Soccer English Premier League Prediction
Bournemouth vs Brighton - Match Preview
⚽ 4 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Bournemouth midfielder Marcus Tavernier insisted the club have proven they are “here to stay” in the Premier League (PL) after beating Fulham 2-1 on Saturday. The 24-year-old grabbed one of their two goals as Gary O’Neil’s side posted a comeback victory for the first time since October, moving out of the relegation zone in the process.
It has been a long season for the Cherries, who have never been far away from the bottom of the table, but two wins from their last three games (L1) have a renewed belief that they can avoid the drop. With six games to come against sides also currently in the relegation battle, their home form will be crucial in steering clear of trouble, given 19 of their 27 points have been collected at the Vitality Stadium (W5, D4, L5).
Supporters may be optimistic about extending that decent record against visitors Brighton, who haven’t won an away league game against Bournemouth in any of their last six attempts (D1, L5). But the Seagulls ought to be full of confidence for this trip west thanks to a superb run of one defeat in ten PL matches this calendar year (W5, D4), whilst they also remain unbeaten in six top-flight fixtures on the road (W3, D3).
Such form has moved Roberto De Zerbi’s side up to sixth place in the table and leaves them well-placed to secure a place in European football for the first time in their history. Captain Lewis Dunk says qualifying for a continental competition is something they have “got to grasp,” and with games in hand on all of the teams around them, few may back against Brighton reaching the Europa Conference League as a minimum.
📋 Key battle: Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke netted his first PL goal against Brighton in 2018, and has won four of his five H2Hs with the Seagulls (L1). Looking to outscore him could be opposition striker Danny Welbeck, who has seen his team beaten in just three of his last 27 goalscoring appearances (W16, D8).
⚡ Hot stat: Ten of Brighton’s dozen away league games, including seven in a row, have seen both teams score on the day - a PL high.
Leeds vs Nottingham - Match Preview
⚽ 4 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Javi Gracia has posted a balanced league record (W2, D1, L2) since taking over the Leeds hot seat and whilst that lifted them out of the relegation zone, they enter this round just above the dotted line on goal difference alone. The Spaniard didn’t have many complaints after their 4-1 defeat away to Premier League (PL) leaders Arsenal, reassuring that he has “very good players and I believe in all of them”.
Playing in the middle of the week may belie that confidence as Leeds are winless across their last ten PL games played between Tuesday and Thursday (D4, L6). Having already fallen to a home loss against promoted Fulham this season (3-2), the hosts are now at risk of falling to 2+ goal home PL defeats against newly promoted sides in a single season for only the third time and the first since 2000/01.
Sitting just one point above Leeds in the logjam of relegation-threatened sides, Nottingham Forest were left to regret a frustrating 1-1 draw against Wolves last round following a performance that boss Steve Cooper described as “superior in every way”. That made it seven games without a win for the Tricky Trees (D3, L4), though the sight of Leeds may be a welcome one as they remain the last side that Forest conquered.
Forest’s survival could rest on improving their dire away record as they stand as the outright worst travelling side in terms of goals scored (four) and conceded (32). Consequently, Cooper’s men have picked up a meagre six points on the road this term and have lost their last three away league games by multiple-goal margins, conceding nine times in the process.
📋 Players to watch: Jack Harrison has had a hand in each of Leeds’ last four home league goals (G1, A3), a return which includes assists in each of his last two appearances here. Nottingham Forest annoyed Wales boss Rob Page with the way they handled Brennan Johnson’s groin issues last month, but they won’t care after he returned with a goal at the weekend. He has registered three of their last five goals and also hit the only goal in the reverse fixture.
⚡ Hot stat: Leeds have failed to win six of their nine PL games started as pre-match favourites this season (W3, D3, L3).
Leicester vs Aston Villa - Match Preview
⚽ 4 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
The Leicester City board declared they were "compelled to take alternative action" in a Sunday statement that confirmed manager Brendan Rodgers had been relieved of his duties. Rodgers exited stage left with what was Leicester’s sixth defeat from seven competitive matches (D1), a 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace on Saturday that consequently lowered them into the Premier League’s (PL) relegation zone.
Saturday’s defeat came despite netting the opening goal eight minutes into the second half, and as a result, no other PL side has dropped more points (22) from winning positions this season. As an assistant manager and now interim boss Chris Davies will know, a leaky defence has played a big part in that inability to see games out. It will now be his job to try and fix the Foxes' record of conceding in 13 straight PL games; which notably is the longest such active record in the division.
Aston Villa put the nail in the coffin of another PL departure over the weekend as their 2-0 win at Chelsea persuaded the London club’s bosses to sack manager Graham Potter. That was Villa’s fifth PL game unbeaten (W4, D1) while they impressively kept a clean sheet in all four of those wins. It’s therefore easy to see why many are tipping them to make a large charge towards the European spots, even though Villa manager Unai Emery has set a top-half finish as the new aim.
The Midlands club will head into this clash just two points outside of the top six, but having played two games more than sixth-placed Brighton, it’s fair to assert they can’t afford to take their foot off the pedal. This could be a tougher clash than some may anticipate as Villa lost the last H2H in February (4-2) and have won only two of their last 13 PL away H2Hs (D5, L6).
📋 Players to watch: Leicester forward Kelechi Iheanacho has been directly involved in more competitive goals against Aston Villa (G7, A4) than he has against any other side. Villa’s Ollie Watkins opened the scoring when these sides met two months ago and he more recently netted his seventh goal from nine PL outings at Stamford Bridge.
⚡ Hot stat: Emery has lost his last three PL games against Leicester - against no other English side has he lost more consecutive matches.
Chelsea vs Liverpool - Match Preview
⚽ 4 April 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
What would usually be billed as a high-stakes Premier League (PL) clash will have a very different feel this time around when Chelsea host Liverpool, with both teams struggling to salvage something from a disappointing league season thus far. Chelsea not only bid farewell to manager Graham Potter after their dismal 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa but also seemingly kissed goodbye to their hopes of qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League (UCL) via a top-four PL finish.
Chelsea can still at least pursue a European place of some kind alongside silverware in the current UCL, despite their bottom-half position in the PL standings after top-half rivals Brentford, Brighton, Liverpool and Fulham also failed to win the last round. Usually, a return to Stamford Bridge would provide a platform for immediate improvement, but confidence among the home crowd might be low as their side has failed to score in four of their seven home PL games this year (W2, D2, L3).
The Blues also have their poor recent record in midweek PL fixtures to contend with, having won just three of their last 13 such games (D6, L4). Meanwhile, opponents Liverpool have won each of their last nine midweek PL games, a trend they could do with extending further having suffered five losses from their 11 PL fixtures in 2023 (W4, D2), which is already more than their total of four PL defeats across the entire 2022 calendar year (across two seasons).
Notably, each of those five 2023 PL losses was all away from home, and looking across the entirety of their PL campaign their eight away defeats (W3, D3) equals their tally from the prior three seasons combined. Any points would therefore be welcome from their visit to Chelsea, and considering the last five H2Hs have all been drawn (after regulation time), a share of the spoils might not be viewed as a surprising outcome.
📋 Players to watch: Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has scored four of his last five club goals at home, while Liverpool has never lost a game when Diogo Jota has gotten on the scoresheet.
⚡ Hot stat: Just three of Liverpool’s last 14 matches saw both teams score on the day.
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