The highlight games for this week’s action are ARSENAL versus BOURNEMOUTH and LIVERPOOL versus MANCHESTER UNITED. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 26 matches, which includes 2 re-arranged game week 7 fixtures 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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ARSENAL v EVERTON
19.45 in England
To someone who is Sports mad and who grew up in the 1970s when there were only 3 channels on the Telly (yes kids, 3!) World of Sport on a Saturday Afternoon and Match of the Day later in the evening were one’s weekend staple of sport watching.
World of Sport was on for around 5 hours every Saturday that started with snippets of football from around the globe, horse racing from Doncaster and Kempton Park and Wrestling, a long time before the WWE, which used to be called the WWF but the Pandas weren’t happy and got the World Wrestling Federation to change to the World Wrestling Entertainment.
Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, Mick McManus and Kendo Nagasaki, were all household names back in the 1970s and 80s, that the World of Sport gave a platform to.
John Newsome and Grandad Albert would spend Saturday afternoon in front of the gogglebox, picking out horses for the 3.15 from Town Moor (Doncaster) and having a 2p bet with each other.
Two pence may not seem a lot nowadays but one could ride around South Yorkshire on a bus for 2p back then.
Later on, of a Saturday evening, it would be Match of the Day, watching Liverpool smash everybody (Jurgen Klopp yearns for those days!) Manchester United get relegated (Oh Denis Law!) and the occasional FA Cup upset where Hereford would shock the Mighty Newcastle United (Ronnie Radford!)
Over the past week, the world lost two beautiful men who were true Sport National Treasures.
Dickie Davies and John Motson.
Dickie, his quaffed hair with the trademark tint of grey and manly moustache, was the face of World of Sport and John Motson, wearing the Sheepskin coat was the voice of Match of the Day.
Two legends of Sport, two true National Treasures.
Rest In Peace Dickie Davies.
Rest In Peace John Motson.
Arsenal remain at the summit of the Premier League following Saturday’s professional victory over Leicester by a 1-0 scoreline.
Gabriel Martinelli scored the solitary winning goal just after the restart to give Mikel’s Young Guns all 3 points against a resilient set of Foxes.
Arsenal have 57 points from 24 games played, 2 points more than Man City but with this extra fixture to increase the gap to 5 points.
After this, both Arsenal and Man City will have completed the same 25 games.
Everton now have 2 wins and 2 losses under the new gaffer Sean Dyche, meaning the New Manager Bounce is losing its boing.
The Toffees suffered their 2nd defeat under Sean on Saturday, this time against Aston Villa at Goodison Park.
The dogs around the stadium all disappeared as the high-pitched noise coming from the Toffees was too much for the hounds.
The defeat against Villa by a 2-0 scoreline, both goals after the hour mark, drops Everton back into the relegation zone, leaving the Gingerbread Men in 18th place with 21 points from 24 fixtures played.
Jordan Pickford has just signed a new contract that apparently (apparently!) hasn’t a relegation clause in it, which means if Everton are relegated, Jordan will be the highest-paid stopper in the Championship.
Although this is a rearranged Game Week-7 affair, these two met almost a month ago at Goodison Park, with Everton having the New Manager Bounce under Sean Dyche.
A single James Tarkowski goal gave the Toffees the unexpected victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
This could be a much harder task at the Emirates.
Betfred offer Arsenal at Odds On 1/3, the draw at 4/1 and 8/1 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/2 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
LIVERPOOL v WOLVES
20.00 in England
There was uproar at B and Q on Saturday evening, when around 8.30 pm, there were queues outside the closed store demanding to be allowed in to purchase paint.
The Millions watching the fixture between Crystal Palace and Liverpool had nipped for the paint, hoping to put on the walls and watch it dry for the remaining 45 minutes as the football at Selhurst Park was dreadful.
What was worse, is the single lads on Saturday evening had to endure Ant and his mates’ woeful Saturday Night Takeaway before the football started.
Now, most are thinking ‘single lads’?
Yes, those with partners were definitely not allowed to watch football on a Saturday night.
One of John’s good mates, who is now retired and spends his time throwing sticks in the park, has to compromise with the ball and chain and line up his football viewing.
For example, to be able to watch the Carabao Cup Final between Manchester United and Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, the Big Lad had to endure Michael McIntyre’s Wheel on Saturday night.
Poor boy, also he likes Wednesdays the best as there is an actual dog to throw the sticks for, the rest of the week, the ex-Serg just walks around throwing sticks.
John Newsome endured the 90 minutes of drivel served up by Patrick’s Eagles and Jurgen’s Reds.
After watching Bournemouth v Man City a couple of hours earlier, the Crystal Palace v Liverpool game was like watching a different sport.
Liverpool remain in 7th place in the table with 36 points from 23 games played.
The Reds were humiliated against Real Madrid in the 1st leg of the Champions League tie, suffering a defeat by a 5-2 scoreline.
Obviously, there’s the 2nd leg to be played at the Bernabeu which luckily for the Anfield Rappers, the away goal rule has been scrapped so Liverpool only need at least 3 without reply to force extra time and a possible penalty shootout.
Good luck with that one.
There has been a lot of talk from (so-called) experts that Liverpool will still make the Top Four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
A couple of questions John Newsome wants to ask are,
How and in place of which team that are currently in the Top Four?
1-Arsenal have 21 points more than Liverpool, which means the Gunners would have to lose at least 6 games out of the remaining 14 and the Reds win all 15 of their matches for Liverpool to match Arsenal on the same points.
So that scenario is unlikely.
2-Man City have 19 points more, with 13 games remaining, so again would have to lose at least 7 of those 13 and Liverpool win all 15 for City to drop below them.
Scenario number 2 isn’t likely either.
3-Manchester have 13 points more, so would need to lose at least 5 of the remaining games.
Whilst not impossible and bearing in mind, Liverpool take on Manchester United next, it is unlikely considering both teams’ form at the moment.
4-Tottenham are possibly the only realistic team that Liverpool can catch, currently having 9 points more than Liverpool and have completed 25 games, plus like the other 3, have to face each other before the end of the season.
So 4th place is probably the only option to gain access to next season’s Champions League.
Those scenarios also have an extra caveat in the fact that it’s assumed Newcastle and Fulham, who sit in 5th and 6th respectively, suddenly disappear.
So once again, John Newsome asks, how can Liverpool make the Top Four?
It might just be a year in the Europa League or worse still, the Europa Conference League (no idea!)
Jurgen Klopp needs some replacements in the Summer, especially in Midfield as the 3 that started against Palace on Saturday night, had a combined age of 97 years, (no that’s not a joke!)
James Milner has been a great player and a great servant to the clubs he’s been at, Leeds United, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Man City and Liverpool and deserves a tremendous amount of respect but Father Time is catching up and for Liverpool to progress, the lad needs retiring to stud.
As with the signing of Darwin Nunez, Liverpool need to evolve and purchase a few young energetic Midfielders.
There’s talk that Jude Bellingham is a target and could be signed for a meagre £130 Million (bargain!)
However, there would be other suitors for the young England star so would Jude come back to England and Liverpool or head to Spain to join Real Madrid?
Plus, would the Liverpool hierarchy fork out £130 Million?
That’s for the Summer, for now, Jurgen just needs to focus on Wolves who did inflict a defeat on Liverpool a month ago.
Before the Friday Night Football against Fulham, the Portugal lad, Ruben Neves, saw that the young mascot he was leading onto the pitch was freezing cold.
Ruben kindly took off his tracksuit top and put it around the young girl’s shoulders.
The tracksuit tops, by the way, are only worn as an added piece of kit that a sponsor can pay the club exorbitant amounts of money to have their name advertised.
That kind gesture of keeping the young girl warm was probably worth around £100,000 to the said sponsor.
Respect to Ruben Neves.
Despite this EveryTip column predicting a victory for Fulham against Wolves in last week’s column, the draw by a 1-1 score was close.
What’s meant by that is, John Newsome added the extra of there being Under 2.5 Goals.
Both Fulham and Wolves are amongst the lowest-scoring teams in the Premier League, with the Cottagers notching 36 and Wolves scoring just 18.
Pablo Sarabia scored the 18th at Craven Cottage to make the half-time cuppa a nice one for the travelling Gold and Blacks.
Wolves failed to prevent the hosts from scoring which Fulham did midway through the 2nd-half and with no further goals, both teams shared the points.
Wolves sit in 15th place with 24 points from 24 fixtures played, basically reaping a point a game.
The reverse fixture at Molineux, took place on the 4th of February 2023, with Wolves inflicting a devastating defeat on Liverpool by a 3-0 scoreline.
Goals from Craig Dawson, Ruben Neves and a Joel Matip own goal, gave Julen’s Gold and Blacks all 3 points.
Betfred offer Liverpool at Odds On 4/9, the draw at 18/5 and 6/1 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Darwin Nunez Scores First and 11/8 that Liverpool Win To Nil.
All these fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-3 which took place in August 2022, with 8 of the teams back then having a different Manager and in the case of Southampton, having 2 different Managers.
MAN CITY v NEWCASTLE
12.30 in England
Man City gained a comfortable victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday evening.
Goals from Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and a Chris Mepham O.G, gave Pep’s High Flying Blues the points from a 4-1 scoreline.
Bournemouth did score a consolation after the 4 City goals.
Man City remain in 2nd place with 55 points, 2 adrift of Arsenal, however, it could be 5 if the Gunners get the victory against the Toffees on Wednesday.
Both will then have played the same 25 games, with 13 remaining and one of those 13 is against each other, plus both have to face Liverpool, however, Arsenal head to Anfield, whereas City face the Reds at the Etihad.
Those little nuances could be the difference between Title Winners or Runners-Up.
Pep Guardiola will no doubt be sitting at home on Wednesday, wearing an Everton shirt munching on a tray of toffees.
Watch them gnashers Pep 1.
Newcastle come into this fixture off the back of a defeat in the Carabao Cup Final last Sunday.
The loss against Manchester United can work in 2 ways, motivate the Magpies to push on in the Premier League for a Top Four finish or derail the Black and White Train.
Newcastle’s last outing in the Premier League resulted in just the 2nd defeat of the campaign and coincidentally back-to-back losses against Liverpool, with the Reds getting the victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
What made the result worse was Nick Pope, stupidly handled the ball outside the area which not only meant a straight Red Card, leaving Newcastle with 10 men for well over an hour but also meant that Nick missed the Carabao Cup Final.
Eddie Howe brought the ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius into the starting eleven for the Final but it’s more than likely, Nick will be back between the sticks for this game against Man City.
Newcastle sit in 5th place with 41 points, 4 adrift of Tottenham, however, have only completed 23 games, not the 25 Spurs have played.
At St James Park back in August, an early Ilkay Gundogan goal gave City a lead after 5 minutes.
Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson replied for Newcastle to give the home team a lead at the break.
The ex-Blue Kieran Trippier then added a 3rd just after the restart, before a revival from the away team saw goals by Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva earn both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 3-3 score.
Betfred offer Man City at Odds On 4/9, the draw at 18/5 and 6/1 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Jack Grealish Scores Anytime and 7/5 that Man City Win To Nil.
ARSENAL v BOURNEMOUTH
15.00 in England
Arsenal are straight back into it at the Emirates following the visit of Everton on Wednesday.
Some of the Gooners even stayed in the luxury stadium, sleeping in the executive lounges instead of going home.
The wives were happy.
One can’t say that nowadays, it’s now the wives/husbands or Gender Neutral partners that were happy.
What has this Beautiful World one lives in come to?
Regardless of Wednesday’s result against Everton, Mikel Arteta’s Young Guns will still be at the summit before all of Saturday’s fixtures.
That said, if Arsenal suffer a defeat against Everton and Man City get the victory against Newcastle in the early Saturday afternoon kick-off, then the Gunners could start this fixture against the Cherries in 2nd place.
Bournemouth suffered the expected defeat against Man City on Saturday with City gaining the victory by a 4-1 scoreline.
After the away team had scored 4 goals, one of which was credited to the unfortunate Chris Mepham, Jefferson Lerma scored a consolation goal late on.
Unfortunately, it was a defeat that leaves Bournemouth in 19th place with 21 points from 24 fixtures completed.
There’s a long way to go yet and it is tight at the bottom end of the table so any team that puts a few wins together will move away from the drop zone.
At the Vitality Stadium in the Game Week-3 affair back in August 2022, Arsenal gained an easy away day victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
Two goals by Martin Odegaard before the half-time whistle and a 3rd by William Saliba soon after the restart gave Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal all 3 points from Scott Parker’s Bournemouth.
Betfred offer Arsenal at Odds On 2/9, the draw at 5/1 and 12/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Bukayo Saka Scores First and 11/8 that there are over 3.5 Goals.
ASTON VILLA v CRYSTAL PALACE
15.00 in England
Ollie Watkins scored in the 5th game in a row for Aston Villa in the victory against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Emiliano Buendia added a 2nd to seal the victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
Aston Villa sit in 11th place with the same 31 points as Chelsea, having both played 24 times.
As mentioned earlier, Crystal Palace played in a dire game against Liverpool on Saturday night but did gain a point from a draw by a 0-0 score.
Enough said as Patrick Vieira and the Eagles just need to move on to this fixture against Aston Villa.
Palace sit a place below Villa in 12th, with 27 points, so a victory wouldn’t change the position but it would close the gap between the two.
Both have played 24 games.
At Selhurst Park, the 2 legendary Premier League Midfield Generals went head-to-head on the touchline, with Patrick Vieira getting the better of Steven Gerrard.
Ollie Watkins scored the opener after 5 minutes, which was quickly cancelled out by Wilfried Zaha, 2 minutes later.
Palace were awarded a penalty on the hour mark, which although Wilfried’s tame effort was saved by Emiliano Martinez, Mr Zaha was on hand to tap home the rebound.
Jean Philippe Mateta added a 3rd to give Mr Vieira the midfield kicking rights over Mr Gerrard.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at 21/20, the draw at 11/5 and 11/4 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Ollie Watkins Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime.
BRIGHTON v WEST HAM
15.00 in England
Brighton had the weekend off with their fixture against Newcastle put on hold due to the Carabao Cup Final.
The Seagulls last outing resulted in a rare defeat against Fulham at the Amex by a 1-0 scoreline, with the goal conceded late on.
Roberto De Zerbi wasn’t happy and received a Red Card towards the end for a few Italian swear words aimed at the officials.
Brighton sit in 8th place with the same 35 points as Brentford but have only completed 22 fixtures so a few extra games to improve the points and position in the table.
West Ham gained a much-needed victory against Nottingham Forest at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Danny Ings, who was signed in January, started for the first time and repaid the faith shown by David Moyes by scoring the opening 2 goals.
Declan Rice added a 3rd, with Michail Antonio scoring within seconds of coming on as a late substitute for Danny.
All 4 goals were scored after the half-time cup of tea.
The Hammers had struggled of late but the victory by a 4-0 scoreline, will give them the confidence to push on and try to get away from the relegation zone.
West Ham sit in 16th place with 23 points from 24 games played.
There’s also the resumption of the Europa Conference League with a 2 legged tie against AEK Larnaca, so a nice little trip to Cyprus for the Bubbles.
Factor 30 boys and girls.
Graham Potter’s Seagulls gained a victory against David Moyes’ Hammers at the London Stadium in August.
Goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Leandro Trossard, 1 in each half, gave Brighton the victory over West Ham by a 2-0 away day scoreline.
Betfred offer Brighton at slight Odds On 4/5, the draw at 13/5 and 10/3 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Alexis Mac Allister Scores First and 9/5 that Brighton Score in Both Halves.
CHELSEA v LEEDS UNITED
15.00 in England
A quick word regards Graham Potter.
The lad might not be to everyone’s taste and quite possibly not that great as the Chelsea Manager, however, Graham along with every other person on this planet doesn’t deserve to receive ‘Death Threats’ just because one’s football team isn’t performing well at the moment.
To the people out there who are sending death threats to Graham and his family, grow up, get out of your mum’s bedroom and get a life!
Chelsea suffered the 2nd defeat in succession on Sunday this time against Tottenham by a 2-0 scoreline.
After a goalless 1st-half Tottenham came out of the blocks quicker, scoring within a minute of the referee blowing his whistle.
The Blues then conceded a 2nd to ultimately suffer another loss that leaves Graham Potter fighting for his future at Stamford Bridge.
This relegation battle sees two new Managers at the helm that weren’t around at the end of August 2022.
It’s quite possible that Graham Potter won’t be around for this game but at the time of print, GP is still the Chelsea gaffer.
The question is, for how much longer?
‘Leeds, Leeds are falling apart’
Although that is extremely funny, it’s not the case this week after a Junior Firpo goal gave Leeds United the victory over Southampton at Elland Rd by a 1-0 scoreline.
The Whites have appointed the ex-Watford boss, Javi Gracia (it’s Gracia, not Garcia!) as the new Manager of Leeds United.
A great start for Javi who did keep Watford in the Premier League back in 2019, even getting the Hornets to the Final of the FA Cup in the same year, although that didn’t end well with Man City smashing 6 goals on the day to inflict the devastating defeat.
Leeds swap places with Everton and jump up to 17th in the table with 22 points from 24 games played.
The West Yorkshire puddings were ecstatic after the victory and were all off into town to drink the night away on Skol and Castlemaine 4 X, followed by a Kay Bab and Cheesy Chips.
Marching On Together.
An inspired Jesse White led set of Whites inflicted a defeat on Thomas Tuchel’s Blue Engines at Elland Rd by a 3-0 scoreline.
Brenden Aaronson, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison with the goals to send the Marching On Together crew delirious in the West Yorkshire Sunshine.
Betfred offer Chelsea at slight Odds On 4/6, the draw at 11/4 and 4/1 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Mykhailo Mudryk Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Patrick Bamford Scores Anytime.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Fraser Forster- Tottenham
RIGHT-BACK- Manuel Akanji- Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Eric Dier- Tottenham
CENTRE-BACK- Ben Johnson- West Ham
LEFT-BACK- Junior Firpo- Leeds United
MIDFIELDER- Oliver Skipp- Tottenham
MIDFIELDER- Declan Rice- West Ham
MIDFIELDER- Manor Solomon- Fulham
FORWARD- Danny Ings- West Ham
FORWARD- Ollie Watkins- Aston Villa
FORWARD- Harry Kane- Tottenham
STAR MAN- Danny Ings- West Ham
WOLVES v TOTTENHAM
15.00 in England
Wolves will have faced Liverpool at Anfield before this visit from Tottenham.
It’s tight at the bottom but a couple of victories for any of the clubs in and around the relegation zone will see them rise up a few places.
Tottenham gained a great win over Chelsea at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Sunday.
After a goalless 1st-half, Oliver Skipp scored a stunner for Tottenham within a minute of the restart.
Then that man Harry Kane scored his obligatory goal with around 10 minutes remaining to seal a great professional victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
Antonio Conte was still absent, recovering at home from an operation so Cristian Stellini remained in charge and from the outside looking in, Tottenham do seem a better team when Antonio isn’t there.
Obviously, that might just be conjecture but the calmness Cristian brings seems to settle the Tottenham players.
Oliver Skipp is a great little combative player who has been thrown into the Spurs Midfield due to an injury to Rodrigo Bentancur and is definitely holding his own in the hustle and bustle of the Premier League.
The lad is only 22, English and someone Gareth Southgate is no doubt keeping an eye on.
Tottenham sit in the final Champions League place with 45 points but have played 25 times not the 23 that Newcastle in 5th have completed.
The Magpies have 41 points with the 2 extra games to play, however, what does this column always say?
It’s considered better to have the points on the board not games in hand.
A 2nd-half Harry Kane goal was the difference between Antonio Conte’s Spurs and Bruno Lage’s Wolves at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium in August.
The victory for Tottenham by a 1-0 scoreline, was the start of the end for Bruno at Molineux.
Betfred offer Wolves at 11/5, the draw at 23/10 and 5/4 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 11/4 that Tottenham Win To Nil.
SOUTHAMPTON v LEICESTER
17.30 in England
It’s been confirmed that Ruben Selles is the man to take Southampton back to the Championship, sorry, oversee the Saints until the end of this campaign.
After a brilliant victory against Chelsea last week, following the sacking of Nathan Jones, the Saints suffered a defeat against relegation rivals Leeds United at Elland Rd on Saturday.
A single Leeds goal midway through the 2nd-half was the difference with the Saints suffering the defeat by a 1-0 away day score.
Southampton remain at the foot of the table with 18 points from 24 games played.
Four points adrift of safety.
Leicester suffered a narrow defeat against Arsenal as well on Saturday, with the Gunners getting the victory by a 1-0 score.
The Foxes stay in 14th place with the same 24 points as Wolves.
It’s strange to think that Wolves are being talked about as being in a relegation battle, yet Leicester aren’t but the two Midland teams have the same points.
The other East Midland club, Nottingham Forest have a point more than Leicester and Wolves.
It was Wreck-It Ralph Hasenhuttl in the (very) hot seat at the King Power Stadium back in August 2022, with the Peaky Blunder character inspiring his chargers to an away day victory against Brendan Rodgers Foxes by a 2-1 scoreline.
A Che Adams double gave the Saints the points.
James Maddison had given Leicester a lead before Che’s introduction on the hour mark.
All 3 goals were scored after the half-time Pie.
Betfred offer Southampton at 13/8, the draw at 12/5 and 13/8 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that James Ward-Prowse Scores First and 2/1 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST v EVERTON
14.00 in England
Both of these teams come into this fixture off the back of a defeat at the weekend.
Forest were hammered by the Hammers at the London Stadium with the home team scoring 4 to gain the points from a 4-0 scoreline.
That leaves the Tricky Trees in 13th place with 25 points from 24 games played.
Everton are back in the drop zone following the defeat against Aston Villa at Goodison Park.
The Toffees then had to travel to the Emirates for a rearranged fixture against Arsenal, however, that’s in the future but as Arsenal are flying at the moment, it’s more than likely that Sean Dyche’s New Blues suffer a defeat, especially with Arsenal wanting to overturn the loss against Everton from the other week.
After 80 minutes at Goodison Park, back in August, the scores were level at 0-0, before Brennan Johnson scored for Forest, which looked to be the winning goal.
Not so, as Demarai Gray equalised 8 minutes later to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Betfred offer Nottingham Forest at 7/4, the draw at 2/1 and 9/5 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Taiwo Awoniyi Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Neal Maupay Scores Anytime.
LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER UNITED
16.30 in England
Liverpool will have played against Wolves before this mouthwatering clash against the fierce rivals Manchester United, who themselves played against West Ham in the FA Cup at the same time as the Reds were entertaining the Gold and Blacks at Anfield.
Manchester United have finally won a trophy and to address the elephant in the room, the narrative that United won’t win anything with Fred has finally come to an end.
The Fredster has a Winners Medal in his cabinet after 5 years at Old Trafford.
Credit where credit is due, the Brazilian has improved over the past few months and having Casemiro at the side is definitely helping.
Would Fred have played if Christian Eriksen had been fit?
Probably not but no one can take the medal away from the young man who it can be said has had his fair share of stick about a lot of abject performances.
This column has always stated that it’s not personal and John Newsome has never abused Fred in any way other than on a football level.
In the victory against Barcelona, Fred had another decent game and made it difficult for Erik Ten Hag to drop for the Final.
The narrative/mantra of United will never win anything with Fred is over.
For that matter also, Scott McTominay has a winners medal too.
For the sake of the Red Devil faithful, hopefully, the winning continues, as Manchester United are still in the FA Cup, the Europa League and can be considered part of the Premier League title race.
Congratulations Fred and Scott!
United are now unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions and come up against Liverpool off the back of a great victory against Leicester by a 3-0 scoreline last time out in the Premier League.
A Marcus Rashford double and a Jadon Sancho strike gave United all 3 points.
Manchester United sit in 3rd place with 49 points from 24 games played.
A Jadon Sancho goal after 16 minutes, settled the nerves of the Red Devil faithful at Old Trafford back in August 2022.
Marcus Rashford then added a 2nd after the break to give Manchester United a comfortable lead and despite a late Liverpool goal from Mo Salah, United held on for a brilliant victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Betfred offer Liverpool at 11/8, the draw at 13/5 and 9/5 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Mo Salah Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Marcus Rashford Scores Anytime.
BRENTFORD v FULHAM
20.00 in England
This West London Derby rounds off the Game Week-26 set of fixtures on Monday Night Football.
It will be 10 days since the Fulham players last got their boots muddy.
In the last outing on Friday Night Football against Wolves, a Manor Solomon goal, midway through the 2nd-half earned the Cottagers a point from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Wolves had scored in the 23rd minute.
That was Manor Solomon’s 3rd goal in as many games, the first Israeli player to score in 3 consecutive games since Ronny Rosenthal back in 1992 whilst playing for Liverpool.
Fulham are now unbeaten in the last 6 games in all competitions and remain in 6th place in the Premier League table with 39 points from 25 games played.
One thing is for certain, Marco Silva’s men are not going to yo-yo back to the Championship this season.
To the Manor Born.
Brentford had the weekend off due to Manchester United’s involvement in the Carabao Cup and won’t have got their boots dirty since the 18th of February.
The Bees gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score against Crystal Palace last time out with Vitaly Janelt scoring in the 96th minute to earn the draw after conceding an Eagles goal midway through the 2nd-half.
Brentford haven’t suffered a defeat in a Premier League game since the 23rd of October 2022 and are unbeaten in the last 11 games.
The Bees sit in 9th place with 35 points from 23 fixtures played.
When these two posh Londoners last met back in August at Craven Cottage, Fulham gained the victory in a 5-goal thriller.
Bobby Decordova-Reid and Joao Palhinha scored to give Fulham a lead at the break.
Christian Norgaard had halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time.
Ivan Toney then scored to equalise for the Bees before a last-minute Aleksandar Mitrovic goal gave the Cottagers the victory by a 3-2 scoreline and the Knightsbridge bragging rights.
It was chaos in Harrods.
Betfred offer Brentford at Evens 1/1, the draw at 12/5 and 12/5 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Ivan Toney Scores First and 7/5 that Willian Scores Anytime.
Wednesday 11th March 1998
ASTON VILLA v BARNSLEY
19.45 in England
If one looks at the date of this fixture against Aston Villa, it would appear to be incorrect, however, the original date for this match should have been Saturday 14th of February 1998.
The Super Reds had progressed to the 5th Round of the FA Cup and had been paired with Manchester United at Old Trafford that took place on Sunday 15th February.
Following that, the Game Week-26 affair was put back a month but in keeping with the same Game Week as of today, the Aston Villa review from 25 years ago is featured here.
Apart from winning the First Division (the equivalent of the Premier League) in 1981, then subsequently being victorious in the following season’s European Cup (Champions League), Aston Villa have been a mid-table team for the past 40 years or so, even being relegated from the Top Flight in 2016.
Villa were no different in the 1997/98 season, sitting in 13th place when Barnsley ventured down the M1, onto the M42 and along the M6 to Villa Park for this away fixture against the Claret and Blues.
Villa Park is situated adjacent to the M6 which is a Motorway that runs from Junction 19 of the M1 in the Midlands, up through Birmingham and Manchester and then on to Scotland.
So for the Barnsley Girls and Boys and members of the Red and White Army, the journey wasn’t too arduous.
The Ford Escort was filled with juice for the Wednesday afternoon trip down the M1 to Junction 23A, along the A42, onto the M42 then M6 to Junction 6 and find a local boozer that would accommodate the away fans.
John Newsome was the driver so only partook in a couple of Shandy’s, which was a bit of a shame but needs must and the must need was getting home at a reasonable time to get up for work the following day.
As mentioned, the fixtures had been switched around a bit and although this was Game Week-26, the 27 and 28 fixtures had been played, which had produced a loss and a win, so Barnsley headed to Villa Park hoping for back-to-back victories for the first time that season.
More on those games in the coming weeks.
Brian Little had been the Manager for Villa’s trip to Oakwell back in September when the Super Reds had suffered a defeat by a 3-0 scoreline.
When John Newsome first started watching Barnsley back in the late 1970s as an 8-year-old, Brian’s brother Alan Little was a player for the Super Reds.
Brian resigned from the position as Aston Villa boss a couple of weeks before the visit of Barnsley and the Villa hierarchy opted for the Wycombe Wanderers Manager John Gregory.
John sent out the following Villains,
Mark Bosnich, Ugo Ehiogu, Gareth Southgate, Steve Staunton, Simon Grayson, Alan Wright, Mark Draper, Lee Hendrie, Ian Taylor, Julian Joachim and Dwight Yorke.
Darren Byfield for Simon Grayson 56th Minute
Fernando Nelson for Alan Wright 80th Minute
Danny Wilson, once again, sent out the following legends,
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Darren Barnard, Chris Morgan, Adie Moses, Scott Jones, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Darren Sheridan, Jan Age Fjortoft and Ashley Ward.
Andy Liddell for Jan Age Fjortoft 61st Minute
Eric Tinkler for Darren Barnard 88th Minute
After a few Shandy’s, the Red and White Army entered Villa Park, in trepidation.
As it turned out, a single Ashley Ward goal, a quarter of an hour into proceedings, was the difference between the Claret and Blues and the Super Reds giving Barnsley a victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
In truth, although a great result giving Barnsley back-to-back victories for the first time, if one remembers (it is 25 years ago and the memory is slowly fading away) Aston Villa were the better team on the night but couldn’t score past David Watson, who made a string of superb saves.
There was some bemusement in the away end when John Newsome shouted,
‘Play Jack Grealish more!’
None of the Red and White Army understood the outburst and were even more surprised when John explained that, the night before, this EveryTip contributor had dreamt that the Villa Centre-Back, Gareth Southgate would become the England Manager 20 years later, get to the Final of the European Championship and have an Aston Villa youngster called Jack Grealish just sat on the bench twiddling his thumbs.
‘Jack who? you need to stop drinking that Shandy Bass JB!’
It was a great night out in Birmingham and a steady drive back to Barnsley, no drinking though, straight to bed ready for a day’s graft.
The valuable 3 points gained, lifted Barnsley off the bottom of the table and within touching distance of safety.
As mentioned, the fixtures are a bit out of sync with Barnsley’s 27 and 28 set of fixtures being played before the clash against Aston Villa.
The reason for that is Barnsley had progressed to the 5th Round of the FA Cup and had been drawn against Manchester United at Old Trafford that took place on Sunday the 15th of February 1998.
The Red and White Army had already ventured West along the M62 to Old Trafford in October 1997, for the Premier League fixture and were taught a footballing lesson by Sir Alex Ferguson’s brilliant Red Devils.
If one remembers from this EveryTip Game Week-12 Preview, Manchester United inflicted a defeat on Barnsley by a devastating 7-0 scoreline.
The Ford Escort was revved up and once again filled with unleaded (0.49p a litre back then!)
The Big ex-Serg, who at the minute is throwing sticks for Enzo, was collected and it was another jaunt over the Tops as the Barnsley folk say, into Manchester fearing the worse but excited about the afternoon’s football.
Sir Alex’s eleven Red Devils,
Peter Schmeichel, Henning Berg, Gary Pallister, Michael Clegg, Denis Irwin, Ronny Johnsen, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Brian McClair, Erik Nevland and Terry Sheringham.
David Beckham for Ronny Johnsen 46th Minute
Jordi Cruyff for Erik Nevland 57th Minute
Gary Neville for Brian McClair 78th Minute
Danny started this set of legends,
David Watson, Nicky Eaden, Ales Krizan, Arjan De Zeeuw, Chris Morgan, Adie Moses, Jovo Bosancic, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, John Hendrie and Ashley Ward.
Matty Appleby for Arjan De Zeeuw 25th Minute
Andy Liddell for John Hendrie 80th Minute
Stood on the away end at Old Trafford, which is behind the goal opposite the Stretford End, it was hard to recognise some of the United players that Mr Ferguson had sent out.
There weren’t any Smartphones back then to Google Michael Clegg or Erik Nevland and it was clear that Sir Alex had, let’s just say, ‘rested a few’ due to the 7-0 victory a couple of months ago.
Around 40 minutes into proceedings of a tight affair between the two, a harmless back pass to Peter Schmeichel saw the Big Danish goalkeeper slice the clearance into the path of John Hendrie who was urged on by the faithful in the away end and tapped the ball into an empty net, to give Barnsley a lead.
The Red and White girls and boys went berserk, was this really happening?
Barnsley FC had taken the lead against the Mighty Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately for the Army in attendance and those watching on the telly back home, the lead didn’t last long when Teddy Sheringham equalised for United, 3 minutes later to take both teams in level at the break.
Sir Alex Ferguson took off Ronnie Johnsen at the interval and sent on David Beckham.
Jordi Cruyff, the son of the legendary Johan Cruyff was introduced by Mr Ferguson midway through the 2nd-half and then Gary Neville was thrown on to try and break down a resilient Barnsley eleven.
With time running out, the Sky Sports commentator and all round good guy, Gary Neville, brought down Andy Liddell in the penalty area in front of the Stretford End Red Devils.
There was no way in a million years that the on-field referee, Mike Riley, was going to award Barnsley a penalty.
No dreaded VAR back then, the concept of the Stockley Park brigade had not even been thought of, however, it would have been interesting to see if VAR had intervened.
Even Gary Neville feared the worst and knew he’d fouled Andy.
Mike Riley, the Rotter, waved play on and although United huffed and puffed in the dying minutes, the Super Reds held on for a famous draw.
Barnsley’s 5,000 fans were in good voice at the end as all the faithful celebrated a superb result.
Sir Alex Ferguson would now have to take his Manchester United team back to Oakwell next week for the replay, an extra fixture Fergie could have done without with the Champions League Quarter-Finals beckoning.
Despite a great result at Old Trafford, the Red and White Army were excited to know that Barnsley would be hosting Manchester United at Oakwell, for the first time since 1964.
United had only visited the original Theatre of Dreams in Yorkshire once between 1938 and 1998 and that was, coincidentally, a 5th Round FA Cup tie on the 15th of February 1964.
Exactly 34 years before the tie at Old Trafford.
There were 38,000 at Oakwell back in 1964, to see a United team that included the brilliant trio of George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law.
Unfortunately, John Newsome wasn’t born until 1969 so wasn’t in attendance.
Manchester United got the victory by a 4-0 scoreline with goals from David Herd, Denis Law (2) and George Best.
On Wednesday the 25th of February 1998, Barnsley entertained Manchester United at Oakwell in the replay.
The teams were as follows,
David Watson, Matty Appleby, Darren Barnard, Adie Moses, Peter Markstedt, Scott Jones, Jovo Bosancic, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, John Hendrie and Ashley Ward.
Andy Liddell for John Hendrie 46th Minute
Darren Sheridan for Matty Appleby 65th Minute
Clint Marcelle for Martin Bullock 73rd Minute
Peter Schmeichel, Michael Clegg, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Gary Pallister, David May, David Beckham, Brian McClair, Andrew Cole, Erik Nevland and Ben Thornley.
Teddy Sheringham for Erik Nevland 34th Minute
Denis Irwin for Brian McClair 49th Minute
Michael Twiss for Michael Clegg 78th Minute
Oakwell was packed to the rafters on a cold late February night, with almost 19,000 fans in attendance to surely see Manchester United get the expected victory.
Peter Schmeichel’s nemesis John Hendrie was put through and chipped the Danish goalkeeper to give Barnsley an early lead.
It did look offside but no VAR to save United.
John Hendrie wasn’t bothered, that’s now 2 goals against Manchester United on his Barnsley record.
At Old Trafford, United equalised soon after Barnsley’s opening goal, however, this time the Super Reds scored again to double the advantage.
On the stroke of half-time, Scott Jones toe-poked home to give Barnsley a 2-nil lead at the break.
Teddy Sheringham, who had started on the bench, pulled a goal back for the visitors early in the 2nd-half but the hero of the hour, Scott Jones headed home a corner a few minutes after Teddy’s goal to reinstate the 2-goal advantage.
That was again cut to 1 goal when Andy Cole scored a 2nd for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining.
As with all of Manchester United’s games under Sir Alex Ferguson, United don’t give in and push until the final whistle, which is sometimes only blown once Mr Ferguson says.
On this occasion and despite a few nervy moments, Barnsley held on for the victory by a 3-2 scoreline, the best result in John Newsome’s lifetime, surpassing any previous victory in the time watching Barnsley FC and in truth, 25 years later, still the best result in the history of watching Barnsley FC.
A year later, Manchester United went on to achieve the Treble, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, with the majority of players that were on show against little old Barnsley at Oakwell in February 1998.
Barnsley FC were now in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup and took on Newcastle at St James Park.
The all-time Premier League leading goal scorer, Alan Shearer was on show along with the legend that is Gary Speed, plus Stuart Pearce and David Batty.
On the day, the Super Reds were no match for a tough set of Magpies, under the guidance of another legend, Sir Kenny Dalglish.
The referee, Neale Barrie, who usually wears all black, had dressed in Black and White that Sunday afternoon on the 8th of March 1998.
John Newsome hitched a ride up to St James Park. with a couple of acquaintances, who in truth, didn’t really know but a rides a ride.
Goals from Temuri Ketsbaia, Gary Speed and David Batty, knocked Barnsley out of the FA Cup by a 3-1 score.
Andy Liddell with the Red consolation goal.
As stated, Newcastle were just too good, however, it’s fair to say, got a bit of help from the Man in Black (and White!) Neale Barrie.
Neale sent off Adie Moses for a couple of harsh challenges where Mr Shearer, let’s just say, ‘used his experience’.
John Newsome bumped into the loveable OzScot (just a Scot at the time!) and Ilkley’s newest married resident, who were trying to pay for a Burger with a pair of buttons and a bus ticket.
One can rightly assume that Kylie and the Widster had partaken in far too many Newcastle Broon-Ale’s.
Newcastle went on to the Final of the FA Cup but suffered a defeat against Arsenal at Wembley.
A few years ago, in 2012, John and John’s brilliant mate Little H, went to the Greenmeisters’ wedding to Donna.
Wakster and Gemma were in attendance too, to listen to the Big Fella say,
‘I do !’(again) and partake in several beverages.
One of the guests at the wedding was the Barnsley hero from February 1998, Scott Jones, whom John Newsome managed to get a few selfies with.
Top Man Scott, forever a Barnsley hero!
Rest In Peace Little H x
The Game Week-26 affair against Aston Villa took place 3 days after the loss against the Magpies, so it’s fair to say, Barnsley were up for the fight at Villa Park and gained a great victory.
15-Wimbledon 32 pts (minus-3 goals)
16-Everton 30 pts (minus-8 goals)
17-Tottenham 30 pts (minus-18 goals)
18-Barnsley 28 pts (minus-38 goals)
19-Bolton 24 pts (minus-21 goals)
20-Crystal Palace 23 pts (minus-24 goals)
Away Win 1-0
There was misery in Melbourne early Monday morning, Ozland time, when Lad and Dad, were up early to watch their beloved Glasgow Rangers get a whooping in the Scottish Pub Cup Final against Celtic at Hampden Park.
Kylie was dressed in the usual Braveheart regalia sporting the war paint and armed with a sword, shouting at the telly,
‘You’ll never take our Freedom!’
Whilst spinning around.
The Lad just looked at Dad bemused, himself dressed as Donald Trump for some reason.
The Green and White Hoops won the Pub Cup inflicting a defeat on Kylie’s Teddy Bears by a 2-1 score.
The loveable OzScots were distraught, bless ‘em and consoled themselves by singing a few songs whilst slurping a couple of cans of Fosters Lager.
Never mind Teddy Bears, you can now concentrate on Rangers coming second behind Celtic in the Scottish Pub League.
‘I’m spinning around, move out of my way, I know you’re feeling me, because you like it like this!’
‘Another can Dad?’