The Foxes visit Wolves for the opening fixture of game-week 33. The visitors have been hard to fathom all season and it’s a tough game for John Newsome to predict an outcome. He’s previewed all matches taking place on Saturday and Sunday. You can view all previous analysis from John’s weekly column here – English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
WOLVES v LEICESTER
Early Saturday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports sees a great Midlands Derby at Molineux. The Wolves versus the Foxes, David Attenborough is all over it.
Wolves were beaten 3-0 at the Etihad on Monday Night against High Flying City. In truth, they were always going to be up against it and would have probably lost but were unfortunately reduced to 10 men after Willy Boly was harshly sent off early in the game. Harshly because a couple of weeks earlier City Centre Half Vincent Kompany did a similar challenge against Liverpool but stayed on the pitch. It does sometimes appear that the Top 6 clubs are treated differently. Wolves were already 1-0 down before the red card and did well to keep the scoreline down to 3-0. Nuno will regroup and will definitely target this game against the Foxes to get back to winning ways.
Leicester are a strange Football club, they win the Premier League at 5000/1 odds, they beat Chelsea and Man City over the Christmas period then lose against Cardiff and most recently Southampton at the King Power. What makes the loss even harder to take for the Foxes faithful is Claud Puel decided to play an under-strength side in last weeks FA Cup. This backfired on Claud and Leicester are out of the said Cup. Having made that decision Inspector Clouseau needed a result against Southampton to justify that team selection. After going in at the break against the Saints trailing 2-0 Wilfred Ndidi pulled a goal back for the Foxes midway through the 2nd-half but couldn’t get any more and the game finished 2-1 to Southampton heaping pressure on Claud Puel. What was even harder to take was Southampton played all of the 2nd-half with 10 men. It appears the board don’t need many excuses to get rid of Claud so the loss against the Saints could give them that excuse. Watch this space.
This reverse fixture back in August was only the 2nd fixture of the season and finished in a 2-0 victory for Leicester. Wolves defender Matt Doherty, unfortunately, scored an own goal and James Maddison got the 2nd before half-time. Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy was shown a straight red card in the 2nd-half for a challenge on the unfortunate Doherty. Obviously, Jamie was upset that Matt got to the ball before him for the 1st-goal.
Bet 365 offer Wolves at 23/20 the Draw at 23/10 and 12/5 for Leicester to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Wolves Score in Both Halves and 9/4 that Raul Jimenez Scores Anytime.
Home Win 2-0
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BOURNEMOUTH v WEST HAM
Bournemouth have now lost 6 out of the last 6 away games with the 2-0 loss against Everton and are on a woeful run of form. Eddie Howe is certainly missing Callum Wilson and needs him back as soon as possible. However, if Callum is the subject of a move to Chelsea, as what has been reported, then the Cherries will struggle without him. Bournemouth won’t be relegated and Eddie has enough credit in the bank to carry on but the good results achieved this season have been when Callum has been fit and firing. Without Callum, Eddie needs someone else. David Brooks is class but Bournemouth need 5 or 6 of that ilk to progress. Believe in Eddie. He needs players and when he gets them the Cherries will come good.
West Ham got arguably the result of the weekend beating Arsenal 1-0 at the London Stadium. The surprise goal scorer for the Bubbles was young midfielder Declan Rice. This was Declan’s first ever goal for West Ham and will be the first of many. However, his reputation is growing and there will be a number of clubs keeping an eye on the young Doctor. He has recently signed a new contract for the Hammers but that maybe was for West Ham to obtain a bigger fee if Declan does go. There’s also conflict-ion as to what Country Declan will play for. When you hear him talk he’s as Cockney as any Bow Bell resident out there, but his family are Irish and the Republic of Ireland are wanting him too. Gareth needs to get him into the squad soon to quell any thoughts of playing for Mick McCarthy. Big Mick is a legend in Ireland and was born and bred in the little Irish town of Barnsley where he’s a legend too despite his last game as Ipswich boss resulting in a defeat for the Reds. Cheers, Mick. Happy Birthday, Declan.
This was the 2nd game of the season in August back at the London Stadium and finished with the Cherries running out 2-1 winners. Marco Arnautovic opened the scoring for the Bubbles with a 1st-half penalty before Callum Wilson and Steve Cook scored the goals for Bournemouth to give them the points.
Bet 365 offer Bournemouth at 13/10, the Draw at 12/5 and 2/1 for the Hammers to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 5/4 that there are Under 2.5 Goals and 9/4 Marco Arnautovic Scores Anytime.
WATFORD v BURNLEY
Watford played in a 2-1 game last time out against Crystal Palace, which was one of 4 games over the weekend that had the Scoreline of 2-1. Craig Cathcart, unfortunately, scored an own goal in the 1st-half giving Palace the lead. Craig had to make amends for his error and headed the Watford equaliser midway through the 2nd-half. Tom Cleverly got the winner for the Hornets making it a very good day for all concerned. That win takes Watford up to 7th in the Premier League on the coat-tail of a resurgent Manchester United.
Burnley themselves played in a game that finished with the scoreline of 2-1. The Clarets beat Fulham 2-1 at Turf Moor but the strange thing about that result was the Cottages scored all 3 goals. After going behind to a Fulham goal, Burnley were gifted the points when Fulham’s defenders decided to help out there Northern relegation-threatened friends and score 2 own goals. Sean Dyche will take a win any which way because when your down at the bottom every point is vital. That win temporarily moves Burnley away from the relegation places.
This reverse fixture back in August finished 3-1 to Watford in front of the Hornets faithful. James Tarkowski had equalised an early Andre Gray starter for Watford making the scores level at the break. Troy Deeney and Will Hughes scored quickly after half-time to give Watford all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer Watford at Odds On 8/13, the Draw at 13/5 and 5/1 for Burnley to head home with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 19/4 that Troy Deeney is the First Goalscorer and 7/1 for a 2-1 Scoreline.
Home Win 2-1
SOUTHAMPTON v EVERTON
Southampton were another team that played in a game that finished 2-1. The Saints travelled to the King Power and got a great result beating Leicester 2-1. James Ward-Prowse and Shane Long got the Saints goals in the 1st-half and even had to play all of the 2nd-half with 10 men after the young Southampton defender Yann Valery was shown 2 yellow cards in quick succession and ultimately a red right on half-time. Wreck-It Ralph got back to winning ways after 2 losses and a draw in the Premier League.
Everton finally came good at Goodison Park beating Bournemouth 2-0 on Sunday. The Toffees had not won a Premier League game in front of their home fans since November and this was only the 2nd Premier League win since that game in November. Marco Silva had come under a bit of pressure until Kurt Zouma and Dominic Calvert-Lewin eased the pressure on the Portuguese manager scoring the goals to earn the points against the Cherries. Big Kurt is on loan at Goodison Park from Chelsea after spending the majority of last season on loan at Stoke being part of the Stoke side that was relegated from the Premier League. With Southampton under the guidance of new boss Ralph Hasenhüttl, this will be a tough ask for Marco and His Men.
This game at the beginning of the season back at Goodison Park finished 2-1 to Everton. Theo Walcott and Richarlison scored the Toffees goals in the 1st-half before Danny Ings replied for the Saints early in the 2nd period.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 17/10, the Draw at 11/5 and 13/8 for Everton to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Southampton Win to Nil and 5/2 that the Saints Score in Both Halves.
Home Win 2-0
MAN UNITED v BRIGHTON
A rare 3.00 PM Saturday afternoon kick-off for the United faithful at Old Trafford. Manchester United are now 6 from 6 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Their brilliant win against Tottenham on Sunday was the cherry on the icing on top of the Manchester United cake. Take Ole out of the equation. Take Jose out of the equation. Take Louis Van Gaal out of the equation. Take David Moyes out of the equation. Manchester United are an institution, not just a football club. Built on the foundations of Sir Matt Busby, and Sir Alex Ferguson. What a lot of United fans will also remember were the contributions of Tom Docherty. Tom came into Old Trafford under strained circumstances, United were relegated to the 2nd Division whilst under his stewardship, he had differences with the legend that is George Best, he lost Sir Bobby Charlton but won the 2nd Division title and stormed back to the 1st Division with 75,000 watching United every week at Old Trafford and 10s of thousands following them away. Manchester United are not just the team they are now. They are built on history. Sir Alex Ferguson had his moments but came through and built the institution that is now Manchester United. All United fans want is to see their team try. Attack, Attack, Attack. it’s United’s heartbeat. The Footballing gods prevailed at Wembley last Sunday. This might not be the best United team in history but play the right way and the Gods of Manchester will make sure they win, it’s about playing the right way not the Jose way. Granted David De Gea was inspirational and saved everything but that’s why he’s the best goalkeeper in the World. United were lucky, but that’s Football when you’re knocked on you’re back and you’re life’s a flop and when you’re down on the bottom there’s nothing else but to shout to the top. Ole should be given the full-time job here and now. Forget Poch. Give The Baby Face Assassin the job and let him recreate his own institution. Marcus Rashford got United’s solitary goal in the 1-0 victory against Tottenham at Wembley. Paul Pogba played a beautiful ball through to Marcus just before half-time which Rashers despatched brilliantly passed Hugo Lloris. That’s a Superb 6 out of 6 for Ole.
Brighton were beaten 1-0 at the Amex against Liverpool on Saturday. No disgrace there as most will lose against Premier League title contenders Liverpool. The plus point Chris Hughton can take from the game is the Seagulls weren’t hammered and only lost to a self-inflicted penalty awarded against Pascal Gross. Brighton will be back, however, this game at Old Trafford will be a tough ask as United will want to stop their losing streak against Brighton.
This reverse fixture back in August was only the 2nd game of the season and Brighton again got the better of Jose’s underperforming Pink Devils. Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and a Pascal Gross penalty gave the Seagulls 3 early goals. Romelu Lukaku got 1 back before the break with Paul Pogba getting a very late penalty to give the United fans brief hope. Ultimately it was a loss for United and started the long road to Jose’s exit from Old Trafford.
Bet 365 offer United at Odds On 1/3, the Draw at 4/1 and 15/2 for Brighton to come away from Old Trafford with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Marcus Rashford is the First Goal Scorer and 6/5 Paul Pogba Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
NEWCASTLE v CARDIFF
Newcastle were another side who played in a game that finished 2-1. Unfortunately for the Magpies, they were on the wrong end of the 2-1 scoreline going down by the odd goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Ciaran Clark, who played in a defensive back 8 for Rafa’s Newcastle, equalised before the break but Chelsea scored a winner in the 2nd-half. The defeat sent the Magpies into the Bottom 3 of the Premier League. Rafa will definitely target this fixture against fellow relegation-threatened Cardiff to try and gain 3 points.
Cardiff played in a drab 0-0 draw last time out against Huddersfield. Neil’s men stopped the rot of 2 defeats in a row including being unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup against Gillingham. The point gained against the Terriers keeps Cardiff just above the drop zone and that is all the Bluebird faithful can hope for. This game against Newcastle is the ultimate 6-pointer with the winner pulling away from their rivals. Probably what both teams will not want is a draw, however, on previous performances and results, this should be a very tight affair.
This reverse fixture back in August finished in a very entertaining (Not!) 0-0 Draw. There was limited excitement for the fans with Isaac Hayden getting sent off in the 2nd-half and Kenedy missing a 96th-minute penalty making the Toon Army’s long trip home an arduous one.
Bet 365 offer Newcastle at slight Odds On 5/6, the Draw at 5/2 and 10/3 for Cardiff to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 15/2 for a 0-0 Scoreline and 11/5 for there to be Under 1.5 Goals.
LIVERPOOL v CRYSTAL PALACE
Liverpool got back to winning ways on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Brighton away at the Amex. Mo Salah won and emphatically despatched the penalty awarded to him after Pascal Gross hacked him down in the area. Jurgen’s men have the destiny of this season’s Premier League in their own hands and will be counting down the games and ticking them off one by one. With 16 games to go, as it stands now, Liverpool technically only have to win the next 14 and the title is theirs. Sounds a tough ask but none of the other 19 Premier League teams can say that. There’s a long way to go and there will be a lot of twists and turns in the coming weeks but as the games go by, the Kopites will be getting more and more excited and there’s nothing better than an excited Scouser.
Crystal Palace were one of the 8 teams who played in a game that finished 2-1. Unfortunately for Palace, they were one of the 4 teams that lost by the odd-goal in front of the Eagles faithful and couldn’t even claim to have scored their solitary goal after Watford’s Craig Cathcart turned the ball into his own net. Palace are only 4 points above the relegation places and if results go against them this weekend could be dragged back into the relegation battle. A trip to Anfield is not what Roy Hodgson would have wanted after the defeat against Watford. A plus for Crystal Palace is Christian Benteke got 13 minutes of game time having been out for the majority of the season after not featuring since collecting an injury in September. That will have pleased Roy and Christian and both will have a score to settle against Liverpool after both enduring a tough time on Merseyside
At Selhurst Park in August, Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners. James Milner scored a penalty right on half-time and Sadio Mane made it 2-0 in the 93rd minute. Crystal Palace’s young full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off midway through the 2nd-half.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at massive Odds On 1/7, the Draw at 7/1 and 14/1 for Palace to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 13/5 for Mo Salah to Score the First Goal and 14/1 for Crystal Palace to Score a Penalty.
Home Win 4-1
ARSENAL v CHELSEA
Late Saturday Afternoon kick-off live on BT Sports and what a cracker of a game at the Emirates.
Arsenal have hit a bit of a rough patch having gained only 7 points from a possible 21. The Gunners come into this game against Chelsea off the back of a 1-0 defeat against West Ham at the London Stadium. The surprise team selection Unai Emery made in that game against the Hammers was the omission of Mesut Ozil from the matchday squad. It was noted that Mesut had trained all week and was not suffering from any injury but Unai decided he wasn’t fit enough to start or even be considered as a substitute. Reading between the lines, Unai doesn’t fancy Mesut in tough games away from the Emirates. That’s between Unai and Mesut and it’s making those big decisions which is the reason why the Gunners employed Unai. The Gooners board have stated they have no money to make any signings in the January Transfer Window and any newcomers will be loans only. Arsenal are the 6th richest club in the country so something is amiss at the Emirates if they can only get loan signings in. Aaron Ramsey has signed a pre-contract with Juventus and will leave Arsenal at the end of the season. There aren’t many players of the calibre off Aaron out there so to just let him leave for nothing is mind boggling and to replace him will cost the Gunners millions. It’s strange sometimes how these big cooperate conglomerates operate.
Chelsea head across London after a run of mixed results which have left the Blues faithful unsure about the antics of Maurizio Sarri. The latest mixed result was a comfortable 2-1 win against Newcastle. Pedro and Willian got the Blues goals giving them the points to maintain there 4th position in the Premier League. The fans have criticised ‘Sarri-Ball’ whatever that means but in reality Chelsea have won 6 out of the last 9 Premier League games and drew one of the others which is not too shabby so what do the fans want. Probably losing against Wolves and Leicester irked the fans but the win against Man City should have gone a long way to appeasing the faithful. It’s obvious Chelsea need a Striker and there is talk of Callum Wilson and Gonzalo Higuain coming in the January Transfer Window.
At Stamford Bridge in August Chelsea inflicted the 2nd defeat in a row on Unai Emery after Arsenal’s loss in their opener to Man City. Pedro and Alvaro Morata gave Chelsea an early lead and missed a hat-full of chances before Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi made the scores level at half-time. Iwobi had missed a couple of early chances too and in theory, the score at half-time could have been 4-4. Marcos Alonso got the Blues winner with 10 minutes to go giving Chelse bragging rights over their London rivals.
Bet 365 offer Arsenal at 9/5, the Draw at 5/2 and 11/8 for Chelsea to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 9/1 that Chelsea Win from Behind and 13/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Away Win 1-3
HUDDERSFIELD v MAN CITY
Early Sunday Afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports.
Huddersfield stopped the losing streak on Saturday gaining a hard-fought 0-0 draw away against fellow relegation rivals Cardiff. That point was the 1st gained by the Terriers in a losing streak of 9 games which included a loss in the FA Cup. The point, however, wasn’t enough to keep David Wagner in his job. Despite repeated backing from the Chairman Dean Hoyle, Huddersfield and David parted company on Monday evening. David seems a nice bloke but in a couple of years time when he’s at another club because he will be, let’s hope Mr Wagner doesn’t come out with the line “I have never been relegated!” Big Sam Allardyce is lying on a sunbed somewhere in the world waiting for a phone call. He will have scrapped the Southampton dialling code from his phone and will now be waiting for ‘01484’ to come up. It’s unlikely that Huddersfield will avoid relegation, with or without Big Sam, as no team in the history of the Premier League have avoided the drop with the results and points Huddersfield have after 22 games. But as the saying goes ‘it ain’t over until the fat lady sings”. Unfortunately for the Terriers faithful the rather rotund female singer is warming up her voice and will be heard across West Yorkshire in the not too distant future. When your team is bottom of the league, struggling to win, even struggling to score and your manager has just left, a visit from the current Premier League Champions is not what is needed. At least the Terriers faithful should see some goals.
Man City beat a resilient Wolves side 3-0 on Monday Night Football. Wolves were unlucky to have a man sent off after 20 minutes and played the last 70 minutes a man less. In truth, City were already a goal in front before the sending off through a Gabriel Jesus goal and were never going to lose, but the sending off was harsh on Wolves. Gabriel Jesus converted a penalty awarded for a foul on Raheem Sterling to make it 2-0 at the break then City were helped out further when Connor Coady turned into his own net giving City a comfortable 3-0 win to keep the pressure on Liverpool. City are 4 points behind Liverpool and are now 5 points ahead of Tottenham after Tottenham’s defeat against Manchester United.
At the Etihad back in August, this was also the early Sunday afternoon game on Sky in which City inflicted an easy 6-1 victory over the Terriers. Sergio Aguero got a superb hat-trick with his opener coming from a brilliant assist from City’s goalkeeper Ederson who hit a long ball from his own area to Sergio who started off the rout. Gabriel Jesus and the David of the Silva’s made it 5 with the unfortunate Huddersfield defender Terence Kongola scoring a late own goal. Jon Stankovic got the Terriers consolation.
Bet 365 offer Huddersfield at a massive 12/1, the Draw at 13/2 and Odds On 1/6 for City to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 7/2 for Gabriel Jesus to Score First and Evens 1/1 that City Win Both Halves.
Away Win 0-4
FULHAM v TOTTENHAM
Late Sunday Afternoon football live on Sky Sports sees a London Derby at Craven Cottage.
Fulham lost again on Saturday away against Burnley. That’s 3 defeats in a row for Claudio Ranieri including the humiliation of losing to League 2 Oldham in the FA Cup. The Cottages have only registered 1 win in the last 9 Premier League games and that was against the team vying for bottom position in the league, Huddersfield. The strange stat about the 2-1 loss against Burnley was Fulham scored all 3 goals. Andre Schurrle had put the Cottages in front in the 2nd-minute but then his defenders decided to help Burnley out. Joe Bryan and Dennis Odoi were the unfortunate Fulham players to help the ball into their own net. Fulham will regroup and will relish this London Derby against Tottenham.
Tottenham head to Craven Cottage off the back of a defeat against Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday. After conceding just before the break, Tottenham battered United in the 2nd-half but literally couldn’t beat David De Gea. The United stopper was Man of the Match after countless saves from the Spurs players. Tottenham remain 3rd in the Premier League table after that 1-0 defeat but a little concern for the faithful is Harry Kane limped off the Wembley Turf with ankle damage and Son Heung-Min heads to the Asian Cup. These are 2 big players for Tottenham and will be missed.
At Wembley back in August, Fulham played well but ultimately lost with Tottenham running out 3-1 winners. Lucas Moura had put Spurs in front just before half-time. Aleksandar Mitrovic equalised for Fulham before Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane scored 2 quick goals midway through the 2nd-half to give Tottenham the win.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 13/2, the Draw at 16/5 and Odds On 9/20 for Tottenham to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 7/4 that Tottenham Win to Nil and 13/5 Christian Eriksen Scores Anytime.
Away Win 0-2