Newcastle v Fulham
A second string Newcastle side crashed out of the FA Cup at Sheffield Utd, but they’ve since bounced back with a win over Leicester to reach the League Cup semi-finals. The Magpies’ unbeaten run in the league now stretches to 13 matches and they are the favourites to carry this on here. They are still without loss in their home matches and this could be because six of their seven matches against the top eight have come away, but it if anything this makes their sole loss seem even more impressive.
Fulham have carried on their fantastic goalscoring form and have now won their three Premier League matches since the return of football after the World Cup. Victories over Palace, Southampton and Leicester mean that the Cottagers are back up in the top seven.
Marco Silva has to break the trend of losses against the elite teams of the league as Fulham have lost all five of their matches against the current top five. As mentioned earlier, they have a great goalscoring record and the South-West London side have found the net in all their matches bar two (0-0 draws with Everton and Wolves).
Even though both teams have scored in only three of Newcastle’s nine home matches, they’ve only played one match against the top eight, and their two matches against the top nine finished with both teams on the scoreboard. Newcastle have had two goalless stalemates in their last two matches, though one was against league leaders Arsenal, and the Magpies will be desperate to get a goal, which will be only exasperated if Fulham get the first of the game.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Chelsea are going through a very difficult period at the moment. They’ve only managed one win in their last six matches (W1-D1-L4) and although three of these were against Arsenal, Newcastle and Man City, the Blues still lost 4-1 to Brighton and drew 1-1 away at Forest. Over the last 10 years, they’ve only had one season where they collected fewer points at the same stage (17 games played), which was in 2015/16 when they finished 10th.
Patrick Vieira and his men have been through a strange period where they went W4-L4 in their last eight. They perhaps should of walked away with more than 12 points from these games, as it included losses to Everton, Forest and Fulham. The issue is their four wins came against four of the teams in the bottom five.
The head-to-head stats are certainly not in Palace’s favour as they’ve lost each of their past 11 encounters with Chelsea in all competitions. Since the Eagles returned to the Premier League in 2013/14, they’ve played 20 matches against one another, with Palace a poor W4-L16. Nine of Chelsea’s 16 wins were won by a one-goal margin, which seems very well priced and should be taken full advantage of.
Even though Chelsea haven’t been playing their best football of late, we think they still have what it takes to get the win here, but we are predicting a close tie as London rivalries so often are.
CHELSEA TO WIN BY 1 GOAL ADVANTAGE
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