The highlight games for the weekend’s action are LIVERPOOL versus BRENTFORD and CHELSEA versus MAN CITY. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 12 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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WOLVES v TOTTENHAM
12.30 in England
Wolves suffered a devastating defeat against Sheffield United on Saturday, with a last-gasp goal at Bramall Lane giving the home team the victory by a 2-1 score.
The Blades took the lead midway through the 2nd-half but it looked like Wolves would gain a point when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde scored a superb equaliser in the 89th minute.
Unfortunately for the Gold and Blacks, Fabio Silva was adjudged to have tripped George Baldock and after the inevitable dilly-dallying by the dreaded VAR, a penalty was awarded that was converted in the 100th minute to inflict pain on the travelling faithful who definitely weren’t having a good ‘Night out in Sheffield, with a ‘greasy chip butty!’
It was a big blow to Gary O’Neil’s boys who have the unwanted distinction of being the first team to lose against Sheffield United this season.
The penalty awarded against Wolves was reminiscent of last week’s spot-kick given against Hwang-Hee Chan so it does appear that the Gold and Blacks have been on the wrong end of two bad decisions and will be hoping for a stroke of good luck today.
The defeat leaves Wolves in 14th place with the same 12 points as Fulham.
It was obvious that Wolves missed Pedro Neto who will be out of action until at least December.
After 3 consecutive 8.00 PM kick-offs, Tottenham come straight back in with a 12.30 PM start time at Molineux.
Wolves actually drop a couple of places due to the result of Tottenham v Chelsea on Monday Night Football.
After a Dejan Kuluseveski deflected shot in the 6th minute gave Tottenham an early lead at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, it looked like it was going to be an easy night for Spurs.
Similar to that sound heard on Family Fortunes when a question is wrong, that is what was subliminally heard next.
It’s difficult to put down in words the exact noise of the buzzer on the popular TV programme but that’s what the LilyWhite’s must have heard as Tottenham imploded.
There were 4 goals ruled offside by the dreaded VAR, Christian Romero was shown a straight Red Card for a lunge on his fellow Argentinian mate Enzo Fernandez that resulted in a penalty.
Eric Dier was sent on as a replacement for Brennan Johnson who was sacrificed due to Cristian being sent off.
Just after the penalty which was converted to put the scores level and on the stroke of half-time which then had another 12 minutes added on, Micky Van De Ven pulled up lame with a suspected hamstring problem that saw Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg replace the lad and at the same time saw James Maddison come off injured and replaced by Emerson Royal (or vice-versa with Pierre coming in for James and Emerson replacing Micky).
Either way, it had been an interesting 1st-half that left Tottenham with 10 Men, 3 substitutions and the scores level at 1-1.
Destiny Udogie was shown a Yellow Card after 18 minutes then knowing he was walking a tightrope, acted like a ‘Child’ and committed another offence early in the 2nd-half that saw Tottenham reduced to 9 Men.
Maybe Cristian was a bit lonely in the dressing room and asked Destiny to join him.
Ange Postecoglou then somehow instructed a bizarre tactical scenario informing his Back-Four to basically stand on the halfway line.
At first, the Chelsea players couldn’t work out the conundrum that only needed a Blue to run from deep and the teammate put the ball into the space.
After a few failed attempts that saw either offside given or the Tottenham ‘Keeper Guglielmo Vicario getting to the ball first, the eventuality of conceding a goal occurred in the 75th minute.
Chelsea then scored 2 more to inflict the defeat on Tottenham by a 4-1 scoreline.
It was Tottenham’s first loss of the campaign that leaves Ange’s Spurs in 2nd place in the Premier League table with 26 points from the 11 fixtures completed.
Man City jumped to the summit with 27 points.
It was a bizarre but very entertaining game for the 60,000 in attendance plus the watching Millions at home who pay Sky Sports exorbitant amounts of money per year or the few who have a Dodgy Firestick.
Tottenham have the advantage of not playing in the various midweek European Competitions so have the opportunity to regroup, however, the way Micky and James left the field plus the absence of Cristian and Destiny, will mean that Mr Postecoglou has to mix up his starting eleven.
Eric Dier hasn’t played all season before being introduced against Chelsea and although an excellent player, the way Ange wants to set up with the high defence, could see Mr Dier become exposed as the lad isn’t as quick as Micky Van De Ven or Cristian Romero.
Plus James Maddison would be a big loss to any team, so that’s something for the LilyWhite faithful to ponder for this weekend’s opener.
In last season’s affair at Molineux, both were under the guidance of different Managers, with Julen Lopetegui still at the Wolves helm and the enigmatic Antonio Conte in charge of Tottenham.
Adama Traore scored late on in proceedings to give Wolves the victory over Tottenham by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Wolves at 11/5, the draw at 5/2 and 23/20 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 21/10 that Fabio Silva Scores Anytime and 6/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
ARSENAL v BURNLEY
15.00 in England
Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the campaign in the late Saturday Afternoon kickoff against Newcastle at St James Park.
In truth, it was a tight affair with just a single and controversial goal being the difference between the two teams with Mikel Arteta not happy with the Stockley Park brigade.
That said the dreaded VAR took 4 minutes to try and clear the goal, with firstly, the decision to see if the ball had gone over the byline, the subsequent evidence was inconclusive.
Then there was a possible foul on the Arsenal Defender Gabriel who did appear to be pushed, only with two hands though.
The final discrepancy was whether the Newcastle goal scorer, Anthony Gordon was offside when tapping home.
All 3 were given in favour of the home team that ultimately gifted Newcastle the victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
Probably the fact that the ball did look out and what looked like a certain foul on Gabriel could give Mikel reason to complain, however, the game is over and nothing will change now.
There was a funny moment when Kai Havertz dove in on Dan Burn that was debatable as to whether a Red Card should have been given.
As it turned out, not only did Kai receive just a Yellow but 3 Newcastle players got booked too.
So Kai Havertz dives in on Dan Burn and 3 Newcastle players get a Yellow Card for asking why Kai hasn’t got a Red.
That’s football for one.
The loss leaves Arsenal in 4th place with the same 24 points as Liverpool following all of the weekend’s results going into Game Week-12.
Mikel’s Young Guns host Sevilla in the Group Stage of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Burnley suffered another defeat, their 9th from the 11 games and their 6th from the opening 6 fixtures at Turf Moor which becomes a Premier League unwanted record.
On Saturday, it was Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace who inflicted the loss by a 2-0 score.
Burnley remain in 19th in the Premier League table with 4 points from the opening 11 fixtures.
Sheffield United sit at the bottom with the same 4 points.
After the run of results that the Clarets have had recently, probably a trip to North London is not what Vincent Kompany would have wanted.
It was January 2022 when Burnley last ventured down to the Emirates to face Arsenal.
Both teams were so cold that neither could muster up a goal with the game finishing in a draw by a 0-0 score.
As this is a prediction column, John Newsome predicts that there will be goals today, mostly going into the Burnley net.
Betfred offer Arsenal at Odds On 1/7, the draw at 13/2 and 16/1 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Bukayo Saka Scores First and 7/4 that Arsenal are Awarded A Penalty.
CRYSTAL PALACE v EVERTON
15.00 in England
Crystal Palace gained an easy victory over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday with goals by Jeffrey Schlupp and Tyrick Mitchell giving Roy’s Eagles the points from a 2-0 away day score.
Eberechi Eze came back from injury and got just over half an hour of game time including an assist for Tyrick’s late strike.
The victory leaves Crystal Palace in 11th place with the same 15 points as Chelsea.
Everton gained a vital point against Brighton on Saturday from a draw by a 1-1 score at Goodison Park.
Vitali Mykolenko scored the Toffees goal in the 7th minute before the unfortunate Ashley Young was credited with the Seagulls equaliser late on in proceedings.
The point leaves Everton in 16th place with 11 points from the opening 11 games.
Although 16th isn’t the best place, there is a gap of 5 points between Luton and Bournemouth who sit 17th and 18th respectively.
In last season’s fixture between these two at Selhurst Park, the scorer wasn’t needed with both teams gaining a point from a draw by a 0-0 score.
Betfred offer Crystal Palace at 7/5, the draw at 11/5 and 2/1 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer slight Odds On 4/5 that Crystal Palace Win Either Half and 6/5 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v LUTON
15.00 in England
Manchester United snatched a victory from the jaws of a draw on Saturday against Fulham at Craven Cottage, when Bruno Fernandes scored a late winner to give United the 3 points from a 1-0 away day scoreline.
Although a good result for everyone concerned after a disastrous week which saw a defeat against Man City in the Premier League and a loss against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup, it does sort of paper over the cracks for Erik Ten Hag and his Red Devils.
If one remembers, United did the same against Brentford a couple of weeks ago, scoring two late goals to gain the victory.
At the moment, there’s a time out from this column regarding the problems at Old Trafford as the answer doesn’t appear to be obvious.
United face Copenhagen in Denmark on Wednesday which could see Erik’s team on the brink of elimination from the Champions League.
That said, Galatasaray have to face Bayern Munich in Germany so a victory against Copenhagen would see United jump above the Turkish giants into 2nd place if Bayern can win against Galatasaray.
The difficult period experienced could become a distant memory if Manchester United can remain in the Champions League for the knockout stages as that takes the pressure off Erik and the players.
However, the flip side to that scenario is United could be eliminated from the Top European competition and may not even have the bonus of the Europa League.
This week could be a pivotal point in the season for Manchester United.
The win against Fulham leaves United in 8th place with the same 18 points as Brighton from the 11 games completed.
Luton were seconds away from gaining the result of the season on Sunday but a last-gasp equaliser by Liverpool saw both teams share the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
In truth, a draw against Jurgen’s Reds is still a great achievement but a victory would have been extra special.
Tahith Chong scored the Hatters goal in the 80th minute but with time almost up, Luis Diaz equalised in the 95th minute to knock the hats off the faithful at Kenilworth Rd.
It was still a great display put in by Rob Edwards boys who almost pulled off the shock of the season so far.
The point gained leaves Luton in 17th place with the same 6 points as Bournemouth who occupy the final relegation place purely on goal difference.
The Hatters faithful will take that and party if Luton finish in 17th place come May next year.
This will be a momentous occasion for the Hatters faithful as they travel up to Old Trafford to face the Red Devils for the first time since September 1991.
Manchester United gained a comfortable victory by a 5-0 scoreline that day with goals from Paul Ince, a Brian McClair double, Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes.
In the reverse fixture back at Kenilworth Rd later on in the season, Luton earned a point from a draw by a 1-1 score.
There was a meeting in September 2020, when Luton hosted United in the Carabao Cup but suffered a defeat by a 3-0 score.
That fixture didn’t have any spectators due to the Coronavirus Situation, so it will be the first time that the under 35-40 year olds have seen their idols face each other.
Betfred offer Manchester United at Odds On 3/10, the draw at 9/2 and 17/2 for Luton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Marcus Rashford Scores First and 11/4 that Carlton Morris Scores Anytime.
BOURNEMOUTH v NEWCASTLE
17.30 in England
Bournemouth sit in the final relegation spot with 6 points following Saturday’s defeat against Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
The loss against City by a 6-1 scoreline just needs to be put to bed as most suffer a defeat against the Treble Winners, especially in Manchester.
The ex-Leeds United Striker Luis Sinisterra scored the Cherries consolation goal midway through the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately for the Vitality faithful, Newcastle are on fire at the moment so this could be another tough watch, especially with the old boss Eddie Howe, now in the opposition dugout.
The kind Premier League Fixture Compilers in collaboration with Sky Sports have decided to send the Toon Army on the long distance South to Bournemouth for a 17.30 start time.
Whilst this does mean the Newcastle faithful can take their time to get down to the Vitality, which is 350 miles away from St James Park and will take over 6 hours, it also means that come the Final Whistle at around 19.30, it will be Sunday Morning when the Magpies eventually return home.
No doubt there will be a few milk bottles missing around the streets of Newcastle.
Cheers PLFC and Sky Sports!
Newcastle gained a momentous victory over Arsenal on Saturday at St James Park, with an Anthony Gordon goal giving the Magpies the points from a 1-0 score.
The goal was contentious with the dreaded VAR having numerous attempts to try and find a way of chalking it off but after 4 minutes, the goal was eventually given.
Obviously, the Toon Army were ecstatic and went off for a memorable night on the sauce in the City, drinking copious amounts of the famous Newcastle Brown ( Broon) Ale.
The win lifts Newcastle up to 6th in the table with 20 points from the opening 11 games.
Newcastle face Borussia Dortmund away in Germany on Tuesday in the Match-Day 4 of the Champions League Group Stage.
At the Vitality last season, Eddie Howe wasn’t able to get a victory over his old team with the game finishing in a draw by a 1-1 score.
Marcos Senesi scored early to give Bournemouth a lead before Miguel Almiron equalised for Newcastle on the stroke of half-time.
With no further goals after the break, both shared the points.
That was also a 17.30 start time so the Toon Army will know how it feels trying to get home on a Saturday Night, however, will be wanting a victory to celebrate the journey, rather than just a draw.
Betfred offer Bournemouth at 4/1, the draw at 3/1 and Odds On 8/13 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer Evens 1/1 that Callum Wilson Scores Anytime and 2/1 that Newcastle Win To Nil.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Odysseas Vlachodimus- Nottingham Forest
RIGHT-BACK- Reece James- Chelsea
CENTRE-BACK- John Stones- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Thiago Silva- Chelsea
LEFT-BACK- Ola Aina- Nottingham Forest
MIDFIELDER- Orel Mangala- Nottingham Forest
MIDFIELDER- Bernardo Silva- Man City
MIDFIELDER- Tahith Chong- Luton
FORWARD- Jeremy Doku- Man City
FORWARD- Anthony Gordon- Newcastle
FORWARD- Luis Diaz- Liverpool
STAR MAN- Bernardo Silva- Man City
ASTON VILLA v FULHAM
14.00 in England
Aston Villa suffered what could be described as a surprise defeat on Sunday succumbing to the loss against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground by a 2-0 scoreline.
After some brilliant recent displays that have seen victories against Brighton, West Ham and Luton in the Premier League plus a draw against Wolves and a couple of wins in the Europa Conference League, Unai Emery’s Claret and Blues looked flat against Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees.
Villa sit in 5th place with 22 points from the 11 games completed.
Aston Villa face AZ Alkmaar on Thursday in Match-Day 4 of the Europa Conference League Group Stage.
Fulham head to Villa Park after suffering a defeat against Manchester United by a narrow 1-0 scoreline at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
After putting in a decent performance against United, the away team scored a late winner which was hard to take for the Cottagers in attendance.
That said, there wasn’t much of a threat to the United goal with Fulham never looking like scoring so the result, although hard to take, can’t really be dwelled upon too much.
The pressing issue is to try and turn the possession that Marco Silva’s team enjoy, into goal-scoring opportunities.
Fulham sit in 15th place with the same 12 points as Wolves and have the whole week to prepare for the trip up the M6 to Villa Park, whereas the hosts have an extra game to fit in, so that could be a bearing on today’s fixture.
Tyrone Mings scored the only goal of the game when Aston Villa last faced Fulham at Villa Park to give Unai Emery’s Claret and Blues the victory over Marco Silva’s Cottagers by a 1-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at Odds On 4/7, the draw at 16/5 and 9/2 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/2 that Douglas Luiz Scores Anytime and 5/4 that Aston Villa Score in Both Halves.
BRIGHTON v SHEFFIELD UNITED
14.00 in England
Brighton gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score away at Goodison Park against Everton on Saturday.
After the hosts had scored early on in proceedings, Brighton were gifted an equaliser when the Old Boy Ashley Young put into his own net.
With no further goals, both teams shared the points.
That was back-to-back draws for Roberto De Zerbi’s Men who sit in 7th place with 18 points, just above Manchester United who also have 18, with all teams having now completed 11 games.
Brighton head to the Netherlands on Thursday to face Ajax in the Europa League Group Game.
A side note regarding the famous Dutch club Ajax (and not the cleaning product!) is the Amsterdam team are currently in the bottom half of the Eredivisie and before the weekend’s victory against Heerenveen were sitting rock bottom, so need to pick up a few results to get back to where they want to be.
************BREAKING NEWS *************
Sheffield United have finally won a Premier League game of football.
Cameron Archer scored for the Blades midway through the 2nd-half at Bramall Lane against Wolves on Saturday before the away team equalised.
With time running out (literally), Sheffield United were awarded a ‘home penalty’ that did appear soft but is often awarded to the ‘home team’ which allowed Oliver Norwood to smash the ball home for the winner to give the ‘home team’ the much-needed victory by a 2-1 score.
Whilst it was a ‘soft penalty’ award the Blades faithful (Blunts!) will feel that it’s their turn to receive a bit of good fortune.
Oliver was never going to miss and smashed the ball high into the net which resulted in everyone releasing different emotions after 10 previous games that have produced 9 defeats and a draw.
The win wasn’t enough to lift Sheffield United off the bottom of the table but it was a start and now the Blades have the same 4 points as Burnley with both teams 2 points away from safety.
There is a slight gap developing between the bottom 4 and the team in 16th so it could be a fight between those 4 in 20th, 19th, 18th and 17th, meaning the team that finishes in 17th are the happiest.
That said there is a long way to go yet and a January Transfer Window which will allow everyone to strengthen their squad.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Bramall Lane went missing for 3 days after the win and didn’t make work on Monday, which was a bonus for the Toyota fraternity living in the Rotherham and surrounding area, who knew the mechanic wouldn’t be set free on their cars.
That’s just a bit of fun as the Little Blunt is a Top Technician and practices each day playing with his Meccano but usually has to ask for assistance from the lovely Jade who always has to finish off the project.
It was just before Christmas 2020 when the Blades last ventured down to the Amex to face the Seagulls.
As the Coronavirus Situation was in full swing, there weren’t any spectators allowed in to witness both teams share the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
John Lundstrem was shown a straight Red Card just before the break to leave Sheffield United with 10 men for all of the 2nd-half.
It was United that took the lead when Jayden Bogle scored on the hour mark, however, like a bad dog walker, the Blades couldn’t hold on to the lead and conceded a Brighton equaliser 20 minutes later when Danny Welbeck scored for the home team.
With no further goals, both earned a point apiece.
Betfred offer Brighton at Odds On 2/9, the draw at 11/2 and 11/1 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 18/5 that Evan Ferguson Scores First and 13/10 that Brighton Win Both Halves.
LIVERPOOL v BRENTFORD
14.00 in England
Liverpool were held to a draw against Luton last Sunday with both teams gaining a point from a 1-1 scoreline.
In truth, Jurgen’s Reds could consider themselves extremely fortunate after Luis Diaz scored a last-minute equaliser to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.
It was fitting after an emotional time for the Columbian who had seen his parents being kidnapped back in his home country to come off the bench and score the late goal to earn a point.
The parents are now safe so that particular story has ended on a positive.
Liverpool looked out of sorts against Luton who put in a superb performance that could have easily left the Reds with a loss.
The point gained, as those who regularly read this column know, is always a point gained rather than 2 lost, which leaves Liverpool in 3rd place with 24, the same points as Arsenal but sitting above the Gunners on goal difference.
There is a trip to France on Thursday hopefully not to lose against Toulouse in the Europa League Match-Day 4 game.
Brentford come into this tie at Anfield off the back of a victory against West Ham by a narrow 3-2 scoreline at the GTech Stadium on Saturday.
The goals going in as follows,
11′ Neal Maupay (1-0 Brentford)
19′ Mohammed Kudus (1-1 West Ham)
26′ Jarrod Bowen (1-2 West Ham)
Half-time Chicken Balti Pie and Bovril.
55′ Konstantinos Mavropanos-OG (2-2 Brentford)
69′ Nathan Collins (3-2 Brentford)
Full-time Jellied Eels and Mash.
A great result for Thomas Frank’s Bees which is the 3rd victory in succession following a string of poor performances.
That leaves Brentford in 9th place, being the only team with 16 points from the opening 11 games.
This will be a tough ask up at Anfield but with Liverpool having a game in between and Brentford hitting a lucrative seam it might just be a good time for the difficult fixture to take place.
That said, Jurgen will probably send out the reserves in France so could be fresh today.
Mo Salah scored the only goal of the game in last season’s encounter between these two teams at Anfield, giving Liverpool the victory over Brentford by a 1-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Liverpool at Odds On 2/5, the draw at 4/1 and 6/1 for Brentford to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Darwin Nunez Scores First and slight Odds On 9/10 that Liverpool Score in Both Halves.
WEST HAM v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
14.00 in England
West Ham suffered a defeat against fellow Londoners Brentford at the GTech Stadium on Saturday, going down by a narrow 3-2 scoreline.
Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen with the Hammers goals, however, the unfortunate Konstantinos Mavropanos was credited with one of the Bees that ultimately cost a point.
West Ham have lost 4 of their last 5 games in all competitions, 3 in the Premier League and 1 in the Europa League with a win coming in the 5th which was in the Carabao Cup and more importantly a victory over Arsenal to progress to the last-8.
The Hammers face Olympiacos on Thursday in the Europa League Group Stage but it is in London so no travelling involved.
Nottingham Forest could consider themselves to have achieved the best result of the weekend, inflicting a defeat on Aston Villa at the City Ground by a 2-0 scoreline.
Not many predicted that result after 2 losses and 4 draws from the previous 6 Premier League fixtures.
Ola Aina scored the opener against Villa after 5 minutes, before Orel Mangala added a 2nd just after the interval to give Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees the surprise victory.
Forest sit in 13th place with 13 points from the opening 11 games completed.
West Ham gained the victory over Nottingham Forest at the London Stadium last season.
Goals from Danny Ings (2), Declan Rice and Michail Antonio gave the home team the win by a 4-0 scoreline, with all 4 scored in the 2nd-half.
Forest had got the victory in the fixture at the City Ground which took place in August 2022, as a Game Week-2 affair.
Betfred offer West Ham at slight Odds On 5/6, the draw at 13/5 and 16/5 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 2/1 that Jarrod Bowen Scores Anytime and 15/8 that Taiwo Awoniyi Scores Anytime
CHELSEA v MAN CITY
16.30 in England
A great game to finish off the set of Premier League fixtures before yet another International Break.
That’s 3 International Weeks since the season started in August, which does annoy a lot of folk out there who just love the Premier League.
Chelsea played in a fascinating game against Tottenham at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Monday Night Football, with Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues inflicting a defeat on Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs by a 4-1 score.
If some did not see the game or haven’t read about the match, the 4-1 scoreline, whilst brilliant for Chelsea, does have a story behind it that can be read in the Wolves v Tottenham preview above.
Five goals that stood, 4 disallowed ones, 2 sending offs for the opposition and a couple of injuries for Tottenham did have a bearing on the result but that won’t bother the Chelsea faithful who will just say their boys got a win over the fierce rivals by a 4-1 score.
Cole Palmer converted a 1st-half penalty after Tottenham had taken the lead before the much-maligned Nicolas Jackson scored a hat-trick of tap-ins after the break against a 9 Man opposition.
Although there were mitigating circumstances regarding the victory, all it will say in the paper is Tottenham 1-Chelsea 4 which is a brilliant result especially with Mauricio Pochettino being the ex-Spurs boss.
It’s more than likely that the Argentinian Boy had a few glasses of Champagne on Monday evening.
Man City will have expected the victory over Bournemouth on Saturday Afternoon with goals from Jeremy Doku, Bernardo Silva (2), Manuel Akanji, Phil Foden and the ex-Cherry Nathan Ake completing the rout by a 6-1 score.
What probably wasn’t expected is Pep’s High Flying Blues would finish the weekend off at the summit of the Premier League after being the only team out of the Top Five to gain a victory.
Tottenham, Arsenal and Aston Villa all suffered a loss with Liverpool gaining a point from a draw, leaving City, which most of the Citizens will be thinking, in their rightful place at the Top of the Premier League.
Ironically, it was today’s opponents that allowed Man City to stay at the summit after Monday’s victory over Tottenham.
Pep Guardiola was no doubt sitting in his 3-Bedroom Terraced House in Manchester, with a nice glass of Spanish Rioja, wearing an old Chelsea Jersey with ‘Lampard’ on the back, cheering on the Blues and probably scratching his head, like most watching the Gogglebox, at the events occurring at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
No doubt there will be a nice bottle of said Rioja handed over to Mauricio on Sunday Afternoon to say,
‘Gracias’ for the win over Tottenham.
Man City host Young Boys of Switzerland on Tuesday evening in Match-Day 4 of the Champions League Group Stage.
Erling Haaland was taken off at half-time against Bournemouth so may not feature against the Swiss and given a night off to recover.
The absence of the Norwegian/Leeds lad won’t be too much of a loss for City who have plenty of other players to step up to the plate.
Julian Alvarez is simply class and at only 23 years old is a World Cup and a Treble Winner and is quite a good replacement for Big Erling as is Phil Foden, so the Citizens shouldn’t worry too much.
It’s quite possible now that Man City may stay at the summit for the 27 games over the remainder of the season which will be good news for the chasing pack.
Man City have gained a victory over Chelsea in the last 6 meetings between the two in all competitions, 4 in the Premier League and 2 in Cup Competitions (1 x FA and 1 x Carabao).
Despite those 6 losses, Chelsea will still feel better following a victory before the 6, which just happened to be the Champions League Final that gave Thomas Tuchel’s Blues the coveted trophy.
Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal of the game in last season’s encounter at Stamford Bridge, giving Pep’s High Flying Blues the victory over Graham’s Old Wizards by a 1-0 away day score.
Betfred offer Chelsea at 4/1, the draw at 11/4 and slight Odds On 4/6 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 16/5 that Raheem Sterling Scores Anytime and 6/4 that Man City Score in Both Halves.
Celtic have extended the lead at the summit of the Scottish Premier League after a victory over Ross County (who?) on Saturday.
The gap between themselves and Rangers is now 8 points, however, the Teddy Bears didn’t play in the Pub League at the weekend having played in the Scottish League Cup on Sunday, gaining a victory over Hearts (who?) in the Semi-Final of that particular competition, which will see the Blues face Aberdeen (who?) in the Pub Cup Final, which surprisingly takes place a week before Christmas.
The loveable OzScot will be dressed up as Braveheart and Father Christmas for that fixture in the Viaplay Scottish Cup.
Viaplay is a subscription service that charges £11.99 a month for the pleasure of watching the Pub League.
The rumours that a 4 pack of Tennents Extra is included in the monthly fee and is sent out to the 6 homes North of the Border that subscribe have neither been confirmed nor denied by Viaplay.
As for the Green and White Hoops, although they are not in that particular lucrative Final, now have one hand on the SPL Trophy as mentioned, being 8 points ahead of the Teddy Bears but have played a game more.