Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that he had the opportunity to take charge of Spain ahead of this summer’s World Cup. The former world champions caused early drama in the tournament when they sacked boss Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the opening game of the campaign after the 51-year-old took charge of Real Madrid without notifying the Spanish FA. Sporting director Fernando Hierro ultimately took charge of the team for the tournament, but Benitez claims there was a “chance” that he could have been the man in the dugout in Russia. Benitez admitted that he remains open to the prospect of managing his native national team in the future, but says for the time being he is happy in the north east.
With this being the last weekend of Premier League action, every sides that will be keen to end their season with a win. Here are our predictions for the upcoming games!
Burnley vs AFC Bournemouth – home win
Burnley have been truly phenomenal this season, securing Europa League action against the odds, and will be hoping this game rounds off a fantastic campaign.
With Nick Pope (12 clean sheets) cutting an inspired figure at times this season, this could well be his last chance to make a late bid to become the England keeper come the summer’s World Cup in Russia. Continue reading
Check out our Premier League predictions ahead of the latest round of fixtures, here!
Brighton vs Manchester United – away win
Brighton may not be mathematically safe but they are more or less there and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they take their foot off the gas.
With United bringing the likes of Lukaku (72 points) and Lingard (68 points) leading the front line, it’ll most likely be them who will finish Friday night with three points in the bag.
Stoke City vs Crystal Palace – away win
Stoke are fighting for their lives and Paul Lambert will be desperately hoping that Continue reading
Newly-crowned Premier League champions Man City may have now completed their trophy hunting for the season, but boss Pep Guardiola isn’t ready to rest on his laurels and let his players “go to the beach” just yet.
With only a handful of fixtures ahead this weekend, due to the disruption of the FA Cup, we take a look at the games that could shape the bottom of the table come the final day of the season.
West Bromwich Albion vs Liverpool – draw
Prior to their unlikely victory over Man United last week, you’d have bet on this going only one way.
However, with the potential that players like Salah (166 points) or Firmino (103 points) may be rested with a view to targeting a place in the final of the Champions League, don’t be surprised if Moore’s men come again with some unlikely points yet again.
Watford vs Crystal Palace – away win
Wilfried Zaha has secured 40 points so far in 2017/18 and will have been a huge factor in the Eagles renaissance following an abysmal beginning to the campaign that saw them rooted to the bottom of the table prior to Roy Hodgson’s arrival at Selhurst Park.
With Palace up against a Watford side that appear to have very little to play for after the promise of their early form fizzled out, don’t be surprised if the visitors secure a win that puts them safe from the threat of relegation.
Arsenal vs West Ham United – home win
Despite the meek performances they’ve put in on the road, Arsenal have remained a beast at the Emirates.
With Aubameyang’s six goals and 26 points in eight Premier League games proving that he has adapted quickly to life in England, expect him to prove to much for the Hammers’ backline.
Stoke City vs Burnley – draw
Their performance against West Ham showed a team that is willing to give everything in pursuit of Premier League survival.
Whilst Dyche’s men are pushing for an unlikely sixth placed finish as Arsenal flounder away from home, he can expect a Stoke City that is fighting for its life to greet him.
Veteran striker Peter Crouch bagged his fourth goal of the season as he hit 18 points and Paul Lambert will likely be hoping that he can lead the line in this critical fixture.
Manchester City vs Swansea City – home win
Whilst their season may be over, having been crowned Premier League champions last week, there is no indication that the Citizens will be taking their foot off the gas this weekend as they pursue the potential of a record number of points in a season.
The midfield duo of Kevin de Bruyne (86 points) and David Silva (75 points) have been inspired for Pep Guardiola this campaign and will be looking to put their prints on this tie, as they have so often across the course of 2017/18.
Everton vs Newcastle United – draw
Whilst Benitez’s team secured a victory over Arsenal at St James’ Park last weekend, the Toon are yet to show the sort of consistent form that would make them favourites today.
Expect a player of Sigurdsson’s quality, a player who has secured four goals and three assists this season, to be a difference maker today – a factor that possibly puts his side as favourites in this clash.
Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at www.fantasy-premier.com!
A look ahead at the Premier League fixture list for the weekend’s action!
Everton vs. Liverpool – away win
One of the most hotly anticipated games of the season, these two teams come into the Merseyside derby with different goals in mind – Liverpool looking to nail down Champions League qualification and Everton fighting for a mid-table spot.
Whilst they might be leggy from their Champions League clash with Man City, expect a Liverpool side led by the 29 goals and 160 points of Mo Salah to prove too much for Allardyce’s Toffees – assuming he’s fit!.
AFC Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace – home win Continue reading
The FA Cup has pushed back the Premier League this weekend as Manchester United and Arsenal welcome their new star signings.
To cover some of the most intriguing clashes across Europe, Nicholas Carroll provides this week’s Euro Fantasy League preview.
Arsenal have enjoyed a positive week of results and now have Henrikh Mkhitaryan at their disposal for their trip away to Swansea. Likewise, Manchester United are set to unleash Alexis Sanchez as they look to ignite their attack for a tough clash on the road with Tottenham. Continue reading
With Man City seemingly running away with this year’s Premier League title, the major race in England’s top flight seems to be for a top four finish. Continue reading