Welcome to FourthOfficial.com’s brand new feature with renowned football pundit, Patrick Kinghorn. Every week from now, Patrick will be taking an exclusive look at all the Premier League games for the weekend and he’ll be providing his expert tips and analysis besides providing a prediction on the outcome of the match. To kick things off, here’s #BestBets with Patrick Kinghorn for Week 22 of the Premier League!
Tottenham 2 Sunderland 2
The Black Cats are looking for back to back wins for the second time this season and have Jermaine Defoe on fire with 5 goals in his last 2 matches. Tottenham are Tottenham, perennial under achievers, I’m not a disciple of ‘Poch’ as most sophisticated football fans seemingly have to be these days. He has not progressed Spurs in a season when they should have been playing the role of Leicester in a year of opportunity that will not be seen again for a very long time. Remember ‘Poch’ has already contrived to throw away a half time lead at home against Newcastle this season and lose. The Black Cats are underdogs but could get something out of this.
Bournemouth 2 Norwich 0
15th plays 16th but don’t let the league positions fool you. At least one of these two is certain to get dragged into the relegation dogfight and the stakes could not be higher. You have to admire Eddie Howe who when put in context has been dealt the worst injury hand in the entire division. Norwich are the only team to win at Old Trafford this season but that’s not as sexy as it would have sounded 3 years ago.
Chelsea 2 Everton 2
Looking forward to this one. Chelsea’s players have sulked like spoilt children got what they wanted which was rid of Mourinho and while they have started 2016 unbeaten they are still a shadow of the side that were Champions last May. Everton have played some cracking football this season and Lukaku has looked an absolute beast at times. The Nigerian will be desperate to score against the club he feels did not give him a fair shot. There should be goals in this as Everton’s goal cant lead the same charmed life it did against City and Chelsea have only three home clean sheets all season and one of them was against Villa which doesn’t count.
Man City 3 Crystal Palace 1
Alan Pardew will have hammered his players in the dressing room after they became the first team to lose to Aston Villa since the opening day. It will be fascinating to see how they respond as it will be with City after the goalless draw against Everton. Pellegrini’s authority has been destroyed by Pep Guardiola and the worst kept secret in football. High stakes for the Citizens but the best home record in the division should see them through.
Newcastle 2 West Ham 1
Looking forward to seeing whether Jonjo Shelvey can finally fulfil his potential after yet another big money move. Incredible to think he is still only 23. His ability is unquestionable, his attitude is. But we all know how football fairy tales work. He’ll score a 30 yard screamer and instantly become a cult here on Tyneside and those bare chested Geordies who stand at the Gallowgate End in artic conditions who don’t already have shaved heads with shave their hair clean off in tribute to alopecia sufferer Shelvey. We also know how football night mares go, West Ham are on a brilliant run 5 draws followed by four straight wins in all competitions and have not beaten since November. I’m going for the Toon purely because of the momentum of the last gasp equalizer against United and the fact I can’t get the image of fat bare chested shaven headed Geordies out of my mind now.
Southampton 2 West Brom 0
The last two renewals of this fixture have only seen one goal in 180 minutes of football. Southampton’s last two home performances have been clinical in clean sheet wins against Arsenal and Watford. All the more impressive as it appears Koeman is dealing with some players behind the scenes who want away from St Marys. West Brom had a much harder mid-week game in their draw at Chelsea and I fancy the Saints will continue their recent revival.
Aston Villa 0 Leicester 3
The reverse of this fixture in September defined both these clubs seasons. Villa were brilliant for 65 minutes, went two nil up with Jack Grealish looking like he should be playing for Barcelona. How they contrived to lose the game from there I will never know but lose they did. From that moment on Leicester have never known when they are beaten, Villa always know they are. Don’t be fooled by the flukey win against Palace. Villa are possibly the worst side ever to play in the Premier League. Leicester to win and Vardy to get his first goal in 6.
Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1
Incredible stats about Fellaini this season. With him United average 0.9 points per game, without him 2.4. I wonder if Van Gaal has that in his leather folder. He also looked like a red card waiting to happen at Newcastle. Can he beat Steven Gerrard’s 38 second red in this fixture last season? Liverpool have been erratic under Klopp but the fans are right behind him and while this game signalled the middle of the end for Brendan Rogers last season as Liverpool lost 2-1 it may just be the end of the end for the Dutchman this season with United losing by the same score.
Stoke 0 Arsenal 2
Arsenal have not won at Stoke since 2010 and last season found themselves 3-0 down by half time. They did though threaten a giant comeback, getting it back to 3-2 before a Callum Chambers red card 12 minutes from time helped Stoke close it out. Stoke are a better side this season but then again so are Arsenal. Stoke’s home form is not spectacular, Arsenal have the second best away record in the division even with the recent Southampton shocker taken into account. This one is played on Sunday by which point Arsenal will know what City and Leicester have done and that will give the Gunners the impetus to pick up the three points and improve on their last two away games that have seen them concede 7. Arsenal to win and a goal for Giroud who know has 11 goals in his last 11 away games in all competitions.
Swansea 0 Watford 0
Two teams in a pickle. Swansea more so than Watford. Giving very nice man Alan Curtis the job till the end of the season brings back memories of Terry Connor being allowed to oversee Wolves relegation in 2012. Swansea are coming off the back of three straight defeats and Watford off the back of three league reverses. Still though 10 points and eight places separate these two sides and a point takes the Hornets to 30 just 10 away from the traditional mythical 40 and safety.