Bournemouth v Burnley: Draw – 5/2
Last week’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester means Bournemouth have just one win from their last eight league games and they have won just three times since the turn of the year. Despite this, Eddie Howe’s men sit 12th in the table and 10 points clear of the drop zone, so alarm bells aren’t necessarily ringing at Dean Court. At least they weren’t until Ryan Fraser opened his gob this week.
The Scotland winger has been a virtual ever-present for the Cherries this season, with six goals and 10 assists to his name in the Premier League. Such illuminating form has seemingly attracted the attention of Arsenal and when asked this week about the speculation, Fraser simply said: “I’m not going to lie, you do feel good, especially when it’s a massive club.”
He may as well have stuck a sign outside his house with the following words in giant writing: “Your place or mine, Unai?”
Bournemouth’s only hope of keeping Fraser now is if he absolutely sh**s the bed in their final six games of the campaign, and Burnley will definitely be hoping he has an off-day this weekend as their position is a little more precarious than that of their hosts.
The Clarets’ victory over Wolves last week marked the end of a four-game losing streak and was enough to keep a five-point gap between themselves and Cardiff City in the relegation zone. Sean Dyche will be crossing all his crossable digits in the hope that this is the start of a similar run to the one his team enjoyed at the start of the year, when they went eight games unbeaten.
While Burnley enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 win over their hosts earlier in the season, we expect a tighter game this time around and reckon a draw at 5/2 is on the cards here.
Huddersfield v Leicester: Jamie Vardy Anytime Goalscorer – 10/11
Well, Huddersfield have finally been put out of their misery. With relegation from the Premier League confirmed following their 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace last week, all that’s left for Jan Siewert’s side is to play out their remaining games. Who knows, maybe now that their fate is sealed the Terriers will relax and start playing some piano and shoeshine football? Yeah, you’re right, probably not.
Certainly not against their next opponents anyways. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers has galvanised a Leicester City squad which had previously been in free fall. We’re sure this has everything to do with Rodgers’ motivational mastery and nothing to do with the lads realising: “Boll*cks, it’s almost summer and I’ve been sh*te – better get a wriggle on or I’ll be sold to Huddersfield.”
Ironically enough, the one player who doesn’t need to worry about being dumped by the Foxes in the summer is the one putting in some serious shifts since the new manager’s arrival.
Jamie Vardy has four goals from four games since Rodgers took over and this has helped Leicester secure consecutive victories in their last three outings, which has pushed them into the top half of the table. Given his fine form, we reckon the former England striker gets another goal in this at 10/11.
Newcastle v Crystal Palace: Over 1.5 goals – 4/11
Newcastle always seem to exist in a perpetual state of near-implosion and in recent times this has involved Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley being at loggerheads. Oddly enough, recent developments in this ‘love affair’ have come from an unlikely source: L’Equipe magazine in France, who reported three weeks ago that Ashley had engaged ‘super-agent’ Pini Zahavi to find a replacement for the Spaniard.
Not to be outdone, this week L’Equipe reported that Benitez has apparently followed suit and engaged an agency in France to sound out Ligue 1 clubs about potential vacancies – hinting at a potential Premier League exit for the beleaguered Geordies boss. While that’s likely unsurprising to Newcastle fans, news of their manager’s wandering eyes will feel ill-timed ahead of a high-stakes midtable clash.
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, enter this one on the back of making history midweek – by becoming the first Premier League club to lose at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. We’re not sure what was more surprising: the fact the stadium was actually in operation or the fact Spurs didn’t bottle their grand opening. In any case, the result extended the Eagles’ odd win-lose pattern to a sixth game.
And if the pattern stays true to form, it means Roy Hodgson’s men are due a win this week. The last meeting between these two produced a dire 0-0 draw, but with all this commotion at St James’s Park, we reckon there could be goals in this one given that Palace are in need of a victory – as foretold by their recent results – and Newcastle managed to bang in three against Everton during their last home fixture too.
* All odds correct time of posting.