EPL Previous Predictions

West Ham United

v

Aston Villa

All or nothing for Villa

West Ham have achieved 7 points from their last 3 games – giving them a future in the EPL. Congratulations 😊

Aston Villa have achieved 7 points from their last 3 games – giving them a chance of a future in the EPL.

 

Pressure on Mr Smith and his battling Villa team. Pressure off Mr Moyes and his West Ham squad. Will that balance be reflected in West Ham’s approach to this game?

 

Villa need to keep their heads down and score more goals than West Ham. Simple.

 

It’s the last day of a weird end to the season – so anything can happen………

 

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Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
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Holding the ball up – that’s the job for Mbwana Samatta or Keinan Davis for Villa; or for Michail Antonio for West Ham. Win the ball - shield it, hold it up and wait for support. Here’s the basics - bring the ball under control quickly - use your body/legs to get between the opponent and the ball to protect it - stepping over the ball to shield or rolling/pulling the ball back behind you or to your side. Keep body weight on the support leg to be able to free yourself to roll the ball around and play the support pass. Watch one of the best hold-up strikers in the business – Olivier Giroud - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vodlVKmPPF8

Southampton

v

Sheffield United

Two success stories

Southampton have battled back from a wet Friday night, October 25th last year, losing 0-9 at home to a rampant Leicester City. That defeat plunged Southampton deep into the relegation zone and shocked every player and fan to the core - the worst ever defeat in the history of the EPL. Now 9 months later – they’ve secured their future in the EPL. Massive achievement.

 

Sheffield United have surprised and amazed the football world with an incredible season – 8th in the EPL – assured of a Top 10 finish – same squad of hard-working, dedicated players who achieved promotion from the Championship. Congratulations to Mr Wilder and his team of Sheffield stars.

 

Only Norwich have a worst home record than Southampton. Sheffield United have a Top 10 away record. Southampton probably have the edge in terms of recent form – but Mr Wilder will want to end on a high.

 

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Away Win or Draw @ 1.6
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Watch out for James Ward-Prowse and his amazing art of free-kicks. 'Ever since I was a kid, scoring free-kicks and things like that was what I always wanted to do and it all kind of started off in mum and dad's back garden. You analyse the wall, see if there is a weak point or smaller player you might be able to get the ball over - I watch videos on the opposition goalkeeper to see if he has a slight tendency. If I can put the ball where I want - the keeper shouldn't have a chance. I line it up, decide if I should go over or around the wall - then it's just back to the muscle memory of striking the ball and how I get it up and down quickly to get under the crossbar.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeLdl2YvGzM

Newcastle United

v

Liverpool

Newcastle have injuries. Liverpool have momentum.

Last game of the season – go out and enjoy yourselves. That will be the brief from both Managers – perhaps less so from Mr Bruce.

 

No wins in 5 for Newcastle – desperate to get to the end of the season and get a resolution on who owns the Club. Incredibly difficult scenario for Mr Bruce – but important to get a performance from his squad in front of his new or old owners ??

 

Amazing mid-week win over Chelsea – 8 goal thriller – picked up the Premier League trophy – now just one last trip before a well earned break. Mr Klopp will want to ensure that his amazing team go out on a high.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away Win @ 1.4
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
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Wide overlapping full backs are a recipe for 21st century football success. Fullbacks are now a potent attacking force in the professional game – it’s very rare you see a team that doesn’t have an overlapping fullback or a fullback that plays like a winger smashing the ball across the penalty box of the opposition from every angle at every opportunity. 3 of the best on display in this game – Danny Rose, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Watch out for the overlaps – ball played into space out wide – then a cross fizzed across the 6 yard box – worst nightmare for retreating defenders – perfect meat and veg for the on-rushing strikers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM2D6po1rpE

 

 

Manchester City

v

Norwich City

It’s show time for Man City

Norwich have lost 9 back-to-back EPL games – worst possible last game of the season.

 

Man City had a great time putting 4 past Watford mid-week – Mr Guardiola is carefully calculating which is his best 1st team for their Champions League epic with Real Madrid. He’s carefully rotating his squad – giving every player the opportunity to impress.

 

16 goals scored in their last 4 EPL games – how many will Man City get in this game ??

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win @ 1.1
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.1
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.3
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Watch out for the long passes out-wide in this game and watch the superb chest control. A long cross-field pass will see the ball travelling at 60mph+ - the skill required to control a fast-moving ball is incredible – particularly chesting the ball down. Here’s the basics: keep your eyes locked on the ball - adopt a position facing the ball, easy walking stance, knees bent slightly, arms angled slightly - shoulders back -increasing the chest area. Make sure your chest is set in a slight/medium angle under the ball. As the ball hits your chest - move back as the ball makes contact – acting as a shock absorber – letting the ball drop down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2SmytfexDs

Leicester City

v

Manchester United

The battle for the Champions League

If Leicester win – they’ll finish 4th and secure a Champions League place. If Man Utd draw or win – they secure a Top 4 finish and a Champions League place. Pressure on Leicester – they have to win.

 

Leicester – just 1 win in their last 4 EPL games. January was the last EPL defeat for Man Utd – fantastic restart to the season for Mr Solskjaer’s team – powering their way up to 3rd place. And they will be determined to keep it that way.

 

The mid-week 1-1 draw with West Ham will have frustrated Mr Solskjaer. Leicester have had a full week to recover from the 3-0 defeat at Spurs.

 

Both teams will go for it.

 

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.9
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.3
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Counter attacks at speed. Both these teams have a proven track record of fast counter attack tactics. Leicester have turned it into an art form. The counter attack can be very effective defending a set-piece; or after recovering procession in open play. By having players on the edge of the box ready to burst forward and make things happen. This is where players like Vardy burst into life – breaking fast and trying to get on the outside of the centre-half and waiting for the right pass. Also watch out for Schmeichel’s fast distribution – he’ll be looking for a player in space to create a fast counter attack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2pzMHftp2s

Everton

v

Bournemouth

Goodbye Bournemouth?

Bournemouth have to win to stand any chance of escaping relegation – and even if they win – they’ll need other results to go their way.

 

Everton are unbeaten in 11 back-to-back home games – and secured a confidence boosting away win at Sheffield United last Monday. Impressive.

 

Mr Howe will have to go for it. Mr Ancelotti is shrewd enough to take advantage.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win or Draw @ 1.4
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
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Jordan Pickford is England’s 1st choice Goalkeeper. But that shirt is under pressure from Nick Pope at Burnley from Burnley and Dean Henderson at Sheffield United. Everton Manager Carlo Ancelotti has an interesting opinion – “I know that he is not doing well. I spoke with him. He's not doing well. He has to be focused on himself, on his performance – day by day he has to try to be better.” Watch this space. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bq53XXxyH0

Crystal Palace

v

Tottenham Hotspur

Palace weaker. Spurs stronger.

In their first match after lockdown – Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0. Since then – they’ve lost 7 back-to-back games. Weakened by injuries and suspensions – Palace are limping along to the end of the season.

 

Spurs under Mourinho are getting stronger – unbeaten in their last 5 games – they’ve got their eyes set on a UEFA place – and will set up to take 3 points from this game. Spurs have scored 8 goals in winning their last 3 EPL games.

 

Palace have scored just 2 goals in their last 7 EPL games. Advantage Spurs.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away Win or Draw @ 1.2
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.3
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200 Goals and counting - Harry Kane reached 200 club goals after his double at Newcastle on Wednesday. It took the Tottenham forward just 350 games to score 200th goal of his career. Kane reached the landmark quicker than Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry. Jose Mourinho has worked with some of the world's best in his time, but even he seemed astounded by what Kane has managed to achieve in such a short space of time. 'Harry knows how important he is - he is incredible. He is a young guy and to have 200 goals at this age with the remaining years he has in front of him is amazing. 'It is very normal that he speaks about going for 200 more. I am with him.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3AzU1bXRkw

 

Chelsea

v

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Chelsea will go for it

Even though Chelsea need just a point to secure a Champions League place – Mr Lampard will demand a performance from his team – particularly after losing a 5-3 thriller at Anfield mid-week. Christian Pulisic was almost unplayable off the bench against Liverpool – he will surely start this game.

 

Wolves have enjoyed a tremendous season – Mr Espirito Santo’s small, dedicated, incredibly hard-working squad exceeding expectations and delighting fans. Congratulations.

 

Chelsea will feel wounded after the Liverpool game. Wolves have enjoyed more time to recover after a solid 2-0 win over Palace.

 

This will be a battle. But Mr Lampard has more options off the bench.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win or Draw @ 1.2
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.3
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Strength on the ball – watch out for Traore + Giroud – both players renowned for their bravery and aggressive play. Neither afraid of contact or being bumped or pushed – both have incredible strength on the ball to maintain possession - dribbling, shielding the ball to maintain possession when challenged. Soccer is a physical game – it’s critical for players to be able to challenge for the ball and also to be able to retain possession of the ball – the opposition will try to push players off the ball so they can steal the ball or slow down your attack. Not much chance with Traore or Giroud. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmYK9AkMN7s

Burnley

v

Brighton & Hove Albion

End of the season – end of Dyche?

Since that 5-0 thrashing at Man City – Burnley have put together a 7 game unbeaten run – incredible response from the Burnley squad.

 

Brighton are now safe and will play in the EPL for another season. Interesting – 5 draws and 1 win in their last 6 away games. Just a hint of an effective game plan from Mr Potter.

 

Burnley will be determined to finish their impressive season on a high. Brighton will be relieved to be safe. And that might be the difference.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win or Draw @ 1.4
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Will this game be the last for Mr Dyche as Burnley Manager ? Dyche is contemplating leaving Burnley at the end of the season due to his irreparable relationship with chairman Mike Garlick. The club's situation with player contracts has been a source of frustration – worse the news that there will be little in the way of funds available for new players when the transfer window opens next month. Dyche did not hold back in his criticism of the club's handling of player contracts following his side's defeat to Man City. "These situations didn't need to occur. That is something the chairman and the board must learn from - the Covid crisis has not been helpful for sure but it's not been the cover story because I've been talking about this for 18 months."

Arsenal

v

Watford

Watford v Aston Villa

After Villa beat Arsenal 1-0 midweek – Watford were dumped into the last relegation place on goal difference. Watford may need to beat both Arsenal and Aston Villa this weekend. All eyes on the West Ham game.

 

Mr Arteta now knows that he can’t make changes to his best team and expect to win. Arsenal beat Liverpool - beat Man City – then Mr Arteta makes changes to rest key players – and they lose to Aston Villa. Back to his strongest team selection.

 

It’s important that Arsenal get back to winning ways – they will not want their last home game of the season to be a defeat.

 

Watford must go for it and hope.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win @ 2
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
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Bukayo Saka signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal after Mikel Arteta convinced the 18-year-old to stay at the Emirates. The Gunners boss was all too aware of the growing interest in the London-born teen who he regards as key to his future plans. Saka, who came through the club's academy, has made a major impact this season after making his debut in the Europa League in 2018. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta told the club's official website: "Bukayo is a talented and intelligent young player. He has impressed me with his work ethic and attitude to learn and adapt, and it has paid off in his performances. I am excited to continue working with him to develop him further, and for him to help us achieve our goals." Bukayo tweeted: "London is my home. Arsenal my team. I’m so happy to finally announce my contract extension. I love playing for this club and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. The hard work continues so I can continue living my dream.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmmju3khVck

Liverpool

v

Chelsea

Champions v Cup Finalists

Game of the week. Two of the best teams in the EPL – both wanting 3 points for very different reasons.

 

Last game at Anfield for the EPL Champions. And Mr Klopp will be determined they end on a high and make a statement as worthy champions – especially after drawing 1-1 with Burnley in their last home game – spoiling a perfect 17 home-win season. Important to get back to winning ways.

 

Chelsea on a high after dominating Man Utd and winning 3-1 in The FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley on Sunday. Fantastic performance. But can Chelsea deliver consistently at the highest level? Mr Lampard’s team can be great one week – then let themselves down – the defeats against West Ham and Sheffield United are perfect examples – both recent away games.

 

Bear in mind – Liverpool have had a whole week to rebuild and recover. Chelsea – just a couple of days. That factor could make a difference.

 

This will be a fascinating game.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win @ 2
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.6
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Chelsea will guarantee a top-4 spot if they beat Liverpool at Anfield and Lampard is confident his team are heading in the right direction. “It’s a great achievement to get to the FA Cup Final. To win a semi is good, to win a final is better. It’s right up there - the performance. We are progressing. We are getting better. There are always going to be some bumps in the road. Today was a performance of huge character, personality, work ethic, quality. I’m delighted. We are working towards something. We want to close the gap. It doesn’t come easy. We have seen that with other teams in recent years. It is step by step. We want to win the final. We have shown lots of good stuff this year. With more work and what we do in the summer, I think there will be more to come but we have to focus on the three finals we have – two league games and Arsenal in The FA Cup.”

 

 

 

 

Manchester United

v

West Ham United

#1 Objective: Secure Champions League

Dumped out of The FA Cup by a rampant Chelsea – now United’s total focus will be on securing their place in next season’s Champions League. Bad news for West Ham

 

With Villa and Bournemouth both struggling, West Ham look secure. But Mr Moyes will want to see a solid performance from his team – whether the playing squad can or will deliver remains to be seen.

 

Undefeated in 12 EPL games, Man Utd will have to reorganise their defensive unit with Bailly out for the season and Shaw still a doubt – but they have options in formation and selection. What will be more important is getting back to scoring goals after a frustrating performance against Chelsea.

 

Expect Man United to dominate from the start

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win @ 1.3
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
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Paul Pogba began his career with Manchester United but after limited 1st team appearances joined Juventus on a free transfer in 2012 - where he helped win 4 consecutive Serie A titles, as well as 2 Coppa Italia and 2 Supercoppa Italiana titles. Pogba established himself as one of the most promising young players in the world, and in 2016 returned to Manchester United in 2016 for a world record transfer fee of more than $110 million. In his first season back, he won the League Cup and the Europa League and won the 2018 FIFA World Cup for France – scoring in the final. Pogba revealed his desire to leave the club last summer in search of a new challenge but despite links to both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, a transfer failed to materialise. Pogba's stance on staying at United has changed and it is rumoured that he is open to penning a new contract at Old Trafford. United fans believe the atmosphere among the squad is at an all-time high and believe Pogba is happier than he's ever been.

Aston Villa

v

Arsenal

No choice for Villa.

Villa sit 3 points behind Watford and have a worse Goal Difference. But Watford play Man City 2 hours before Villa kick-off – so that Goal Difference calculation may get better for Villa. Whichever way you look at it – Villa have got to get at least a point from tonight’s game. And preferably 3.

 

Arsenal are on a roll – 2-0 winners over Man City in The FA Cup Semi Final, and beating Liverpool a few days before. 2 top teams fall to Mr Arteta’s team in quick succession. Very impressive.

 

The chances of a UEFA place by climbing the EPL table look slim. So perhaps the Cup is Arsenal’s best chance of European football next season. Either way, Mr Arteta will want to see his team continue to develop and improve. So he will expect to beat Villa this evening – even if he rotates his team.

 

Villa have to go for it and hope.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away Win or Draw @ 1.3
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
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Aston Villa desperately need 3 points. Villa are improving – 4 points from their last 2 games. This is Arsenal’s 3rd game since Villa got a draw at Everton – a full 6 days for Villa to recover and plan. Will Jack Grealish step forward and deliver a performance that matches his much-talked-about potential? All the talk of will-Jack-stay or will-Jack-go is irrelevant – if Villa get 3 points and Jack Grealish delivers an exceptional performance – everybody’s happy. Villa spent millions to try to stay in the EPL – it hasn’t worked. They will therefore want to achieve a high price for Jack Grealish if he does decide to leave. Villa winning tonight is win-win for all concerned. The stage is set.

Watford

v

Manchester City

Not the best time to play Man City

Watford are hoping that Aston Villa and Bournemouth don’t win any of their 2 remaining games. Just 3 points clear, Watford sacked Mr Pearson on Sunday – leaving the team Manager-less for the home game against Man City and away at Arsenal on Sunday.

 

In the reverse fixture – Watford lost 8-0 to Man City. Gulp.

 

Right now, City will be wounded by the 2-0 FA Cup Semi final defeat to Arsenal on Sunday. Now with just the Champions League to play for, Mr Guardiola will be looking for a performance from his team.

 

Brave plan Watford.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away WIn @ 1.3
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.1
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Watch out for the blistering sprint speed of two of Man City’s players tonight. Phil Foden and Kyle Walker are both capable of achieving sprints of 23 mph. Speed is a critical component in today’s EPL game – but believe it or not Foden and Walker only rank 3rd and 4th behind the EPL Top 2 Sprinters – Shane Long at Southampton with 32.2 mph. And the quickest – Leicester City defensive star Caglar Soyuncu at 23.3 mph.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

v

Crystal Palace

Wolves last home game of the season

And Mr Espirito Santo will want to go out with a bang. Incredibly impressive season from Wolves – 6th in the EPL, small, tightly knit squad, one of the most exciting Managers in the EPL and one of the most exciting teams in the EPL.

 

Palace can’t wait for the season to end. Cahill, van Aanholt, Tomkins – all injured, Benteke suspended – more rumours around the future of Zaha, lost their last 6 games and failed to score in 5 of those games.

 

Wolves in great form - excellent 3-0 home win over Everton – unfortunate to only get a draw at Burnley thanks to a 95th min penalty equaliser. Palace will struggle to stop Wolves

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win @ 1.5
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.4
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Wolves have a priceless commodity on their hands - Raul Jimenez. The 29 year old Mexican international has scored 26 goals so far this season – attracting the interest of top EPL and European Clubs. Jimenez joined Wolves on loan from Benfica in July 2018 and impressed from Day 1 – giving Wolves the confidence to pay Benfica a club-record fee of $37 million just 1 year later. After just 2 seasons at Wolves, Jimenez is now valued at over $110m. It’s going to be an interesting Summer.

Sheffield United

v

Everton

Blades with a point to prove

Mr Wilder was not happy after the 2-0 defeat at Leicester.

“We never deserved anything from the game. Whatever we tried to do, the basic aspects of trying to win a football match weren’t there for us and we made it far too easy for them. I could’ve done ten changes. The goalkeeper’s kept us in it, he’s the only one who comes away from this game with some credit. I thought he was outstanding - no protection - some of the decisions we made were baffling. We’ve taken a massive step backwards.”

 

Welcome a WIP Everton team. And expect a big response from Mr Wilder’s Sheff Utd team.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win @ 2.1
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Henderson v Pickford – This game showcases England’s 1st choice Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford; versus the #1 contender for that England jersey - Dean Henderson. With Nick Pope from Burnley pushing them both. Pope is leader of the Golden Glove standings on 15 clean sheets. Interestingly – Henderson is right behind Pope. After Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley, Jurgen Klopp said “There were moments when it was like Liverpool against Nick Pope. We created super chances but there was one guy who wanted to deny us and that was Nick Pope.” Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder has no doubts about where Henderson is going - “Dean has got a mental strength to play in goal, and a brilliant attitude and ability. I am sure he will be pushing for and gaining that England shirt he is desperate to get.” With Henderson and Pope pushing hard for Pickford’s England shirt – Everton Manager Carlo Ancelotti has an interesting opinion – “I know that he is not doing well. I spoke with him. He's not doing well. He has to be focused on himself, on his performance – day by day he has to try to be better.” Watch this space.

Brighton & Hove Albion

v

Newcastle United

Mr Potter so pleased to see Mr Bruce

Brighton’s last 3 home games – Man Utd – lost 0-3, Liverpool – lost 1-3, Man City – lost 0-5. 11 goals conceded – just 1 scored. Mr Potter will be somewhat relieved to welcome Newcastle today – hoping that life can now get back to normal.

 

Mr Bruce is surrounded by problems - injuries, players holding out on signing contracts, lack of clarity on transfers and the central issue – who will be the new owners of Newcastle United?

 

Neither team are impressing – Newcastle – 3 back-to-back defeats – Brighton – just 1 point from their last 3 games. Both teams looking forward to ending the season.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win or Draw @ 1.2
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Brighton are targeting maximum points from the final 2 games of the season as they look to secure their best EPL points tally. With 37 points from 36 games, Brighton are 3 points away from matching their highest total of 40 - achieved in their first top-flight season -2017-18. Mr Potter's side are 16th – 6 points clear of the relegation zone. "We want to get as close as we can to 43 points," said Mr "That's the aim and that's what we'll try to do." Brighton’s track record in the EPL illustrates part of the league’s problem – there are several teams whose big ambition is no more than to retain their position in the world’s richest league.

Tottenham Hotspur

v

Leicester City

The battle for Europe

European qualification is the objective for both teams – Leicester’s Champions League ambitions made credible with the 2-0 win over Sheff Utd – Spurs winning 1-3 at Newcastle leaves them just 1 point behind Wolves for the UEFA place.

 

Spurs are now 4 games unbeaten – 3 wins and a draw. More importantly – Kane is back and match-fit – firing in 2 goals against Newcastle and giving Spurs a formidable Son-Kane-Bergwijn strike force. Plus Dele Alli should either start or come off the bench.

 

Leicester have a poor away record – no wins in their last 6 games on the road.

 

Spurs have the momentum and the important home advantage.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win or Draw @ 1.4
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.3
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Watch the game – practice your skills. Both these teams have a proven track record of fast counter attack tactics. Leicester have turned it into an art form. The counter attack can be very effective defending a set-piece; or after recovering procession in open play. Teams typically need about 5 to 8 seconds to regain their defensive shape. Players like Vardy, Kane and Son are drilled to be ready to burst forward through central areas to make things happen – breaking fast and trying to get on the outside of the centre-half, waiting for the right pass and looking to exploit the space behind the opponents defensive shape.

Bournemouth

v

Southampton

Win or die.

Bournemouth have no option – win and win again or get relegated.

 

3 points could take them level with Watford or West Ham (depending on the outcome of Friday nights’ game) but with a worse Goal Difference that could prove critical. Beating Southampton and Everton next Sunday is their best hope. And there’s a very slim chance of that happening.

 

Southampton are undefeated in their last 5 games – 3 back-to-back draws and 2 wins. And they are playing fluent, attacking football. Their fast breaks could prove very dangerous for Bournemouth today.

 

Best of luck Mr Howe.

 

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away Win or Draw @ 1.5
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.2
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Danny Ings could prove to be a thorn in Bournemouth’s side in this game - ironic as Ings used to play for them. Having been released by Southampton, Ings moved to Bournemouth progressing through their youth system before joining Burnley in 2011 where he was awarded 2013–14 Championship Player of the Year and won promotion to the EPL. Ings moved to Liverpool in the summer of 2015, but his first season at Anfield was ended after two months due to injury and his second season was also mired by injury. With intense competition for a Liverpool 1st team place – Ings joined Southampton on loan in August 2018, with his move made permanent on 1 July 2019 after Southampton decided to take the option to buy him based on a clause in the loan deal. An Under-21 international – Ings is on fire for Southampton and could damage his old Club’s survival hopes today.

Norwich City

v

Burnley

2 different types of broken

Having to play out games beyond the reality of relegation is hard. Norwich look a broken team at the moment. And playing for pride in an empty stadium is a big ask.

 

Burnley look broken off the field – wild speculation about Mr Dyche’s future beyond the end of the season. There seem to be fundamental differences in approach between the Manager and the Chairman. Will Burnley have a new Manager for next season?

 

8 back-to-back defeats for Norwich – scoring just 1 goal. Burnley have lost just 1 of the last 14 EPL games – but interestingly – haven’t scored more than 1 in any of their last 9 games. Superb opportunity for another 3 points for Burnley.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away Win @ 2.3
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Keep an eye out for Burnley’s Goalkeeper - Nick Pope. His display in Burnley's 1-1 draw against Liverpool last week confirmed his status as arguably the best English keeper right now. "We created super chances but there was always one guy who wanted to deny us and it was Nick Pope," said Klopp. He is joint leader of the Golden Glove standings with Ederson on 14 clean sheets in the league this season. Never give up – that’s the example Pope sets for every young player with ambition. He started his career in Ipswich’s youth team – but amazingly got released aged 16 – then joined Bury, Charlton, Harrow, Welling, Cambridge, Aldershot and York. After this incredibly long journey around the UK’s provincial teams, Nick joined Burnley in July 2016. And after the amazing season that Burnley have enjoyed – he may be England’s #1 in the build-up to next years’ Euro’s.

West Ham United

v

Watford

This is THE game

This game is massive. With just 2 games left after this clash, a win for either team will virtually guarantee their EPL status.

 

Watford have to entertain Man City at Vicarage Road – then travel to Arsenal on the last day. Therefore this game represents their best chance of securing those magic 3 points.

 

West Ham have to travel to Man United – then welcome Aston Villa on the last day of the season. So perhaps that last game of the season might represent a ‘Get-Out-of-Jail-Free’ card for West Ham.

 

Watford have scored 4 goals and conceded 2 in their back-to-back wins. West Ham have scored 9 goals in their last 4 games and conceded 5.

 

This game will be fascinating and could go either way. Go for goals.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.3
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West Ham play at the London Stadium – originally built as the Olympic Stadium constructed for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics—serving as the track and field venue, and as the site of their opening and closing ceremonies. Following the Games, the stadium was subsequently renovated as a multi-purpose stadium and now serves primarily as the home of West Ham. The stadium can also hold concerts with up to 80,000 spectators, and, due to its oval shape and relocatable seating, has the potential to host for other sports such as baseball and cricket. In June 2019 the stadium hosted the first regular season US Major League Baseball game in Europe, in which the Boston Red Sox played a two-game series against the New York Yankees.

Crystal Palace

v

Manchester United

2 different types of pressure

Crystal Palace are under pressure because they keep losing. Having achieved another season in the EPL – Palace have racked-up 5 back-to-back defeats – conceding 13 goals – scoring just 2 goals.

 

Man Utd are under pressure to qualify for the Champions League, play an FA Cup Semi-Final on Sunday and recover from Southampton scoring a last minute equaliser on Monday night – denting United’s amazing unbeaten run since the re-start.

 

Bottom line – that’s the difference between being Crystal Palace or Man Utd.

 

After dropping points to Southampton, Mr Solskjaer said “We didn't deserve three points today. It was just one of those days where we didn't take our chances. You're not going to just be given three points." Realistic and honest.

 

Expect a response from Man Utd. Expect rotation of the squad. And expect full use of 5 subs.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away Win @ 1.4
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.3
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The new ‘5 Subs’ rule gives an unfair advantage to the wealthiest Clubs. Compare the two Subs Benches from this weekend’s games: Crystal Palace - Townsend, Riedewald, McCarthy, Meyer, Kelly, Woods, Hennessy, Mitchell, Pierrick. Man Utd – McTominay, Fred, Bailly, Romero, Ighalo, Mata, Williams, James, Pereira. The pace of games in the Re-Start programme puts immense pressure on the fitness of all players. But the big Clubs have the advantage of richer resources – if things aren’t going well – change the game with super-star-Subs.

Southampton

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Brighton & Hove Albion

South Coast Derby

Southampton on a roll. Unbeaten in their last 4 games – winning 1-3 away at Watford, beating Man City (!!!), solid away point at Everton and the last-minute draw with Man Utd. Fantastic achievement from Mr Hasenhuttl and his squad.

 

Back-to-back defeats for Brighton – conceding 8 goals – scoring just 1. Fortunately, it looks extremely unlikely that Villa or Bournemouth could match the 36 points Brighton have achieved.

 

50 miles separates these 2 Clubs. Without fans – some of the emotion of the South Coast Derby will be lost. But it doesn’t look good for Brighton. Unless Mr Potter parks the bus.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win or Draw @ 1.3
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.4
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On a wet Friday night, October 25th last year, Southampton lost 0-9 at home to a rampant Leicester City. That defeat plunged Southampton deep into the relegation zone and shocked every player and fan to the core - the worst ever defeat in the history of the EPL. At the end of the game on that fateful evening Ralph Hasenhuttl the Southampton Manager said: "The performance was a disaster today and I have to apologise and take 100% responsibility. I'm a proud man but the way we play today is not the way I want to see my team play. We must get our heads up and that is my job." Now 8 short months later, Southampton are safe in the EPL – looking forward to another year in the world’s richest league. Well done to Mr Hasenhuttl and his Southampton team.

Everton

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Aston Villa

Villa must win

Good news - Villa beat Palace 2-0. Bad news …. Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham also won.

So nothing’s changed – back to where we were – 3 points adrift. Villa need to win at least 2 of their last 3 games – Everton (A), Arsenal + last game West Ham. Big ask.

 

Good news for Villa - Everton – no wins in 3 – bad run of form. Bad news…..Everton are unbeaten at home since November last year – 11 games undefeated. Even bigger ask for Villa.

 

A draw doesn’t help Villa. Losing would see their fate sealed – depending on other results. Winning at Everton would be a massive confidence boost going into the home game with Arsenal.

 

Villa must win

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Away Win or Draw @ 1.7
Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.3
Leicester City

v

Sheffield United

Can Mr Rodgers outsmart Mr Wilder?

Interesting to compare the 2 teams.

 

Sheffield United playing with passion, energy, commitment and visible determination. Genuinely enjoying their football. And it shows – 4 games unbeaten – 8 goals scored – 2 conceded.

 

Leicester struggling to recapture their pre-re-start form – beaten 4-1 by Bournemouth at the weekend – just 1 win in their last 6 games – 8 goals conceded – 7 goals scored. No Maddison or Chilwell and now Soyuncu banned for the rest of the season.

 

Momentum is a powerful force in football. Sheffield United have it – Leicester don’t. Mr Rodgers will have a plan to interrupt that flow.

This will be a fascinating tactical battle.

 

SUGGESTED BETS
Home Win or Draw @ 1.3
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Who is Chris Wilder? Sheffield United’s Manager was born in Sheffield, was a ball boy at Bramhall Lane, played for 10 other clubs during a 15-year career as a right-back before moving into management with Alfreton, Halifax, Oxford and Northampton. Mr Wilder became manager of his boyhood club Sheffield United in May 2016 – then in League One - and led them to the Premier League in his third season in charge, after overseeing two promotions. His success was recognised by his being named the League Managers Association’s Manager of the Year, beating the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.