Game-week 30 will obviously be dominated by the clash between Man United and Liverpool. John Newsome anticipates another defensive master-class from Jose Mourinho, with Liverpool being left frustrated once again.
MAN UNITED v LIVERPOOL
What a cracker of a game to start Gameweek 30 of the English Premier League, live on Sky Sports. Manchester played on Monday night and have less time to recover then Liverpool. Romelu Lukaku has a reputation of not scoring against Top Six sides, but put that to rest when he scored in the win against Chelsea. Paul Pogba should relish the proposition of playing against Liverpool. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane scored in the reds excellent win against Newcastle last Saturday evening. The only surprise was the 3rd of Liverpool’s Fab 3, Roberto Firmino didn’t find the net. Salah is matching Harry Kane at the top of the goalscoring charts, having notched 24 times up to now. Jose Mourinho was accused of parking the bus at Anfield back in October but gained a valuable point in a hard-fought 0-0 draw. Not many teams have taken points away from Anfield. This will be another tight affair and with home advantage, United should get all 3 points.
Home Win 1-0
EVERTON v BRIGHTON
Everton have lost their last 2 games, both away from Goodison Park so will be glad to get back playing in front of the loyal Toffee fans. They were leading 1-0 on Saturday against Burnley with January signing Cenk Tosun scoring, but poor defending cost Everton all 3 points. Wayne Rooney scored a 90th-minute equaliser by way of a Penalty in this reverse fixture at the Amex. Brighton got a superb win on Sunday against struggling Arsenal and are having a great debut season in the Premier League, gaining valuable points to keep away from the relegation zone. In Glenn Murray, they have a regular goalscorer which is vital in trying to stay away from the drop zone. Lewis Dunk scored a rare goal and will be hoping Gareth Southgate was watching to try and force himself into the next England squad. Anthony Knockaert scored the Seagulls goal in the game in October, but has only managed 3 this season and would want to add to that tally in the remaining fixtures. A low score draw is forecast.
HUDDERSFIELD v SWANSEA
Huddersfield lost against Tottenham on Saturday which is no disgrace at Wembley and will put that out of their minds. They are lying just above the relegation places and like Brighton are having a great debut season in the Premier League, again, gaining vital points to try and stay in the league for next season. Steve Mounie has got 6 goals, which is a decent return in his first time in England.
Under Carlos Carvalhal, Swansea have steadily moved out of the bottom 3 and are now on the same points as the Terriers, so this game really is the proverbial 6 pointer. They now have the Ayew brothers playing up front, Jordan, scoring a penalty in the Swans fine 4-1 win against West Ham on Saturday. Tammy Abraham scored twice in a 2-0 win back in October at the Liberty and like most teams are better at Home. This will be a tight affair, with goals.
NEWCASTLE v SOUTHAMPTON
Newcastle lost to Liverpool late on Saturday but that’s no disgrace, as most teams lose at Anfield. They have been away from St James Park for their last 2 games and will want to show their loyal Toon Army the same performance which gained them a valuable if not surprising win against Manchester United. Jonjo Shelvey didn’t play in the loss to Liverpool and should be looking to return to the squad. Southampton are draw specialist, drawing 7 out of their last 11 games. This reverse fixture back in October was another draw. The Saints fans saw an entertaining 2-2 against the Magpies with Manolo Gabbiadini scoring both of Southampton’s goals. He has been a substitute for the last few games and will be pushing for a start. However, the manager Mauricio Pellegrino appears to think he’s better coming on as an impact substitute so may still be benched. There won’t be many goals in another draw.
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WEST BROM v LEICESTER
What can be said about West Brom, other than they will be relegated? They are now 8 points from safety and history dictates that they won’t survive. They lost on Saturday for the 5th game in a row, they have scored the least amount of goals of all the Premier League sides and this is where the problem lies. Players such as James Mclean, Salomon Rondon and Matty Phillips simply don’t score the goals they should. Jake Livermore is an England International, wow, the other World Cup nations will be shaking in their boots if he’s picked for Russia 2018. Leicester played in a 1-1 draw on Saturday against Bournemouth, gaining the equaliser in the 97th minute. If Jamie Vardy doesn’t score then it’s usually Riyad Mahrez who pops up with the goal and sure enough, he was on hand to coolly slot home the late goal earning the Foxes a vital point. Leicester haven’t far to travel to the Hawthorns and will be too strong for the Albion. This game finished 1-1 back in October, Nacer Chadli and Riyad Mahrez getting the goals but Leicester will capitalise on The Albion’s poor form and should be too strong.
Away Win 0-2
WEST HAM v BURNLEY
West Ham have lost their last 2 games 4-1 which have dragged them back into a relegation struggle. Both of those games were away from home so will be looking at getting back on track at the London Stadium. They are only 3 points from safety and need their star players to start performing. Joe Hart has been benched for a long time now but with Adrian letting in 8 goals in the 2 games, it might be a good idea for David Moyes to recall him. Michail Antonio has been a substitute for both the 4-1 games and has come off the bench to score both the Hammers goals so will be looking for a start. Burnley came from behind on Saturday to beat Everton 2-1. This was their first win in 12 games but still, lie 7th in the table. Ashley Barnes continued his fine goalscoring run getting his 5th of the season and Chris Wood got the well-deserved winner. Wood’s scored Burnley’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor in October, Michail Antonio getting the Hammer’s. This will be a tight affair with not many goals.
CHELSEA v CRYSTAL PALACE
The live Saturday evening TV game on BT Sports. Both teams played the Manchester clubs last week. Chelsea played a very defensive game against High Flying City last Sunday eventually losing the game. Like all teams, they play better at home and will look to this game against Palace to get back to winning ways after losing in the Greater Manchester area on the last 2 Sundays ( Did they stay up there all week?) Antonio Conte was criticised for the tactics he used in the City game not having an attempt on goal. It really is the Italian way. A quick mention of a 10-year anniversary, 8th of March 2008, Chelsea lost to Barnsley in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup, Kayode Odejayi’s second-half header dumped holders Chelsea out of the FA Cup and gave Championship side Barnsley a shock place in the semi-finals, Super Tykes. Palace played Monday night against Manchester United and are down at the bottom of the Premier League table. They beat Chelsea at Selhurst Park back in October 2-1, but these are tough times for the Palace faithful, if goalscorer on that day Wilfried Zaha stays fit, they should be good enough to get out of trouble. However, without him, they will go down.
Home Win 2-0
ARSENAL v WATFORD
Sunday football again for Arsenal live on Sky Sports. What can be said about Arsenal at the moment? Arsene Wenger changed the face of English football when he came to the gunners in the 90s. Unfortunately, he is passed his sell by date and whilst he deserves the utmost respect for everything he has brought to Arsenal. Diet, Training methods etc now, it surely is time for a new boss at the Emirates. They have lost their last 5 games, 3 in the Premier League, The Carabao Cup final and the second leg of the Europa League game at home against Ostersunds. Granted they went through the tie on aggregate but their next game in that competition is against AC Milan. Watford beat a poor West Brom side on Saturday 1-0 with Super Troy getting his obligatory goal. What a player Troy Deeney is. Why is he not playing for a top European club? Why is he not playing for Arsenal? He would grace any pitch and his young lad is an Arsenal fan. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Troy Deeney??? He scored in Watford’s 2-1 win against Arsenal at Vicarage Rd back in October. Tom Cleverley then got a 92nd-minute winner and Troy can help Watford beat Arsenal again.
Away Win 1-2
BOURNEMOUTH v TOTTENHAM
The second Sunday game live on Sky Sports and what a great match. Bournemouth were leading Leicester last weekend right up to the 97th minute. Eddie Howe will wonder where all the added time came from and ultimately will rue the late equaliser. Josh King scored the Cherries goal by way of a penalty. He was at Manchester United as a youngster but didn’t make the grade there and moved to Bournemouth via a few Northern clubs, Preston, Hull and Blackburn as well as German club, Borussia Monchengladbach. He plays International football for Norway and is a good strong player. Tottenham beat Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday, no surprise there. The surprise was Harry Kane didn’t score. Son Heung-Min got both goals but must have been disappointed to be substituted in the 70th minute when he was lined up for a hat-trick. He will be in Russia later this year playing in the World Cup for South Korea. If he brings his club form, then he will give South Korea a chance of progressing. Christian Eriksen scored the solitary goal at Wembley back in October to earn Spurs the 3 points. There will be more goals in this one in a lively draw.
STOKE v MAN CITY
MNF, Monday Night Football sees Stoke take on champions-elect Man City at the Brittania live on Sky Sports. Stoke played in a goalless draw on Saturday against draw specialist Southampton. Xherdan Shaqiri is a top-class player and like Son Heung-Min will be in Russia in June, playing for Switzerland. He too will try and take his home country to the later stages. Under Paul Lambert, Stoke have steadily improved but still find themselves in the bottom 3. Unfortunately, this is not the game to try and get out and with this being the final game of the weekend, even a surprise win against City won’t take them out of the relegation zone. They will just try and keep the score respectable. Man City ground out a 1-0 win against a very poor, defensive Chelsea last Sunday and are only a few wins from confirming what everyone knows that they will be taking the Premier League Title away from Chelsea. At the Etihad in October, City were 3-0 up, then took their foot off the gas and Stoke pulled 2 goals back. City then put their foot back on the gas and scored 4 second-half goals to beat Stoke 7-2. There won’t be 9 goals on MNF but Man City will win.
Away Win 0-3
Contact John Newsome, with your own predictions, requests and feedback, at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org