Soccer English Premier League Prediction
Fulham vs Manchester City - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Fulham’s late surge for an unlikely top-seven Premier League (PL) finish, and a miraculous European qualification that goes with it, was gathering momentum with consecutive league wins, but a narrow 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in midweek has all but stifled those dreams. A top-half finish will most likely be the goal for Marco Silva’s team, a fine achievement considering their last three PL campaigns have ended in relegation.
Currently sat on the brink in tenth place, the Cottagers might need to play smarter and not harder if they’re to at least stand their ground, with none of their last nine matches in all competitions ending in a draw, while six of them were defeats. Craven Cottage could therefore be dreading the arrival of title-chasing Manchester City, whom they’ve failed to beat in their last ten home H2Hs (D3, L7).
The city would possibly trade most of those wins for the full three points here, as victory would finally see them summit the PL table after winning the potential title decider 4-1 against Arsenal on Thursday. They’ve wrestled back control of the league with that being their seventh PL win on the trot, showcasing their dominance with six of those coming by a margin of two or more goals.
It’s hard to imagine who can stop City from winning the treble with an FA Cup final and UEFA Champions League semi-final on the horizon too. Pep Guardiola will know history is in the making one game at a time, but with 15 of their 20 dropped points this PL campaign coming on the road, they shouldn’t be looking any further than the challenge Fulham pose to their potentially record-breaking surge.
📋 Players to watch: Fulham’s Andreas Pereira scored in the 2-1 loss in the reverse fixture, contributing to him netting his side’s opener with six of his last eight goals. But the name on everyone's lips is none other than City’s Erling Haaland, whose 33rd league strike of the season against Arsenal saw him break the record for the most PL goals in a 38-game campaign.
⚡ Hot stat: City has only lost one of their last 54 PL games when scoring first (W48, D1).
Manchester Utd vs Aston Villa - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Manchester United ‘lost focus’ according to manager Erik Ten Hag, as they let a two-goal lead slip to draw with Tottenham on Thursday. Relinquishing control of matches has become a theme for the Red Devils of late after suffering the same fate against Sevilla two weeks ago, but they remain in a strong position to secure a top-four finish, holding a six-point advantage with two games in hand over Tottenham and Sunday’s opponents, Aston Villa.
Fortress Old Trafford has been almost impossible to breach this season, with United unbeaten in 25 matches (W21, D4) on their own turf dating back to September 2022. They’ve conceded just eight goals there all season, while their 14 clean sheets overall suggest they’re a tough nut to crack despite the absence of Raphaël Varane and Lisandro Martínez. That defence may need to be on its game, as Ten Hag’s men have netted just 48 goals in the Premier League (PL), fewer than just one other side in the top nine.
That team is the visiting Aston Villa who are two goals behind on 46, but they are in an incredibly rich vein of form so are unlikely to be daunted by a trip to the Theatre of Dreams. Unai Emery’s men are unbeaten in ten PL matches (W8, D2) - their longest such run at this level since 2011 - meaning they’re now firmly in the race to finish in the European places this term, a far cry from the miserable start to the campaign they endured under Steven Gerrard.
Villa are comfortable on the road too, avoiding defeat in each of their last five away assignments (W3, D2). The last team to beat them on their travels was Manchester City, and this is not a part of the world they thrive in considering they’ve won just one of their last 11 trips to Old Trafford (D1, L9), while no side in PL history has beaten them more often than United (37). Villa has avoided defeat in each of the last three league meetings though (W2, D1), while another success here would hand them a first-ever PL double over the Red Devils after last November's 3-1 victory.
📋 Players to watch: Marcus Rashford returned to form with a goal in midweek for United, and he’s already netted against Villa this season in a 4-2 victory in the EFL Cup - part of a very strong personal H2H record (W6, D1, L1). Compatriot, Villa’s Ollie Watkins, will be looking to end a two-game scoring drought after netting 11 times in 12 matches prior.
⚡ Hot streak: Villa has scored in each of Emery’s first 20 PL games in charge - the only team to achieve this in PL history.
Newcastle vs Southampton - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Comparisons to Newcastle United’s run-in of 2002/03, when they last secured UEFA Champions League (UCL) qualification, continued in fine fettle on Thursday. A 4-1 win at Goodison Park put them eight points clear in the top four with a game in hand while marking their seventh victory in eight outings. Now the focus of Eddie Howe’s men will be to register a fourth straight home win – one that every sportsbook seems to expect.
The crowd certainly did their bit in the Magpies’ most recent Premier League (PL) home outing, with the Tynesiders 5-0 up against fellow UCL spot contenders Tottenham by half-time, a game which eventually finished 6-1. That only contributes further to their overwhelming status as favourites, though amazingly, October 29th still marks the last time Newcastle won both individual halves of a PL home game!
But there is much to suggest that this will change here against bottom club Southampton, especially after the Saints fell 1-0 at home to Bournemouth on Thursday which made it no win in eight. Above all else, it is hard to ignore the Saints’ poor PL record as an underdog this term (W6, D5, L17), among which is a 4-1 thrashing in November’s reverse H2H.
Alarmingly for the visitors, they’ve also let in 3+ goals every time in a recent trio of clashes against sides in the top seven, seemingly making it a question of ‘how many’. That said, a late collapse against Arsenal (D 3-3) is the only time in the Saints’ previous five road trips that they have conceded multiple times, providing some slender hope of a shock result.
📋 Players to watch: Jacob Murphy has quadrupled his PL goal tally for 2022/23 in Newcastle’s last two matches alone, with a brace inside ten minutes against Spurs, before rounding off the scoring against Everton. As for the Saints’ potential heroes, Theo Walcott has netted decisively in each of his two latest goalscoring clashes against Newcastle.
⚡ Hot stat: Newcastle is the only side yet to concede a PL goal beyond the 75th minute at home.
Liverpool vs Tottenham - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 15:30 GMT +0
While this season has ultimately been one of a disappointment for Liverpool, that isn’t stopping Jürgen Klopp’s side from finishing as strongly as possible after a 2-1 comeback win over West Ham in midweek bookended a three-game winning streak in the Premier League (PL). They now sit in seventh place as a result, although a top-six finish and UEFA Europa League (UEL) qualification will be the minimum they’ll be aiming for.
In spite of that winning run, it hasn’t been one-way traffic for the Reds, as question marks around their defence remain given they’ve only kept one clean sheet in their last eight matches. The Anfield faithful will tolerate their defensive vulnerabilities as long as their team keep securing the points, which is always the expectation considering they’ve lost only once in their last 38 home PL games (W28, D9).
One point above Liverpool sit Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy one of the UEL places despite a very poor three-game winless run (D1, L2). Ryan Mason’s side showed some heart in coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Manchester United on Thursday, but conceding 11 goals themselves in this three-game run, four of which have come in the first ten minutes, raises a red flag.
The majority of that damage was done in their last away match, a record-breaking 6-1 loss to Newcastle, which extended their winless run on the road to seven matches (D2, L5). A trip to Anfield is hardly the place they’d choose to seek comfort either, having won only twice in their last 35 league visits (D10, L23), raising more fears that they will be leapfrogged by Liverpool here, which would most likely end any faint hopes of claiming a Champions League place.
📋 Players to watch: No PL player has scored more goals against Spurs than Mohamed Salah since he joined Liverpool, with two of the seven coming in the 2-1 win in the reverse fixture. Not to be outdone, Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored four times in eight visits to Anfield, and will be confident of adding to his tally having scored in each of his side’s last three away matches.
⚡ Hot stat: Liverpool is the only PL team with a 100% win rate when leading at half-time this season.
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