Premier League Gameweek 22 – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

talkSPORT’s chief football correspondent ALEX CROOK solves the puzzle of three midweek Premier League fixtures…

🟠 LUTON v BRIGHTON 🔵
Tuesday, 7.45pm

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Luton welcome Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton to Kenilworth Road knowing they can climb out of the Premier League relegation zone if they win and Everton fail to beat Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Hatters look to be the best equipped of the three newly promoted sides to stay up and have clearly improved a lot since I watched them being battered at Brighton on their top-flight return on the first Saturday of the season.

Rob Edwards’s team have lost only one of their last four matches and scored what could be an important psychological blow by knocking relegation rivals Everton out of the FA Cup at the weekend.

Despite the fact they haven’t lost since mid-December in any competition, Brighton have found Premier League wins hard to come by, drawing four of their last six games in the competition, and they have badly missed the pace and guile of Karou Mitouma, who remains away with Japan at the Asia Cup.

But, in Joao Pedro they have unearthed a real hidden gem, who in my eyes has been one of the signings of the season at a bargain £30m. Pedro always gives us a run for our money when it comes to scoring goals and I’ll be backing the Brazilian to score first at 4/1 with starsports.bet

I also think Luton’s aggressive approach may suit Brighton by leaving gaps to exploit in defence so my Build-a-Bet is Joao Pedro to score at any time and Brighton to win at around 2/1 with starsports.bet

🟣 ASTON VILLA V NEWCASTLE ⚫️
Tuesday, 8.15pm

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Aston Villa will be on a revenge mission when they take on Newcastle at Villa Park after being thrashed 5-1 in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season.

Villa’s response to that potentially demoralising drubbing has been impressive, winning 13 of their subsequent 20 Premier League games.

In fact, Unai Emery’s men are a staggering 14 points ahead of their visitors in the table, which not many people would have predicted after that chastening defeat in the north east.

Villa are only two more undefeated games away from going an entire calendar year without defeat in front of their own fans and that formidable home form has been the springboard for their unexpected push for a top four finish.

Newcastle returned a tidy profit for this column by picking up a much-needed FA Cup fourth round win at Fulham on Saturday night, but were nowhere near as convincing as the final 2-0 scoreline suggests.

I wasn’t overly impressed with Eddie Howe’s side, who are not playing with the same fluency that carried them to success last season.

They do have a class act up front in Alexander Isak, whom they may struggle to keep hold of beyond the end of the season, and I like the look of the Star Boost for Isak to score at any time at 11/5.

However, I still think Villa will have too much for a Newcastle team still missing several key players including Nick Pope, Callum Wilson and Joelinton, so Aston Villa to win and both teams to score at 2/1 with starsports.bet is my main play on the game.

🔴 LIVERPOOL V CHELSEA 🔵
Sunday, 8.15pm

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The best game of the week sees Liverpool host Chelsea in a dress rehearsal for next month’s League Cup final.

Liverpool fans are still mourning the shock news that manager Jurgen Klopp will step down at the end of the season and that is sure to create another emotional atmosphere under the lights at Anfield.

Liverpool’s home form since the start of last season has been nothing short of sensational with just one defeat in their last 29 Premier League games and they know they need to keep that going if they are to wrestle the title from the grasps of defending champions at Manchester City and give Klopp the perfect send-off.

Chelsea have endured a difficult season to this point, but there are signs of improvement of late and reaching Wembley feels like a significant turning point for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Their away form remains an issue having lost five of their last six games on the road so I think Liverpool will win and I’m expecting another big performance from striker Darwin Nunez, who finally seems to have found his shooting boots in the absence of star man Mo Salah.

Conor Gallagher could yet leave Chelsea before the transfer window closes on Thursday, but that won’t deter him from producing another combative performance. Gallagher has been booked 23 times since the start of last season and him to receive a card makes up the final part of my Build-a-Bet of Liverpool to win, Nunez to score and Gallagher to be shown a card which returns 5/1 with starsports.bet

Good luck,

ALEX CROOK

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BACK Aston Villa to win and both teams to score 1.5pts at 2/1 (⭐


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Build-a-bet: Liverpool to win, Nunez to score and Gallagher to be shown a card 1pt at 5/1 with starsports.bet

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Author: Eugene Morris