The English and Scottish League Cup final is upon us, and with them come the usual critical matches in the Premier League as we edge into the crunch end of the season.
Grosvenor Sport ambassador Jamie O’Hara previews the finals: Manchester United v Newcastle and Rangers v Celtic, as well as Crystal Palace v Liverpool and a huge Tottenham v Chelsea matchup.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Saturday 19:45 GMT
Score prediction: Crystal Palace 2 – 2 Liverpool 15/1
Anytime goalscorer: Darwin Nunez 17/10
It’s hard to know what kind of reaction we are going to get, are they going to be down in the dumps or are they going to come out firing? We’ll see. Crystal Palace haven’t been good this season either, they have been bang average.
Liverpool are going to concede goals; we’ve seen that. They’ll probably play exactly the same way with this high line, and they’ll get done plenty of times, but they’ll probably go on the attack as well and score goals.
I’m going to go for a 2-2 draw, I think it will be a good game. It’s always rocking there, and it will be end to end.
Darwin Nunez is in a good bit of form at the minute, and I think he will score. He’ll be Liverpool’s best player on the day.
Tottenham v Chelsea, Sunday 13:30 GMT
Score prediction: Tottenham 2 – 1 Chelsea 9/1
Anytime goalscorer: Harry Kane 17/10
I fancy Tottenham in this one, I think they will win 2-1. The players all of a sudden have a little bit of confidence back, they are playing with a little bit more freedom than they have in the past, as they did against West Ham. I know West Ham are poor, but I think this Chelsea team are too. They are easy on the eye, they look nice, and they keep the ball, but they don’t hurt you at the moment.
So Spurs will do exactly what they did against Manchester City, they’ll let them have the ball, and they’ll nick it and hurt them on the counter-attack. That’s the difference between Spurs and Chelsea; that’s why they’re tenth, and Spurs are fourth.
Spurs might not be a great to watch in terms of the passing, but when they have the ball, they make the difference. Chelsea don’t do that, so I will go 2-1, I think Harry Kane will continue his form and get on the score sheet, I think it’s going to be an easy win for Spurs.
Manchester United v Newcastle, Sunday 16:30 GMT
Score prediction: Man United 2 – 0 Newcastle 9/1
Anytime goalscorer: Marcus Rashford 17/10
I think it’s a proper even game. If it wasn’t for the fact that Nick Pope can’t play and Newcastle’s form in the last couple of weeks has dipped, I’d say it was 50-50. I think now the tie goes in Manchester United’s favour, just on the fact that Newcastle have their third-choice keeper in goal, and of course, Manchester United are in great form.
One interesting thing, though, is that Manchester United have Barcelona in the week. They could pick up injuries. Obviously, it’s a big game against Barcelona on Thursday, and we’ll have to see how that goes. It’s a whopper of a game and United could come out of that game with injuries and problems and maybe lacking a bit of confidence, with the fans on their back if they’ve been beaten.
It could even itself out, but for me, Manchester United win the game, and what a season that would mean for Erik ten Hag. He’s got a chance at top four and a trophy in his first season, Manchester United fans will snap his hand off at that. I just can’t see anything other than a Marcus Rashford winner. I’ll go 2-0 to Manchester United.
Rangers v Celtic, Sunday 15:00 GMT
Score prediction: Rangers 2 – 1 Celtic 9/1
Anytime goalscorer: Ryan Kent 12/1
Huge game, massive game, everyone loves these games, and I think it’s probably the biggest rivalry in the world. Both teams are in really good form, Michael Beale’s gone in there, and they’re flying, Celtic are flying, no one has let up, and I think it’s going to be a brilliant game to watch.
I think Michael Beale coming in when he has at Rangers, they’re a little too far behind to catch Celtic, but next season the league title is going to be up for grabs for sure. I think Celtic win the league this season, but if Rangers can nick the Scottish League Cup final, that says a lot about Michael Beale. If he comes straight in and wins a trophy… it’ll be interesting to see how the future pans out.
This Celtic team are going to come at them fast, they start games really quickly, if they get in front two or three nil, which they can do in the first half-hour of games, it’s going to be a difficult afternoon for Rangers.
I can’t wait to watch it, it’s a massive one, I’m going to go with Rangers. Rangers to win it in extra-time, how about that? Ryan Kent scores, it will be 1-1, and then Ryan Kent bags the winner.