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Shay Says - Episode 16

Welcome to Shay Says, the latest football betting blog from LeoVegas’ Irish ambassador, Shay Given.

This week, the Republic of Ireland and Premier League legend previews three midweek fixtures from the Premier League, including Manchester City's seismic clash with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.

Let’s see what Shay Says!

Leeds v Leicester

This is a massive game for both clubs. Leeds have the home advantage and you’d like to think that will help them, but the atmosphere at Elland Road can change quite quickly if they go a goal down.

There are definite questions about Javi Gracia as manager, whilst Illan Meslier is coming under some pressure in goal. There just seems to be a sense of negativity around the setup at the minute.

They play such an aggressive style of football and seem far too open at times. That’s been there from the Marcelo Bielsa days – it’s not something new from the past couple of months.

Leicester had a brilliant result at the weekend against Wolves – the belief and the confidence can come back very quickly to the team if they win those types of relegation dogfights.

They’ve got a good setup now with Dean Smith, John Terry and Craig Shakespeare, and they’ll be looking to build on that victory and get another good result at Elland Road.

I fancy Leicester to do the business here – Leeds are on a very slippery slope, and I think Smith’s side will bring in some momentum from Saturday’s fixture.

I’m going with 1-0 to Leicester, with James Maddison grabbing the winning goal.



Manchester City v Arsenal

Manchester City will have one hand on the title if they win here. Arsenal have dropped six points in three games at such a bad time, so you’d imagine the City players will be rubbing their hands together at the opportunity they’ve been given.

This was always going to be a massive game – it’s like a cup final for the Premier League – and that will be the mindset of Mikel Arteta and his players as well.

City are in that position now that they find themselves in during most seasons – they have the bit between their teeth and are just blowing teams away. But it won’t be easy against Arsenal. They are a top team.

It’s an interesting one for Arsenal – it feels like a bit of a free hit. They’re not expected to win on Wednesday, which may suit them better as they’ve struggled in games where they’ve been the favourites recently.

They also went to the Etihad earlier in the season and played well, so they’ll take confidence from that game too.

I’m going to side with City and Pep Guardiola here. His team has been there before and done it, and the players just look so focused in all of these important games.

I’m predicting 3-1 to City, with the main man Erling Haaland getting on the scoresheet.



Everton v Newcastle

Sean Dyche has done a good job to come in and steady the ship, but Everton are down there for a reason and recent weeks have shown why. When you’re in a relegation scrap, you can’t afford to take your foot off the gas.

Newcastle are off the back of an amazing victory against Tottenham, but this won’t be an easy game. I’ve been to Goodison Park many times and it’s a really tough place to visit, particularly under the lights in the evening.

It’s exciting to see Newcastle play at this level. To be 5-0 up against your main top-four rival in 20 minutes was a huge statement. Tottenham were poor, but you can’t take anything away from the quality of Newcastle’s goals.

Eddie Howe will be pleased at the way they bounced back from that defeat against Aston Villa. There were question marks after that game, but the players responded brilliantly.

This will be a tough game, but if Howe can bring their form and confidence from the weekend over to this game, I fancy Newcastle to get the job done.

I reckon 2-1 to Newcastle, with Alexander Isak scoring anytime.



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*all odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change