We are 15 Matchday’s away from the end of the season. It’s looking like the title and relegation is pretty much decided. Fortunately, we have the race for European qualification to keep things interesting.
Will Leicester City, West Ham, Everton, or Aston Villa break into the Top 4? Will we see the same elite clubs qualifying for Champions League football next season?
Hit me up on Twitter @RegistaPicks with your thoughts, who you support, and picks for the week.
MIKE DEAN STEALS THE SHOW
In the past referee, Mike Dean has been accused of wanting to be the star, and they resurfaced on Saturday. Tomáš Souček was tussling with Aleksandar Mitrović on the edge of the box when he lifted his arm and accidentally caught the Fulham player in the eye with his elbow. You could see from Souček’s reaction there was no intent or malice.
VAR called Dean over to the pitchside monitor, and after rewatching the incident 6 or 7 times, the decision was made to send Souček off for violent conduct. Here’s the FA’s wording for that law.
Violent conduct is when a player uses or attempts to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball, or against a team-mate, team official, match official, spectator, or any other person, regardless of whether contact is made.
In addition, a player who, when not challenging for the ball, deliberately strikes an opponent or any other person on the head or face with the hand or arm, is guilty of violent conduct unless the force used was negligible.
There was nothing deliberate about Souček’s movement, and it was 100% accidental. Commentators, pundits, and fans were outraged by the decision, with some calling for Dean to sit out the next couple of weeks.
🗣"I would love to see Mike Dean be the big man and say I have made a huge mistake"— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 6, 2021
Jamie Redknapp believes that Mike Dean should explain his decision to send off West Ham's Tomas Soucek and maybe apologise for the red card pic.twitter.com/3i8Z2fKnk2
Their wish has been granted, but not in the circumstances they thought it would be. The Premier League has granted Dean’s request to stand down this weekend after his family received death threats and abusive messages. Souček posted a statement on Twitter condemning the abuse, and I agree 1000%. As much as we love this sport and emotions can run high in the heat of the moment, it is just a game.
Whatever decisions are made on the pitch should stay on the pitch. I don’t like hearing about it interfering with personal life and I send Mike Dean and his family my support. There is no place for abuse of any kind. It is in the past and I’m now focused on the rest of the season https://t.co/Tcofvo8a9X— Tomáš Souček (@tomassoucek28) February 8, 2021
David Moyes turned up to his post-match interview looking like Darth Sidious. Geoff Shreeves tried his best to get an explosive reaction out of him by bringing up Mitrović, telling Dean it was accidental. The experienced West Ham manager kept his emotions in check, and that keeps the spotlight firmly on the officials.
West Ham submitted an appeal to the FA, and they rescinded Souček’s red card on Monday. This was the second time in a few days Dean had a red card overturned after sending off Jan Bednarek last Tuesday in Southampton’s 9-0 loss to Manchester United.
🗣"I'm more embarrassed for whoever is on VAR and made that decision, who thinks that is in anyway deliberate"— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 6, 2021
West Ham boss David Moyes was not happy with the decision that saw Tomas Soucek sent off for an elbow late on against Fulham pic.twitter.com/yMuC6Lyhtn
HARRY KANE GETS TOTTENHAM BACK TO WINNING WAYS
Surprise surprise, Harry Kane returns from injury, and Tottenham ends their 3 game losing streak. I don’t think any other player in the league is as important to their side’s success as Kane is to Spurs. José Mourinho will be doing everything he can to protect the England captain’s fragile ankles as we reach the business end of the season.
Here are the 2020-21 Premier League Matchday 24 Betting Lines.
PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHDAY 24 BETTING LINES
ODDS & ENDS
- Back Aston Villa at +155 to end Brighton’s 5 game unbeaten run.
- You can get Leeds United or the Draw at +102, which is great value. Arsenal hasn’t won in 3 games, and these two played out a 0-0 back in early November.
- I like Chelsea to Win Both Halves Yes at +155. Callum Wilson, Fabian Schar, and Javier Manquillo all had to come off in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Southampton to add to Newcastle’s injury problems. Steve Bruce doesn’t sound the most optimistic about the news “We’ll dust ourselves down and see who we’ve got fit. A nice easy one in Chelsea away next up.”
- Parlaying West Ham and Chelsea together on the Money Line comes out at +107.
WHERE TO BET THE PREMIER LEAGUE IN THE US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.