Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Premier League Picks Of The Week 35

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 35

21 goals - most by Man City = 5
205 shots - most by Arsenal = 20
74 on target - most by Man City = 12
93 corners - most by Leicester = 11
169 fouls - most by Watford = 17
26 yellow cards - most by Crystal Palace = 5
0 red cards
1 penalty - 1 scored (Groß for Brighton)

What a game! It was a desperate show at the King Power on Thursday night, both Leicester and Southampton missing chances, failing to record anything, ending up sharing a point each after a goalless show, keeping them 8th on 44 points and 18th four points from safety respectively. Not much to shout about for either side, the Saints fans the more worried.
Doomed rock-bottom West Brom on the other hand performed a perfect comeback from two goals down on Saturday to grab a point from Liverpool, late drama and bad refereeing, click here for my full match report.
It was too little too late by Stoke as well on Sunday, taking the lead against Burnley thanks to Badou Ndiaye but ending up conceding an equaliser, Ashley Barnes grabbing a point for the visitors at the bet365 stadium, condemning the home side to more misery and closer to certainty of relegation.

What a team! Brighton moved closer to Premier League safety with a hard-fought point against Tottenham last Tuesday, Pascal Groß levelling the score from the spot 143 seconds after Harry Kane had put the visitors ahead shortly after the break at the Falmer Stadium. With the London side much changed ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester United on Saturday, Chris Hughton felt the point was well deserved. The Red Devils meanwhile made seven changes for their match at Bournemouth on Wednesday, ending up comfortable 0-2 winners thanks to Chris Smalling and sub Romelu Lukaku, despite the Cherries’ hard work and penalty appeal(s). Refereeing had once again not been good all round this week, more below.
Manchester City showed the glaring gap and difference between the top and the bottom of the table thrashing 17th placed Swansea 5-0 at the Etihad on Sunday, followed by awesome scenes afterwards of selfies, chants and celebrations of the fans and players all over the pitch. Can only say congratulations again! 

What a man! The biggest news was Arsène Wenger’s announcement on Friday, of leaving Arsenal at the end of the season after 22 years. End of an era. And as a Liverpool fan I can say to the Gunners and their fans, be careful what you wish for. That unbeaten team (of 2004) is the best I’ve ever watched and that is a lot to say and see during the Fergie era!!! Yes, that’s a long time ago and a lot has happened since, but you cannot ignore the Frenchman’s massive influence in the team and game in general, how much it has changed and evolved with him! It will be hard to follow up. Names like Brendan Rodgers are already flying around. I’m just shaking my head... Pf... Taking charge of his 1,228th game on Sunday, facing West Ham, the atmosphere was certainly different, it was all about “Merci Arsène”. There were plenty of injuries and changes ahead of their Europa League semi-final. And the Gunners huffed and puffed and missed plenty, Joe Hart made a couple of splendid saves, it looked like same old frustrations. But it all exploded in the second half, the Hammers fighting back but three goals in seven minutes including Alexandre Lacazette’s brace made it 4-1 and was enough to keep the Emirates loud and singing “There’s only one Arsène Wenger!”.

What a goal! ((What a miss it was by Alvaro Morata for Chelsea, with just keeper Nick Pope to beat and make it 0-2 at Turf Moor in their game in hand on Thursday night, the Spaniard put the golden chance wide. The visitors were lucky enough to be ahead through Kevin Long’s own goal. Burnley equalised eight minutes later thanks to Barnes. But Victor Moses restored the lead for the Blues soon after.))
Rafael Benítez’s 100th game in charge of Newcastle was not much to write about on Monday night, Theo Walcott spoiling the show with a fine walloping finish to hand Everton their fifth consecutive top-flight win against Newcastle for the first time since January 1920 and end their run of three league games without a win. It was the only shot on target for the Toffees. The Magpies have won just one of their last 14 league trips to Goodison Park (D3 L10). And it says a lot that these stats were a more interesting read than the match itself. ZzZzZ

What the hell?! The goalless draw between Watford and Crystal Palace on Saturday ended feisty with bookings galore - how the referee at the Hawthorns didn’t distribute cards I just do not understand! As mentioned above, the refereeing has been so bad and inconsistent all round, something needs to be done! VAR has not been popular with the teams, but some kind of review system has to be introduced to improve the game! And not make the officials look like ignorant, bias, insecure and/or dodgy dummies! I keep ranting on about it nearly every week, the teams have rejected the VAR system, BUT SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE!!!

My Predictions - Actual Results
Brighton 1:2 Tottenham - 1:1*
Bournemouth 2:1 Man United - 0:2*
((Burnley 2:2 Chelsea - 1:2))
Leicester 2:1 Southampton - 0:0*
West Brom 1:3 Liverpool - 2:2 or my match report
Chelsea P:P Huddersfield*
Watford 1:1 Crystal Palace - 0:0
Arsenal 2:2 West Ham - 4:1
Stoke 1:2 Burnley - 1:1
Man City 5:1 Swansea - 5:0
Everton 2:2 Newcastle - 1:0

*rescheduled/postponed due to the FA Cup semi-finals

((Game in hand, see week 31; 3 goals, 5-16 shots, 2-5 on target, 3-2 corners, 9-11 fouls, 1-0 yellow cards; not counted towards this week’s totals))

Click here for last week’s Premier League Picks.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, Twitter and SFR coverage.

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