The highlight games for this weekend and early next week’s action are WOLVES versus LIVERPOOL and ASTON VILLA versus LEICESTER. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 15 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.
Please note all prices quoted below were correct at the time of publication
WEST HAM v CHELSEA
12.30 in England.
West Ham are now winless in 3, following Wednesday nights draw against Brighton by a 1-1 score. The 2-previous, to that, were defeats.
Tomas Soucek gave the Hammers the lead after 5-minutes but that goal was cancelled out by Neal Maupay in the 89th-minute to give both teams a share of the points.
West Ham did have a goal ruled out by VAR, that left David Moyes dismayed but that’s the dreaded for everyone.
The London Stadium heard a chorus of boos after the final whistle with the home fans feeling that their Bubbles should have beaten the Seagulls.
The point gained, leaves West Ham in 4th-place, with 24-points, however, do have the Gunners breathing down their necks in 5th, with 23-points. Despite not playing at their best against Watford at Vicarage Rd, Chelsea earned the victory by a 2-1 score.
Thomas Tuchel started Saul Niguez in the Premier League, for the first time since September but as in that game against Aston Villa, Saul was taken off at half-time with TT rejigging things.
Mason Mount had scored for Chelsea before the break, however, that goal was cancelled out by Watford, taking both teams in level.
Hakim Ziyech scored the winner, midway through the 2nd-half to give Thomas’s Blue Engines the points to keep them at the summit of the Premier League table with 33, 1 more than Man City and 2 above Liverpool. It’s now apparent that the title race is a 3-horse affair, between the 2-Blues and the Reds.
When these London giants met last term, the game took place towards the back end of the season, with a single Timo Werner goal, separating the two, giving the away team a victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
West Ham’s Fabian Balbuena was shown a straight Red Card with 10-minutes remaining.
888 Sport offer West Ham at 18/5, the draw at 13/5 and slight Odds On 46/63 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 18/5 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and 15/8 that Chelsea Win To Nil.
NEWCASTLE v BURNLEY
15.00 in England.
Newcastle were reduced to 10-men after just 10-minutes on Tuesday when Ciaran Clark hauled down Teemu Pukki, who would have been through on goal with a chance to score.
The foul was deemed Professional and Double C was back in the dressing room.
Amazingly, with only 10-men, the home team took the lead against Norwich at St James Park, when Callum Wilson converted a 2nd-half penalty, following a handball incident, given eventually after the intervention of the dreaded VAR.
The ex-Newcastle goalkeeper, Tim Krul, got a hand on Callum’s spot-kick and was unlucky not to save. The Canaries equalised with 10-minutes remaining and earned a point from the draw by a 1-1 score (as predicted in this EveryTip column on Tuesday).
In truth, the point wasn’t enough for either team, leaving Newcastle at the foot of the table with 7-points and Norwich in 19th with 10-points.
After entertaining the team immediately above the Magpies at St James on Tuesday, Newcastle, now welcome the current 3rd worse team in the Premier League, Burnley, who themselves, gained a point from the midweek fixtures. Sean’s Clarets drew against Wolves on Wednesday by a 0-0 score.
Enough said, however, a few of the Gold and Black faithful were unhappy with the way Sean’s team set up, with some intimating that Burnley put 15-men behind the ball.
Obviously, that’s just a bit of fun and Mr Dyche will have known the form Wolves are in and did what was needed to get the away point.
That leaves Burnley in 18th-place, with the same 10-points as Norwich and 3-points more than today’s hosts. Added to the fact, that the Clarets now have an extra fixture over the others due to the postponed game against Tottenham. This really is the proverbial 6-pointer.
What is meant by that, as there is only ever 3-points on offer, is that one team has the chance to earn 3-points, which then prevents the other from gaining the 3, thus 3+3= 6.
If Newcastle and Burnley were both playing someone else, both have the chance to gain 3-points, however, as the two teams are competing against each other, only one has the chance to get the 3, from Game Week-15. This is referred to as a 6-pointer.
An empty St James Park saw the home side get the win last season. Steve Bruce’s Magpies got the victory over Sean Dyche’s Clarets by a 3-1 score. Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring after 14-minutes, to give Newcastle a half-time lead.
Ashley Westwood equalised on the hour-mark, however, the parity didn’t last long with Callum Wilson scoring 4-minutes later, to put the Magpies back in front. Callum then converted a penalty to secure the 3-points for Brucey’s boys.
888 Sport offer Newcastle at 6/5, the draw at 47/20 and 85/40 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 7/2 that Callum Wilson Scores First and 9/5 that Chris Wood Scores Anytime.
SOUTHAMPTON v BRIGHTON
15.00 in England.
The St Mary’s faithful hadn’t seen many goals this campaign but were witness to 4, on Wednesday, following the draw against Leicester by a Desmond 2-2 scoreline.
Jan Bednarek opened the scoring for the Saints after 3-minutes. The Foxes equalised before Che Adams headed home a 2nd, to give Southampton a half-time lead.
Leicester again equalised in the 2nd-half and with no further goals, the game finished in Mr Tutu’s favourite score.
One thing to add to that is, in the previous occasions that Jan Bednarek had scored at St Mary’s, against Manchester United and Wolves, the home team suffered a defeat by a 3-2 scoreline. The faithful must have been fearful of another repeat of that.
The point gained leaves Wreck-Its men in 15th, with 15-points, the same as Everton and Leeds, going into this 15th-fixture. 15,15,15
Brighton themselves earned a point from a draw against West Ham on Wednesday, by a 1-1 scoreline. After the previous goalless draw at the Amex, Graham Potter’s men, especially Neal Maupay, were booed off by the Seagull faithful.
Neal was on hand in the 89th-minute to score an equaliser after the Hammers had scored early on. Mr Maupay’s effort was a superb overhead kick to quieten the detractors.
That’s Brighton’s 7th-draw from the previous 9-fixtures with the other 2, being defeats, 7-points from a possible 27 on offer. It’s fair to say, the Seagulls are the Draw Specialists.
The point gained at the London Stadium, leaves Harry’s men in 9th-place, with 19-points, the same 19 as Leicester.
In last seasons South Coast Derby, Che Adams equalised an earlier Lewis Dunk opener to take both teams in level at the break. Leandro Trossard scored in the 2nd-half to give Brighton the victory by a 2-1 score.
888 Sport offer Southampton at 7/5, the draw 11/5 at and 39/20 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 9/4 that Adam Armstrong Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 8/11 that there are under 2.5 Goals.
WOLVES v LIVERPOOL
15.00 in England.
Wolves were the better team against Burnley, at Molineux, on Wednesday, however, couldn’t produce the victory, with the game finishing in a draw by a 0-0 score.
A few of the Lage devotees (it would be unfair to refer to the followers as Lage Louts!) weren’t happy with Burnley’s tactics but it is up to Wolves to break down a resilient team that sets up not to lose.
Ultimately, on the night, despite some great play from the enigmatic Adama Traore, Bruno’s Gold and Blacks, couldn’t break Sean’s Clarets down. Wolves sit 8th in the table, with 21-points from the 15-fixtures.
Liverpool remain on the coattails of Man City and Chelsea, following a great victory in the Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park, against a poor Everton team. Jurgen Klopp rightly said that it was the best Liverpool had played at the rivals home for a long time.
In truth, it wasn’t difficult, as Everton are simply way off the level of Liverpool regardless of how much the Blues faithful dislike their current manager.
Jordan Henderson opened the scoring after 9-minutes with a superb strike. Jordan had a great game throughout.
Mo Salah scored a 2nd, however, the dominant Reds had a lapse moment, allowing the Toffees to score before the break.
Mo, restored the 2-goal advantage early in the 2nd-half, with Diogo Jota adding a 4th for the away team, to give Liverpool the victory over Everton by a 4-1 score.
The easy 3-points, gives Jurgen’s Reds, 31, from the 15-fixtures completed and leaves Liverpool in 3rd, a point behind Man City and 2-adrift of Chelsea at the summit. West Ham are a massive 7-points away in 4th-place.
Remember boy that your forefathers died, lost in millions for a country’s pride but they never mention the trenches of Belgium, when they stopped fighting and they were one. A spirit stronger than war was at work that night, December 1914 cold, clear and bright.
Countries’ borders were right out of sight when they joined together and decided not to fight
All together now.
All together now.
All together now, in no man’s land.
All together now.
All together now.
All together now, in no man’s land.
The same old story again, all those tears shed in vain, nothing learnt and nothing gained.
Only hope remains.
All together now.
The boys had their say, they said no, stop the slaughter and let’s go home, let’s go, let’s go.
The boys had their say, they said no, stop the slaughter let’s go home, let’s go, let’s go.
Let’s go home.
All together now.
All together now.
In no man’s land.
As a youngster, who loved football, growing up in the 70s, there wasn’t wall-to-wall football on TV like of today. It was limited to highlights on Match of The Day, the FA Cup Final in May and the odd England game that the BBC or ITV would show live.
Certain players stood out and the youths would try and copy the stars, down the park or on the Avenue where one lived.
There weren’t as many cars on the roads as there is now, so playing on the street outside the council house, with a football or a tennis ball was an everyday occurrence until the mum or dad shouted you in.
This EveryTip contributor admired the great players who could kick with both feet, players like Glenn Hoddle, Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish but one stood out over the period, that was simply sublime.
There aren’t many players that win the Double (the First Division title and the FA Cup) with one team, then get a move to another and win 5 more First Division titles and 3-European Cups.
Ray Kennedy did, winning the First Division title with Arsenal in 1971 and the FA Cup in the same year. The legendary Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly, came calling and took Mr Kennedy to Anfield in 1974.
Ray Kennedy was a Striker at Arsenal, however, Bob Paisley, now in charge of Liverpool after the departure of Mr Shankly, decided to play Ray as a wide left player, or as it was known at the time, an Inside Left.
At the time, John Newsome was an Inside Left and modelled his game on Mr Kennedy and Mr Hoddle. A great distributor of the ball with exceptional vision who could create chances for others or score himself.
Liverpool, with Mr Kennedy in the team, won the First Division Title in 1976, 77, 79, 80 and 82. As well as those titles, Ray and the Reds won the European Cup in 1977, 78 and 81.
In 1984, Ray Kennedy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and lived with the debilitating illness for over 30-years.
This week, a day before the Merseyside Derby, Ray died, aged 70. The Everton and Liverpool fans joined together in paying their respects to the great footballer, before Wednesday’s game at Goodison Park.
There was an emotional documentary, on BBC 1, first aired in the early 1990s, that highlighted Ray’s football career and Parkinson’s condition. Watch on YouTube.
The closing credits on the screen were accompanied by the powerful song, All Together Now, sung by the Liverpool band The Farm. All Together Now. Respect, Ray Kennedy, Rest In Peace.
The ex-Wolves forward, Diogo Jota scored the solitary winning goal for Liverpool, when these two met at Molineux last season.
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888 Sport offer 14/5 that Mo Salah Scores First and 17/10 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
WATFORD v MAN CITY
17.30 in England.
Watford did put in a decent display against Chelsea at Vicarage Rd on Wednesday, however, ultimately suffered a defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
After the Blues had scored the opener, Emmanuel Dennis, continued his goal-scoring streak, equalising to take both teams in level at the break. That’s Dennis the Menace’s 6th of the campaign. Only Mo Salah, Jamie Vardy, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane have scored more.
Watford conceded a 2nd, midway through the 2nd-half, to ultimately lose the tie against the Blues.
The defeat leaves the Hornets in 17th-place, with 13-points, 3 above Burnley, who are in the final relegation place, however, have only played 13-times not the 14, Watford have.
The Hornets last 8-fixtures have the following pattern, Lost, Lost, Won, Lost, Lost, Won, Lost, Lost. That suggests a victory is next, against Man City. Good luck!
With this being a prediction column, John Newsome predicts, that pattern is going to end.
Man City earned a great victory against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Wednesday, by a 2-1 away-day scoreline. Earned because Steven Gerrard’s Villa put in a great display against Pep’s High Flying Blues. Ruben Dias opened the scoring after 27-minutes
Man City’s 2nd goal was a thing of beauty, with Bernardo Silva finishing off a great passing move, that started from the Blues penalty area following a Villa attack.
Bernardo’s finish was simply sublime, smashing past a helpless Aston Villa goalkeeper. Stevie G’s home team did pull a goal back in the 2nd-half, however, Pep’s High Flyers held on for the victory.
The 3-points earned, leaves Man City with 32, from the 14-fixtures. That’s a point behind Chelsea at the top of the pile and a point ahead of Liverpool in 3rd.
It was the 2019/20 season when City last went down to Vicarage Rd. In the penultimate game of the campaign, Pep’s High Flying Blues got the away victory by a 4-0 score.
Raheem Sterling scored twice in the 1st-half, the 2nd coming from a missed penalty taken by Raheem but saved. Fortunately, the ball rebounded back to the City man who tapped home.
Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte added the 2nd-half goals to give Man City the win.
Pep’s boys went on to finish 2nd in the table, behind Liverpool and Watford, under the guidance of Hayden Mullins, were relegated back to the Championship.
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888 Sport offer 5/1 that Raheem Sterling Scores First and 11/10 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Hugo Lloris- Tottenham
RIGHT-BACK- Davinson Sanchez-Tottenham
CENTRE-BACK- Conor Coady- Wolves
CENTRE-BACK- Liam Cooper- Leeds United
LEFT-BACK- Alex Telles- Manchester United
MIDFIELDER- Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United
MIDFIELDER-Jordan Henderson- Liverpool
MIDFIELDER- Bernardo Silva- Man City
FORWARD- Cristiano Ronaldo- Manchester United
FORWARD- Mo Salah- Liverpool
FORWARD- Raphinha- Leeds United
STAR MAN- Cristiano Ronaldo- Manchester United
LEEDS UNITED v BRENTFORD
14.00 in England.
It looked for all-purpose, that Leeds would earn a point from their midweek fixture against Crystal Palace when the scoreline was 0-0 going into the 3rd-minute of stoppage time.
Luckily for the Marching On Together crew, the on-field referee, Kevin Friend was friendly to the Whites and awarded Marcelo’s boys a late penalty, with the help of the Stockley Park gang.
With 93-minutes up on the clock, the excellent Raphinha coolly slotted home to give Leeds United the victory by a 1-0 score. The Whites sit 16th in the table, with 15-points, going into this 15th-fixture of the campaign.
Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling are almost fully fit, with both completing 90-minutes for the Under-23’s, in midweek, so Leeds could have close to a full complement of players going into this game against Brentford. Brentford suffered a defeat away at Tottenham on Thursday night, by a 2-0 scoreline.
The unfortunate Sergi Canos scored an own goal after 12-minutes then Spurs scored a 2nd, just after the hour mark to inflict the loss on the Bees. That leaves Thomas Frank’s men in 12th-place, with 16-points from the 14-fixtures completed.
The last time these two met at Elland Rd was in the 2019/20 campaign, in a Championship fixture.
The on-loan Arsenal Striker, Eddie Nketiah scored the only goal of the tie, in the 81st-minute to give Marcelo’s Whites the victory over Thomas’s Bees by a 1-0 scoreline.
Leeds were promoted to the Promised Land as Champions, with Brentford finishing 3rd in the table, to go into the playoffs, however, were beaten by Fulham in the Final at Wembley.
888 Sport offer Leeds United at slight Odds On 10/11, the draw at 51/20 and 11/4 for Brentford to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 19/10 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 17-20 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v CRYSTAL PALACE
14.00 in England.
Manchester United somehow got the victory over an inform Arsenal side at Old Trafford on Thursday by an entertaining 3-2 score.
Bruno Fernandes scored just before half-time, to cancel out an earlier Gunners goal. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first of his 2, after the break, which Arsenal immediately cancelled out.
The home team, under Michael Carrick for the final time, scored the winner in the 70th-minute, with that boy Ronaldo converting a penalty.
Mr Carrick has decided to leave Old Trafford before Ralph Rangnick takes over for this fixture against Crystal Palace. All the best Michael.
United jump up to 7th in the table, with 21-points, 2-adrift of Arsenal and 3-away from West Ham who occupy the final Champions League position. All to play for now Double R enters the building.
Crystal Palace were unbeaten in 7 but have now suffered defeats in their last 2-fixtures, the latest being a loss against Leeds United, at Elland Rd on Tuesday, by a 1-0 scoreline.
In truth, it did look like the game would finish in a goalless draw, until Marc Guehi was adjudged to have handled and the unfriendly Kevin Friend, awarded the penalty.
Leeds converted to inflict the defeat on the Eagles, leaving Crystal Palace in 12th-place, with 16-points. It was mentioned in the last column, out of those 7-unbeaten fixtures, 2 were victories and 5, were drawn.
That told one of two stories, one being, either Palace are hard to beat or B, the Eagles were close to losing 5 of the 7. It means that Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace have gained 11-points from a possible 27.
Roy Hodgson’s Palace, comfortably beat Ole’s Trollies at Old Trafford last season, running out winners by a 3-1 scoreline.It was only the 2nd-game of the campaign, so both were fresh. Andros Townsend scored early to give the Eagles a half-time lead.
Palace were then awarded a penalty that Jordan Ayew initially took but had his kick saved by David De Gea. The dreaded VAR informed the on-field referee, Martin Atkinson, that David had dived early so the spot-kick had to be retaken.
Instead of Jordan taking the kick, Wilfried Zaha stepped up and converted, before Donny Van De Beek pulled a goal back for United. Wilfried then scored his 2nd and Palace’s 3rd late on to seal the convincing victory.
888 Sport offer Manchester United at Odds On 8/13, the draw at 3/1 and 49/10 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 11/2 that Bruno Fernandes Scores First and 14/5 that Christian Benteke Scores Anytime.
TOTTENHAM v NORWICH
14.00 in England.
Tottenham got the victory against Brentford on Thursday night at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium. A Son Heung-Min strike after the break to add to an earlier Brentford own goal gave Spurs the win by a 2-0 scoreline.
Tottenham sit 7th in the table, with 22-points, 1-adrift of the North London rivals, Arsenal, however, have played a fixture less than the Gunners, due to last Sunday’s postponed game against Burnley.
Harry Kane, again didn’t score and has only 1, in the Premier League so far this campaign. Come on Harry!
Norwich had a great opportunity to get the victory, on Tuesday at St James Park, when Newcastle were reduced to 10-men after 10-minutes.
Teemu Pukki was through on goal but was hauled back by Ciaran Clark, resulting in a straight Red Card for the Magpie Defender, giving Dean’s Canaries a man advantage for 80-minutes. Unfortunately, the away team couldn’t capitalise and conceded a penalty on the hour mark.
Billy Gilmore was adjudged to have handled in the box and after endless amounts of replays, the on-field referee Andy Madley, was persuaded by the dreaded VAR to look at the monitor and as everyone knows, once this occurs, a penalty is usually awarded.
Tim Krul, who once plied his trade at St James, did get a hand on the spot-kick and parried onto the crossbar, however, the ball came down over the line.
Teemu Pukki equalised with 10-minutes remaining, with a superb left-footed volley that no one was saving and with no further goals, the game ended in a draw by a 1-1 score.
In truth, the point wasn’t any good for either team, which means Norwich remain 2nd-bottom or 19th, with 10-points from the 14-fixtures played so far.
As well as the sad passing of Ray Kennedy, the football world lost another great man this week, that of John Sillett.
John, aged-85, was a former player with Chelsea and Coventry but also, was the Manager of Coventry City, when the Sky Blues got the victory over Tottenham, in the 1987 FA Cup Final, by a 3-2 score. Respect, John Sillett, Rest In Peace.
It was January 2020, almost 2-years ago, before the Coronavirus situation had suspended football when Norwich last visited the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
Dele Alli scored 1st to give Tottenham an early lead. Teemu Pukki equalised midway through the 2nd-half, however, the parity didn’t last long, with Son Heung-Min scoring the winner for Jose Mourinho’s Spurs over Daniel Farke’s Canaries.
Both teams have different managers today.
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ASTON VILLA v LEICESTER
16.30 in England.
Aston Villa put up a great fight against Man City at Villa Park on Wednesday but despite an Ollie Watkins goal just after the break, City had already scored twice, meaning the home team suffered a defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
There was a tremendous amount of respect from Pep Guardiola shown towards Steven Gerrard, who experienced his first loss as the Villa boss, following 2-victories. The defeat leaves Aston Villa in 13th-place with the same 16-points as Crystal Palace and Brentford.
Steven Gerrard played under Brendan Rodgers at Anfield, from 2012-2015, before Mr Klopp came along. It did look for all-purpose that Brendan and Stevie G, were going to win the Premier League in 2014, with Liverpool only needing a victory against Chelsea in Game Week-36, to seal the title.
There was an infamous moment when Steven slipped on the stroke of half-time, allowing Demba Ba to run through and give Jose’s Blues a lead. Chelsea then scored a 2nd to inflict the defeat on Brendan’s Reds.
Man City, with 77-points, were trailing Liverpool, who had 80, at the time, by 3-points, however, the Reds only picked up 4-more from the final 3-fixtures, with City winning their remaining 3, to take the Premier League title from the grasp of the Anfield Rappers. It meant that the Liverpool legend that is Steven Gerrard never won a Premier League title.
The ex-Rangers boss then took on the ex-Celtic gaffer, in the Scottish Pub League, with the final meeting of the Glasgow Derby, being in December 2018, before Brendan left for the King Power.
It should be an emotional return for the two, today at Villa Park. Leicester gained a point from a great game at St Mary’s on Wednesday. In October 2019, the Foxes comfortably beat Southampton by a 9-0 scoreline.
On Wednesday, Wreck-It’s Saints put up more of a fight and took the lead over Brendan’s Wonderful’s after 3-minutes. Jonny Evans equalised for the Foxes, however, the home team scored again to take Leicester in at the break, trailing.
James Maddison scored in the 2nd-half and with no further goals, the game ended in a draw by a Desmond 2-2 score. The Sheffield Superstar, Jamie Vardy had a great opportunity to score the winner but fluffed his line, smashing the ball over the bar.
Jimmy V is on the same 93-goals as what Ian Wright scored in the Premier League when turning the age of 30. It won’t be long until that record is broken.
Leicester sit 10th in the table after the midweek fixtures, with 19-points from the 14-fixtures completed.
Lennon the puppy escaped the Southampton shirt, with ‘Stewart’ and ‘75’ on the back, it’s from a couple of seasons ago, being thrown at him by Sir Roderick, as although the Saints didn’t beat Leicester, Rod’s beloved Green and White Hoops, got a victory against Hearts (who?) in the Scottish Pub League, by a 1-0 score.
That keeps Celtic in 2nd-place in the SPL, 4-points adrift of Rangers who had got the victory themselves, the night before, inflicting a defeat on Hibernian (who?) by the same 1-0 scoreline.
Rod was happy and threw Lennon some doggy treats but it didn’t prevent the pooch humming the tune, ‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be.’ Woof Woof!
It was the cold of February 2021, when the Foxes last travelled the short distance to Villa Park. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes scored early on in proceedings to give the away-side a half-time lead.
Bertrand Traore scored straight after the restart to give Villa the hope of a comeback, however, with no further goals, Leicester got the victory by a 2-1 score.
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EVERTON v ARSENAL
20.00 in England.
The Mikel Arteta Derby.
Mikel had a successful spell at both clubs in the Spaniards playing career. Pep 2 was on Merseyside from 2005-2011, before Arsene Wenger came calling and took the lad to the Emirates.
Everton were completely outplayed on Wednesday at Goodison Park, against the Merseyside rivals, Liverpool. The under-fire Toffees boss, Rafa Benitez appears to be still in a job following the heavy defeat by a 4-1 scoreline, however, that precarious position could alter at any time.
There were angry scenes at the final whistle with the remaining Everton fans invading the pitch and venting their anger towards the Director’s box. Remaining, as most had left when Liverpool scored the 4th. Demarai Gray did pull a goal back in the 1st-half after the Reds had scored twice.
Unfortunately, a few individual errors, one being from the Captain, Seamus Coleman, allowed Liverpool to score twice more, after the break to inflict the devastating defeat on Everton. The Toffee Rafas and this morning’s papers were expecting to see the headlines of, ‘Mr Benitez is down the concrete’.
However, the board are sticking with the Spanish Waiter, for the time being, much to the displeasure of the faithful.
Everton sit 14th in the Premier League table, with the same 15-points as Southampton and just 5-points above the relegation places. The first-7 fixtures produced 14 of those 15-points.
Those good at Math will have worked out that the following 7-fixtures have only yielded a further 1-point, meaning 6-defeats and a draw from the last 7.
There are mitigating circumstances, one being the loss of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Rafa Benitez needs Dom back as soon as possible to try and move away from the drop-zone and possibly keep his job.
Arsenal suffered a defeat against Manchester United on Thursday by a narrow 3-2 scoreline. Emile Smith-Rowe gave the Gunners an early lead but Mikel’s men conceded on the stroke of half-time, to take both teams in level.
United then scored to go in front, before Martin Odegaard equalised. Unfortunately for the travelling Gooners, their idols conceded a penalty to gift them Red Devil’s the victory.
Arsenal remain in 5th-place, with 23-points, 2 more than United but only 1 in front of the North London rivals, Tottenham.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton got the victory over Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal by a 2-1 scoreline, when the two last met at Goodison Park, almost 12-months ago, in mid-December 2020.
The unfortunate Rob Holding scored an own goal midway through the 1st-half, with Nicolas Pepe then converting a penalty to make the scores level.
On the stroke of half-time, Everton retook the lead through Yerry Mina and with no further goals after the break, the Toffees got the early Christmas present of 3-points.
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888 Sport offer 7/2 that Bukayo Saka Scores Anytime and 27/10 that Arsenal Win To Nil.