The highlight games for this weekend’s action are EVERTON versus BRIGHTON and MANCHESTER UNITED versus WOLVES. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 21 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
The football keeps on coming with these New Year’s fixtures kicking off 2022. However, that said, there is a 2-week break now due to the traditional 3rd-Round of the FA Cup.
The following games, which are subject to postponement, due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, are the reverse of Game Week-3, which took place at the end of August 2021.
ARSENAL v MAN CITY
12.30 in England.
Pep 2 v Pep 1
Happy New Year!
The Gunners midweek fixture against Wolves was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so the Boxing Day victory against Norwich by a 5-0 scoreline was the latest outing. Despite not playing, Tottenham couldn’t capitalise, therefore Mikel’s boys remain in 4th, with 35-points, at the halfway point.
Man City were expected to turn up at the Wellard Stadium and hammer Brentford after scoring 17-goals in the previous 3-fixtures. That wasn’t the case and although Pep’s title-elects got the victory, it was only by a 1-0 score. Phil Foden tapping home after 16-minutes.
There were a few contentious VAR issues, which have crept back into the game, in these post-Christmas/pre-New Years fixtures.
The fact that a couple of goals have been chalked off because an armpit has been offside, is worrying.
Harry Kane was a foot on-side (literally) when scoring against Southampton on Tuesday and Aymeric Laporte was also legal when notching against Brentford. Both were deemed offside by the dreaded VAR.
So because Harry was pointing as to where he wants his teammate to put the ball, the lad and others are potentially risking being offside. It just doesn’t make sense. Is the forward on-side when a Defender has his arm out?
Plus, this point has been mentioned before, the offside is scrutinised by judging the line between the Attacker and Defender.
Scrutinised to the nth-degree, yet there’s isn’t any scrutiny on when the ball leaves the foot of the player who passes the ball.
What if that centimetre that Harry or Aymeric is in front of the opposition player, is counteracted by when the teammate lets go of the ball. Anyways, enough of the Stockley Park idiots, sorry crew.
The end of the year victory for Pep’s High Flying Blues leaves City at the summit with 50-points from 20-fixtures completed.
The added Christmas extra for the Citizens was that the chasing pack of Chelsea and Liverpool, couldn’t muster a win, with Liverpool succumbing to a defeat against Leicester and Chelsea drawing against Brighton. So the presents were all Man City’s.
When Arsenal visited their fellow UAE named stadium, the Etihad back in August for the Game Week-3 affair, Pep 1’s Blues got the comfortable victory over Pep 2’s Gunners by a 5-0 scoreline.
Ilkay Gundogan, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus scored the 1st-half goals, before Roadie Rodri and Ferran added 4 and 5 after the break.
Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka was shown a Red Card 10-minutes before the half-time whistle.
Ferran Torres has left Manchester for Barcelona (why would anyone want to leave the rain of Manchester for the Sun of Barcelona?) The lad has had a € Billion put in his contract as a release clause. A Billion Euros!
888 Sport offer Arsenal at 23/5, the draw at 17/5 and slight Odds On 1/2 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 9/2 that Raheem Sterling Scores First and 11/10 that Man City Score in Both Halves.
LEICESTER v NORWICH
*********Fixture Postponed ***********
15.00 in England.
Leicester ruined a few midweek Accas, hosting Liverpool at the King Power Stadium and getting the home victory by a 1-0 score.
Brendan Rodgers had to pick Wilfred Ndidi and Daniel Amartey, both Midfielders, as his Centre-Backs.
It looked like the decision had backfired when Wilfred brought down Mo Salah to concede a 1st half penalty.
The Egyptian King, who is usually deadly from the spot, had his effort superbly saved by Kasper Schmeichel, to keep the scores level.
Brendan then outthought Jurgen, introducing Ademola Lookman in the 2nd-half that resulted in the Foxes winning goal.
Ademola was given the ball by the youngster, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and the substitute smashed past a helpless Alisson to score the solitary Leicester goal, giving Brendan’s Wonderful’s the victory over Jurgen’s Reds by a 1-0 score.
Young Kiernan has been at the King Power since he was 8-years old.
There is a Dewsbury Hall up near where John Newsome lives, a nice drum. The win gives Leicester 25-points from 18-fixtures and leaves them in 9th-place.
Rod Stewart was not happy, taking his Liverpool shirt off, with Candy on the front and ‘Barnes’ ‘10’ on the back, an old Reds shirt from back in the day, that Penny got Sir Roderick out of a vintage shop. The shops are called Vintage in London, everywhere else, they are Charity.
Lennon the puppy was nowhere to be seen as the pooch had scarpered lively, once Kasper had saved the penalty.
Rod’s beloved Green and White Hoops don’t play now until the 17th of January, as the SPL, Scottish Pub League, unlike the Premier League, closes down for a Winter Break.
Celtic sit 2nd, in the Pub League, 6-points behind the arch-rivals Rangers.
Sir Roderick will be 77 come the restart, which is testament to the Scottish Crooner, looking so good in his late 70s.
The wife, Penny, is 50, so it does go to show that you’re only as young as you feel, or who you feel.
Happy New Year, Penny, Rod and Lennon, from all at EveryTip.
The puppy was in the backyard, eating a bowl of Scouse, humming,
‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be.’
Norwich lost again in midweek, of cause they did, that’s now 5-straight defeats, with just 1-victory and 2-draws from the 8-fixtures that Dean Smith has overseen.
Teemu Pukki was absent from the game against Crystal Palace, which saw a 1st-half penalty converted by the Eagles.
Crystal Palace then scored 2 more before the half-time cuppa and with no further goals, the damage was done in the 1st-half, resulting in a defeat by a 3-0 score.
Norwich remain at the foot of the table with 10-points, from 19-fixtures, 3-points from safety but having played more games than the others around. Whilst there’s no sign of the ‘Rotund Lady’ singing, she is warming up her voice.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd is gutted at the minute. Not only are 2 of his 3-favourite teams losing but his beloved Sheffield United, can’t get on the pitch to attempt to lose, due to the pandemic.
The Blades were due to play against Hull, the day after Boxing Day and Jimbo, passport in hand was ready to go across the country.
The rattler had been booked and the Little Blunt had his 4-cans of Fruit Kopparberg and some egg and cress sandwiches, in the Tupperware container.
Jim always laughs at the word ‘Tupperware’ as the daft lad thinks it’s something rude.
James first footballing love, Barnsley FC can’t buy a victory at the minute, having not won a game since the beginning of November. The Reds will be down before the Christmas decorations at this rate.
Back in August at Carrow Rd, Teemu Pukki equalised an earlier Jamie Vardy goal to take both teams in level at the break.
Marc Albrighton scored the winner, midway through the 2nd-half, to give Brendan’s Wonderful’s the victory over Daniel Farke Life’s, by a 2-1 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Leicester at Odds On 4/11, the draw at 15/4 and 32/5 for Norwich to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 6/5 that Kelechi Iheanacho Scores Anytime and 29/20 that Leicester Win To Nil.
WATFORD v TOTTENHAM
15.00 in England.
Watford, under Claudio Ranieri, have suffered defeats in the last 5-fixtures and have lost 8 out of 10 of all the games the Italian has overseen since taking over from Xisco. The other 2-games were victories.
Emanuel Dennis scored his 8th-goal of the campaign, against West Ham, to give the Vicarage Rd faithful, early hope of reversing the fortunes and a few teams note of his impending departure once Watford are relegated.
Unfortunately, that just spurred the Hammers on, who scored 2-goals before the break and another 2, in the 2nd-half, to inflict the defeat on Watford by a 4-1 score.
That leaves the Hornets in 17th, with 13-points, from 17-fixtures played, just outside of the relegation zone, however, Burnley, with 11-points, have a game in hand over Claudio’s men.
Mr Ranieri, by the way, may soon be down the concrete, if results don’t improve.
The Watford owners are partial to sacking managers and the Italian gaffer isn’t immune from the tick-tack.
Tottenham gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score, against Southampton on Tuesday.
After conceding a Saints goal, Spurs were awarded a penalty following a foul on Son Heung-Min, by Mohamed Salisu.
Mohamed had already been given a Yellow Card for persistent fouling and received a 2nd and the subsequent Red following the challenge on Son.
Harry Kane, converted the penalty then scored, what looked like a perfectly acceptable 2nd, however, somehow, the girls and boys at Stockley Park, deemed Harry’s armpit to be offside when the ball was played to him.
It was thought that these decisions were going to be changed as a player can’t score from an armpit. Mr Kane was onside and the goal should have stood.
There was another contentious issue when the Southampton goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, dropped a cross into the area, that ended up in the net. The dreaded agreed with the on-field referee and denied the goal.
It did appear that the Stockley Park gang had a post-Christmas fiver on a 1-1 scoreline and were not allowing a 3rd-goal.
Tottenham remain in 7th, with 30-points, however, have only completed 17-fixtures.
Manchester United, have played 18 and West Ham and Arsenal, the 3-teams immediately above Antonio’s Spurs, have both played 19-times.
Watford and Tottenham come into this fixture at Vicarage Rd, under the guidance of different managers.
In the Game Week-3 affair at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, a single Son Heung-Min goal just before half-time gave Nuno’s Spurs the victory over Xisco the Disco’s Hornets.
888 Sport offer Watford at 4/1, the draw at 59/20 and Odds On 12/19 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 3/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 37/20 that Tottenham Win To Nil.
CRYSTAL PALACE v WEST HAM
17.30 in England.
Crystal Palace got a great victory against Norwich on Tuesday, with the big bird of the Eagle, devouring up the little Canary, by a 3-0 scoreline. Odsonne Edouard converted an early penalty, which settled the nerves of the Ultras.
Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp added 2 and 3, before the half-time whistle and with no further goals, the victory was secured. Patrick Vieira was still isolating following a positive Covid test.
Palace sit 11th in the table with 23-points, a point adrift of Brighton but have completed 19-fixtures, a game more than the Seagulls.
West Ham themselves got a great midweek victory, inflicting a defeat on Watford, by a 4-1 away-day score.
After conceding an early Hornets goal, David Moyes Boys took control, with the excellent Jarrod Bowen, who was superb all day, setting up Tomas Soucek to score the equaliser. Said Benrahma added a 2nd, before the break.
Jarrod had a goal ruled out by the dreaded and despite not notching, was influential in the Hammers display.
Mark Noble converted a 2nd-half penalty to make it 3-1 before Mr Bowen set up Nikola Vlasic to score in the 92nd-minute.
A great West Ham performance, albeit against a poor set of Hornets who were unable to sting and burst the Bubbles.
Mr Moyes won’t worry too much about Watford, that’s not his problem.
The Hammers sit 5th in the table, with 31-points from 19-fixtures played.
At the London Stadium earlier this term, Pablo Fornals scored first to give the Hammers a lead at the break.
Conor Gallagher equalised early in the 2nd-half before Michail Antonio scored to put West Ham back in front.
Conor equalised again and with no further goals, both shared the points from a draw by a Desmond 2-2 score.
888 Sport offer Crystal Palace at 43/20, the draw at 12/5 and 23/20 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 19/10 that Michail Antonio Scores Anytime and 47/20 that West Ham Score in Both Halves.
BRENTFORD v ASTON VILLA
14.00 in England.
Brentford suffered a defeat against Man City on Wednesday by a 1-0 scoreline. In truth, although a loss, the Bees put in a good display and considering City had scored 17-times in the previous 3-fixtures, to only concede 1, should be commended.
Brentford slip to 14th after the defeat, with 20-points from 18-fixtures. The usually safe tally for survival is 40-points so Thomas will consider the Bees are halfway there.
With the teams in the relegation zone having a maximum of 11, at the moment, the safe tally will be a lot less than 40, so Brentford should be ok.
Thomas Frank just needs to put the defeat to bed early as most will lose against Pep’s High Flying Blues.
Aston Villa’s midweek fixture against Leeds United was postponed, leaving Steven Gerrard’s Claret and Blues in 12th-place, with 22-points, from 18-fixtures.
At Villa Park, Emiliano Buendia equalised an earlier Ivan Toney strike and with no further significant action, both teams shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score. The 2-goals were scored before 14-minutes were on the clock.
888 Sport offer Brentford at 47/25, the draw at 23/10 and 7/5 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 21/10 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime and 2/1 that Ollie Watkins Scores Anytime.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Kasper Schmeichel- Leicester
RIGHT-BACK- Joao Cancelo- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Aymeric Laporte- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Eric Bailly- Manchester United
LEFT-BACK- Luke Thomas- Leicester
MIDFIELDER- Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall-Leicester
MIDFIELDER- James Ward-Prowse- Southampton
MIDFIELDER- Scott McTominay- Manchester United
FORWARD- Phil Foden- Man City
FORWARD- Odsonne Edouard- Crystal Palace
FORWARD- Jarrod Bowen- West Ham
STAR MAN- Jarrod Bowen- West Ham
EVERTON v BRIGHTON
14.00 in England
Everton’s midweek fixture against Newcastle fell at the Coronavirus hurdle, meaning Rafa’s Toffees haven’t played since December 16th. No Christmas football for the Blue Scousers.
Everton sit 15th in the table, with 19-points from 17-fixtures completed.
Brighton snatched a point late on at Stamford Bridge, with Danny Welbeck scoring the equaliser in the 92nd-minute.
The Seagulls had conceded a Blues goal midway through the 1st-half and when it appeared a defeat was on the cards, Graham Potter made an inspired substitution, sending on Danny to score the goal, earning a point from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Yves Bissouma had a superb game, that made Thomas Tuchel introduce N’Golo Kante, to try and nullify Christmas.
It has been mentioned in previous columns that Yves wouldn’t look out of place in a Manchester United shirt, that’s firstly if Brighton would sell and B, whether the lad would want to face a relegation battle. Just a bit of fun, Red Devil’s!
Brighton sit 10th in the table, with 24-points from 18-fixtures completed.
The Toffees were good when they visited the South Coast at the beginning of the season, gaining a victory over the Seagulls by a 2-0 away-day scoreline.
Demarai Gray and Dominic Calvert-Lewin with the Everton goals on either side of the break.
888 Sport offer Everton at 7/5, the draw at 11/5 and 19/10 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Neal Maupay Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 8/11 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v BURNLEY
14.00 in England.
Leeds United’s post-Christmas/pre-New Years fixtures were both postponed due to injuries and the Coronavirus situation, meaning Marcelo’s Whites haven’t played since December 18th.
At least the Marching On Together crew didn’t witness a defeat.
Leeds United remain 16th, with 16-points from 18-fixtures. Marching On Together!
Burnley travelled the short distance over to Old Trafford on Thursday and after going 18-days without a game, suffered a defeat against Manchester United by a 3-1 score.
Aaron Lennon, now aged 34, scored a superb goal for the Clarets, in the 1st-half, however, Burnley were already trailing by 3-goals to nil, so in essence, Double A-Ron’s strike was just a consolation. There were no further goals after the break.
The loss leaves Sean Dyche’s men in the bottom 3, with 11-points from 16-fixtures played.
Five points adrift of today’s opponents, who have played 2-games more, so there is still hope for Mr Dyche’s Clarets.
At Turf Moor, in August, after a goalless 1st-half, Patrick Bamford scored late on, to cancel out an earlier Chris Wood strike giving both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
888 Sport offer Leeds United at 21/20, the draw at 49/20 and 47/20 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Chris Wood Scores Anytime and 5/2 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
SOUTHAMPTON v NEWCASTLE
14.00 in England.
Southampton gained a great point on Tuesday at St Mary’s against Tottenham.
James Ward-Prowse scored the opener, a rare non-free kick/penalty goal before Mohamed Salisu had 2-moments of madness.
A 1st-Yellow Card was received for persistent fouling, then Mohamed dove in on Son Heung-Min, that not only conceded a penalty but saw a 2nd-Yellow and ultimately a Red.
The penalty was converted meaning the scores were level. That also meant the Saints had around 50-minutes with a man light.
Fortunately for Wreck-It Ralph’s boys, Tottenham couldn’t take advantage, however, the Saints were helped by the dreaded VAR, who overturned a 2nd and 3rd Spurs goals.
Harry Kane’s armpit was adjudged offside so his strike didn’t count and then, the on-field referee, Anthony Taylor, thought that Fraser Forster was fouled whilst attempting to catch a cross.
Most of the so-called pundits thought it wasn’t a foul and the goal should have stood but in truth, it was and most teams would be upset if a goal was conceded after that incident.
The point from a draw by a 1-1 scoreline, leaves Southampton in 13th-place, with 21-points from 19-fixtures complete. Halfway through the season for Wreck-It and the Saints.
Newcastle’s midweek fixture was postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation plus several injuries in the Magpies camp.
Eddie and the Magpies remain in the relegation places, 19th, with 11-points from the halfway tally of 19-fixtures.
Steve Bruce was at the Magpies helm when Wreck-It’s Saints travelled the long journey up to St James Park for the Game Week-3 affair. After a goalless 1st-half, Callum Wilson converted a penalty to give the home team a lead.
Mohamed Elyounoussi equalised soon after and when Allan Saint-Maximin scored in the 91st-minute, it looked like Newcastle would get the valuable victory.
Not to be, James Ward-Prowse, converted a very late penalty, in the 96th-minute, to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a Desmond 2-2 score.
888 Sport offer Southampton at Odds On 4/6, the draw at 29/10 and 15/4 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 21/10 that James Ward-Prowse Scores Anytime and 11/10 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
CHELSEA v LIVERPOOL
16.30 in England.
Chelsea snatched a draw from the jaws of victory on Wednesday, gaining a point from a stalemate against Brighton by a 1-1 scoreline.
Snatched being the operative word as when Romelu Lukaku scored on the half-hour mark, it looked like Thomas’s Blue Engines would push on and score a few more to gain the victory.
Unfortunately, for the home faithful, Brighton equalised in the 92nd-minute, with Danny Welbeck rising above young Trevoh Chalobah to head home.
With today’s opponents suffering a surprise defeat, the day before, Chelsea had the opportunity to pull 3-points clear of Liverpool.
However, with just a point gained, Thomas’s Blues sit 2nd, with 42-points, from the full 20-fixtures played. A point more than Jurgen’s Reds but having played a game more.
Man City sit at the summit, with 50-points, 8 more than Chelsea and 9 ahead of Liverpool. Is it City’s 4th-title in 5-seasons?
The last team to win the Premier League that weren’t called Man City or Liverpool was? That’s right, Chelsea!
Antonio Conte guided the Blues to the title in the 2016/17 campaign.
Liverpool suffered the surprise defeat on Tuesday, away at the King Power, against Leicester.
A surprise, because Jurgen’s Reds had the opportunity to take the lead following the award of a penalty after a foul on Mo Salah.
Mo dusted himself down and took the spot-kick, however, saw his initial shot saved by Kasper Schmeichel. The ball rebounded back to the Egyptian King, who headed onto the crossbar.
Whilst it was a good save, it was a terrible missed opportunity that came back to haunt the away team.
Leicester scored the solitary winning goal after the break, to inflict the defeat on Liverpool by a 1-0 scoreline.
Although a loss, the away team did have some good chances with Mo Salah missing the penalty and Sadio Mane wasting a couple.
With Man City winning their pre-New Years fixture and Chelsea gaining a point, Jurgen’s Reds drop down to 3rd, with 41-points from 19-fixtures completed. The other two, have played 20, so Jurgen Klopp won’t be worrying just yet.
At Anfield in August, Kai Havertz scored 1st, to give the away team an early lead. With the half-time whistle about to blow, Chelsea’s Reece James dove and saved a certain goal.
A great save, however, Reece isn’t a goalkeeper so not only did the Blues Right-Back, concede a penalty, the lad was shown a Red Card.
Mo Salah did what Mo does (apart from when he plays against Leicester!) and converted the spot-kick on the stroke of half-time. With no further goals in the 2nd-half, both teams shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
The 3rd draw by a 1-1 scoreline in Game Week-3 and the 5th stalemate in total from those specific August fixtures.
888 Sport offer Chelsea at 7/4, the draw at 12/5 and 7/5 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 21/10 that Romelu Lukaku Scores Anytime and 7/5 that Mo Salah Scores Anytime.
MANCHESTER UNITED v WOLVES
17.30 in England.
Ralph Rangnick’s Manchester United remain unbeaten under the German’s tenure at the club, following Thursday’s victory against Burnley at Old Trafford by a 3-1 scoreline.
Scott McTominay scored the opener with a terrific strike that the Burnley stopper couldn’t stop.
The Claret Defender, Ben Mee was credited with the 2nd-goal as an OG and Cristiano Ronaldo added number 3, to give United an emphatic lead by 3-goals after 35-minutes.
Burnley did pull a goal back before the break and with no further action, Manchester United got the win.
That leaves Rangnick’s Roadsters in 6th-place, with the same 31-points as West Ham, who sit a place above but have completed 19, compared to United’s 18.
Last year’s New Years fixtures saw Manchester United take on Wolves on December 29th 2020 and Burnley on January 12th 2021.
The Burnley fixture was a Game Week-1 affair that was postponed due to United failing in the Europa League Final.
John Newsome thought he would see what he had written regarding those 2-fixtures exactly 12-months ago.
Here’s a couple of paragraphs, published by EveryTip on December 31st 2020 and January 8th 2021.
‘However, if Ole continues to choose, what many feels are his best eleven, a limited few may argue but leaving Fred, Scott McTominay and Dan James on the bench will only benefit OGS in the long run, a top-spot could soon come calling.
Edinson Cavanni lived on scraps against Wolves but his movement was a constant threat that Nuno’s backline struggled to deal with and eventually succumbed, albeit in the 93rd-minute.
Eric Bailly looks at ease at the side of Harry Maguire and has the pace to cover Big Harry’s obvious frailty.
Sean Dyche’s boys have 16-points but significantly from only 15-fixtures whereas the majority of others have played 17.
Fulham have only played 15-times too, so with 11-points, their position in the drop-zone could appear false. (Similar to this campaign!)
Burnley have to play both United and Liverpool in two of the next 3-fixtures so will have a say on who finishes January, top of the pile. Sean’s men host MK Dons in the FA Cup before this fixture.
Imagine this scenario, Manchester United beat Burnley at Turf Moor and go top of the Premier League table for the first time since Sir Alex left in 2013.
That scenario will come true if Ole’s Wheels do in fact get the victory against Sean’s Clarets.
The Old Trafford faithful, both cardboard and real will be virtual dancing in the streets of London hoping they get to see the champions-elect before the end of the season.
Whilst it is, at the minute, just a scenario, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is probably in the best possible position for a long time.
That said, Brendan Rodgers, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Carlo Ancelotti and of cause Dracula, are in the same position as Ole, with Liverpool wavering and Chelsea standing still.
Pep’s High Flying City look the ones to be the favourites and to use a horse racing analogy, are comfortable on the bridle at the moment, just sitting in the slipstream of Liverpool, United and the rest.
Liverpool will always be a force at Anfield, yet the away form may just be Jurgen’s downfall, which leaves the door open for Ole and the others.
It’s been a regular narrative of this column over this season that OGS won’t win anything if he continues to pick Fred and Scott McTominay.
Whilst that may not be an exact rule of thumb, admittedly Fred and Scott were in the team that beat Aston Villa last time out, Ole left them out of the victory against Wolves, included the two in the draw against Leicester and left them out of the Carabao Cup victory against Everton.
OGS then reverted to type and instead of picking the same eleven that beat Everton in the Quarter-Final, picked Fred and Scott, who were none existent in the defeat against the Noisy Neighbours.
This is not to try and prove a point, every Manchester United fan wants to see United victorious whether Fred and Scott are playing or not, however, it’s just an observation that the Zebra Devil’s appear to be stronger without Fred or Scott or if only one from the two is selected.
If this column is proven wrong and United win games regularly with Fred and Scott sitting in midfield, then no one more will be happier.
Only time, team-sheets and the final results will tell whether Ole gets it right but the facts don’t lie, United are better without Fred and Scott and John Newsome will stick to his belief that Ole won’t win anything if Fred and Scott McTominay are in the starting eleven.
Watch this space or better still read this EveryTip column.’ That was 12-months ago, the rest is history, Ole continued to pick Scott and Fred and it was Ole’s downfall.
United haven’t won anything with Fred and Scott and won’t win anything if Double R continues to follow OGS.
The fact that Ralph dropped Fred against Burnley on Thursday, appeared to rid the shackles on Scott, that allowed Mr McTominay to be much freer.
Will Mr Rangnick continue this against Wolves or revert to the Fred and Scott partnership.
The January Transfer Window is upon us, so let’s see whether Manchester United bring in a couple of Midfielder’s, which is all that’s needed.
The Defence doesn’t get the cover needed by Fred and Scott and the Forwards don’t get the provision to score. It’s basic Math, whether it’s 4-2-2-2, 4-4-2, 4-3-2-1 or 1-9.
If Ralph continues with Fred and Scott, United won’t win anything.
One player that would fit straight in at Old Trafford and had been mentioned as a potential United player previously by John Newsome, is Yves Bissouma.
Whether Brighton would sell is another thing but as everyone knows and as the pop-group ‘The Adventures of Stevie V‘ sang,
Money talks, mmm, mmm, money talks, dirty cash I want you, dirty cash I need you, ooh.
Money talks, money talks, dirty cash I want you, dirty cash I need you, ooh.
Money does talk and United have plenty.
Aston Villa have their own pop group, ‘The Adventures of Stevie G’.
In the Leicester v Norwich preview, it was mentioned about the Scottish Pub League having a Winter Break.
A quick note regarding the possibility of a Mid-Season Break and the constant Football over the Christmas period.
A lot of the foreign managers are up in arms regarding the Boxing Day and pre-New Years fixtures.
Whilst it would be easy for John Newsome to be in outrage over the suggestion that Festive Football is in danger, this EveryTip contributor does think that there is one game too many.
There should never be the thought of getting rid of the Boxing Day fixtures, those are set in stone and traditional, however, the middle games between Boxing Day and New Year, could be cancelled. There really isn’t any need for these games.
The Premier League could have a Winter Break too, the dates would need some thinking about but it could be done.
This year’s FA Cup takes place over the weekend of the January 8th 2022.
The New Year games could take place, then a break of a fortnight could be introduced. The 3rd-Round FA Cup ties could start from the 15th, even having midweek ties.
That gives everyone, 14-days rest. Plus it would stop the likes of Jurgen, Thomas and even Ralph R, from moaning.
Ralph Rangnick, who has just turned up in England, has suggested that the Carabao Cup should be scrapped. No! Double R!
Regarding traditions, keep those that are sacred, such as the Boxing Day fixtures, then start new ones.
As Tanita Tikaram once warbled,
‘There’s a good tradition of love and hate, staying by the fireside!’
As for Ralph, the lad needs to start the tradition of getting United back to winning trophies.
Wolves didn’t play over Christmas with both the Boxing Day and midweek fixtures cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation.
Bruno Lage’s Gold and Blacks sit 8th in the table, with 25-points from 18-completed.
Today’s opposition are just above with 31-points, with both playing just 18-times.
A single Mason Greenwood goal, scored in the 80th-minute, gave United the victory over Wolves at Molineux, by a 1-0 scoreline.
This fixture took place before Cristiano Ronaldo had joined Ole’s Trollies.
888 Sport offer Manchester United at Odds On 8/15, the draw at 3/1 and 19/4 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 19/10 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 10/11 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
It was November 2017, when 2-guys from EveryTip, asked John Newsome to write a weekly Premier League Preview.
A little extract from that inaugural column, printed November 13th 2017.
‘Manchester United v Newcastle
Remember Rafa Benitez infamous rant against Fergie and Manchester United whilst Liverpool boss? Two previous Real Madrid and Chelsea managers go head to head at Old Trafford. Manchester United will want to get their title race back on track after defeat to Chelsea last time out and playing at home should be more than a match for the United of Newcastle. Although Newcastle have made a solid start since gaining promotion as Champions, they simply haven’t got the players to trouble United. Benitez is too defensive and will try and stifle Manchester but the class of Lukaku, Rashford and Matic will shine through and Manchester should win easily in front of the cameras.
Result: Home win Manchester United 3-0’
The correct result was a victory for Manchester United by a 4-1 score.
Over 4-Years later, the column is still going strong, with close to 1500 football stories and previews, including an individual prediction of the outcome of every game. On top of that, there’s a couple of tips that can earn everyone a few bobs.
This time last year, John was just recovering from a Quadruple Bypass, a Mechanical Valve inserted and a Pacemaker fitted.
Twelve months on, after a turbulent year, which saw the lad leave his job where he’d worked for 10-years, because the people John thought were his friends, turned out to be Wolves in Sheep’s clothing, the Barnsley Boy is still sprawncing, looking forward to 2022.
Happy New Year to everyone from John Newsome and EveryTip.
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