The highlight games for this mid week’s action are BRENTFORD versus MANCHESTER UNITED and LIVERPOOL versus NEWCASTLE. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 17 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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All these midweek fixtures are live on BT Sport.
BRENTFORD v MANCHESTER UNITED
19.30 in England.
Brentford came from a goal behind on Friday Night football, to inflict a defeat on Watford by a 2-1 score.
After conceding a Hornets goal, midway through the 1st-half and going in at the break trailing, Thomas Frank got into his boys in the dressing room, sending them out for the 2nd-half, with more impetus.
It took until the 84th-minute for the Bees to score against their fellow stingers, with Pontus Jansson heading home the equaliser.
When it looked for all purpose that a draw was on the cards, the referee awarded a penalty in injury time and after a quick check by the dreaded VAR, there wasn’t really anything to check, Brian Mbeumo converted the kick, to give Brentford the victory over Watford.
The win and 3-points, leaves Thomas’s Bees in 10th-place, with 20. Forty points are considered the safe tally to avoid relegation, so Brentford are halfway there to securing a 2nd-season in the Promised Land.
Manchester United bored everyone on Saturday evening, away at Carrow Rd, labouring to a victory by a 1-0 score. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the solitary winning goal midway through the 2nd-half, converting a penalty.
The on-field referee, Barnsley boy, Darren England, pointed to the spot following a Norwich player wanting to swap shirts with CR7, before the final whistle.
It was the only real excitement of the 90-minutes, with most switching over to watch The Chase, Celebrity Christmas Special, on ITV.
The celebrities, if one can describe them like that, included Bob Carolgees and Jamie Carragher, The Stig, Bernie Clifton’s Ostrich (sadly Bernie wasn’t there as he was isolating!) and Citizen Smith (up the revolution!).
The girls and boys at Stockley Park watched the programme from the beginning and didn’t bother with the boredom in Norfolk.
The Ostrich answered most of the questions, winning £6,000 for his chosen charity, which was of course,
Save the Ostriches, whose tagline is,
‘An Ostrich is for life, not just for Christmas.’
Nice though, with a bit of English mustard.
Ralph Rangnick is unbeaten from his 2-starts in the Old Trafford hot seat.
As mentioned last week, United’s next set of fixtures are favourable and technically, Ralph’s Roadsters should win all the games up to March. However, football, as everyone knows, isn’t as convenient as that, meaning there will be the odd upset for the United faithful.
Double R, stuck with the same starting 11, as against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, playing his 4-2-2-2 formation but that may have to change as Victor Lindelof picked up an injury, so may not be fit for Tuesday. Donny Van De Beek got 2-minutes of action, at the end of the game, cheers Ralph!
John Newsome won’t mention Fred and Scott, other than to say, ‘the Barnsley boy isn’t wrong!’
The 3-points, gives United 27, putting them in 5th-place, after the completion of all Game Week-16 fixtures.
Tottenham, who sit 7th, 2-points adrift of United, didn’t play, again and now have 2-fixtures in hand over everyone around.
All of Man City, Liverpool and Manchester United, got a victory by the same scoreline, all coming via a penalty.
There is talk that this fixture may not go ahead because of the Coronavirus situation.
Manchester United head to the Wellard Stadium for the first time and face Brentford for the first time in a league contest since 1947, that ended in a post-war draw by 0-0 scoreline.
There was a League Cup tie at Old Trafford in 1975, in which United got the victory by a 2-1 score.
Tommy Docherty was in charge of the Red Devil’s and picked a starting eleven of.
Alex Stepney, Martin Buchan, Stewart Houston, Jimmy Nicholl, Brian Greenhoff, Steve Coppell, Gerry Daly, Tommy Jackson, Sammy McIlroy, Lou Macari and Stuart Pearson.
The Brentford boss, John Docherty, no relation other than being, Scottish, picked a starting lineup of,
Bill Glazier, Alan Nelmes, Micky Allen, Paul Bence, Keith Lawrence, Nigel Smith, Jackie Graham, Terry Scales, Micky French, Roger Cross and Terry Johnson.
Sammy McIlroy and Lou Macari got the United goals with Keith Lawrence scoring for the Bees, which actually gave the away team the lead in the tie.
888 Sport offer Brentford at 7/2, the draw at 57/20 and slight Odds On 22/31 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/2 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime and 33/20 that Manchester United Score in Both Halves.
NORWICH v ASTON VILLA
19.45 in England.
The Dean Smith Derby.
Dean Smith was out of work, a mere 8-days when sacked by Aston Villa, then appointed by Norwich.
Norwich could consider themselves unlucky, following the defeat against Manchester United at Carrow Rd, in the late Saturday afternoon kickoff.
After a goalless 74-minutes, Max Aarons tried swapping shirts with Cristiano Ronaldo, instead of waiting for the game to finish.
The referee had no option other than to point to the spot, well Darren England did have an option but was that bored like the rest of the watching millions, decided to add some excitement to proceedings.
There wasn’t any argument and CR7 converted the penalty to inflict the defeat on the Canaries by a 1-0 scoreline. Norwich remain at the foot of the table, with 10-points from the 16-fixtures.
All Dean has to concentrate on is not going into the away dressing room and giving his team talk to his old mates in Claret and Blue.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd, watched 2 of his 3 teams, lose over the weekend, with the lads first footballing love, Barnsley, succumbing to a defeat away against Preston by a 2-1 scoreline. Then the Little Blunt watched Norwich v Manchester United on his dodgy Firestick.
Following that defeat, Jimbo took off his Canary shirt in disgrace and threw it at the frogs in the tank. They just replied, ‘Ribbit, ribbit’
James beloved Blades don’t play until Monday Night but the lad will be at the Lane, shouting, ‘You Reds’ to his idols under Paul Heckinbottom.
Sheffield United’s home fixture against Queens Park Rangers, due to take place at Bramall Lane on Monday Night, has been postponed due to a COVID outbreak at Loftus Rd.
It’s going to get worse, unfortunately, get your vaccinations and boosters.
The little fella is gutted he won’t be at the Lane and will have to cook tea now for his other half. Super Noodles at the ready then!
The lovely girlfriend has seen a little bag in the cupboard, hoping it’s an engagement ring, the bag has no sign of Haribo on the package, just Tiffany’s. Fingers crossed, she gets what she wants this Christmas.
Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa also suffered a defeat on Saturday, with the same 1-0 score.
Mr Gerrard got a great reception at his old stomping ground, Anfield and like Norwich against United, Villa put in a great display against Liverpool.
The circumstances regarding the defeat were similar to that of Norwich, with Aston Villa conceding a penalty midway through the 2nd-half, with a foul on Mo Salah.
Like Cristiano did at Carrow Rd, Mo got up, dusted himself down and converted the spot-kick. The loss leaves Aston Villa in 13th-place, with 19-points. It was 2-years ago, when Aston Villa last visited Carrow Rd, with Dean Smith’s Villa getting the victory by a 5-1 away-day score.
Wesley, scored the opening 2-goals for Aston Villa, before having the opportunity to get a hat-trick when Dean’s Claret and Blues were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately, Wesley missed his spot-kick.
Jack Grealish scored the 3rd, immediately after the break, with Conor Hourihane and Douglas Luiz adding the 4th and 5th.
Josip Drmic did get a late consolation for Norwich but the travelling Villains were ecstatic on the long journey home, with the resounding victory.
888 Sport offer Norwich at 49/20, the draw at 23/10 and 11/10 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Teemu Pukki Scores First and 15/8 that Ollie Watkins Scores Anytime.
MAN CITY v LEEDS UNITED
20.00 in England.
Man City got the better of a resilient Wolves, in the early Saturday afternoon kickoff at the Etihad.
Just before half-time, Raul Jimenez, received 2-Yellow Cards in the space of 31-seconds, to ultimately get a Red, giving City a man advantage for the whole of the 2nd-half. It took a penalty, awarded for a contentious handball, eventually by the girls and boys at Stockley Park, to separate the two teams.
After an age, the penalty was taken by Raheem Sterling, who coolly slotted home, to not only score the winner but score his 100th-Premier League goal. A great personal achievement for young Raheem.
The victory, by a 1-0 score, leaves Pep’s High Flying Blues at the summit of the Premier League, with 38-points, from the 16-fixtures completed. That’s a point more than Liverpool in 2nd and 2 above chasing Chelsea.
Last week, Chelsea played first and lost, allowing City and Liverpool to jump above Thomas’s Blue Engines.
Pep made sure his boys didn’t repeat that and knew whatever results from Chelsea and Liverpool, in the later kickoffs, Man City were still going to be at the top of the Premier League, coming into this fixture against Leeds United.
All of Man City, Liverpool and Manchester United, got a victory by the same scoreline, all coming via a penalty.
Leeds United took a surprise lead at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea on Saturday, with Raphinha scoring to send the Marching On Together crew berserk.
The Whites faithful had all travelled down to the Big Smoke but were astonished when the Aussie bar people, asked for £8 quid a pint.
The crew, who are not the brightest at the best of times, just stood there looking at the beer, scratching their heads, saying to each other, ‘£8 quid a pint? and it’s not even got a head on it, £8 quid?’
Raphinha’s early goal softened the blow a little but like a bad dog walker, Leeds couldn’t hold on to the lead, conceding a Chelsea goal, just before half-time to take both teams in level at the break. The Whites then conceded a penalty, to gift the Blues a 2nd.
Marcelo introduced Joe Gelhardt, in the 82nd-minute, a young Forward, who is going to become a superstar in the next couple of seasons.
Joe made an immediate impact scoring with his first touch, the 1st-teenager since an ex-City boy, James Milner, in 2004, to score for Leeds. With 94-minutes up on the clock, it looked like a point was going back up the M1.
Unfortunately, for the Leeds faithful, the away team conceded a 2nd-penalty, which was converted to inflict the defeat on Mr Bielsa’s boys by an entertaining 3-2 score.
The defeat leaves Leeds in 15th, with 16-points from the 16-fixtures completed. Basically a return of a point a game so far.
The faithful went home in despair, all wondering what had just happened and all still bewildered, constantly repeating, ‘£8-quid’ on the rattler home. Marching On Together.
Man City suffered a rare defeat against Leeds United at the Etihad last season.
What made the loss worse for Pep, was Marcelo’s Whites had 10-men for the 2nd-half after the sending off, of Liam Cooper on the stroke of half-time.
Stuart Dallas had scored just before Liam’s indiscretion to give Leeds a lead at the break.
Ferran Torres equalised midway through the 2nd-half that should have given City the impetus to push on for the win.
Unfortunately, for the watching cardboard Citizens, Stuart Dallas scored a 2nd for Marcelo’s Whites, in stoppage time to give 10-men Leeds United, the brilliant away-day victory.
The travelling cardboard Whites, all went Marching On Together, back down the M62, on the Amazon Parcel Transporter.
888 Sport offer Man City at Odds On 1/7, the draw at 27/4 and 31/2 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 9/2, that Raheem Sterling Scores First and slight Odds On 17/20 that Man City Win To Nil.
BRIGHTON v WOLVES
19.30 in England.
Brighton didn’t play in Game Week-16, following a Coronavirus outbreak at Tottenham, meaning the Seagulls sit 11th on the table, with 20-points, now with a game in hand over those around them. As of yet, no date has been set for the rearranged fixture.
Wolves suffered a defeat against Man City at the Etihad in the early Saturday afternoon kickoff. After a resilient 45-minutes, Raul Jimenez had a moment of madness, just before the half-time whistle.
Raul received a Yellow Card for a foul, which was neither here nor there but stupidly prevented the free-kick from being taken, thus receiving a 2nd-Yellow and a subsequent Red, enabling the Mexican to put the kettle for the lad’s half-time cuppa.
There were 31-seconds between the 2-Yellows issued by the on-field referee, Jon Moss. Karma Chameleon.
It’s hard enough to play against Man City with 11-men, never mind 10, so the big lad didn’t do his mates any favours.
Conor Coady was superb throughout the 90-minutes blocking a lot of City attempts but in the 64th-minute, Joao Moutinho was adjudged to have stopped a cross with his arm and a penalty was awarded. After several replays, the dreaded VAR, stuck with Mr Moss’s original decision and the spot-kick was converted.
With no further goals, Wolves suffered the defeat by a 1-0 scoreline. That leaves Bruno’s Gold and Blacks in 9th-place, with 21-points from the 16-fixtures played.
Surprisingly, Brighton got a draw against Wolves, at the Amex, the day after New Year, when Nuno’s Gold and Blacks ventured to the South Coast last season. The surprise in the draw was the scoreline of 3-3.
Aaron Connelly opened the scoring for Brighton, before Romain Saiss, a Dan Burn own-goal and Ruben Neves scored to give Wolves the lead at the break.
The Seagulls were awarded a penalty, immediately after the restart, that Neal Maupay converted to pull a goal back.
It was then left to the Captain, Lewis Dunk, to score the equaliser and with no further goals, the post-New Year fixture ended in a thrilling 6-goal stalemate.
888 Sport offer Brighton at Evens 1/1, the draw at 11/5 and 29/10 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 7/5 that Neal Maupay Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 8/15 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
BURNLEY v WATFORD
19.30 in England.
Emmanuel Dennis scored a great goal in the Friday Night football, away at Brentford but like a bad dog walker, Watford couldn’t hold onto the lead and conceded 2-late goals to suffer a defeat by a 2-1 scoreline. That’s now 4-losses in a row and the 7th-defeat under Claudio Ranieri since the Italian took over.
Watford have suffered 11-defeats from the 16-fixtures, under Xisco and now Claudio. There are 4-victories and just one draw, which tells its own story.
The story is that the Hornets are too open and although will score goals, concede a lot, 31 up to now, the most in the Premier League.
The Watford owners are not known for loyalty when it comes to managers and if Claudio loses tonight, it may start conversations regarding getting rid before Christmas.
The Hornets are just above the relegation places, coincidentally, with 2-points more than today’s opponents, after Burnley’s draw on Sunday.
Watford have 13-points, from the opening 16-fixtures. Burnley have 11 but have only played 15. This is definitely the proverbial 6-pointer.
As mentioned, Sean Dyche’s Clarets drew on Sunday against David Moyes Claret and Blues, with both teams failing to trouble the scorers, ending in a 0-0 score in the cold of Turf Moor.
The point gained against West Ham, leaves Burnley in the relegation zone, however, now with 11, just 2-adrift of today’s opponents and have an extra fixture to complete.
Jay Rodriguez scored the solitary winning goal, in the 73rd-minute, when Burnley last hosted Watford, back in May 2020.
888 Sport offer Burnley at Evens 1/1, the draw at 49/20 and 51/20 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Chris Wood Scores First and 5/2 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- David De Gea- Manchester United
RIGHT-BACK- James Tomkins- Crystal Palace
CENTRE-BACK- Pontus Jansson-Brentford
CENTRE-BACK- Gabriel- Arsenal
LEFT-BACK- Luke Thomas- Leicester
MIDFIELDER- Jorginho- Chelsea
MIDFIELDER- Martin Odegaard- Arsenal
MIDFIELDER- James Maddison- Leicester
FORWARD- Conor Gallagher- Crystal Palace
FORWARD- Joe Gelhardt- Leeds United
FORWARD- Raheem Sterling- Man City
STAR MAN- Conor Gallagher- Crystal Palace
CRYSTAL PALACE v SOUTHAMPTON
19.30 in England
Crystal Palace got a great victory on Sunday, against Everton at Selhurst Park.
The superb Conor Gallagher scored the opener in the 1st-half, to take Patrick Vieira’s Eagles in at the break, with a lead. James Tomkins added 2nd, on the hour-mark but the Toffees pulled a goal back straight away.
The on-loan Chelsea star, Conor G, scored a superb 3rd in injury time to give the Eagle Ultras a brilliant Sunday night on the pre-Christmas sauce.
The victory by a 3-1 score, lifts Crystal Palace up to 12th, with 19-points, 3 more than today’s opponents.
Wreck-It Ralph Hasenhuttl was back in the Peaky Blunders gear on Saturday, at the Emirates. Unfortunately, although the lad looked smart in his 3-piece attire, Ralph couldn’t inspire his Saints, who suffered a defeat against Arsenal, by a 3-0 away-day score.
Southampton conceded twice in the 1st-half, which prompted a rain-soaked Mr Hasenhuttl to change into some drier gear for the 2nd-half. The Saints then conceded a 3rd, to ultimately lose the game.
Southampton haven’t won in 5, losing 3 of those and drawing the other 2, meaning 2-points from a possible 15, which leaves them at the bottom of the Form chart from the last 5-fixtures.
Wreck-It’s boys sit 16th in the Premier League table, with 16-points from the 16-fixtures completed. 16,16,16
That’s just 5-points above the relegation zone and Burnley, who are in the final place, have an extra game to play, more than Southampton.
It’s not looking good for the St Mary’s outfit and Ralph Hasenhuttl may just need his 3-piece suit for an interview at the Job Centre. This fixture at Selhurst Park, last season, was the first of the delayed 2020/21 campaign.
Wilfried Zaha scored the only goal of the game, after 13-minutes, to give Roy Hodgson’s Eagles the opening day victory over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints, by a 1-0 score.
888 Sport offer Crystal Palace at 13/10, the draw at 23/10 and 2/1 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/1 that Luka Milivojevic Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 3/4 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
ARSENAL v WEST HAM
20.00 in England
Arsenal got a professional victory, against Southampton on Saturday, at the Emirates, defeating the Saints by a 3-0 score.
Alexandre Lacazette and Martin Odegaard scored in the 1st-half, with the big Defender, Gabriel adding a 3rd, after the break.
The 1st-goal was a thing of beauty, coming from the goalkeeper, Arron Ramsdale, showing just why teams play out from the back.
Once the high-press by the opposition is beaten, it allows the team with the ball, more options in the final 3rd. Watch the goal to see just how brilliant the ball goes from Aaron to Alexandre in the blink of an eye, 1-nil!
The 3-points gained from the win, leaves the Gunners in 6th-place, with 26, from the 16-fixtures, a point adrift of Manchester United.
The Claret and Blues of West Ham, took on the Clarets of Burnley at a very cold Turf Moor on Sunday but both teams were shivering that much, the two couldn’t score a goal resulting in a draw by a 0-0 score. The point gained, leaves West Ham in 4th, with 28, just a point ahead of Manchester United, in 5th.
This fixture at the Emirates last season, between the London rivals, was the 2nd of the delayed 2020/21 campaign.
Michail Antonio equalised an earlier Alexandre Lacazette goal, on the stroke of half-time, to take both teams in level at the break.
Pep 2, introduced Eddie Nketiah in the 77th-minute, which yielded an immediate reward, with Eddie scoring the winning goal to give Mikel a victory against David by a 2-1 score.
888 Sport offer Arsenal at 11/10, the draw at 5/2 and 11/5 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First and 8/5 that Michail Antonio Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v TOTTENHAM
19.30 in England.
Leicester got back to winning ways on Sunday, inflicting a defeat on a sorry Newcastle team, by a 4-0 score.
Youri Tielemans converted a 1st-half penalty, awarded for a contentious decision when James Maddison appeared to be fouled in the box. It did appear harsh on Newcastle, however, that’s football.
Patson Daka, starting upfront in the place of the Sheffield Superstar, Jamie Vardy, added a 2nd Foxes goal after the break.
Youri scored his 2nd and Leicester’s 3rd, before the Man of the Match, James Maddison, rounded off a superb game, scoring the 4th, to give Brendan’s Wonderful’s the 1st-win in 3. The 3-points gained, lifts Leicester up to 8th, with 22 from the 16-fixtures played.
Rod Stewart was in a mixed mood over the weekend, at the same time as his arch-enemy, Leicester were playing and beating Newcastle, Sir Roderick’s beloved Green and White Hoops, got a victory against Motherwell (who?) by a 1-0 score, in the Scottish Pub League.
The Glasgow rivals, Rangers had already secured their victory earlier on Sunday, defeating Hearts (who?) by a 2-0 scoreline, to remain at the summit of the Pub League, with 42-points, 4 ahead of Celtic.
Lennon the puppy was in front of the fire, chewing on a bone, oblivious to the Newcastle shirt, with ‘MacDonald’ and ‘9’ on the back, it’s an old one, commemorating the legendary Super Mac, Malcolm MacDonald, draped over him when Brendan’s Wonderful’s got the win.
The pooch could be heard, whilst chewing on the treat, slavering the tune, ‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be.’ Woof-Woof!
The Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium has seen an outbreak of the horrendous Coronavirus, meaning Tottenham have had to cancel their Europa League game against Rennes last Thursday and postpone the weekend fixture against Brighton.
Spurs sit 7th in the table, with 25-points, a point adrift of Arsenal and 2 away from Manchester United, however, Antonio’s men have now 2-games in hand, with the postponement of the Brighton fixture, added to the game against Burnley being cancelled due to snow.
When Tottenham went to the King Power Stadium last season, this was the final fixture of the delayed 2020/21 campaign. Brendan’s Wonderful’s needed a victory to secure a Top Four finish.
With 66-points, the Foxes were sitting in 5th-place and a victory against Spurs would have given Leicester, 69.
Liverpool finished 3rd, with 69, Brendan’s boys would have been 4th, if a final day win was secured. Unfortunately, Tottenham got the away-day victory by a 4-2 scoreline, dropping Leicester down to 5th and Thursday night football in the Europa League.
Jamie Vardy scored first via the penalty spot, with Harry Kane equalising to take both teams in level at the break.
Jimmy V, then converted a 2nd-penalty to give the watching limited Foxes faithful hopes of a Champions League position. Limited, as it was the first time fans were allowed back at the King Power. 10,000 of them.
Kasper Schmeichel was credited with an own goal to make the scores level. The Welsh Wizard, Gareth Bale then scored twice to give Tottenham the win and quash the dreams of the Foxes Champions League hopes.
888 Sport offer Leicester at 21/20, the draw at 13/5 and 9/4 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 15/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
CHELSEA v EVERTON
19.45 in England.
Chelsea got the victory against Leeds United on Saturday, at Stamford Bridge, by the odd-goal in a thrilling game that ended in a 3-2 score, which included 3-penalties. It was the away team, that was awarded the 1st-spot-kick, converted on the half-hour mark.
Mason Mount, equalised just before the half-time whistle to take both teams in level at the break. Thomas’s Blue Engines were then awarded the 1st of 2-penalties, which Jorginho took and as usual, converted to give the home team a lead. (As usual, unless the lad is playing for Italy!)
Leeds then equalised in the 83rd-minute and with time up on the clock, it looked like a draw was on the cards, however, there was still a final twist in added-on injury time.
Chelsea were awarded a 2nd-penalty that Jorginho did what Jorge Boy does and slotted home, giving the Blues the victory over the Whites by a 3-2 scoreline.
It was tough on Leeds United but there weren’t any complaints and there wasn’t any reason for Mateusz Klich to kick through the back of Antonio Rudiger as he did. It was Antonio that won the 1st-penalty too.
Although Chelsea are not firing on all cylinders at the moment, it was still a victory, that leaves Thomas Tuchel’s men in 3rd-place, with 36-points, still a point behind Liverpool and 2-adrift of Man City at the summit.
Everton suffered a defeat away at Selhurst Park on Sunday, succumbing to a loss by a 3-1 score. After conceding an Eagles goal, in the 1st-half and 2-in the 2nd, the much-maligned Salomon Rondon scored a rare goal, rarer than a sighting of Santa Claus.
The Strikers 1st-notch in a Toffees shirt this term. Unfortunately for Rafa Benitez Everton side, it was another defeat that leaves the Blues in 14th-place, with 18-points.
The 7th-defeat from the last 10-fixtures, with a victory and 2-draws from the other 3. Those good at Math will know that’s 5-points from a possible 30. Toffee Rafas and this morning’s papers say that’s not good enough.
Ben Godfrey scored the opening goal at Stamford Bridge last season, however, Big Ben’s notch was an own-goal, giving Chelsea the lead at the break.
Jorginho converted a 2nd-half penalty to give Thomas’s Blue Engines the victory against ex-Chelsea boss, Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees.
888 Sport offer Chelsea at Odds On 2/9, the draw at 47/10 and 21/2 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 10/11 that Chelsea Win To Nil.
LIVERPOOL v NEWCASTLE
20.00 in England.
Liverpool got the victory against Aston Villa on Saturday by a 1-0 scoreline.
Man City had earlier, beaten Wolves, to remain at the summit of the Premier League, so Jurgen’s Reds needed to do their bit in the race at the top.
In similar circumstances to the two Manchester games on Saturday, where both finished in a victory, coming from a 2nd-half penalty, Liverpool were awarded a 2nd-half penalty, for a foul on Mo Salah.
The Egyptian King dusted himself down and converted to score the only goal of the Steven Gerrard Derby.
The Anfield Rappers gave Mr Gerrard a nice, warm ovation but the sentiment was put to bed before kickoff, with Liverpool needing to be professional and get the win.
Mr Klopp’s boys sit 2nd, in the table, with 37-points, 1-away from Pep’s Blues and 1-more than Thomas’s Blues Engines.
Newcastle lost on Sunday, of cause they did. The Magpies were devoured by the hungry Foxes.
Leicester scored 1-goal from a penalty in the 1st-half, then ran riot after the break, scoring 3-more to inflict the defeat on the Magpies by a 4-0 away-day score.
The penalty did appear harsh when Jamaal Lascelles was adjudged to have fouled James Maddison but the VAR confirmed the penalty, giving the Foxes an easy start.
That’s now 8-defeats, 7-draws and 1-win, from the 16-fixtures completed, leaving Eddie and the Magpies, with 10-points sitting 2nd-bottom or 19th. This fixture evokes memories of the two games between Liverpool and Newcastle back in April 1996 and March 1997.
The following is taken from an EveryTip column published during the first lockdown, back in March 2020.
‘Wednesday 3 April 1996
LIVERPOOL 4 v NEWCASTLE 3
It would be remiss of anyone doing a Top-10 Best Premier League Game Review, not to include, possibly, the best game of them all, over the 27-years or so.
On a beautiful Spring Wednesday evening back in April 1996, Liverpool legend, Kevin Keegan, now manager of Newcastle, took his chargers down to Anfield and took part in an extraordinary game against Roy Evans’ Liverpool.
Robbie Fowler opened the scoring after just 2-minutes getting his head on the end of a superb cross from Stan Collymore. Stan was a superb footballer who was very underrated.
If given a chance and under the current situation regarding the World, there will be plenty of chances, take the time to Google Stan Collymore and watch the lad over his career that started at Crystal Palace, then Southend.
Frank Clark, who had just taken over the hot seat at Nottingham Forest after the legend that was Brian Clough retired, signed Stan for Forest, where his sublime skills really began to shine.
Whilst not prolific in front of goal at Palace or Southend, Big Stan ran amok scoring plenty in a Forest side that suited his play. Forest had been relegated at the end of the inaugural 1992/93 Premier League season and Sir Brian had earned his retirement.
Frank brought Stan in to score goals in Division 1, what is now known as the Championship and Stan did just that, helping Forest gain automatic promotion back to the Premier League after the 1-season hiatus.
Stan continued to score goals in the Premier League and it was rumoured Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to bring Collymore to Old Trafford.
That move didn’t materialise but at the end of the 1994/95 season, the goals earned Collymore a move to Liverpool to join the Spice Boys, in what was, at the time, at £8 Million, an English Transfer Record.
Watch Stan with the ball, he is one of the dying breeds that can comfortably kick with both feet as shown in the cross that leads to Robbie Fowler’s opener.
Les Ferdinand quickly got Newcastle back on level terms after 10-minutes before David Ginola gave the Magpies the lead soon after Les’ goal.
With no more 1st-half goals, the teams went into the dressing rooms with Newcastle having the advantage and although 3-goals scored in the first 14-minutes, there weren’t many other signs that this was to turn into a classic.
Liverpool’s faithful nicknamed Robbie Fowler ‘God’ due to his goal-scoring prowess.
God equalised for the Reds soon after the restart, however, the equality didn’t last long as the Columbian sensation Faustino ‘Tino’ Asprilla immediately restored Newcastle’s lead, with a beautiful goal.
After providing the assist for Robbie Fowler’s 1st, Stan decided he wanted to get in on the goal-scoring act and equalised in the 68th-minute.
With time up on the clock, the Game of the Decade was decided by Stan the Man who latched onto a pass from John Barnes and smashed the ball past the Newcastle ‘keeper Pavel Srnicek.
The game was live on Sky Sports with the cameras quickly panning to Kevin Keegan who was slumped over the advertising hoarding in dismay.
On show at Anfield that Wednesday night, was, for Liverpool, David James, Mark Wright, John Scales, Neil Ruddock, Jason McAteer, Jamie Redknapp, John Barnes, Rob Jones, Steve McManaman, Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler, with Ian Rush coming on as a substitute late on in the proceedings.
For Newcastle, Kevin chose, Pavel Srnicek, Steve Watson, Steve Howey, Philippe Albert, John Beresford, Peter Beardsley, David Batty, Robert Lee, David Ginola, Tino Asprilla and Les Ferdinand.
Bearing in mind, Newcastle were top of the Premier League table and clear by 12-points in the February of 1996.
At the time of this game, Manchester United has overhauled the 12-point deficit and were now 3-points ahead of Keegan’s Magpies, however, Newcastle had played 2-games less than United so it was still in Kevin’s hands.
Following this defeat against Liverpool and subsequent losses in April ‘96, Kevin Keegan provided one of the most explosive post-match interviews ever following Newcastle’s 1-0 victory against Leeds United in Sky Sports Monday Night Football.
Let’s just say, ‘I would love it, love it!’
Manchester United went on to win the 1995/96 Premier League despite being 12-points adrift of Newcastle in February.
It’s fair to say that Sir Alex Ferguson got the better of Kevin Keegan that particular year, however, Double K did get revenge over Sir Alex a year later.
Liverpool 4 v Newcastle 3 will be remembered forever.’
At Anfield last term, Mo Salah scored after 3-minutes, to give the home team an early lead.
With 5-minutes of added time up on the clock, it looked like Jurgen’s Reds were going to get the victory, until Joe Willock scored the late equaliser to give Newcastle a share of the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
888 Sport offer Liverpool at massive Odds On 1/10, the draw at 8/1 and 41/2 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Sadio Mane Scores First and slight Odds On 4/5 that Liverpool Win To Nil.
Two good friends of John Newsome and two good people, died on this day, a few years back, so this EveryTip column wants to pay tribute to the legends.
On December 16th, 2007, the original Mr Hall, Ernest, father of Andy, the Aussie branch of this EveryTip column, sadly passed away.
Ernie was a great man and looked after John Newsome on many occasions, taking the lad to Ibrox back in the early 1980s.
Whilst watching the Big Match Revisited on ITV 4, this morning, a game popped up between Barnsley and Enfield, a 3rd-Round tie in the 1980/81 FA Cup.
Enfield FC, are a team in the Borough of Enfield, North London.
Almost 41-years ago, in January 1981, saw the first of 2-FA Cup matches played between a Third Division (League One, in today’s money) team and a non-league side, meet up, which attracted a combined crowd of 60,000 people.
Barnsley and Enfield had never had much cause to give each other a great deal of consideration before but in January 1981, the two played each other in games, that would capture the imagination in both South Yorkshire and North London, albeit with a side helping of fan crowd trouble as well.
It was 1981, after all. A time where hooliganism was the norm.
Enfield had successfully made it to the 4th-round of the FA Cup after defeating Wembley, Hereford and Port Vale.
Enfield had a trip to South Yorkshire, to play a Barnsley team that was sitting in second place in the Third Division (League 1) and who hadn’t lost in the league since the end of September.
Interest in the match was huge, with a little needle provided by the Enfield manager Eddie McCluskey, who described Barnsley before the match as ‘a bunch of camels.’
The Barnsley manager, Norman ‘Bite ya Legs’ Hunter retaliated,
‘Enfield have provided all the motivation my players need.
It will only take one word to guarantee that we do our talking on the pitch.’
Mr Hunter planned to whisper the word ‘camels’ into the ears of each of his players as they took to the pitch.
More than 24,000 folk, an 11-year old John Newsome being 1 of them, double Barnsley’s average home crowd for that season, turned out at Oakwell for the match, along with the television cameras of Yorkshire TV and a young Martin ‘and its live’ Tyler commentating.
‘Enfield Are Camel Fodder’, read a flag flown from the Ponte end of the ground, while behind the scenes another row kicked off when Enfield turned up with white socks, the same as the home team.
It took an Enfield club official, a trip to a sports shop, on Shambles St and a £17 outlay, to get the players a set of royal blue socks instead.
Barnsley took the lead, through a goal by Trevor Aylott, who was a London lad himself. With 2-minutes to go, the non-league outfit, Enfield, equalised.
Peter Burton with a looping header, taking the game to a replay. The replay took place 4-days later, on Wednesday night, however, not at Enfield’s Southbury Rd home but at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane.
John Newsome and another 7,999 of the faithful headed to London on the pub and club coaches, to see Barnsley defeat Enfield by a 3-0 scoreline. Goals from Ronnie Glavin and a brace from Trevor saw the Super Reds progress.
The 5th-round draw had already taken place and the winners of this match would face a trip to the 1st-Division outfit, Middlesbrough, at Ayresome Park.
Ernie took Andrew and John up to Middlesbrough that day in February 1981 and after being crushed against a wall, fearing death, the boys saw their beloved Reds, suffer a defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
Bozo Jankovic and Mark Proctor got the Boro goals, with Mike Lester replying for Barnsley. A certain Craig Johnston was playing for Middlesbrough that Valentines Day in 1981.
Despite the loss, it was still a memorable day out for this EveryTip contributor, who will always be grateful to the original Mr Hall. Respect Ernie, Rest In Peace.
Another legend and John Newsome’s best mukka at the time, Andrew ‘H‘ Holmes, died on December 16th, 2018. John can’t believe 3-years have passed. He was only 51 but like Mr Newsome, a massive Barnsley FC fan, a massive England fan and a massive Sports nut in general.
Little H, missed the palava of the Coronavirus pandemic and it would have been interesting to know the legends thoughts, as the 2 of us did many times, talking sensible (rubbish) about everyday issues, over several pints.
Another of the friends, the Greenmeister, Wak and Scudger all loved the bald geezer and all, miss the lad immensely. Many a memory of times in Benidorm spring to mind, one being when Greeny, H and John went over to the local supermarket, ‘Spar’ and purchased a ladies nighty and a pair of fake Crocs, slip-on shoes. Both, just a Euro each.
The 3 of us hit the Benidorm strip and with most of the nightlife frequenters and frolickers, in much fancier dress, none were up to the Barnsley boys standard.
Little H got talking to a young lady, which the lad did on regular occasions, well he was a catch and disappeared into the Rocky’s Bars ‘Ladies’ whilst Mr Green sang Feel by Robbie Williams (again) on the Kareoke.
John always borrowed H’s lighter, when this regular phenomenon occurred and went in front on the Meister-singer, waving the flame like a teenager at a Take That concert.
Little H loved that, even though the lighter often ran out and the lad couldn’t light one of his Marlboro’s.
‘Tha’s done it agean’
H would often say after John had used all the lighter fluid.
‘Tha’s’ and ‘agean’, mean ‘you have’ and ‘again’ in Barnsley speak.
H was posh, always Marlboro, never Silk Cut.
John Newsome’s never smoked so doesn’t know the difference but H did.
As both of us were single, we went everywhere together, watching the Super Reds at glamorous places such as Wigan, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle. Plus watching the boxing at the O2 and Doncaster. The lad is missed by everyone and 51, is too early to depart this shambles and start a new journey.
Twelve months ago, John thought he was going to join H, in the afterworld but got a reprieve. Little H, said,
‘Not yet John Boy, you’ve got a few years left before we team up again, I’m happy up here, looking after you, Greeny and Wak, see you eventually though and I will have a pint waiting at the bar for you, you Reds!’
A true Barnsley fan, a true England fan and a true legend.
Respect Little H, Rest In Peace.
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