With passage to the Champions League quarter-finals safely navigated, it’s back to the bread and butter of the Premier League this weekend for Spurs as they travel to St. Mary’s Stadium on Saturday. For Mauricio Pochettino, it’s a big one as he looks to end a three-game winless run for Spurs in the league so they can stay ahead of a relentless Man Utd in fourth – and he won’t even be in the dugout after his little spat with Mike Dean.
Speaking of the Red Devils, though, they warmed up for their midweek clusterf*ck of a victory over PSG in France by very narrowly beating this Southampton team last weekend – Lukaku had to bail Ole Gunnar Solskjaer out at Old Trafford with a late winner and the Saints can feel aggrieved not to have taken anything from the game. While Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men may have received some plaudits for their efforts, the loss did nothing for their league position.
They still sit just two points above safety with the season approaching its climax. A run of just one win from their last six games means Southampton need a result to propel them away from the drop zone. We reckon they’ll catch Spurs on a particularly Spursy day while Poch looks on from the stands and can walk away with the three points here.
Following the Terriers’ surprise outbarking of Wolves, they succumbed to the squawking of the Seagulls last week in a 1-0 loss away to Brighton. A victory would have seen them leapfrog Fulham in 19th on goal-difference, but as it stands the Premier League table remains a tree up which Huddersfield cannot wrongly bark.
We’ll stop with the animal references now.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, will be looking to pop their Cherries for the first time in five games — funnily enough, they nearly got there against Wolves towards the end of February but had to settle for a draw due to the wily penalty taking charms of Raúl Jiménez. This is the only point Bournemouth have managed during their poor run and Eddie will be wondering Howe he can arrest the slide.
To be fair to Bournemouth, they’ve endured a tough run of fixtures recently as they had to face off against the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City and…ahem…Cardiff. Given that Huddersfield have won just once in their last 16 league games, we think Bournemouth will take all three points here to further seal Huddersfield’s fate.
Everybody’s favourite Welsh side are back in action this weekend and they’ll be looking to end a run of three successive defeats when they welcome West Ham to the Cardiff City Stadium. Just two points separate Neil Warnock’s side from Premier League safety, so he’ll be expecting his charges to put in an explosive display from the trenches of the relegation battle.
West Ham won’t be pushed over too easily, though, as they travel having lost just once in their last five games – and that was a 1-0 reverse to Premier League champions Man City. That said, the Hammers are without a win away from home in the league since before Christmas, so if Manuel Pellegrini’s side want to hold onto a spot in the top ten, they’re going to need a result from this one.
The last time these two sides met, West Ham found their groove and ran out 3-1 winners – with the Bluebirds at home, we’re expecting them to push the boat out offensively and go for all three points here, leaving them open to counter-attacks from West Ham. With that in mind, we like the look of both teams to score for this one.
It’s a clash of clubs who have at some point or another sacked Claudio Ranieri – Leicester will be looking to justify their choice to sack a man who led them to a Premier League title in 2017, but, let’s be honest, that remains a bonkers decision. Fulham probably had more justification seeing as they’d won just three of 17 matches with the Italian at the helm.
Still, his replacement, Scott Parker, has a hell of a job on his hands trying to halt a terrible run of form which has seen Fulham lose eight of their last nine games in the league. Parker’s first game in the hot seat was last week’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea, so it’s fair to say that he would have been targeting this Leicester match as a fixture where he could realistically expect to earn his first point.
The Cottagers aren’t the only ones rocking with a new man in charge as Brendan Rodgers is still finding his way around Leicester following his appointment last week. Andre Gray showed great character to net a late winner in Rodgers’ first game in charge last week – it’s just unfortunate that he plays for Watford and the goal condemned Leicester to a 2-1 defeat. Still, great character all the same.
The Foxes had managed to pick up a win by clipping the wings of the Seagulls the week before (this is definitely the last animal reference), so Rodgers will be hoping his men can blow the cottage down on another relegation-threatened side this Saturday. For Rodgers’ first home game in charge, Leicester should bring maximum effort in the King Power Stadium and take all three points.
*All odds correct at time of posting