Arsenal v Southampton

 Having watched their dream title challenge fizzle out recently, Arsenal need to get back on-form – and sharpish. Given the Gunners had a healthy lead in the title, a pair of 2-2 draws where in both games they were 2-0 up are going to be pretty damaging for confidence and self-belief. Can they come out the other side against a Southampton side who are desperately fighting against relegation?

Arsenal News

Given Arsenal games seem to see plenty of goals – the Gunners have scored at least twice in their last seven games – and they have a very strong home record against Southampton, this should be a home banker. However, a growing injury list involving defenders William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko are sure to cause some headaches for Mikel Arteta.

Saliba is out with a back injury, and it is unlikely that Zinchenko returns in time. Kieran Tierney looks set to come back in at left-back.

Southampton News

Saints come into this one with a few injuries, though they will definitely be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles due to being ineligible against his parent club. Tino Livramento is finally back in action, but it is unlikely that he will be risked at the Emirates. Other than that, Mislav Orsic looks set to miss out, while Mohammed Salisu and Che Adams are also both out.


Expect an easy home win here. Southampton have been rotten on the road, and Arsenal could not ask for an easier league fixture ahead of their trip to Manchester City in what is likely to be a title decider.

Score Prediction: 3-0

Leeds United v Liverpool

 For the home side, results are essential – for Liverpool, the season already feels like a total write-off. The Reds have endured some tough times this year, with a real lack of consistency impacting their ability to get things done. the UEFA Champions League is more or less guaranteed to be gone. Even qualifying for the UEFA Europa League will be a tough ask at this point.

With so little to play for, can Liverpool match the desire of Leeds in this one?

Leeds United News

Leeds come into this one with no major new injury concerns, but they are still missing two key players in Maximilian Wober and in Tyler Adams. Both are not likely to be back for this game or anytime soon, and this will be a major blow given the importance of both players in the way that Leeds play the game.

Liverpool News

Liverpool are also missing a few players, with Naby Keita again injured and Luis Diaz still unlikely to be fit enough to start this one. Stefan Bajcetic and Calvin Ramsey are both likely out for the season, as well. Liverpool have grown used to injury issues this year, but they have a relatively fit squad to pick from this week. The problem is choosing players who are in form, of which there are relatively few.


Both teams are lacking in form and confidence, and thus this could be a bit of a grind of a match-up. Though both games tend to see goals in their matches, Leeds lack the firepower to put teams away and Liverpool lack the systemic quality to hold teams off. This could result in a choppy, challenging game to watch where precious little actually takes place.

Expect some chances, but not much in the way of quality – this is a game that will be settled by desperation as opposed to quality.

Score Prediction: 1-1


Until February, 1983, Shergar was best known as a champion racehorse. Owned by the Aga Khan and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Shergar enjoyed a hugely successful three-year-old campaign, in which he won the Derby, by an unprecedented ten lengths, Irish Derby and King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. At the end of his racing career, in October, 1981, Shergar was syndicated for £10 million and sent to stand at Ballymany Stud, in Co. Kildare, Ireland.

However, less than two years later, on the evening of February 8, 1983, Shergar was abducted, along with Jim Fitzgerald, head groom at Ballymany Stud, by a group of armed, masked men and driven away in a horsebox. Fitzgerald was eventually released, four hours later and twenty miles or so away from Ballymany, but warned, upon pain of death, not to contact the Gardaí. Fitzgerald did contact stud manager Ghislain Drion who, in turn, attempted to contact the Aga Khan. It was not until eight hours after the event that the kidnapping was reported to the police service, by which time Shergar was long gone.

British horse racing journalists Derek Thompson, John Oaksey and Peter Campling were called in, at the behest of the kidnappers, to conduct ransom negotiations. However, a series of polaroid photographs of the head of a horse, alongside a copy of the ‘Irish News’, dated February 11, proved insufficient ‘proof of life’ for the owners. In any event, four days after the abduction, the kidnappers made a final telephone call, including the code phrase ‘King Neptune’ – which had earlier been given to Jim Fitzgerald – to inform negotiators that Shergar had died ‘in an accident’.

The only certainties are that Shergar was never seen alive again, his body has never been recovered and no arrests have ever been made in relation to his abduction. His fate remains an abiding mystery, subject to speculation and conjecture. The consensus, though, is that Shergar was kidnapped by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and machine gunned in a stable near Ballinamore in Co. Leitrim after injuring himself.

Anonymous Punter Wins Big

Twilight horse racing fixtures are extremely popular sports and social events and none more so than the National Hunt meeting staged at Punchestown on Friday, April 29, 2017. At least, not in the eyes of an unnamed Leicester man, who staked just £19, in the form of five £3 four-folds and a £4 five-fold, on five selections at the Co. Kildare track. All five selections won – in three out of five cases at odds significantly longer than starting price – and the anonymous Leicesterian collected the princely sum of £822,972.75 from Coral Bookmakers.

Having embarked on an evening out, the unwitting punter did not discover his good fortune until the early hours of Saturday morning. Nonetheless, the fact that he did not watch his selections run may have done his nervous system some good; his penultimate selection, Bacardys (10/1), only scraped home by a short head, while his final selection, Canardier (33/1), was strongly pressed in the closing stages before winning by three-quarters of a length.

Some of the winning margins may have been small, but the payout was the highest Coral had paid out on horse racing since the business was established by Joe Coral in 1926. Reflecting on what he described as the ‘realisation of a lifetime dream’, the lifelong gambler said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with the money, as it’s only just sinking in, but I have a few ideas and it is going to change my life.’

Simon Clare, Consumer Public Relations Director for Coral Bookmakers, was also in celebratory mood. He said, ‘This is the most incredible big-win story that we have ever encountered and a just-reward for our customer for twenty years of perseverance placing these ‘small-stake big-win’ bets day-in day-out.’