The highlight games for this weekend’s action are ARSENAL versus SOUTHAMPTON and CHELSEA versus LEEDS UNITED. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 16 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
BRENTFORD v WATFORD
20.00 in England.
Friday Night Football.
Brentford played in a very entertaining game against Leeds United, at Elland Rd, on Sunday, gaining a point from a draw by a Desmond 2-2.
After the home team scored to leave the Bees trailing at the break, Thomas Frank got into his boys in the dressing room, which saw Shandon Baptiste equalise within 9-minutes of the restart.
Sergi Canos then scored to give Brentford a lead and with the time up on the clock, it looked like the away team would get a victory. However, a lapse in concentration allowed Leeds to score in the 95th-minute, to give both teams a share of the points from Mr Tutu’s favourite scoreline.
The point gained, leaves Brentford in 13th-place, with 17-points, from the 15-fixtures completed.
A side note was that Ivan Toney had to miss the game in West Yorkshire, due to testing positive for COVID-19. Get well soon, Mr T.
Watford put up a fight in the late Saturday afternoon kickoff against Man City at Vicarage Rd but ultimately the away team were just too strong for the Hornets.
Claudio Ranieri had never lost against Man City in 9-previous attempts and had a 100% record over Pep, 1 from 1, however, those stats were blown out of the water.
The Italian legend introduced Cucho at half-time, taking off the brilliantly named Imran Louza, for the Columbian. Imran has definitely signed for the right team, ‘louzing more than winning.’
Although Cucho scored after coming on, Man City were already 3-goals to the good and it’s fair to say, had taken the foot off the gas.
The defeat, by a 3-1 scoreline, leaves Watford, in 17th-place, with 13-points, 3 more than all, in the relegation places, however, the Hornets and the others, have played the full complement of fixtures, whereas Burnley, have a game in hand over those around, due to the postponement of the game against Tottenham.
These two last met in May 2021, however, that was in the Championship, which was the penultimate fixture of the campaign.
Despite the victory for the Bees, it was Watford that went on to be promoted automatically, with Brentford, promoted via the playoffs. After a goalless 1st-half, Marcus Forss scored for the home side immediately after the restart.
Ivan Toney added a 2nd on the hour-mark and with no further goals, Brentford got the victory by a 2-0 score.
To be fair to the Hornets, they had already sealed 2nd-place in the Championship table so were already promoted and were probably still hungover from the party that ensued.
A quick story about a team that finishes 2nd in the Championship and are already promoted going into the final fixtures.
Back in 1997, Barnsley had clinched promotion to the Promised Land by gaining a victory over Bradford in the penultimate game of that particular campaign.
Paul Wilkinson scored the opener with Clint Marcelle getting the 2nd-goal to seal the victory over Chris Kamara’s Bantams. There was still a final fixture to complete, this was away against Oxford at the Manor Ground.
Barnsley suffered a defeat by a 5-1 scoreline. The players were all hungover from the promotion party, with Danny Wilson, the Reds manager at the time, taking off the brilliant Darren Sheridan after 25-minutes because the lad was that drunk.
True story, John Newsome was there!
110 years of history had finally seen Barnsley into the footballing big-time. It was just like watching Brazil.
888 Sport offer Brentford at 11/10, the draw at 49/29 and 51/20 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Bryan Mbeumo Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 10/11 that there are over 2.5 Goals.
MAN CITY v WOLVES
12.30 in England.
There are gears on cars 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, some posh ones have a 5th but not John Newsome’s Austin Metro, the Metro only has 4.
Man City were in 2nd-gear on Saturday against Watford at Vicarage Rd. If one’s been in 2nd-gear in a motor, it’s difficult to get going. Raheem Sterling headed home after 4-minutes to kick-start the game.
The mercurial Bernardo Silva added a 2nd before the break to give the away team a 2-goal advantage at halftime. In truth, it could easily have been 5.
The inform Mr Silva then scored his 2nd and City’s 3rd, before taking the foot off the Metro and allowing Watford to score a consolation.
Mr Guardiola had seen Chelsea suffer a defeat earlier on in the day, so knew that a victory at Vicarage Rd, would see his High Flying Blues, go to the summit of the Premier League table. The win against Watford by a 3-1 score, did just that.
Man City, with 35-points, are top, Liverpool-34, in 2nd and Chelsea with 33, drop to 3rd. Bernardo Silva is rivalling Mo Salah, for the honour of current best Premier League player. Mr Silva has 7-goals so far and is in the form of his life at the moment.
Although Mo is way ahead in terms of goals scored (13), the Portuguese Prince is matching the form of the Egyptian King.
Man City finish off their Champions League, on Tuesday, away in Germany, against RB Leipzig. City are comfortable at the summit of that particular Group and will be in the knockout stages next February, so Pep could switch things up in his starting lineup.
Wolves could consider themselves unlucky on Saturday, against Liverpool, at Molineux.
After putting in a resilient 90-minutes, going into 7-minutes of injury time, it looked like the dogged display was going to reap a point, however, Bruno’s Gold and Blacks conceded a Liverpool goal in the 94th-minute, to ultimately suffer a defeat by a 1-0 scoreline.
It was a blow for the home team but everyone knows that the game is just as important in the last minute, than in the first and never to assume until the whistle is blown for full-time.
There was an incident in the 2nd-half, where Jose Sa went running out of his area, collided with Romain Saiss, allowing Diogo Jota to run through and slot home, fortunately for the Wolves goalkeeper, Conor Coady was on the line to save with a part of his body that makes all men wince.
A great stop, however, Conor had to do some counting afterwards. The defeat, leaves Wolves in 8th-place, with 21-points from the 15-fixtures completed.
Pep’s Man City got a comfortable victory against Nuno’s Wolves back in March, at the Etihad.
Leander Dendoncker opened the scoring, however, the Wolves player turned into his own net giving the home team an early lead. Conor Coady equalised for the Gold and Blacks, midway through the 2nd-half.
With 10-minutes remaining, City took control, with Riyad Mahrez scoring in between 2-Gabriel Jesus goals to give the home team the win by a 4-1 score.
888 Sport offer Man City at Odds On 2/13, the draw at 32/5 and 33/2 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/1 that Raheem Sterling Scores First and slight Odds On 3/4 that Man City Score in Both Halves.
ARSENAL v SOUTHAMPTON
15.00 in England.
Arsenal suffered a defeat, in the Monday Night Football fixture, away at Goodison Park, against Everton by a 2-1 score.
Martin Odegaard scored for the Gunners on the stroke of half-time that should have been the catalyst to push on in the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately for Mikel’s men, Everton scored twice after the break, the winner being in the 92nd-minute to inflict the defeat.
It’s now 2-losses in a row and 3-defeats from the last 6-games for Pep 2s boys. The Gunners need to get back on track. That leaves Arsenal in 7th-place, with 23-points from the 15-fixtures completed.
Southampton were looking set for a victory, against Brighton, on Saturday, leading by a goal to nil going into the added injury time at St Mary’s. Unfortunately for all connected with the Saints, Brighton equalised in the 98th-minute, to take away a point.
Armando Broja had scored in the 1st-half, to give Wreck-It Ralph’s men a lead. The point gained, as everyone knows it’s always a point gained, not 2-points lost, leaves Southampton in 16th-place with 16-points from 15-games played.
There was a stat thrown up, that Southampton have let slip 71-points from winning positions in all fixtures since Ralph Hasenhuttl’s appointment in December 2018, 15-more than any other team.
The stat, whilst good, isn’t actually correct as Southampton didn’t have those points in the first place. So one cannot lose what’s not there, this has been pointed out on numerous occasions for regular readers of this EveryTip column.
What it’s meant is the Saints could have had 71-points more if not conceded late goals.
When watching the game it became apparent that the Southampton goalkeeper, Alex McCarthy had picked up an injury and was struggling to kick the ball. On several occasions, the Defenders took the goal kicks.
In the 98th-minute, when Brighton had a free-kick, it looked like James Ward-Prowse had decided to run back to the goal line to protect the ‘keeper when the Seagulls took the kick. This allowed the Brighton players to be onside, thus enabling the equalising goal to be scored.
If James wasn’t on the line, Neal Maupay would have been offside. This then throws up the question, why didn’t Ralph see the injury and replace Alex with the substitute goalkeeper.
Wreck-It only made 2-substitutions in the whole of the game, so could and should have taken Mr McCarthy off.
That would have stopped JWP from going back onto the goal line, thus preventing the goal. Should have, would have, could have, are the last words of a fool.
There’s another Ralph in the Premier League now but the Southampton gaffer is the original Wreck-It, so Mr Rangnick will have to be known as Wreck-It 2, like a sequel. This fixture at the Emirates last term took place exactly 12-months ago, on the 16th of December 2020.
Ex-Gunner, Theo Walcott scored for the Saints in the 1st-half, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalising after the break. The Gunners Centre-Half, Gabriel received 2-quick Yellow Cards and ultimately a Red after Mr Aubameyang’s goal.
Arsenal held on with the 10-men, to get a point from a 1-1 score.
888 Sport offer Arsenal at Odds On 8/13, the draw at 3/1 and 22/5 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores Anytime and 9/5 that Arsenal Win To Nil.
CHELSEA v LEEDS UNITED
15.00 in England.
The fixture between Chelsea and West Ham on Saturday served up a reason why the Premier League is the best in the world and just how difficult it is to predict football.
Three of John’s friends, plus this EveryTip column all saw a Chelsea victory at the London Stadium. The Hammers said ‘no’ to that and equalised twice, following 1st-half goals from Thiago Silva and Mason Mount.
West Ham then scored the winner late on, with a shot by Arthur Masuaka, that Edouard Mendy completely misjudged the flight of the ball, beating the Chelsea ‘keeper at the near post. The defeat by a 3-2 scoreline was the 1st since September for Chelsea.
Following the loss, Thomas’s Blue Engines, with Man City and Liverpool both getting victories later, drop from 1st in the table, down to 3rd.
The Blues have 33-points, 6 more than West Ham but now a point adrift of Jurgen’s Reds and 2 behind Man City who are now the Premier League leaders.
Thomas Tuchel rarely sees his boys lose but it’s fair to say, although West Ham put in a great display, Chelsea weren’t at the races in the early Saturday afternoon kick-off. Chelsea head to Russia on Wednesday to finish off their Champions League Group fixtures, against Zenit St Petersburg.
The current holders have qualified, so that competition can now be put to bed until the knockout stages start in February 2022 and now concentrate on the Premier League, where within 7-hours on Saturday, the Blues have gone from leaders to 3rd, in the blink of an eye. Well, that’s if the blink takes 7-hours.
Leeds United left it late on Sunday, very late to score an equaliser, which gained a point from a draw by a Desmond 2-2 score. That late, it was almost Monday.
Tyler Roberts opened the scoring for the home side, which sent the Marching On Together crew ecstatic. Unfortunately, Leeds, like a bad dog walker, couldn’t hold onto the lead and conceded twice after the break.
Marcelo Bielsa was able to call on the services of Luke Ayling, who played the full 90-minutes and Patrick Bamford, who came on as a substitute in the 68th-minute.
It was left to that man Bamford to rescue the Whites, getting on the end of a corner, in the 95th-minute to turn the ball into the net and run away celebrating, taking his shirt off.
The Whites faithful, all marching on together, went berserk throwing, everything they had onto the pitch, which to be fair, wouldn’t have been much.
The point gained, gives Leeds United 16, the same 16, as Crystal Palace and Southampton, leaving Marcelo’s Whites in 15th-place, slowly moving away from the drop-zone, as predicted by this EveryTip contributor. Marching On Together!
This fixture between the two evokes memories of the 1970 FA Cup Final, where, after a draw in the showpiece at Wembley, the replay, took place at Old Trafford, the first time a final was contested away from Wembley and the first replay since the 1912 FA Cup Final.
That was between Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion, the first game being at Crystal Palace (Wembley wasn’t built yet) and the replay at Bramall Lane, with the Super Reds winning the FA Cup, for the first and only time in their history.
The 2nd-game in Manchester, for Chelsea and Leeds United, was reportedly watched by a TV audience of over 28 Million.
Chelsea and Leeds decided not to use a ball and just kicked lumps out of each other, when the ball was touched on the rare occasions, the Blues scored twice with the Whites scoring once to give Chelsea the victory by a 2-1 score and the 1970 FA Cup was heading back to London.
Both games went to extra time. There were some memorable icons of the footballing world on display in the final.
Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris (Captain), Eddie McCreadie, John Hollins, John Dempsey, David Webb, Tommy Baldwin, Charlie Cooke, Peter Osgood, Ian Hutchinson, Peter Houseman, Marvin Hinton and the Manager, Dave Sexton.
David Harvey, Paul Madeley, Terry Cooper, Billy Bremner (Captain), Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Allan Clarke, Mick Jones, Johnny Giles, Eddie Gray, Mick Bates and the Manager, Don Revie.
Sadly, a lot of the players from both sides, have passed away but no doubt the legends will be up in heaven, still kicking lumps out of each other.
Chelsea comfortably beat Leeds United at Stamford Bridge 12-months ago.
Patrick Bamford did put the away team in front after 4-minutes, however, that just woke up Frank Lampard’s Blues, with Olivier Giroud equalising to take both teams in level at the break.
Kurt Zouma and Christian Pulisic added 2 and 3 to give Frank the victory over Marcelo by a 3-1 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Chelsea at Odds On 3/10, the draw at 43/10 and 35/4 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 9/4 that there’s Under 2.5 Goals and 23/20 Chelsea Win To Nil.
LIVERPOOL v ASTON VILLA
15.00 in England.
Ooof, Steven Gerrard heads to Anfield for the first time since his playing career ended.
This should be an emotional game for Steven but being the consummate professional, the lad will take the occasion in his stride.
It was left to the Super Sub, Divock Origi to score the solitary winning goal against Wolves, at Molineux on Saturday, to give Liverpool the victory by a 1-0 away-day score.
In a tight affair, Diogo Jota did have a great opportunity to score against his former club but somehow failed to convert, hitting his mate, Conor Coady, who had run back to the goal line, in the Crown Jewels. Thanks, Diogo!
With Chelsea suffering a defeat against West Ham, earlier in the day, Liverpool, temporarily, went to the top of the table, with 34-points, until Man City’s victory over Watford, in the tea-time kickoff.
Jurgen’s Reds, sit 2nd, with City at the summit, a point in front and Chelsea, who slip to 3rd, a point adrift.
One, slight negative for Mr Klopp and all connected with the Anfield Rappers, is Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, will head to the African Cup of Nations tournament, taking place between January 9th 2022 and February 6th 2022, in Cameroon.
Big losses from the Liverpool team. Maybe, Divock will get a few more starts.
Liverpool head to the San Siro to face AC Milan on Tuesday, in the final Group game of the Champions League.
Jurgen’s Reds have qualified easily for the knockout stages, that start in February 2022, so might just rest a few of the big boys. Liverpool got the victory against Aston Villa in last season’s game, at Anfield, by a 2-1 score.
Ollie Watkins gave the away team the lead just before the break. Mo Salah equalised early in the 2nd-half but the home team, left it late to seal the victory with Trent Alexander-Arnold scoring the winner in the 91st-minute to earn Liverpool the win over Dean Smith’s Villa.
888 Sport offer Liverpool at Odds On 2/9, the draw at 11/2 and 21/2 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/2 that Mo Salah Scores First and Evens 1/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Alisson- Liverpool
RIGHT-BACK- Arthur Masuaka- West Ham
CENTRE-BACK- Ezri Konsa- Aston Villa
CENTRE-BACK- Eric Dier- Tottenham
LEFT-BACK- Alex Telles- Manchester United
MIDFIELDER- Phil Foden- Man City
MIDFIELDER- Demarai Gray- Everton
MIDFIELDER- Fred- Manchester United
FORWARD- Bernardo Silva- Man City
FORWARD- Richarlison- Everton
FORWARD- Jarrod Bowen- West Ham
STAR MAN- Fred- Manchester United
NORWICH v MANCHESTER UNITED
17.30 in England.
Norwich were completely outplayed on Sunday, at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, succumbing to an away-day defeat by a 3-0 scoreline.
After conceding a Spurs goal, early in the 1st-half, Dean Smith’s half-time talk didn’t work and the Canaries then conceded 2 more after the break, to ultimately suffer their 1st-loss in 5 and Dean’s 1st-defeat since taking over at Carrow Rd.
Norwich are back at the foot of the Premier League table, with 10-points, the same 10, as Newcastle and Burnley but slip to the bottom having an inferior goal difference to the other two.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd, wasn’t happy that one of his three teams suffered a defeat when the other two, had a draw and a victory.
Jim’s first footballing love, Barnsley gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score, against their Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield, at Oakwell on Saturday. The first goal scored under the guidance of the new boss, Poya Asbaghi.
At the same time, Little Jimbo was watching his beloved Sheffield United on a dodgy Firestick, from the comfort of his Swinton home. The Blades got the victory against Cardiff by a 3-2 away-day scoreline.
The little Blunt was straight in the garden dancing around following the win, until his lovely girlfriend shouted him in for his tea, Chop, Chips and Beans, oven chips mined!
Ralph Rangnick’s reign at Old Trafford, started with a victory by a 1-0 scoreline against Crystal Palace on Sunday. Double R, chose the same starting eleven, as what beat Arsenal on Thursday.
Arron Wan Bissaka, was again left on the bench, giving Diogo Dalot a 2nd-start in succession after Michael Carrick, picked him against the Gunners. Diogo didn’t let his new gaffer down.
The regulars, David De Gea, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire all were included. Luke Shaw was injured still, recovering from a concussion, so Alex Telles kept his place following the victory over Arsenal.
Fred and Scott McTominay were still in midfield with Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo all starting.
Ralph likes to play a 4-2-2-2 system, keeping his team narrow, the complete opposite to Pep Guardiola, who likes a couple out on the touchline.
The good thing about that is it will start to give Manchester United an identity, which hasn’t happened since Sir Alex Ferguson left.
Someone at Old Trafford commented’
‘We are losing our identity’
A reply came,
‘Have you done your cleaning?’
Whether that identity proves to be successful remains to be seen.
Fred scored the solitary goal against the Eagles on Sunday giving Ralph a perfect winning start by a 1-0 score.
Regular readers of this EveryTip column will know John Newsome’s thoughts about Fred and Scott McTominay, the go-to Midfielders for United, chosen by Ole, Michael Carrick and now Ralph Rangnick.
Whilst those thoughts won’t change anytime soon, John is always fair and gives credit where credit is due.
Fred was magnificent against Crystal Palace culminating in the winning goal, scored with the Brazilians right-foot, which is usually just for standing on.
The narrow 4-2-2-2, formation, Ralph employs, may just suit Fred, allowing him to stay compact and not run around aimlessly.
Not to pour scorn on the victory for United, it was against a poor Palace team who are bereft of confidence at the moment, having now not won in 4-fixtures, with defeats in the last 3, including the Old Trafford loss.
It was mentioned previously, in this column, that the Eagles have drawn 7 from 15-fixtures, with 5-losses in those and just 3-wins. Let’s wait and see how Fred, Scott and Manchester United, compete against the Top teams.
United’s next 12-fixtures are home games against Brighton, Burnley, Wolves, West Ham, Southampton and Watford and away against Norwich, Brentford, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Burnley (again) and Leeds United.
Only one game against a team currently higher than the Red Devil’s and that’s West Ham at Old Trafford. That is a great set of fixtures to settle Double R into the job in Manchester.
It’s March 2022, when United face a team higher than them, other than West Ham and that’s the Derby, against City, at the Etihad. In truth, Ralph Rangnick and all connected at Manchester United have no excuses to push for a Top Four finish.
For the time being, John Newsome is monitoring the Fred and Scott situation.
Manchester United host Young Boys of Switzerland, at Old Trafford, in their final Group fixture of the Champions League.
Like Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea, Rangnicks Roadsters, have already qualified for the knockout stages next February, so a few changes in the team lineup are expected, allowing Ralph to have a look at some fringe players.
A quick mention about Michael Carrick, who has left Old Trafford after the arrival of Ralph Rangnick. Michael had a glittering 15-years in Manchester.
John Newsome has documented about Mr Carrick on numerous occasions and makes no apologies for offering up the following which comes from a previous EveryTip column, published in April 2020, written during the first lockdown and the suspension of the Premier League due to the Coronavirus.
‘As any regular reader of this EveryTip column will know, this contributor quite simply believes Michael Carrick is the best midfielder of a generation.
Although Michael started his career at West Ham, he is a native of Newcastle but never actually played for the Magpies.
After leaving the Hammers, Michael joined Tottenham in 2004 and spent 2-seasons at the Old Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium before Sir Alex went with a few quid and got the now 25-year old.
What’s probably forgotten about Michael, is West Ham were relegated from the Premier League in 2003 and although a number of the Hammers stars left, Michael chose to stay, to try and help the Bubbles back to the big time. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen so after a year in the Championship, Michael signed for Spurs.
Michael is blessed with a great Athletic Build and although many may now be screaming at their computer screens, tablets, iPads and phones, or whichever is their preferred choice of reading, it may even include nipping into Curry’s/PC World and pretending to buy a specific model, it’s about opinions and this EveryTip contributor’s opinion is this.
Liverpool and Chelsea fans will argue their own favourites of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are better than Michael Carrick and whilst these two won more England caps than Michael, that was down to the shortsightedness of several England Managers.
The Greatest Manager ever, Sir Alex Ferguson picked Carrick continuously and Gerrard and Lampard can’t match Michael’s domestic honours.
Michael has enjoyed phenomenal success, winning 5-Premier League titles, 1-FA Cup, 3-League Cups, 1-UEFA Champions League, 1-UEFA Europa League and 1-FIFA World Club Cup, as well as the standard Community Shield medals. Along with numerous individual honours.
A true Legend at Old Trafford, it’s a shame the England Manager’s thought they knew better than Sir Alex.
Probably another forgotten fact which gets missed from United’s trophy-laden Premier League era is, when Sir Alex signed Mr Carrick, before the start of the 2006/07 season, United had not won the title for, 4-seasons.
Michael hit the Old Trafford ground running and with his sublime skills and being one step ahead of everyone around him, helped United regain the Premier League title in his first season in Manchester.
Following that initial success, Michael helped United win the next 2-titles meaning 3-in a row since Sir Alex signed the Geordie.
In between the 3-consecutive titles was the famous European Champions League victory against Chelsea in Moscow, scoring 1 of the 7 penalties to help secure the shootout against the Blues.
One of Michael’s best games in a United shirt was against Roma in the Champions League in 2007.
With the 2nd-leg being at Old Trafford, United had to try and overturn a 2-1 deficit from their trip to the Italian capital.
Sir Alex surprised everyone for the return leg and started forgotten man Alan Smith who’d had an indifferent time in Manchester after going along the M62 from Leeds United.
That night in April 2007, yes 13-years ago, is up there with the best European nights from any English team.
Sir Alex’s decision to start Smith as his Number-9, paid off immensely with Michael Carrick scoring the 1st of his 2 and United’s 7.
Smith, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo gave United a 4-0 half-time lead and a 5-2 aggregate lead against the Romans going into the break. CR 7 added the 5th after the interval, with Michael getting his 2nd and the 6th.
Roma pulled a goal back before Patrice Evra finished off the rout with United’s 7th, giving them a great 7-1 victory and an aggregate 8-3 trouncing of the Italians. A substitute that night, that Sir Alex threw on, was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
It could be said that Italy gained revenge over England when AC Milan knocked United out in the Semi-Final to prevent an all-English final against Liverpool. Still a great performance from Manchester United and in particular Michael Carrick.
There will be a majority that will simply not agree with Michael being better than Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard but for those, ask one question, how many trophies have England won in the 220-caps that Steven and Frank have between them than the mere 34-caps given to Michael over 14-years.
Michael won his 1st-England cap in 2001 as a substitute, the last in 2015. Carrick had to wait, a staggering 4-years to get a 1st-start for his National team.
Probably the biggest injustice in Michael’s International career was, whilst being named in the 2006 England World Cup squad in Germany by Sven-Goran Eriksson, Michael wasn’t included in any of the 3-Group games.
England did progress out of the group and Sven then decided to start Carrick in the Round-16 game against Ecuador which England won by a 1-0 scoreline.
Michael was dropped for the Quarter-Final defeat against Portugal and although named in the 2010 World Cup squad for the trip to South Africa, never actually saw game time.
Would Sir Alex have left Michael out of 8 of 9 World Cup games, which England only won 4-out of the 9-in total, with Michael playing in 1 of the 4-victories?
It simply doesn’t make sense as to why the English managers chose to ignore Carrick when Sir Alex didn’t.
Carrick has been regularly overlooked by various England managers when it came to the central roles, with Steven and Frank being preferred.
Sir Alex knew the importance of Michael Carrick, it’s a shame the numerous England managers didn’t.’ Good luck in the future Michael.
At Carrow Rd, the season before last, Ollie Trollies got the away-day victory over Daniel Farke Life’s by a 3-1 scoreline.
Both are now at the Job Centre, helping each other fill out the Job Seekers Allowance form, which is very difficult.
Scott McTominay, scored early on, before Marcus Rashford had the opportunity to add a 2nd from the penalty spot. Unfortunately for United, Marcus had his kick saved by Tim Krull, however, did score within a minute of the miss.
Tim Krul then saved a 2nd-penalty, this time from Anthony Martial. After the break, Anthony made up for his missed spot-kick, copying Marcus and scoring after missing a penalty.
Onel Hernandez pulled a goal back for Norwich but ultimately just a consolation, with Manchester United getting the win over Norwich.
888 Sport offer Norwich at 11/2, the draw at 17/5 and slight Odds On 1/2 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 13/8 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime and 13/8 that Manchester United Win To Nil.
BRIGHTON v TOTTENHAM
14.00 in England.
Here’s a shock for everyone, Brighton drew on Saturday. That’s the Seagulls, 8th, count them, 8-draws, from of the opening 15-fixtures. From the other 7-games, Harry’s men have 3-defeats and 4-victories. Those good at Math will know that’s 20-points from the 15-games, leaving Brighton in 9th-place.
Harry Kane failed to score (again), in the convincing victory against Norwich on Sunday by a 3-0 score. Lucas Moura was the main man, scoring after 10-minutes and with no further 1st-half goals, sent Spurs in at the break, leading.
It then was left to Harry, to fill his boots but the lad just can’t notch for Tottenham at the moment. Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-Min added 2 and 3 to give Tottenham the victory.
Whilst it appears there was turmoil at Tottenham, Spurs sit 5th, in the table, following the win, with 25-points. Antonio is on the march.
Tottenham face Rennes at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Thursday in the Eurovision Conference League.
Spurs need a victory to progress to the knockout stages of that competition, however, Rennes have already qualified so could rest a few giving Tottenham a better chance.
Without knowing exactly, John Newsome would maybe think that Antonio Conte wouldn’t be too bothered if his boys didn’t progress.
At the Amex back in January, Leandro Trossard scored the only goal to give Harry Potter the victory over Dracula Mourinho by a 1-0 score.
888 Sport offer Brighton at 33/20, the draw at 11/5 and 35/20!for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Harry Kane Scores Anytime and 23/20 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
BURNLEY v WEST HAM
14.00 in England.
Coming off the back, or is it on the back, both sound acceptable, of 3-successive draws, Burnley suffered a defeat in the latest outing, by a 1-0 scoreline against struggling Newcastle. That’s not good, whatever spin Sean Dyche puts on it.
Nick Pope was moaning that he’d been impeded in the lead up to the Magpies goal, he was correct, however, it was his own teammate that impeded the lad.
The loss leaves Sean’s Clarets in 18th-place, with the same 10-points as Norwich and Newcastle, now 3-away from safety. Like the other two, all to play for.
West Ham upset a lot of folks Saturday Accas in the early kickoff against Chelsea.
After falling behind twice, goals from Manuel Lanzini, a penalty, that equalised the 1st Chelsea goal, Jarrod Bowen equalising a 2nd from the away team and Arthur Masuaka, gave David Moyes Boys a great home victory in front of an ecstatic set of Bubbles.
Arthur was initially a substitute but was brought on just before the break following an injury to Ben Johnson.
Mr Masuaka looked as if he was sending in a cross for the Hammers forwards but somehow the deviation of the ball fooled the Chelsea goalkeeper and went straight into the net.
It’s hard to tell whether the shot or cross, was meant, or took a deflection but either way, Arthur isn’t bothered, it’s a winning goal against Chelsea.
The victory for West Ham by a 3-2 scoreline, leaves the Hammers in 4th, with 27-points, 6-adrift of Chelsea, 7-away from Liverpool and 8 behind Man City at the summit.
West Ham also got a victory at the London Stadium, against Liverpool by a 3-2 scoreline. In the penultimate game of the season, next May, when Man City come to the East End, don’t be surprised if it’s 3-2 again.
The Bubbles are dreaming of Champions League football, playing on a Tuesday or Wednesday, instead of Thursday. This Thursday coming, the Hammers host Dinamo Zagreb in the final Europa League Group fixture.
West Ham have easily qualified for the knockout stages, that start next February 2022, allowing David to rest a few and give some of the fringe players and maybe the youngsters a run out. West Ham got the victory against Burnley at Turf Moor, towards the end of last season.
Chris Wood scored first for the home side, with Michail Antonio then scoring twice for the Hammers to give the away team the win by a 2-1 score. All 3-goals scored before the half-time cup of tea.
888 Sport offer Burnley at 53/20, the draw at 13/5 and Evens 1/1 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Chris Wood Scores Anytime and 11/5 that Declan Rice Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v NEWCASTLE
14.00 in England.
Leicester’s last 3-results are Won, Drawn and Lost, the latest being a defeat against Aston Villa. Although it was a loss, to the neutral, it was a brilliant game to watch and really, that’s basically what the Premier League is about.
As everyone knows, John Newsome is a massive Barnsley FC fan, so doesn’t have an allegiance to any Premier League outfit.
Maybe Manchester United, when Fergie was the boss but that was only because of the style of play and the players United had at the time. Mr Giggs and Mr Cantona being the ultimate.
However, as a person who watches most Premier League games, whether live or on Match of the Day, (this column isn’t just thrown together!) Aston Villa v Leicester epitomises the league.
Harvey Barnes opened the scoring for the Foxes giving Brendan’s Wonderful’s an early lead. The lead only lasted 3-minutes, until Villa equalised, taking both teams in level at the break.
Unfortunately for the travelling Foxes, who were at Villa Park and not in folks back gardens, Aston Villa scored the winner early in the 2nd-half to inflict the defeat on Leicester, by a 2-1 scoreline.
Lennon the puppy was happy on Sunday, the lad knew that the Aston Villa shirt, with ‘Withe’ and ‘9’ on the back, it’s an old shirt from 1982, that Rod bought on eBay, with the winning bid being £7.43, wasn’t heading in his direction.
Sir Roderick was double happy, as, at the same time Leicester were losing against Aston Villa, his beloved Green and White Hoops got the victory over Dundee United (who?) in the Scottish Pub League, by a 3-0 away-day scoreline.
The arch-rivals, Rangers also got a victory, on Saturday, against the other Dundee (who?) by the same 3-0 score, to keep them ahead of Celtic, in the Pub League by 4-points.
On Sunday night, when the Saudi Arabian F1, Grand Prix was on, (come on Lewis), Rod poured the lovely Penny a glass of wine, grabbed a handful of doggy treats for Lennon and settled down to watch the contentious penultimate race.
Penny kept turning around to Rod, saying,
‘He’s at it again, old L!’
The ‘at it again’ was referring to the pooch, warbling the tune, via Dog speak, of the legendary tune,
‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be.’
Leicester face Napoli in Italy, on Thursday in their final Europa League Group game.
The Foxes sit at the top of the Group with 8-points, however, Napoli, who sit 3rd out of 4, have 7-points, so basically, it’s winner takes all, to progress to the knockout stages.
Spartak Moscow have 7-points too and face Legia Warsaw with 6-points, so everyone has the potential to progress.
If the Foxes suffer a defeat against Napoli and either of Moscow or Legia get the victory, Brendan’s Wonderful’s will be knocked out.
If Leicester finish 3rd in the Group, then the Thursday night European adventure will continue, however, it will be in the new Conference League.
Hold on to your hats girls and boys, Newcastle have won a game of football, like CeCe Peniston sang, ‘Finally’.
Out of the 20-Premier League teams, the Magpies were the only team not to have a victory from the opening 14-fixtures.
Game Week-15 finally brought a win, Callum Wilson scored the solitary goal, before the half-time whistle, against Burnley, by a 1-0 scoreline.
Whilst doing his job, being a Key Worker for his country, John listened to the wireless and heard comments from the reporters that the Newcastle goal, scored by Callum, was controversial.
When this EveryTip contributor got home at 2.00 AM, keeping the country on track and watching Match of the Day, there wasn’t anything controversial, it was a perfectly good goal.
What happened was the Burnley goalkeeper, Nick Pope, got impeded, yet when watching the highlights, Mr Pope was impeded by his own player, so there wasn’t an issue.
The victory, lifts Newcastle off the bottom of the table, into 19th, on goal difference, all 3, in the drop-zone, have 10-points, all 3-adrift of Watford, by 3-points, so all to play for.
A great result for Eddie Howe, who will see the Sports Direct Stadium, that Mike Cashley promoted, rid the Sports Direct logo and revert back to St James Park, until the new Saudi owners, rename it as Riyadh Mahrez Home. It’s a start for Eddie and the Magpies.
Come January, there will be a few players heading to St James Park, like Clint Eastwood, on a ‘fist full of dollars’, so the Toon Army should be excited, or at worst, just happy that Sports Direct are no longer.
Newcastle inflicted a surprising away-day defeat on Leicester at the King Power, last term, by a 4-2 scoreline.
Joe Willock and Paul Dummett scored to give the Magpies a half-time lead.
Callum Wilson then scored twice in the 2nd-half, before Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho pulled a couple of goals back for the Foxes.
Fortunately for Newcastle, the comeback by Leicester didn’t materialise and Steve Bruce got the win over Brendan Rodgers.
888 Sport offer Leicester at Odds On 3/5, the draw at 13/4 and 21/5 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 5/4 that Leicester Score in Both Halves.
CRYSTAL PALACE v EVERTON
16.30 in England.
Crystal Palace suffered their 3rd-defeat in a row on Sunday, away at Old Trafford against Manchester United. After a goalless 1st-half, Palace conceded the only goal of the game to ultimately lose the tie by a 1-0 score.
Patrick Vieira’s honeymoon period at Selhurst Park is over and the Eagles have hit a bit of a slump, gaining just 1-point from a possible 12.
Palace drop to 14th, in the Premier League table, with 16-points, the same 16 as Leeds United and Southampton who both gained a point over the weekend to close the gap on Mr Vieira’s Eagles.
It won’t happen for the time being but if the slump continues, the Ultras will become restless.
From the 15-fixtures played, Crystal Palace have a record of 3-Wins, 7-Draws and 5-Losses. There’s only Brighton, Watford and Everton who are below Patrick’s men in the form chart over the last 5-games.
This needs an improvement and maybe a struggling set of Toffees could just turn up at the right time. That said, have Everton turned a corner, following Monday Nights surprise victory against Arsenal at Goodison Park.
After picking up 2-points from a possible 24, drawing 2 and losing 6, Rafa Benitez somehow inspired his men to come from a goal behind, with the Gunners scoring on the stroke of half-time.
Richarlison equalised in the 79th-minute, finally getting 1 of 3 goals to count, with the other 2, being ruled out by VAR.
With time up on the clock, Demarai Gray, who has to be one of the signings of the summer, costing Everton just £1.7 Million, scored a late winner to send the Toffee faithful ecstatic.
The victory, by a 2-1 scoreline, puts Rafa’s Toffees up to 12th in the table, with 18-points from the 15-fixtures.
There was talk of a mass walkout on the 27-minute mark, by fans, not happy that Everton haven’t won anything for 27-years, however, that didn’t really materialise, with just a couple going out for a comfort break.
The Toffee Rafas and this morning’s papers, have the headlines, ‘Get behind the Spanish Waiter, he’s the best that’s on offer and wait until Mr Benitez brings some more of his own players in.’
Both were under different managers when these two last met at Selhurst Park, in late September last year.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees gained the away-day victory over Roy Hodgson’s Eagles by a 2-1 scoreline.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored first, Cheik Kouyate equalised, then Richarlison scored the winner, all before the half-time whistle.
888 Sport offer Crystal Palace at 13/10, the draw at 11/5 and 23/10 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Odsonne Edouard Scores Anytime and that slight Odds On 10/11 that Both Teams Score.