Premier League Talking Points: Relegation worry for Saints and West Ham
Nick Murphy | 12 March 2018
Spurs, United and Arsenal also feature
It was a top-bottom split in the Premier League this weekend with just one side in the bottom-half picking up all three points.
Newcastle United prevailed against Southampton to leave the Saints in serious relegation danger. West Ham United and Crystal Palace also suffered damaging defeats as the race to avoid the drop really begins to hot up.
With all of the crucial news at either end of the table, it’s our weekend talking points…
Kane concern in Tottenham win
Tottenham Hotspur bounced back from defeat to Juventus with a convincing 4-1 win at AFC Bournemouth on Sunday. Son Heung-min scored twice as the North Londoners moved above Liverpool into third.
However, the game was overshadowed by an ankle injury to star striker Harry Kane. The England ace limped off on the half-hour mark following a clash with Cherries ‘keeper Asmir Begovic. The 24-year-old will go for a scan today to find out the extent of the injury ahead of the final two months of the Premier League campaign.
Sorry Saints going South
Mauricio Pellegrino and co would have earmarked a trip to St James’ Park as the perfect opportunity to pick up three points. The Saints had lost just once in 10 going into the match and were unbeaten away from home in 2018.
So a 3-0 defeat to the Magpies would have come as a bitter disappointment to the travelling contingent. Southampton have now won just once in 17 matches in the Premier League and are just a single point above the dreaded drop-zone.
Unless they stem the tide at one end and start scoring at the other, it could be a nervy couple of months for supporters of the South Coast club. They’re 2/1 for relegation.
Hammers’ house of horrors
It was a weekend to forget for West Ham United. The Hammers were comfortably beaten by Burnley in a match that was marred by protest against the club’s owners.
The East Londoners have slipped to within three points of the relegation zone after picking up just five points from the last seven matches. They now have three weeks to regroup before a crucial six-pointer against Southampton.
Lose that and future games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Leicester City and Manchester United could well seal their fate. The Hammers are 9/4 for Prem relegation.
United’s UCL hopes boosted
When Manchester United went to Anfield in October, the Red Devils sat behind the ball and frustrated their opponents to secure a 0-0 draw.
Fast forward five months and Jose Mourinho’s side looked confident, positive and attacked with fervour at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford shone with a wonderfully taken brace as United edged past Liverpool with a 2-1 victory.
That success puts the Red Devils four points clear of Spurs in second. The Premier League crown is beyond them now. But if they can translate that sort of performance onto the European stage, they could be dark horses to win the Champions League. Mourinho’s men are 20/1 for a first UCL trophy since 2008.
Dortmund connection inspires Gunners
After two victories in four days, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. The Gunners followed up their impressive victory over AC Milan on Thursday by dispatching Watford 3-0 at the Emirates yesterday.
Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were all on the scoresheet as the North Londoners closed the gap on Liverpool in fourth to 12 points.
However, it’s the link-up between Aubamayeng and Mkhitaryan that will give Gunners fans the most grounds for hope. The pair combined for 59 goals and 31 assists in their final season together at Borussia Dortmund.
It’s early days for the pair at the Emirates. But on Sunday’s showing, that connection appears to have remained.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing