NEWCASTLE IN GOODISON STICKY SITUAITON
With no win in their last nine league outings, things are beginning to look rather bleak for Newcastle and although they are not in the relegation zone, you get that the feeling that it will only be a matter of time before they are.
Which is only serving to place more pressure on the shoulders of Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, as the former Manchester United defender continues to cut a maligned figure on the touchline and with every game that they fail to win, the situation is only worsening.
While although the signing of Callum Wilson was a shrewd one, his goals have dried up and with the former Bournemouth forward failing to score in any of Newcastle’s last six Premier League matches, it is no surprise that the Magpies form has been so poor.
While the worrying thing for those connected to the club, is the fact that there is little opportunity for it to improve and although the lingering effects of COVID-19 are still impacting the squad, that cannot be used as an excuse for absolution.
Quite simply, Newcastle are short when it comes to genuine quality and with Steve Bruce seemingly having defeat as his default setting, this is something that should play into the hands of Everton this weekend.
The Toffees looked somewhat sharp in midweek and if it were not for Jordan Pickford making a hash of Youri Tielemans’ effort from outside the box, then Carlo Ancelotti’s men would have likely won all three points against Leicester.
Whether Pickford is selected to atone for his Wednesday error remains to be seen. Then again, whoever is chosen to play between the posts against Newcastle, the outcome will be the same and that is a home win for Everton.
Summary: Back Everton at 1.55
MOUR MISERY FOR TOTTENHAM
It is fair to say that recent times feel like Groundhog Day, as one-week blends into the next with truly little variance. Although if there’s one thing you can almost set your watch to regardless of a global pandemic, it is a post-Christmas injury to Harry Kane.
The sight of the England international wincing against Liverpool would have had Spurs supporters doing the same on Thursday night and with a period of absence now on the horizon, manager and fans alike will be waiting for the exact length of inactivity.
Inactivity that seriously has the potential to derail Tottenham’s season and although Heung-min Son has played the role of able deputy on many occasions, there is a sense of back to square one for the North London outfit.
To the point where Sunday’s opponents Brighton will be looking to take full advantage and after recording a 3-0 win at The AMEX last season in the last days of Mauricio Pochettino, Graham Potter could smell another upset.
Whether the Seagulls have enough to really put Tottenham to the sword remains to be seen, although they could make life rather difficult and therefore, Brighton to come away with at least a point should be considered.
Summary: Back Brighton to avoid defeat at 1.60
A FIRST WIN IN CHELSEA’S NEW ERA
While although Chelsea had an incredible amount of possession against Wolves in midweek, they lacked a genuine cutting edge and although this would have been an obvious source of frustration for new manager Thomas Tuchel, there would have been signs of encouragement all the same.
Encouragement, that should set the Blues in good stead for the weekend, as they once again play hosts and this time it is Sean Dyche’s Burnley who will be making the lengthy visit to Stamford Bridge.
There’s no doubt that Burnley love to play the role of spoilers and this was evident in last week’s win away at Liverpool. However, Chelsea’s new man in charge will have a point to prove and after laying out a blueprint on Wednesday, now it is time to make the necessary tweaks.
Tweaks, that when you consider the calibre of players available to Tuchel, should mean that Chelsea come out on top with relative ease and therefore, this is set to be one of the home bankers of the week.
Summary: Back Chelsea at 1.36