The highlight games for this weekend and Monday’s action are FULHAM versus CHELSEA and LIVERPOOL versus MANCHESTER UNITED. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 19 EPL matches, with his unique and insightful commentary. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
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WOLVES v WEST BROM
Early Saturday Afternoon Midlands Derby football kicking-off at 12.30 in England live on BT Sport. Most will be wondering, why is the Premier League Game Week-18 split over 2-separate weeks? The reason is that it gives all 20-teams a break.
For example, Wolves took on Everton on the 12th of January, then play West Brom in this fixture, the 16th of January.
That’s it for Nuno’s Boys until the 27th of January, giving the Gold and Blacks 10-days break.
Against Everton, the Toffees took the lead after just 6-minutes, before Ruben Neves equalised 8-minutes later.
Both teams went in at half-time level, however, Wolves conceded a 2nd-goal after the break, which resulted in a defeat for Nuno’s Men by a 2-1 scoreline, leaving them with 22-points, from 18-fixtures played, 14th-place in the table.
Wolves have had a lot of plaudits throughout the season but have only 3-victories from the last 12-games, which isn’t really good enough, something Nuno needs to address.
West Brom’s last Premier League fixture was the 2nd of January, with this game against Wolves being on the 16th, it gives the Baggies a clear 14-days, without a Premier League tie.
That scenario is the same for all 20-teams in the division. Give or take a day or two and the re-arranged fixtures for Burnley, the 2-Manchester clubs and Aston Villa, which have to be fitted in somewhere and allowed for those 4-clubs to have their break at the beginning of the season.
If that’s not as clear as mud, it’s not sure how else it can be explained!
The 2-week break allows both Nuno and Sam to work on their respective teams, more so Big Sam to spend time on his new group after the Baggies poor run of late.
Mr Allardyce has already started recruiting, bringing in Robert Snodgrass from West Ham, whose career at the London Stadium had stalled of late.
Although Big Sam was a previous manager of the Hammers and it looks like he’s just gone back for one of his old players, Bobby S never played under Sam at West Ham and was signed by Slaven Bilic, who must have left a note in his Baggies desk that said, ‘Whoever is the new manager after me, go in for Robert Snodgrass at West Ham!’ Mr Allardichio did just that.
West Brom are now concentrating on the league after losing against Blackpool in the FA Cup 3rd-Round. After the tie had finished 2-2, Blackpool won the penalty shootout, with Big Sam’s boys missing 3 of their 5 spot-kicks.
Blackpool did miss 2 of theirs, so out of the 10 that were taken, only 5 were converted.
Ex-Barnsley player, Kenny Dougal, did score his, giving the Seasiders the victory.
West Brom sit 2nd-bottom of the table, or 19th if the glass is half full, with 8-points from 17-games played.
Wolves 1-West Brom 5, a great result for the Baggies, not so good for the Gold and Blacks.
That was the result, the last time these two iconic Midlands teams played each other at Molineux in the Premier League.
It was the 12th of February 2012, which, although Wolves suffered the embarrassing home defeat, it wasn’t the only one that season as the Molineux outfit, were relegated to the Championship, finishing with a mere 25-points from the 38-games.
Barnsley Boy, Mick McCarthy was the boss of the Gold and Blacks, right up to the day of the 13th of February 2012, the day after West Brom had put 5, past Wayne Hennessey in the Wolves goal. Steven Fletcher had equalised an earlier Peter Odemwingie opener to take both teams in level at the break.
Unfortunately for Big Mick and his Wolves, Peter banged in another 2, to complete his hat-trick, either side of Baggies goals from Jonas Olsson and Keith Andrews, with Pete’s 3rd, rounding off the 5-1 rout, that finished off Barnsley Mick’s time in the Midlands. On the bench, for Wolves, that day but not seeing any action, was Adam Hammill, who signed for Mick McCarthy from Barnsley back in 2010.
Adam was a great player for the Reds back in 2009, that earned the lad a move to the Premier League, however, Big H, enhanced his Barnsley reputation, after resigning for the Oakwell outfit in 2015, when languishing in League 1, Adam scored the winning goal in the EFL Johnstone Paints Football Trophy against Oxford.
A couple of months later, Mr Hammill scored a stunner, the opening goal in the League 1, Play-Off Final at Wembley that saw Barnsley beat Millwall by a 3-1 scoreline and gain promotion back to the Championship.
Adam is remembered fondly at Oakwell and the Barnsley Boys will always have a place in their hearts for young Hammill. All the best Big H!
Bet 365 offer Wolves at Odds On 11/20, the draw at 11/4 and 13/2 for West Brom to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 7/4 that Pedro Neto Scores Anytime and 6/5 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v BRIGHTON
A traditional 15.00 Saturday Afternoon start time in England live on Sky Sports.
The TV star from Towie and numerous other low-level telly programmes, Mark Wright got 3-minutes for Crawley, in their shock 3-0 victory against Leeds United in the FA Cup last Sunday.
Apparently, the signing of Mark is not a gimmick, of cause it’s not! Especially with Mark’s wife being the relation of one of England’s greatest ever footballers.
Kevin would love it, love it if Mark gets regular action at Crawley. Marcelo’s Whites have 23-points and sit 12th in the Premier League table after 17-games played.
Brighton suffered a 1-0 defeat against Man City on Wednesday, which, although was another defeat, it wasn’t a hammering, that the Seagulls have received in the last 3-meetings between the two. (5-0, 4-0 and 4-1)
Graham Potter introduced Percy Tau to the Premier League, who is a South African footballer not a gardener from Yorkshire. The lads just come into the Amex from Anderlecht and had a decent debut in the FA Cup victory against Newport.
Harry threw Percy straight in at the Premier League deep-end, with Mr Tau quickly finding out that Man City are a different proposition to Newport and the defences of the Belgium League.
The South African did show glimpses of his obvious talent and will be a good addition to the Premier League, joining his fellow South Africans-Shaun Bartlett, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Mark Fish, Quinton Fortune, Mbulelo Mabizela, Phil Masinga, Benni McCarthy, Aaron Mokoena, Matty Pattison, Steven Pienaar, Lucas Radebe, Tokelo Rantie and the great Erik Tinkler. That has graced the Top Flight of the English game.
(Barnsley FC had no right to be in the English Premier League during the 1997/98 season but the plucky underdogs made a good fist of it in their only EPL campaign. Erik Tinkler was the beating heart of the Tykes and he eventually left Barnsley, scoring 9-goals in 99 appearances). Respect Erik The True Red!
The Seagulls are now just above the relegation places with 14-points from 18-fixtures.
These two have played each other many times over the last 30-years, however, surprisingly, none have been Premier League affairs. The last time these two met at Elland Rd, was March 2017, with the Whites getting a victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
Current Burnley Boy, Chris Wood, scoring both goals. Although Leeds got the win and the Seagulls headed the long trip home, like Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, Pointless, Brighton were promoted to the Premier League a couple of months later, finishing 2nd, behind Rafa Benitez Newcastle.
Leeds United, under Gary Monk, had Rob Green in between the sticks, Kyle Bartley, Liam Cooper, Charlie Taylor, Gaetano Beradi, Liam Bridcutt, Alfonso Pedraza, Pablo Hernandez, Ronaldo Vieira, Hadi Sacko and Chris Wood.
Stuart Dallas was on the bench and saw 10-minutes of action towards the end. Liam, Gaetano and Pablo are still at Elland Rd and although Kalvin Phillips wasn’t in the squad, the England International was at the club.
Bet 365 offer Leeds United at Evens 1/1, the draw at 11/4 and 5/2 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Patrick Bamford Scores First and 7/4 that Leeds United Score in Both Halves.
WEST HAM v BURNLEY
Another game sticking with tradition starting at 15.00 in England live on the Amazon Prime streaming channel.
West Ham’s big French prolific striker, Sebastian Haller, who had scored 3-Premier League goals in the 16-outings he’s made this season, as decided that London isn’t for him and has left for Holland, joining Ajax in this January Transfer Window.
The wife, who’s from Yorkshire, didn’t get to grips with the prices that London Town was charging and couldn’t find a Lidl’s, so told Big Seb, in no uncertain terms, ‘We are off to Ajax kiddo!’ There’s plenty of Lidl’s in the Netherlands.
Sebastian left the London Stadium on Friday the 8th of January and promptly became an instant hero in Holland, although not scoring for Ajax against PSV, the boy did provide an assist for Ajax’s equaliser against the rivals that finished in a 2-2 draw, on Sunday the 10th.
Nice start Mr Haller, all the best.
Tracy Haller was straight in Lidl, Amsterdam branch, doing the Big Shop. West Ham registered a loss of £25 Million on Sebastian, signing the lad from Eintracht Frankfurt for £45 Million, then let Ajax take him for £20 Million.
It’s rumoured that Seb didn’t fit into David Moyes plans, who now looks to be on the verge of signing Josh King from Bournemouth, for about the same fee that Ajax gave the Hammers for Mr Haller.
If Josh’s wages are a bit less, West Ham can recoup some of the £25 Million lost on the Big French forward, who has now chosen to play for the Ivory Coast.
The Hammers sit comfortably in 10th place, with 26-points from just the 17-fixtures.
Burnley played out an attritional game against Manchester United in the rearranged Game Week-1 fixture that took place last Tuesday.
As always from a Sean Dyche eleven, the team matched United for effort and dedication, frustrating the Zebra Devil’s throughout the 90-minutes, however, Burnley did concede a goal in the 2nd-half, which ultimately resulted in a 1-0 defeat.
The Clarets had conceded a goal before the break, that was ruled out for a push from Harry Maguire on Erik Pieters, which did appear harsh but was the correct decision.
United came out in the 2nd-half and played much better getting the goal to inflict the defeat that leaves Burnley with 16-points, in 16th-place from the 16-fixtures played so far.
Sixteen appears to be the Burnley number. This was a post-lockdown fixture without the fans last season.
Jay Rodriguez scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory for Burnley against West Ham at the London Stadium back in July.
Bet 365 offer West Ham at slight Odds On 3/4, the draw at 13/5 and 15/4 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 that Michail Antonio Scores First and 8/1 that Burnley Score a Penalty.
FULHAM v CHELSEA
Early Saturday Night Football live on Sky Sports with a 17.30 kick-off.
Fulham make a quick return to Craven Cottage after playing the rearranged fixture against Tottenham on Wednesday. This fixture should have been played on Friday but Tottenham’s game against Aston Villa on Wednesday was cancelled due to Villa’s Coronavirus outbreak, so Fulham played Spurs on Wednesday instead, from the original postponed fixture back at the end of December.
Try and get used to some fixture switches and postponements that this EveryTip column will keep abreast of.
Scott Parker’s Cottagers did have an outing in the FA Cup against local rivals, Queens Park Rangers that resulted in a victory by a 2-0 scoreline, both goals coming in the 30-minutes extra-time.
Scott’s Boys got a great draw on Wednesday against Tottenham, with Mr Parker’s old boss, Jose getting the hump from a 1-1 scoreline.
Fulham conceded a goal in the 1st-half and looked doomed but a couple of inspired substitutes from Ronald McDonald inspired Fulham to a comeback with Ademola Lookman putting in a superb cross for Ivan Cavaleiro to score a brilliant header, cancelling out a great header from Harry Kane.
Scott actually played in Dracula’s first game in charge of Chelsea, coming on as a substitute late on in proceedings against Manchester United back in August 2004. Chelsea beat United by a 1-0 scoreline that day at Stamford Bridge.
Probably the best thing to come out of the negativity of the Coronavirus situation is not many of the teams above Fulham have pulled away with Brighton just above Scott’s Boys with 14-points, 2-more than the Cottagers but significantly, Fulham have only played 16-fixtures, not the 18, that Brighton have contested.
Although this will be a tough game against the West London rivals, Chelsea have hit a bit of a slump that Scott can capitalise on against his old mate Frank. Scott vied with Frank for the midfield berth in the one and a bit season he spent at Stamford Bridge back in 2004.
Fulham, host Manchester United after this fixture but the crunch comes on the 26th of this month when the Cottagers head to the Amex to take on Brighton, with the winners, more than likely being out of the drop zone.
Ronald McDonald boy Scott, will feel that his 2-game advantage over Harry’s Seagulls still gives him a couple of chances to get out of the relegation places if there isn’t a positive result against Brighton in a couple of weeks.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, may soon be changing their names to just Chelsea. For some reason, Frank has lost the plot of late.
In the latest Premier League fixture last Sunday, against Pep’s Mid Flying Blues, the bald one, left Olivier Giroud sat on the bench.
Britain’s foremost Rylan Clark-Neal lookalike has scored 8-goals in the past 11-games for the Blues, yet in 3 of those games, Olivier just sat twiddling his thumbs on the bench, not seeing game time, with Chelsea losing 2 of the 3 fixtures.
The Blues have 26-points, from 17-games and dropped down to 9th in the table after the midweek, split Game Week-18 fixtures that gave Chelsea a week off.
The FA Cup was kind to Frank, matching his men against the mighty Morecambe of League Two, where some of the fringe players got the chance to shine. The good thing about this season’s FA Cup is there aren’t any replays and the tie is finished on the day. This has come about because of the disastrous situation regarding the Coronavirus but it is a positive and should be the way forward.
There simply is no reason to have an extra game when the tie can go 90-minutes, then an extra 30-minutes and if no one has scored more than the other, the opportunity to finish the fixture with the excitement of a penalty shootout.
All for the price of a matchday ticket which should be the same across the country. An FA Cup match day ticket should be no more than a tenner, across the board. There are arguments that the lower league clubs like a replay to get their team back to the little ground that they lose every week at but feel that, when Chelsea (for example!) turn up, they will win.
It’s a brilliant fantasised hypothesis but in reality, all Chelsea, or for that matter, Liverpool, Man City and the rest do, is bring a stronger team and usually win the replay.
Surely it’s better for Morecambe and the likes, to go to Stamford Bridge and take on a slightly inferior Chelsea team that Frank has selected to give the fringe players an outing, match or even beat the Blues but at the worst, take the tie into extra-time and then penalties.
Say Morecambe get a draw at the end of the 90-minutes then with the old system, would go back to the Globe Arena, giving both teams an extra game in 10-days time, that neither want, Frank is annoyed that his fringe players couldn’t beat a Division Four outfit and chooses a stronger eleven.
Morecambe, in front of 4,000 of their fans are then humiliated by a 7-0 scoreline. The Morecambe fans would surely prefer the new scenario giving them the chance of a penalty shootout and the opportunity to beat a Premier League outfit at their own home.
It was March 2019, when Fulham last hosted Chelsea at Craven Cottage, with the away team gaining the victory by a 2-1 scoreline. Scott Parker was at the helm of the Cottagers, however, it was Sarri-Ball, Maurizio Sarri who was in charge of the Blues. Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring for Chelsea after 20-minutes.
Calum Chambers equalised for Fulham, with Jorginho getting the winner, all in the space of 11-frantic minutes, that left the remaining hour, goalless. Big Gonzalo is now strutting his stuff with David Beckham’s MLS franchise, Inter Miami.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 6/1, the draw at 7/2 and Odds On 9/20 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 that Olivier Giroud Scores First and 6/4 that Chelsea Win To Nil.
LEICESTER v SOUTHAMPTON
Saturday Night football kicking-off at 20.00 in England live on BT Sport which has got to be better than watching Danny Dyers The Wall.
The Foxes have had some time off, with their Game Week-18 fixture coming next week, in the 2nd part of the split. Brendan’s Wonderful’s sit 4th in the table, with 32-points from 17-games played. Leicester had a tricky FA Cup tie at the Britannia Stadium, now renamed, the Bet 365 Stadium against Stoke.
For the older football fans, Stoke, nicknamed the Potters due to the Pottery industry around the city, used to play at an old fashioned stadium, called the Victoria Ground. The Victoria Ground can only be described loosely as a stadium as there are a few defamatory names that could be used instead. Some that end in ‘hole’.
Back in January 1989, in the 4th Round of the FA Cup, Barnsley FC travelled to the Victoria Ground and took on the Potters. Included in the Stoke team that day was the TV star and Sky Sports own Chris Kamara. Unbelievable Jeff!
Barnsley FC’s team included Clive Baker in goal, Joe Joyce, John Beresford, Jim Dobbin, Paul McGugan, Paul Futcher, Steve Lowndes, Steve Agnew, Steve Cooper, David Currie and John McDonald.
The tie finished in a draw by a 3-3 scoreline that saw Barnsley goals from John McDonald and a couple from David Currie, cancelled out by Stoke’s Three B’s, Dave Bamber, George Berry and Peter Beagrie.
Check out David Currie’s career and the brilliant story told by Stuart Pearce about David’s time at Nottingham Forest. It was a stereotypical, old fashioned FA Cup tie in the cold sunshine of January in which, this EveryTip contributor, aged 19 at the time, travelled down with his Australian mate Andy Hall, in Andy’s old orange Talbot Horizon.
Over 30-years later, Andy drives a £70,000 BMW now, John Newsome is still in the Talbot Horizon!
The traditional pie and a pint was consumed at half-time and a good day out was had by all of the Reds faithful.
The following Tuesday, which was the way at the time when an FA Cup tie ended in a draw, Barnsley beat Stoke at Oakwell by a 2-1 scoreline that saw the Reds progress to the 5th-Round and a game against Everton, at home, in front of a crowd of 32,551, the ‘1’ being John Newsome along with the others, all standing, there were no seats at Oakwell back then.
At the time, there was a young 7-year old, mad Reds fan, who went on to sign for Barnsley as a teenager, then forge out a great goal-scoring career for several clubs, including Stoke City but had the luxury of playing at the new Bet 365 and not the ramshackle old Victoria Ground.
Jon Parkin became a striker scoring over 200-goals for several clubs throughout his 20-year career, helping Stoke gain promotion to the Premier League in 2008, however, it was one of his earlier games, playing for Barnsley FC that this EveryTip contributor remembers him fondly.
In a League Cup game, sponsored at the time by Jon’s favourite Beer company, Carling, Barnsley entertained the Premier League outfit, Newcastle, on a cold Tuesday night in October 2001.
The Magpies team that evening, picked by Sir Bobby Robson, had Steve Harper in goal, Warren Barton, Sylvain Distin, Andy O’Brien, Nolberto Solano, Gary Speed (legend!), Olivier Bernard, Rob Lee, Laurent Robert, Craig Bellamy and Alan Shearer.
The manager of Barnsley at the time, Nigel Spackman, included in his starting eleven, Andy Marriott between the sticks, Lee Crooks, Chris Morgan, Jon Parkin, Chris Barker (legend!), Kevin Donovan, Chris Lumsdon, Peter Sand, Bruce Dyer, Rory Fallon and Lee Jones.
Nigel had Darren Barnard, Kevin Gallen and the current Preston boss, Alex Neil as his substitutes, who all came on in the 2nd-half. Surprisingly, Sir Bobby didn’t use any of his substitutes, giving the starting eleven the full 90-minutes.
Although Big Jon is renowned for his goal-scoring prowess, at the time, the 19-year old JP was at the heart of the defence, along with Chris Morgan, playing as a Centre-Back.
Alan Shearer was in his prime back in 2001 and is still, 20-years later, the leading Premier League goal-scorer with 260-goals.
Because no one remembers football before the inception of the Premier League in 1992, it’s forgotten that Alan scored 23-goals in the old First Division for Southampton, taking his tally to 283-goals in the Top Flight of English football.
Back at Oakwell, in the Carling Cup, Jon Parkin was outstanding against Shearer and to coin an old phrase, ‘had Alan in his pocket.’
Unfortunately for the Reds faithful, because Jon had done such a good job marking Alan Shearer, it allowed, Craig Bellamy, to sneak in and score the solitary winning goal for the Magpies, to send the 4000 or so, travelling Toon Army, back up the road in a buoyant mood.
It’s fair to say that the Barnsley boozers made decent profits that night.
Peter Sand is a Danish footballer who had a semi-decent career, however, has got an identical twin called Ebbe, who played for the Denmark national team at the World Cup in France’98 and Japan and South Korea in 2002, plus the Euros in 2000 and 2004. It’s rumoured that the hierarchy at Oakwell signed Peter, mistakenly thinking the lad was Ebbe.
Hey, Ebo, Ebo, Ebonettes!
Jon Parkin went on to play for 13-different clubs after leaving his hometown team but was often seen in the Ponte End, watching his beloved Barnsley FC, when he wasn’t terrorising defences throughout his 20-year career.
Jon’s Podcast ‘Undr the Cosh’ is well worth a listen and is fast becoming one of the top ‘Pods’ in the Podcast world. The ‘Undr’ is misspelt intentionally because Jon is from Darfield, let’s just say, a slower part of Barnsley!
The Beast, as JP is affectionately known, has kindly given EveryTip his Premier League predictions for Game Week-19 and it’s hoped that Big Jon will continue to contribute towards this column throughout the season. All the best Jonny Boy.
Jon Parkin’s Premier League Predictions.
Wolves 2 v West Brom 0
West Ham 2 v Burnley 2
Leeds United 2 v Brighton 0
Fulham 0 v Chelsea 3
Leicester 2 v Southampton 1
Aston Villa 2 v Everton 1
Sheffield United 0 v Tottenham 3
Liverpool 2 v Manchester United 0
Man City 3 v Crystal Palace 0
Arsenal 2 v Newcastle 0
Rod Stewart’s beloved Celtic are now 21-points behind Rangers at the top of the Scottish Pub League. Although the Green and White Hoops have played 3-games less than the Blues, that only gives Neil Lennon’s men the chance to cut the gap to 12-points and that’s on the proviso that all 3 are victories.
It looks like the 10-in a Row is beyond the realm of possibility now. Lennon the pooch is looking for new places to hide and is hoping that Southampton can beat Leicester to ease the pain on his master.
He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be. The Saints, like Leicester, have their Game Week-18 fixture after this tie at the King Power.
hat has been a benefit to Ralph Hasenhuttl is after the brilliant victory against Liverpool on the 4th of January, Southampton haven’t played since as not only do they play this fixture in the 2nd-half of the split but didn’t play in last weekends FA Cup due to their opponents, Shrewsbury having an outbreak of the virus, so really did have a Winter Break.
Wreck-It had the chance to go January Shopping in the Sales and may have picked up a bargain by landing Brandon Williams on loan from Manchester United.
Brandon is surplus to requirements at Old Trafford with the position he plays in, both Left and Right Back comfortably covered by more experienced players. Young Mr Williams is a decent proposition so will be an asset to Southampton to continue his Premier League education.
Ralph’s boys have 30-points, sit 6th in the table, with 2-less than the Foxes so will jump above them if a victory is achieved. This 2019/20 fixture at the King Power Stadium was played almost exactly 12-months ago to the day on the 11th of January 2020.
Dennis Praet scored first to put the Foxes in front with Stuart Armstrong equalising for the Saints to take both teams in level at the break.
Danny Ings scored the winner for Wreck-Its boys with 10-minutes remaining but there were a couple of VAR interventions that chalked off 2-Leicester goals, that left Brendan, not too chuffed.
Bet 365 offer Leicester at slight Odds On 4/5, the draw at 14/5 and 10/3 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/4 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 11/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
ASTON VILLA v EVERTON
This fixture has a start time of 12.00 in England live on Sky Sports. Aston Villa come into the game against the Toffees, off the back of yet another cancellation of a fixture due to the Coronavirus, this time against Tottenham last Wednesday.
Villa’s Game Week-18 contest was supposedly, to host Spurs in the first part of the split but was postponed to allow the players to recover. Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues did play in the FA Cup but none of the 1st-team squad were on show.
The Tottenham fixture will have to come later, as Villa play Man City, after this home game against the Toffees, which is from the pair’s cancelled Game Week-1 tie and not the Game Week-18 split-shift. Everybody following?
With 11-days of the January Transfer Window to go, Jack Grealish is still at Villa Park and although Manchester United are a possible destination for Big Jack, that move doesn’t look likely in the 11-days, however, watch this space in the summer.
Everton got a brilliant away-day victory by a 2-1 scoreline on Tuesday beating Wolves at Molineux. Alex Iwobi opened the scoring after 6-minutes but Wolves were quickly level, equalising 8-minutes later.
Michael Keane scored the Toffees winner, midway through the 2nd-half to give Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues a great win against Nuno’s Gold and Blacks. The victory gives Everton 32-points, taking them to 5th, in the table, having played 17-games so far this term. With the postponement of fixtures due to the Coronavirus, most have only played 17-times, even though this is Game Week-19.
Only 5-teams have played the full 18 fixtures. Some have only played 16-times, Man City being that some, with today’s opponents, Villa only having completed 15-fixtures.
Complicated, admittedly but that’s what the Coronavirus is throwing up. Everton’s tie against Wolves was a Game Week-18 fixture but the Toffees had their game against Man City postponed so have only played 17-times.
Three of the top 4-teams in the Premier League table have all played 17-fixtures and all head into this Game Week-19 on a level playing field so to speak.
Man City, who are 4th, with the same 32-points as Leicester and Everton but a better goal difference have played 16-times, so do look to be in the best place to challenge Liverpool and Manchester United.
Aston Villa got a rare victory in last season’s tie against a poor Everton team, still under the guidance of Marco Silva, back in August 2019 at Villa Park.
Wesley (where’s he gone?) scored 1st before the break, with Anwar El-Ghazi leaving it very late to score Villa’s 2nd, to give Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues a great 2-0 victory.
Everton are a different proposition under Carlo Ancelotti and Villa are a different outfit from last August, which sets up a great game.
Bet 365 offer Aston Villa at 5/4, the draw at 11/5 and 6/5 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 13/5 that Anwar El-Ghazi Scores Anytime and 5/1 that there are Over 4.5 Goals.
SHEFFIELD UNITED v TOTTENHAM
Early Sunday Afternoon football with a start time of 14.00 in England live on Sky Sports.
The Jack Dee of football is still in residence at Bramall Lane, however, for how much longer, is the unknown factor.
Happy Chris is happier now the Blades finally got their first win of the season with a very lucky victory against Newcastle at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night. The Blunts will laugh at that statement and James from Swinton, nowhere near the Lane, is cockahoop, not having any of the lucky-ness.
To be fair to Sheffield United, they did deserve the win with the negative attitude of Steve Bruce and his Magpies.
Newcastle had a player sent off in the 1st-half, that gave United a man advantage for the whole of the 2nd-period. The lucky side of the review, came when Federico Fernandez thought he was Le-Bron James and flicked the ball away from Billy Sharp with his hand, in the penalty area.
After the dreaded VAR, who were rumoured to be watching the Masters Snooker, thought it better to get involved in the football, well it is their day-job and advised the on-field referee Andy Madley, that he’d better have a look at his pitch-side monitor.
As with what usually happens, the original decision was overturned and a penalty was given, which Billy Boy dispatched to give the Blades the solitary winning goal. That was Mr Sharp’s 100th, for Sheffield United which is split over 2-separate spells at Bramall Lane. The first from 2004-2010 and then from his current time starting in 2015. Respect Billy!
Even though United were winning and had a man advantage, they nearly gifted Newcastle a late equaliser which would have definitely made Chris smile. The victory gives the Blades 5-points but still leaves them at the foot of the table and a visit from Jose’s Spurs may just end the winning streak.
Little Jimbo had his Barnsley strip on for luck so will be keeping that on for the remaining Sheffield United games over the coming months.
Tottenham had a great 1st-half against Fulham on Wednesday culminating in a brilliant headed goal from Harry Kane to take Spurs in at the break, leading by a goal to nil.
Jose Mourinho was then outfoxed by Scott Parker, with Scott making a couple of tactical changes that resulted in Fulham stretching the game after the break to eventually equalise.
The point gained by Spurs leaves them 6th in the table with 30-points from the 17-fixtures played so far.
Tottenham had their night out in Sheffield late on in the 2019/20 protracted proceedings back in July, which didn’t allow for fans at Bramall Lane. The Blades stunned Jose’s LilyWhites by getting a great post-lockdown victory from a 3-1 scoreline.
The anagram of Beer Gardens, Sander Berge scored the opener for Sheffield United on the half-hour mark. Lys Mousset added a 2nd for Happy Chris’s men, just 6-minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Ollie McBurnie put the Blades in control in the 86th-minute, before Harry Kane scored a late Tottenham goal that ultimately was just a consolation leaving Dracula unhappier than Chris Wilder’s face. Harry did have a goal ruled out by the dreaded that would have made the score 1-1 at the time.
Bet 365 offer Sheffield United at 21/4, the draw at 11/4 and Odds On 3/5 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Son Heung-Min Scores First and 6/4 that Tottenham Win To Nil.
LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER UNITED
Late Sunday Afternoon football live on Sky Sports kicking-off at 16.30 in England. Liverpool host Manchester United, now lying 2nd in the table following United’s victory against Burnley in their game in hand.
Jurgen’s Reds didn’t play in midweek and play their Game Week-18 fixture, after this visit from Manchester United.
Liverpool’s last outing was on the 8th of January in the FA Cup that saw them comfortably beat a 2nd-string Villa side in the FA Cup.
The Reds last Premier League fixture will be 13-days back come the kick-off of this mouthwatering top of the table clash between the greatest of great rivals.
That Premier League game was a defeat against Southampton and most may have forgotten that Liverpool haven’t won a league game this side of Christmas and have only gained 4-victories from the last 10-Premier League games, with 5-draws in those contests and the loss against the Saints.
The loss of Virgil Van Dijk may just be starting to take its toll on the current title holders but what will definitely be hurting everyone connected with the Anfield Rappers is that Manchester United are at the summit. Not the Blue half, not Chelsea and not even Leicester, Manchester United, Liverpool’s biggest rivals.
The Red Devil’s head to Anfield as Premier League leaders following United’s rearranged Game Week-1 affair against Burnley.
Ole’s Wheels got a great victory at Turf Moor that leapfrogged United above Liverpool to the summit of the Premier League table with 36-points from 17-fixtures played so far. It’s the first time in almost 8-years that Manchester United have been the league leaders after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
After a VAR affected 1st-half, seeing 2-contentious incidents that resulted in a Yellow Card for Luke Shaw, reviewed by Kevin Friend and a disallowed goal by Harry Maguire, United came out in the 2nd-half and completely dominated affairs with the excellent Paul Pogba, having his best game in a United shirt for some time, scoring the solitary winning goal to give Ole’s Zebra’s a victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
Not sounding like a record that’s stuck and in the hope of not constantly repeating oneself, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left Fred and Scott out of the starting eleven against Burnley.
Since the defeat against Arsenal, back at the start of November, United have played 11-Premier League fixtures, with Ole choosing Fred 7-times in his starting eleven and Scott 6-times in those same fixtures.
In the 11-games, the Red Devil’s have won-9 and drew-2. Fred has started 5 of the 9-victories and both the draws. Scott 4 and the 2-draws.
Those stats could be used as both a positive and a negative in favour of Fred and Scott but probably the most significant stat of all is that in United’s 7-defeats throughout the campaign, in all competitions, Fred started 3-times and Scott started 5.
As mentioned, stats are just that and can be used as a positive or a negative and some, Ole included, will feel both Fred and Scott are integral to the success of Manchester United.
That feeling isn’t shared by this EveryTip contributor who will stick to the belief that Ole won’t win anything if he continues to pick Fred and Scott in his starting eleven, especially Fred.
The Zebra Devil’s are still in contention for 3-trophies, from the initial 5, at the start of the season.
The 5, is counting the Champions League and the Europa League as 2-competitions, even though United are only in the latter due to being rubbish in the fore.
In the Champions League, United were unceremoniously dumped out of that competition due to Ole choosing Fred and Scott.
In the Quarter-Final of the Carabao Cup, Fred and Scott were left on the bench against Everton, which Ole’s Wheels won.
In the Semi-Final, against Man City, with the advantage of the one-legged tie being at Old Trafford, OGS started Fred and Scott, resulting in Manchester United being dumped out of that particular competition.
On Sunday, in this fixture against Liverpool, if Ole starts Fred and Scott, which more than likely, he will, United won’t win and won’t win the Premier League.
In a couple of weeks, Manchester United face Liverpool in the FA Cup, again if Ole starts Fred and Scott, United will be dumped out of that competition too, leaving just the Europa League to contest, from the initial 5-competitions.
If then, Ole continues to choose Fred and Scott and doesn’t see what a lot do, United won’t win anything, which will be a damning indictment on Fred and Scott. This is a betting site so if folk don’t agree with John Newsome, wait until the team sheet is handed in, in the United fixtures and bet against that prediction.
Ole won’t win anything if he continues to pick Fred and Scott! Exactly 12-months ago to the day (well the 19th of January 2019!) Liverpool secured an easy 2-0 victory against Manchester United at Anfield.
Virgil Van Dijk scored with a great header from a corner in the 14th-minute. Jurgen’s Reds left it late to seal the victory with Mo Salah adding the 2nd in stoppage time at the end of the game, Alisson getting the assist, following the ‘keepers long kick downfield.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at slight Odds On 19/20, the draw at 14/5 and 13/5 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Mo Salah Scores First and 21/10 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime.
MAN CITY v CRYSTAL PALACE
Early Sunday Evening football to rival Songs of Praise with this fixture starting at 19.15 in England live on Sky Sports.
Man City dug out an attritional victory against Brighton on Wednesday, beating the Seagulls by a 1-0 scoreline. Phil Foden, who is fast becoming the leading light at the Etihad scored the solitary goal to give City the win.
Raheem Sterling, who had only been on the pitch 8-minutes, starting on the bench, did have the chance to double the score when Pep’s Blues were awarded a penalty in injury time.
Some would say that it was a surprise that Raheem missed the spot-kick, however, it would have been more of a surprise that he’d scored having now missed the last 3-penalties he has taken.
It’s fair to say that Raheem will be at the back of the queue when City next get a penalty.
John Stones continued his fine form, with City again Winning To Nil, making it 8 of their last 9-games, in all competitions, when John has started for City.
The only goal Johnny Boy has conceded was a 92nd-minute consolation against Chelsea, that didn’t affect the result with Man City leading 3-0 at the time.
Three extra games that Pep’s Blues didn’t concede, whilst John was involved, were a draw against Manchester United, that the Barnsley Stone played the full 90-minutes, coming on after just 27-minutes against Marseille, where City Won To Nil and for the start of the 2nd-half in the FA Cup game against Birmingham last weekend, again not conceding a goal.
City goes into this game against Crystal Palace in 3rd-place in the table, with 32-points from 16-fixtures, not the 17, that the rest at the top have played. When John Stones plays, City don’t concede! (many).
Crystal Palace went the short distance over to the Emirates on Thursday, in the first part of the split Game Week-18. There wasn’t much to get excited about following a very poor game that ended in a 0-0 draw.
In various parts of the country, earlier in the day, there was 2-foot of snow, a few watching the football, were hoping that the Emirates had snow so the fixture could have been cancelled.
The point gives Palace 23, from the 18-games and leaves Roy’s Boys in 13th-position. The same 23 as Leeds United and a point behind the Gunners.
As with the Liverpool v Manchester United fixture, last season at Selhurst Park, this was a Game Week-23 affair played almost 12-months ago to the day, on the 18th of January 2020.
Palace’s Cenk Tosun, on loan at the time from Everton, scored in the 1st-half, to give Roy’s Eagles a lead at the break.
Sergio Aguero scored twice, midway through the 2nd-period that almost gave Pep the victory, until the unfortunate Fernandinho was credited with an own-goal to give both a share of the points from a Desmond 2-2 draw.
Bet 365 offer Man City at Odds On 1/7, the draw at 15/2 and 16/1 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer Evens 1/1 that Kevin De Bruyne Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 4/5 that Man City Win To Nil.
ARSENAL v NEWCASTLE
The final match of Game Week-19 kicking-off at 20.00 in England live on Sky Sports.
These two meet again just a week after meeting in the FA Cup where Arsenal scored twice in Extra-Time to go through to the next round.
Arsenal hosted Crystal Palace on Thursday night, with both gaining a point following a drab goalless draw. The first time Arsenal have failed to score against Palace, at home, in the Premier League.
It prompted Jamie Redknapp to come out with a tune after a Sky Cinema advert for Bad Boys For Life was inserted into the post-match punditry. ‘Bad Game, Bad Game, what ya gonna do, what ya gonna do when it’s not 3-2’ Nice one JR!
Kieran Tierney was missing against the Eagles and it told in the Gunners performance.
That’s not to take anything away from KT’s replacement, Ainsley Maitland-Niles but Ainsley didn’t have the same effect going forward. The point gained leaves Arsenal with 24, in 11th-place, from the full quota of 18-fixtures played.
A point more than Roy Hodgson’s Boys. Newcastle have the indignity of being the first team to be beaten by Sheffield United this season.
Ryan Fraser had a moment of madness getting himself sent off on the stroke of half-time.
Some would say 2, moments of madness but really the 1st-Yellow Card received in the 42nd-minute was just part of the game.
The moment of madness came 3-minutes later, when knowing that it was half-time, Ryan decided he didn’t want to come out in the 2nd-half as it was too cold in Sheffield so stupidly received a 2nd-caution and ultimately the Red.
Steve Bruce is not the most positive of managers when he has 11-men, so with 10, it was just a matter of holding on for a point. That’s probably what the outcome would have been if Federico Fernandez hadn’t thought he was playing Basketball instead of football and knocking the ball away with his hand, giving away a penalty that ultimately led to a losing solitary goal to gift Sheffield United their first victory of the season.
Newcastle keep the 19-points they had before the start of the split Game Week-18, leaving them in 15th-position in the Premier League table, however, Brucey does have the bonus of only playing 17-fixtures, with a game in hand following the postponement of the game against Aston Villa, due to the Coronavirus situation.
It was just before the suspension of football when the Toon Army were still allowed to travel, that Newcastle ventured South to the Emirates and wished that the ban on spectators had come in earlier after their team got a savage beating by a 4-0 scoreline.
The Toon Army were heard to have shouted, ‘Hoo much?’ when asking for a pint and the barman replied, ‘£6.50 mate’ The 4-goals scored by the Gunners all came in the 2nd-half, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil (remember him?) and Alexandre Lacazette notching for Mikel’s men, with Mesut’s and Alexandre’s goals coming after the 90-minutes were up on the clock.
Bet 365 offer Arsenal at Odds On 2/5, the draw at 7/2 and 7/1 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Alexandre Lacazette Scores First and 5/4 that Arsenal Score in Both Halves.
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