Friday, July 2, 2021

Coral Eclipse 2021 - UK Group 1 in sight for Mishriff

With only 4 participants, quality, rather than quantity, is the name in this year's edition of the Coral Eclipse. Let's discard El Drama right away as there is no way that he is going to cause any drama playing a major role in this race.

Mishriff is the deserved favourite and holds a great chance to land a Group 1 in UK to add to his stellar resume. This horse has gone through a path that no other has trodden before; winner of a Group 1 in France in the French Derby, winner of the world's richest race and on dirt in Saudi Arabia and winner of the Scheema Classic in Dubai. Winning a Group 1 on dirt and on turf is really unheard of and Mishriff is really peer-less in this category. He did convincingly beat some of the best the USA had to offer on the dirt surface of Riyad and in Dubai he beat one of Japan's best in Chrono Genesis. So, his form is solid. Provided the group is not worse than soft on Saturday, he will be tough to beat.

Addeybb is a top-class horse and will relish the softish conditions. If it gets near heavy, he cannot be opposed. He won the Champion Stakes last year on heavy ground (beating Mishriff in the process) but he really made a name for himself by winning some Group 1's Down Under. Let's be clear here; Australia's midde-distance locals are an average lot compared to the Europeans and winning a Group 1 over here does not have the significance it has in Europe. Addeybb might be rated 3 pounds higher than Mishriff on the official scales but to me, Gosden's horse is on a different, higher level as long as the ground is not bottomless.

St Mark's Basilica is a dual French classic winner having bagged the French Guineas and Derby. He is clearly among the creme de la creme from Ballydoyle and will sport some advantage at the weights against the elderly competitors. He won both Classics on soft ground so the going at Sandown will not be a problem. I still think he's not seasoned enough to take on the above two, particularly Mishriff, but I expect him to give a good account of himself.

I cannot go against Mishriff here. 98 days since his last race might be a concern but he runs well fresh and his class should see him through.

Win: Mishriff

Friday, June 25, 2021

Sport bonanza week-: Euros, Irish Derby, Styrian Grand Prix

Here are my selections on this fantastic week-end of sports coming up.

In Euro 2021, my main punt is Denmark against Wales. I cannot see the Welsh overcoming the Danes who are playing out of their minds at the moment. The way they dominated the powerful Belgians in the first half and their rampant victory over Russia tells me that the Danes can go very far in this tournament. They are playing with the Eriksen factor.

I can see possible upsets this week-end and while Italy should run over Austria, it would not surprise me if Portugal overcome Belgium or the Czechs beat Holland. Belgium are vulnerable at the back and no-one would bet against Ronaldo netting at least one against them. Holland might have appeared strong in the group stage but they were playing against minnows. I think it might be worth laying them; they won't go far.

The Irish Derby is the main racing story and I believe the winner will come from either High Definition, Hurricane Lane or Mac Swiney. The first-named has impressed in each of  his 3 outings and even when he was beaten in the Dante Stakes, he hit the line really well suggesting that the distance would not be a problem and he would come on enormously for the run. He skipped Epsom unlike the other 2, so should be fresh to go. Hurricane Lane ran a good third at Epsom, and like all Charlie Appleby's, needs to be respected. The Curragh track should suit him better and he looks certain to be among the finishers. Finally, Mac Swiney has that funny record where he wins every alternating race and if that pattern holds, he should win on Saturday. He won the Irish Guineas beating mighty stablemate Poetic Flare and is definitely top-class. If there is any softness in the ground, he should be bang in there.

Finally, Formula 1 is interesting these days as Verstappen is giving Hamilton all he can handle. The momentum is clearly with the Dutch and in the short term, I can see him dominating the Brit. Mercedes need to fight back and come up with a more competitive car if Hamilton is to retain his title this year. For the meantime though, Verstappen is the one to be backed.

Win: Italy, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, High Definition/Mac Swiney, Verstappen

Place: Hurricane Lane

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Prince of Wales' Stakes - Lord North looking for Love

Royal Ascot is under-way and the first day saw the 2 best European milers (excuses to St Mark Basilica!) come to the fore as Palace Pier and Poetic Flare dominated their races. The anticipation now is for those 2 to meet at some point later and if SMB can join in too, that would be a hell of a race.

The second day at Ascot sees the much-anticipated return of Love who had an utterly exciting and dominating Classic season last year. Softish ground has limited her appearances but the good to firm ground at Ascot will be to her liking. She will cut it out with colts for the first time and the outcome of the race will give us a good indication whether all the hype behind her was justified or not. 

Love is not proven on firm ground but she will definitely relish it to soft ground. Her return to the course after a 300-day absence means that she will not be at the peak of her powers. The Ballydoyle team are certainly bringing her up to bigger challenges during the course of the season. Her fans will hope that she is not under-cooked for the occasion.

The main opponent to Love will be Lord North, the winner of last year's edition. The John Gosden gelding is top-class and seems to be in top form at the age of 5. He won the Dubai Turf convincingly on his last start and the vibes are certainly positive from connections. He can be a handful in the stalls and provided he is well-behaved in that area, his chances of winning are legitimate. I think the Gosden stable have him primed for this race and deserves to be shorter odds than the current 9/4.

Armory and the other runners will be aiming for third place, nothing higher. It might be worth taking a winning punt on Lord North at current odds. I can't see him out of the first 2.  If Love can make a convincing winning return, she might be the next super filly racing is looking for and the upcoming big middle-distance races will be at her mercy.

Win/Place: Lord North

Friday, May 28, 2021

Champions League Final - History beckons for Man City

It's an all-English final in the Champions League underlying the quality of the Premier League amongst its Europrean peers. It is a final between 2 loaded (with money) teams in Man City, guided by the riches of Abu Dhabi and Chelsea, the club of Russian billionaire Ambramovich. It will be a first European Cup final for the Citizens while the Blues will be at their third final. 

If this match were played a couple of weeks ago, I would have given both teams a 50-50 chance of winning it. Chelsea were almost unbeaten under Tuchel and even went to win at the Etihaad. However, since then, the Blues have lost 3 of their last 4 matches and Tuchel's Midas touch seems to have evaporated. They needed crucial wins in the FA Cup final and in the last EPL match and lost both. So, the Blues are lacking form at the moment.

For their part, Man City have been playing on 3rd gear towards winning the league. They were not in the same mode of urgency as Chelsea. Even though they lost 2 matches against Tuchel's Blues, I don't think they necessarily go in this match with a psychological disadvantage. They might have lost the match at the Etihad but they were resting their first team for the occasion and more importantly, had Aguro converted his failed Panenka penalty, they would have won that match easily. So, I don't think there will be any mental barrier in their minds that they cannot beat Chelsea. I think Guardiola will get his tactics right and the Citizens are worthy favourites.

I mentioned the lack of form of Chelsea above and the other downside with them is the quality of their marksmen. The ability of Werner to convert his chances will certainly be a factor to consider; the German has proven to be a serial expert in missing open goals and continuing on this streak will be fatal for the Blues. There is little doubt that Tuchel will p refer to stay with his fellow German up front and not opt to start with Giroud but either way, I see the defensive pairing of Dias and Stones effectively containing either Chelsea forward.

The Man City squad is so deep that dangers for Chelsea will lurk from anywhere. However, it's a match of 90 minutes and anything can happen; the Blues could score the first or odd goal and park the bus; or the City stars could be on an off-day; or lady luck might decide to give a trophy to the Londoners. But the odds are that Guardiola will have his tactics right and have his players primed for the occasion. Foden, De Bryune, Mahrez, Dias and Gungodan have dominated all year long and shown up on big occasions. If they fail to fire, there are the likes of Aguero and Sterling on the bench who can turn a match on its head in an instant. The Citizens should not only be up for this but they have the quality to make the difference over 90 minutes, extra time or penalties. An out-of-form Chelsea do not look a formidable proposition against them.

Win: Man City

Saturday, May 22, 2021

European leagues - Curtain Call

 It's the curtain call for European leagues this week-end and today the verdict fell on La Liga where Atletico Madrid hang on to its slim lead to win the title over arch-rivals Real Madrid. There's still much at stake in the other leagues and here are some predictions.

Premier League. What is mainly of interest here is which of Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester are going to miss out on a UCL spot; only two of them will be happy fellas by the end of the day. The Kops were saved by the most improbable goal from keeper Allison in stoppage time last week to have their destiny in their own hands. They host Crystal Palace, a team that is capable of the best and worst depending on their mood. It will be Roy Hodgson's last match at the helm for the Eagles but I don't think the esx-Liverpool manager will be throwing a wrench to his old club's UCL aspirations. Liverpool should win this one although it will not surprise me if the Kops are made to sweat till the end.

I believe Leicester will overcome Spurs although this is bound to go to the wire as well. The Foxes will have to wait for Chelsea's result at Aston Villa, a rather difficult match on the cards for the Blues. Again here, old connections can play a role as Villa assistant coach John Terry might play villain against old club Chelsea. The Villains are a tough nut to crack although I feel they are more apt to get a result on the road than at home. Chelsea have enough quality to edge this match and I think they will. So, for me, Liverpool and Chelsea will bear the 2 remaining UCL spots at Leicester's expense.

In France, coronation will either go to Lille or PSG. Monaco has an outside chance but will need those 2 to falter and scoring bucketloads against Lens to win the title. It won't happen. As it stands, Lille has a slightly harder task on paper than PSG as they visit 12th place Angers while PSG go to 16th place Brest. However, the latter are fighting their lives in a relegation scrap, so PSG's might actually be having a harder match-up. Lille have a strong record on the road, so they have quality to go get a result at Angers and hence sccure the title.

In Italy, in a similar fashion to the Premier League, 3 teams namely Juventus, AC Milan and Napoli are vying for 2 UCL spots. Juventus should be able to rely on Ronaldo to get the must-win at Bologna. Napoli are also favoured at home against Verona. Milan have a very tough match as they visit Atalanta. The latter have nothing to play for, so that might ease things a bit for the Milanese; however the hosts are still a formidable team at their best and I think they will kill off Milan's UCL hopes. I see Juventus and Napoli making it to next year's UCL.

EPL UCL spots: Liverpool, Chelsea

French champions: Lille

Serie A UCL spots: Juventus, Napoli

Friday, May 14, 2021

FA Cup Final - Tough challenge for Leicester

Leicester have become a Premier League powerhouse in recent years and their history reached its apex when they won the league in shocking fashion during the 2015/16 season under Claudio Ranieri. Brendan Rogers has given the team a renewed impetus since taking the helm a couple years ago but has yet to make a major imprint by either winning a trophy or getting the team back in the Champions League. He is close to doing so this year as they are a match away from winning the FA Cup and a well-positioned third in the later stages of the EPL.

But here comes nemesis Chelsea who will battle them for the FA Cup trophy and third league spot as well. Since his arrival to replace Frank Lampard, manager Tuchel has made a major impact for the Blues. This is a team no-one will confidently play against; they have even beaten champions Man City twice in as many outings since the German took over. His team is in the FA Cup and Champions League finals and is well on the way to secure UCL qualification for next year. This has got to be considered an amazing achievement given that the results were oh-so-so under Lampard. 

The Blues are rock solid in the defensive and midfield compartments which are really their forte. Opposing teams find it hard to break them down as they are very well organized. Their Achilles tendon is up front with striker Werner being guilty of glaring misses all season long. The German forward seems to do everything right, except score. He will have to stop his profligacy in front of goal Saturday if the Blues are to have a live chance to win this.

Chelsea go into the match as deserved favourites. They have the momentum and the better team. Leicester are in no way push-overs and have a great stopper in Schmeichel. If it goes to penalties, I'd rather side with the Danish stopper in any match. The Foxes' form lately have been over-reliant on striker Iheanacho. The Nigerian is making a knack of scoring in every match and is clearly the in-form striker in England at the moment.  Him or Vardy have the quality to score against any defence, so Rudiger and Silva are warned for the Blues. The potential absence of Johnny Evans at the heart of the Leicester defence would definitely be a negative. The former Man Utd defender is a rock at the back and his absence for the past weeks has clearly been felt. Even if match fit tomorrow, he might have to battle early cobwebs to get back into match rhythm.

This will be surely a tactical battle between 2 managers known for their tactical minds. I think Chelsea are going to have the more chances to score and the question is whether they can translate them into goals. If Tuchel's men can smother what Iheanacho and Vardy can throw at them, they should have enough quality to do damage at the other end. Roger's wait for a trophy with Leicester will have to wait a bit more, I believe.

Win (trophy, 90 mins): Chelsea

Friday, May 7, 2021

EPL 2020/21 - Week 34

Leeds v Tottenham - Home

Sheffield Utd v Crystal Palace - Away

Man City v Chelsea - Draw

Liverpool v Southampton - Home

Wolves v Brighton - Away

Aston Villa v Man Utd - Away

West Ham v Everton - Home

Arsenal v West Brom - Home

Fulham v Burnley - Draw

Man City vs Chelsea is the dress rehearsal to the upcoming Champions League final and it is almost a certainty that both teams will give a display that will bear no resemblance to what they intend to unleash in a few weeks time. For sure, both camps might insist that tomorrow's Premier League match is all-important but the European final chips are way too important for them to divulge any tactical inklings or shows of weaknesses and strengths towards the opposing team on Saturday. I expect a drab match and a goal-less draw does not look far-fetched even at the Etihaad Stadium where the Citizens usually score by the bucketload. Both teams will have the intent not to lose this match from a psychological perspective; Chelsea will be keen to show that they can go toe to toe with the champions-to-be and also prove that their win over the same opponents in the semi-final of the FA Cup was no fluke. Another defeat for Man City to Chelsea might actually seed some doubt into Guardiola's men as to whether they can really beat Tuchel's side, so the Citizens will be keen not to lose this match; in fact, they have more to lose than the visitors. All in all, I expect a match with few occasions, with Chelsea should be playing tight as usual and City playing more possession football than carving clear-cut chances.

Draw: Man City v Chelsea

Friday, April 30, 2021

EPL 20/21 - Week 33

Crystal Palace v Man City - Away

Brighton v Leeds - Away

Chelsea v Fulham - Home

Everton v Aston Villa - Home

Newcastle v Arsenal - Home

Man Utd v Liverpool - Home

Tottenham v Sheffield Utd - Home

WBA v Wolves - Home

Burnley v West Ham - Draw

Man Utd against Liverpool is one of the biggest matches of any season, if not the biggest. It is quite astonishing how the fortunes of those teams have been ebbing in the past seasons. Man Utd are enjoying their best spell of the post-Ferguson era and seem to have finally found a winning team under Solksjaer. Liverpool reached Nirvana last year after years of drought and while everyone was predicting years of upcoming domination for the Reds, it's more a case of everything un-ravelling and Klopp's men struggling to qualify for a UCL spot. I actually find it somewhat amazing that Liverpool is going into this match as favourites on the exchanges; they might have the greater urgency for the full points and Utd will certainly be feeling the ill-effects of their Europa League match against Roma but both teams are playing at a different tune at the moment. 

Man Utd are simply rocking currently and are able to beat any team, including Man City, over the course of 90 minutes. Solksjaer seems to have found his favoured system and starting eleven. The Red Devils won't win the league but they should be able to comfort their second league position and have an outstanding chance to lift the Europa trophy. The team looks solid all-round.

Liverpool are showing flashes of their old brilliance but not enough to annihilate a match as in previous years. Their main problem since the past months has their decimated backline as well as the profligacy of their forwards starting with Salah. I mean, he's no Tim Werner, but he still misses a lot of chances. Their fragility at the back gives the rest of the team no confidence to rock n roll their way forward. The absence of just one star player in Van Dyke has made a difference to Liverpool's fortunes. 

With their Europa final league spot almost guaranteed after the 6-2 thrashing of Roma in the first leg, the Red Devils should be fully focused on this local derby rather than being distracted by the upcoming second leg. That sets them well to unleash the likes of Cavani, Rashford and Greenwood against the Kop's depleted defence. They put 6 past Roma, they will surely put at least 1 against the visitors, who will realistically go for the jugular given that a draw does them no favours. I cannot see the home side losing this and think it will either end in a draw or home win.

Win: Man Utd

Friday, April 23, 2021

EPL 2020/21 - Week 32 + League Cup Final

Liverpool v Newcastle - Home

West Ham v Chelsea - Away

Sheffield Utd v Brigthon - Away

Wolves v Burnley - Away

Leeds v Man Utd - Home

Aston Villa v West Brom - Home

Leicester v Crystal Palace - Home

Liverpool will have to play their skin to capture that last 4th sport synonymous with UCL football next season. They have a golden opportunity for 3 precious points against visiting Newcastle. The Magpies have been in pretty decent form of late and have picked up their game (and points) since the return of forward Saint-Maximin from injury. Without the Frenchman, it's hard to see how Steve Bruce's men would made a quite stunning recovery given their poor form prior. However, going to Liverpool should be a step too far for them as there is an urgency to win full points for Klopp's men as well. This could be a high-scoring affair with Mo Salah probably on the score-sheet, having been profligate in the recent matches.

Sunday sees the final of the League Cup between Man City and Tottenham. It's quite unfathomable to think that Spurs fired Mourinho days before a final and a possible trophy that they have been so relishing for. I suppose things must have been pretty bad in-house given the timing of the firing; or could it have been a Levy decision to deflect from Spurs' participation in the European Super League fiasco? Could be a little of both, I think. Regardless, I think that Spurs would have had a better winning chance in the final with Mourinho in charge. Although it is a Cup final, Man City have hinted that they might not field their best team with next week's UCL match against PSG very much on their minds. So you get a scenario where the weaker team will play their season on this final while the favourite will have a UCL match as distraction. Obviously, that boosts Spurs' chances but will that be enough to stop Guardiola's men? I think not. Their second team is good enough to handle Spurs' first team and you've got to question interim manager Mason's seasoning for a final after 1 week on the job. This should end up in a City win unless the trio of Bale, Son and Kane can conjur up a masterful performance at the front end.

Win: Man City/Liverpool  

Friday, April 16, 2021

EPL 2020/21 - Week 31

Newcastle v West Ham - Away

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Home

Wolves v Sheffield Utd - Home

Arsenal v Fulham - Home

Man Utd v Burnley - Home

Leeds v Liverpool - Home

Chelsea v Brighton - Home

Tottenham v Southampton - Home

Aston Villa v Man City - Away

The relegation battle is heating up and the one thing for sure is that Sheffield Utd are going down. Not yet mathematically but it is a question of time. This team is longing to start the new season already; they are totally dreadful. Wolves will eat them this week-end. Nuno's team are not in great form but it's been getting better since the afterdays of losing striker Jimenez when the team started to fall apart. Losing their goalscorer has had the expected dramatic impact on the Molyneux side as they had to learn scoring with makeshift forwards. Their defence is solid enough to keep them in their matches and they should have enough firepower to overcome the league table laggards. This should end up in a home win.

I expect the Leeds against Liverpool match to be a high-scoring affair. Both teams can be adventurous and have major firepower at the front end of the pitch. The Kops have all to play for to secure a UCL spot next year at the end of the season after having been dumped out by Real Madrid in mid-week. Got to say that Klopp's men played with a lot of swagger in that match and deserved at least a couple of goals. The problem is that they haven't been able to replicate that kind of play consistently all year long. Leeds won an unbelievable match at Man City last week-end while playing with 10 men. Biesla's men play like they have that belief in them that they can go toe to toe with any team in the league. I think they will expose the weakened Liverpool back four in a gun slinging match. I see the home team edging this one.

Win: Wolves/Leeds

Monday, April 12, 2021

UCL Quarter Finals Return - PSG v Bayern

PSG absolutely stole a win at Bayern last week; the Germans thoroughly outplayed them and would have scored more if they had superstar striker Lewandowski. Their main achilles tendon however remain their uber-slow defence, which Mbappe took full advantage like a kid in a candy store. \

For Tuesday's match, Lewandowski will still not be there, which is a big blow to the Bavarians. PSG will in turn be missing Marquinhos, their rock at the back and whose withdrawal from injury in the first leg thoroughly exposed the French defence. Bayern are clearly the better team and have it in them to win at the Parc des Princes but winning by a 2-goal margin could prove a step too far without their Polish striker.

The way to play this match is to seek out a win for the Germans but a qualification to the semi-finals for the French champions.

Win: Bayern Munich
Qualify: PSG

Friday, April 9, 2021

EPL 20/21 - Week 30 (And the Clasico!)

Man City v Leeds - Home

Liverpool v Aston Villa - Away

Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Away

Burnley v Newcastle - Home

West Ham v Leicester - Home

Tottenham v Man Utd - Draw

Sheffield Utd v Arsenal - Away

West Brom v Southampton - Away

Brighton v Everton - Away

Real Madrid v Barcelona - Home

A fantastic week-end of sports coming up with the usual EPL, the Clasico in Spain and the Masters for golf aficionados. Liverpool look vulnerable to Aston Villa and I fancy taking a shot with the Villains here at over 6/1. The Kops have lost all aura of invicibility at home this season and Anfield is no longer the fortress it used to be the last couple of years. But more importantly, Liverpool have an important return UCL match against Real Madrid next week with the hope of overturning a 3-1 deficit. No doubt this will be floating on the team's mind and I wouldn't be surprised to see Klopp rotate his starting eleven a bit. Truth be told, the Kops were horrendous in Madrid and were lucky to come away with just a 2-goal margin. They are definitely lacking confidence at the moment and Villa can certainly pounce as they are very comfortable on their away matches and they have an in-form stopper in Martinez, although star playmaker Grealish will miss the match through injury. Villa can definitely cause an upset here.

The markets have Barcelona as favourites for the Clasico and I am definitely looking the other way. Real Madrid are finding serious form at the moment as witnessed by their demolishing of Liverpool in mid-week. The manner of their win was very convincing. Sure they will also be distracted at the prospsect of the return leg, something that Barcelona do not need to worry as they are out of the UCL, plus they will be missing the central defensive pair of Ramos and Varane. But Barcelona have hardly shown that they are the kind of force they were the past decade and their odds certainly look overly short. I am not convinced with their system of having Dembele in the striker role and look more to Ascensio, Benzema and Vicinius to do damage at the other end for the Whites. Might be worth going for the outright win for the home team.

Win: Aston Villa, Real Madrid 

Friday, April 2, 2021

EPL 20/21 - Week 29

Chelsea v West Brom - Home

Leeds v Sheffield Utd - Home

Leicester v Man City - Away

Arsenal v Liverpool - Home

Southampton v Burnley - Home

Newcastle v Spurs - Away

Aston Villa v Fulham - Away

Man Utd v Brighton - Home

Everton v Crystal Palace - Home

Wolves v West Ham - Draw

The gameweek following the international set of matches is always tricky and there are bound to be surprises this week-end. Man City look set to resume where they left off, i.e in winning ways, although they have a tough encounter at third place Leicester. The big news obviously coming out of the Etihaad this week has been the announcement of Aguero's departure at the end of the season. The guy has been a legend since his arrival at City but it has been plain clear this year that he was not part of Guardiola's future plans, particularly with the spate of injuries that he has had to deal with. It is quite possible that City already have lined up another big name striker to have made the departure overtly public. That bodes really well for the EPL. Back on Sunday's match, the return from injury of De Bryune has given the Citizen's new impetus in their quest for the quadruple. Leicester will put up a good fight but Guardiola has an abundance of quality at his disposal to tilt the match the visitors' way. 

Everton are on a 3-match losing streak and I expect them to show more tooth coming back from the break. The form of Calvert Lewin is pivotal to the success of the Toffees and the return of James Rodriguez to the line-up will certainly boost up their attacking front. I think they'll overwhelm Crystal Palace which is very much a one-dimensional team that relies too much on Zaha. The Eagles are enjoying a relatively good sequence, coming to this match, having lost only one of their last 5 matches but at current odds, it might be value to side outright with the home team.

Win: Everton, Man City 

Friday, March 12, 2021

EPL 20/21 - Week 28

Leeds v Chelsea - Home
Crystal Palace v West Brom - Home
Everton v Burnley - Home
Fulham v Man City - Away
Southampton v Brighton - Draw
Leicester v Sheffield Utd - Home
Arsenal v Tottenham - Away
Man Utd v West Ham - Draw
Wolves v Liverpool - Home

Sheffield Utd lost their manager today and increasingly look doomed for the drop. Going to Leicester is not easy but going there without a proper manager will be like being unleashed in a lion cage. I cannot see the Blades repeating their exploit of Old Trafford where they stunned the hosts who were rather hapless on the night. This is a glorious opportunity for Leicester to firm up their 3rd position and score the full points.

The North London Derby looks to be a heavily contested affair and I see lots of goals in the offing there. Surely, Mourinho usually parks the bus when playing a top team but Arsenal are vulnerable at the back and Spurs will definitely go for the jugular in their attempt, however remote, to secure the 4th spot for Champions League football next season. Gareth Bale is in sparkling form and having been rested in mid-week Europa League action, should create havoc inside the Gunners' defense. Kane and Son form a fantastic trio with the Welshman and have enough firepower in them to outscore the hosts. 

Win: Tottenham, Leicester

Friday, March 5, 2021

EPL 2020/21 - Week 27

Burnley v Arsenal - Home

Sheffield Utd v Southampton - Draw

Aston Villa v Wolves - Home

Brighton v Leicester - Away

WBA v Newcastle - Home

Liverpool v Fulham - Home

Man City v Man Utd - Draw

Tottenham v Crystal Palace - Home

Chelsea v Everton - Home

West Ham v Leeds - Home

As I see it, the last 3 matches should be home wins. Spurs are being buoyed by the resurgence of Gareth Bale and should have too much for visiting Crystal Palace. The Eagles are just a terrible team without Zaha and Mourinho should be able to exploit its many weaknesses. 

Chelsea surprised me in getting a terrific away win at Anfield last Sunday. Tuchel has them firing on all cylinders and I cannot see Everton, an in-form team, stopping them. Richarlidson has been carrying the goal-scoring load magnificently in the last 4 matches but the Blues defence has tightened lately and the Brazilian might not get the required breakthrough. Everton don't go beaten in advance but Chelsea look strong at the moment. 

Finally, it looks like Leeds is in a need of a breather at this stage. They seem to be scraping by in the last few matches and West Ham is not an easy side to play against. Moyes has done unbelievably well with the Hammers and the addition of Jessie Lingard from Man Utd has given impetus to both club and player. He is the new danger man for the Hammers and I see them exposing the visitors' defensive line which is the main Achilles heel of Biesla's team.

Win: Tottenham/Chelsea/West Ham