It’s midweek hustles in the Premier League and teams on either ends would be scrambling for points, while it’s as good as over for some ambitions, it’s down to just one point between the gladiators upfront, with Liverpool missing the golden chance to best Manchester United at the weekend following the unlucky injury woes that befell Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side in the haze of Old Trafford.
Elsewhere over the weekend, Tottenham lost a huge chance to make a huge title race statement as they crumbled at Burnley, they had just one job, keep it simple and win, they did otherwise and even lost their cool at the end which could be of damning consequences to the manager as he’s been charged of misconduct by the FA; what went wrong for Spurs at Turf Moor? Even with Harry Kane back in action and to scoring effect too, Spurs lost out in the final third, they had most of the ball, won most of the second balls but the few touches the Clarets had were in dangerous places and Tottenham just couldn’t handle them, when it came down to strength, the likes of Danny Rose and Harry Winks couldn’t stand on their feet and Christian Eriksen wasn’t allowed to supply the final pass as he would have, Burnley marked out Heung-Min Son effectively and Tottenham didn’t have an answer to the nuisances of Ashley Barnes, on to the next one and guess where? It’s at Stamford Bridge where they must win or fall completely off the title race. Chelsea gave a good fight in the Carabao Cup final, they were a million miles better than the horrendous six nil outing of a fortnight ago, they however have it all to do as they are now in sixth albeit with a match at hand, whatever it is that happens here, it’s a must for Spurs to seek points in hopeless places.
Manchester City will host West Ham on Wednesday night and that fixture can only go one way, three points or nothing will do for the champions, Liverpool won’t be dropping points stupidly again, should they do, it’s game over for them and that will cast a huge doubt around the credibility of Jurgen Klopp, the Kops are home to Watford and the records are there that they will hit the Hornets hard, but with the form of Jarvi Garcia’s men, shock might await the hosts at Anfield.
Manchester City would be boosted by their Carling Cup success, it wasn’t pretty as they had to stretch to their limits until the penalty shootouts and would have only their ambition to draw strength from; West Ham were not having the talks of a Fulham resurgence on Friday, they shipped three past them in quick succession and that should inspire them against the giants of the league, but no one would expect a miraculous return to Etihad for Manuel Pellegrini.
Huddersfield’s journey to the Championship continues against Wolves on Tuesday night, they themselves know it will take more than a miracle to get them out of the red zone, they lost to Newcastle on Saturday but the margin was kept at two by the woodwork and some unbelievable finish from the Toons forward. Very likely to join the Terriers is Fulham who travel to Southampton to negotiate a relegation six pointer, it’s a game that that both sides must win for identical reasons, a massive seven points separate the two, a win for the Saints ultimately means Fulham can forget their hopes of surviving the drop fight, a win for the Lily Whites mean they can start raising their hopes for a resurgence, but first they have to do the business at St Mary’s Stadium.
Manchester United were highly unlucky on Sunday but they did very well, with Marcus Rashford limping for the entirety of the game and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer having completed his available substitutions before halftime, the team made sure Liverpool didn’t threaten David De Gea and could even have won it late on, the trip to Crystal Palace would be one they would have to make without the quartet of Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard, these men joined the duo of Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic on the sidelines, that said, the quality of the squad will still be enough to do the job but Palace, coming off the sensational win at Leicester will not be very easy to beat.
Leicester City have sacked Claude Puel in the wake of the heavy home loss to Crystal Palace, such an unlucky manager and the uncertainty and lack of job security at the KP Stadium will always haunt prospective managers; the standards of the magical Ranieri era can never be matched by anyone with the squad quality and funds available, not in a hundred years, the owners have to live with that reality, now the new manager has to start his new storytelling at home against Brighton, another team with points to prove.
Arsenal are in fourth and only a win at home to struggling Bournemouth would keep them on the spot with an eye on the third spot currently occupied by Spurs, and firmly too with seven points; Bournemouth haven’t been the same since the turn of the year, they did beat Chelsea silly recently but they have lost more than expected, leaving the manager in no man’s land. Only a win will do for Arsenal, but a loss will be of damning consequences for the visitors who have never gotten a point at the Emirates.
Premier league predictions is here, teams have to go seek points in hopeless places, as football is known to be, anything can happen if you put in your best… Let’s do it!
|Fixtures||Verdict||Player to watch|
|Cardiff vs Everton||Everton to win or draw||Richarlison|
|Huddersfield vs Wolves||Wolves to win||Raul Jimenez|
|Leicester vs Brighton||Straight draw||Jamie Vardy|
|Newcastle vs Burnley||Straight draw||Miguel Almiron|
|Arsenal vs Bournemouth||Arsenal to win||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang|
|Southampton vs Fulham||Both teams to score||Ryan Babbel|
|Chelsea vs Spurs||Spurs to win or draw||Eden Hazard|
|Palace vs United||United to win or draw||Wilfried Zaha|
|Liverpool vs Watford||Liverpool to win||Mo Salah|
|Man City vs Westham||City to win||Sergio Kun Aguero|
Strictly the writer’s opinion… Gamble responsibly