Game-Week 22 begins with an all-London fixture that virtually guarantees goals, given how often both teams score and concede. Who does John Newsome see coming out on top? Here are his predictions for all games taking place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. You can view all previous analysis from John’s weekly column here – English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
WEST HAM v ARSENAL
Early Saturday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
West Ham come into this London Derby off the back of a 2-2 draw against Brighton. The Hammers were losing 2-0 before the introduction of Mark Noble. Andy Carroll started for the 1st time in a while along with Marco Arnautovic. Mark Noble was sat on the bench thinking to himself “just hit it long to Marco” Manuel Pellegrini listened, introduced Mark and Mark and Marco connected which resulted in Marco Arnautovic getting 2 goals and earning a point for the Bubbles. West Ham make a quick return to the London Stadium to take on the Gunners who got back to winning ways following the heavy loss against Liverpool.
Arsenal were fortunate enough to have the fixture against Fulham following that loss against Liverpool and ran out 4-1 winners against the Cottages. Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were the Gunners goal scorers. West Ham are comfortable in mid-table and are pushing for a Top 6 finish. Arsenal are lying in 5th position at the moment 3 points ahead of a resurgent Manchester United who are on the march so will want to get a good result against their London rivals.
Both teams had good wins in the FA Cup and progress to the 4th round.
This reverse fixture back in September at the Emirates gave Unai Emery his 1st Premier League win after 2 defeats. Marco Arnautovic had put West Ham in front early on but Nacho Monreal equalised making it 1-1 at the break. Issa Diop unfortunately, scored an own goal and Danny Welbeck rounded off a less than convincing 3-1 win for the Gunners giving Unai his first 3 points.
Bet 365 offer West Ham at 5/2, the Draw at 13/5 and Evens 1/1 for Arsenal to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 11/4 that West Ham Score in Both Halves and 8/1 that Arsenal Win from Behind.
Away Win 1-3
CARDIFF v HUDDERSFIELD
Cardiff were taught a football lesson for 20 minutes on New Years Day against Tottenham. It was as if the Cardiff Boys had been to a great New Years Eve party and were still dressed in their fancy dress outfits. The organiser of the party must have said the theme was “Cardiff City Football kits” and the boys literally were dressed for the party and not for a game of football against Spurs. Tottenham felt sorry for the partygoers after 26 minutes and packed in themselves knowing the game was over. Big Neil Warnock will get the Bluebirds back on track and will have targeted this very winnable game against his old club Huddersfield. Cardiff do need to be careful with Fulham and Southampton taking the plunge on new managers. Neil’s job is not under threat at the moment as he is working miracles in South Wales but they do need investment in the January Transfer Window. Cardiff currently have 8 points more than bottom of the table Huddersfield and sit just above the relegation places and in a group of 3 who have the same points. Having been dumped out of the FA Cup to League 1 club Gillingham, they can now really have no excuse other than to concentrate on the league.
Huddersfield are now on a 9 match losing streak which includes them also being dumped out of the FA Cup by a lower league side. David Wagner has credit in the Huddersfield bank but the hierarchy at Huddersfield will have to quickly decide what they want. Do they want to get rid of David, appoint Big Sam and have a chance of staying in the Premier League or do they keep Mr Wagner and know that they will be playing Championship Football next season? The Terriers faithful may be happy with that but sometimes a managers voice becomes White Noise and the players stop taking instructions on board. David Wagner is obviously a good manager who has taken a club the stature of Huddersfield to the promised land but he’s hit a brick wall now and just can’t get them to win football matches. Unless Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale (other World Footballing Superstars are available) have a penchant for West Yorkshire then Huddersfield are going down. Aaron Mooy is a big loss too which as to be factored in and the Terriers need him back very quickly.
This game back at the John Smith Stadium in August finished goalless. Jonathon Hogg was sent off for the Terriers in the 2nd-half which was the only highlight of the game.
Bet 365 offer Cardiff at 6/5, the Draw at 21/10 and 5/2 for Huddersfield to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 6/1 a 0-0 Scoreline and 11/5 that Cardiff Win to Nil.
Home Win 1-0
BRIGHTON v LIVERPOOL
Brighton entertain the current Premier League table toppers at the Amex following 4 unbeaten games including a win in the FA Cup. The Seagulls were beating the Hammers 2-0 last time out with goals from Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy but couldn’t hold on to the lead and let Marco Arnautovic back into the game allowing him to score twice and earn the Bubbles a share of the points. Chris Hughton isn’t looking to strengthen in the January Transfer Window but his squad is what it is and they should be pretty safe. There are definitely 3 worse teams than Brighton in the Premier League this season.
As mentioned Liverpool are sitting at the top of the Premier League 4 points ahead of Man City. Liverpool finally lost a game this season against Man City in what was one of the best tactical games of recent years. Jurgen went head-to-head against Pep and came off worse. His selection of James Milner and Jordan Henderson was the defining factor in the 2-1 loss against City. Roberto Firmino continued his goal scoring run getting his 4th goal in 2 games and his 8th of the season. After a Magnificent December 7 which James and Jordan rarely featured, Jurgen decided to play the both of them obviously to negate Pep’s midfield. To be fair to Jurgen it was a tight game and maybe in hindsight, he would have changed his team selection. Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho have been excellent in the Liverpool midfield and should have probably started. Despite the loss, the result sets up a brilliant finale to the season and Liverpool will know that the destination of the Premier League title is still in their hands. This visit to the Amex is the start of a run of fairly easy fixtures for the Reds. If fixtures against Brighton, Crystal Palace, Leicester, West Ham and Bournemouth can be considered fairly easy. Three of those five fixtures are at Anfield too so Jurgen will still be confident.
This reverse fixture back at Anfield in August finished in a very convincing 1-0 win for Liverpool. Mo Salah getting the solitary goal.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at a massive 10/1, the Draw at 4/1 and Odds On 2/7 for Liverpool to get back to winning ways.
Bet 365 offer 9/4 that Glenn Murray Scores Anytime and 6/1 that Roberto Firmino Scores First.
Away Win 0-3
CRYSTAL PALACE v WATFORD
Crystal Palace had a pretty decent Christmas and New Year getting great results against Man City and Wolves last time out. The Eagles went upto Molineux and came away with a great 2-0 victory against an inform Wolves side. Jordan Ayew and a Luka Milivojevic penalty gave Palace all 3 points. Ex-Chelsea star Michy Batshuayi has been linked with signing for Roy Hodgson in the January Transfer Window.
Watford head to South London off the back of a very entertaining 3-3 draw against Bournemouth. A 3-3 Scoreline is entertaining in itself but the way the goals came gave the game an added extra. All 6 goals were scored in the first 40 minutes. Troy Deeney scored twice for the Hornets in the first 30 minutes giving them a comfortable 2-0 lead before Bournemouth woke up and scored twice themselves in quick succession. Ken Sema briefly put Watford back in front until Bournemouth got their 3rd in the 40th minute. The fans must have rushed out for their half-time pie hoping the 2nd-half was going to be just as exciting. Alas it was not to be and no further goals were added giving both teams a share of the points.
At Vicarage Rd in August Watford ran out 2-1 winners. Roberto Pereyra and Jose Holebas were the Hornets scorers that day with Wilfried Zaha scoring for Crystal Palace to give them late hope.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace at 6/5, the Draw at 11/5 and 12/5 for Watford to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 6/1 that Luka Milivojevic Scores the First Goal and 7/1 that Troy Deeney Scores the First Goal.
BURNLEY v FULHAM
Burnley have recorded back-to-back wins in the Premier League and beaten the mighty Barnsley F.C. in the FA Cup. The significant factor in all 3 wins was the selection of the goalkeeper. After playing all season and conceding a lot of goals, Joe Hart has been dropped to the bench and replaced by Tom Heaton for the 2 Premier League wins and Nick Pope for the FA Cup tie. What happens sometimes in football is that a managers judgment can become clouded. There is no doubt that Joe Hart is and has been a superb goalkeeper over the years and has saved Burnley on several occasions this season. What can be missed is although Joe is saving shots etc his back four can become a bit jittery and are unsure as to how Joe plays. With Tom Heaton and Nick Pope, the defence have developed an understanding which just maybe puts them at ease. A slight adjustment in positioning, the odd word here and there just might be the difference between Burnley’s displays this term. No doubt the Europa League experience has taken its toll but not having Tom or Nick in goals could be an added factor. Joe Hart deserves a lot of credit for his career and will definitely help both Tom and Nick out with the experience he has gained but it’s a results-driven business and Sean Dyche might just have saved Burnley’s season dropping Joe, giving Joe a rest, however way it is spun. Burnley are in a little group of 3 on 18 points and a win against Fulham will put much-needed distance between the 2 clubs.
Fulham had a bit of a revival over Christmas but were brought back down to earth in the 4-1 loss against Arsenal. Aboubaker Kamara got the consolation goal. The Cottages were also dumped out of the FA Cup to League 2 side Oldham. Probably the plus point that can be taken from that loss to Oldham was Claudio Ranieri made a lot of changes and now knows his best eleven and knows he needs reinforcements in the January Transfer Window. Liverpool’s Divock Origi is a target for Fulham and £15 Million might just persuade Jurgen to sell given that Fulham present no real threat to Liverpool and Divock is not getting game time at Anfield.
This reverse fixture back in August was full of goals with Fulham taking all 3 points in a 4-2 win. Summer signing Jean Seri opened the scoring for the Cottages. Aleksandar Mitrovic got 2 goals and Andre Schurrle completed the scoring. Jeff Hendrick and James Tarkowski replied for the Clarets.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at 11/8, the Draw at 11/5 and 2/1 for Fulham to head South with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 7/1 that Chris Wood gets the First Goal and 21/20 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores Anytime.
Home Win 1-0
LEICESTER v SOUTHAMPTON
Leicester are comfortable in 7th in the Premier League table, just had some great results over Christmas and the New Year beating Chelsea, Man City and Everton, yet Claud Puel seems to be constantly under pressure. What do the Leicester team, hierarchy and faithful want from their team. Granted Claud doesn’t exude the personna of the likes of Pep, Jurgen or Poch but he’s certainly is happier than Jose. Inspector Clouseau springs to mind. Leicester are probably the 7th best team in the Premier League which is all Claud can do. Who are the Foxes going to put in his place? For the time being Leicester should stick with Inspector Clouseau and see what develops.
Southampton’s new boss Wreck-It Ralph Hasenhüttl has suddenly realised how tough the job at St Mary’s is going to be. After 2 wins briefly giving the Saints hope, Southampton have only managed 1 point from a possible 9, however, that point was a 0-0 Draw last time out against Chelsea so all is not lost for Big Ralph. The Saints are currently in the Bottom 3 of the Premier League so know that they will have to improve substantially if they are to avoid a relegation battle.
This reverse fixture back in August finished 2-1 in favour of Leicester. Ryan Bertrand had put Southampton in front just after the break with Demarai Gray getting the equaliser for the Foxes. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was then shown a 2nd yellow card and ultimately a red giving Leicester the man advantage. This took its toll on Southampton and Harry Maguire got the late winner in the 92nd minute giving Leicester all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer Leicester at Odds On 10/11, the Draw at 27/10 and 3/1 for to Southampton come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer that 14/5 Jamie Vardy Scores the First Goal and 12/5 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
Home Win 1-0
CHELSEA v NEWCASTLE
Late Saturday Afternoon Football live on BT Sports.
Chelsea are struggling to score goals at the moment, however, are picking up results by the odd goal. Last time out before the FA Cup game they played out a very drab 0-0 Draw against Southampton. The fact that this was at Stamford Bridge in front of the Chelsea faithful added extra fan disgruntlement against Maurizio Sarri who is becoming increasingly under pressure for his negative passing sideways tactics. The Blues have just shelled out £58 Million for USA playmaker Christian Pulisic but have let him stay at Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season. Is that in preparation for the exit of Eden Hazard? Chelsea need to get back to winning ways and will see this game against ex-Blues boss Rafa Benitez and his Newcastle side as the ideal opportunity.
Newcastle head South to Stamford Bridge off the back of a very negative 2-0 loss against Manchester United. Rafa will argue that he has to set his team up to play defensively to negate United, however, the Toon Army can’t be satisfied with watching their beloved Magpies play so negative. Rafa knows he needs reinforcements in this Transfer Window but will Mr Ashley put his hand in his pocket and get Rafa the players he needs? Only time will tell and Newcastle shouldn’t go down as there are 3 worse teams than them but it’s the way they play football. Jonjo Shelvey came off the bench against United and briefly offered an attacking threat but as not featured much recently and it’s whether Rafa trusts him.
Back in August at St James Park Chelsea ran out 2-1 winners. The fans had to wait until the 76th minute for the action to start when Eden Hazard converted a penalty. Joselu replied for Newcastle but then DeAndre Yedlin scored an unfortunate own goal to gift Chelsea all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer Chelsea at Odds On 1/4, the Draw at 9/2 and a massive 11/1 for Newcastle to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 13/10 that there are Under 2.5 Goals and 14/5 that Eden Hazard Scores First.
Home Win 2-0
EVERTON v BOURNEMOUTH
Early Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
Everton played in what was possibly the worst Premier League game of the season on New Year’s Day. Marco Silva’s men were dire and the Toffees faithful showed what they thought of their team at the final whistle. The 1-0 loss against Leicester was the 4th out of the last 5 Premier League games. It could be argued that the hectic schedule and the 12.30 kickoff time was the reason Everton played so poorly against Leicester but the fans won’t put up with it for long and this game against Bournemouth will be a real test for Marco and his Men.
Bournemouth have hit a brick wall at the moment and have only picked up 7 points from a possible 30 and after Huddersfield, who sit rock bottom of the Premier League, are the 2nd worse Form team at the moment. Eddie Howe has time on his side but will want to get his team back performing to the same level that they did at the beginning of the season.
This reverse fixture back in August finished 2-2 with both teams having a man sent off. Richarlison was shown a straight red card for Everton just before the break and Adam Smith was then shown a straight red just after Theo Walcott had put Everton in front. Michael Keane made it 2-0 midway through the 2nd-half giving the Toffees faithful thoughts of an easy win. Unfortunately for those Toffee fans, Bournemouth scored 2 quick goals from a Josh King penalty followed by a Nathan Ake tap in gave the Cherries a share of the points.
Bet 365 offer Everton at Odds On 5/7, the Draw at 13/5 and 15/4 the Cherries to get back to winning ways.
Bet 365 offer 14/1 for a Scoreline of 2-2 and 13/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
SPURS v MAN UNITED
Late Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
Tottenham are matching Liverpool and Man City at the top of the Premier League and played in a fairly easy game on New Year’s Day in South Wales against a Cardiff City fancy dress team who had no plans in competing in a footballing contest. Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min got the 3 goals in the 26 minutes which mattered then for the remaining 64 minutes neither team were bothered and were just wanting to get off the Cardiff City Stadium pitch.
Manchester United are on a roll. Five wins out of Five for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer including a win in the FA Cup against Championship side Reading. This game against Spurs could be argued, is Ole’s first real test and will be a real yardstick in deciding where Manchester United are at the moment and how much they have improved since Solskjaer’s arrival. The class players at United are starting to show their true potential and it’s becoming more and more obvious that Jose was sucking the life out of Old Trafford. Jose was paid a lot of money to manage Manchester United and management includes man-managing players which obviously he couldn’t do and maybe when he returns to Football, which he will, needs to reinvent himself. That’s for Jose to worry about, but the money he earned to be the boss and the money he was paid to leave United is simply scandalous in the World we are living in.
What a cracker of a game bringing these 2 teams together at Wembley. The first thing Poch and Tottenham need to do is not think this is the same Manchester United side that Tottenham took on in August.
This game back at Old Trafford in August was a topsy turvy affair which United were on top for most parts but let Tottenham in 3 times in the 2nd-half eventually losing 3-0 and started the demise of Jose Mourinho. Harry Kane and a double from Lucas Moura sealed the victory for Spurs on the Monday Night Football.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at Evens 1/1, the Draw at 13/5 and 5/2 for United to come away from Wembley with all 3 points which is real value.
Bet 365 offer 13/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals and 7/2 that Harry Kane Scores First. It’s 8/1 Paul Pogba beats Harry to the First Goal.
Away Win 1-3
MAN CITY v WOLVES
Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports. Man City got a great result against Liverpool last time out in the Premier League. Pep tactically got the better of Jurgen and his City boys beat Jurgen’s Reds 2-1. Fernandinho was back in midfield along with both the Silvas and Leroy Sane. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for City in the 1st-half. Leroy Sane scored the winner for City after Liverpool had briefly equalised. City now lie 4 points behind Liverpool at the top of the Premier League but have played Liverpool twice now and if both teams win their remaining games City won’t catch Liverpool who will be champions. That’s a long way off and there will be more twists and turns in the remaining games which is why the Premier League is so exciting.
Wolves go and beat Tottenham at Wembley then lose against Crystal Palace at home. Bizarre! That 2-0 loss against Palace was a blip for Nuno who reacted well to beat an under-strength Liverpool in the FA Cup. This will be a tough ask against High Flying City.
Back at Molineux in August Wolves matched City all the way and were unlucky not to get the 3 points. Willy Boly scored the Wolves goal with Aymeric Laporte getting the equaliser for City. The game finished 1-1 and the Premier League sat up and took notice of Nuno and his Gold and Black Army.
Bet 365 offer Man City at Odds On 1/6, the Draw at 13/2 and 12/1 for Wolves to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 12/5 that there are Over 4.5 Goals and 7/2 that Sergio Aguero Scores 2 Plus Goals.
Home Win 4-1