Soccer English Premier League Prediction
West Ham vs Southampton - Match Preview
⚽ 2 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Two sides that few expected to be in the bottom three at this stage of the season, West Ham United and Southampton, open Sunday’s Premier League (PL) proceedings with both teams desperate to find form following the international break. With reports suggesting West Ham boss David Moyes fears for his job if he loses here, a tense encounter could ensue, particularly as they lost this game 3-2 last term.
That continued the trend of this fixture producing plenty of action as each of the last ten H2Hs West Ham hosted witnessed at least three goals (W7, L3), and considering they’ve kept just four home PL clean sheets this term, more of the same could follow. That said, the Hammers are unbeaten in four league games here (W2, D2), suggesting the international break perhaps came at a bad time for them as far as their home form is concerned.
Southampton will hold similar feelings having collected as many points since sacking Nathan Jones six PL games ago (eight) than in the 17 games prior, as they desperately fight to keep in touch at the foot of the table. Following their battling 3-3 draw with Tottenham, in which the Saints battled back from 3-1 down, manager Rubén Sellés said “the players want to fight for each other and I’m very proud of it,” which will be music to fans’ ears as the season reaches its climax.
Considering Southampton has won twice as many leagues away games as home ones this term (W4, D1, L9), they may be optimistic about their chances of securing back-to-back away wins at West Ham for the first time since 1992. As three of their away league victories, this term came against sides that start the round inside the bottom six, all by a one-goal margin, the Saints appear well prepared to march into battle again.
📋 Players to watch: West Ham’s lucky charm Jarrod Bowen has won all eight of his goalscoring outings this term, while James Ward-Prowse’s last two PL goals came in first or second-half injury time, both against London clubs.
⚡ Hot stat: West Ham is the only side yet to score a PL goal before the 15th minute this term.
Newcastle vs Manchester Utd - Match Preview
⚽ 2 April 2023 - 15:30 GMT +0
The international break may have come at an inopportune time for Newcastle United, who was just beginning to build up a head of steam by posting back-to-back Premier League (PL) wins following a run of just one from their prior eight (D5, L2). However, boss Eddie Howe wasted no time in jetting his players off for some warm-weather training in Dubai, where he has been “really pleased with what they’ve produced”.
Howe’s men remained well in the hunt for a Champions League place as they sat just three points behind third-placed Manchester United ahead of this round, having played the same amount of games. They have a score to settle against the Red Devils, too, after losing the EFL Cup final to them in February. The familiar surroundings of St James’ Park could be the catalyst for a H2H resurgence as the Magpies have lost just one PL game here all season (W7, D5, L1).
Erik ten Hag’s United signed off for the international break in style by cruising into the FA Cup semi-final with a 3-1 win over an ill-disciplined Fulham side, though their focus, for now, must shift back to the race for the top four. Shooting drills may have been a big focus during the interim as United had failed to score in back-to-back PL games as well as in the reverse H2H (0-0).
Another PL blank seems unthinkable for the visitors, who haven’t failed to score in three straight PL games since 2020, or consecutive PL H2Hs since 1997! Rediscovering their scoring form will be crucial to any United success, as only relegation-threatened Leicester, Nottingham and Bournemouth have conceded more away league goals ahead of this round than United’s 27.
📋 Players to watch: Newcastle’s Callum Wilson missed out on England selection but their seven-goal man said that his week training out in Dubai has made “a big difference”. Manchester United’s difference maker could well be Marcus Rashford; he also missed out on England selection whilst recovering from injury, but has scored more PL match-winning goals than any other player (nine).
⚡ Hot stat: Newcastle has kept a joint PL-high seven home clean sheets ahead of the round (54%).
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