Championship Play-Off Final: Michael Owen’s View
Cardiff have now conceded 28 goals at home in the Premier League this season after their 5-1 mauling at the hands of Watford in the Principality on Friday. They badly need a positive result when Everton are the visitors on Tuesday.
Marco Silva’s side have not played for 17 days and must do without Kurt Zouma who was red-carded after the final whistle in their latest defeat a 1-0 loss at Vicarage Road. I expect to see Silva’s side, who have lost their last three in all competitions, edge what promises to be a nervous occasion in south Wales.
It is a massive game for both clubs.
Tip: Everton to win and both teams to score at 17/5
Only two sides in the history of the PL have picked up fewer points – Derby (9) 2007/8 and Sunderland (10) 2005/6 – than Huddersfield (11) at this stage of the season and I can’t see past another home loss for the Terriers at the hands of Wolves.
Wolves have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last nine away PL games, but they will never have a better chance of bucking that trend against shot-shy Town who have lost all four games since new boss Jan Siewert took over the reins.
Tip: Wolves to win to nil at 17/10
I see Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is BetVictor’s 11/10 favourite to take over at the King Power Stadium following the departure of Claude Puel on Sunday after the Foxes 4-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Whether the Leicester board can prise the former Liverpool boss away from Parkhead – if he is indeed the club’s first-choice – is debatable, but I think the Foxes can begin life without the Frenchman with a win against FA Cup quarter-finalists Brighton side who are without a league win in 2019.
Tip: Leicester City to win at 37/40
Burnley are unbeaten in their last eight PL games and you have to go back to 1966 for the last time they avoided defeat in nine top-flight games in English football!
United had 29 attempts on goal against 10-man Huddersfield at the weekend but the inform Clarets will give the Magpies a sterner test. This promises to be a cracking game between two in-form sides and I can’t split them.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at 23/10
The Cherries had to settle for a point, having missed a late penalty, against Wolves at the weekend, but the Gunners are so clinical in this type of fixture – at home against non “big-six” opposition.
Tip: Alexandre Lacazette to score at 1/1
This is a massive game with both sides in the relegation places at kick-off. The Saints meet Manchester United, Spurs and Liverpool in three of their next four PL games and this looks a must-win game for the hosts.
Fulham are only the 4th PL side to have conceded 60 goals in the first 27 games of the season and I feel the Saints will keep the points in a tight, tense affair.
Tip: Southampton to win at 20/21
Chelsea lost little in defeat in the League Cup Final on Sunday although the game will always be remembered for Chelsea keeper Kepa, seemingly, refusing to be substituted ahead of the penalty shootout.
Does any goalkeeper have stones as big as Kepa's
Answers on a postcard pleasepic.twitter.com/OuLBSG6uHb
— BetVictor (@BetVictor) February 24, 2019
The Blues have only lost one of their last 32 home games against Spurs in all competitions although that sole defeat came in the corresponding fixture last season.
Spurs’ defeat at Turf Moor on Saturday was a huge blow to their title aspirations, but they have won their last couple of PL games against Chelsea and are looking to do the double over their West London rivals for the first time since the 1970/71 season.
It promises to be a feisty, but hugely entertaining London derby and I feel it will end in stalemate.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at 12/5
Manchester United have never lost to Crystal Palace in the PL (W15 D4) and they travel to Selhurst Park having won their last seven away games in all competitions.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to field a patched-up side after picking up three first-half injuries against Liverpool in their goalless draw on Sunday, but I feel they will have the strength in depth to maintain their excellent recent run on the road.
Palace were outstanding at the King Power Stadium at the weekend, but the Eagles have only scored nine goals at Selhurst Park in the league this season and I expect United to take all three points despite their injury concerns.
Tip: United to win at 7/5
Watford put five past Cardiff on Friday, but they have a poor record on the road against the “big six” losing their last eleven PL games.
Liverpool have failed to create many scoring opportunities in their last couple of games, but I believe both goalless draws against Bayern and United were not the poor results many would have us believe.
The Reds have won ten of their 11 PL games against Watford at Anfield and I feel Jurgen Klopp’s side will improve on that record against the Hornets although Javi Gracia’s side will make sure it isn’t all one-way traffic.
Tip: Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 17/10
City have scored at least twice in their last 15 home PL games (W14 L1) and I feel the League Cup winners will maintain their excellent goalscoring record against the Irons despite drawing a blank at Wembley on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s side are likely to be without midfield general Fernandinho and City will be hoping the Brazilian’s injury sustained at Wembley does not keep him out for long. City had an energy-sapping 120 minutes against Chelsea on Sunday, but I expect them to be back among the goals against a side managed by their former boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Tip: City -2 at 6/5
Midweek treble: Arsenal, Southampton and Manchester City 5/2