Premier League: These Two Really Don’t Like Each Other!

Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Two proud football clubs but also two names which conjure loathing between rival supporters.

Both sets of supporters dislike their rivals with a passion and my word it has resulted in some fierce clashes down the years.

If you don’t believe me us fans, go to any search engine and type Spurs-West Ham rivalry.

The Premier League era has done little to ease that tension.

They may only be 12 miles apart but a rivalry stretching back to the late 1890 cannot be rewritten.

Just ask any players of yesteryear or modern day who have played for both clubs – Jimmy Greaves, Martin Peters, Les Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe to name a few – to share their experiences.

Talking Points

Their meetings have produced Premier League highlights aplenty over the years and this contest could be yet another.

The importance is unlikely to be lost either on bosses Mauricio Pochettino or Manuel Pellegrini who will likely have been told about the rivalry soon after their respective appointments.

Form suggests a home banker.

West Ham’s last two outings have resulted in one point and lots of frustration.

West Ham United are aiming to produce Premier League highlights as they visit Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Manuel Pellegrini is preparing West Ham Players ahead their match against rivals Tottenham Hotspur

Only the woodwork and brilliance of David de Gea prevented them from getting at least a point at Old Trafford and they then conceded a last-gasp equaliser at home to Leicester last weekend, again a match in which they should have collected more than a point.

Three defeats and one draw in four games have possibly ruined their chances of a seventh place finish, not that Pellegrini will give up on that now Michail Antonio has returned and if the inconsistent Marko Arnautovic can show his effective side.

Spurs, meanwhile, are thriving, just edged out at champions Manchester City on Easter Saturday, days after seeing off the same opponents in a Champions League thriller.

West Ham would love to rain on Spurs’ parade and inflict a first defeat on them at their new stadium, yet even against a side missing their captain Harry Kane, they will need to improve defensively.

Since the turn of the year, the Hammers have leaked 26 goals in just 16 games, including at least two goals in each of their last six Premier League games and their record since the turn of the year is particularly poor.

Improve that and they may just cause a surprise.




Aside from a fierce rivalry, this is a history steeped in tradition, prestige and attacking football.

West Ham have proven a bit of a bogey for Spurs in big games over the last decade or so (both Premier League and League Cup), although you have to go back to October 2013 to the last time they defeated Tottenham on their own turf in the top flight.

On that occasion, a 3-0 win was secured by goals from Winston Reid, Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison – remember him? – in a blistering 13 minute spell.

That remains their only league victory at Spurs since 1999 when, among the young Hammers’ line-up that day, were young guns Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard and veteran forward Ian Wright.

Spurs are chasing a treble over West Ham this term having already won twice at the London Stadium this season.

An Erik Lamela goal settled the Premier League contest in October before they repeated the victory just over a week later with a 3-1 success in the League Cup, courtesy of Son Heung-Min (two) and Fernando Llorente.

Traditionally, Spurs have won 96 of their meetings with West Ham winning 63 and the other 52 ending with honours even.

Betting Tip

Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United First Half Asian Handicap Tottenham Hotspur -0.75 @ 2.35
April 27 19:30 (GMT+8)

Spurs are firm favourites with 1X2 odds on offer @ 1.44 in contrast to West Ham @ 7.00.

The draw @ 4.30 will appeal, however, especially with the pride of a London derby at stake and Spurs also forgiven for perhaps having one eye on their Champions League semi-final against Ajax little over 72 hours later.

Premier League betting odds with Asian Handicap also favour the home side, priced -1.25 @ 1.97, compared to the Hammers +1.00 @ 2.28.

I must admit that under 3.00 goal @ 2.07 has caught my eye, as has Double Chance West Ham or Draw @ 2.65.

It’s interesting to look at the total goal options too – 0-1 @ 5.20, 2-3 @ 2.11 and 4-6 @ 2.53.

The law of probabilities suggest Spurs will not beat West Ham three times in the same campaign, yet I do expect them to edge this.

I think they will want to try and get the game sewn up as quickly as possible too, given their upcoming semi-final.

?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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La Liga: Real Out to Dent Neighbours’ Champions League Dreams

Getafe vs Real Madrid

As things currently stand in La Liga, not one, not two, but three Madrid clubs will be headed to the Champions League next season. That’s because surprise package Getafe are still up in fourth place, right behind their more illustrious neighbours, Atletico and Real.

Getafe strengthened their grip on fourth with a convincing 3-0 win over Sevilla, who are one of their main rivals for that final Champions League place.

With fifth-placed Valencia visiting Atletico in midweek, Getafe have a chance to extend their two-point lead. But the Azulones also have a tough test in the form of Real, who will make the short trip to visit the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

While Real have no more trophies left to play for this season, they should still be eager to win in order to keep pace with rivals Atletico for second in the standings.

Talking Points

Getafe going great guns at home

When Getafe were flying high earlier in the season, many expected them to fade later in the campaign. But instead, the opposite has occurred; they have arguably grown stronger as the year has gone on.

With their win over Sevilla, Getafe have now gone undefeated in 11 of their last 12 La Liga matches (six wins, five draws).

Getafe’s La Liga 2019 results at home have been especially impressive. They’ve won six of their last seven at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with their lone defeat coming against mid-table Leganes.

Although, it should be noted that three of their other four losses have come against the other members of the current top five: Atletico Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona.

Getafe will likely look to keep it relatively tight at the back and make it hard for Real to break them down. They have allowed just 11 goals at home this season, which is tied for third-best in the league.

Getafe’s attack admittedly isn’t all that special — two of their three goals against 10-man Sevilla came from penalties — but they at least have two capable forwards in Jaime Mata and Jorge Moreno.

The two have combined for 27 of the team’s 43 league goals this season and are both in the top 10 of the goalscoring charts.


Zidane still waiting for an away win

Zinedine Zidane’s second stint as Real Madrid manager is now six games old, and while it’s still pretty early, a certain pattern of results has emerged.

Real remain undefeated in their four home matches with Zidane back. They thumped Athletic Bilbao 3-0 at the Bernabeu last time out, with Karim Benzema firing home a terrific hat-trick.

Benzema has been in absolutely brilliant form of late. He’s now scored 10 goals in his last seven games and has added three assists as well.

After the match, Zidane even went so far as to say that Benzema is the best No. 9 in the world. And based on his current play at the moment, Benzema is proving that at the very least, he should be part of that conversation.

But despite Benzema’s brilliance, Real remain winless away from home under Zizou. While a 2-1 defeat at Valencia was somewhat understandable, they also dropped points away to Leganes, which was less so.

Prior to Zidane’s return, Real had gone seven matches undefeated away from home in La Liga, with six wins and a draw.

With Real’s undoubted quality, though, it’s just a matter of time before they return to winning ways away from home. And the history between them and their city neighbours suggests that Real should finally get that first away win.

La Liga Getafe vs Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane's men are set to face face a tough opponent

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane watching his team play during their match against Eibar


To say Getafe’s head-to-head record against Real Madrid isn’t great would be a massive understatement. The Azulones have lost each of their last 10 La Liga fixtures against Real, and 17 of the last 18. Real beat Getafe in this season’s opening game 2-0, with Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale scoring the goals.

But it should be noted that this Getafe side is much better than the ones who suffered all those losses over the past few years, which is why the La Liga 2019 betting odds for this match are somewhat close. And of the five wins, Getafe have had over Madrid in the last 14 years, four have been at home.

Betting Tip

Getafe vs Real Madrid Real Madrid 1X2 @ 1.98
April 26, 03:30 (GMT+8)

Getafe have had a brilliant season and will clearly be no pushover at home. us odds have a Getafe home win priced at 3.85 and a draw at 3.45 in the 1X2 market.

But Real are just too good to continue dropping points away from home. With Benzema in incredible form, they should have just enough to eke out their first away win since Zidane’s return — and continue their amazing dominance over their neighbours.

?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.



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Nothing to lose for Delaney

Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Delaney says his side have nothing to lose as they battle Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title.

Der BVB set the pace for most of the season – at one stage sitting seven points clear – but their recent 5-0 reverse in Bavaria means they are now a point behind with four games of the season remaining.

Lucian Favre's side face Werder Bremen, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Borussia Monchengladbach in the run-in but before that have Saturday's Revierderby against Schalke to look forward to.

Dortmund are 10/29 to win the match, with the draw 23/5 and Die Konigsblauen 9/1 and will be hoping for a Bayern slip-up away at Nurnberg on Sunday.

Delaney won the Danish Superliga five times while at Copenhagen and joined Favre's team from Werder Bremen in the summer.

Borussia's young squad has perhaps understandably felt the nerves in recent weeks, with the club aiming for a first Bundesliga crown since 2011-12.

After going from clear at the top to hunting the opposition, their Danish midfield maestro says Der BVB need to find a way to play without fear in the final weeks of the season.

He told the Bundesliga's website: "When you are in a situation where you have a seven-point lead at the top and then suddenly you are trailing by one, you feel the pressure and there are a lot of questions being asked by people from the outside.

"It's make-or-break and, whilst you need talent, you don't get far without a good mentality and a good work ethic.

"We've done a good job so far, but we could've done better and we could've done a lot worse. I want us to play with the mentality of having nothing to lose because that makes us a better team."

Dortmund are 4/1 to win the Bundesliga, with Bayern available at 1/6.

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Pep expects United reaction

Pep Guardiola says he expects an inspired performance from Manchester United in Wednesday's derby at Old Trafford.

The Manchester City boss takes his troops across town to face their bitter rivals and knows a win will go a long way to sealing the Premier League title.

City currently sit second in the table, two points behind Liverpool, albeit with this game in hand.

Guardiola's side have won their last 10 in the Premier League and take on a team who lost 4-0 at Everton on Sunday, a result that marked their sixth defeat in eight games in all competitions.

After a couple of days of deliberation, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will now be looking at ways in which his side can bounce back and beating City to boost their hopes of a top four finish would help win the Red Devils' faithful back round.

United have not won a home derby in the league since 2015 and having recorded 2-1 victories in each of the last two seasons at Old Trafford, Guardiola seems to have found a formula.

However, the Spaniard is taking nothing for granted, insisting that the Red Devils have more than enough to rediscover their form.

Guardiola said: "I expect the best United tomorrow, I am sure.

"They are bright. Football players try to do their best and tomorrow is going to happen. We prepare for their strong points and weak points."

City are 4/9 to win at Old Trafford, with the draw 4/1 and the Red Devils 13/2.

The Citizens can be backed at 7/4 to finish first in the Premier League title race.

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Fowler takes reins at Brisbane Roar

Robbie Fowler has been appointed as Brisbane Roar's new coach, on a two-year deal.

The Liverpool legend has been given his first coaching job by the A-League side and is returning to the competition where he played for North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory.

He will succeed Darren Davies, who has been interim coach since John Aloisi resigned in December.

Davies has only won three of his 17 games in charge and the Roar, who were thrashed 6-1 at home by Newcastle Jets at the weekend, are guaranteed to finish next to bottom in the table.

Fowler has confirmed that Davies will stay on his coaching staff but that former Everton midfielder Tony Grant will be his assistant.

The 44-year-old said: "I'm so excited; it's something I've wanted for a long time. To actually get a job with a great team is very very rewarding and I'm really proud of myself.

"I always knew if I wanted to become a manager, it had to be the right club and I just feel as though Brisbane is. It's a long way from home but I think the club has got a lot to offer, and I feel like I've got a lot to offer the club as well."

Fowler will be presented to the crowd at Suncorp Stadium ahead of Thursday's Anzac Day match against Adelaide United when the Roar will finish their season.

Speaking of the team's fortunes this season, he said: "[It] has obviously been a little bit disappointing but you always look for positives and as far as I'm concerned, the only way is up. Everyone knows the club and the place probably needs a bit of a freshen up; I'm confident I can do that, I feel as though I am the right man."

Fowler has been working as a pundit in recent years and has served as an academy coach at Liverpool.

Brisbane Roar are 9/2 to win their next game against Adelaide United, who are 8/15 with the draw 10/3.

The Roar are 25/1 to win 1-0.

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NBA: Greek Freak Puts Stamp on Dominant Sweep

Both of the NBA playoff series in action on Monday had the possibility of ending in a sweep — but only one of those series did see the brooms brought out.

While Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks took care of business against the Detroit Pistons, James Harden and the Houston Rockets will need at least one more game to get rid of the Jazz after an inspired performance from Utah in Game 4.

The Bucks’ sweep means that one second-round series is finally set as Milwaukee take on the Boston Celtics in a rematch of last year’s playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Rockets need to wait a while longer to set up their own rematch against the Golden State Warriors.

Milwaukee Bucks 127-104 Detroit Pistons (MIL win 4-0)

Giannis Antetokounmpo saved his best for last against the Pistons. After scoring just 14 points in Game 3, the Greek Freak poured in 41 points and 9 rebounds with 4 blocks in just 32 minutes in Game 4 as the Bucks closed out Detroit in one of the most dominant sweeps you can imagine.

Giannis’ 41 points was his highest total since dropping 45 on the Philadelphia 76ers in the second to last game of the regular season.

The fact that Antetokounmpo’s 32 minutes played in Game 4 was his series-high only underscored just how in command the Bucks were.

Even Blake Griffin’s return from a knee injury in Game 3 was not able to make this series competitive in any way, shape, or form. The Bucks’ margins of victory in their four wins against the Pistons were 35, 21, 16, and 23 points.

Griffin gave it his all in Game 4 and finished with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and six assists before fouling out. Meanwhile, Reggie Jackson erupted for 26 points as the Pistons led by as many as 10 points in the first half. But that was as good as it got for the Pistons as the Bucks roared back and never let up.

Milwaukee will now move on to the second round to face the Boston Celtics, who also completed their own sweep of the Indiana Pacers.

After demolishing the Pistons for four straight games, the Bucks should finally encounter some actual competitive postseason basketball against the Celtics, who knocked them out in the first round last season.

Both teams have changed significantly since then, though. Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are now healthy for Boston after they both missed last year’s playoff run due to injury. And the Bucks have morphed into one of the best teams in the league under head coach Mike Budenholzer’s leadership.

Most NBA 2019 predictions will likely have the Bucks going through in that series. But it would be foolish to discount the Celtics, who possess the tools to give Milwaukee all they can handle.

Houston Rockets 91-107 Utah Jazz (HOU lead 3-1)

After the Jazz’s crushing Game 3 loss against the Rockets, Donovan Mitchell said Utah weren’t going to “lay over” in Game 4 and simply allow Houston to complete their sweep. And the Jazz’s second-year star backed up his big talk on the court as he led the Jazz to the Game 4 victory.

Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz extend their NBA season after defeating the Rockets

Donovan Mitchell reacts after scoring a basket against the Houston Rockets

Mitchell took a while to get going, but he finally erupted in the fourth quarter, where he scored 19 of his team-high 31 points.

Prior to Mitchell taking over in the fourth, Jae Crowder (23 points, 8-13 FG) and Ricky Rubio (18 points, 11 assists) were the ones mainly responsible for keeping the Jazz within striking distance of the Rockets, who simply lost steam in the end.

After his 0-of-15 start to Game 3, James Harden had another rough shooting night as he went 8-of-19 with eight turnovers. Chris Paul also went 8-of-19 from the field, but he filled up the stat sheet with 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks in a losing effort.

Rockets big man Clint Capela had his worst game of the series in Game 4 as he finished with just 4 points and 7 rebounds. However, NBA 2019 news broke that he’s actually been battling two respiratory illnesses in this series.

The Jazz showed in the two games in Utah that the series wasn’t quite as one-sided as it looked back when they got blown out twice in Houston. Who knows what would have happened if they had been able to capitalise on Harden’s horrific shooting night and won Game 3.

us odds are still very much against the Jazz as no team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 series deficit. But at the very least, they can still make the Rockets work to get that fourth win in Houston — or perhaps even force another game in Utah.




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Solskjaer talks up United DNA

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims that many of his current squad have the club "DNA" despite suffering a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Everton at the weekend.

United put in a lacklustre performance at Goodison Park on Sunday, with Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott bagging in the goals for the Toffees.

The Red Devils have come in for some hefty criticism since the defeat on Merseyside, with questions being raised on how many of the current squad will be working under Solskjaer next season.

United's manager has come out an defended a number of his players and feel they are more than up to the standard to play for the Premier League giants.

"You learn about players. Now is not the time to talk about making wholesale changes," said Solskjaer on Tuesday.

"You can see the Man Utd DNA in many of these players. We have to get players in and some players will have to go out."

"I am confident in my team and myself," he added. "I am ready to take this challenge on. I know it is a big challenge. That is why I came."

United are next in action on Wednesday night when they welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are 13/2 to win, 4/1 to draw and 4/9 to lose to the Citizens.

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Poch eager for Lloris return

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says he is hopeful to have keeper Hugo Lloris back ahead of Tuesday night's Premier League clash with Brighton.

Spurs will be looking to bounce back after they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City at the weekend, with the north Londoners still battling it out for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

France international Lloris missed the encounter against Pep Gaurdiola's side due to a slight muscle injury and faces a race against time to be ready for Tuesday's battle with Brighton.

Pochettino is hopeful, but the Argentine tactician won't risk pushing Lloris' return too soon, especially with two Champions League semi-final legs with Ajax to come.

"Lloris I hope yes, we are going to assess, we have a training session and we hope it is not a big issue, we hope he is going to be available," Pochettino said.

Midfield paring of Erik Lamela and Harry Winks will also be assessed ahead of the encounter with Brighton as they struggle with hamstring and groin problems respectively.

"Harry Winks we don't know because it is a problem that is one day very good, next day not very good, it is about assessing each day," Pochettino added.

Spurs are 2/7 to win, 5/1 to draw and 12/1 to lose against the Seagulls at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Milner targets perfect finish

James Milner claims Liverpool must win all their remaining games and if it's not good enough then Manchester City will deserve to claim the Premier League title.

Following Sunday's victory over Cardiff City, the Merseyside outfit now have 88 points, two more than Rafael Benitez's squad secured 10 years ago in finishing runners-up to arch rivals Manchester United.

Even if they win their remaining three games and make 97, that might not be enough as Pep Guardiola's City have a game in hand.

"We just need to win the rest of our games," Milner said. "If we do that and it's not good enough then you have to hold your hands up and say 'well done City'.

"They are a top team, they have done it before and are grinding it out. It's frustrating to think we've had one defeat all year and it might not be enough. But all we can do is win the rest of our games and put them under pressure."

Liverpool are next in action on Friday night when they welcome Huddersfield Town to Anfield.

The Reds are 13/10 to win the Premier League, while Man City are 4/7 to claim the title.

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Emery sticking to his guns

Arsenal boss Unai Emery is adamant he will continue to rotate his side to protect the players as they chase a top-four finish and Europa League success.

The comments come on the back of the Gunners' 3-2 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace on Sunday, after Arsenal had made seven changes from the side that secured a Europa League success in Napoli on Thursday.

Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka should recover from a hip complaint in time for Wednesday's league trip to take on Wolves, as Emery looks set to mix up his player rotation once again.

"We have had some injuries, like with Aaron Ramsey, and we need to protect the players," said Emery. "For example, Xhaka asked to change in the second half against Napoli and could have played (against Palace), but with some risk.

"We need to protect our players and to use other players. We are playing with a lot of players and they give us the performance; we lost but we could also have lost with other players on the pitch."

Arsenal are 4/7 to finish in the Premier League's top four this season, while the north London outfit are 5/2 to win the Europa League this term.

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