What we learned from Game Week 28

Tuesday, February 27 2018

 

Mixed bag of results over the weekend. Highlights were the Huddersfield & BTTS at 9/1 which sent West Brom down (more of that in a tick) and ‘Arry Kane sorting out a late 3/1 winner at Palace. Low lights were Southampton and the referee conspiring to snatch away 4/1 AND 6/1 winners in the final minute at Burnley. Grrr! 

Still, I’ll sort those pesky Saints out by the end of this post. Oh yeah. 

West Brom are down…

If Albion had anything at all in their ball-bag, Saturday was the time to show it. They didn’t. They rolled over and had their Huddersfield and now require snookers to stay up. It would take an 18pt miracle to stand any chance of survival, so six wins from ten matches. That’s 33 matches less than the last six took them. 

Funny old season for Jonny Evans. One minute he is the subject of a bidding war between Man City and Arsenal, the next he’s is an Uber driver in Spain. 

Where to Guv? The Etihad…? Nah, make that the Championship…    

And then there were two…

So if West Brom are gone, who will join them? Saturday’s big winners were Huddersfield and Brighton, coming out on top in the two six-pointers against Albion and Swansea. Both have handy home form too – a key ingredient in PL buoyancy. 

Huddersfield have averaged 1.7pts per match at home to teams outside the Top Five. And maintaining that on the run-in – v Swansea, Palace, Watford, Everton and Arsenal – would hit the 40pts mark.
And after landing us a 9/1 winner on Saturday, I’m all for another season of Terriers in the top flite. 

Brighton have averaged an even better 1.9pts in their unbeaten 11 home matches v non Top Five teams. Home form that puts them above Bournemouth and Burnley and comfortably Top Half for the season. 

The bunfight below…

The Seagull’s run-in (fly in, descent, whatever…) is less palatable than Huddersfield’s – Arsenal, Tottenham and Man United are still to visit (and there are ugly trips to Man City and Liverpool to negotiate). But if they can match the 8pts accumulated in their last four in their next ten, that’ll be 39pts. And a fighting chance.

Elsewhere, Stoke will need at least four wins (plus change), which will require an upset or two. City, Tottenham and Burnley are all due in town, with Arsenal and Liverpool trips still required. They face a final week 12-pointer of Palace at home and Swansea away. Oooff!

The season’s two great revivalists need to prove they haven’t peaked too early. If Palace can get through a vicious March with their dukes still up – Man United, Chelsea, Huddersfield and Liverpool are queueing up to make Woy swear – they’ll effectively have a six-match play-off with largely Bottom Third bedfellows. 

Swansea’s recent habits suggest they can get 12 of the likely 13pts required at home. And their next three v West Ham, Huddersfield and Southampton could take care of half of that haul. So long as they don’t get distracted by Wembley’s twin towers and a daft notion of winning the FA Cup. 

Saints alive?

Southampton are still involved in the cup too, of course. But from here, lifting the famous old trophy looks about as likely as getting 13pts from their remaining home matches (to hit the 40-mark). They certainly won’t get much juice out of Man City and Chelsea, so will need to at least match their average of 1.37pts from their six (count ‘em… SIX!) remaining away games. And personally I don’t see it.

That’ll learn them for snatching away our 4/1 and 6/1 winners out of our hands in the last minute at Burnley!

So it’s Southampton and Stoke to join the Baggies for me. Currently trading at 16/1. Worth a nibble, Badmen. 

Don't have nightmares,

Matt Nesbitt
 
  

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