Soccer English Premier League Prediction
Aston Villa vs Newcastle - Match Preview
⚽ 15 April 2023 - 11:30 GMT +0
A lot has happened in the 25 years since Aston Villa last won five successive Premier League (PL) matches, including the birth of their star midfielder Douglas Luiz, Wayne Rooney’s entire playing career and Real Madrid lifting eight UEFA Champions League (UCL) titles! However, Unai Emery’s class of 2023 have the opportunity to smash through that glass ceiling after a stunning run of form that has propelled them into the race for European qualification.
Nottingham Forest was the most recent victim, with a 2-0 success leaving the Villains in sixth place and unbeaten in seven outings (W6, D1). It has been quite the transformation under Emery, given his side was in 16th and staring relegation in the face when he took the reins in November, but continental football is now on the cards for the first time since 2010/11.
Looking to stop Villa in their tracks are Newcastle United, who will head to the West Midlands full of confidence - they have picked up more PL victories against Aston Villa than any other team, winning 24 of their 51 H2Hs (D16, L11). As if that’s not enough, the Magpies have also picked up five successive top-flight victories, making UCL qualification a more than realistic possibility.
Eddie Howe’s side is now ten points clear of seventh, although the manager is warning his players not to take anything for granted, instead insisting “there are still a lot of challenges left.” This is despite only four of their remaining nine matches coming against teams currently in the top half of the PL.
Players to watch: Aston Villa’s Ashley Young has never lost a home game against Newcastle (W7, D1). Looking to put a dent in that record will be striker Callum Wilson, who is undefeated in his last dozen goalscoring appearances for the Magpies (W8, D4).
Hot stat: Newcastle has had more 0-0 draws (six) than any other PL team this season, including four away from home.
Chelsea vs Brighton - Match Preview
⚽ 15 April 2023 - 14:00 GMT +0
Chelsea remains a club in crisis as they return to Premier League (PL) action, with their 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in midweek all but ending their dreams of European glory for another season. Returning to the continental stage in any capacity next year requires a serious improvement, as the Blues have now failed to score in each of their last four matches in all competitions for the first time since 1993 (D1, L3) - their longest such run since 1981!
Interim manager Frank Lampard insisted ‘special things can happen at Stamford Bridge’, but that’s not been the case this term whatsoever, as Chelsea have won just one of their last six PL home games (D3, L2), only finding the net in two of those matches. The Blues have failed to score in the first half in each of their last eight league outings at the Bridge, while another first-half blank would mark their longest run in the PL era.
Brighton returns to the capital on the back of their first away PL defeat since October, although they’ve since received another apology from PGMOL for the decisions that went against them in the 2-1 loss at Tottenham last week. Head coach Roberto De Zerbi was sent off and will therefore be missing from the touchline here as the Seagulls look to stay in contention for a top-six finish.
Chelsea may be good opponents then as De Zerbi’s first win as Brighton boss came against the Blues, but the Italian will be looking to keep his players focused, with an FA Cup semi-final meeting with Manchester United next week acting as a potential distraction. Ending a three-match PL losing streak in London serves as extra motivation here, and with only three teams in the division earning more points on the road than Brighton (22) this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Seagulls carry away all three points.
Players to watch: Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling could be the man to end his side’s scoring woes, after netting four times in eight personal H2H meetings with Brighton (W7, L1). For the visitors, midfielder Pascal Groß could step up here having already contributed to 14 goals in 34 appearances this season (G7, A7).
Hot stat: Chelsea matches average the lowest number of goals in the PL (2).
Tottenham vs Bournemouth - Match Preview
⚽ 15 April 2023 - 14:00 GMT +0
Despite persistent links to rivals Chelsea, the return of former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is still firmly on the wishlist of many Spurs fans. But the players themselves will only be focused on getting a widely-expected sixth home league win in succession, which would see them finish Saturday inside the Premier League (PL)’s top-four on goal difference.
A partnership forged by the Argentine, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane shared a scoresheet for the second straight home game in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Brighton. The result also extended Spurs’ winning streak in PL home games to see them net inside 20 minutes (W6), only contributing further towards some truly lopsided pre-match odds in Spurs’ favour.
Spurs’ ever-growing PL dominance vs Bournemouth (W8, D2, L1) – after they fought back to win from 2-0 down in the reverse H2H – also indicates that this will be just another stepping stone for them, as they march towards a 14th straight season of European football.
Bournemouth themselves have personified inconsistency lately, alternating between wins and losses after starting March with a 3-2 defeat vs Arsenal just across North London. But a surprise 1-0 victory at Leicester on April 8 means they could secure a first set of successive PL away wins since October 2018, and go as much as six points clear of the drop zone.
Curiously, that dramatic slump from a 2-0 lead at Arsenal is the only instance in the Cherries’ previous nine road trips where both teams have scored (W2, L7). A good start seems vital then, especially with Bournemouth’s latest away equaliser still dating back to a 4-3 Bonfire Night defeat at Leeds – though that game also saw them blow a two-goal lead!
Players to watch: Tottenham star Son took less than ten minutes to strike against Brighton last weekend, and he’ll be itching to go again, having netted braces in his two most recent goalscoring battles against Bournemouth. In opposition, Kieffer Moore netted both of Bournemouth’s goals during October’s reverse clash. He’s still without a club-level goal in 2023 but poses an aerial threat, with three of his previous four strikes coming via headers.
Hot stat: Tottenham is one of three teams to see PL home openers scored or conceded arrive in the 30th minute on average.
Manchester City vs Leicester - Match Preview
⚽ 15 April 2023 - 16:30 GMT +0
Talk of a potential treble-winning season intensified after Manchester City put one foot in the Champions League semi-final with a resounding 3-0 win over Bayern Munich during the week. That victory was their ninth in succession, and with a game in hand over Premier League (PL) leaders Arsenal and six points to make up, the title race remains alive.
The sight of Leicester City should be welcomed as Pep Guardiola’s men have triumphed in ten of the last 12 PL H2Hs (L2). That’s not to mention the Cityzens’ incredible form in the PL which has seen them win seven of their last eight games since a 1-0 loss to Spurs in February, whilst also striking first on seven occasions during their current hot streak.
PL champions in 2015, Leicester, now teeter on the brink of relegation as Brendan Rodgers was axed for interim manager Dean Smith, who signed on until the end of the season. The Foxes entered this round two points adrift of safety after picking up just one of the last 24 available points (D1, L7), although a defiant Smith declared upon his arrival “If I thought it was insurmountable then I wouldn’t have come”.
This is surely a free hit for the Foxes, who enter this clash as rank outsiders given their plight. It could be a landmark day for Jamie Vardy, as the now bit-part player could become the first player to reach 300 PL appearances for the club should he feature, which may give the fans something better to talk about than the fact they had lost four of their last eight competitive away games without reply (W2, D1, L5).
📋 Players to watch: Described by Guardiola last weekend as “a machine like Cristiano Ronaldo”, City’s Erling Haaland broke the record for most competitive goals by a PL player in a season with his strike against Bayern (G45), and is now four shy of the record for goals in one PL season. Trying to outdo him will be Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho, the former City player who contributed to three goals before half-time in the Foxes’ only PL away win since last November.
⚡ Hot stat: Manchester City has picked up 28 of 30 available PL points when scoring first at home this season (W9, D1).
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