Premier League Weekend Picks for Matchday 23

Based on form and the fixtures for the new weekend in the Premier League we take a look at the players you should be adding for this weekend and the upcoming fixtures.

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno- Arsenal

A goalkeeping job is all about clean sheets and Bernd Leno is hardly on top of his game with only 4 clean sheets this season. But the last time Arsenal were at home he kept a clean sheet against Manchester United. The Gunners prefer to play at home and under Mikel Arteta will be focused. They are playing Sheffield United and would be tipped to win and keep the score and defence tight. Leno can be brought in for 8.5m.

Defender; Jetro Willems- Newcastle

Jetro Williems has started the most games in defence for Newcastle and has the most points with 16. Newcastle will play Chelsea at home where the Blues usually have a hard time. It’s their longest trip of the season for example. In all Newcastle have only lost 3 games at home this season, and perhaps they can keep a clean sheet this weekend.

Defender: Lucas Digne- Everton

Lucas Digne has had a solid season for Everton and a really good week. He has been involved in 6 clean sheets this season, two under Carlo Ancelotti already. The club face a test as they are playing West Ham away, but this could be a low scoring game, and Everton could get their tactics right over the Hammers. Digne is only 5.5m to bring into your team and has 20 pts so far.

Defender: Yerry Mina- Everton

It’s as clear as daylight that Yerry Mina has improved as a player since Carlo Ancelotti became manager. His confidence has grown and with it his displays. He could well partner Digne well in their match against West Ham and help the club to a clean sheet.  He is valued at 6m.

Defender: Lewis Dunk- Brighton

Brighton will be at home to Aston Villa two teams in need of a win, and a possible game that could even end 0-0. Lewis Dunk has been Brighton’s best defender so far with 21 pts and has been involved in 5 clean sheet games. Villa have real problems in defence, and not much confidence up front and this being an away game means Dunk and Brighton could well win or draw and keep that important clean sheet. He is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Theo Walcott- Everton

Theo Walcott’s Everton will play West Ham and Walcott still feels like that London boy when he terrorised West Ham’s defence when playing for Arsenal. He will fancy his chances to provide goals and get forward and could be worth being in your team for this weekend. He hasn’t scored this season yet though but is 7m to bring in.

Midfielder: Bernardo Silva- Manchester City

Bernardo Silva has played a very pivotal role in City’s midfield especially recently and the club are playing excellent football. We have also picked him out as he still looks like a bargain price at 8.5m. City are at home to Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Midfielder: Abdoulaye Doucoure- Watford

Abdoulaye Doucoure has been brilliant in recent weeks for Watford as they have climbed out of the relegation zone. He has become one of the most important players for the club and is scoring goals too. He now has 3 and has assisted in one goal. The Hornets are full of confidence and will take on Tottenham who haven’t always performed so well and Watford will take the comfort they are at home. Doucoure can be brought in for 8m.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton

James Ward-Prowse is always a handful and currently he has the most points with 21 so far in the Saints midfield. His price looks good value at 7m  and he has been involved in 6 goals so far this season and Southampton are in great form , the club are at home to Wolves.

Striker: Gabriel Jesus- Manchester City

All of the talk at Manchester City is about Sergio Aguero and his goals and that is fair enough. But for value Gabriel Jesus is a good player to bring into your team. He scores goals like last weekend, has 9 so far and assisted in a further 3. And he is 8m.

Striker: Richarlison- Everton

Richarlison is valued at 7.5m and his performances have really picked up in recent times. Everton will be away to a leaky West Ham defence so he could get on the score sheet once again. He has 8 goals so far this season and is no stranger to assisting in goals having done so 3 times this season.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 22

After a break for the FA Cup, the Premier League resumes this weekend and below we will take a look at all 10 fixtures and predict what the outcome will be. Liverpool are still leading by 13 points and they unbeatable but 3rd and 4th spots are certainly up for grabs and can the current champions Manchester City usurp Leicester from 2nd?

Sheffield United v West Ham United

The two United’s come together and Sheffield United have been so impressive this season in 8th place, although they have gone their last 3 games with no wins. West Ham look a different team under David Moyes winning their last two games and haven’t conceded yet, can they defy the odds and win away from home? We think they can keep the good times rolling. West Ham United to beat Sheffield United

Crystal Palace v Arsenal

Palace have been renowned for their defence work and stubbornness and that is why they are still in the top half of the table. Arsenal just beat Manchester United under new manager Mikel Arteta but the real test for him and Arsenal will come away from home. A lot rests on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who missed their cup match after illness, will he make this team? If so we can see the Gunners getting all three points. Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace

Chelsea v Burnley

Do Chelsea really want 4th place? They have recorded some poor results lately especially at home and have in fact been a better side away where they have beaten both Tottenham and Arsenal recently. Burnley have been very poor lately and have lost their last 3 games in a row and could face a relegation battle. Chelsea to beat Burnley

Everton v Brighton

Everything seemed the right way for Everton when they appointed Carlo Ancelotti and they won their first two games under him. Now they have lost their last two, albeit they have had to play Manchester City and Liverpool. This game at home is the perfect opportunity for the likes of Richarlison to get his scoring boots on. Brighton have lost 60% of their games away. Everton to beat Brighton

Leicester v Southampton

Leicester continue to have an amazing season and are in 2nd place with 45 points. On paper they should have no trouble in winning this game. Southampton have massively improved though and have left the bottom three and are unbeaten in their last 4 games. Watch out for the Saints’ Danny Ings who has been utterly brilliant lately. We are backing a shock away win here. Southampton to beat Leicester

Manchester United v Norwich

Manchester United did find good form a few weeks ago but they look like they are struggling a bit now and have yet again lost Paul Pogba to injury. Still they are 5th and just five points from the top 4. There should be no excuses not to win this game. Norwich have lost 70% of their games away from home and have the worst away record in the league. Manchester United to beat Norwich

Wolves v Newcastle

This should be a very entertaining game and Raul Jimenez has looked brilliant lately for the home side. We can see this game being end to end stuff with plenty of chances and hopefully a few goals. We think this match could be shared. Wolves v Newcastle: A draw

Tottenham v Liverpool

Life hasn’t been great for Tottenham under Jose Mourinho and they have been unlucky too with some injuries namely to Harry Kane who is ruled out for weeks. Liverpool are still unbeaten and some may think Mourinho has the perfect tactic to finally beat them, we can’t see it and Liverpool has the quality to win with ease. Liverpool to beat Tottenham

Bournemouth v Watford

This is 18th v 19th but Eddie Howe’s side have looked very poor and they could be heading for the drop. Watford have made massive improvements under Nigel Pearson who has the team playing well again. Troy Deeny is on fire and is leading his team as he should do and we think the Hornets can get the win. Watford to beat Bournemouth

Aston Villa v Manchester City

Aston Villa are in 17th place and blowing hot and cold but mostly cold with 3 defeats in their last five games. Manchester City have the chance to go 2nd and they have been brilliant lately beating Manchester United 3-1 and Kevin de Bruyne is really on his game. Manchester City to beat Aston Villa

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Everton could struggle next season in the Premier League with a lack of signings

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Everton are a team who could have in theory been relegated a few times in the last 20 years and yet they remain one of the longest serving clubs in top flight history in England. They have been consistently in the top league for almost 70 years and that says a lot.

Under coach Marco Silva no one is expecting the club to be relegated next season, they have a quality team but the problem is that the club have not been very active in the transfer market, and there is just 30 days to go until the window slams shut.

Everton have only brought in 3 new players and one of them was from the academy in promising defender Sebastian Kristensen who has also been playing for Danish side Lyngby.

The other player is Jonas Lossl a goal keeper who was with Huddersfield who were of course relegated last season and he will be clearly seen as a back up to Jordan Pickford. The one transfer everyone has been focused on is Andre Gomes, who was on loan at the club last season. Now Everton have made that move permanent after sealing a deal with Barcelona in the region of £22m. That’s all very well but a player who was already at the club is hardly an exciting buy.

Everton really need to bolster their squad with 2 or 3 more quality signings and given the TV money involved with football now fans should expect this. The problem for Everton of course is that they are looking to move away from Goodison Park and are probably making that a number 1 concern when it comes to their finances. Just look at how it has affected both Arsenal and Tottenham when trying to buy players, Tottenham went 2 windows with no buys. It’s unsure if a club like Everton could afford to do that.

Next season will be okay for Everton but it is a question of what do the team want? Do they want to improve on last season, reach the Europa League? Right now with their transfer policy all the team needs is a key injury to the likes of Sigurdssson or Richarlison and they could get into trouble if they have not brought in any quality. At best Everton could be finishing mid table and that would signal a step backwards.

The long suffering fans should expect more investment whether they will get it is quite another thing.

Everton are improving under Marco Silva but need to dream bigger

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Marco Silva has been under pressure as Everton manager this season but all in all the league standing of the club and especially their last 2 months has proven that the team are improving under Silva’s guidance.

Football doesn’t do time like it did years ago and it looked like Silva’s job was under real threat during Christmas. The rot set in around October, after losing to West Ham in the league who were struggling to get any points at the time and then getting knocked out of the Carabao Cup to Southampton who were also in poor form. The problem for Everton is that their poor form extended until the end of February and after being knocked out of the FA Cup against Millwall Silva’s fate seem sealed.

Would he have gone had Liverpool beaten Everton at Goodison Park? Possibly so- but that is the game where everything changed for the club. Putting in a solid defensive display and not afraid to come forward Everton earned a point in a match that ended 0-0. Soon after the run continued and so did form, when can one remember Everton beating the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in short succession? The latter game ending 4-0 for Silva’s team.

If we look at the last 10 games, Everton are 3rd only behind Manchester City and Liverpool and have gained 20 points in that time, losing just 2 games and winning 60% of their games. They have scored 16 goals, which perhaps could be better but they have only conceded 5 goals. It has been a complete turnaround for the club since that Merseryside derby draw back at the beginning of March.

Players have shone too- Richarlison bought from Watford for £40m upwards has returned 13 goals in the league and 14 overall. Gylfi Sigurdsson has the same number of goals and the £50m man has really excelled under Silva. What has been really important for the club is also the way they are playing- with an attacking flair. Sure we have seen shades of negative tactics borne from the managerial periods of both David Moyes and more recently Sam Allardyce but the majority of Everton’s play and their all round attitude has been very positive and it does bode well for the future.

It will be fascinating to see how Silva approaches the summer transfer period and what new faces will come through the doors of the club. For now the club are taking small steps in the right direction. Look at last season when they finished with 49 points, they already have 53 and if they beat Tottenham on the final day of the season they will finish a massive 7 points in front of last.

Perhaps if this season had been Silva’s 3rd in charge we wouldn’t be talking about progress, but given this is his debut season with the club it will be interesting to see where he can take the Toffee’s, who from next year will have gone 25 years without a trophy, that is simply over due on anyone’s account.

What can Everton hope for?

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Everton made it four wins in their last five Premier League games by hammering a hapless Manchester United side 4-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott gave United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer many big problems to mull over. However, that’s not anything for Marco Silva and the blue half of Merseyside to concern themselves with.

What Everton, as a club, do need to consider, is exactly what they can hope to achieve over the next few years.

That 4-0 win puts Everton in 7th position in the Premier League, ahead of Watford on goal difference. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, The Toffees are as far away from the league’s big six as they’ve ever been. Continue reading

EPL Game of the Weekend – Everton vs Man Utd

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The late Jerry Reed once released a song entitled “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” – and no truer words could possibly be spoken about Marco Silva’s Everton of late. Just a few weeks ago, Silva’s position at the club seemed questionable, and the Toffees faced a nightmare run of home fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd – not the type of fixture list a manager under pressure would be hoping to see! Having now emerged from that run of games with three wins and one draw – and without conceding a single goal in the process – Everton fans will be delighted with the football their team has been playing against some of England’s top teams. Everton have been the club of the week several times in the last month or so, and beat Man Utd 4-0 this weekend.

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EPL: Premier League Predictions for Week 35

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The English Premier League only has a few weeks left and there is clearly a reason why football fans regard the league as the most exciting and competitive. That is because the league title is the closest of all the European major leagues and will most likely go down to the wire between Liverpool and Manchester City.

There are 2 Champions League places to take care of as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham do battle to secure a top 4 place. And Cardiff have given themselves a chance by beating Brighton in midweek- all is to play for as we enter another weekend of Premier League football which should be enthralling and fascinating.

Manchester City v Tottenham

Just where do we start after the teams played out an incredible Champions League 2nd leg quarter final where City won 4-3 on the night but went out on the away goals rule. City need to win this game or that could be the title over too. They will be utterly determined to win this game at home now. Watch out for Raheem Sterling who was denied a hat trick because of VAR, a system not used in the Premier League yet. Manchester City to beat Tottenham

Bournemouth v Fulham

Fulham got a terrific victory over Everton last weekend even though they are down, but their away form is very poor. Eddie Howe’s side are safe and beat Brighton 5-0 in their last match. Callum Wilson could be the difference between the sides, but this should be a close game. Draw

Huddersfield v Watford

More than likely Watford’s mindset will be preparing for the FA Cup final even if it is still a month away. They will be without influential player Troy Deeney who was sent off in the defeat against Arsenal. Huddersfield are relegated and have little to play for, except for home pride and we could see a surprise result here. Huddersfield to beat Watford

West Ham v Leicester

West Ham have been in poor form but the players put in a great shift against Manchester United at Old Trafford and if they can take something from that game even though they lost they could do well here. Felipe Anderson played very well. Leicester have been strong under Brendan Rodgers but lost their last game at home to Newcastle where they didn’t turn up. West Ham to beat Leicester

Wolves v Brighton

Wolves have been excellent this season but they have just 1 win in their past four games. However at home against a poor form side like Brighton this should be 3 points and they could be back in the hunt for a 7th place finish. Brighton continue to be poor in 2019 and could now face a relegation dog fight. Wolves to beat Brighton

Newcastle v Southampton

The Magpies pulled off a great result last weekend going to Leicester and getting a 1-0 win and playing well. Southampton have just 1 win in their past four games and this is their furthest trip in league fixtures. We will opt for the home win here in a game where we could see plenty of goals. Newcastle to beat Southampton

Everton v Manchester United

Since the beginning of March Everton have found form and Marco Silva’s job has been saved. But they put in a toothless display against Fulham last weekend and lost. Back at home where they beat Arsenal and Chelsea recently they can give United a game. United have been in average form and were knocked out in the Champions League against Barcelona, but remain a danger as they hunt for a top 4 finish. Could Everton’s Richarlison be the difference? Draw

Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Arsenal should have few problems against Palace and get all three points. The Gunners have been one of the best teams in the league at home and have lost here just once back on the opening day of the season. Palace are safe and have little to play for. Pierre Emerick- Aubameyang is in great form and will relish this game. Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace

Cardiff v Liverpool

Cardiff got a massive victory over Brighton in midweek to give themselves a chance for survival. But they must keep winning. The problem is they are facing Liverpool and this will be a difficult match. Liverpool just keep on collecting the points, and whilst this will be  a difficult game for the Reds they should have enough quality up front to hurt the home team. Liverpool to beat Cardiff

Chelsea v Burnley

Chelsea still have a great chance to finish in the top four, the problem is that their direct rivals have 5 games to play while they have 4. That means that every game counts but winning at least at home is essential. Eden Hazard is looking the business as he possibly wraps up his career with the Blues. Burnley are in excellent form with 3 wins from their last 3 games but have lost 9 times on the road this season. Chelsea to beat Burnley

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Predicted lineups for this weekend’s EPL action

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The English Premier League returns after the final international break of the season this weekend.

Starting around noon (local time) on Saturday, all 20 teams will be in action with some great games on offer.

The biggest game is Liverpool’s meeting with Spurs at Anfield on Sunday in what could be a huge fixture in deciding where this season’s Premier League title goes. It is a must-win for the hosts. A slip by Liverpool may offer Manchester City a big advantage- psychologically – provided City can win their match. Check out the promotional offer for new registrants as well as for existing ones at William Hill.

While injuries and a manager’s last-minute changes may affect the starting lineups, here’s a look at the expected XI for each team for this weekend’s EPL action. On a side note, check out the current promotional offers by DraftKings.

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EPL Game of the Weekend – Newcastle vs Everton

perezNewcastle fans have had something of a rough time of things this season – they have seen their side struggle to finish off the opposition, struggle to pick up the wins and all the while without the safety of knowing that their popular manager will be at the club for a great deal longer. With rumours surrounding the future of Rafa Benitez refusing to go away, the players have, at times, seemed unable to muster what was needed to get the job done. The quality in the squad can not be disregarded, but this has not always lent itself to fluent performances. As a result, when the Toon Army saw their heroes fall two goals down at home to Everton on Saturday, they could have been forgiven for expecting the worst.

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Marco Silva is not the right manager for Everton

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Another week and another loss for Everton, this time it happened yet again at their home of Goodison Park where the club lost 3-1 against Wolves. There have been calls for manager Marco Silva’s sacking but is that justified?

First we need to look to look at the positives in Silva’s appointment. Some of his buys have reacted well, such as Andre Gomes and Bernard although the pair have not been consistent enough they have been willing to adapt to Silva’s tactics and have tried to play an attacking game. Richarlison was a cheeky buy from his former club Watford and in some ways it still seems bizarre that Watford were happy to sell to Everton when they had accused the club of coming forward for Silva. Richarlison has repaid his manager with 10 goals in the league and 11 in total, for a club like Everton that is a great debut season and return.

Everton have also played with a purpose and seemed much more of an attacking threat, especially at the beginning of the season. It is the reason that when the club did lose games, like away to Arsenal the fans stayed positive, because they knew that day the better side had lost. Some fans were happy to admit that they had not seen this type of play from Everton in a generation.

But then November came and since then Everton have been poor. Dumped out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup too early and losing so many games that the club have won just 10 points from their last 30. Their form is on par with a relegation team. Even club owner Farhad Moshiri hinted at  a club AGM that this wasn’t good enough. It feels as if Silva’s tactics have been found out and found out too early. His insistence for example on zonal marking does not work, and Everton have put in plenty of toothless displays.

In all honesty Silva does not come across as a bad coach, but one has to question whether he is the right fit for Everton? The Toffees thought so last summer as they did everything to get a man that has relegated Hull and not done much with Watford, so what were they expecting?

Everton will be fine this season but if Silva survives will the club look for a replacement? If it wasn’t for their early form they could be in a bottom three battle right now, that’s the problem. It may do both parties the world of good if they were to go their separate ways.