Friday, April 29, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 34

 Newcastle v Liverpool - Home

Aston Villa v Norwich - Home

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Away

Watford v Burnley - Away

Wolves v Brighton - Draw

Leeds v Man City - Away

Everton v Chelsea - Away

Tottenham v Leicester - Home

West Ham v Arsenal - Home

Man Utd v Brentford - Home

I see Spurs making a decisive step forward in the race for tthe 4th UCL spot. Man Utd are out of the picture and I don't see Arsenal going to win at West Ham. Tottenham will host Leicester who had a tough mid-week match in Europe and I cannot see anything other than a home win here. Look for Son and Kane to again deliver the goals that will seal 3 all-important points for the Londoners.

I can see Liverpool dropping points at in-form Newcastle. It won't be an easy match for the Kops and the hosts have it well within them to gather at least a share of the spoils. That will be good news for Man City who should score by the bucketload against Leeds United. City should either extend or keep their lead at the top of the table by the week-end.

Win: Man City/Tottenham

Draw-no-bet: Newcastle

Friday, April 22, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 33

 Arsenal v Man Utd - Home

Leicester v Aston Villa - Home

Man City v Watford - Home

Norwich v Newcastle - Home

Brentford v Tottenham - Away

Brighton v Southampton - Draw

Burnley v Wolves - Home

Chelsea v West Ham - Draw

Liverpool v Everton - Home

Crystal Palace v Leeds - Home

Early kick-off match Arsenal against Man Utd will be huge in deciding the 4th UCL spot coveted by the Gunners, Red Devils and Spurs. At the moment, the Gunners have the advantage and I think they will blow away any remaining hopes Red Devils fans might still harbour. I mentioned Man Utd are a team on the skids last week and they duly confirmed that with a thrashing at Liverpool in mid-week. The talent is there but I now believe that Rangnick has proven not to be the right manager to put all that talent to good use. In fact, it is very possible in my opinion that had the club kept on with Ole, the results probably would have been better. It is to be seen whether the arrival of Erik ten Hag next year will improve things but one thing for sure is that the club is spent and done for the year. On the other side of the coin, the Gunners are battling and reaped an amazing win at Stamford Bridge in their last match. The team might lack the talent that Utd have on paper but the youngsters there are working their socks off to get results. Their battling qualities means that they are favourites to down out-of-sorts Man Utd. If they could put 3 against Chelsea, they will have no problem scoring against the Red Devils. Home win for this one.

Crystal Palace are a team with good form at home and they should have enough to overcome Leeds at Selhurst Park. Leeds are in a precarious position at the moment but they are sporting good form having won 3 out of their last 4 matches. Biesla almost ran the team to the ground for much of the season and Jesse March has righted the ship so far. The home team still needs a few more points to assure safety but they are showing good resiliency in their matches and playing more like a mid-table team. I see them edging this encounter and look good value at current odds.

Win: Arsenal, Crystal Palace

Friday, April 15, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 32

 Tottenham v Brighton - Home

Man Utd v Norwich - Home

Southampton v Arsenal - Away

Watford v Brentford - Away

Newcastle v Leicester - Home

West Ham v Burnley - Home

I've been wrong putting confidence in Man Utd the past couple of weeks and there is now hardly any doubt that the Red Devils are a team in disarray. Nothing has worked for them this season. Solksjaer left but interirm manager Ragnick didn't make the team better. Ronaldo came but the wins haven't followed. Varane came but the defence is as febrile as ever. Mason Greenwood has probably thrown away a promising career. Marcus Rashford looks devoid of any confidence on the pitch. I still doubt whether they can beat Norwich on Saturday; what should look like an easy 3 points might not look as straightforward given the rotten form of the home team. Still it's hard to see them lose this match; the Old Trafford fans must believe those players have some pride in themselves to try win a match in their pursuit for the 4th spot. That spot is probably elusive now but if they need a spark, then the Canaries are one of the easiest teams to play against. One last vote of confidence on Man Utd.

Newcastle are favoured against visiting Leicester for a few reasons. The Magpies have redressed their form lately and a starting to build a decent run at home. Leicester played in the Europa Conference in mid-week and will feel it fitness-wise. Sure, they scraped past PSV in a difficult match but there is a real lack of quality in their squad to rack up a series of wins in a short span. I see an outright home win here.\

Win: Newcastle/Man Utd

Friday, April 8, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 31

 Everton v Man Utd - Away

Arsenal v Brighton - Home

Southampton v Chelsea - Home

Watford v Leeds - Home

Aston Villa v Tottenham - Draw

Brentford v West Ham - Away

Leicester v Crystal Palace - Away

Norwich v Burnley - Away

Man City v Liverpool - Home

This might not be the title decider but it is definitely a 6-pointer that will give a massive boost to the winner of the Man City v Liverpool match. The Citizens will have home advantage although that might be a double-edged sword as that might actually put a greater chip on their shoulders. Form-wise, there is no contest that Liverpool have the edge although I really think that the time has come to hit the skids. I was mentioning previously that the Kops have forged out recent wins out of sheer will and luck and I don't think they will be able to maintain such cadence until the end. City have shown to be consistently good although they haven't been racking wins at the same rate, so they look the likelier to eke out a win here. 

Tomorrow's match at Goodison Park will be a good litmus test to know whether Man Utd are able to sustain the winning run needed to secure the 4th UCL spot that is seeming more and more elusive. It will also show whether I have been wrong in my assessment that they are too good to miss out on that final spot. Everton have been out-of-sorts with or without Lampard and if the Red Devils cannot capitalize on the home side's shortcomings, they will struggle against other teams until the rest of the season. I still think value to side one more time with the visitors here.

Win: Man Utd, Man City

Friday, April 1, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 30

 Liverpool v Watford - Home

Brighton v Norwich - Home

Burnley v Man City - Away

Chelsea v Brentford - Home

Leeds v Southampton - Away

Wolves v Aston Villa - Draw

Man Utd v Leicester - Home

West Ham v Everton - Home

Tottenham v Newcastle - Home

The title race has amazingly tightened and many pundits are actually tipping Liverpool to win it all. If that were the case, it would have been a monumental collapse from Guardiola's men as they seemed miles ahead just a few weeks back. I don't think they will bottle it though. I love it that the Kops have bridged the gap as backing City for the title has been made more affordable. Liverpool have been on a terrific run of late but even the hardest Kop fan will admit that they had a few lucky run-ins along the way. I think their challenge will peter out sooner than later particularly that Salah and Mane will be feeling the effects of their recent exhausting trips back home. I say back City to beat Burnley and for the title as well.

The race for fourth place is becoming more and more interesting and if Man Utd don't win it, they will only have themselves to blame. I think they are ripe for a serious run-in for the fourth spot but they have to make the difference on the pitch. It all starts against Leicester on Saturday and a comprehensive win is needed to show their serious credentials. I think they will show it.

Win: Man Utd, Man City