The highlight games for this weekend’s action are MANCHESTER UNITED versus MAN CITY and WEST HAM versus LIVERPOOL. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 11 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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SOUTHAMPTON v ASTON VILLA
20.00 in England.
Bonfire Night at St Mary’s, between the Saints and the Villains, should go off like a Catherine Wheel in the Wind. The tenuous link between Bonfire Night and Southampton is the said Wheel was named after Saint Catherine.
It’s the best John Newsome can offer!
The Danny Ings Derby!
Danny returns to St Mary’s after leaving the South Coast in the summer. That’s providing the lads fit as he was absent from Villa’s previous fixture against West Ham.
Southampton got a great away-day victory at Vicarage Rd on Saturday, with the Scottish Striker, Che Adams scoring the only goal in the win by a 1-0 score.
Tar McAdams goal was sublime, a shot from the edge of the box into the top corner of the Hornets net, hit without any back lift.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Peaky Blunders clothes were down the dry cleaners with Wreck-It back wearing the training clobber.
The Saints sit in 14th place in the Premier League table, with 11-points and jump above Saturday’s opponent’s Watford.
Dean Smith rang the changes at Villa Park for Sunday’s fixture against West Ham, surprisingly dropping the Captain and Three Lions Defender Tyrone Mings. Unfortunately, the changes didn’t work, resulting in Aston Villa succumbing to the 4th-defeat in a row.
After conceding early on, Ollie Watkins equalised but soon conceded another to take the home team in trailing at the break. In a bizarre set of circumstances, Ezri Konsa was eventually shown a Red Card in the 2nd-half for a so-called Professional foul.
The dreaded VAR, watching some ghastly ghostly Halloween film on Channel 5, got a fright when there was a knock on the Stockley Park door, to inform the lads to have a look at an incident at Villa Park.
In the 50th-minute, Kourtney Hause, getting in on the Trick or Treat festivities and reminiscent of the great WWE wrestling champ, The Undertaker, forearmed smashed Pablo Fornals. The play continued, with Ezri then bringing down Jarrod Bowan.
The boys at Stockley Park, still in shock from the knock, somehow decided that The Undertaker’s forearm smash was nothing and Mr Konsa’s indiscretion prevented a goal-scoring opportunity. Thus advising the on-field referee, Chris Kavanagh to check his pitchside monitor.
As everyone knows now or now knows, not sure of the correct terminology, once that happens, a decision is usually upgraded.
What that is meant by upgraded, a penalty is usually awarded, an offside goal is usually given or a Yellow is turned into a Red.
Chris immediately changed the Yellow given to Ezri, to a Red and the Villa lad was able to make his mates a full-time cup of tea, in advance of the game finishing.
Whilst all that was happening, Pablo was concussed on the turf, seeing stars singing Michael Jackson’s favourite ditty, ‘I’m forever blowing Bubbles!’
The girls and boys at Stockley Park immediately switched back to watching Beetlejuice on Five. The acronym that the referees use is DOGSO. The Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity! Dean Smith would say ‘Dog-Sh..!’
Once Ezri had put the kettle on, West Ham took control and scored 2-further goals to inflict the defeat on Dean’s Claret and Blues by an away-day 4-1 scoreline.
Whilst a home defeat, there were circumstances that Dean Smith couldn’t control, certainly the actions of the on-field referee and the dreaded VAR.
That said, Dean is now becoming under pressure and there are reports that the once Newcastle target, Paolo Fonseca could actually replace Mr Smith at Villa Park, in the International Break so the result in this game against the Saints may now be the decisive factor.
A lot have wondered where Aston Villa are going wrong but consider this, two big characters left in the summer, Jack Grealish and John Terry. Two massive shoes to fill which up to now, haven’t.
The loss leaves Villa in 15th, in a cluster of 3-teams with 10-points, Leeds, Watford and Dean’s men and 1-adrift of today’s opposition.
In last seasons fixture between the two, Ross Barkley, on loan from Chelsea scored the only goal of the tie, just before the half-time whistle, to give the away team the victory by a 1-0 score.
888 Sport offer Southampton at 11/10, the draw at 49/20 and 119/50 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 15/8 that Danny Ings Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 5/6 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v MAN CITY
12.30 in England.
A great fixture between the two Manchester clubs, to blow away the cobwebs of a heavy Friday night on the sauce. Saying that, Guinness and Stella Artois are now doing 0% alcohol drinks, which appears pointless, as the only reason to drink these legendary tipples, is to get a wobble on.
It’s more than likely that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will still be at the wheel at Old Trafford for this fixture, following last Saturday’s victory against Tottenham and the midweek Champions League tie against Atalanta.
Tottenham and Atalanta are like the fairy Godmother of football, with Nuno’s boys and the Italian side, turning up when Mr Solskjaer needs a result.
Against Liverpool, a couple of weeks ago, Jurgen’s Reds declared after scoring 5, Pep’s High Flying Blues won’t stop and if Ole sets his Trollies up the same, it could easily be a cricket score.
That said, Mr Gunnar Solskjaer did set his United team up better against Spurs at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium. The game against Tottenham was billed as El Sackico, with both Ole and Nuno under immense pressure.
As it developed over the next few days, Nuno Espírito Santo was down the concrete with Daniel Levy, deciding the ex-Goalkeeper wasn’t for him.
There were still anomalies regarding the starting eleven, with Ole persisting with Fred and Scott McTominay, however, did bring in Rafael Varane alongside Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, in a lineup of a back-5, with Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the Wing-Backs.
Bruno Fernandes played as a Midfielder/Number 10, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani as the Front Men. United did play better and looked more compact than in the disastrous game against Liverpool.
Not wanting to pour cold water on the performance, there were still frailties in the Midfield and a better team would have over-run Fred and Scott. It’s debatable whether Manchester United were too good or Tottenham were just rubbish.
The home fans would definitely opt for the thought that their idols were rubbish on the day. This fixture against Man City will provide a tougher test.
Ole will likely put out the same formation as against Tottenham, with the possibility of Marcus Rashford coming in for Edinson. That’s if OGS thinks Mr Cavani is not able to play 3-games in a week.
For the time being, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the manager of Manchester United and if a positive result is gained against the Noisy Neighbours, then that will continue, however, get ready if Pep’s High Flying Blues turn on a display akin to that of Liverpool.
Ole’s Wheels are up to 5th in the table, with 17-points, 3-less than today’s opponents but 8-adrift of Chelsea at the summit.
One final thought to come from the weekend’s fixtures is Antonio Conte, who was thought to be a replacement for Ole if the hierarchy decided to get rid, has replaced Nuno in London.
There’s a certain Norwegian/Manc who had an extra spring in his step on Monday morning. Thanks, Nuno! Benjamin Zephaniah
‘They fought with us at times of war, they suffered, died, I suppose there’s more.
They cleaned our offices and home, they cleaned hotels and built our roads.
Come to think of it, I guess, they helped to build our NHS.
They were Bus and Train and Taxi Drivers, Engineers and Coal Miners.
The Miners United will never be defeated!
The Windrush Generation, what’s the fuss, what have they ever done for us.
They brought us soul and Calypso and Reggae to help us rock it slow
And also when this was kind of grey, we quickly learned how they could play.
That’s right, this homegrown generation, they recognised no limitation.
Not always welcomed but here to stay they played ball to pave the way.
Through difficult and testing years these Windrush kids were pioneers, things would never be the same, they changed the way we played the game.
The mountains they climbed could be seen, every week on TV screens.
We watched on with hope and pride
As these men and women helped turn the tide.
Now take a look at modern Britain, the history is still being written.
We’ve touched all walks of life it seems, fulfilling our ancestor’s dreams.
You could say it is their creation, an England team that reflects the nation.
As players on and off the pitch, create a culture that is rich.
The road is slippy, the road is long the police and state have done us wrong.
We will not forget what we have been through, the sweat, the tears, the wage is due.
Sacrifices made by those before, to help break down divisive doors.
To transform this, the Motherland, upon great shoulders we all stand.
The Windrush Generation, are you serious?
Look at all they have done for us!
Dedicated to those who came from afar, to those who made us who we are!
Benjamin Zephaniah, Respect!
Pep’s High Flyers, were more Low Flyers on Saturday, with Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace side getting a smash and grab victory at the Etihad by a 2-0 score.
Smash and Grab because City were in complete dominance of the game with Palace having just 1-shot on target, in the 1st-half, resulting in the goal and 2-shots after the break, resulting in the 2nd-goal.
Everyone is hung up on statistics but Crystal Palace showed that the only stat that counts is the one in the top left-hand corner of the television screen.
Pep’s Blues had 68% possession throughout the tie, with 14-goal attempts, however, from those attempts, only 3-were on target, the same as Pat’s Eagles but not troubling the netting.
One of the main 1st-half statistics was the sending off, of Aymeric Laporte, who was shown a straight Red Card for a professional foul on Wilfried Zaha.
It did appear harsh and no one would have complained too much if a Yellow was produced. DOGSO! The sending off was on the stroke of half-time, meaning a full 45-minutes with a man less.
Whilst it was a defeat for Man City, it now throws up the possibility that John Stones gets a start against United.
The Barnsley Stone has only made 2-Premier League appearances this term, one being against Burnley, playing the full 90-minutes and the other, in the fixture against Crystal Palace, coming on as a substitute but with Aymeric banned, John should get his chance. When John Stones plays, City don’t concede!
The defeat leaves Pep’s Low Flying Blues, 3rd in the table, with 20-points, 3-more than the Numpty Neighbours.
The only slight solace that Mr Guadiola and the Citizens can take from the loss against the Eagles, is Liverpool were held to a draw against Brighton and are only 2-points ahead in 2nd-place.
However, Chelsea did get the victory against Newcastle and now have 3-points more than Jurgen’s Reds and 5-ahead of Pep’s City.
Both are in Champions League action before the Derby on Saturday, with United heading to Italy to take on Atalanta and City hosting Club Brugge.
At Old Trafford last season, this fixture finished in a drab goalless draw, with Ole putting 11-men behind the ball and Pep’s Blues unable to break down the home team.
United’s starting eleven that day in December 2020, was David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Fred, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.
With Ole having no thoughts of dropping or resting Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul unable to play, it could quite possibly be the same 10, with CR7 in for PP. Have United progressed?
Pep’s eleven at Old Trafford was, Ederson, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Fernandinho, Rodri, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus.
City have progressed and it’s more than likely that there will be 4 or 5 changes to their starting eleven. Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan, could all come in.
That in itself, tells a story of where both clubs are, at the moment. There will be goals today.
888 Sport offer Manchester United at 10/3, the draw at 29/10 and Odds On 46/63 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Phil Foden Scores Anytime and 6/4 that Man City Score in Both Halves.
BRENTFORD v NORWICH
15.00 in England.
Have the wheels come off at Brentford following a brilliant start to life in the Promised Land. It’s now 3-Premier League losses in a row, following Saturday’s defeat against Burnley, in the cold of Turf Moor.
Thomas Frank introduced Saman Ghoddos on the hour-mark against the Clarets, which saw the Iranian have an interesting 30-minutes, picking up a Yellow Card but scoring late on.
Unfortunately for the Bees, the Clarets had scored 3-times in the 1st-half so Saman’s strike was ultimately just a consolation with the game finishing in a defeat by a 3-1 scoreline.
Brentford stay 12th in the table with 12-points, from the 10-fixtures completed and whilst a great start, the losses need to be addressed.
Probably what a struggling team needs in a difficult period is a visit from Doctor Daniel and his Exciteables, (a great name for a band!)
Simon Mayo on Top of the Pops in the 80s, ‘At Number 20 in this week’s charts are Doctor Daniel and the Exciteables with a new entry called ‘Same old, Same old’
Simon is the only old BBC One DJ, that’s allowed on the screens nowadays, after the exploits of certain others!
Norwich did score a goal against Leeds United on Sunday, however, still suffered a defeat by a 2-1 score. That’s now 8-losses from the 10-fixtures so far, leaving the Canaries at the foot of the table with 2-points.
Andrew Omobamidele scored Norwich’s goal against the Whites, which at the time was an equaliser, however, the home team conceded again to ultimately suffer the defeat.
Daniel’s Exciteables have scored 3-goals in the 10-games, conceding 25, with Timo Pukki the only other Canary to have notched.
One strange anomaly regarding Norwich and Daniel Farke is the excellent Billy Gilmore on-loan from Chelsea, isn’t getting any game time having not got his boots muddy in the last 5-Premier League games and only appeared in the 1st-5 Norwich fixtures. Something is amiss there?
James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd, had a bad weekend on the football front, with all 3 of his teams suffering defeats.
Little Jim’s first footballing love, Barnsley FC, succumbed to their 7th-successive loss in a row, this time against Bristol City by a 2-1 score.
That has prompted the bosses at Oakwell to sack Markus Schopp who caught an Uber with Nuno for the trip to the Job Centre.
The Uber Driver did enquire with Mr Schopp and Mr Espírito Santo if they had to stop off at Old Trafford to collect someone else but both the lads said No, not at the minute.
Whilst Jim’s Super Reds were losing at Ashton Gate, the Little Blunt was at Bramall Lose, sorry Lane to witness in person, Sheffield United succumb to a loss against Blackpool. Jim has vowed never to eat Rock again and refuses to catch the Sheffield Supertram.
The Blades fanatic was last seen in Spoons, crying into his Fruit Kopparberg, with the lovely girlfriend trying to console the lad with a packet of Pork Scratchings.
The ex-Sheffield United boss, Chris Wilder is a favourite to succeed Markus at Oakwell, however, the owners at the club seldom appoint the obvious and will no doubt go down the route of employing an Austrian Goat Herder.
These two met at the Wellard Stadium, just over 12-months ago in October 2020, however, that was a Championship fixture before both were promoted to the Promised Land at the end of the season.
Ivan Toney scored to give Brentford a lead at half-time, before Kenny McLean equalised for Norwich, late in the 2nd-half, to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 1-1 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Brentford at Odds On 4/7, the draw at 59/20 and 47/10 for Norwich to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Ivan Toney Scores First and 6/4 that Brentford Win To Nil.
CHELSEA v BURNLEY
15.00 in England.
Chelsea started slowly against Newcastle at St James Park last Saturday, with the home side negating Thomas’s Blue Engines taking both teams in goalless at the break.
A few changes in tactics from Mr T in the dressing room at half-time saw Chelsea blitz the Magpies in the 2nd-half with 2-goals from Reece James and a cool Jorginho penalty giving the Blues the away-day victory by a 3-0 score.
Thomas Tuchel was unable to call upon the services of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic who all had injuries.
However, that does show just how strong the Chelsea squad is, albeit, against a poor Newcastle side that are in desperate need of a permanent manager to settle the ship.
As well as the win, the Chelsea faithful also saw Liverpool draw and Man City lose, meaning Thomas’s Blue Engines extend their lead at the summit of the Premier League table with 25-points, 3-more than Jurgen’s Reds and 5-ahead of Pep’s Blues.
Chelsea head to Sweden on Tuesday, for the away fixture of the Champions League clash with Malmö.
Burnley have been there or thereabouts in recent weeks, despite suffering defeats but got back on the winning track with a professional victory against Brentford by a 3-1 scoreline.
Chris Wood, Matt Lowton and Maxwell Cornet, with the 1st-half goals at Turf Moor and despite conceding a late Bees consolation, held on for the 3-points.
Maxwell’s assist came from Dwight McNeil with the Ivorian shouting, ‘Give it to me!’ Just one for Mr Cornet that takes his tally to 4-goals for the season so far.
Burnley did temporarily jump out of the relegation zone for 24-hours but slipped back to 3rd from bottom, or 18th, following Leeds United’s victory against Norwich on Sunday.
Sean’s Clarets have 7-points from the 10-fixtures so far but this will be a tougher task against the current Premier League leaders.
Chelsea got the victory against Burnley at Stamford Bridge last season, with goals from the Full-Backs, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso giving the home team an easy win by a 2-0 score. This was just the 2nd-game in charge for Thomas Tuchel after replacing Frank Lampard a week earlier.
888 Sport offer Chelsea at Odds On 2/9, the draw at 49/10 and 47/4 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 10/11 that Chelsea Score in Both Halves.
CRYSTAL PALACE v WOLVES
15.00 in England.
Crystal Palace got the result of the weekend, beating Man City at the Etihad by a 2-0 away-day scoreline. As mentioned last week, Patrick Vieira had a brief spell playing for City towards the end of his career, culminating in winning an FA Cup Winners medal in 2011.
The home team were dominant in the possession stats, however, it was Palace that scored midway through the 1st-half with a great goal from Wilfried Zaha.
On the stroke of half-time, the Eagles were given a further advantage when Aymeric Laporte was shown a straight Red Card for Rugby tackling Wilfried.
It’s doubtful that Palace would have complained if Aymeric only got a Yellow but definitely weren’t complaining seeing City reduced to 10 for the whole of the 2nd-half.
The excellent youngster Conor Gallagher who was superb throughout, scored the Eagles 2nd in the 88th-minute to seal the victory.
Young Conor is on-loan at Selhurst Park from Chelsea and is seeing regular game time under Patrick, which is unlike another Blues loanee, Billy Gilmore who is struggling to get his boots muddy at Norwich.
More about that in the Norwich Preview.
The superb win, after 4-successive draws, sees Crystal Palace jump up to 13th in the table, with 12-points from the 10-fixtures played.
Wolves themselves earned a great result on Monday Night Football, getting a victory at Molineux against Everton by a 2-1 score.
Max Kilman and the excellent Raul Jimenez with the 1st-half goals to give Bruno’s Gold and Blacks the advantage at the break.
Raul is starting to produce the form he was in before the horrific head injury suffered against Arsenal, 12-months ago.
Wolves did concede a Toffees goal in the 2nd-half but held on for the win.
That’s now 5-wins from 7-Premier League fixtures leaving the Black Country Boys in 7th-place in the table with 16-points, the same as Brighton from the opening 10-fixtures. The boys and girls of Wolves went out and celebrated the victory with a few pints of Lage’s.
Both teams come into today’s game under different managers from last season’s fixture at Selhurst Park that took place at the end of January 2021.
After a goalless 1st-half, Eberechi Eze scored the solitary winning goal to give Roy Hodgson’s Eagles the victory over Nuno Espírito Santo’s Gold and Blacks.
888 Sport offer Crystal Palace at 11/8, the draw at 11/5 and 2/1 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime and 3/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Vicente Guaita- Crystal Palace
RIGHT-BACK- Reece James- Chelsea
CENTRE-BACK- Thiago Silva- Chelsea
CENTRE-BACK- Marc Guehi-Crystal Palace
LEFT-BACK- Nuno Tavares- Arsenal
MIDFIELDER- Emile Smith-Rowe- Arsenal
MIDFIELDER- Dwight McNeil- Burnley
MIDFIELDER- Declan Rice- West Ham
FORWARD- Raul Jimenez- Wolves
FORWARD- Maxwell Cornet- Burnley
FORWARD- Wilfried Zaha- Crystal Palace
STAR MAN- Declan Rice- West Ham
BRIGHTON v NEWCASTLE
17.30 in England.
Brighton got arguably the 2nd-best result of the weekend, after Crystal Palace, coming from 2-goals behind to earn a draw against Liverpool, at Anfield from a Desmond 2-2 score. After conceding 2-Red goals, Enock Mwepu scored just before half-time to set up a terrific comeback.
Leandro Trossard equalised on the hour-mark and with no further goals, Harry’s Seagulls held on for a point from Mr Tutu’s favourite score-line.
Graham Potter’s Seagulls sit 8th in the table with 16-points from the opening set of fixtures which is a terrific return for the South Coast club.
Newcastle shut out Chelsea for 45-minutes on Saturday but couldn’t hang on after the break, conceding 3-goals to succumb to a home defeat by a 3-0 scoreline.
Despite the takeover by The Joker and the Saudi Arabian’s, the sacking of Steve Bruce and the appointment of Graeme Jones as the interim manager, the Magpies are still in disarray.
The Joker, by the way, is just a light-hearted name for Amanda Staveley, for no other reason as she resembles Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson from the Batman films. Check it out and see!
The new girls and boys immediate priority is to appoint a permanent Manager. The players know that an interim boss, whoever that may be, is simply not the way forward.
That said, the defeat against Chelsea shouldn’t be dwelled on too much as Thomas’s Blue Engines will beat most teams. Newcastle remain in the relegation zone, sitting 19th, with 4-points from the opening 10-fixtures.
In last week’s column, there were a few names offered up as potential new managers, Paolo Fonseca being the Odds On favourite.
It’s known that Mr Fonseca has been interviewed for the position, however, although Paolo was 2/7 last week, the Portuguese lad is now 9/1, with this week’s favourite being Roberto Martinez at 5/2.
Paolo is currently under the radar of the Aston Villa hierarchy. That basically means, no one has any idea as to who will be the next permanent manager. The Seagulls devoured the Magpies at the Amex last term, getting the easy victory by a 3-0 score.
Leandro Trossard scored the opener in 1st-half stoppage time, with Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay adding the others after the break.
888 Sport offer Brighton at Odds On 12/19, the draw at 57/20 and 17/4 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Alexis Mac Allister Scores Anytime and 2/1 that Callum Wilson Scores Anytime.
Happy Birthday Joanie 78! xxx
ARSENAL v WATFORD
14.00 in England.
A good friend of John Newsome’s asked a question over the weekend, ‘Where have Arsenal come from in the League?’ There was an expletive in the middle of that sentence but it’s been omitted.
What Ian is referring to, is Arsenal are now up to 6th in the Premier League table after Saturday’s superb away-day victory against Leicester at the King Power. First-half goals from Gabriel and Emile Smith-Rowe gave the Gunners the victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
As the fixture was an early Saturday afternoon kick-off, Arsenal temporarily went up to 5th, however, dropped a place following Manchester United’s win later on. Mikel Arteta is in the process of assembling a good squad, who all appear to be pulling in the same direction.
What’s also apparent is, despite all the modern managers playing a 3-5-2, a 3-4-1-2 or sometimes a 1-9, or a 9-1, Pep 2’s Arsenal are simply going old-style, setting up as a 4-4-2 formation.
When watching the Gunners, the line of 4-Defenders, 4-Midfielders and 2-Strikers stands out and with Aaron Ramsdale established as the Number-1, Arsenal will take some beating over the remainder of the season.
Another factor that has been covered in this EveryTip column, is the Gunners haven’t the distraction of European football, that Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United, West Ham and Tottenham have.
So it won’t be a shock if Mikel can get his boys into the Top Four. As mentioned, Arsenal sit 6th, with the same 17-points as United from the opening 10-fixtures completed.
After a stunning victory in last week’s game against Everton at Goodison Park, Watford suffered their 2nd-home loss in succession, succumbing to a defeat against Southampton by a 1-0 scoreline.
Claudio Ranieri’s Hornets conceded midway through the 1st-half, admittedly a great goal from the Saints and with no further goals, it was 2-defeats from 3, for the Italian.
Watford sit 16th, with the same 10-points as Aston Villa and Leeds United. It was the final fixture of the Coronavirus affected season when Watford last visited the Emirates to take on Arsenal.
The Gunners got the narrow victory over the Hornets, by a 3-2 scoreline. Kieran Tierney scored in between a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double to give Arsenal a comfortable lead, however, Troy Deeney pulled a goal back before the half-time whistle.
Danny Welbeck scored a 2nd for Watford after the break, against his old employers to give the cardboard faithful hope of a comeback.
Unfortunately for Watford, time ran out and the defeat sealed relegation to the Championship, as only a win would have seen the Hornets stay up. If one can remember, both Watford and Bournemouth had 34-points and were relegated along with Norwich.
Aston Villa finished just above the relegation zone with 35-points, however, gained a point from the fixture against Sheffield United, when the Ghost Goal that defied the Goal-Line Technology, wasn’t given which would have resulted in Villa having 34-points too.
888 Sport offer Arsenal at Odds On 4/11, the draw at 18/5 and 33/5 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 49/10 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First and 6/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
EVERTON v TOTTENHAM
14.00 in England.
Everton have now lost 3-Premier League fixtures in a row, following the defeat away at Molineux against Wolves on Monday Night Football.
After conceding 2, 1st-half goals, Alex Iwobi did pull a goal back after the break but ultimately it was just a consolation with the game finishing in another loss this time by a 2-1 scoreline.
There are a few Toffees who are unhappy with Rafa Benitez who did start well but is now coming under increasing pressure and needs a victory badly. This fixture could have easily produced that until the introduction of Antonio Conte, who provides Tottenham with a different dynamic than that of Nuno.
Everton stay in 10th-place, with the same 14-points as Leicester and a point behind today’s visitors.
If one was watching the home fixture against Manchester United on Saturday evening, in El Sackico at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, it would have been no surprise to wake up on Monday morning to the news that Nuno Espírito Santo and his coaching staff were relieved of their duties.
Manchester United are rubbish at the moment and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was himself under severe pressure to get his Red Devil’s to perform.
Although United’s display was much improved from that against Liverpool, Ole’s Trollies were helped along the way by a very poor Spurs team who looked utterly rudderless under Nuno, devoid of any ideas.
After conceding just before half-time, to go in trailing, the Tottenham crowd turned on Mr Espírito Santo when the manager introduced Steven Bergwijn 10-minutes into the restart.
It wasn’t so much the introduction of Steven, it was who Nuno took off, with the Sky Sports commentator, Gary Neville unsure himself who was getting the hook.
When Lucas Moura was the man to go, the Tottenham crowd showed their displeasure with everyone in the vicinity.
Once this occurs, it’s usually a ripple effect where every other decision, results in animosity, even Harry Kane soon felt the anger of the home supporters.
Tottenham then conceded two further goals and by the time the referee blew his whistle the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium was almost empty.
The defeat by a 3-0 scoreline leaves Spurs in 9th-place, with 15-points from the 10-fixtures overseen by Nuno.
There won’t be this 11th, as that is now in the hands of the ex-Chelsea manager Antonio Conte who has been given an 18-months contract.
John Newsome is bald, has been for a while and shaves the napper with a Gillette Sensor Excel two to three times a week (other razors are available!)
Most will now be thinking, ‘That’s a strange statement to suddenly come out with’
The reason for this enlightened information is if Antonio Conte is looked at now, the Italian has a lovely head of hair.
However, the older viewers, such as John Newsome, who is the same age as the new gaffer, remember Antonio as being bald himself and his current barnet, whilst looking incredible, isn’t actually Mr Conte’s, he’s borrowed it!
What’s apparent from Antonio Conte’s managerial history is although very successful, winning Serie A and B titles as well as a Premier League crown at Chelsea, the lad rarely stays at one particular club more than 2-years at a time.
So the Lilywhite faithful may experience a rollercoaster ride over the next couple of seasons, with Antonio’s first objective being to, not only try and turn the fortunes of the club around but to persuade Harry Kane that his future lies in London, not Manchester.
What compounded the result against United was that the North London rivals, Arsenal have jumped up to 6th, ahead of Spurs.
Tottenham are in Europa Conference League action before this trip to Merseyside, entertaining Vitesse at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
That is a great first fixture for Mr Conte. From Champions League to Conference!
Both teams come into this fixture at Goodison Park, under the guidance of new managers that were at the helm in last season’s game between the two.
Tottenham now having a new, new gaffer, now Nuno is no more! Carlo Ancelotti was in the home dugout with Jose Mourinho in charge of Spurs.
Harry Kane gave Tottenham a lead but Gylfi Sigurdsson quickly equalised from the penalty spot to take both teams in level at the break.
Gylfi then added a 2nd, after the restart against his old employers, before Harry matched the Icelander scoring his and the Spurs equaliser. That was when HK liked scoring for Tottenham. With no further goals, the game finished in a draw by a Desmond 2-2 score.
888 Sport offer Everton at 8/5, the draw at 11/5 and 17/10 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Richarlison Scores Anytime and 2/1 that Son Heung-Min Scores Anytime.
LEEDS UNITED v LEICESTER
14.00 in England
Leeds United got a professional victory against Norwich on Sunday with Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites inflicting a defeat on the Canaries by a 2-1 away-day score. Whilst most are beating Norwich, Leeds were struggling themselves and the win wasn’t a certainty so the performance had to be put in.
Marcelo still was without the services of Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Robin Koch. Kalvin Phillips returned to the starting eleven at Carrow Rd.
After a goalless 1st-half, Raphinha and Rodrigo scored either side of a Norwich equaliser to give Leeds United the victory in front of the travelling Marching On Together crew.
A lot have commented that Marcelo Bielsa’s methods are starting to take their toll on the Leeds players, however, losing any or all of Patrick, Luke, Robin and Kalvin, is a big hole to fill and once these are back in, the Whites should push up the league. Marching On Together!
Leicester suffered a defeat in the early Saturday afternoon kick-off, succumbing to a loss against Arsenal, in front of the Foxes faithful, by a 2-0 scoreline.
Kasper Schmeichel conceded both goals in the 1st-half and without a great goalkeeping display by Kasper’s opposite number, Aaron Ramsdale, Leicester could have quite possibly got at least a draw.
However, it was a defeat that leaves Brendan’s not so Wonderful’s in 11th-place, with 14-points from the 10-fixtures so far.
There was a certain pooch covered head to paw in doggy treats all weekend, following Leicester losing.
Rod Stewart was wearing his Arsenal shirt with ‘Stewart’ and ‘76’ on the back and was over the moon, showering Lennon the puppy with treats galore.
Sir Roderick’s mood did change slightly when the crooners beloved Green and White Hoops could only manage a point from a goalless draw against Livingston (who?) in the Scottish Pub League.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers got a great victory on Sunday, with the Teddy Bears inflicting a defeat on Motherwell (who?) by a 6-1 away-day scoreline. That leaves Mr Gerrard’s Blues at the summit of the Pub league with 27-points, 4-more than Rod’s Glasgow rivals.
Later, on Sunday evening, when Rod and the lovely wife Penny, with a glass in hand, sat in the dark with all the lights off, pretending to be out, not wanting the Trick or Treaters coming to the door, a noise could be heard coming from Lennon in the back yard that resembled the tune of one of Mr Stewart’s famous ditties,
‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be’ Woof Woof!
Leicester host Spartak Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday. This game at Elland Rd last season took place almost 12-months ago to the day on the 2nd of November 2020.
Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans scored for the away side to take the Foxes in at the break leading.
Stuart Dallas pulled a goal back early in the 2nd-half for the Whites but ultimately this was just a consolation, with Jamie Vardy and Youri adding 3 and 4 to give Leicester the brilliant away-day victory by a 4-1 score.
If one remembers, the Sheffield Superstar was outstanding that night at Elland Rd, providing the assists for Harvey and Youri, then scoring himself before Brendan gave him a rest and substituted Jamie just before the final whistle.
Mr Tielemans 2nd-goal was a penalty after Mr Vardy had been taken off, which Jimmy V would no doubt have converted if still on the pitch.
In the fixture at the King Power later on in the campaign, Harvey Barnes and Stuart Dallas both scored again but the away team, Leeds United, ran out winners by a 3-1 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Leeds United at 7/4, the draw at 5/2 and 7/5 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 9/5 that Harvey Barnes Scores Anytime and 17/10 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
WEST HAM v LIVERPOOL
16.30 in England.
What a great fixture to round off Game Week-11 and finish the Premier League before the International Break. West Ham got a great result on Sunday, inflicting a defeat on Aston Villa at Villa Park, by a 4-1 away-day scoreline.
Following the victory against Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues, West Ham have 20-points, the same as Man City and sit 4th on goal difference, just 2-points adrift of today’s visitors.
The Hammers have never had so many points or scored as many as the 20, they have, after 10-games, only Liverpool and Chelsea have scored more goals this term.
Ben Johnson opened the scoring for West Ham after 7-minutes with a superb strike with his left foot. The older listeners will remember a Canadian athlete also called Ben Johnson. Let’s hope for West Ham’s sake that there are no other similarities between the two.
Aston Villa then equalised but Declan Rice scored to give the Hammers the lead at the break. In the 2nd-half, Villa had a man sent off giving David Moyes Boys an advantage for the remaining 40-minutes.
In truth, Villa could have seen two of their players take an early bath with the unfortunate Pablo Fornals being taken out by Kourtney Hause, seconds before Ezri Konsa brought down Jarrod Bowen.
The on-field referee, Chris Kavanagh, with the help (or hindrance!) from the dreaded VAR decided that just Ezri deserved a Red, with Kourtney not even receiving a Yellow Card for his forearm smash on Pablo.
Mr Fornals, with stars in his eyes, brushed himself down and scored the Hammers 3rd with Jarrod adding number 4, to give West Ham the comfortable win.
Probably the surprise in all that is the Hammers main man and leading scorer, Michail Antonio, didn’t notch against Villa and remains with 6-goals for the season so far, the same as Sadio Mane, 1 behind Jamie Vardy and 4-away from Mo Salah.
There is talk of a takeover at West Ham with the current owners, rumoured to be in talks with the Czech, David Kretinsky, who is wanting to purchase the Bubbles.
The London Stadium has been given the go-ahead for expansion which would take the capacity to 62,500, making it the 2nd-highest attendance in the Premier League after Old Trafford.
One thing to mention regarding the attendance, last week’s Carabao Cup tie against Man City, saw 60,000 fans watching the game that resulted in a draw by a 0-0 scoreline and the Hammers progressing following a penalty shootout. Imagine if that was a midweek Carabao Cup fixture at the Emptyhad!
The owners offered a ‘Kid for a Quid’ with it being half-term in England that meant the adults could take the nippers, just paying a pound for admission. A great incentive!
Some did take along the youths thinking that it was literally a Quid for each kid, not wanting to take the brats home and spend the pound on chips.
Liverpool looked to be in control on Saturday at Anfield against Brighton, scoring twice early on from goals by Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane.
Just before the half-time whistle, the away team scored, giving Brighton the momentum in the 2nd-half resulting in Liverpool conceding an equaliser midway through.
With no further goals, the game finished in a draw by Mr Tutu’s favourite score giving both teams a share of the points.
Luckily for Liverpool, who remain in 2nd-place, with 22-points, the draw wasn’t costly, with Man City surprisingly losing and unable to jump above Jurgen’s Reds.
Both teams are in midweek European action before this game, with West Ham in Belgium taking on Genk in the Europa League and Liverpool staying in England for the return Champions League fixture against Atletico Madrid, with the biter Luis Suarez back at Anfield.
Jurgen’s Reds, beware of the Teeth! When Jurgen’s Reds visited the London Stadium last term, David’s Bubbles suffered a home defeat by a 3-1 score.
After a goalless 1st-half, the game sprang into life with Mo Salah scoring twice and Georginio Wijnaldum giving Liverpool a lead.
Craig Dawson scored late on for West Ham but ultimately this was just a consolation with the game finishing to give Liverpool the points.
888 Sport offer West Ham at 18/5, the draw at 31/10 and Odds On 33/50 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 2/1 that Michail Antonio Scores Anytime and 85/50 that Mo Salah Scores First.
‘As the Bugle played the Last Post and Chorus, the old Men stood up proud tall but year after year, their numbers get fewer, someday no one will stand there at all!’
But we shall never forget them!
To everyone who fought for our freedom, Lest We Forget’
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