Premier League preview & predictions: Gameweek 30 – OhMyArsenal
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Premier League preview & predictions: Gameweek 30

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It is Easter weekend and Premier League football returns following the pause for the March international break, with the 2020/21 season getting ever closer to its conclusion and every point now of huge importance to each club.

Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal on Saturday night is perhaps the pick of the fixture list, but leaders Manchester City also travel to Leicester and the pressure is on Manchester United to win.

Saturday 3 April

Chelsea vs West Brom

What time is kick off? 12.30 (BST)

Where is it being played? Stamford Bridge

TV channel? BT Sport

Chelsea remain unbeaten under new manager Thomas Tuchel and have taken 22 points from a possible 30 in the Premier League since the German took over from Frank Lampard in January.

Victory at home against a West Brom side 10 points adrift of safety seems like it should be another three points in the bag and could give Chelsea a stronger grip on fourth place.

If West Brom are to have any chance of survival and Sam Allardyce keep hold of his record of never being relegated as a manager, they need to start winning games immediately.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 West Brom

Leeds vs Sheffield United

 

What time is kick off? 15.00 (BST)

Where is it being played? Elland Road

TV channel? Amazon Prime

A top half finish is definitely within reach for 11th place Leeds this season, which would represent an impressive achievement in their debut year back in the Premier League.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team remain inconsistent, but the fact is they have outscored every other side currently in the bottom half as well as several in the top half – including Chelsea – and are firm favourites to win this west vs south Yorkshire derby.

It is already too late for Sheffield United. Although not quite mathematical they will have to get more points in the final nine games to survive than they have managed so far in the first 29.

Prediction: Leeds 3-0 Sheffield United

Leicester vs Manchester City

What time is kick off? 17.30 (BST)

Where is it being played? King Power Stadium

TV channel? Sky Sports

Leicester thrashed Manchester City 5-2 in the reverse of this fixture at the Etihad Stadium back in September. The Foxes have stayed among the top clubs and are on course to finish in the top four, although a repeat of that early season demolition is unlikely.

This is a big test for Leicester, especially as Chelsea are already expected to have closed the gap on them by beating West Brom at home earlier in the day.

Only a catastrophe would now prevent City from winning a third Premier League title in four years and a fifth overall in the last decade. Failure to get all three points here wouldn’t be a major issue.

Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Manchester City

Arsenal vs Liverpools Liverpool

What time is kick off? 20.00 (BST)

Where is it being played? Emirates Stadium

TV channel? Sky Sports

Two teams that have had poor seasons compared to expectations ahead of the campaign go head to head at the Emirates Stadium in Saturday’s late evening kick-off. A win for either Arsenal or Liverpool here could be an important catalyst to a strong finish.

Defending champions Liverpool have lost six of their eight Premier League games but were at least victorious against a struggling Wolves side in their last outing before the international break.

Arsenal are actually unbeaten in the league since losing narrowly to Manchester City in February and showed character to fight back from 3-0 down to get a point against West Ham last time out.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool

Sunday 4 April

Southampton vs Burnley

What time is kick off? 12.00 (BST)

Where is it being played? St Mary’s

TV channel? Sky Sports

Southampton and Burnley commence the Premier League action on Easter Sunday with a midday kick-off on the south coast. Both have an identical points tally and goal difference.

Relegation is unlikely to become a genuine threat for either of these teams, but getting more positive results on the board and climbing towards the 40-point milestone is still vitally important.

Southampton have only taken seven points from a possible 39 on offer this calendar year, whereas Burnley have been much more steady and have only lost one of their last eight league games.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Burnley

Newcastle vs Tottenham

 What time is kick off? 14.05 (BST)

Where is it being played? St James’ Park

TV channel? Sky Sports

Newcastle looked to have just about averted a full blown crisis following five consecutive defeats in January, but three draws in winnable games from late February and a 3-0 defeat by Brighton in their last outing before the international break left the Magpies just two points above the drop zone.

Spurs’ form is heading the other way. There have been setbacks of late, including a north London derby defeat to Arsenal and an embarrassing aggregate collapse in the Europa League, but they have taken maximum points from four of their last five Premier League games.

For Spurs, a win is crucial for their re-born top four hopes.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Tottenham

Aston Villa vs Fulham

What time is kick off? 16.30 (BST)

Where is it being played? Villa Park

TV channel? Sky Sports

Depending on the Newcastle result earlier in the afternoon, Fulham could see this game against Aston Villa as their chance to finally escape the relegation zone.

Scott Parker’s team have lost three of their last four, but those defeats were all at Craven Cottage and their win during that run was at Anfield. The Cottagers are actually unbeaten in eight straight Premier League away games since 5 December.

Meanwhile, Villa haven’t won any of their last three home games and their only win at all since early February was a narrow away victor over Leeds.

Prediction: Aston Villa 0-1 Fulham

Manchester United vs Brighton

What time is kick off? 19.30 (BST)

Where is it being played? Old Trafford

TV channel? BT Sport

It seems like an eternity ago now, but Manchester United got lucky when they beat Brighton at the Amex Stadium back in September. The Seagulls were the better team that day, but United won thanks to a very late penalty in the 10th minute of stoppage time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s have dramatically improved since then, although they have only rarely been convincing in their performances since briefly topping the table in January.

Brighton won two in a row immediately prior to the international break, which came after a run of five without a win before that.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Brighton

Monday 5 April

Everton vs Crystal Palace

What time is kick off? 18.00 (BST)

Where is it being played? Goodison Park

TV channel? Sky Sports

Everton were disappointed to lose at home to Burnley in their last game and slipped back behind Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the Premier League table as a result.

The Toffees have actually lost two in a row, undoing the good work they had done before that, yet are still well in the congested battle for at least a Europa League place.

Palace will be satisfied that they are not in immediate danger of a relegation battle but will need to find more consistency if they are to creep into the top half before the season is over.

Prediction: Everton 1-0 Crystal Palace

Wolves vs West Ham

What time is kick off? 20.15 (BST)

Where is it being played? Molineux

TV channel? Sky Sports

  1. In the final game of the long Easter weekend on Monday night, West Ham will be hoping to further their chances of finishing in the top four after being leapfrogged by Chelsea last month.

By kick-off at Molineux, it is possible that the Hammers could have fallen from fifth to seventh because of other results, and the pressure will be on to get a good result themselves.

Wolves are having a poor season by their own recent standards and have only won three of the 15 Premier League games they have played since Christmas.

Prediction: Wolves 1-2 West Ham

 

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Latest Arsenal News

Video Highlights, Full Match Analysis: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal

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Emile Smith Rowe denied Chelsea the chance to cement their top-four status as he took advantage of Jorginho’s howler to give Arsenal a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues would have all but secured their Champions League qualification with a victory which would have taken them 10 points clear of Liverpool, who have four games left to play, but after making seven changes ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Kai Havertz should have put them ahead 10 minutes in when he intercepted Gabriel’s loose pass for Pablo Mari and raced clean through, but then fired over Bernd Leno’s bar with only his compatriot to beat. Moments later Jorginho’s equally poor back-pass was kept out by Kepa Arrizabalaga at full stretch, but Smith Rowe was on hand to bundle home after being teed up by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Chelsea were dominant for the large majority of the remaining 75 minutes without forcing Leno into any uncomfortable saves until the final minute. They did beat him through Pulisic’s close-range header from a corner, which was swiftly denied by a VAR review, before the German produced a stunning stop to tip Kurt Zouma’s header onto the crossbar, which was then rattled by Olivier Giroud’s shot on the rebound.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (6), James (6), Azpilicueta (6), Silva (6), Zouma (6), Chilwell (5), Jorginho (4), Gilmour (5), Pulisic (5), Mount (6), Havertz (5).

Subs: Hudson-Odoi (6), Giroud (6), Ziyech (5).

Arsenal: Leno (7), Gabriel (6), Mari (7), Holding (6), Tierney (7), Partey (6), Elneny (8), Saka (5), Odegaard (6), Smith Rowe (7), Aubameyang (5).

Subs: Bellerin (6), Lacazette (5), Chambers (6).

Man of the match: Mohamed Elneny

What the managers said…

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel told Sky Sports: “We had three days, we are on a good run, we had a good mood. The choices were not so good today from my side for the line-up so that’s on me. We were unlucky, of course. But we did everything today to lose.

“I’m not happy with my line-up. It’s easy to say afterwards. But it was too many changes, I should not have done it like this. It’s something in particular – but I will not tell you!”

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: “I don’t know how they’re going to try from the outside but from the inside, nothing is broken.

“They’re going to put things on me that I never said, you can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they try.”

Match stats

  1. Arsenal completed their first Premier League double over Chelsea since the 2003-04 season, while this was their first league win at Stamford Bridge since October 2011, ending an eight-game winless run there (D2 L6).
  2. Chelsea suffered only their third defeat in 26 matches in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel (W17 D6), with all three defeats coming at Stamford Bridge.
  3. Arsenal have won three consecutive away Premier League matches without conceding for the first time since May 2013 under Arsène Wenger.
  4. Arsenal have had a different player aged younger than 21 score in each of their last three Premier League matches against Chelsea – Gabriel Martinelli in January 2020, Bukayo Saka in December 2020 and Emile Smith Rowe tonight.

What’s next?

Chelsea are off to Wembley in the FA Cup final on Saturday, where they will face Leicester City; Kick-off at 5.15pm.

Arsenal’s penultimate game of the season is also in London, with a trip to Crystal Palace next Wednesday night; Kick-off at 7pm.

📽️ Watch The Video Highlights:

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Latest Chelsea News

Video: Match Highlights, Opta Stats, Man City 1- 2 Chelsea

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Chelsea tormented Manchester City once again by delaying their title-winning party and boosting their own top-four hopes with the help of an awful Panenka penalty miss by Sergio Aguero during their 2-1 comeback win at the Etihad on Saturday.

Hakim Ziyech, who had ended City’s Quadruple dreams in a FA Cup semi-final last month, was on target again to cancel out Raheem Sterling’s opener for the much-changed hosts, before Marcos Alonso (90+2) grabbed a deserved stoppage-time winner for the visitors against a side they will meet in the Champions League final on May 29.

A mis-control from Aguero – City’s most-famous title-clincher of all – had allowed Sterling to find the net for the first time in 13 games on 44 minutes but another error from the striker moments later proved far more costly, with his weak spot-kick easily saved.

Chelsea capitalised and had the upper hand throughout the second period, with Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi seeing efforts ruled out for offside after Ziyech’s leveller on 63 minutes, and they leapfrogged Leicester into third place in the Premier League with Alonso’s last-gasp finish from close range.

Chelsea are now six points clear of fifth-placed West Ham in the top-four race, while City – who were aggrieved not to be awarded a late penalty when Sterling was tumbled by Kurt Zouma – could still reclaim the crown this weekend if Manchester United lose at Aston Villa on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Player Ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Cancelo (6), Dias (6), Laporte (6), Ake (6), Mendy (5), Rodri (5), Torres (6), Sterling (7), Aguero (4), Jesus (7).

Subs: Gundogan (6), Foden (6), Zinchencko (6)

Chelsea: Mendy (7), Azpilicueta (7), Christensen (4), Rudiger (7), James (8), Kante (7), Gilmour (6), Alonso (8), Ziyech (8), Werner (7), Pulisic (6).

Subs: Zouma (7), Jorginho (6), Hudson-Odoi (7)

Man of the match: Reece James (Chelsea)

📺 Watch The Highlights:

Opta Stats – Chelsea leave it late

  1. Manchester City have dropped eight points from winning positions in home Premier League games this season, last dropping more at home in the competition in 2008-09 (12).
  2. After losing his first three managerial meetings with Pep Guardiola in all competitions, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is unbeaten in his last four encounters with the Spaniard (W2 D2).
  3. Man City’s Pep Guardiola has lost four home league games this season, twice as many as he’d lost in any other campaign in his managerial career.
  4. Manchester City have lost consecutive Premier League home games thanks to a goal scored in the 90th minute – as many as they had in their previous 235 Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium.
  5. At 91 minutes and 54 seconds, Marcos Alonso’s winner was the latest winning goal scored in an away Premier League game against Manchester City since Paul Scholes for Man Utd in April 2010 (92:41).

What’s next?

Manchester City go to Newcastle at 8pm on Friday, live on Sky Sports, while Chelsea are next in action at home to Arsenal on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports at 8.15pm.

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Latest Chelsea News

Match Highlights, Opta Stats, Player Ratings Chelsea vs Real Madrid

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Chelsea set up an all-English Champions League final with Manchester City after beating Real Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the semi-final second leg, going through 3-1 on aggregate.

Timo Werner put Chelsea ahead (28), nodding into the empty net from under the crossbar after Kai Havertz’s chip had hit the woodwork, before Real rode their luck as the hosts missed four big chances to double their lead in the opening 20 minutes of the second period.

The hosts finally got their second to kill off the tie with five minutes remaining as Mason Mount stuck home substitute Christian Pulisic’s centre at close range, capping off a fine display and marking an extraordinary turnaround at the club since Thomas Tuchel joined in January.

Chelsea will now play in their third Champions League final (2008 and 2012) in Istanbul on Saturday May 29, and have set up just the third all-English Champions League final after 2008 (Man Utd-Chelsea) and 2019 (Liverpool-Tottenham) as Manchester City look to complete a treble.

Player ratings:

Chelsea: Mendy (8); Christensen (7), Thiago Silva (7), Rudiger (8), Azpilicueta (7), Kante (8), Jorginho (7), Chilwell (7), Mount (7), Havertz (7), Werner (7)

Subs: Pulisic (7), James (NA), Ziyech (NA), Giroud (NA)

Real Madrid: Courtois (7); Nacho (5), Militao (4), Ramos (6), Mendy (5), Kroos (6), Modric (6), Casemiro (5), Hazard (4), Vinicius Junior (5), Benzema (6)

Subs: Valverde (5), Asensio (5), Rodrygo (NA), Mariano (NA)

Man of the match: N’Golo Kante

Full English: When is the Champions League final?

This year’s final between Chelsea and Manchester City will take place in Istanbul on Saturday May 29.

The Ataturk Olympic Stadium famously staged the 2005 Champions League showdown, when Liverpool came from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AC Milan on penalties.

UEFA has not yet confirmed the kick-off time, but says detailed information regarding the capacity for the match, travel and ticketing details will be communicated publicly by the end of the week.

Opta stats – Watertight Chelsea

  1. Chelsea have kept 18 clean sheets in 24 matches under Thomas Tuchel in all competitions (75 per cent), compared with 26 in 84 games under his predecessor Frank Lampard (31 per cent).
  2. Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has kept eight Champions League clean sheets this season, the most ever by a goalkeeper for an English club in a single season.
  3. Having also led PSG to the 2019/20 Champions League final, Chelsea manager Tuchel is the first manager to reach the European Cup/Champions League final in consecutive seasons with different clubs.
  4. It’s only the eighth time two teams from the same nation will be contesting the final, with Spanish teams also doing so a joint-record three times – 2000 (Real Madrid vs Valencia) and 2014 & 2016 (Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid).
  5. This was only the second time Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has lost a two-legged UEFA Champions League tie in 13 attempts, also losing in the last 16 in 2019-20 against Manchester City.

📺Watch The Extended Highlights:

What’s next for Chelsea in bid for top four?

Chelsea now go to Man City on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 5.30pm, knowing a City victory will wrap up the Premier League title for Pep Guardiola’s side.

They then host Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday evening, also live on Sky Sports Premier League at 8.15pm.

And what’s next for Real in La Liga title race?

Real Madrid host Sevilla in La Liga on Sunday night at 8pm, currently sitting two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with four games of the season remaining.

 

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