Everton v Newcastle United
Everton v Newcastle United Cheat Sheet
Thursday evening sees Newcastle travel to Goodison Park as Everton host a hugely important clash at both ends of the table. Everton are currently in the relegation zone, and they come into this one having won just one of their last nine. Newcastle are flying and following their 6-1 demolition of Spurs on the weekend, they should be playing Champions League football next season.
Everton were only heading one way under Frank Lampard and a change of manager was inevitable. Without a win in ten in all competitions and picking up just two points in that time, the hierarchy decided that Sean Dyche was the right man to lead the club forward – his first job since his long-term stint at Burnley. Following the dream start after beating Arsenal at Goodison Park, they have won just two games in the 11 since, and despite being tough to beat (two defeats in their last seven), they are still in the relegation zone. However, a win here would take them up to 16th given the league is so congested at the bottom. Dyche was delighted to welcome back Dominic Calvert-Lewin into the starting 11 last weekend, and he has an excellent record in this fixture with five goals and an assist in his last seven against the Toon. They can also welcome Abdoulaye Doucoure back here after his suspension has now been served and Amadou Onana may also be able to come back in here following an injury that has ruled him out of the two most recent games. Nathan Patterson should replace Mason Holgate, who was sent off against Palace.
Newcastle fans are delighted with their first full season with their new ownership and with Eddie Howe. Despite defeat in the EFL Cup final, they’re five points clear of Aston Villa in 5th (who have played two more games) and six clear of Spurs (having played a game fewer). Their away form in particular has been sensational, with only Manchester City (30) and Arsenal (36) picking up more points than Newcastle’s 27 on the road so far. Their defensive record has been superb all season, conceding the fewest goals of any side in the division but they may be without Fabian Schar, who faces a late fitness test but should be available. Once again, Eddie Howe must make the decision between Alexander Isak (who he has favoured in recent weeks) or Callum Wilson – who has scored six in his last five against the Toffees – up front.
Jacob Murphy has not been a regular starter for Newcastle this season, largely playing second fiddle to Miguel Almiron. However, the Paraguayan’s injury has meant that the forward has started seven games in a row now, having 12 attempts in 462 minutes – a rate of 2.33 shots per 90.
This selection has landed in five of the seven matches, failing to do so against Manchester United (where he played 67 minutes) and Brentford (where he played just 45 minutes). Whilst his minutes are a slight risk with Almiron now back from injury, and Isak and Wilson being able to play together, his two goals against Spurs should have earnt him more minutes in the starting side and he will be hoping for a blistering start once again.
Dwight McNeil has committed 18 fouls so far this season at an average rate of 0.83 per game. However, since being reunited with former Burnley boss Sean Dyche, not only have his minutes increased but the number of fouls he has made has too. In his last ten, he has committed 14 fouls, receiving three yellow cards, with this selection landing in eight of those matches.
His last four have seen him make four fouls. In the last three seasons, the midfielder has started seven times against Newcastle (in all competitions). In those matches, he has made nine fouls, with at least one in five of them – including his three home matches against the Toon.
Newcastle have taken 209 corners this season, the most in the Premier League – nine ahead of Manchester City and 19 more than Arsenal. They average 5.75 corners per game on the road, having at least five corners in 63% of their games and at least six in 44%. In four of their last six and seven of their last ten, this selection has landed. Away from home against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, they have taken 54 corners in seven games, having at least five corners in six of them and this selection landing in 71% of those matches.
Since Sean Dyche has taken over at Everton, they have become much harder to beat, meaning they have soaked up more pressure. They have been harder to beat in recent weeks, increasing the number of corners they give away. In their last six, they have conceded 44 corners (7.33 per game) with their opponents having at least seven in two-thirds of those games and at least eight in 83% of them.
Southampton v Bournemouth
Southampton v Bournemouth Cheat Sheet
Thursday evening sees Bournemouth travel along the South Coast to St Mary’s to face Southampton in a huge battle at the bottom of the table. The home side should really be coming into this one on the back of a win having been 3-1 up at the Emirates in the 87th minute and would have felt like they dropped two points. The visitors were hammered 4-0 at home by West Ham on the weekend on the back of six points from wins at Leicester and Spurs.
Southampton have been disappointing this season and look to be destined for a return to the Championship following 11 years in the Premier League. They are now onto their third manager of the season having already sacked Nathan Jones and Ralph Hassenhuttl with Ruben Selles now in charge. Results had initially improved under the Spaniard, beating Chelsea and Leicester in his first three games but they are now struggling to pick up any points. A win on Friday night would have made their prospects of survival look much likelier but they sit at the foot of the table, five points adrift from safety and if they are to stay up, they need to improve – and fast. However, their home record is abysmal and they have picked up just ten points from 16 games here – five fewer than any other side in the league. Che Adams, Mohammed Salisu, Juan Larios, and Valentino Livramento will all miss out, whilst Jan Bednarek is a doubt. The Polish centre-back could be replaced by Caleta-Car or Lyanco. Ainsley Maitland-Niles will probably come in for Romain Perraud having been ineligible to face his parent club Arsenal.
In many people’s eyes, Bournemouth were certainties for relegation this season. However, they have been flying and a run of three wins in their last five and four in their last seven might be enough to guide them to safety. They are now on 33 points and another four points should be enough to ensure another season in the top-flight next year. Having said that, West Ham beating them 4-0 last time out shows that there is no room for complacency at this level. On the road, they have won three of their last five, including each of their last two. A win here would be the first time they have ever won three consecutive Premier League away games. Ryan Fredericks and Junior Stanislas will miss out whilst Hamed Traore is a doubt. Jack Stephens is ineligible to face his parent club meaning that Senesi or Zabarnyi will partner Chris Mepham at the back.
Dominic Solanke is Bournemouth’s second top scorer this season with five goals and has the most assists for the club with six. He has had 67 attempts at an average of 2.59 per 90 and this is almost double anyone else – Tavernier has the second most shots with 34. The English striker averages 1.01 shots on target per game and has had at least one shot in all but one of his 28 starts this season (against Spurs). In his last six, he has had 23 shots with nine of these on target and this selection has landed in all six. In the reverse fixture, he had four shots.
Ruben Selles has now been in charge for ten Premier League matches. He has faced ten different starting strikers who have combined for 24 shots, with nine of these on target and this selection landing in seven of the ten. They have also conceded at least four shots on target in six of them. Given Solanke has taken the most shots (with the most on target), he should be Bournemouth’s main outlet here.
Jefferson Lerma has committed the most fouls of any Bournemouth player this season with 30, picking up five yellow cards in that time. He has committed at least one in seven of his last eight and at least two in three of those. The Colombian has played 90 minutes in five away matches against sides currently in the bottom half of the table this season. In those matches, he has made eight fouls, with this selection landing in three of the five.
Romeo Lavia has been the most fouled Southampton player in the league this season despite playing just 1716 (of a possible 2880) minutes. He has drawn 39 fouls at a rate of 2.04 fouls per game in the Southampton midfield and has been fouled at least once in 13 of his last 15 games. He has played 896 minutes against current bottom-half opponents, drawing 20 fouls in that time – just over twice per 90 minutes. He is likely to be Lerma’s direct opponent here.
Bournemouth average 3.38 shots on target per game. This selection has landed in their last six, and they have had 181 shots in that time – with 30 of those on target (an average of five per game). They have played six away games against teams currently in the bottom half. In those matches, they have scored eight goals and have had 23 shots on target – having three or more in five of the six.
Southampton have conceded an average of 3.69 shots on target per game to their opponents this season. In Ruben Selles’ 11 games in charge, they have conceded 35 attempts on target and this selection has landed in eight of those. They have also let their opponents score at least twice in six of the 11 matches. Six of those games have been here at St Mary’s. In all but one of those, they have conceded at least two goals, and in four of them, they have conceded at least three shots on target. Their five home league games with the Spaniard in charge have all seen the other team have at least ten shots.
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United Cheat Sheet
Tottenham haven’t helped their ‘Spursy’ reputation with the mess they find themselves in. After sacking Conte, they have now sacked his assistant who had taken over as interim manager meaning his assistant, Ryan Mason, has taken over. Spurs come into this game from an embarrassing loss to Newcastle where they were 5-0 down after just 21 minutes, as a result of this Spurs players have refunded Spurs fans for their tickets. I expect Spurs to show up with some fight in this match as they have a lot to prove to the Spurs fans. Spurs will be without Hugo Lloris here, his injury from the Newcastle game means he is unfit, but Lucas Moura and Ryan Sessegnon may be available for Spurs.
Manchester United will effectively seal their top 4 position with a win in this match, but injuries to key players may make this challenge harder for them. Manchester United will still be without Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane so Luke Shaw may be put in at centre-back again, it is clear Maguire still doesn’t have Ten Hag’s full trust. Apart from their problems at centre-back, Manchester United still have a very strong squad available to them. There is a lot of uncertainty about who wins this match, it depends on which version of both teams turn up which could make for a great match.
Spurs fans may not expect a win here, but the crowd in the stadium will demand the players show some care for their club. I think the players understand the expectancy to show some passion and fight which will see them eager to press and lunging into challenges. This eagerness to earn their fans respect back will likely see them accumulate a number of cards.
This season Spurs have averaged 2.09 yellow cards per match and they have collected at least 3 cards in 5 of their last 7 matches. Manchester United are no saints either, they have collected 2.1 yellow cards per match and have collected at least 2 cards in 5 of their last 6 matches. The referee for this game is Anthony Taylor, Taylor has averaged 3.91 cards per match this season. I expect him to be busy with his cards in this match, Spurs should get even more yellow cards than usual while Manchester United usually pick up a couple anyway, I expect this match to have over 3.5 cards.
Only 5 teams allow more opposition shots per 90 than Spurs, Spurs allow 13.84 on average and against a strong United team I would expect a lot of United shots here. United average 14.63 shots per 90, the 5th most in the league and have plenty of players who aren’t afraid to take shots. It is yet to be seen whether Ryan Mason will go with a back three or four but there is no doubt that Spurs players suit a back three the most.
Antony will be up against a wing back on the wing here then or possibly an attacking wing back forced to play full back, either way he will fancy his chances. Antony averages 3.49 shots per 90, the most of any United player. Antony has had 3 or more shots in 4 of his last 6 matches, only failing to do so in United’s terrible second leg performance against Sevilla and in a nervy cup semi-final against Brighton, yet even in both these matches he managed 2 shots. Antony’s average shot distance is 19.9 yards away from goal, so against a team that allow a lot of long shots like Spurs, I expect him to have plenty of shots.
Spurs are in a mess at the moment but one of the only players keeping them going is Harry Kane. Even in the performance against Newcastle Kane scored and had 2 shots on target. Kane has the quality to unlock a makeshift Manchester United defence especially with his off the ball movement that the likes of Luke Shaw, who is not a natural centre back, may not be able to stop. Kane’s numbers are ridiculous, he has 24 league goals in a faltering Spurs team and averages 1.41 shots on target per 90.
Despite Spurs’ poor recent form, Kane has had at least 1 shot on target in 8 of his last 9 matches for club and country. In home matches he is just as reliable, 8 of his last 9 home matches for Spurs have had a shot on target, including matches against Manchester City, AC Milan, Chelsea and Arsenal. While it may not be a high odds pick, he looks like a banker of a selection here.
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