EPL: Struggle on to avoid relegation, top four spots
With the football season drawing to a close, the English Premier League is again the centre of attention for most fans as teams battle to avoid relegation and to fill the top four spots.
There are two matches of significant interest this weekend, firstly, Leeds versus Newcastle will kick things off, then later Saturday, Manchester United and Wolves will square off in a must-win game for Man United.
Event # 1 – EPL – Leeds vs Newcastle– 6:30 am
Leeds will be aiming to escape the relegation zone when they host top four hopefuls Newcastle at home tomorrow. Indeed, recently appointed Coach Sam Allardyce, who claimed that he’s on the same level as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, has three matches left to save Leeds from Premier League relegation, but avoiding the drop might be mission impossible even for a coach of his calibre, as their situation may be even more bleak following the visit from third-placed Newcastle.
Many expected Leeds to be hammered by Manchester City last weekend but they did well in losing 2-1. With their Premier League status hanging by a thread, victory for Leeds will take them out of the bottom three and into safety (for the time being).
Newcastle’s Champions League dreams suffered a huge blow last weekend, following their home defeat to title contenders Arsenal. That loss was just the second time they were losing at home this season, while it was just their fifth defeat for the season so far. However, a return to winning will be of utmost importance in order to maintain their advantage over Liverpool in the race for the coveted Champions League spot. Defeat at Leeds could prove decisive for Newcastle as it could allow Manchester United the opportunity to move up to third in the standing when they host Wolves later in the day.
Leeds – have won all four of their Premier League matches when starting the day in the relegation zone this season, compared to just three wins in their 31 games when not in the bottom-three (D9 L19). They also beat Brentford on the final day last season when in 18th position at the start of the day — no team in Premier League history has won six consecutive games in which they’ve started in the relegation zone.
Newcastle – have won four of their last five away league games (L1), as many as their first 12 on the road this season (D6 L2). The Magpies have eight away Premier League wins this season overall, last enjoying more on their travels in a top-flight campaign in 2001-02 (9).
Both sides – Leeds have failed to score in their last two Premier League games against Newcastle, last going three in a row between April 1996 and January 1997. Newcastle have won 54 per cent of their Premier League away games against Leeds (7/13).
The betting tip. Draw.
Event # 2 EPL – Manchester United vs Wolves – 10:30 am
Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats to Brighton and West Ham when they welcome Wolves to Old Trafford tomorrow, May 13. The Red Devils were beaten 1-0 by Brighton last Thursday before losing by the same scoreline to West Ham on Sunday. With those two defeats, they remain fourth in the standing but are just one point ahead of their hated rivals Liverpool. After building up an impressive unbeaten run and looking certain to secure a Champions League spot, Man. United’s hopes have taken a hit in recent weeks losing twice. However, things could get back on track for United starting Saturday, as at Old Trafford, United are difficult to beat and you have to go back to August 7 for the last time they lost a Premier League home match. They will hope their near perfect home record will work in their favour in securing a Champions League spot as three of their final four leagues matches will be at Old Trafford.
Wolves, mathematically secured safety last weekend thanks to a 1-0 win over high-flying Aston Villa. That win means Wolves are now 10 points clear of the relegation zone with just three matches left to play. With that said, Wolves have been poor on the road all season with just two wins against strugglers Everton and Bournemouth. In their last away game, Wolves were hit for six by Brighton, their worst ever Premier League defeat. Indeed, Manchester United will be high on confidence for the visit of this Wolves side that has only won once at Old Trafford since 1980, but that win came last season.
Man. United – have won 24 matches at Old Trafford in all competitions this season; only in 2002-03 (27), 2007-08 (25) and 2010-11 (26) have the Red Devils ever enjoyed more home wins in a single campaign.
Wolves – have lost 10 of their last 11 Premier League games away from home against sides starting the day in the top four (D1) since winning 2-0 at Manchester City in October 2019. They have scored just four goals in those last 11 matches, while shipping 23.
Both sides –Manchester United lost this exact fixture 1-0 last season — they’ve not lost consecutive home league games against Wolves since a run of three between March 1960 and September 1961. Interestingly, the away side has won each of the last four Premier League meetings between Man Utd and Wolves, though three of those victories came for the Red Devils at Molineux.
The betting tip.Man United win.