The highlight games for the mid-week and weekend’s action are ARSENAL versus BURNLEY and CHELSEA versus TOTTENHAM. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 23 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
BURNLEY v WATFORD
19.30 in England
Burnley didn’t play at the weekend (again!) due to the Coronavirus situation which is becoming a moot point with a lot of people. So obviously this fixture could be in doubt too. More on that later.
Whilst not playing, the boys slip to the foot of the table with 11-points but have only played 17-times coming into this fixture against Watford.
Although at the bottom and not playing at the weekend, today’s opponents could only manage a point from their weekend fixture and have 14 but have completed 19-games.
Sean Dyche’s men have allowed one of their Clarets to leave and join fellow strugglers Newcastle in a deal worth around £25 Million.
Chris Wood supposedly had a £20 Million release clause in his contract, which Eddie Howe triggered, however, it does beg the question, why have Newcastle then paid £25 Million?
There’s a couple of reasons, one being the release fee could be £25 Million as no one is certain, or that the clause would only become active in the summer and Sean thought, ‘£25 Million, we will have a bit of that!’
In a twist of fate, whilst Burnley didn’t play over the weekend, Chris Wood started for his new club, in the Magpies draw against Watford, leaving Newcastle just above Burnley in 19th, with 12-points from 20-fixtures.
Sean won’t panic just yet and will feel the games in hand will be a positive for his club, however, as John Newsome always states, it’s felt better to have the points on the board than the games in hand.
The cherry, on the icing, on top of the cake is, who do Burnley play in the final fixture of the campaign? That’s correct, Newcastle at Turf Moor.
Imagine Big Chris, coming back and scoring the goal that relegates Burnley. Does anyone remember Denis Law in 1974?
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 23/20, the draw at 9/4 and 119/50 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/1 that Jay Rodriguez Scores First and 9/4 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
BRIGHTON v CHELSEA
20.00 in England
This fixture is an early Game Week-24 affair, brought forward to Tuesday, January 18th by the Premier League because Thomas Tuchel’s side will spend the beginning of February playing in the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. They won’t need a coat.
Chelsea weren’t happy with the Premier League for this fixture change stating that the players are being pushed to their limit.
Firstly, they are playing football, not firefighting and B, these fixtures have to take place sometime, whether it’s now or whenever, they don’t just disappear, so these managers and players need to just keep a perspective of how privileged an individual they are and accept the situation.
There has been a lot of mutterings of late, regarding fixture postponements and congestion, however, what does a team want to happen? Just cancel the fixture?
The Premier League is set up for a reason, to entertain and the rewards are beyond dreams. It’s football lads, get on with it.
Tottenham had their Europa Conference League game against Rennes, awarded as a victory to the French club, by a 3-0 score without the tie taking place, meaning Spurs were out of the farce.
Would the managers and Chief Executives be happy if the Premier League awarded every fixture, the 3-points, to the team that didn’t want a postponement? The answer to that is No!
Get your boits on lads and get out there, because it beats going to do 12-hours in a hospital, warehouse or supermarket, or on the streets as a Policeman or woman.
There are a few things certain in life, taxes, death, being nagged by the ball and chain and Brighton drawing a game of football.
In the Seagulls latest outing against their fierce bird rivals, the Eagles, those who didn’t predict a draw, must have had too much Australian Sun. Andrew!
Even, Ilkley’s newest resident, ‘Bart tat!’ and CSI Jonny predicted a draw.
Crystal Palace scored midway through the 2nd-half to give the away-side the lead.
The unfortunate Joachim Andersen then deflected a Neal Maupay cross passed the excellent Jack Butland to concede a late equaliser. With no further goals, the game finished in the predicted draw by a 1-1 score.
What was an anomaly, is Brighton were awarded a penalty in the 1st-half, that Pascal Gross had saved by Jack.
Neal Maupay usually takes the spot-kicks so it was assumed the lad wasn’t on the pitch, however, on further inspection, Neal was there, so it’s strange why Pascal took the kick.
That’s Brighton’s 10th-draw in 15-games, with 2-wins and 3-losses from the other 5.
Graham Potter’s Seagulls sit 9th in the table, with 28-points from 20-fixtures played.
With all the postponements, the Premier League table is up in the air at the moment so some teams could be in a false position. Like water, it will eventually level itself out.
Chelsea suffered a loss in the early Saturday afternoon kickoff, succumbing to an away-day defeat against Man City, at the Etihad by a 1-0 scoreline.
Although Thomas’s Blue Engines conceded just the 1-goal, in truth, Pep’s High Flying Blues were head and shoulders above and deserved the victory.
City scored after the break and were in total control throughout the match.
The defeat leaves Chelsea, in 3rd-place, with 43-points, a massive 13-adrift of Man City, both having played the full 22-games on offer.
Liverpool jump to 2nd, with 45-points, in between the two Blues, following their Game Week-22 victory against Brentford. Jurgen’s Reds, have also a game in hand on the two.
These two met recently in between Christmas and New Year, at Stamford Bridge, with both sharing the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Romelu Lukaku scored the Blues goal, midway through the 1st-half, with Danny Welbeck equalising for the Seagulls in the 91st-minute.
888 Sport offer Brighton at 19/5, the draw at 13/5 and slight Odds On 46/63 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 13/5 that Neal Maupay Scores Anytime and 16/5 that Jorginho Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v TOTTENHAM
19.30 in England
Leicester hadn’t played a Premier League fixture this year and we’re due to play against Burnley on the 15th, however, that game was postponed so this tie against Tottenham is the first outing since the victory against Liverpool on the 28th of December 2021. That’s assuming it’s on!
There was a run-out against Watford in the FA Cup last weekend. With the fixture cancelled, the Foxes now lie in 10th-place, with 25-points from the 18-played.
At least, Lennon, the Puppy was secure that the Tottenham shirt with ‘Hoddle’ and ‘4’ on the back, that Rod got off eBay, wasn’t heading in the pooches direction.
The Scottish Pub League reconvenes this week, following the winter break, with Sir Roderick’s beloved Green and White Hoops taking on Hibernian (who?) and the fierce Glasgow rivals, the Gers, up against Aberdeen (who?).
Rangers sit at the summit of the Pub League, with 51-points, 6 more than Celtic in 2nd.
Rod Stewart celebrated his 77th birthday last week and whilst Penny and the Rod settled down to watch the Masked Singer (dreadful programme!) with a nice bottle of Monsigny (Aldi’s finest Champagne), Lennon in a Mask himself, started warbling the tune,
‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be.’ Woof Woof!
Tottenham’s weekend fixture against Arsenal was also postponed due to a request from the Gunners.
More on the fixture postponement saga in the Wolves v Southampton preview.
Spurs sit 6th in the Premier League table with 33-points, from the same 18-fixtures as Leicester have completed.
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 2/1, the draw at 47/20 and 13/10 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 11/2 that Patson Daka Scores First and 15/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
BRENTFORD v MANCHESTER UNITED
20.00 in England
Brentford suffered a defeat in the rearranged Game Week-18 fixture against Southampton on the 11th.
Vitaly Janet did equalise an early Saints goal, however, the Bees conceded again to go in at the break trailing.
Brentford then conceded twice more to ultimately lose the game against Southampton by a 4-1 scoreline.
Following that rearranged fixture and the Game Week-22 tie against Liverpool, Thomas Frank’s boys host Manchester United tonight, before the game against Wolves on the 22nd.
In that Game Week-22 affair at Anfield, the Bees succumbed to another defeat by a 3-0 scoreline. A goal in the 1st-half and 2 after the break did the damage.
Thomas just needs to put that to bed as most have and will lose against Liverpool at their iconic home. Before this visit from United, Brentford sit 14th, with 23-points from 21-fixtures played.
Manchester United snatched a draw from the jaws of victory in the late Saturday afternoon kickoff away at Villa Park.
Mr Tutu will be looking down with a smile following the result by a 2-2 scoreline.
John Newsome often refers to snatching a result from this and that etc, this time referring to Manchester United only getting a draw when ultimately a victory was on the cards having scored 2-goals to have a clear advantage then conceding 2, to gain a point instead of 3.
Bruno Fernandes had a speculative shot that somehow slipped through the Villa ‘keepers hands and into the net, giving United an early lead.
After the break, Bruno added number 2, with the enigmatic Fred providing the assist.
Aston Villa then introduced the ex-Liverpool star, Philippe Coutinho who changed the game in minutes.
Fred was happy with the assist for Bruno, so decided to contribute more, however, this time the Brazilian provided the pass for Villa’s 1st-goal, after good work from Philippe.
The United lad must have thought he was playing in the Maracana with Mr Coutinho.
Philippe then rounded off a superb cameo scoring the equaliser, 13-minutes after coming on.
The point gained, as it’s always a point gained not 2-lost, even though United were leading by 2-goals to nil, the game is played over 90-minutes and the points aren’t awarded until the referee blows the final whistle, leaves Ralph’s Roadsters in 7th-place, with 32-points from 20-fixtures played.
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 37/10, the draw at 53/20 and slight Odds On 46/63 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 13/5 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 10/11 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
All these Game Week-23 fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-5 that took place back in September 2021.
WATFORD v NORWICH
20.00 in England
Friday Night Football
Watford are keeping their head above the relegation water, following Saturday’s fixture against Newcastle.
After conceding a Magpies goal in the 2nd-half, the Hornets had slipped into the drop-zone but a great header by Joao Pedro in the 88th-minute, earned Watford a point from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Claudio Ranieri’s men sit just outside the bottom 3, with 14-points, 1-more than Newcastle but have only played 19-times, not the 20, that the Magpies have.
Norwich, come into this fixture at Vicarage Rd, off the back of a victory against Everton, at Carrow Rd, last time out. Yes, one has read that correctly, a victory!
First-half goals from Michael Keane (credited with an own goal) and Adam Idah, gave Norwich a lead at the break.
The victory lifts Norwich to 18th, with 13-points from 21-fixtures completed. Within a point of safety, however, have played the most out of the bottom 6-clubs.
Watford sit immediately above, having 14-points, however, the Hornets have only played 19-times, so will feel there’s room for improvement.
This really is a 6-pointer, with the winners guaranteed to be out of the relegation places.
At the London Stadium last Wednesday night, Dean Smith’s Canaries suffered a defeat by a 2-0 scoreline.
Before the win against the Toffees, Norwich had gone 6-games without a victory, all defeats and also the 6th-Premier League game without scoring a goal.
The Norwich faithful were heard singing to the tune of the John Lennon song.
‘Give Peace a Chance’
‘All we are saying is Give us a goal’
This irked Dean somewhat, whose humour, like the goals, has deserted him.
The line to the ex-Beatle legends tune starts,
The faithful will have been happy seeing the Two against Everton.
Maybe Dean should concentrate on coaching his boys in the art of goal scoring, instead of picking an argument with the fans who spend their hard-earned dollar on tickets and merchandise.
There’s only one winner there Deano!
Give goals a chance!
At Carrow Rd back in September, Xisco the Disco was in charge of the Hornets, who stung Daniel Farke’s Canaries, getting the victory by a 3-1 away-day score.
Emmanuel Dennis scored 1st for Watford, with Teemu Pukki equalising to take both teams in level at the break.
Ismaila Sarr then scored 2-goals in the 2nd-half to give Watford the win.
888 Sport offer Watford at 21/20, the draw at 12/5 and 5/2 for Norwich to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Teemu Pukki Scores Anytime and 9/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
EVERTON v ASTON VILLA
12.30 in England
How bad are Everton at the moment, the Toffees couldn’t even beat the worse team in the Premier League Norwich, (other clubs are available!)
Michael Keane turned past Jordan Pickford to concede the 1st-goal then the Canaries added a 2nd to leave Everton trailing at the break.
Rafa Benitez sent on the excellent Richarlison, who won’t be at Goodison Park much longer, with the Brazilian scoring a brilliant goal to give the unsettled Toffee faithful hopes of a comeback.
Unfortunately, Richie’s goal was just a consolation with the game finishing in a defeat for Everton by a 2-1 score.
The girls and boys are not happy with the Spanish Waiter, unfurling the travelling banner again, with the words,
‘BENITEZ GET OUT OF OUR CLUB’
As of now, Rafa is still the manager of Everton but the question is, for how much longer?
Everton have sacked Rafa Benitez.
The inevitable has happened with the board getting rid of Mr Benitez.
With his job in a precarious position, the trap-door lever was pulled when Everton couldn’t even beat Norwich.
So the experiment of bringing in the ex-Liverpool boss, Agent Benitez, didn’t work.
Toffee Rafas and this morning’s papers read, ‘Goodbye, Spanish Waiter!’
There is talk that Wayne Rooney is being lined up for the vacancy, more on that next week.
Wayne teaming up with Big Duncan Ferguson would certainly get the Toffee’s sour juices turned sweet again.
The defeat against Norwich, leaves Everton in 16th-place, with 19-points, from 19-fixtures.
Steven Gerrard will no doubt be given a rapturous welcome at Goodison Park on Saturday. The Blue side of the Mersey, love the ex-Red.
Aston Villa earned a great point from a draw by a 2-2 score on Saturday against Manchester United at Villa Park.
Emiliano Martinez fumbled a shot from Bruno Fernandes that ended up in the net.
Emiliano did try to cover up his indiscretion by saying Edinson Cavani had got in his way but in truth, it was a terrible blunder.
United then scored a 2nd-after the break and it looked a certainty that a defeat was on the cards for Steven Gerrard’s Claret and Blues.
That was until Stevie G made an inspired substitution, sending on the new boy and his old teammate, Philippe Coutinho who made an immediate impact, setting up the 1st-goal for Jacob Ramsey and then scoring the equaliser himself.
The Villains have already penned a terrace ditty for their new idol, to the tune of the great Wham song from the 80s, ‘Wake me up, before you go-go, who needs Grealish, when you’ve got Coutinho!’
George Michael will be happy and Andrew Ridgley was seen in the club shop purchasing a new shirt with ‘Coutinho’ on the back.
The point gained against relegation-threatened Manchester United, gives Aston Villa 23, leaving them 13th in the table, having played 20-times. That was Mr Gerrard’s first draw as manager of Villa, since arriving from Rangers.
In the 9-Premier League fixtures Steven has overseen, there have been 4-Wins and 4-Losses and the draw, as well as the defeat against United in the FA Cup.
A long way to go yet in the journey at Villa Park but with Lucas Digne and Phillips Coutinho coming in, the future looks Claret and Blue for the Villains faithful.
Dean Smith’s Aston Villa got the victory over Rafa’s Everton at Goodison Park, back in Game Week-5.
After a goalless 1st-half, Matty Cash, a Lucas Digne own-goal and a Leon Bailey strike, gave Villa the goals to earn the win.
Lucas Digne is now an Aston Villa player, after joining the Midlands club this week for a fee of around £25 Million, so he could consider that he helped his new mates to a victory and technically it wasn’t an OG.
Coming into Everton from Aston Villa is Anwar El-Ghazi, initially on a loan deal but with the possibility of a fixed contract if the lad performs in a Toffees shirt.
Great business done by Rafa, then he’s away. What must Lucas think now?
888 Sport offer Everton at 33/20, the draw at 9/4 and 13/8 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Danny Ings Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 3/4 that Both Teams Score.
BRENTFORD v WOLVES
15.00 in England
Thomas’s Bees will have played 3-times, over the past 11-days, coming into this fixture against Wolves.
Southampton, Liverpool and Manchester United.
At the moment, before the United fixture, Brentford have 23-points and sit 14th in the table, from 21-fixtures completed.
The postponement of the fixtures does make things confusing so apologies if John Newsome occasionally goes awry.
Wolves continued their fine form of late, getting a victory against Southampton at Molineux on Saturday by a 3-1 scoreline.
After a VAR recommended penalty awarded to Bruce’s Gold and Blacks, Raul Jimenez coolly converted to give the home side a lead at the break.
The excellent Conor Coady, who must have read John Newsome’s glowing report on the lad last week, scored a rare goal, midway through the 2nd-half, to give Wolves a 2-goal advantage.
Southampton scored a great free-kick late on to pull a goal back and give the travelling Saints hopes of a comeback.
Unfortunately for those fans, it was ultimately just a consolation with Adama Traore scoring the 3rd, to put the game to bed and give Wolves the 3rd victory from the last 4-Premier League games, the other being a draw, as well as a win in the FA Cup.
Bruno’s Gold and Blacks have 31-points from 20-fixtures played and sit 8th, a place and a point adrift of Manchester United.
Wolves are 6-points away from 4th-placed West Ham and have played 2-games less than David Moyes Boys. Can the Molineux faithful dream of a Top Four finish?
Thomas Frank’s Bees stung Bruno’s Gold and Blacks back at Molineux in September.
Goals from Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo, both in the 1st-half, gave Brentford the victory over Wolves by a 2-0 away-day score.
888 Sport offer Brentford at 2/1, the draw at 2/1 and 6/4 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Raul Jimenez Scores Anytime and 6/4 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v NEWCASTLE
15.00 in England
Leeds United have played West Ham 4-times in the Marcelo Bielsa era and have succumbed to 4-straight defeats, 3 in the Premier League and 1, last week in the FA Cup.
Two losses at Elland Rd and 2 at the London Stadium.
So Sunday’s fixture at the home of West Ham had a home win written all over it.
Marcelo’s Whites decided it was time to end that losing streak and put on a superb performance against the Hammers.
Jack Harrison, not only scored a brilliant hat-trick but was excellent throughout the 90-minutes.
Jack’s goals came at pivotal moments in the tie, always giving Leeds a lead, 1-0, 2-1, then when West Ham equalised for a 2nd-time, Mr Harrison scored the winner to give Bielsa’s Babbies the victory by a 3-2 score.
Jack Harrison was in New York 5-years ago, playing for NY City. The lad is only 25, imagine that, aged 20, living in the Big Apple.
Frank Lampard was at New York City at the time and knew Jack was a talent.
Jack is a Manchester lad and came back to England to play for Man City, however, it’s fair to say it didn’t work out at the Etihad and Leeds United took the lad on loan for 3-seasons before signing young Mr Harrison permanently in the summer.
The 3-goals against the Bubbles should now push JH on to perform at a higher constant level for the Whites.
The victory gives Leeds United 22-points, leaving them 15th in the table from 20-fixtures played.
Whilst a lot thought Marcelo’s Boys would be dragged into a relegation battle, this EveryTip column has always maintained that it’s just circumstances that Leeds have found themselves so low down the league and will come good.
There are definitely 3-worse teams, if not more, in the Premier League, so Leeds will be ok. Marching On Together.
The real winners from the weekend fixture against Newcastle and Watford were Burnley.
After a goalless 1st-half, Newcastle started the quicker, immediately scoring from the restart, with a superb strike by Allan Saint-Maximin.
Unfortunately for the Magpies, the bad dog walker was lurking about and Newcastle couldn’t hold on to the lead, as is usually the case with Eddie Howe’s teams.
In the 86th-minute, leading 1-0, with the victory in sight, Eddie took off Allan SM, which one could say is fair enough, however, sent on the diminutive Miguel Almiron.
Surely it would have been more sensible to send on a big Defender such as Emil Krafth, who was sat on the bench.
Watford scored a towering header to equalise in the 88th-minute, giving both a share of the points from a 1-1 score.
Not really any good to either and with Burnley not playing, although Sean Dyche’s Clarets slip to the bottom of the table, Newcastle, with 12-points, have only a point more but have played 3-extra fixtures.
Newcastle have brought in Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood, purchasing the 2-ex-Burnley boys with the Saudi Arabia Riyal.
Although Kieran and Chris have both plied their trade at Turf Moor, the two never played together for Burnley. However, the 2-new Magpies have been part of the same eleven.
Back in 2010, Chris went on loan to Barnsley and played 7-games in total for the Super Reds.
At the same time, Kieran was on-loan at Oakwell, from Man City and the pair played 3-games together.
Unfortunately for the Reds faithful, it’s fair to say, that Chris Wood wasn’t enamoured about being at Barnsley and couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo, failing to score in front of the Oakwell girls and boys, John Newsome being one of them.
Kieran had a much better experience, staying for the whole campaign before Burnley came and took the lad.
Who was the manager at Turf Moor, that took Mr Trippier? Most will shout Sean Dyche, however, it was Eddie Howe that signed Kieran, so as well as meeting up with Chris again, the gaffer and the boy once again join forces.
Another added extra to the story about the two, at the time, Barnsley had a young Right-Back at the club that had come through the youth system, with Kieran being instrumental in the development of the youngster. That youngster was John Stones.
Newcastle definitely need the two ex-Barnsley/Burnley Boys to produce the goods at St James Park.
The Game Week-5 affair at St James Park produced a stalemate by a 1-1 scoreline.
Allan Saint-Maximin cancelled out an earlier Raphinha goal, both before the half-time cup of tea, to give each a share of the points.
888 Sport offer Leeds United at Evens 1/1, the draw at 27/10 and 5/2 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 3/1 that Stuart Dallas Scores Anytime and 17/10 that Leeds United Score in Both Halves.
MANCHESTER UNITED v WEST HAM
15.00 in England
Cristiano Ronaldo made an impassioned speech over the week, leading up to the Aston Villa Premier League fixture, stating that, his fellow younger teammates (they will be younger as he’s now 36) should show more pride in their performance and are not as committed to the cause as CR7 is.
The Portuguese legend went on to add, ‘I say we have a long way to improve because, for me, the most important thing is the mentality. To look at yourself and say, I can do better.’
Cristiano then said that he’d not come back to Manchester United to finish 7th. Bless him!
The lad is correct, in principle, however, the wider picture needs to be looked at, as documented on many occasions in this column. Can Fred and Scott, do better? Maybe they are at the peak level the two can be. Let’s face it, there aren’t many Cristiano Ronaldo’s about.
When CR7 came to Manchester, his teammates were Gary and Phil Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nicky Butt, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Ruud Van Nistlerooy, as well as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
There was also Eric Djemba-Djemba (so bad they named him twice!) but one doesn’t like to talk about the lad.
Sir Alex must have had a good (or bad) bottle of Chateauneuf Du Pape when agreeing to that signing. The youngsters at Old Trafford don’t have these players to look up to.
Would Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford or Arron Wan-Bissaka perform the way they do now if their captain was Mr Keane? One knows the answer to that question.
Manchester United don’t have leaders anymore, Bruno ‘wave your arms about’
Fernandes isn’t a leader, neither is Harry Maguire.
As for CR7-2.0, no, he didn’t come back to Old Trafford to finish 7th, at the current rate, it will be to finish 10th.
The players United are currently looking at are Tariq Lamptey, who is currently at Brighton, Napoli’s Spanish Midfielder, Fabian Ruiz, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and Amadou Haidara, currently at RB Leipzig.
Tariq’s is an interesting one, the Seagull and ex-Chelsea star, is a superb player, however, it then suggests that Ralph Rangnick isn’t bothered about Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Aaron is a good player but like a lot of youngsters nowadays, not just in football, needs guidance.
There aren’t many better Right-Backs who can actually defend like Double A-Ron can but then gets a lot of criticism in the forward play. This shouldn’t take too much coaching to improve.
For a start, get the lad Gary Neville’s-100 Greatest Moments on DVD and let Aaron have the afternoon in front of the telly.
It’s a great DVD, at 97, is Mr Neville’s back-pass to Paul Robinson, for England against Croatia in October 2006.
In a publication, just read by John Newsome, there was a line that read, ‘Scott McTominay and Fred have impressed in recent weeks but Manchester United still seem short in the centre of midfield.’ Really? Wow!
Manchester United are woefully short in the Midfield department and as for Fred and Scott, does John really need to comment?
Go to the Amex by all means and try and get a Brighton player, however, not Tariq but Yves Bissouma.
Also, whilst on the South Coast, have a cheeky inquiry at St Mary’s, as to the availability of James Ward-Prowse and for how much? Like Dr Pepper, what’s the worse that can happen?
There’s a great children’s book series and character that has been around for over 30-years called, ‘Where’s Wally?’
A guy who wears a Red and White jersey, a bobble hat and Harry Potter glasses. This could quite possibly be renamed as, ‘Where’s Paul Pogba?’
It’s fair to say that Double P may just have played his last game in a United jersey (mostly Red but with a hint of White!)
The whole Paul Pogba situation at Old Trafford, epitomises the failure of the biggest football club in Great Britain, if not the World and surrounding areas. If one’s not familiar with Paul’s journey, here’s a brief recap.
Paul was a youngster at Old Trafford from the age of 16, brought to Manchester under controversial ‘tapping up’ circumstances.
After starring in the youth setup there was a falling out with Sir Alex, who wanted to sign the French star on a long contract but wasn’t aware that Paul had joined Juventus, with a fee of just £1 Million, finally being agreed.
Manchester United somehow, then decided to spend £90 Million to bring Mr Pogba back to Old Trafford, 4-years after Sir Alex had let him leave for virtually nothing.
Now, having allowed Paul’s contract to run down, it looks certain that the World Cup Winner will leave in the Summer, for nothing and possibly join Paris Saint-Germain. Other clubs are available.
A player that initially cost nothing, left for nothing, brought back for £90 Million and then is leaving, once again, for nothing, added to the £15 Million a year in wages.
That’s some great business by the Manchester club. Where’s Wally?
There’s a few at Old Trafford but one of the Wally’s, the Equaliser, Ed Woodward is away soon.
Will there be a new Wally in at United or can someone actually take ownership and start to move the great club forward once more.
United will have played against Brentford before this visit of the Hammers to Old Trafford.
West Ham comfortably beat Norwich in a rearranged Game Week-18 affair at the London Stadium, with Jarrod Bowen scoring twice, one in each half, to give the Bubbles the victory by a 2-0 score.
The win against the toothless canaries lifted the Hammers to 4th in the table, above Arsenal.
West Ham then succumbed to a surprise defeat at the London Stadium on Sunday, suffering a loss against Leeds United by a narrow 3-2 scoreline.
Jarrod Bowen, equalised an earlier Whites goal before Leeds scored again to leave the Hammers trailing at the break.
Pablo Fornals once again equalised just after the restart but West Ham quickly conceded a 3rd and with no further goals, suffered the surprise loss.
Surprising in the fact, that David Moyes had beaten Marcelo Bielsa 4-times since December 2020, most recently, in the FA Cup 3rd-Round, a week previously.
West Ham remain 4th, despite the loss, with 37-points, however, have played the full complement of 22-fixtures, 2-more than Arsenal in 5th.
Depending on Manchester United’s result against Brentford in midweek, the Hammers may only have a 2-point advantage over the Red Devil’s, with United having an extra game to play.
That said, it’s not certain that Ralph’s Roadsters will beat Thomas’s Boys.
No doubt, Mr Moyes and the rest of the Bubbles will be Brentford fans on Tuesday, all screeching in the Cockeney accent, ‘Come on you Apples and Bees!’
Manchester United somehow got the victory at the London Stadium back in September, by a 2-1 away-day score.
Said Benrahma scored 1st for the Hammers before Cristiano Ronaldo equalised to take both teams in level at the break.
Jesse Lingard, who had been on loan at West Ham, last season, scored the winner for United late on in proceedings.
The Bubbles did have the opportunity to score an equaliser when awarded a penalty in the 93rd-minute.
For some reason, David Moyes, who must have had a bump on the head, decided to send Mark Noble on to take the spot-kick, even though Declan Rice was on the pitch.
Mark’s kick was saved by David De Gea, meaning the points went to Manchester United. David Moyes?
888 Sport offer Manchester United at Odds On 17/20, the draw at 11/4 and 14/5 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Cristiano Ronaldo Scores Anytime and 11/5 that Michail Antonio Scores Anytime.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Jack Butland- Crystal Palace
RIGHT-BACK- Kyle Walker- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- John Stones- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Conor Coady- Wolves
LEFT-BACK- Brandon Williams- Norwich
MIDFIELDER- Fabinho- Liverpool
MIDFIELDER- Pierre Lees-Melou- Norwich
MIDFIELDER- Conor Gallagher- Crystal Palace
FORWARD- Phil Foden- Man City
FORWARD- Raul Jimenez- Wolves
FORWARD- Jack Harrison- Leeds United
STAR MAN- Jack Harrison- Leeds United
SOUTHAMPTON v MAN CITY
17.30 in England
Southampton comfortably beat Brentford in a rearranged Game Week-18 affair, before the fixture against Wolves, last Saturday.
In front of the Saints new owners, Jan Bednarek headed home the first goal from a James Ward-Prowse corner.
Brentford did equalise before Ibrahima Diallo saw a speculative shot squirm in off the Bees goalkeeper, which was credited as an OG.
Armando Broja added a 3rd, after the break, before Che Adams rounded off the scoring giving Southampton the victory by a 4-1 score.
The win gave Wreck-Its boys confidence to take into the game against Wolves. Unfortunately, that confidence didn’t last long with Southampton suffering an away-day defeat at Molineux by a 3-1 scoreline.
After conceding a contentious penalty, that was eventually awarded following interference from the dreaded VAR, the Saints went in at the break, trailing. Things then got worse for Southampton when Wolves scored again, on the hour-mark.
James Ward-Prowse did what JWP does, scoring a superb free-kick that completely bamboozled the Wolves stopper.
That did give Southampton hopes of a comeback but Wolves quickly quashed those hopes scoring a 3rd, to inflict the defeat on Wreck-Its boys.
Southampton sit 12th, with 24-points from 21-fixtures completed.
Ralph Hasenhuttl gets a bit of ribbing from John Newsome about the sometimes dreadful attire the Austrian wears on the touchline.
As a man who often wears some rascal clothing, John Newsome has nothing but respect for the Peaky Blunders clobber, Wreck-It often puts on.
There’s also respect for the stance Ralph is taking on the current situation of postponing games, supposedly due to Covid.
Mr Hasenhuttl is of the opinion that some clubs are using the Coronavirus situation as an excuse to get games called off.
Ralph has suggested that when the fixture is rearranged, then the new signings at the clubs, shouldn’t be allowed to play.
John Newsome would go one further and say that when the fixtures that are postponed, are played, the players that were suspended due to a Red or Yellow Card or those away at the Africa Cup of Nations shouldn’t be allowed to play either.
For example, Arsenal played in the Semi-Final of the Carabao Cup last Thursday but because Granit Xhaka made a stupid tackle and got sent off, Mikel Arteta wanted the game against Tottenham, on Sunday postponed.
One player, that had nothing to do with Covid and a manager wants to cancel a high profile fixture and have no thoughts for everyone else.
A few points on that
1. Granit Xhaka shouldn’t be allowed to play in the rearranged fixture.
2-People pay £100s for a Sky Sports and BT Sport subscription, have to work long hours for the minimum wage, to pay the exorbitant premiums for the privilege, then look forward to settling down on the sofa of a Sunday afternoon to watch the football.
Only to find that Mikel’s Gunners don’t want to play and there’s a repeat of Escape To The Country on instead.
3-An individual purchases a Season Ticket and arranges the season around hers or his life, then finds out that a team, who’s Swiss International is a liability, gets sent off and the manager wants the next fixture postponed, using the Coronavirus situation as a reason, meaning said Girl or Boy is now working when the postponed game is rearranged.
A friend of John Newsome’s was coming over to Oakwell on Saturday to watch the Super Reds, take on Blackpool with his son.
Travelling a long way, after purchasing tickets for the game and getting his son excited about the impending day out in Barnsley.
That fixture was then postponed, with no date given for the future, leaving the lad and dad, not only disappointed that they have now got to go shopping to Cheshire Oaks with the ball and chain but uncertain as to whether it will be possible to attend the rearranged fixture due to it most certainly being scheduled on a midweek School night.
A question for everyone, as all love a quiz, ‘How many of the 32-3rd-Round FA Cup ties, were postponed, last weekend, due to the Coronavirus situation?’ The answer was None!
The FA told every one of the 64-clubs left in the competition that the games had to be played even if it meant putting in a few youngsters. That’s what the Premier League’s stance should have been.
Going back to comments in the Brighton v Chelsea preview, these fixtures still have to be played, they won’t disappear, so what’s to say that when Burnley v Leicester or Tottenham v Arsenal is rearranged, there are more players ill, injured, or suspended.
It’s noticeable that 2 of the best teams in the Premier League, Man City and Chelsea haven’t postponed a fixture. Neither have West Ham.
5- At the same time that Mikel Arteta was trying to get the North London Derby called off, Arsenal’s Under-23s were playing in a fixture against West Ham. Surely that doesn’t make sense?
Added to that, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was allowed to leave the Emirates to get some football.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is correct in what he says and the Premier League should stop bowing to pressure and inform the clubs that the fixtures cannot be cancelled. Wreck-Em Ralph!
Man City got a great professional victory against Chelsea on Saturday, with Pep’s High Flying Blues inflicting a defeat on Thomas’s Blue Engines by a 1-0 score.
Although, just the 1-goal, City were always in control and the win gives Mr Guardiola the league double over Mr Tuchel, following the loss in the Champions League Final.
Three of the last 4-fixtures between the two great clubs have finished in a 1-0 scoreline, so there are never many goals on offer.
After a goalless 1st-half, Kevin De Bruyne hit a speculative shot that flew past Kepa the Keeper, with the Chelsea stopper having no chance.
Jack Grealish played the full 90-minutes, as did Raheem Sterling, who had a superb game throughout, continuously skinning Marcos Alonso.
John Stones was back in the starting eleven and as everyone knows, when the Barnsley Boy plays, City don’t concede.
The brilliant victory leaves Man City at the summit, with 56-points, 11-more than Liverpool, who jump above 3rd-place Chelsea, 13-points behind Pep’s Blues.
Man City have played the full complement of 22-fixtures, no postponements for those boys.
Just a quick note as to what this EveryTip column gave everyone back in August 2021.
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Premier League Finish 1st’
Those who followed that advice, don’t need to worry about the rest of the season.
Man City are now 11-points ahead of the rest, so one of EveryTip’s partner bookmakers, Bet 365 have paid out to anyone who had backed City at the beginning of the season, to be the 2021/22 Premier League winners.
Pep’s High Flying Blues were nullified by Wreck-It Ralph’s Saints at St Mary’s back in the Game Week-5 fixture, with both teams failing to trouble the scorers.
Raheem Sterling had a late goal disallowed by the dreaded VAR, which meant the game finished in a draw by a 0-0 score.
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ARSENAL v BURNLEY
14.00 in England
As mentioned earlier, Arsenal’s fixture against Tottenham was postponed allegedly due to the Coronavirus situation, that was following the Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st-leg tie against Liverpool at Anfield.
In that 1st-leg, which had a strange anomaly in itself, Granit Xhaka was shown a straight Red Card after 24-minutes, leaving the Gunners a man light for over an hour.
Arsenal did brilliantly, coming away from Anfield with a draw by a 0-0 score, giving them hope of reaching the Final to face Chelsea at the end of February.
The anomaly being, the draw for the Semi-Final was made, as Arsenal v Liverpool at the Emirates, then Liverpool v Arsenal at Anfield a week later.
The initial fixture at the Emirates was postponed yet, instead of playing the 1st-leg a week later at the Emirates, the 2nd-leg tie at Anfield was played first, meaning the 1st-leg is played before the 2nd. If that makes sense?
It does get confusing with all the postponements and there isn’t really much advantage to playing the 2nd-leg at home, however, with the 10-men putting in the hard graft to earn the great goalless draw, it meant the Gunners are now in a position to play their home-tie as a 2nd-leg, not a 1st, as it originally should have been.
Also because the boys had put in a great effort at Anfield, Mikel wanted the North London Derby postponed. Giving the boys ample time to recover.
Arsenal remain 5th in the table, with 35-points from 20-fixtures played. As mentioned, Arsenal’s Under-23s played against their West Ham counterparts on Friday, so some of these youths could have made up the team for the Derby.
A quick side story about the Gunners Under-23s.
The manager of the youths is an ex-footballer called Kevin Betsy.
A beautiful footballer, who glided over the turf and played almost 100-times for Barnsley FC, 20-years ago, back in 2002-04.
Mr Betsy played with a couple of Reds players who had been in the 1997/98 Premier League campaign.
Most had departed Barnsley by 2002 but there was still Chris Morgan and Darren Barnard in the eleven that could tell Kev a few stories about the greatest season in the history of Yorkshire’s finest.
John Newsome remembers Kevin fondly and loved watching the young man at Oakwell, with the Super Reds faithful wishing the lad well in his management career.
Young Kev has Jack Wilshere helping him out on the touchline too, so if the Under-23s can’t learn from those two, then they won’t learn from anyone.
Burnley will have hopefully played against Watford in the midweek before this trip to the Emirates, however, this column will have gone to print before then, so it’s not sure of the outcome.
After the results over the weekend, Sean Dyche’s Clarets are sat at the foot of the table but despite not playing, Burnley could consider themselves fortunate, with Newcastle and Watford only managing to draw.
Martin Odegaard scored the only goal of the game, on the half-hour mark, to give Arsenal the victory at Turf Moor by a 1-0 score.
888 Sport offer Arsenal at Odds On 4/9, the draw at 10/3 and 25/4 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
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CRYSTAL PALACE v LIVERPOOL
14.00 in England
Crystal Palace gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score on Friday Night Football.
Travelling down the M23 to the Amex, Patrick Vieira’s Eagles conceded a 1st-half penalty via the intervention of the dreaded VAR.
Fortunately for the Ultras in attendance, Brighton had the spot-kick saved by the excellent Jack Butland.
Jack came in for Guaita, after the loss against West Ham and has kept his gloves in the starting eleven, with the Spanish ‘keeper Guaita, left on the bench.
Mr Butland proved his worth by saving not only the penalty but several Seagull chances throughout the game.
Unfortunately for Jack, the big Palace Defender, Joachim Andersen, deflected a cross past him to concede a late equaliser.
Conor Gallagher had scored earlier to give Crystal Palace the lead.
The point gained at the Amex, gives the Eagles 24, leaving Patrick’s team in 11th-place from 21-fixtures played.
Whilst it sometimes can be seen as a John Newsome Barnsley FC column, instead of a Premier League read, Jack Butland had a few games for the Reds back in 2013.
Thirteen in total, the first being a game against Leicester, where Big Jack brought down Jamie Vardy in the area, to concede a penalty that the Foxes converted, inflicting a defeat on Barnsley by a 2-1 score.
Cheers Jack, nice one!
How long are you here for?
John Newsome makes no apologies for giving insightful stories about Barnsley FC.
Liverpool got a great professional victory against Brentford at Anfield on Sunday, defeating the Bees by a 3-0 scoreline.
Most will think, that it was an obvious victory for the Reds and it was, however, without the services of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane married with the fixture at the Wellard Stadium back in September, where Brentford earned a creditable draw, a good performance still had to be put in.
Fabinho scored the opener in the 1st-half to take the home team in at the break, leading.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added the 2nd before Takumi Minamino made it 3-0 and 3-points.
Liverpool jump to 2nd in the table, with 45-points, from 21-fixtures played. That’s 11-points adrift of Man City at the summit and 2 ahead of Chelsea in 3rd.
Jurgen’s Reds have played 1-game less than the other two.
This fixture at Selhurst Park is a poignant one for Liverpool, evoking memories of a May Day adventure to London, back in 2014.
The next bit is taken from an EveryTip column published in the first lockdown period of 2020.
‘The Greatest Premier League Football Games of All Time, March 24, 2020’
CRYSTAL PALACE 3 v LIVERPOOL 3
Despite running away with the 2019/20 Premier League title, Liverpool, before Jurgen Klopp’s arrival, had some up and down years throughout the 27-that the Premier League has been in existence.
In 2014, Brendan Rodgers was at the Anfield helm who were sitting pretty with 80-points at the top end of the Premier League table before this trip to Selhurst Park for a Bank Holiday Monday Night fixture against Crystal Palace and knew a convincing victory would keep their title challenge going.
Man City also had 80-points but were at the summit on goal difference so Brendan had been hoping for a convincing victory to go 3-points ahead of City and try and reduce the goals.
The Liverpool starting eleven that night included Raheem Sterling (yes!), Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez before he took his biting over to Barcelona.
Philippe Coutinho was a substitute and replaced Raheem in the 78th-minute.
When Raheem left the field of play, his Liverpool boys were leading Palace by 3-goals to Nil, so job done as far as Mr Sterling was concerned.
Joe Allen had opened the scoring for Brendan’s Wonderful Scousers just before the 20-minute mark.
After the break, the unfortunate Damien Delaney deflected a Daniel Sturridge effort past Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.
Within minutes of Damien’s own-goal, Mr Teeth, Luis Suarez scored Liverpool’s 3rd to comfortably give the Reds (or Whites as Liverpool were wearing their away kit) a 3-nil cushion.
Raheem was taken off with just over 10-minutes to go but before he had time to put on his tracksuit top and take a sip of his energy drink, Crystal Palace had pulled a goal back.
Big Damo Delaney made up for his earlier error by scoring a superb goal from a 25-yard shot, albeit similar to him with the Sturridge effort, taking a wicked deflection past Simon Mignolet.
Current Newcastle striker, Dwight Gayle, then plying his trade for Tony Pulis, who was the manager of Crystal Palace at the time, scored 2-late goals to send the Eagle Ultras wild and dent Liverpool’s title challenge.
The point gained did put Brendan’s boys at the top of the Premier League table, however, only by a point and the Reds had now played a game more than Man City and had only 1-game left.
The Premier League is a 38-game competition so to win a title, or to be relegated isn’t defined by just one game but all connected with Liverpool will feel, that game away at Selhurst Park, on a May Day Bank Holiday Monday, when they let slip a 3-0 lead to ultimately come away with just a point, did go along way in costing them the title.
City fans will argue that they would have still won the Premier League even if Liverpool had been victorious against Palace.
Man City won both of their remaining games, gaining a total of 86-points, Liverpool won their one remaining game, giving them 84-points so in reality, the City fans were right as even with a victory against Crystal Palace, Liverpool would have had the same 86-points as Man City but with an inferior goal difference.
Probably the defining game that did cost Liverpool the title was the week before the Crystal Palace fixture when Liverpool suffered a 2-0 defeat at Anfield against Chelsea.
The game against Chelsea will be forever remembered for a slip, literally, by Steven Gerrard that allowed Demba Ba in to score late on for Chelsea.
There was a great song immediately composed by the football fraternity that went something like, ‘Steve Gerrard, Gerrard, he slipped on his Bloomin bum, he gave it Demba Ba, Steve Gerrard, Gerrard’ Well, that’s the clean version anyways.
There is a Sports Psychologist called Steve Peters who works with top sports stars and teams.
Liverpool had sought the expertise of Mr Peters in the hope that he could give them the edge to win their 1st-Premier League title.
Another of Steve Peters’s clients is the Snooker legend, Ronnie O’Sullivan.
At the same time that Liverpool were capitulating at Selhurst Park, Big Ronnie was competing in the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.
If one is not familiar with the Snooker World Championship, the final takes place over 2-days and is played over 35-frames.
The 2-days are usually the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday at the beginning of May.
In the 1st-days session, Ronnie had taken a 10-5 lead against Mark Selby.
With just 2-frames left of the days play, Ronnie missed a Yellow ball that would have given him a lead of 6-frames and looked for all intent and purpose that a 6th-World Title was in the offering for the Rocket.
Missing the Yellow allowed Mark in to claim the 16th-frame and that missed opportunity from Ronnie literally knocked the stuffing out of him. Mark won the final frame of the day, to trail 10-7 overnight.
Like Liverpool against Palace, Ronnie himself capitulated and blew the lead, only winning another 4-frames, whilst Mark won 13 out of 17 frames to take the title by a scoreline of 18-14.
It’s fair to say that Steve Peters had a very bad Bank Holiday Monday.
‘Steve Gerrard, Gerrard …’
Another quick story regards the 40th-anniversary of a League Cup game between Liverpool and Barnsley, following Liverpool’s 1st-leg, Semi-Final victory against Arsenal last Thursday.
In the 1980s, Barnsley had some great players in their side, such as Martin New, Bobby Horn, Phil Chambers, Joe Joyce, Bobby Collins, Ian Evans, Neil Cooper, Ray McHale, Ian Banks, Ronnie Glavin, Mike Lester, Trevor Aylott, Derek Parker, Booby Downes, Glyn Riley, Stuart Barrowclough, Colin Walker and Winston Campbell.
In 1981, as a Division 2 outfit, the Championship, in today’s money, Barnsley demolished Brighton who were a Top Flight club, in the League Cup, with goals from Ronnie Glavin, Mick McCarthy and a couple from Trevor Aylott, defeating the Seagulls by a 4-1 scoreline.
A Brighton team that included the legendary headband wearing Steve Foster, original hardman Jimmy Case, Michael Robinson, who went on to play for Liverpool and Osasuna, Gordon Smith, who missed a last-minute sitter in the 1983-FA Cup Final against Manchester United that would have given Brighton the cup and Andy Ritchie, who the Seagulls got from Manchester United, who went on to manage Barnsley FC and was the Reds manager that gained promotion in 2006 back to the Championship.
Not a bad Brighton side that Barnsley took to pieces.
In the following round, Barnsley were again drawn at home against Man City, who were in Division 1, the equivalent of the Premier League, with players including, Joe Corrigan, Ray Ranson, Kevin Bond, Tommy Caton, Bobby McDonald, Dennis Tueart, Nicky Reid, Asa Hartford, Tommy Hutchinson, Kevin Reeves and Phil Boyer.
Seven of those players had played in the FA Cup Final, 6-months earlier, that firstly drew with Tottenham by a 1-1 scoreline, then lost the replay 3-2, with the famous Ricky Villa goal.
In front of 34,000, one of the largest attendances ever at Oakwell, a single Trevor Aylott goal gave the Reds a stunning 1-0 victory.
Barnsley were then given the honour of an away tie against the current European Cup holders, Liverpool.
January 12th, 1982, exactly 40-years ago, when the League Cup Quarter-Final between Liverpool and Barnsley was played at Anfield.
The Liverpool team, that misty night, included Bruce Grobbelaar, Phil Neal, Phil Thompson, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Alan Kennedy, Terry McDermott, Graham Souness, Ronnie Whelan, Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish.
Neal, Thompson, Kennedy, Hansen, McDermott, Dalglish and Souness all won the European Cup 8-months earlier, getting a 1-0 victory against Real Madrid.
Norman ‘bite yer legs’ Hunter, the Barnsley manager on the day, made 2-enforced changes to his starting eleven from the victory against Man City in the previous round, replacing the injured Ronnie Glavin and Glyn Riley, with Neal Cooper and Colin Walker.
Second Division Barnsley came away from Anfield with a brilliant 0-0 draw against the European Champions on their own turf.
Although the Reds of Yorkshire’s goal was still intact, there were a few buses and coaches that sustained a few injuries on the way in and out of Merseyside.
Ask this question today, would a 12-year old boy or girl, go, or be allowed to go, to an away night match at Anfield on his or her own?
This EveryTip contributor did!
Granted it was on a club coach with about 10,000 other Barnsley fans but he was on his own.
In fact, in the 52-years this boy has been alive, the mad Barnsley FC fan has never seen his beloved team lose at Anfield, with 2-Wins and a Draw on his record. It’s doubtful many others can say that.
At Anfield back in September, Sadio Mane scored to give Liverpool the lead at the break.
Mo Salah scored the 2nd, with Naby Keita adding number-3, to give Jurgen’s Reds the victory by a 3-0 score.
In a quirk of fate, all 3, won’t score today as all are in Cameroon, playing for their respective countries, Senegal, Egypt and Guinea, at the African Cup of Nations.
888 Sport offer Crystal Palace at 22/5, the draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 4/7 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
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LEICESTER v BRIGHTON
14.00 in England
Leicester come into this fixture against Brighton hopefully having had a run-out against Tottenham in midweek as the Game Week-22 fixture against Burnley was postponed, meaning before hosting Tottenham, the Foxes have only played in a FA Cup tie this year.
Brighton will have played against Chelsea in a rearranged Game Week-24 fixture due to Thomas’s Blue Engines competing in the World Club Cup after the brilliant Champions League victory in May 2021.
The Game Week-5 affair back at the Amex in September, produced a home victory for Brighton by a 2-1 scoreline.
Neal Maupay converted a penalty in the 1st-half before Danny Welbeck added a 2nd after the break.
Jamie Vardy did pull a goal back for Leicester but ultimately just a consolation.
888 Sport offer Leicester at 11/8, the draw at 23/10 and 39/20 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 3/1 that Leicester Win To Nil.
CHELSEA v TOTTENHAM
16.30 in England
Chelsea come into this fixture after playing Brighton on Tuesday, in a rearranged fixture.
Tottenham’s North London Derby fixture was postponed at the last minute, so Antonio’s Spurs haven’t played in the Premier League since New Years Day, with 3-cup games since the 1st.
These two have met twice, since the Premier League game back in September at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
Chelsea progressed to the Final of the Carabao Cup, inflicting a defeat on Tottenham over 2-legs.
In the league affair back in Game Week-5, Thomas’s Blue Engines got the victory over Nuno’s Spurs by a 3-0 away-day score.
After a goalless 1st-half, goals from Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger gave Chelsea the points.
888 Sport offer Chelsea at Odds On 46/63, the draw at 27/10 and 15/4 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and 11/4 that Chelsea Win To Nil.