game ended in a very drab 0-0.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace at 2/1, the Draw at 12/5 and 13/10 for United to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 6/4 that Marcus Rashford scores Anytime and 11/10 Manchester United Score in Both Halves.
Away Win 0-2
CHELSEA v TOTTENHAM
What a cracker of a midweek game live on BT Sports between these 2 London Heavyweights.
Chelsea come into this game off the back of losing the Carabao Cup final on penalties against Man City. After being hammered 6-0 by City in the league, a couple of weeks ago, Chelsea put in a tremendous display at Wembley. One of the talking points coming from that game is the supposed disrespect shown by the Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. With time running out Kepa went down injured and was about to be replaced in goal by ex-City stopper Willy Caballero. Kepa held his hand up and said he was ok to carry on. Every pundit around said he was being disrespectful to Maurizio Sarri in not coming off but that’s not the case. When a manager wants to replace a player, whether the player wants to or not he has to come off, however, the same rules don’t apply for a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper cannot be replaced just before a penalty shootout and was quite within his right to say he was ok. Chelsea didn’t lose the shootout because of Kepa. The pundits are wrong. Sarri was not disrespected, he should have accepted Kepa’s judgement of the situation. Ultimately Chelsea lost but the bigger question should be, Why did they play like that at Wembley in a Cup Final? when the same players were so poor against City 2 weeks ago. Maurizio Sarri may not last the week but Kepa did nothing wrong.
Tottenham’s very slim title hopes were surely quashed at Turf Moor on Saturday. Harry Kane started for Spurs and scored in the 2-1 defeat against Burnley. Mauricio Pochettino wasn’t happy with the referee and made his opinion known to Mike Dein. Tottenham didn’t lose because of the referee, they were beaten by the better team on the day. That sometimes happens in football. What was noticeable was Son Heung-Min didn’t have the same impact on the game with Harry playing. Maybe it was a one-off and Son will come again, but he has excelled in Harry’s absence. At Wembley in November Tottenham easily beat Chelsea 3-1. The main men at Tottenham, Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Son got the Spurs goals with forgotten man Olivier Giroud replying for Chelsea.
Bet 365 offer Chelsea as slight favourites at 11/8, the Draw at 9/4 and 2/1 for Tottenham to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Eden Hazard Scores the First Goal and 7/5 that Harry Kane Scores Anytime.
Home Win 2-1
MAN CITY v WEST HAM
Man City had a slightly bitter, very sweet Sunday. They won the First Silverware of the season beating Chelsea on penalties to win the Carabao Cup. After neither of the teams had scored in the 120 minutes that was played, Man City got the better of Chelsea in the shootout. However, the slight bitter part of their day came earlier when Liverpool gained a point at Old Trafford and went Top of the Premier League leapfrogging Pep’s High Flying Citizens. Although still favourites to retain their title, in truth Liverpool can become champions if they win every remaining game. It’s as simple as that. There’s a lot of twists and turns before the title is decided but City need to win to keep the pressure on Liverpool and the Hammers are no pushovers.
West Ham come into this game at the Etihad off the back of a great victory against Fulham at the London Stadium. After going behind against Fulham, Kobe Bryant, Issa Diop and Michail Antonio scored the Bubbles goals to give them the 3-points against their London rivals. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez got the first literally slam dunking the ball into the net, hence the Kobe Bryant comment. Every player in the world would have done the same, but next season Mr VAR would have intervened so Fulham would have only lost 2-1 instead of 3-1. This reverse fixture back at the London Stadium finished 4-0 to City. The David of the Silva’s got City’s first, Raheem Sterling got the 2nd and Leroy Sane got 3 and 4 in the convincing win.
Bet 365 offer City at massive Odds On 1/7, the Draw at 7/1 and 14/1 for West Ham to surprise the Citizens and come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 2/1 for David Silva to score Anytime and 28/1 for West Ham to Miss a Penalty.
Home Win 3-0
LIVERPOOL v WATFORD
Liverpool entertain Watford at Anfield as current Premier League leaders after their hard-fought draw at Old Trafford on Sunday. In an injury-hit game which saw 4 players taken off in the 1st-half, Liverpool failed to break down Manchester United and failed to score away from Anfield. Man City are in hot pursuit and won’t relinquish their Premier League title without a fight but in truth, Liverpool are in the driving seat and if they did win every game left, will be Premier League Champions. Roberto Firmino got injured in the 1st-half and went off but Liverpool lacked quality up front and United matched them. It’s a good job that Virgil Van Dijk plays for Liverpool and not United or City for that matter. What a player Virgil is. When he turned up at Celtic, the first thing that the Celtic boss at the time, Neil Lennon said to him was “ Enjoy your time here because you won’t be here long” what’s amazing about these so-called experts in football all around the world is that none of the so-called big clubs that are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Man City, Inter and AC and any of the other so-called big clubs came in for Virgil. It was only Virgil’s Dutch Compatriot Ronald Koeman that took a chance on Big Virgil taking him from Celtic to Southampton. Virgil is simply the best Centre Half in the World and Liverpool’s £75 Million for him is now considered peanuts for such a star player.
Watford got the surprise result of the weekend beating Cardiff 5-1 on Friday Night. Ex-Barcelona star Gerard Deulofeu scored Watford’s first Premier League hat-trick and Super Troy Deeney got the other 2 in the rout of South Wales. This will be a tough ask at Anfield as not many teams come away with a result but considering the circumstances, Watford could surprise Jurgen’s Reds. That said, Liverpool rarely fail at home and with the steaks high should prevail. At Vicarage Rd back in November, Liverpool got the better of Watford beating them 3-0. Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino were the Reds goal scorers that day and even won whilst being down to 10-men when Jordan Henderson was sent off for 2 bookable offences.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at Odds On 1/4, the Draw at 9/2, and a massive 11/1 for Watford to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 6/4 for Liverpool to Win Both Halves and Evens 1/1 for Mo Salah to Score Anytime.
Home Win 3-0