EPL Game Week 1 – 2021/22 Season Premier League Tips – John Newsome

John Newsome Football Betting Tips - everytip

After an amazing summer of sports action that included the near-miss for England in the Euros and a record-equaling haul of Olympic medals for Team GB, as well as outstanding performances from Team Ireland, it’s now time to get excited for the start of the 2021/22 English Premier League. Our feature football columnist, John Newsome, returns with his unique take on the EPL with previews and correct score predictions for each and every game of the upcoming new season.

You can read all of John’s past posts here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.

Please note all prices quoted below were correct at the time of publication.

Game Week-1

Friday 13th

BRENTFORD v ARSENAL

Sky Sports 20.00 in England

Eminem is warbling his famous tune, changing a word here and there

Guess what’s back?
Back again
Football’s back
Tell a friend
Guess what’s back?
Guess what’s back?
Guess what’s back?

The English Premier League is back Slim and there isn’t a competition anywhere in the world to rival the Greatest Showcase on Earth.

Griffin Park has gone and the football club has a new home, The Brentford Community Stadium, brand new for the start of the 2020/21 campaign, however, the first season was empty but will now be full following the year that the Bees played without fans, due to the Coronavirus situation.

Thomas Frank looks like a rock star with his long flowing locks and whilst not being the best footballer of his age, not having a professional career, Thomas is making a name for himself as a manager.

Jose Mourinho was never a high-level professional but excelled in his managerial career, well in the early part, now Dracula just sucks the life out of players and teams. Brentford have the leading goal scorer from their Championship season that saw promotion to the Promised Land via the Play-Offs.

Ivan Toney scored 31-goals for the Bees and will want to continue that form in the Premier League. The 25-year old started his career at his hometown club Northampton, making his debut as a 16-year old.

After a great set of displays, Newcastle came in and took a chance on Mr Toney but was regularly loaned out by the Magpies to gain valuable game time.

Young Ivan had 2-spells at Oakwell in 2015 and 2016, helping Barnsley FC to firstly, win the EFL Trophy, scoring a goal in an earlier round, then the League 1 Play-off Final victory against Millwall.

At the time, it’s fair to say that the Barnsley faithful weren’t exactly enamoured with Ivan but after leaving the Yorkshire club and a scintillating spell at Peterborough, who signed the lad permanently, Brentford came calling for the start of what turned out to be the promotion season, with Ivan scoring the 31-goals. Also in the ranks of the Bees is Ethan Pinnock, signed by Brentford from Barnsley.

Ivan had left the Oakwell outfit before Ethan arrived but now the two ex-Reds get the chance to showcase their talents against the Big Boys in the Top Flight and whilst it’s more than likely, will just be a 1-season wonder, the Barnsley fans will keep an eye on the two and wish the lad’s well for the upcoming season.

Arsenal played a friendly against Chelsea last week, with both Mikel Arteta and Thomas Tuchel putting out strong sides, the Gunners suffered a defeat by a 2-1 scoreline but like most pre-season fixtures, it’s more about the fitness than the result.

Granit Xhaka, who had a brilliant tournament at the recent Euros for Switzerland, was rumoured to be on his way out of the Emirates but has been persuaded to stay and if the lad’s performances in an Arsenal shirt, matches those in the Swiss jersey, the Gooners will feel as if they have a new player.

In the game against Chelsea, all of Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started with the youngster, Emile Smith-Rowe in the lineup too.

Emile has just turned 21 and could easily become a fan’s favourite in this coming campaign, with Arsenal already turning down Aston Villa’s request for the boy and have immediately given Mr Smith-Rowe a new improved contract plus the reward of the Number 10-shirt for the coming season.

The previous holder of the iconic number was Mesut Ozil. Although opinions are divided about the German Midfielder, the World Cup winner is a class player, just ask Gareth Barry and if Emile gets anywhere near to matching the performances of Mesut, Arsenal will have some player on their books.

There’s still talk of James Maddison heading South to the Emirates, which may become a reality come the end of the Transfer Window. However, Leicester would want £70 Million and Arsenal just haven’t got that in one, so may have to pay on the Never Never.

Normally there would be a review of a previous fixture between the two sides but apart from a Carabao Cup game a couple or 3 years back, in which Arsenal got the victory by a 3-1 scoreline, these two haven’t met competitively for a long time, 1947 to be precise, with a Gunners team that included a certain Joe Mercer.

Genial Joe had a brief spell in charge of the England National Team in 1974, following the decision by Sir Alf Ramsey to resign and just before the appointment of Don Revie.

Bet 365 offer Brentford at 16/5, the draw at 11/4 and slight Odds On 5/6 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.

Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First and 12/5 that Arsenal Win To Nil.

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Saturday 14th

MANCHESTER UNITED v LEEDS UNITED

BT Sport 12.30 in England

As with the start of any new season, it’s always interesting to see which team has bought who, with these arch-enemies no different. It’s more than likely that Rafael Varane and Jadon Sancho will go straight into the starting eleven and the die-hard Devils, whether Red or Blue, will be wondering who Ole chooses in the Midfield position.

Manchester United haven’t addressed the real problem yet, it’s no good assembling a decent defence and decent forward line when there’s no one to protect it or supply it.

If OGS continues with Fred and Scott McTominay, it will be a long season to endure and a few TV’s may get sent through the window. It was stated on many occasions last season in this EveryTip column, that United won’t win anything with Fred!

Whilst this wasn’t and will never be a personal attack on the boy, it’s just an opinion based on 1000s and 1000s of hours, watching football. In the recent South American equivalent of the Euros, the Copa America, Brazil reached the showpiece Final and faced Argentina. An Argentinian team that included Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian manager, Tite, lived up to his name and included Fred in the starting eleven. After 3-minutes, the Fredster was shown a Yellow Card following a reckless challenge, now having to play the remainder of the game knowing that another rash tackle would see an early bath.

Angel Di Maria, once of Manchester United, scored the solitary winning goal for Argentina, in the 22nd-minute, whilst Fred was running around and passing the ball sideways and not necessarily to another teammate.

Tite saw the iceberg at half-time and took Fred off, replacing the Manchester United player with Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino. Argentina beat Brazil in the Final by a 1-0 scoreline. It appears that Brazil won’t win anything with Fred either.

Again, to reiterate, that’s not a personal attack on the lad, who seems a likeable fella, maybe too likeable, which clouds Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s judgement when picking a lineup.

Dan James could just swap the Red shirt of Manchester with a White shirt of Leeds before this fixture or for that matter, in the couple of weeks that will remain in the Transfer Window. If that happens, the number on the back has got to be ‘21’!

At Old Trafford last term, this fixture was one of the most entertaining of the campaign and could have quite easily finished in a 9-5 scoreline, in favour of Manchester United. As it turned out, the final result was a victory for Ole’s Wheels by a 6-2 scoreline.

Scott McTominay scored, not one but two goals before 5-minutes were up on the clock, with Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof adding 3 and 4. Liam Cooper replied for Leeds before the break but in truth, the Whites could have had a couple more with chances missed by Patrick Bamford.

Dan James added a 5th for United, following a rare start from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, then Bruno scored from the penalty spot to take his tally to 2 for the afternoon and United’s, to 6.

Stuart Dallas made it 6-2 and with another 17-minutes remaining, there was still time for more, however, with no further goals, the Red United got the victory over the White United from along the M62.

Bet 365 offer Manchester United at slight Odds On 1/2, the draw at 7/2 and 19/4 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.

Bet 365 offer 8/5 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime and offer 11/4 that Manchester United Win Both Halves.

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Saturday 14th

BURNLEY v BRIGHTON

15.00 in England

Nick Pope, who missed the Euros with an injury, is once again fit and should start against the Seagulls. Chris Wood should be in the starting eleven too following an injury scare with Dwight McNeil still at Turf Moor which could prove the lads final season with several clubs wanting Dwight, after some great performances.

At Turf Moor last season, this was a Game Week-23 affair that ended in a draw by a 1-1 scoreline. Lewis Dunk gave the Seagulls the lead just before half-time with Joey Gudmundsson replying for the Clarets within 8-minutes of the restart.

Don’t expect this to be too much different, with maybe a winner this time from the home team, especially with it being the opening fixture of the new 2021/22 Premier League campaign.

Bet 365 offer Burnley at 12/5, the draw at 21/10 and 5/4 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.

Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Chris Wood Scores First and 6/4 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.

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Saturday 14th

CHELSEA v CRYSTAL PALACE

15.00 in England

Romelu ’Boomerang’ Lukaku, as the Belgium Striker is now referred to, looks to be on his way back to Stamford Bridge, for a 2nd time, following Inter Milan‘s acceptance of the Chelsea offer of £97 Million but it’s unlikely that Big Rom will be signed in time to feature against Palace.

This opening game sees both teams, with new men at the helm, from last season’s fixture between the two at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel has replaced Frank Lampard and Patrick Vieira takes over from Roy Hodgson.

Under Frank last term, when Chelsea were called Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, the home side got a convincing victory by a 4-0 scoreline. After a goalless 1st-half, goals from Ben Chilwell, Kurt Zouma and a couple of Jorginho penalties gave Frank’s Blues the win over Roy’s Eagles.

Bet 365 offer Chelsea at Odds On 2/9, the draw at 5/1 and 12/1 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.

Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 that Chelsea Score in Both Halves.

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Saturday 14th

EVERTON v SOUTHAMPTON

15.00 in England

Everton’s main man Richarlison will more than likely miss this opener and a few others, after playing in 15-fixtures for Brazil since the final game of the 2020/21 Premier League season on the 23rd of May.

Those games, Richy competed in, were 2-World Cup Qualifiers, against Ecuador and Paraguay and 7-Copa America fixtures, against Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru again in the Semi-Finals and Argentina in the Final.

Following those, Richarlison headed to Japan, to join up with the Brazil Olympic Team and played in all 6-ties that saw the Brazilian’s win Gold in the Final against Spain, with the winner from Malcom, ‘cause you can!’

In those 15-fixtures, Richarlison scored 7-goals in the famous Yellow Shirt, including a hat-trick against Germany at the Olympics.

To show how good Richarlison is and how Everton have a great player on their books, Richy, along with Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, were the only 2-players from the Brazil National side to then join up with the Olympic team, plus to add to that, Douglas only featured twice in the Copa America for a total of 63-minutes, featuring more at the Olympics.

Throughout those 15-games that Mr Richarlison has competed with Brazil, the Toffee featured in every fixture, amassing a total of 1,197-minutes on the field, including a lung-busting 120-minutes against Mexico in the Semi-Final and almost the same against Spain in the Final, with the manager taking Rich off in the 114th-minute.

It’s fair to say that the Boy from Brazil will need a rest, which will be detrimental to Everton, however, one slight negative for the Toffee Brazilian is that the lad missed a penalty in the Olympic Final.

No doubt when Richarlison returns, his first words to everyone will be, ‘Look at my Gold Medal!’ The 2nd sentence will be, ‘Where’s Carlo?’

One funny, that came from the Copa America Final against Argentina, Richarlison’s Strike Partner was a guy called Everton. Rafa Benitez leads his Toffees for the first time since taking over from Carlo Ancelotti. Fact.

One person Mr Benitez doesn’t have to plan for is Danny Ings, who departs Southampton and heads for Aston Villa. Under Carlo last term, this fixture at Goodison Park, took place in the cold of March, with that man Richarlison scoring the solitary winning goal early on in proceedings, to give Everton the victory by a 1-0 scoreline.

Bet 365 offer Everton at Odds On 17/20, the draw at 13/5 and 3/1 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.

Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores First and 4/1 that Everton Score a Penalty.

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Saturday 14th

LEICESTER v WOLVES

15.00 in England

Foxes versus Wolves.

The David Attenborough Derby, as it’s referred to by absolutely nobody. Brendan Rodgers insists James Maddison is staying in Leicester, however, stopped short of categorically stating that James wasn’t going to Arsenal, which does suggest that a deal may be done before the end of the Transfer Window, on the 31st of August.

That said, James started in the Community Shield on Saturday, for those of an older generation, the Charity Shield as it was used to be known. Let’s just say the C Shield is a showcase opener played at Wembley between the Premier League winners and the FA Cup winners, thus pitching Pep’s Man City against Brendan’s Leicester.

The Foxes came out on top with a victory by a 1-0 scoreline, scored late on in proceedings by the ex-City boy, Kelechi Iheanacho via the penalty spot. The so-called pundits in the ITV studios, including the enigmatic Roy Keane and the excitable Ian Wright, stated that Leicester were the better team on the day.

That opinion wasn’t matched by this EveryTip contributor who thought Man City were head and shoulders above the Foxes with Pep picking a relatively 2nd-string eleven compared to Brendan’s full side and a reckless challenge being the difference between the two on the day.

That said Brendan’s Wonderful’s did get the Shield and the W, which is the only thing that matters to the faithful. Patson Daka and Kelechi came on in the 2nd-half, with Mr Iheanacho being instrumental in winning the penalty that ultimately was the difference between the two.

Rod Stewart has got his Wolves shirt out ready for the match, with Lennon the Puppy draped in the City top, trying to find new places to hide knowing, the Foxes will win more than lose this campaign and knowing that whatever the shirt Sir Roderick will be wearing at the time of the victory for Leicester, the shirt will be heading in the pooches direction.

Despite being disappointed that Brendan had beaten Pep, Mr Stewart had mixed emotions, firstly seeing Steven Gerrard’s Rangers losing against Dundee United (who?) in the SPL, the first defeat for the Teddy Bears in 17-months and 40-games.

Rod’s beloved Green and White Hoops and the Rangers arch-enemy, then beat Dundee (who?) a day later to get back on track after last week’s defeat. For the uninitiated, Dundee is a city in the North-East of Scotland, approximately 60-miles further than the Capital, Edinburgh.

The City has a population of 140,000, the same size in comparison to say the West Yorkshire town of Huddersfield, yet Dundee consists of two Professional football teams, Dundee and Dundee United.

Dundee play at Dens Park with their United counterparts playing at Tannadice Park, which is literally across the road. When referring to Dundee United, it is important to stress the word ‘United’ otherwise, it can cause problems.

Unfortunately, Mr Gerrard continually referred to Saturday’s opponents as just Dundee, not adding United, which was literally like a red rag to a bull and spurred the Tannadice Tangerines on to a famous victory against the current Scottish Pub League Champions.

With all the problems in the World, including the horrendous Coronavirus, it’s strange that a simple word that should unite everyone causes so much derision.

Whether it’s Dundee or Dundee United, there wasn’t a Crocodile in sight, only a defeat for the Teddy Bears. The Australian branch of this EveryTip column wasn’t happy! ‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be’ Woof Woof!

At the King Power last term, the result was decided by a single Jamie Vardy goal scored from the penalty spot after 15-minutes. However, that doesn’t tell the full story as the Sheffield Superstar then went and missed a penalty just before the break. The Foxes did hold on for the victory against the Gold and Blacks. David Attenborough was happy!

Bet 365 offer Leicester at slight Odds On 3/5, the draw at 3/1 and 9/2 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.

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Saturday 14th

WATFORD v ASTON VILLA

15.00 in England

This could be referred to as the Ashley Young Derby, with Mr Young returning to Aston Villa, to take on the Hornets where Ash started his career back in 1995, at the tender age of 10. Villa then signed Mr Young in 2006, before Manchester United took the ex-Watford boy to Old Trafford. Dean Smith has started to spend some of the £100 Million that has come from the sale of Jack Grealish.

In this EveryTip column last week, it was mooted that Danny Ings would leave Southampton this summer, however, the surprise in that Moot is Danny has gone to Villa Park, in a 3-year deal for a fee of around £25 Million.

It was the Saints influential Midfielder, James Ward-Prowse that was mentioned as a potential Villa target. Maybe Mr Ings is in the Midlands first to sort out the digs for the two of them. The last meeting at Vicarage Rd, saw Dean Smith’s Aston Villa suffer a defeat against Nigel Pearson’s Watford by a 3-0 scoreline.

Troy Deeney scored twice, a goal either side of the break, with Ismaila Sarr adding the 3rd, midway through the 2nd-half. Troy’s 2nd being a penalty.

Watford were ultimately relegated in that campaign with Villa avoiding the drop by a single point that was earned from the draw against Sheffield United and the ‘Ghost Goal’ controversy that resulted in Michael Oliver’s Del Boy watch not registering the Goal Line Technology!

Bet 365 offer Watford at 12/5, the draw at 12/5 and 23/20 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.

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Saturday 14th

NORWICH v LIVERPOOL

Sky Sports 17.30 in England

James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd, as had a mixed opening weekend of the season. The Little Canary’s first footballing love, Barnsley FC, earned a creditable point from a draw against Cardiff, by a 1-1 scoreline.

After celebrating the point gained by his favourite football team, Jimbo then watched his beloved Blades suffer a defeat against Birmingham, at Bramall Lane.

The Little Blunt fished out his passport as the lad and his lovely girlfriend are on their summer holidays, in Skegness, known locally as Skegvegas, which fooled James into thinking the said passport was needed.

Now James is getting excited about his new footballing love, Norwich, starting the upcoming Premier League campaign. The lad’s proudly wearing the famous Yellow shirt on the beach of Skegvegas, while his lovely girlfriend shouts from the pub, ‘Come out of the rain, you silly Little Blunt!’ Yellow Canary, Yellow Canary!

Norwich were straight on the Moonpig website to order a Thank You card for the Premier League Fixture Compilers after the newcomers were pitched, once again, against Jurgen’s Reds for the Canaries return to the Promised Land.

In the season before last, Norwich started their season off against Liverpool, however, on that particular occasion, the game took place at Anfield. At least this opener is at Carrow Rd.

In the first fixture of the 2019/20 campaign, Teemu Pukki scored a consolation goal, after Jurgen’s Reds had scored 4, before half-time. Grant Hanley gave the home team a helping hand scoring an own-goal, before Mo Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Divock Origi made it 4-0 at the break.

At Carrow Rd, later on in that season, Liverpool beat Norwich by a single Sadio Mane goal in the 2nd-half, with the victory going a long way to gaining the Premier League title and ultimately, inflicting one of the losses that helped relegate Norwich.

Bet 365 offer Norwich at 8/1, the draw at 19/4 and Odds On 2/7 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.

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Sunday 15th

NEWCASTLE v WEST HAM

Sky Sports 14.00 in England

These two last met at St James Park in Game Week-32, towards the end of last season, with Newcastle, fighting against relegation, getting the victory by a narrow 3-2 scoreline.

West Ham did help the Magpies on their way, firstly with Issa Diop scoring an own-goal then Craig Dawson being shown a 2nd-Yellow Card and ultimately a Red, midway through the 1st-half.

Joelintom scored just before the break to give Newcastle a 2-goal advantage at half-time. Issa made up for his earlier error, scoring at the correct end, with Jesse Lingard equalising to give the cardboard Bubbles hope of a victory.

Unfortunately for West Ham, Newcastle’s on-loan superstar, Joe Willock scored the winner to give Big Brucey the bonus and help the Magpies edge away from the drop-zone.

Bet 365 offer Newcastle at 11/5, the draw at 5/2 and 23/20 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.

Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Dwight Gayle Scores Anytime and 12/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.

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Sunday 15th

TOTTENHAM v MAN CITY

Sky Sports 16.30 in England

With a few opening day fixtures having a ‘Derby’ tag line, could this be the Harry Kane Derby? Harry didn’t turn up for training when he was supposed to, hoping to force a move away from Tottenham. However, HK then stated that he wasn’t supposed to turn up on that particular day and would never refuse to miss training! Of cause Mr Kane, we believe you!

This is obviously a ploy that will see the media go into overdrive and the speculation continue that Man City will be the destination for Mr Kane. It’s now highly unlikely that Harry Kane will start the season, whether in a Tottenham shirt or the Blue of City, due to missing training that does involve COVID tests.

Over the years, these circumstances have cropped up, time and time again, one example, coincidentally involving Tottenham. Back in 2008, Dimitar Berbatov knew Manchester United wanted him and downed tools at White Hart Lane to push for a move away.

As everyone knows, Daniel Levy is a very shrewd businessman and waited until the final minutes of the Summer Transfer Window to accept United’s bid of £32 Million, then let the Bulgarian head to Old Trafford. It’s all well and good trying to be the Big Man in negotiations but with leaving it so late, Mr Levy and Spurs didn’t have time to bring anyone in.

It is Daniel’s way, so don’t expect Mr Kane to be moving to the Etihad anytime soon, Mrs Kane, however, is packing the boxes and has contacted Pickfords, because she, like everyone else, knows the family are heading to Manchester.

Pickfords, by the way, have been moving homes for generations, covering every postcode in the UK, Ireland and surrounding areas. It’s not a matter of if and why? it’s a matter of when and how much? The petrol giants that own Man City, won’t get much change back from Mr Levy if they walk into the shop and hand over £150 Million.

With this being a prediction site, John Newsome predicts that Harry Kane won’t play in this fixture but will be wearing a Man City jersey with ‘Kane’ on the back, however, not with the Number ‘10’ like at Tottenham, as that number has been taken by Jack Grealish.

One player that may start in a Spurs shirt, is Cristian Romero who arrives at the club from Atalanta, with a fee of around £47 Million.

The Argentinian is a 23-year old Centre-Back, who will add steel to the Tottenham backline. Jack Grealish has finally been confirmed as a Man City player and more than likely will be in the starting eleven.

The £100 Million that City paid Villa for Jack makes the lad a British Transfer Record, surpassing the previous Fee of £89 Million that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba and the most expensive England player in history, overtaking Harry Maguire, who held the record following his move from Leicester to Manchester United for £80 Million.

The Citizens should now really be looking forward to seeing their beloved Blues, with JG enhancing an already superb squad. Big Jack has been awarded the City ‘10’ shirt, with the previous wearer, that of Sergio Aguero, having vacated the number.

Mr Grealish made his debut on Saturday coming on midway through the 2nd-half but it will take time for the ex-Villa lad to get used to his new teammates and Pep’s methods.

In the Showpiece season opener that used to be referred to as the Charity Shield but now known as the Community Shield, Pep’s Low Flying Blues suffered a defeat by a 1-0 scoreline, with the unfortunate Nathan Ake putting in a rash challenge on the ex-City Striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, to concede a late penalty that Kelechi converted.

The ITV studio guests of Roy Keane and Ian Wright said that Leicester deserved the victory, however, that opinion wasn’t shared by John Newsome, as Brendan put out a relatively strong eleven, yet Pep included a couple of youngsters and had Ederson, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane all missing from his squad.

With City being the dominant team but just lacking the cutting-edge. Obviously, the Harry Kane reference is just a bit of fun, for the time being! Exactly 12-months ago, there was a story that emerged about Lionel Messi, leaving Barcelona. It’s happened again only this time, there appears to be more meat on the bones.

It’s worth repeating what John Newsome stated last year, even if it’s just for the comedy value to give everyone a much-needed giggle, during troubled times. The following was part of this column published on August 31st 2020.

‘Finally, it is that time to discuss Man City and put to bed a story that has risen over the past week or so.

Lionel Messi is not leaving Barcelona!

BREAKING NEWS

Repeat, Lionel is not leaving Barcelona and is not joining Pep in Manchester.

For a start, the fee in itself would be £632 Million, the release clause amount in Mr Messi’s contract. After that, there would be wages of approximately £32 Million a year, which is £600,000 a week, (a week!)

Lionel would probably want a 5-year deal, so the Math says, that’s £156 Million, on top of the fee. It’s not going to happen and is just a brilliant story that gets the Sky Sports pundits excited in this close-season. There’s even one based in Barcelona talking nonsense every hour. Nice work if one can get it.

Imagine the scenario, Little Lionel goes home to the missus who’s in the backyard sunbathing in the Spanish sun and says,’

‘Hi lovely, I’ve signed for Man City, we are moving to Manchester, England.’ Mrs Messi lifts her head, pulls down her Louis Vuitton sunglasses and replies, ‘Have you been drinking Leo, come and have a sit down my dear and rest your head’

‘Has that funny man, Arturo Vidal, him with the silly hair given you one of those sweets again, you know what they do to you’ Little Lionel’s determined and carries on the discussion, ‘No love, I’m signing for Man City!’

Mrs Messi takes a drink of her Cubre Libre and coolly replies, ‘If you think I’m leaving the sunshine of Barcelona and taking the kids to Manchester, where it rains for 324-days a year, they all talk funny, (ya’orr-right) and wear funny kagool’s because it rains 324-days a year, then you must have had a bang on the head love!’

‘Yeah, ya right lovely, I’m not eating anything Arturo gives me again, I’m going for a lie-down, be feeling better later’ End of conversation’

Twelve months on, the BREAKING NEWS this week is Barcelona are not re-signing Lionel. The difference between last year and this, is, Mr Messi is now out of contract so the Fee of £632 Million no longer exists. However, that still doesn’t necessarily mean Lionel, Mrs Messi and the kids will be leaving the Sun of Catalonia.

Whilst not being privy to the ongoing discussions and let’s face it, who is? It’s probably still weighted in the Odds On column that Barcelona will somehow come up with the money to keep Limpy Lionel.

The stumbling block appears to be wages that are controlled by the La Liga Financial Regulatory Authorities which mean that because Barcelona are heavily in debt and like all clubs have not received any income over the past Pandemic affected year, then a deal to sign Lionel to a new contract cannot be done.

Unless that is, Mr Messi takes a massive wage cut and as mentioned on previous occasions, no one, whether in football or a supermarket wants to do that.

It could open up the possibility of Paris Saint-Germain taking the lead in signing Lionel Messi and the minutest of dreams, that Mr Messi could showcase his skills in the Premier League, with the obvious destination being the Etihad.

That said, Mrs Messi’s browsing history on her Laptop did show that she’d been looking on RightMove, at 3-Bedroom Terraced Houses in Barnsley!

It’s rumoured that when Jack Grealish and his representatives heard the news about Lionel, someone rushed straight out to Staples Office Supplies, Manchester branch and quickly purchased a Biro so that JG could get his signature on the City document ASAP!

Although City eventually won the 2020/21 Premier League title, it’s forgotten that in the earlier games of last seasons campaign, Pep’s Blues were rubbish.

At the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, in Game Week-9, Jose Mourinho got the better of Pep Guardiola with Son Heung-Min and Giovani Lo Celso getting the goals to give Tottenham the victory by a 2-0 scoreline.

Bet 365 offer Tottenham at 9/2, the draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 3/5 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.

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