The goals have dried-up in recent weeks, for Leicester hit-man Jamie Vardy. Does John Newsome, our premier league predictions expert believe he can rediscover form and fire the Foxes to victory, at Brighton on Saturday? Here are all of his predictions, for game-week 13.
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BRIGHTON v LEICESTER
The first match of Game Week 13 of the Premier League sees Brighton entertain Leicester at the Amex.
Brighton went West last time out to Wales and took on a struggling Cardiff. After Lewis Dunk had given Brighton the lead at the Cardiff City Stadium they then went downhill. Cardiff equalised midway through the 1st-half then Brighton stalwart Dale Stephens lunged in on Cardiff’s Greg Cunningham and was immediately shown a Red Card. That loss of Dale left the Seagulls vulnerable in the 2nd-half and the 11 men of Cardiff took control and scored a late winner to give Cardiff all 3 points.
Lewis Dunk is Brighton born and bred and is coming up to his 27th Birthday. He has been at Brighton since he was a schoolboy and has played in League 1 for the Seagulls at an old athletic track before Brighton eventually moved to their new Amex Stadium. He was part of the promotion winning side that took Brighton from League 1 to the Championship, then from the Championship to the Premier League and has now been honoured for his tremendous displays in the Brighton Back-4 by Gareth Southgate and was in the England Squad for the recent International Break. With Lewis in the side, Brighton should be safe and there should be 3 worse teams in the Premier League enabling Chris Hughton to build his squad.
It’s been a difficult few weeks for Leicester but the whole City and the whole Footballing world have been behind the Foxes and they are certainly performing on the pitch which is all that can be asked. It could be argued that emotions took over in their last game prior to the International Break when the Foxes played out a 0-0 Draw at the King Power against Burnley. Harry Maguire was missing for that game and should be back after resting. Jamie Vardy has retired from International Football so he himself will benefit from the break and Leicester should be fit and raring to go on the South Coast. The International Break will do everyone at the King Power a world of good giving them time to reflect and regain composure after the recent tragic events.
This game last season was played at the end of March and finished 2-0 to the Foxes. Leicester did leave it late and didn’t get the goals until the last 10 minutes when Spanish midfielder Vicente Iborra scored the opener and Jamie Vardy got the 2nd in the 96th minute. What will have annoyed the Seagulls faithful and particularly Glenn Murray is that the usually reliable Murray missed a penalty prior to Iborra’s opener so the outcome could have been different.
Bet 365 have this pretty even and offer Brighton at 9/5 the Draw at 11/5 and 3/2 for Leicester 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.
FULHAM v SOUTHAMPTON
Fulham lost at Anfield on Sunday. No disgrace there as most teams come away from Anfield without a point or even a goal. Following the recent results Slavisa Jokanovic, who had been given a vote of confidence, has now lost his job with Shad Khan deciding that it’s time for a change. Only time will tell whether that is the right decision or not. Mr Khan has reacted quickly in appointing Slavisa’s replacement too. He has opted for ex-Leicester supremo and Premier League winner Claudio Ranieri. Claudio has the International Break to try and turn around the Cottages fortunes.
They did go 42 minutes at Liverpool without conceding and had Ryan Sessegnon taken a clear chance, could have gone in at half-time in the lead. Fulham did score just before the Liverpool goal but the linesman flagged for offside when Aleksandar Mitrovic got his head on a cross but he had marginally strayed offside. Whilst Fulham were arguing the decision, Alisson quickly set up a move and Mo Salah ran clear to put Liverpool ahead. Liverpool took control in the 2nd-half and eventually ran out 2-0 clear winners.
Fulham have conceded 31 goals in the 12 games up to now, the most by all 20 Premier League Teams. Not a record though, Barnsley have that honour. In the Tykes one and only stint in the Premier League in the 1997/1998 season, Barnsley shipped 35 goals in the first 12 games. There is a brilliant film out at the moment documenting Barnsley’s Premier League year entitled “Daydream Believers” Ultimately it was another loss for Slavisa and as cost him his job.
Southampton got a draw in their last game prior to the International Break. Manolo Gabbiadini gave the Saints the lead in the 1st-half. Manolo hadn’t scored all season and the Southampton faithful hadn’t seen a goal from Manolo at St Mary’s for 13 months, so the goal was a much-needed one for both Southampton and Manolo and maybe that will kick-start his season. Charlie Austin thought he had scored midway through the 2nd-half but his strike was ruled out because his teammate Maya Yoshida was deemed to be in an offside position and interfering with play. Charlie wasn’t happy!
Watford got a late equaliser and the point may have given Mark Hughes a stay of execution. It’s going to be a long 2 weeks of International football for Mark and it’s a toss-up whether he will be still in charge for this game away at Fulham. The club’s Chinese owner, Gao Jisheng and his family, who took control last year have wielded the axe last week and got rid of the vice-chairman, Les Reed, and the technical director, Martin Hunter, on Thursday. The shake-up makes Mark Hughes more vulnerable but that’s out of Mark’s hands and he will use the International Break to try and get his team scoring goals. Big Sam must be looking out for the Southampton dialling code when his phone rings.
Bet 365 have this pretty even and offer Fulham at 9/5, the Draw at 11/5 and 3/2 for Southampton to come away with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 10/1 for a 0-0 scoreline and with the Wiley old Fox that is Claudio Ranieri now in charge at Fulham the defence should be tighter.
EVERTON v CARDIFF
Everton arguably got the result of Game Week 12 going to Stamford Bridge and holding Chelsea to a 0-0 Draw. Wolves may dispute that after their great result at the Emirates but either way both can be proud of their achievement. Marco Silva is finally fulfilling his managerial potential having been touted by Everton for a long time last term. Columbian World Cup star Yerry Mina came to Goodison Park in the summer from Barcelona but has been injured and only had a minutes worth of play before the Chelsea game. Marco put Big Yerry in from the start and was outstanding preventing Chelsea from scoring for the 1st time this season. If he stays fit, the big Columbian could be one of the signings of the season and help the Toffees cement a Top 6 place.
Cardiff will join the argument too about the performance of Game Week 12 after getting a superb win against Brighton. After going behind to the Seagulls through bad defending from Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson made the scores level at half-time. They were helped on their way by Brighton when midfielder Dale Stephens made a rash challenge and was sent off, leaving Cardiff to play the last hour against 10 men. The extra man advantage eventually paid off, Sol Bamba made up for his error in the 1st-half and latched onto a rebound to give Cardiff the lead late on and eventually all 3 points. That was a great win for the Bluebirds and although the 3 points didn’t take them out of the Bottom 3, it will give them a huge amount of confidence to head North to Goodison Park.
Bet 365 offer Everton at Odds-On 2/5, the Draw at 15/4 and 6/1 for Cardiff to come away with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 21/20 just above Evens for Richarlison to score at Anytime which is a license to print money.
WEST HAM v MAN CITY
West Ham came away from West Yorkshire with a point after getting a 2nd-half equaliser against Huddersfield. The Terriers had taken the lead in the 1st-half but West Ham’s Felipe Anderson got the goal to give the Bubbles a share of the points as they head into this tough game against High Flying City. On the outside, it appears that the Hammers are struggling but if you dig a little deeper and look at the bigger picture, West Ham are missing almost a full team of players that are injured. Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble (admittedly through suspension, not injury), Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko all missed the trip to Huddersfield and Manuel Pellegrini could do with these being available to get his team playing the way he wants.
Samir Nasri is undergoing a medical at West Ham, prior to signing a short-term contract with the Premier League club. The former Marseille, Arsenal and Manchester City player is a free transfer after the midfielder resumes his football career due to him serving an 18-month ban following a violation of the World Anti-Doping Code and UEFA’s doping regulations “after intravenously receiving 500 millilitres of sterile water containing nutrients while on holiday in Los Angeles”. Yes, no one else understands that either, but if Samir can recapture the form he showed at Arsenal and City then it will only benefit the Hammers. He won’t be able to play in this game against his former club as won’t be eligible until January.
Man City got the better of Manchester rivals United last time out to go back to the Top of the Premier League going into the Break. Liverpool had briefly taken over top spot after their earlier win against Fulham but City regained Top Boys after a resounding win against a poor Manchester United who were never really at the races. The David of the Silva’s got the opening goal after good work from the Bernardo of the Silva’s. The Blonde Bombshell that is now Sergio Aguero got the 2nd early in the 2nd-half blasting the ball past a helpless David De Gea. Manchester United were awarded a penalty which Anthony Martial coolly despatched and briefly gave United hope, but in reality, it would have been a travesty if City hadn’t had collected all 3 points.
Peps boys in blue were simply too good for United and after a 44 pass-move from virtually all the players, Ilkay Gundogan put the game beyond doubt with time running out. City are the best team in the Premier League and have improved from last season ’s title-winning team. Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham will run them close, but in truth, after just 12 games, 10 Wins and 2 Draws, City are the team to beat and are firmly in the driving seat. Pep even took time to remonstrate with Raheem Sterling at the final whistle.
Instead of celebrating the fine win over Noisy Neighbours United, he ran straight to Raheem and had a word in his shell-like. What it appeared to be about was a bit of showboating from Raheem but that’s between them 2 and inside, Pep must be delighted he’s erased last season’s defeat to United at the Etihad. Pep is a very humble guy, he’s just beaten his arch-rival Jose but instead of cupping his ear, he races up to Raheem and has a word.
This game last season was played at the end of April and finished 4-1 to City. Aaron Cresswell got the Hammers solitary goal, after Leroy Sane and the unfortunate Pablo Zabaleta had scored an own goal in the 1st-half. Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho added 2 more in the 2nd half to send the Citizens back up North happy.
Bet 365 offer a massive 12/1 for West Ham to shock the current Premier League Champions, the Draw at 5/1 and Odds-On 2/9 for City to head back North with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 2/1 for David Silva to score Anytime and 33/1 for West Ham to Miss a Penalty.
WATFORD v LIVERPOOL
Watford entertain Liverpool at Vicarage Rd. Prior to the International Break, the Hornets went to St Mary’s and came away with a controversial draw. Controversial on the referee and linesman’s side and no fault of Watford but before Jose Holebas had equalised, Watford could and should have been 2-0 down. Watford have had an indifferent season and it appears as if they are levelling out. Troy Deeney managed 51 minutes against the Saints after being injured for the previous 3. He started on the subs bench but came on in the 40th minute when Will Hughes himself got injured and the Hornets will definitely be happy to have Big Troy back in the side. Troy makes Watford a stronger side whether he scores the goals or just makes himself a nuisance for defenders. He can drag 2 or 3 out of position which may look like he’s doing nothing, but in reality, he is creating space for others to move into. Despite the point earned at St Mary’s and being higher in the Premier League than Manchester United, this will be a very tough test against a very good Liverpool side.
Liverpool are matching High Flying City at the Top of the Premier League and are 12 points better off than at the same stage last season. The Reds beat a struggling Fulham side last time out and although Fulham held their own for the majority of the 1st-half, Mo Salah gave Liverpool the advantage at the break. Fulham had scored from a free kick but the linesman deemed Mitrovic to be offside. Whilst Fulham were debating the decision, Reds goalkeeper Alisson quickly passed the ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold who played in Mo to coolly slot home. Whilst it appeared harsh on Fulham, in truth Liverpool had missed a hatful of chances in the 1st-half and should have been out of sight. Xherdan Shaqiri scored a brilliant 2nd to give Liverpool the win and temporarily send them Top of the Premier League for a couple of hours until the City annihilation of United.
Jurgen Klopp has assembled a great squad at Anfield. He recognised early that he needed a decent goalkeeper, a decent centre-half and a midfield general. He went all out and signed Virgil Van Dijk for £75 Million from Southampton when £75 Million was a lot of money. He paid a record £67 Million for Alisson from Roma and brought in Naby Keita for £53 Million from RB Leipzig. Although Naby hasn’t made the impact that Big Virgil and Alisson have made, what he has done is ensured Jordan Henderson and James Milner have upped their respective games as not to miss out on the Anfield Revolution. Recruiting Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho have also added to the strength of Liverpool and with youngsters, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Joe Gomes all improving, Liverpool will be there or thereabouts come the business end of the season.
This game last term was the 1st game of the season and finished in a very entertaining 3-3 Draw. Stefano Okaka, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Miguel Britos got the Hornets goals in early August 2017, Britos’s goal was a very late equaliser in the 94th minute to cancel out a Sadio Mane brace, either side of a Roberto Firmino strike.
Bet 365 offer Watford at 5/1, the Draw at 15/4 and Odds-On 4/9 for Liverpool to come away with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 3/1 for a Liverpool Win and Under 2.5 Goals and 11/1 for Liverpool to Win 2-0 and Mo Salah to Score Anytime.
MANCHESTER UNITED v CRYSTAL PALACE
Manchester United were humbled by Noisy Neighbours City before the International Break. After a set of decent results, all by the same scoreline of 2-1 including a great win in the Champions League away at Juventus, United were brought back down to earth against City. After 12 games, United lie in 8th place on 20 points, a staggering 12 points behind their Manchester rivals. In theory, City have to lose 4 games and United win them all for United to catch up. It simply won’t happen so maybe Jose and United’s best bet is to concentrate wholeheartedly on the Champions League which it looks like they are going to qualify for the latter stages. Anthony Martial got a consolation goal against City after Romelu Lukaku had been brought down in the area by the City goalkeeper Ederson. Tony coolly slotted the penalty away but to be fair it was the only thing he and the United players did. If it had been a boxing match, the referee would have stopped the contest early.
Jose’s United are way off the mark and are struggling to rival Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool never mind High Flying City. Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini are all decent players but none of them would get in Pep’s City. The defence is not up to standard and concede goals. United need an overhaul, but is Jose the man to overhaul United. There are others out there to consider. Chelsea took a chance on Maurizio Sarri, Arsenal took a chance on Unai Emery, Tottenham took a chance on Mauricio Pochettino, there are managers out there other than Jose.
Who had heard of Lucien Favre? Who had heard of Ernesto Valverde? Who had heard of Thomas Tuchel? Who had heard of Max Allegri? These 4 managers are in charge of the teams top of the Bundesliga in Germany, La Liga in Spain, Ligue 1 France and Serie A in Italy. Manchester United are not just a Football Team, they are an institution and Sir Alex built up a legacy which should at least demand that the team competes with the best. If Jose can’t do that, then United should look elsewhere. Ryan Giggs should be the first port of call, then look at these in their respective leagues. There are managers out there, it’s up to the hierarchy at United to make decisions that their legacy demands.
Crystal Palace lost again last time out by a single goal against Tottenham. This little International Break might just have come at the right time for Roy Hodgson and his Eagles. That’s 7 games without a win now for Palace including a Carabao Cup defeat to Championship side Middlesbrough. The surprise in those 7 winless games was a 2-2 Draw with Arsenal, the surprise being for the Eagles faithful is that the draw with the Gunners shows they can compete with the best in the league. They did get 2 penalties in that game and have only scored 2 goals from open play in the 7 winless games so maybe therein lies the problem. Christian Benteke is a big loss to Palace and Conor Wickham is still recovering from a long-term injury. Roy will hope to get through this tricky period and maybe the bosses will recruit in January. For now, Crystal Palace need Wilfried Zaha to not get injured and come back after the break on top form.
This game last season was played at the end of September and finished a resounding 4-0 to United. Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and 2 from Marouane Fellaini gave United all 3 points. Significantly, this was only Roy Hodgson’s 3rd game in charge at Selhurst Park and the Eagles 7th loss of the season. Palace were without Wilfried Zaha who was injured that day and Palace never win without Wilfried.
Bet 365 offer Manchester United at 4/11, the Draw at 4/1 and 13/2 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 6/4 that Anthony Martial scores Anytime and 11/10 Manchester United Score in Both Halves.
TOTTENHAM v CHELSEA
Late Saturday afternoon kick-off live on BT Sports and what a cracker of a game at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham are on a great run at the moment winning 6 out of the last 7 Premier League games, the 1 loss was to High Flying City, so no disgrace there. The latest win was a hard-fought game across London at Selhurst Park. They narrowly beat Palace 1-0 late Saturday afternoon with the goal coming from an unlikely source. Argentine defender Juan Foyth got the winner midway through the 2nd-half. The strike made up for the 2 penalties Big Juan gave away last weekend against Wolves. Luckily the 2 penalties didn’t result in a loss for Tottenham. This game against Chelsea will be a real test for both sides and will be a great yardstick for both to see exactly where they are.
Chelsea were surprisingly held at home last Sunday. Everton came down to Stamford Bridge and shut out the Blues gaining an excellent point. Ex-Toffee Ross Barkley must have been disappointed to start on the subs bench. Ross has had a great couple of months starting for Chelsea including scoring a late equaliser in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United and a goal in the 4-0 win against Burnley, so to only get the last 10 minutes against his hometown club must have irked Ross. It’s the 1st game since the 0-0 Draw at the London Stadium against West Ham in September that Chelsea have failed to score.
This game last term was played in early August and was the 2nd game of the season and Tottenham’s 1st at their temporary home of Wembley. Chelsea got the better of Tottenham in the Wembley sun with left-back Marcus Alonso getting Chelsea’s 1st goal in a 2-1 win. The unfortunate Michy Batshuayi got an own goal giving Tottenham hope, but Alonso got a 2nd for the Blues giving them all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at 17/10, the Draw at 12/5 and Chelsea as slight favourites at 3/2 to be Top Boys in this London Derby. Bet 365 offer 9/1 for a Draw and Over 2.5 Goals and 20/1 for ether Team to Miss a Penalty.
BOURNEMOUTH v ARSENAL
Early Sunday afternoon football live on Sky Sports sees the Gunners head to the South Coast to take on the Cherries.
Bournemouth were surprisingly beaten 2-1 away at Newcastle last time out. After the great start the Cherries have made taking them to the lofty height of 6th in the Premier League, they have now lost back-to-back games and the one against Newcastle was a real shock considering the poor form Newcastle were in. Columbian World Cup star Jefferson Lerma, who was brought to the Vitality by Eddie Howe off the back of his fine performances in Russia, got the Cherries solitary goal in 1st-half added time. All the goals at St James were scored in the 1st-half, Bournemouth rallied in the 2nd but failed to get back on level terms. Jefferson came to Bournemouth from the Spanish club Levante. He played in the last 16 game against England at the World Cup but had already been substituted before full-time, so was not involved in the penalty shootout which England won.
Arsenal come into this game on the South Coast after playing in a great game at the Emirates last time out. They took on new boys Wolves and both teams went at each other in a thoroughly entertaining match which surprisingly finished 1-1. Wolves took the lead in the 1st-half and withstood the Gunners onslaught for most of the 2nd-period. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was a 2nd-half substitute, got the late equaliser in the 86th minute, preserving the Gooners 16 game unbeaten run. That’s 3 Draws in their last 3 Premier League games and this could be another tight affair down in sunny Bournemouth.
This game last season was played in mid-January and finished 2-1 to Bournemouth. Hector Bellerin opened the scoring for Arsenal early in the 2nd-half giving the Gooners faithful hope but Callum Wilson and Jordan Ibe got 2 quick-fire goals for the Cherries giving them a superb home win.
Bet 365 offer Bournemouth at 12/5, the Draw at 11/4 and Evens 1/1 for Arsenal to come away with all 3 points. Bet 365 offer 10/3 for an Arsenal Win and Over 3.5 Goals and 7/5 for Callum Wilson to Score Anytime.
WOLVES v HUDDERSFIELD
Late Sunday afternoon football live on Sky Sports sees Huddersfield head South to Molineux to play in a fixture which goes back a long way first played in 1910.
Wolves, along with Cardiff and Everton, will argue who got the result of Game Week 12. Until the 86th minute, Wolves were looking at a shock win away at the Emirates against Arsenal. Ivan Cavaleiro got the early goal in the 1st-half, but the Gold and Blacks couldn’t hold on and gave away an 86th-minute equaliser to the Gunners. Big Ivan was taken off on the hour mark and will say it was because he wasn’t on the pitch when the equaliser occurred and if he was would have taken control of the situation and prevented Mkhitaryan from scoring. Arsenal do come on strong late in games and Wolves should have been aware of this. The game against Arsenal was open and enjoyable for the neutrals at least as Wolves play an expansive game which others in the Premier League (Southampton) could learn from. Nuno has got a good team assembled and rarely makes changes to his starting 11 so all know each other and all know their respective jobs on the pitch and after 3 straight losses, the point against Arsenal was welcomed.
Huddersfield followed on from their fine win against Fulham the previous Monday with another great performance in front of their home fans. Alex Pritchard got the Terriers goal in the 1-1 Draw with West Ham which was literally the 1st goal Huddersfield have scored at the John Smiths Stadium this term. The winner against Fulham went down as an own goal so no one at Huddersfield could take credit for it. The Terriers have found life in the Premier League harder this second season but whilst there are games to be played they will feel they have it in them to pull clear of the drop zone.
Bet 365 offer Odds-On 4/9 for a Wolves win, the Draw at 3/1 and a massive 7/1 for Huddersfield to come away from Molineux with all 3 points. Bet 365 Offer 13/8 for Wolves to Score On Both Halves and 15/8 for Wolves to Win and Under 2.5 Goals.
BURNLEY v NEWCASTLE
Burnley are still reeling from the aftermath of their Europa League experience. They played out a 0-0 Draw away at the King Power in an emotional game against Leicester. That’s now 5 games without a win for the Clarets but it did stop the rot of 3 losing games prior to that. Sean Dyche will always have credit in hand for the time he has spent at Turf Moor and the Burnley bosses won’t get rid just yet. Joe Hart kept his place in the team and finally kept a clean-sheet after shipping 13 goals in the previous 3 games. That might just have given Big Joe a stay of execution with Tom Heaton waiting in the wings for his chance. Chris Wood played a full 90 minutes for the 1st time this season after a number of brief appearances from the bench so that will have done him a world of good.
Newcastle got a great win prior to the International Break beating Bournemouth 2-1 at St James Park. That’s now back-to-back wins in front of the Toon Army after not winning a single game of football since July. All 3 goals in the win came in the 1st-half and both Newcastle goals were scored by Salomon Rondon with the Bournemouth consolation coming 6 minutes into 1st-half stoppage time. Salomon had been injured for a couple of games and was brought back into the starting lineup for both of the recent wins. Those wins have elevated Newcastle to the lofty heights of 14th in the table. That’s how tight it is at the bottom with a number of teams all perilously close to the drop-zone.
This game last season was played at the end of October and Burnley ran out 1-0 winners. Jeff Hendrick got the Clarets solitary goal to give them all 3 points. This should be another tight affair with both teams conscious not to lose.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at 7/4, the Draw at 11/5 and 8/5 for Newcastle to come away with all 3 points. Bet 365 Offer 11/4 for a Draw and 2.5 Goals.