Bournemouth may arrest the slide

February 25th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

Anyone following the football selection over the past few weeks should be quite a long way ahead and Cardiff and Newcastle both won last week without conceding a goal.

There is nothing as strong this week, though NEWCASTLE should win again at the expense of the hapless Bristol City, who were booed off after yet another home defeat in midweek and are now in grave danger of returning to League One.

There is little value in the Premier League and one feels for Leicester, who on Monday face a Liverpool team which is picking up the thread again and looking good for a top four finish. Nothing in football is all that surprising any more but Claudio Ranieri’s sacking leaves a sour taste. No one could have done more for a club than he did but, quite apart from that, the timing is appalling. The 2-1 reverse at Seville might well have marked a turning point and it is hard indeed to see how anyone taking over the reins now will be able to set things straight.

Leicester will be left hoping that the other teams in the drop zone slip up on a regular basis but Hull and Swansea are improving and Bournemouth probably have enough about them to pull clear, though the goals against column is worrying indeed. They may earn a point at West Brom in a game where there should be goals.

Everton do not excite at 2/5 against Sunderland but the visitors were dreadful against Southampton last time and are up against a team improving quite rapidly under Ronald Koeman.
Of the key absentees in the EFL Cup Final ion Sunday, Virgil Van Dijk is by far the most significant and it is hard to imagine Southampton’s central defence standing firm against some in-form Manchester United strikers. Then again, United have been busy enough recently and Jose Mourinho may have to do some shuffling against a team which, for the first time in ages, has been able to prepare without playing competitively every few days.

If I were a bookmaker United would be 4/7 in ninety minutes because, well though they defended against Liverpool (the best Saints rearguard performance I have seen in 60 years as a supporter), I can’t quite envisage Maya Yoshida and young Jack Stephens standing firm on a big occasion such as this. There is no doubt Southampton have the players to score a goal or two at the other end but an early strike for United may well set them on the road to victory and there is no doubt Mourinho is improving them from game to game. No bet, but I’d say United are fairly priced at 4/5 with at least four firms.

NEWCASTLE 30 units at 1 to 2 to beat Bristol City
West Brom v Bournemouth 15 units THE DRAW at 5/2

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