The highlight games for this weekend’s action are ARSENAL versus LEICESTER and MAN CITY versus BOURNEMOUTH. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game week 2 matches with his unique and insightful commentary. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
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ASTON VILLA v EVERTON
12.30 in England
Aston Villa came up against new boys Bournemouth at the Vitality on Saturday and Steven Gerrard was outwitted by his old England midfield partner, Scott Parker.
The two played in the same Three Lions team that lost in the Quarter-Final of Euro’2012, where Roy Hodgson’s men suffered a penalty shootout defeat against Italy, in Kyiv.
Unfortunately for the travelling Villains, their idols allowed Bournemouth to score a goal in each half and get the victory by a 2-0 scoreline and although the August Sun was shining, it did make the journey back to the Midlands, an arduous one.
Stevie G just needs to put that result to bed and move on to this fixture against another old England midfield mate.
Everton could consider themselves unlucky to suffer an opening day defeat against Chelsea in the late Saturday afternoon kickoff.
Despite excellent play throughout the game, Frank Lampard’s Blues didn’t have a main threat upfront with an injury to Dominic Calvert-Lewin that will put the Sheffield Superstar 2 out of action for a couple of months.
Anthony Gordon was put as the main Number 9, however, showed that it’s not Anthony’s position and the Toffees are in need of a main Striker.
There was an incident after 10-minutes or so that resulted in Ben Godfrey sustaining a serious ankle injury that shouldn’t have happened.
Ben played the ball back to Jordan Pickford but the misplaced back-pass went out for a corner.
The ball was over the by-line by at least a yard but Jordan tried to disguise the fact that the ball was out and continued to play on which ended with Ben diving in to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity and picking up the severe injury.
If the linesman had given the corner initially or Jordan Pickford had admitted the ball had gone out, Ben Godfrey would not have been injured.
Yerry Mina and Abdoulaye Doucoure combined to foul Ben Chilwell and gave away a penalty just before half-time which was converted and with no further goals, Chelsea inflicted the defeat on Everton by a 1-0 scoreline.
Dele Alli made an appearance from the bench and got 30-minutes of game time to hopefully push for a start.
At Villa Park last season, both teams were under the guidance of different managers with Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues gaining a victory over Rafa Benitez’s Toffees by a 3-0 scoreline.
After a goalless 1st-half, Matt Cash scored before Lucas Digne turned past his own ‘keeper with Leon Bailey adding a 3rd to give the home team the points.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at slight Odds On 5/6, the draw at 5/2 and 10/3 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Ollie Watkins Scores First and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
ARSENAL v LEICESTER
15.00 in England
Arsenal got off to a winning start in the new 2022/23 Premier League campaign, inflicting defeat over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park by a 2-0 scoreline.
Mikel Arteta’s Young Guns lost last season’s opening day fixtures so have bucked the trend so to speak.
In truth, the goals scored by Gabriel Martinelli and a deflected Bukayo Saka strike, were literally the difference between the two Londoners as Crystal Palace played quite well but had nothing upfront.
The enigmatic Christian Benteke has left Selhurst Park and joined Wayne Rooney in Washington.
That has left Patrick Vieira’s Eagles light up front and it told against Arsenal on Friday.
That’s not to take anything away from Pep 2’s team who put in a professional display to earn the points that took them to the top of the Premier League table.
Although Gabriel Jesus didn’t score, the ex-Man City Striker was superb throughout the 83-minutes that the Brazilian was on the pitch.
It was one of the 3-Angels that put the Gunners in front with a simple header and then Bukayo Saka had a speculative shot late on in the game that took a wicked deflection off Marc Guehi to seal the victory.
The 3-Angels being Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel.
Leicester snatched a draw from the jaws of victory on Sunday, gaining a point against Brentford at the King Power by a 2-2 scoreline.
Timothy Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had scored a Foxes goal on either side of the half-time whistle to take a 2-goal to nil lead.
However, Brentford rallied and scored 2 themselves to give both teams a valuable point in the opening day fixture.
What did look odd was the fact that Kasper Schmeichel wasn’t between the sticks at the king Power having left Leicester after 11 years that saw the boy win the Championship, the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Community Shield.
Kasper is now in the South of France, Nice!
Brendan Rodgers can take solace that it wasn’t a defeat with 8 of the 20-Premier League teams suffering opening day losses.
Wesley Fofana and Youri Tielemans are still at the club and both played the full 90-minutes against Brentford on Sunday, with Brendan wanting to add to his Wonderfuls before the Transfer Window slams shut.
Brendan only made 1-substitution which is obviously a sign that he wants some players in before the Window closes.
Arsenal got the victory at the Emirates last season, where Leicester suffered a defeat by a 2-0 scoreline.
Thomas Partay scored before the break, with an Alexandre Lacazette converted penalty midway through the 2nd-half sealing the win.
Betfred offer Arsenal at Odds On 1/2, the draw at 10/3 and 11/2 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Gabriel Jesus Scores First and 13/8 that Arsenal Win To Nil.
BRIGHTON v NEWCASTLE
15.00 in England
Most, including this EveryTip contributor, thought Brighton would be the opening day fodder for Erik Ten Hag’s new look Manchester United revolution, however, most were left Red-faced with Graham Potter’s Seagulls inflicting an opening day defeat on United by a 2-1 score.
Pascal Gross scored the opener following great wing play by Danny Welbeck, who was superb throughout and many a Red Devil in the Old Trafford crowd wished that the Manchester lad was still in a Red Shirt.
Pascal added a 2nd before the break to give Graham’s Wizards a comfortable lead.
It was inevitable that United would come back strong and halved the deficit when Alexis Mac Allister, unfortunately, turned past his own goalkeeper.
Despite the pressure from the home team, Brighton held on for a well-deserved victory that enabled them to join the 7-other clubs that achieved an opening day win.
Newcastle gained an easy victory on Saturday, inflicting a defeat on new boys Nottingham Forest at St James Park by a 2-0 scoreline.
Fabian Schar and Callum Wilson with the Magpies goals, both after the break following a goalless 1st-half.
Callum has scored on the opening day in 4 out of the last 5-seasons.
Fabian Schar’s goal was a superb strike that broke the deadlock after a great amount of pressure from Newcastle, who were finding it frustrating not getting that elusive breakthrough.
Callum Wilson is hoping to force his way into the England squad for the World Cup this Winter and if the goals keep coming, there’s no reason why Gareth Southgate wouldn’t take the lad to Qatar.
Apart from Harry Kane, there are slots available in the Striking department with the ones who score regularly between now and November most likely to be on the plane, however, the boys won’t need to pack a coat.
Eddie and the Magpies were one of 8-teams who recorded a victory in the opening weekend and the Toon Army can temporarily sing,
‘We are top of the league.’
The Gooners did on Friday night at Selhurst Park.
There were 2-Graham/Graeme’s at the Amex when Newcastle headed the long-distance South last season.
Graham Potter’s Seagulls gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score, against Graeme Jones’s Magpies.
Granted both the G’s have a slightly different spelling of the name but still a Double Graham/Graeme on show.
Graeme Jones was in temporary charge after Steve Bruce had left and before Eddie Howe had arrived.
Mr Potter’s home team took the lead in the 1st-half through a Leandro Trossard penalty, with Mr Jones’s away side equalising after the break via an Isaac Hayden strike.
The Brighton goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez was shown a Red Card in the 92nd minute, however, even though Lewis Dunk took over the gloves, Newcastle couldn’t take advantage and both teams shared the points.
It was a long flight home for the Magpies.
Betfred offer Brighton at 7/5, the draw at 11/5 and 2/1 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 8/5 that Neal Maupay Scores Anytime and 11/10 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
MAN CITY v BOURNEMOUTH
15.00 in England
A rare 3.00 PM kick-off for the Citizens with this home fixture against Bournemouth not being shown on Sky Sports or BT.
Following a poor display in the Community Shield against Liverpool last week, Man City got back on track in the Sunday afternoon fixture against West Ham at the London Stadium.
With the thermometer showing 30’ degrees in the stadium, Erling Haaland sent the Citizens’ temperature soaring winning and converting a 1st-half penalty and running through to score a 2nd after the break.
It was a magnificent goal-scoring feat by the Big Norwegian/Leeds Lad who will have Premier League Defenders sweating following that performance.
It could be argued that Pep’s Blues weren’t at 100% with a few sloppy passes but were still head and shoulders above West Ham and have already got a 2-point advantage over Liverpool.
Don’t be surprised if Antonio Conte and Tottenham are the closest challengers this term as opposed to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool but it’s Odds On that Man City could win their 3rd-Premier League title in succession, something only the Numpty Neighbours from Old Trafford have achieved in the Premier League era.
Just to add spice to the watching Premier League rivals, Pep Guardiola introduced Kalvin Phillips in the 88th minute, as if to say,
‘Oh and we also have this particular player in reserve!’
Premier League clubs can now use 5-substitutes which John Newsome is not necessarily happy about, however, accepts that Football does evolve and the Top Managers get their own way eventually.
The only positive to take from the change is that managers only have 3-windows to send on the 5.
For example, if a player is injured in the 1st-half and needs to be replaced, that’s 1-window used, thus the manager then can only send on the other 4 in 2-batches.
There are rules also tweaked to keep the game flowing and prevent time-wasting.
On average, previously the ball was in play for 55-minutes, meaning 35-minutes of a 90-minute match has a break in play.
With the rising costs of everything, the Premier League wants to see the ball in play more.
There will be a multi-ball system with balls placed around the pitch to get the ball rolling quicker, so to speak.
This isn’t new but was only used at certain grounds and at the managers’ discretion.
One thing that has appeared to have been taken out of the game is the 6-second goalkeeper rule.
In the good old, olden days, a goalkeeper was only allowed to hold onto the ball for 6-seconds.
This appears to have gone although not officially.
Some goalkeepers grab the ball, fall to the ground and hold it for well over 20-seconds.
Maybe this needs to be looked at to speed the game up.
In the Manchester United v Brighton game, the final set of substitutions took over a minute and a half, yet the board had already gone up to state 5-minutes additional time.
The minute and a half weren’t added on to the extra 5.
As mentioned earlier in the Wolves preview, Bruno Lage only used 1-substitute.
At times last season, Pep Guardiola sometimes didn’t change things, so why are 5 now permitted?
It’s because the richer clubs can become stronger and the poorer ones fade away.
A bit similar to life in general.
Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United all have bigger and better squads than the likes of Wolves, Bournemouth, Southampton etc so will be able to utilise the new 5-substitute rule better.
(Well United could be excused from that list!)
Scott Parker and his newly promoted Cherries gained a surprise opening day victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.
Scott outwitted his old England mate, Steven Gerrard with goals from Jefferson Lerma in the 1st-half and Kieffer Moore after the break giving the Cherries the victory over the Claret and Blues by a 2-0 score.
Bournemouth had 2 ex-Barnsley players in their starting eleven, those being Ben Pearson and Kieffer Moore.
Ben spent a year at Oakwell on loan from Manchester United back in 2015 and Kieffer wore the Red shirt for a season in 2018.
Both were Premier League players in waiting and have finally reached the Promised Land after detours to several clubs.
The Oakwell faithful wish the pair well for the upcoming season in the Top Flight.
The Cherries were part of the Magnificent Eight who achieved a victory in Game Week-1.
Scott wore a dapper Blazer on the sidelines at the Vitality, a grey number with 4-White Stripes on the left arm.
It turns out the jacket was a Thom Browne design that retails at around £1,600.
A great start for Mr Parker and his newly promoted Bournemouth team.
Someone is earning his stripes!
It was July 2020, in the Coronavirus affected season that Bournemouth last visited the Etihad in the Premier League.
Eddie Howe’s Cherries needed to somehow gain a victory to prevent relegation in the Game Week-36 affair but Pep’s High Flying Blues were going for the title and inflicted a devastating defeat on Bournemouth by a narrow 2-1 scoreline.
David Silva and Gabriel Jesus scored the City goals before the break, with David Brooks getting a consolation for the away team late on in proceedings.
Unfortunately for both teams, Man City were pipped to the title by Liverpool and Bournemouth were eventually relegated.
Betfred offer Man City at Odds On 1/20, the draw at 11/1 and 40/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 2/1 that Erling Haaland Scores First and 11/8 that Man City Score 4+ Goals.
SOUTHAMPTON v LEEDS UNITED
15.00 in England
James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring against Tottenham at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Saturday, with Jim’s 41st-Premier League goal.
That puts JWP joint-4th on the Southampton goal-scoring charts behind, Matt Le Tissier (101), James Beattie (68), Marian Pahars (42) and Danny Ings (41).
It’s more than likely that James will overhaul Danny and Marian in the coming weeks but unlikely to get near Matt Le Tissier.
James Beattie is a target if Mr Ward-Prowse stays at St Mary’s.
Unfortunately, the goal against Tottenham turned out to be just a consolation with the Saints conceding 4 following Jim’s strike to ultimately suffer a defeat by a 4-1 away-day scoreline.
The 2nd-Spurs goal was interesting as Kyle Walker-Peters tried closing down Son Heung-Min but couldn’t and the cross resulted in Eric Dier heading home.
Kyle turned around to his teammate Yan Valery and shouted,
‘Why didn’t you come on over Valery!’
Thank you, Amy Whitehouse, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright.
It will be a long old season for Wreck-It Ralph Hasenhuttl and his Sorry Saints, especially if Kyle Walker-Peters and James Ward-Prowse are tempted away.
‘Leeds, Leeds are!’
Well, it’s a bit too early for the Joy Division tune to be sung, especially when the West Yorkshire puddings saw their idols Marsch on Together and gain a victory against Wolves at Elland Rd by a 2-1 score.
Leeds United conceded an early goal before Rodrigo scored in the 24th minute to equalise, taking both teams in level at the break.
It appeared that new boy Brendon Aaronson had scored the Leeds winner, midway through the 2nd-half, however, the Wolves Defender was credited with the own-goal.
Brendon would have scored but the Defender got his big toe in before so unfortunately, it went down as an OG.
It was a decent result for the home team, however, as mentioned last week, Wolves are not the force of a couple of seasons back and the game could quite easily have been an early relegation scrap.
Nevertheless, a win is a win and the Marching On Together crew were all out dancing in the streets as if they had won the World Cup.
All the local boozers afterwards, had hordes of puddings sharing a pint of Skol with 4-straws.
Patrick Bamford got just over an hour of game time that will please the lad, after the injuries last season.
Especially in this World Cup year where the Strike partner to Harry Kane, in Gareth Southgate’s England team, is up for grabs.
Marsching On Together!
When the Marching On Together crew ventured the long-distance South to St Mary’s last season, Marcelo Bielsa was still at the Leeds United helm.
After a goalless 1st-half, Armando Broja scored the only goal of the game to give Southampton the victory by a 1-0 score and send the West Yorkshire puddings home, all crying their hearts out.
Betfred offer Southampton at 23/20, the draw at 5/2 and 5/4 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 8/5 that Che Adams Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Nick Pope- Newcastle
RIGHT-BACK- Kieran Trippier- Newcastle
CENTRE-BACK- Eric Dier- Tottenham
CENTRE-BACK- Lewis Dunk- Brighton
LEFT-BACK- Antonee Robinson- Fulham
MIDFIELDER- Ryan Sessegnon- Tottenham
MIDFIELDER- Dejan Kulusevski- Tottenham
MIDFIELDER- Pascal Gross- Brighton
FORWARD- Erling Haaland- Man City
FORWARD- Callum Wilson- Newcastle
FORWARD- Aleksandar Mitrovic- Fulham
STAR MAN- Aleksandar Mitrovic- Fulham
WOLVES v FULHAM
15.00 in England
Wolves suffered an opening day defeat away at Elland Rd on Saturday.
In the West Yorkshire Sunshine, Daniel Podence scored 1st after 6-minutes which should have settled the Gold and Black nerves, however, Wolves conceded an equaliser 20-minutes later and with no further 1st-half goals, went in level at the break.
The unfortunate Rayan Ait-Nouri got his toe onto the end of a Leeds cross and was credited with an own-goal that gifted the home team the victory by a 2-1 score.
It was unlucky on Rayan but the outcome would have still been a goal as the Leeds United lad would have scored anyway.
There were a few strange factors to take from the game, one being Bruno Lage didn’t look happy, not just because his team lost but in general.
Bruno only made 1-substitution in the game bringing on a 19-year-old called Chem Campbell from the bench.
A bench that included Conor Coady.
It appears from the outside that Mr Lage is not happy with his squad and the lack of new signings, plus the impending departure of Conor who looks set to join Everton or West Ham in the coming days.
If Conor can be placed on the bench, then the Captain or ex-Captain should have played, despite the impending move away.
Granted if Bruno feels that Conor Coady is no longer committed to the Wolves’ cause, then the manager is within his rights to not play Mr Coady but should have left the lad completely out of the squad and not include him as a substitute.
It’s obviously a ploy to put messages out there but it appears to be the wrong message.
The defeat doesn’t come as a shock and if things don’t improve at Molineux and new signings are not forthcoming, then the Lage Louts are in for a long and arduous season that could result in a trip back to the Championship.
Fulham started the new campaign superbly on Saturday gaining an opening day point from a draw against Liverpool by a 2-2 scoreline.
A certain Archbishop was looking down on the new look Craven Cottage with a smile on his face.
Not only with the result but with the way Marco Silva’s team played throughout the 90-minutes that saw 2-Aleksandar Mitrovic goals, equalised by Jurgen’s Reds.
From the opening whistle, the Fulham players were all over the Liverpool eleven and denied the usual free-flowing football that the Reds usually produce.
There were discussions as to whether Aleksandar Mitrovic could reproduce the goals in the Premier League that were scored in the Championship last term.
The Big Serbian put those discussions to one side, scoring a typical Number-9 goal in the 1st-half and converting a penalty after the break.
What’s meant by a typical Number-9 strike is Aleksandar rose high above Trent Alexander-Arnold at the far post and headed home the opener.
Just what the home team deserved.
Fulham restricted the talent of Liverpool’s main men such as Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah who didn’t get a sniff in the 1st-half.
The usually composed Virgil Van Dijk conceded his 1st-penalty since 2018, to allow Mr Mitrovic to add a 2nd and despite conceding an equaliser, the point gained was wholly deserved.
That double by Mr Mit was the Serbian’s 45th goal in 45-games.
Forty-three from 44-Championship fixtures and now 2-Premier League strikes.
Fulham last ventured North to Molineux back in October 2020, where a Pedro Neto goal, just after the break, gave Wolves the victory by a 1-0 score.
Both teams were under the guidance of different managers, Wolves having Nuno Espírito Santo and Fulham having Scott Parker.
Betfred offer Wolves at 13/10, the draw at 23/10 and 13/10 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 8/5 that Hwang Hee-Chan Scores Anytime and 7/5 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores Anytime.
BRENTFORD v MANCHESTER UNITED
17.30 in England
The Christian Eriksen Derby.
Even though Christian did magnificently for the Bees last season and has health issues, the reception in this late Saturday afternoon kickoff, may not be very warm.
Brentford started slowly in the Sunday fixture against Leicester at the King Power Stadium, conceding 2-goals to trail after 46-minutes.
The season then kicked into life, with Ivan Toney scoring on the hour mark to half the deficit and Josh Dasilva equalising with time running out.
A superb effort by Thomas Frank’s Bees who gain a point from a draw by a 2-2 score, as predicted in this EveryTip column last week.
Christian was included in Erik Ten Hag’s first Premier League starting lineup, however, unfortunately for the Red Devil’s faithful, so were Fred and Scott McTominay.
John Newsome makes no apologies for continuing the narrative that United won’t win anything with Fred and Scott.
In last week’s column, John gave a predicted starting eleven for Erik the Red’s opener with 8 of the 11, correctly included.
This EveryTip contributor had omitted Luke Shaw, wrongly assuming Luke was injured, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen, purely based on the fact that it was too soon for the pair to start.
Erik included Luke, Lisandro and Christian but the problems continue at Old Trafford.
Despite an impressive pre-season, the Manchester United of the last campaign reared its ugly head in the opener against Brighton on Sunday.
In truth, United were woeful with the same problems continuing, that being Fred and Scott are simply not good enough.
Just because one runs around the pitch, it doesn’t automatically equate to having a decent game.
There’s been a subconscious attitude by the media, the commentators and everyone else who think they know what’s wrong at Old Trafford, Gary Neville included, that Fred and Scott are good players.
They are not!
No one who has read this column over the past few years can say that John Newsome hasn’t given Manchester United a warning regards the problem, yet Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralph Rangnick have continued to use F and S as the go-to midfielders, blinkered in the fact that they are the answer, yet it simply doesn’t work.
United would be better off using M and S, instead of Fred and Scott.
Tottenham have signed Yves Bissouma this Summer to enhance the Central Midfield of Antonio’s Spurs.
This EveryTip column mentioned that Manchester United should go for Yves over 12 months ago, yet the continued blinkered thought that Fred and Scott were the midfield men, meant United bought in other areas and never strengthened in those positions.
It’s no good having Top Class Strikers or World Cup-winning Defenders when one is not getting supplied and the other is not getting protected.
Christian Eriksen is a class player but is he much different to Bruno Fernandes?
Cristiano Ronaldo is a massive shadow over the club, even to the point as at half-time in the fixture against Brighton on Sunday, Micah Richards and one likes Micah, he’s a lovely fella, stated,
‘This shows how much Ronaldo is worth to Manchester United’
No, it doesn’t Micah, it shows just how poor United are and have to rely on a 37-year-old.
A 37-year-old is not the answer for Erik Ten Hag but the shadow will be cast and the discussions will then take place that Mr TH should have started CR7.
It’s not ‘either/or’ it’s ‘say goodbye to Cristiano and move on!’
The money then (wages!) can be used to purchase replacements for Fred and Scott and sort United out.
If the two continue to be the go-to midfielders then Erik will follow Jose and Ole to the Job Centre.
Manchester United conceded 2-sloppy goals in the 1st-half on Sunday, the 2nd with Fred being at fault.
Erik The Red then took the Brazilian off and sent on Cristiano in the hope that CR7 would score 3 and grab the inevitable headlines.
That didn’t happen, although Diogo Dalot did force, Alexis Mac Allister, into a mistake to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Unfortunately, for the Red Devils in attendance and the watching Millions around the World and surrounding areas, United couldn’t get an equaliser and suffered a defeat by a 2-1 opening day scoreline.
The faithful were quick to blame the fact that it was because their idols had changed dugouts and not the fact that nothing else has changed, similar to the Emperor’s new clothes.
Surprisingly, Brentford were one of the few teams that struggled against Manchester United last season, with Ralph Rangnick’s Roadsters inflicting a double over Thomas Frank’s Bees.
At the Brentford Community Stadium in January, goals from Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford gave United the away victory by a 3-1 score.
Ivan Toney scored the Brentford consolation late on in proceedings.
Betfred offer Brentford at 5/2, the draw at 13/5 and Evens 1/1 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime and 2/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Happy Birthday Charlotte xxx
NOTTINGHAM FOREST v WEST HAM
14.00 in England
The Michail Antonio Derby.
What’s meant by that is West Ham purchased the brilliant Striker from Nottingham Forest back in September 2015.
So the Bubbly Bubble, like Jim Bowen on Bullseye will no doubt want to show the Forest Faithful what they could have won.
Nottingham Forest suffered an opening day loss on their return to the Promised Land with Newcastle inflicting defeat on Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees by a 2-0 score.
The result was probably one of the easiest to predict over the weekend with Fulham and Bournemouth surprising everyone, it did look unlikely that the 3rd new boys would achieve anything at St James Park.
After a goalless 1st-half, Forest conceded twice to ultimately lose the tie, however, the scoreline could have been a lot more, with Newcastle missing numerous chances.
In last week’s column, John Newsome gave a predicted starting eleven that Steve would put out.
Considering all the new signings, John named 7 of the 11 that did kick off the new campaign.
With all the new players it will take time to find a settled side so for the first couple of weeks, the Forest faithful should just enjoy the ride of the Premier League rollercoaster.
West Ham started well against Man City on Sunday but were outplayed over the 90-minutes by Pep’s High Flying Blues.
David Moyes admitted that his Hammers were 2nd-best after conceding a goal in each half and ultimately suffering a defeat by a 2-0 score.
That game needs to be quickly put to bed as most will lose against City this term who could quite easily achieve the 3rd-Premier League title in succession.
The last time West Ham and the Bubbles headed to the City Ground in a league fixture was back in August 2011 and that was a Championship contest between 2-ex England managers, Steve McClaren’s Tricky Trees and Sam Allardyce’s Hammers.
The lineups put out that day were,
Lee Camp, Chris Gunter, Wes Morgan, Luke Chambers, Chris Cohen, George Boateng, Jonathan Greening, Radi Majewski, Lewis McGugan, Robbie Miller and Ishmael Miller.
Joel Lynch for George Boateng 58’
Matt Derbyshire for Radi Majewski 64’
Andy Reid for Lewis McGugan 64’
Rob Green, George McCartney, Winston Reid, James Tomkins, Julian Faubert, Joey O’Brien, Matt Taylor, Jack Collison, Mark Noble, Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan.
Frederic Piquionne for Carlton Cole 68’
Abdoulaye Faye for Jack Collison 75’
Big Sam, who resembles a certain Serg from Manchester, got the victory over Mr McClaren by a 4-1 away day scoreline.
Luke Chambers scored an own goal to gift the Hammers the lead, with Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole and Winston Reid making it 4.
Robbie Findley got the Forest consolation.
West Ham went on to finish 3rd in the Championship table and gain promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs inflicting defeat over Blackpool in the Final.
Nottingham Forest finished in 19th position out of 24, so remained in the league.
Steve McClaren only stayed at the City Ground until October 2011, then because of poor results, was sacked and replaced by Steve Cotterill, who didn’t improve the situation.
Betfred offer Nottingham Forest at 16/5, the draw at 13/5 and Odds On 17/20 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Michail Antonio Scores First and 2/1 that West Ham Score in Both Halves.
CHELSEA v TOTTENHAM
16.30 in England
‘Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea!’
Was the innovative chorus ringing out around Goodison Park for the late Saturday afternoon kickoff as Thomas’s Blue Engines faced Frank Lampard’s Toffees in the season opener.
It’s amazing how the faithful come up with the lyrics for the terrace tunes.
Chelsea had suffered a defeat at Goodison Park in the previous 4-away fixtures so took nothing for granted, with Thomas Tuchel appearing to choose his strongest starting eleven.
An eleven that included a Back-3 that had a combined age of 100.
Kalidou Koulibaly at 31 years old, Cesar Azpilicueta at 32 and old-timer, Thiago Silva aged 37.
Old-timer but still outstanding, constantly foiling the Everton attackers.
Wearing a fetching White Strip with a Turquoise loopy-hoop, the Chelsea front men did find it difficult to breach the Everton defence and it was a Jorginho converted penalty that eventually was the difference between the two teams, earning Chelsea the opening day victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
That also stopped the 4-game winless run, up on the Blue part of Merseyside.
Marc Cucurella did leave Brighton but joined Chelsea instead of Man City.
The Blues have reportedly paid around £63 Million for the Spanish Left-Back, which Pep’s High Flyers refused to go anywhere near, valuing Marc at around £30 Million.
Brighton were right to sell at such a great price and only time will tell if Chelsea have done the right thing in paying such a high premium for a player that has just played 1-season in the Premier League.
Chelsea will be there or there a-bouts when the medals are handed out in May but like Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham, do have the added distraction of the Champions League and it could be a case of who deals with that extra midweek football the best.
Another Derby, not only a London one but The Antonio Conte contest with the Italian Maestro being the ex-gaffer of Chelsea, winning the Premier League title for the Blues back in the 2016/17 campaign.
Tottenham got off to a brilliant start on Saturday, getting a victory against Southampton at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium by a 4-1 scoreline.
After the Saints had scored to take the lead in the 12th minute, Antonio’s Spurs kicked into gear and goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier gave Tottenham a half-time lead.
Southampton scored an own goal after the break to make it 3-1, with the excellent Dejan Kuluseveski adding a 4th, a couple of minutes later.
In truth, the score could have been anything as Tottenham were head and shoulders above Southampton, completely outplaying Wreck-It’s boys to join 7-other teams with an opening day victory.
Dejan is a class player and only 22 years old so will definitely improve over the next few years.
Antonio Conte has assembled a great squad, so don’t be surprised if it’s the Italian that is pushing Pep Guardiola for the title instead of the German.
In last season’s affair at Stamford Bridge, back in January, Thomas’s Blue Engines got the victory over Antonio’s Spurs by a 2-0 score.
After a goalless 1st-half, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva scored 2-quick fire goals that gave Chelsea the win.
Betfred offer Chelsea at 6/5, the draw at 12/5 and 11/5 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Harry Kane Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 4/5 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
LIVERPOOL v CRYSTAL PALACE
20.00 in England
With what appeared to be the banker of the opening weekend Acca, Liverpool slipped up at Craven Cottage, only managing to draw against Fulham by a 2-2 score.
In truth, Fulham were superb for 90-minutes and restricted Liverpool’s usually fluid play.
From the start, as soon as the Reds received the ball, the home team were on them like a rash, hunting in packs and quickly closing down Jurgen Klopp’s boys who found it difficult in the midday London Sun.
Trent Alexander-Arnold won’t be happy with the contribution or lack of that Trent made for the opening Fulham goal.
Aleksandar Mitrovic out-muscled the Right-Back to head home past a limp-handed Alisson in the Reds’ goal.
Darwin Nunez was introduced on the hour mark and made an immediate impact attempting to flick the ball into the goal that was saved by the Fulham ‘keeper.
In a similar move, the flick came off with Darwin equalising in the 64th minute that should have seen Liverpool kick on.
Unfortunately for the travelling Scousers, it was Fulham that regained the lead when the usually calm and composed Virgil Van Dijk gave away a penalty, the first since 2018.
Aleksandar Mitrovic dusted himself down and converted the spot-kick to restore the 1-goal advantage.
It was then left to that man Mo, who had been quiet for most of the game with the Fulham Left-Back Antonee Robinson restricting Mr Salah’s involvement.
The Egyptian King scored the equaliser with a simple tap-in set up by Darwin Nunez who should surely start this fixture against Crystal Palace in front of Roberto Firmino.
Mo Salah has scored on the opening day in the last 6-seasons, with a total of 8-first day goals.
What should be added to that is Liverpool have faced newly promoted teams on the opening day in the last-4 of those 6-season’s.
Newly promoted Norwich in 2019, newly promoted Leeds United in 2020, newly promoted Norwich (again) in 2021 and newly promoted Fulham on Saturday.
Roberto has been a great player for Liverpool but it appears evolution is happening at Anfield with the arrival of Darwin and Mr Firmino may just find himself warming the bench for a while.
Jurgen Klopp was rightly unhappy with the way his boys played and won’t have wanted to drop points this early, however, praise should be given to Fulham who had a game plan to thwart the Reds and stuck to it.
Added to that it could also be an inadvertent Blueprint for others, as to how to go about stopping Liverpool this term, who haven’t tasted defeat in 2022 but came pretty close on Saturday at Craven Cottage.
Plus there were a few betting slips that were screwed up and thrown at the dog.
Marco Silva’s Cottagers were 17/2 to gain the victory against Jurgen’s Reds, with the draw being 9/2.
The away team were Odds On 2/7.
The bookmakers were certainly happy!
Jurgen Klopp still had a great afternoon out in the Capital and at one point in proceedings at Craven Cottage, was seen sunbathing on a cooler box.
In last week’s column, John Newsome assumed that it would be an easy victory for Liverpool and it would be Man City, who played a day later hoping to gain at least a point at the London Stadium.
As it turned out, Liverpool’s failure to get the victory, inspired Man City who gained all 3-points against West Ham on Sunday.
Crystal Palace suffered an opening day defeat against Arsenal on Friday Night Football with the Gunners getting the victory by a 2-0 away day scoreline.
In truth, Patrick’s Eagles did play well and were unlucky not to gain a point, however, despite the hardworking endeavour, were lacking up front.
Christian Benteke has left Selhurst Park and joined Wayne Rooney at DC United in the MLS.
Mr Vieira only had Odsonne Edouard who started and lasted an hour, then replaced by Jean-Phillipe Mateta.
Not to try and tell Patrick what to do but maybe the two should start together.
Wilfried Zaha was his usual self, never giving up and always a threat but just couldn’t penetrate the Gunner’s defence.
Maybe with the two Strikers in tandem, as opposed to just one, Wilfried would have more of a selection to play to.
Although an opening day defeat, the Eagle Ultras shouldn’t worry too much as Patrick Vieira will get his boys going and maybe a signing or 3 before the September deadline will enhance his squad.
Liverpool got the easy win when Crystal Palace visited Anfield last season.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Naby Keita gave Jurgen Klopp the victory over Patrick Vieira by a 3-0 scoreline.
These two met recently in Singapore where Liverpool recorded another victory by a 2-0 score.
Betfred offer Liverpool at Odds On 1/6, the draw at 6/1 and 16/1 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Mo Salah Scores First and slight Odds On 4/5 that Liverpool Win To Nil.
Game Week-2 (1997/98)
Tuesday 12th August 1997
CRYSTAL PALACE v BARNSLEY
19.45 in England
The kind girls and boys at the Premier League Fixture Compiler Office decided to send Barnsley FC and the Super Reds faithful down to South London on a Tuesday evening, to face fellow newly promoted Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace- Kevin Miller, David Tuttle, Andy Linighan, Kevin Muscat, Paul Warhurst, Marc Edworthy, Dean Gordon, Andy Roberts, Simon Rodger, Attilio Lombardi and Bruce Dyer.
Jamie Fullerton for Simon Rodger, 63rd-minute
Neil Shipperley for Paul Warhurst 68th-minute
Barnsley- David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Adie Moses, Arjan De Zeeuw, Matty Appleby, Darren Barnard, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Darren Sheridan, Paul Wilkinson and John Hendrie.
After a goalless 1st-half down in South London, Neil Redfearn scored a superb 25-yard effort to give the away side the lead.
With no further goals, Barnsley recorded their first ever Premier League victory by a 1-0 away day scoreline.
Added to that, Neil Redfearn had his 2nd-goal in the Top Flight following Saturday’s notch against West Ham.
Despite the final whistle not being blown until close to 10 PM and a 4-hour jaunt back up the M1 to Barnsley, the Super Reds were ecstatic with the result and because some of the teams had not yet played their Game Week-2 affair, the boys and girls got a bit excited and were constantly chanting,
‘Top, Top, Top, Top, Top of the League!’
Whilst Barnsley had the same 3-points as Manchester United, Blackburn, Coventry, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Newcastle, Bolton, West Ham and Arsenal and technically were joint-top of the Premier League, the song was more tongue in cheek and alcohol-infused than real.
Arsenal had suffered a defeat in their 1st-fixture on Saturday then played again on Monday Night Football gaining a victory against Coventry.
Crystal Palace and Coventry had both got a victory in their Game Week-1 affair, so all of Arsenal, Barnsley, Coventry and Crystal Palace had 3-points from 2-games played,
The rest all played on Wednesday.
Not a bad start to life in the Premier League for little old Barnsley from Oakwell and John wasn’t bothered about the late night journey home as A, the lad had consumed a few South London lagers and B, at the time, worked Nights at the local Motorway Services so was used to being up.
It was a great day/night out, that for a moment in time had the faithful dreaming of a place in next season’s European competitions.
It was a short moment in time, however, nevertheless, great memories.
The night stint at Woolley Edge Services was about to come to an end.
Danny Wilson, the ex-footballer and manager from Wigan, not the pop band that sang Mary’s Prayer, took over as the Barnsley manager, somewhat by default.
In 1993, at the end of the inaugural Premier League season, Barnsley appointed Viv Anderson as the manager with Danny being the assistant, both heading the short distance North up the M1 to Oakwell from Hillsborough.
In the current climate where there is a lack of Black managers, Barnsley FC appointed a Black manager in 1993.
Unfortunately for Viv and Barnsley, the marriage didn’t exactly work out and Mr Anderson left at the end of the 1993/94 campaign to join Bryan Robson at Middlesbrough.
It was then left to Danny Wilson who took over the Oakwell hot seat, initially as Player-Manager, then as the permanent boss.
Danny was a simple Midfielder who grafted from box to box and gave the simple ball.
Nothing fancy just gets the ball and gives the ball.
It was this simple style of football that brought on the Barnsley youngster called Nicky Eaden.
Nicky was the Right-Back from just outside of the Barnsley area, who once worked part-time for the Serg at the local Co-op.
The loveable Serg gave Nicky an ultimatum,
‘Either concentrate on his career at the Co-op or waste his time playing football!’
Luckily, the youngster decided that football was for him and not a career stacking shelves.
Danny Wilson would receive the ball in midfield and with Nicky Eaden overlapping on the right, simply play the ball into space where Nicky would run onto and cross into the area for the onrushing Barnsley Strikers to invariably score.
This certainly was one of the tactics that worked in the promotion campaign of 1996/97 that saw Danny Wilson rewarded with the Manager of the Year, in front of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Danny brought in a great little Defender called Matty Appleby, who played in the majority of the Premier League fixtures starting with this game against Crystal Palace.
Manchester United have just signed Lisandro Martinez, a Centre-Back who is only 1.75 M (5ft 9in)
Matty Appleby, whilst a Midfielder, often played as a Sweeper between the 2-Centre-Backs and was also a diminutive player being just 1.73 M (5ft 8in).
The Darlington lad was a class player, however, although as the Widster best put it,
‘Always had one heart-in-mouth moment every match when he would do something crackers!’
Good luck with the future Matty.
As for Danny Wilson, if Viv Anderson hadn’t joined Bryan Robson at Middlesbrough, things could have been so different, however, the year in the Premier League,
Everything was, wonderful,
Being there was heavenly.
Every single game that’s sent,
Everything was free (apart from the tickets, the travel and the beers!)
One used to be so careless,
As if one couldn’t care less.
Did one have to make this mess,
When one was Mary’s prayer?
Suddenly the Heavens roared,
Suddenly the rain came down
Suddenly was washed away.
The Mary that one knew.
Away Win 0-1