Saturday, September 30, 2023

Arc de Triomphe 2023 - Invincible Ace Impact races towards immortality

 Here's my take of all the horses running in the greatest race in the world.

Haya Zark - Only a Group 3 winner, can't be taken seriously.

Onesto - On his best day, can aspire to a spot in the frame but this looks too much for him.

Simca Mille -  His outside draw could be a problem but if things fall his way, he could spring an upset. One of the better each-way offerings.

Bay Bridge - His season has been rather disappointing given that grandiose things were expected of him after his Champion Stakes win last year. Won his last race at the distance, albeit against inferior opposition, but it wouldn't be surprising if he is in the whereabouts at the finish. Can place.

Westover - Seems to be a perennial bridesmaid and needs a win in a race like this to be considered a top horse. Lost in an agonizingly close finish in the King George and if he can leverage a good position from his No.1 draw, he will be a main threat. Cannot be discounted.

Hukum - He looks the best from the British raiders. No 6-year old has ever won the Arc and he could be the first one. There's not much chink in his armour. Group 1 winner with an impressive record, he rarely runs a bad race. If favourite Ace Impact does not show up on the day, he will be the horse to beat.

Place du Carrousel - She is a Group 2 winner, it's hard to see her playing a leading role here.

Through Seven Seas - Her record looks nothing to glow about but her second place to world's best horse Equinox was a real eye-opener. If she can repeat that form, she is in with an outstanding chance. Japanese horses cannot be underestimated in any circumstance and she could be the one breaking the duck and winning them their holy grail.

Free Wind - Detorri's last Arc ride but she lacks the speed to play a major role here.

My Hollywood - It wouldn't be entirely shocking if he pulled a Torquator Tasso and won this. One of the best from the German classic crop, he can be a leading player if things fall in place for him.

Feed the Flame - Very talented colt that has an impressive turn of foot on his best day but has failed to win consistently. His inside draw might be problematic as he comes from behind. Clearly has ability and cannot be dismissed but my feeling is that he can claim a place spot at best.

Ace Impact - The deserved favourite and still unbeaten after 5 races. He possesses a rare and fanstastic turn of foot and unless he has a bad day, he should win. There are doubts on his stamina but the way he won the Jockey Club seems to indicate he should handle it fine. At 4/1, he looks like a steal.

Fantastic Moon -  Boasts an unbeaten record at the distance, is the German Derby and Prix Niel winner. Looks a dangerous foe on the day and worth an each-way look at double-digit odds.

Continuous - How he trades at single-digit odds is mind-blowing. Being a St Leger winner is actually bad news for this race; even the great Nijinsky failed to land the Arc after the Doncaster classic. The recuperation time is too small even if classic race is won easily. The sole Ballydoyle representative seems to lack serious speed to be a live contender and he is a big day all day.

If Ace Impact is the superstar many (including I) think he is, then it's his race to lose. He has a proper jockey in Demuro who won the race before with Sottsass. If patiently ridden in midfield, the Cracksman colt can make good use of his potent acceleration in the long straight to put the race to bed. The danger will be if he is left too far behind with too much ground to make. This is something Demuro will need to judge well. Through Seven Seas is the dark horse that can potentially break all Europeans' hearts if she repeats her performance in the Takarazuka Kinen. The greatest day for Japanese racing if that would be the case. Mighty Hukum will certainly bring his A game and it will take a great one to bring him down.

Win: Ace Impact

Each-way: Through Seven Seas, Fantastic Moon 

Friday, September 29, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 5 - Gunners keeping pace at the top

Champions Man City still boast a perfect record after 6 matches and if there is a team that seems that it can keep pace with them, it's Arsenal. While still unbeaten, the Gunners will feel unfortunate to have lost points in their 2 draws. Arteta has his team firing on all cylinders and with a visit to lowly Bournemouth, anything other than 3 points will be disappointing and harmful to their title chances. Arteta's men will go into the match with some material injury news to their personnel with fitness doubts over Saka, Rice, Trossard and Saliba to name a few. Bournemouth are yet to win this season and new manager Iraola is under the gun already. With the injuries besetting the club, I don't expect Arsenal to win this in a canter; I think it will be more than a dogfight with the hosts working hard to get that first win. Arsenal should have too much firepower though and should not be losing this. At market prices that factor in their injury woes, I believe it's value to go for an all-out Gunners win.

Win: Arsenal

Friday, September 22, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 4 - Red Devils back on track?

  Man Utd are reeling at the moment and they seem to have gone backwards while everyone was expecting them to start the year all guns blazing. There are 2 changes that happened before the start of the season  that they are still trying to ingest. First was the sudden departure of stalwart keeper De Gra. To say it was a shock that the Spaniard was let go would be an understatement. Getting a keeper like Onana in was always going to take some settling in for the Cameroon international and the defence. His unorthodox style is so far causing more confusion and mayhem to the back four and the synergy will take some time to develop. At the other end, having a new designated striker like young Hojlund will also take time to gel with the forward line. He's not going to be a Haaland talent that took the EPL by storm in his first year. That said, the Red Devils are not playing badly; their last 3 matches were against top opposition in the form of Spurs, Brighton and Bayern. On Saturday, their opponents Burnley will not present such kind of force. In fact, the Clarets are more up to survival in the EPL this year. Man Utd should have too much firepower for them and I expect Rashford to provide the fireworks up front. They might scrape through it but in the end, the Red Devils should get the much-need 3 points.

Win: Man Utd

Friday, September 1, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 4

 Sheffield Utd v Everton - Home

Brentford v Bournemouth - Home

Burnley v Tottenham - Draw

Chelsea v Nott Forest - Away

Man City v Fulham - Home

Brighton v Newcastle - Draw

Crystal Palace v Wolves - Away

Liverpool v Aston Villa - Draw

Arsenal v Man Utd - Home

The current clashes between Arsenal v Man Utd will never match the intensity or heights of the Ferguson and Wenger era but the motivation is still well and alive for both teams as they try to usurp the title from Man City's grasp this year. Both have started the season rather tepidly while one would have thought they would be off the starting blocks with pomp. While they boast 2 wins out of 3 outings, the Gunners seem to lack the fluency and gusto that made them appealing as a team last season. They would then be going all guns blazing to overwhelm their adversaries. Struggling to beat so-called minows such as Nott Forest and Crystal Palace and not being able to overcome 10-men Fulham at home seem to indicate that something is amiss with the Gunners at the moment. Maybe the return of striker Jesus will help in the attacking department. Man Utd have been equally disappointing as they struggled to beat Nott Forest and Wolves at home and suffering a deserved defeat against Tottenham. While they overly counted on Rashford last season to bail them out, the England striker has started very quietly this time. Given the Red Devils' poor current form, I see it worthwhile going for a home win here; if the Gunners score early, the visitors could be in for a long day.

Win: Arsenal 

Friday, August 25, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 3

 Bournemouth v Spurs - Away

Arsenal v Fulham - Home

Brentford v Crystal Palace - Draw

Everton v Wolves - Away

Man Utd v Nottingham Forest - Home

Brighton v West Ham - Home

Burnley v Aston Villa - Home

Sheffield Utd v Man City - Away

Newcastle v Liverpool - Home

It's a massive game for Man Utd against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. After 2 un-inspiring opening matches, the Red Devils are in a much-needed win situation to keep up with the pace for the title. They were lucky to get the win against lowly Wolves and they deservedly lost against Spurs last week-end. Something is amiss in the cog wheel for Ten Hag's men and if they don't right the ship soon, it could be the start of the end for the Dutch manager. Much has been said about their lacking in midfield and newcomer Mason Mount will miss the match, which might actually be a blessing in disguise for their midfield; it could be bringing back Mc Tominay in the holding role is the catalyst that they need to get their fluidity back and kick-start their season. Forest were lucky to win their last match in stoppage time after a valiant effort against Arsenal on opening day. Steve Cooper's side will fancy their chances at Old Trafford and if they can keep the contest close, it would not be a surprise if they were to nick the winner in the later staages. I still think that Ten Hag will start tinkering with the team tactics and formation after the last 2 dubious efforts and have the hosts full-gun blazing from the start. Man Utd for the win.

I can't see Liverpool winning at St James Park, a place where the Magpies have developed into a fortress since last year. Although they were rather tepid against Man City in their last match, I don't think the hosts will have any reservation against a Liverpool team with a brittle defensive unit at the moment. The Kops are proving unable to get a clean sheet lately and this will be music to the ears of Isak and Wilson. Liverpool will again rely on the output of Salah up front, hopeful that their in-demand talisman will not succumb to the riches of the Saudi League. I think it best value to go for an outright Newcastle victory.

Win: Man Utd, Newcastle

Friday, August 18, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 2

Nott Forest v Sheffield Utd - Draw

Fulham v Brentford - Home

Liverpool v Bournemouth - Home

Luton v Burnley - Home

Wolves v Brighton - Home

Tottenham v Man Utd - Draw

Man City v Newcastle - Away

Aston Villa v Everton - Home

West Ham v Chelsea - Draw

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Away

Mid-week Super Cup winners Man City face a huge test this Sunday as high-flying Newcastle come into town. The Citizens are garnering trophies like never before and at their best are the best team in the world. They are however, not fully flowing at the moment. Their wins against Burnley and Sevilla were workmanlike and those teams are certainly not top notch. But the main problem right now for Guardiola is the loss of influential playmaker De Bruyne for months. His prolonged absence will be a huge blow to their title hopes. And here comes Newcastle, fully loaded to the hilt, and a team that has started strong in demolishing Aston Villa on opening day. The Magpies made it to the UCL last season and look set to be among the leading title contenders this year. The free-flowing Saudi money will aid to the cause for sure. This is a fantastic opportunity for Eddie Howe's men to bag full points against a City team still finding its feet. Haaland can change the match out of nothing, so I expect lots of goals in this match. If the Magpies do not edge this, a draw is very well possible, so I recommend a double chance or draw-no-bet on Newcastle.

Double-chance/Draw-no-bet: Newcastle

Friday, August 11, 2023

EPL 23/24 - Week 1

Burnley v Man City - Away

Arsenal v Nott Forest - Home

Bournemouth v West Ham - Home

Brighton v Luton - Home

Everton v Fulham - Away

Sheffield Utd v Crystal Palace - Draw

Newcastle v Aston Villa - Home

Brentford v Spurs - Home

Chelsea v Liverpool - Draw

Man Utd v Wolves - Home

Hope everyone had a great break and it's now time to roll again with this new EPL season. City conquered the Triple last season and after all the famous partying, the question will be whether they are still hungry for more silverware and if the rest of the pack can come anywhere closer. If history is any indication, Sir Alex's Ferguson Man Utd won the league in the next 2 years following their Triple. I have a feeling history will not repeat itself for the Citizens as Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool have reinforced well during the break and are very much a hungry pack of wolves ready to pounce. I cannot see the title out of those 4 teams.

For the inaugural week, I see easy wins for many of the main protagonists; Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd and Newcastle have been handed easy encounters and they will be hard pressed not to win. Having them in accumulators or in singles should make for a rewarding first week.

Win: Man City/Man Utd/Newcastle/Arsenal

Friday, May 12, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 35

 Leeds v Newcastle - Away

Aston Villa v Tottenham - Home

Chelsea v Nott Forest - Home

Crystal Palace v Bournemouth - Home

Man Utd v Wolves - Home

Southampton v Fulham - Away

Brentford v West Ham - Home

Everton v Man City - Away

Arsenal v Brighton - Draw

Leicester v Liverpool - Home

Liverpool have been on fire and unbeaten in their last six matches as they look to reach the elusive UCL 4th spot. They have been rather lucky to snatch wins in their last 2 matches and I believe this week could very well be their comeuppance although hardly anyone is seeing them losing to struggling Leicester. Results have improved slightly under Dean Smith since the parting of manager Rodgers a few weeks back. Their defence is still horrendous and are more prone to opening the floodgates more than not, but it is their attacking frame that can dig them out of their relegation troubles. Playmaker Maddison seems to have gotten a new impetus under the new system and Leicester's hopes of staying in the EPL very much on the creative abilities of the England midfielder. Liverpool are facing a race against time to usurp rivals Man Utd and Newcastle for the UCL remaining spot. While they have been more consistent lately, winning matches that they are expected to win, I can't see them maintain that winning cadence in the coming weeks. Leicester can shock them and I really like their maket odds for the outright win.

Win: Leicester

Friday, April 14, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 30

 Aston Villa v Newcastle - Draw

Chelsea v Brighton - Away

Everton v Fulham - Home

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Home

Tottenham v Bournemouth - Home

Wolves v Brentford - Draw

Man City v Leicester - Home

West Ham v Arsenal - Away

Nott Forest v Man Utd - Away

Leeds v Liverpool - Away

Arsenal can make a big statement on the title this week-end as they travel to fellow Londoners West Ham. The Gunners haven't shown many signs of weakness lately as many thought they would capitulate in the title run-in. Last week's point at Liverpool can be seen as either gained or lost, depending on how you view the match. But one point at Anfield is always a good point to have. Against West Ham, the Gunners should have it easier and with the Hammers struggling for any consistency this season, an in-form Arsenal should bag the 3 all-important points and put it up to Man City to keep pace.

Win: Arsenal

Saturday, April 1, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 28

 Man City v Liverpool - Home

Bournemouth v Fulham - Home

Arsenal v Leeds - Home

Brighton v Brentford - Draw

Crystal Palace v Leicester - Home

Nott Forest v Wolves - Home

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Draw

West Ham v Southampton - Home

Newcastle v Man Utd - Home

Everton v Tottenham - Draw

Roy Hodgson is back at the helm at Palace and like so often is the case, a win could very well be bestowed to the team playing under the manager's first outing. The Eagles were simply horrible to watch under Vieira lately and having only one shot on goal in their last 5 matches was simply atrocious to watch. You can be sure that they will have more than one shot on goal against the visiting Foxes. Although they haven't been playing badly, Leicester are on a poor run at the moment and manager Rodgers looks to be on his way out sooner than later. Gone are the days where the Foxes were a nuisance to any team in the league; they look set to fight in the relegation zone from now on, unless the squad gets a complete overhaul, which is unlikely to be the case. I see the home team edging this one.

Win: Crystal Palace

Friday, March 17, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 27

Aston Villa v Bournemouth - Home

Brentford v Leicester - Draw

Southampton v Spurs - Away

Wolves v Leeds - Home

Chelsea v Everton - Home

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Away

Chelsea are riding a winning sequence and it needs to stay that way for manager Potter to keep his job. On paper, I cannot see a better squad than that of the Blues but it's only the wins that will appease the new owners. If they can keep the recent positive momentum, they should be able to overcome visiting Everton, who are genuinely fighting for their survival in the top flight. It might not end in a rout but the home team should have enough to edge this one.

More often than not, a team losing a manager, does very well on its first outing; players that have been underperforming try to impress the new coaching staff. So, slumping Crystal Palace might seem to have a card to play when visiting league leaders Arsenal. The Eagles have been dismal under the coaching of ex-Gunners star Vieira recently and it was no surprise to see the Frenchman sacked. Arsenal are showing good form at the moment and although they can scrape through matches like against Bournemouth, much remains to be seen how much resilience they have left in them in difficult matches. They were tossed out of European action in mid-week and have shown vulnerability when missing stalwarts like Saliba to injury. It would not be a shock to see Palace get a result here and the odds for an away win look very enticing.

Win: Chelsea, Crystal Palace

Friday, February 24, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 24

 Everton v Aston Villa - Draw

Leeds v Southampton - Home

Leicester v Arsenal - Draw

West Ham v Nott Forest - Home

Bournemouth v Man City - Away

Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Draw

Tottenham v Chelsea - Home

It is amazing to see Man City throwing away matches they should have been bagging as early as half-time. Case in point against Forest last week where City was rampant but so profligate in front of goal. In mid-week, same story against Leipzig where Guardiola's men again failed to kill the match in the first half, giving their opponents a lifeline to restore parity. City fans would hope to think that this is just a blip, as failure to secure such types of wins will have damaging effects in the final standings of the league or outright boot them out ot the UCL. Although their minds will be on the return leg against Leipzig, City should go all guns blazing against Bournemouth for nothing less than 3 full points. Haaland is due a big match after a couple of below par performances and the relegation-threatened Cherries will provide him the ample opportunity for redemption. This looks a straight victory for the visitors and keep City firm on track in their pursuit of Arsenal.

In the Carabao Cup, Man Utd have a glorious chance of silverware after 6 years of drought. The Red Devils have improved tremendously under Ten Hag and are in the running in all 4 competitions. Rashford is in the form of his life and the whole squad seems to have been lifted particularly after the departure of Ronaldo. Newcastle have a solid team but they have been missing the beat lately. Their main problem for this final is that they will be playing their third-string keeper in goal. On form, it's hard to bet against the Red Devils and the best the Magpies can do is hope this goals to penalties. But I think the Mancunians will settle this match well before that and bring a first major silverware under the Ten Hag era.

Win: Man City, Man Utd 

Friday, February 17, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 23

 Aston Villa v Arsenal - Home

Brentford v Crystal Palace - Home

Brighton v Fulham - Home

Chelsea v Southampton - Home

Everton v Leeds - Draw

Nott Forest v Man City - Away

Wolves v Bournemouth - Home

Newcastle v Liverpool - Home

Man Utd v Leicester - Home

Tottenham v West Ham - Draw

Will clown keeper Emilio Martinez give his ex-club Arsenal a helping hand or will he be the thorn to their title aspirations? The keeper might be good but his lack of sportsmanship are a turn-off to the neutral fan. On his good day, he can help the Villains dent the Gunners who are showing a poor vein of home in recent weeks. They are win-less in their past 3 matches and although it is not down to the fact that they are playing terribly, they are being less lethal in front of goal as before. The youngsters in the team are still playing fluent attractive football but at this point, only wins count and they will have to win matches the dirty way to regain their position at the top of the table. Villa can certainly pose serious threats and ex-Gunners manager Emery will also have a point to prove against his old team. At current odds, a Villa win looks attractive.

Newcastle are suffering from a lack of goals in their recent slump and although they find it hard to win, it's hard for their adversaries to beat them as well. Their encounters with Liverpool have produced exciting multi-goal matches and it could be this match on Saturday that helps them find their goalscoring touch. Liverpool are the disappointment of the season and it seems an end to the cycle of Klopp's dominant team of the past years. The team is in serious need of rebuild. In a past life, Klopp managed to reinvent himself and his team at Dortmund (before an ultimate crash and burn) and it remains to be seen whether he can do it again with Liverpool. 

Win: Aston Villa, Newcastle

Friday, February 10, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 22

 West Ham v Chelsea - Home

Arsenal v Brentford - Home

Crystal Palace v Brighton - Away

Fulham v Nott Forest - Away

Leicester v Tottenham - Home

Southampton v Wolves - Home

Bournemouth v Newcastle - Home

Leeds v Man Utd - Away

Man City v Aston Villa - Home

If there is a team right now with no danger of going down but whose manager is in a very precarious position right now, it is Chelsea. Harry Potter seems to have used all of his aces and if things don't improve for the Blues, there is no doubt that he is due for the sack not too long from now. The fact that the new owners have doled out a lot of cash to get new recruits but also have looked pretty trigger happy to effect changes are enough to suggest that they are most probably searching for Potter's replacement already. Let's face it as we saw it earlier in the season; the job was probably too big for the former Brighton manager and there is a mountain of difference and expectations between the 2 clubs. I have reservations seeing the Blues going as relatively strong favourites for their visit at West Ham. David Moyes' men have shown some resilient form in recent weeks and at their best will give the visitors all they can handle. Moyes has a good record against Chelsea and it would be no surprise at all if he can conjure up an upset this Saturday. At current odds, West Ham can be taken to win outright.

Win: West Ham

Friday, February 3, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 21


Everton v Arsenal - Away

Aston Villa v Leicester - Home

Brentford v Southampton - Home

Brighton v Bournemouth - Home

Man Utd v Crystal Palace - Home

Wolves v Liverpool - Draw

Newcastle v West Ham - Home

Nott Forest v Leeds - Draw

Tottenham v Man City - Home


This could be the week where Arsenal crushes the league. With 5 points to spare with a game in hand, the Gunners look in total control of their destiny. Sure, Man City have the capacity to claw back the gap but Arsenal are looking strong at the moment and showing no signs of slowing down as many, including myself, thought they would.

Against a club in disarray like Everton, Arteta's men will be gunning for full points and will be disappointed not to do. After all, the Merseyside outfits are still looking for a new manager after sacking Lampard. This should be a canter for the visitors. On the other hand, Man City have an arduous match waiting for them at White Hart Lane. The fact that they did not reinforce the squad before deadline day can be seen as a negative. But losing Cancelo to Bayern is what will truly hurt the team for the remainder of the season. That was a shocker of a loan move as the Portuguese was arguably an untouchable on the first team just a while ago. A loss of form has turned that privilege on its head and there doesn't seem to be a natural successor for the versatile defensive back. While the Citizens will go in as favourites to get the away win, there is still a live possibility that they require some time to re-adjust filling the void left by Cancelo. It could be Arsenal 8 points ahead by the end of the week-end and that will be too much of a tall order for Guardiola's men to pick up.

Win: Arsenal





Friday, January 20, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 20

 Liverpool v Chelsea - Home

Bournemouth v Nott Forest - Draw

Leicester v Brighton - Home

Southampton v Aston Villa - Away

West Ham v Everton - Home

Crystal Palace v Newcastle - Away

Leeds v Brentford - Draw

Man City v Wolves - Home

Arsenal v Man Utd - Home

An Arsenal vs Man Utd fixture used to be one of the hotly contested matches in the not-so-distant era of the Ferguson and Wenger days. We talk of intense rivalries in derbies but the feud between the 2 clubs and particularly their managers was as intense as ever been witnessed in the Premier League. Add to the mix the 2 non-compromising captains in Keane and Vieira and the matches were certainly extraordinary. 

With Arsenal now strongly in command at the top of the league and the Red Devils showing signs of renaissance under Ten Hag, Sunday's fixture will bring some air of nostalgia to their fans. Arteta has brought new life and hope to the Gunners through a judicious selection of young guns playing free flowing football reminiscent of the Wenger days. Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka are playing with an energy level that is packing a punch through defences while Partey is the strong midfield anchor the Gunners have been looking for in recent years. The defence is strong too and goalkeeper Ramsdale is a proven number 1 that should be England's as well. 

Man Utd got their 10-game winning streak snapped in mid-week at Selhurst Park where they were rather unfortunate to concede the tying goal in extra time. More importantly though was the loss of Casemiro for this match due to a yellow card. The Brazilian is arguably the Red Devils' most valuable player after Rashford so far this season. He is the midfield lynchpin they have been looking for since Roy Keane. Arsenal looks certain to score without the presence of Casemiro giving cover to the back four. In fact, one way Man Utd can sneak a victory out of this is with strong physical play to break the dynamic threat posed by the Gunners' forwards. I sense that the Arsenal attack will overwhelm whatever resistance the vistors can offer and claim a comprehensive win; one of the big steps remaining towards the coveted title.

Win: Arsenal

Friday, January 13, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 19


Man Utd v Man City - Home

Brighton v Liverpool - Away

Everton v Southampton - Home

Nottingham Forest v Leicester - Home

Wolves v West Ham - Home

Brentford v Bournemouth - Home

Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Home

Newcastle v Fulham - Home

Tottenham v Arsenal - Draw

I mentioned a while back that Chelsea might have commited folly replacing a Champions League winning coach like Tuchel with the unproven Potter. Seems the results of the past few gameweeks are indeed showing that Chelsea have embarked on the wrong path and unless their results start improving drastically, he might be out the door sooner than later. The coming of Crystal Palace give the Blues a first-rate opportunity to get back to winning ways and I think they will. Against Fulham in mid-week, Chelsea seemed buoyed by new arrival Felix until the loanee got sent off in the second half which led to their defeat. Crystal Palace are a team playing with little confidence at the moment and this should end up in a much-needed 3 points in the bag for the home team.

Man Utd are in hot form and their Derby against Man City will put their title credentials to the test. Rashford is playing with supreme confidence, bagging goals from everywhere. Martial is due a goal soon and wouldn't surprise me if he is on the scoresheet (if he plays). Rivals Man City are still the favourites to land the league title again although the gap with Arsenal is starting to get worrying. They lost to Southampton in mid-week and I have a feeling that all is probably not right in their setup at the moment. Still, they never go beaten in advance particularly with striker Haaland leading the charge. I believe this will end in either a draw or the home team edging this.

Win: Man Utd, Chelsea

Sunday, January 1, 2023

EPL 2022/23 - Week 18

Brentford v Liverpool - Home

Arsenal v Newcastle - Away

Everton v Brighton - Home

Leicester v Fulham - Home

Man Utd v Bournemouth - Home

Southampton v Nottingham Forest - Away

Leeds v West Ham - Home

Aston Villa v Wolves - Home

Crystal Palace v Tottenham - Home

Chelsea v Man City - Away

Arsenal have opened a 7-point gap at the top and the way they are playing, they will take some stopping. They have a huge nugget this week against upcoming powerhouse Newcastle. Although the Magpies fired blanks against Leeds, they are by no means push-overs; they have the team to frustrate the strongest teams particularly on their travels. This is going to be a major test for the young gunners and it will give them a world of confidence to keep striving at the top if they pass this. I believe this is going to be a close one and wouldn't be surprised if the visitors nick it in the end.

West Ham are on a bad losing streak and it wouldn't be a surprise if manager Moyes is given the boot to change the club's fortunes. Leeds will be buoyed by their excellent draw at Newcastle and can certainly compound the visitors' misery. The Peacocks have been involved in a few high-scoring matches and I can see them outscoring a Hammers team that has been mainly hurt by their inability to find the net consistenly of late.

Win: Newcastle, Leeds