Premier League Tips – 10th & 11th April
Our attention turns back to the Premier League this weekend with a full complement of games taking place from Friday night through to Monday evening.
The action starts on Friday night with relegation threatened Fulham at home to Wolves, while the two games on Monday night see West Brom take on Southampton, while Brighton face Everton.
We also have the rerun of Man Utd v Tottenham to look forward to, this time in London, but with United seeking revenge for their 6-1 home defeat to the Londoners back in October.
Similarly, at Anfield Liverpool will be seeking to end a run of six straight home league defeats against an Aston Villa side that spanked them, Virgil van Dijk and all, in a 7-2 humiliation at Villa Park earlier on this season.
In addition to that we have two of the surprise packages in the Premier League this season, Leicester City and West Ham going head to head at the Millennium Stadium with both teams in the Champions League places and knowing a win could really help them cement a place in next year’s competition at the expense of one of the ‘big six’.
My final game for the weekend sees The Master and his Mentor match up at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City welcome Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United.
Premier League Tips: Saturday 10th April
The last game between these two teams was an absolutely fantastic game to watch for the neutral, but not so great if you are a Leeds or Man City fan. The open nature of the game and attack upon attack made for fantastic viewing, even if the result, a 1-1 draw, was perhaps a bit of an anti-climax.
However, since then City have gone on from strength to strength to establish a huge lead at the top of the Premier League table. Their form heading into this game is excellent and a good win in midweek over Dortmund has set them up in the Champions League nicely too.
Leeds form since has been up and down, some very good results, but also mixed in with a few well below par performances and a few heavy defeats. However, Bielsa has remained true to his style of play and he has steered Leeds into a comfortable mid-table position on their return to the Premier League.
I can see Leeds inventive attacking style getting them a goal against Manchester City here but I think that City have so much quality that they will run out very comfortable winners in the end in this one.
I’ve backed against Liverpool at Anfield, and landed some big wins as a result over the last couple of weeks, but I have the feeling that after their 3-1 loss in Madrid to Real in midweek, Jurgen Klopp’s men are going to be very much focused on their next two home games.
Let’s not pull any punches here. The Reds owe Aston Villa big time after that 7-2 humiliation at Villa Park. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez played in that game and in truth, Villa could easily have had double figures in the match. That result was a taste of things to come for the Reds after Christmas.
Villa’s form since has been a little up and down but they have the players to cause problems for most team and Dean Smith has modelled the team into a generally effective defensive unit that relies on its star men, McGinn, Barkley, Grealish and Watkins to be the catalyst for attacking success.
So another Liverpool home defeat? Not this time. I think the Reds will be very focused for this one and while I do think Villa will score against that leaky back line, I think the home side will emerge with the win.
Football Tips: Sunday 11th April
These two teams have been amongst the most impressive in the Premier League this season and they fully deserve their position in the top four. Their aim now is to maintain that position, or better it, over the last eight games of the season.
A win in this game would go a long way for either team. Leicester’s away record is generally better than their home form this season and after losing at the King Power 3-0 to West Ham in October, they will want revenge for that surprising loss.
The Hammers though have struggled against fellow top six teams this season. They have beaten some good quality teams but generally their best results have come against mid and lower table opponents and that always does worry me a little in this type of game.
If Leicester had fully fit Harvey Barnes, Justin James and James Maddison and Vardy amongst the goals, I’d have backed them here, but a number of them will be missing and as such, I think a draw is the most likely outcome.
When Manchester United lost 6-1 at home to Spurs earlier on the season, it seemed the writing was on the wall for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but since then United have been generally excellent, one or two blips apart, and they fully deserve to be second in the table behind Manchester City and going well in the Europa League.
For Spurs, a brief spell at the top of the table in December gave way to a collapse that saw them drop down the table. They have recovered their best form somewhat since then but they still look to be worryingly fragile at times, especially in key games.
Jose Mourinho’s teams are used to winning these big games but Spurs don’t seem to have quite followed suit with that and with United’s superb away form this season, I really fancy the Red Devils to gain some revenge for that big loss earlier on this season.
I can see Harry Kane scoring for Spurs, but I think United will run out the eventual winners on the day.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.