Soccer English Premier League Prediction
Wolves vs Crystal Palace - Match Preview
⚽ 25 April 2023 - 18:30 GMT +0
Just three points separated Wolves and Crystal Palace in the bottom half of the Premier League table (PL) coming into this contest, and both have little more to play for than to confirm their place in next season’s competition. Although that is something to celebrate in both camps after each of the two sides was firmly embroiled in the relegation dogfight not long ago. Wolves’ form at home, which has seen them win three of their last four matches at Molineux (L1), has helped them establish a six-point buffer on the bottom three with only six rounds remaining.
However, manager Julen Lopetegui considered Saturday’s 2-1 away defeat to Leicester City an opportunity to refocus, stating post-match that “the most dangerous thought” is his side believing survival is already assured. Another three points would all but mathematically secure their PL football for another season, but collecting them immediately isn’t assured if H2H history - in which Palace have won the four most recent meetings - is to be considered.
That’s coincidentally Palace’s longest-ever winning run against Wolves, and their form of late should give them the belief to extend it further even after being forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to a determined Everton side on Saturday. That result extended their unbeaten league run to four matches (W3, D1) under Roy Hodgson, their longest undefeated streak of this league campaign.
While fluid attacking displays were the standout trait from the first couple of games with Hodgson back in charge, clean sheets in Palace’s last two matches highlight that he has also helped instil defensive robustness in the group. Another shutout here would not only hand the Eagles a third in the league successfully for the first time this season, but also a fourth from their last five competitive meetings with Wolves.
📋 Players to watch: Wolves’ Rúben Neves returned from a two-match suspension against Leicester City after picking up ten yellow cards; only two PL players had received more coming into the round. He’d be wise to be careful around Palace’s Jordan Ayew who has drawn 69 fouls so far this season. Only teammate Wilfried Zaha had been fouled more often.
⚡ Hot streak: Wolves have won ‘to nil’ in each of their last nine competitive home games in which they scored the opening goal.
Aston Villa vs Fulham - Match Preview
⚽ 25 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Talk of potential Champions League qualification had been growing across the previous week after Aston Villa’s incredible run of form (W5) leading into their disappointing 1-1 draw against Brentford. Their character certainly cannot be questioned after they rallied back late in the day to claim a point whilst extending their unbeaten run to nine games, with the Villans likely to secure European football in some capacity with the possibility of seventh place being enough.
A Villa Park return should provide a boost as none of the last four visiting sides have taken a point or even scored a goal here. In fact, Villa’s current run of four straight home wins without reply is an ongoing club record in the Premier League (PL), although the last time they achieved the same feat in the top-flight, they went on to lose the next game 6-2 back in 1983!
Marco Silva’s Fulham have spent the last couple of rounds piling more misery upon relegation-threatened sides Everton and Leeds (W2), a pair of victories which may have reignited the Cottagers’ slim hopes of a European finish. Those victories ended a five-game losing run for Fulham, although they’ll face a much sterner test of their credentials here at a venue where they’ve lost three of their last four visits.
Even so, Fulham may take confidence from the fact that the only top-six side they’ve beaten this season is Villa in the reverse H2H, although their overall PL record against such sides this season makes for bleak reading (W1, L8). In any case, one must be cautious to write the visitors off as only two sides have a stronger win rate as pre-match PL outsiders away from home than their 36% (W5, D2, L7).
📋 Players to watch: Ollie Watkins registered the final goal of this corresponding fixture last season, and after a run of five goals across his last five appearances, he can set a personal best PL scoring season with one more goal. Harry Wilson has burst onto the scene by hitting his first two PL goals of the season across the last two rounds, whilst he has never lost when finding the net for Fulham (W10, D2).
⚡ Hot stat: Across the entire PL season, Fulham have conceded more away goals after the 75th minute (eight) than prior to half-time (seven).
Leeds vs Leicester - Match Preview
⚽ 25 April 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
With the fight for Premier League (PL) survival heading for a photo finish, Leeds United currently find themselves at the head of what might be a five-horse race in 16th place, since the bottom five clubs are only separated by as many points. They’ve done themselves no favours recently after their 2-1 defeat to Fulham last time out made it three defeats on the trot for Javi Gracia’s side.
Usually a return to Elland Road would do the Whites a world of good, but they’ve waived the white flag at home recently after suffering heavy 5-1 and 6-1 defeats to Crystal Palace and Liverpool respectively. Nerves might be exacerbated when a desperate Leicester City pays them a visit then, especially with Leeds winning only one of the last nine H2Hs (D3, L5) and keeping only one clean sheet in that time.
Leicester aren’t one to speak when it comes to keeping clean sheets, as they remain the only club in Europe’s top-five leagues without a top-flight clean sheet since the World Cup! It’s now been 17 PL matches since their last shutout, but that didn’t stop them from breaking a ten-match winless run (D1, L9) when beating Wolves 2-1 at the weekend to finally give them relief from the relegation zone as they climbed into the coveted 17th place.
Securing back-to-back wins will therefore see them leapfrog their hosts, as well as give them their first league double over Leeds this century after winning the reverse fixture 2-0 in October. The Foxes have either been the hunter or the hunted on the road this season though, as they’ve only drawn one away match, a league-low.
📋 Players to watch: Leeds will be hoping Luis Sinisterra will put on a show at Elland Road, having scored eight of his last 11 club goals at home. Meanwhile, Leicester fans will be looking to Harvey Barnes to once again put on a show of his own against Leeds, after scoring in each of his last six appearances against them.
⚡ Hot stat: Twenty of Leeds’ PL matches this season have seen both teams score, a league-high.
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