EPL Game Week 4 – 2020/21 Season – Weekend Premier League Tips

John Newsome Football Betting Tips - everytipFour teams remain with 100% win records after game-week 3 with some surprise inclusions (Everton, Leicester & Aston Villa). We also had some off-field back and forths between Klopp and Roy Keane to keep us entertained. Will we get similar entertainment value both on and off the pitch this weekend? John Newsome previews all the upcoming English Premier League week 4 matches.  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 time of publication.

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CHELSEA v CRYSTAL PALACE

Saturday, October 3rd

The first fixture of Game Week-4, kicking-off at 12.30 PM in England live on BT Sport.

The Premier League have rightly decided to extend their live TV coverage for the opening weekend of October due to the current restrictions regarding fans attending matches.

It was hoped that from October the 1st, a limited number of spectators would be allowed back into the grounds but that’s once again been put on hold due to a suspected 2nd-wave of the Coronavirus.

There is an international break after these set of fixtures so maybe the authorities will look at allowing fans back then, however, in truth the grounds will be empty for the foreseeable future.

The thing is the Premier League clubs, whilst all would like to have their supporters in, don’t actually rely on the gate receipts from the paying public.

The clubs get their extortionate amount of dollar from the TV companies.

That then offers up the fact that with more people watching from home, the advertising revenue increases as companies will want to see their brand in the half-time slot.

The problem arises further down the food chain, where the lower league clubs rely on punters turning up and paying £20 quid or so to watch their team lose.

These clubs are seldom on TV so their fans are not getting a chance to see their idols and the clubs themselves are losing money hand over fist.

It’s just a matter of time before a few lower league clubs go out of business like Bury did last season.

There is a vast amount of money rattling around the Premier League that a lot feel should be shared around the lower league but in truth, whilst the Utopian idea seems great, it’s not the fault of the top clubs that the lower clubs are struggling.

It’s down to the lower clubs mismanaging their finances, paying players extortionate wages in the hope of hitting the big time.

For example, a couple of years back Barnsley FC had a player called Kieffer Moore who let’s just say was on £2000 a week at Oakwell in the Championship (£100,000 a year approximately).

Another Championship club, Wigan, came and offered Kieffer £10,000 a week (£500,000 a year approximately).

Barnsley can’t compete with that and obviously, anyone would move to a club offering 5 times their current wages

Wigan then goes into administration and are subsequently relegated from the Championship putting more strain on their finances.

The club then tries and fight the relegation through the courts, again costing money, yet if they had run the club correctly in the first place, not offered Kieffer and others £10,000 a week, Wigan could still be a Championship club and not have gone into administration.

This is happening time and again in the lower leagues who are trying to buy their way to success instead of nurturing and producing young talent from the local area.

It’s not then the responsibility of the Premier League clubs to bale out the minnows because they have run their clubs incorrectly.

Barnsley FC lost a great player in Kieffer Moore who can’t be faulted for joining Wigan.

However, Wigan won’t receive any sympathy from all connected at Barnsley and surrounding areas, if the Northwest club goes the same way as their near-neighbours Bury.

Prior to the draw against West Brom, Chelsea hammered Barnsley in the Carabao Cup in midweek by a 6-0 scoreline.

The Reds held their own for 20-minutes or so but then the superiority of Frank’s Blues kicked-in to gear and with a starting eleven that included Thiago Silva making his Chelsea debut, who had just played in the Champions League Final, Barnsley were outclassed.

Another new boy, £75 Million man, Kai Havertz also made his debut and scored a hat-trick to showcase his obvious talent to the cardboard Blues.

A third summer signing made an appearance too with Ben Chilwell coming on as a 2nd-half substitute.

As mentioned Chelsea drew against West Brom in the late Saturday Afternoon fixture at the Hawthorns.

What will surprise everyone in that result is, firstly, West Brom took a 3-0 lead after just 30-minutes with the Blues defence, resembling an episode of the Chuckle Brothers.

Secondly, this was the first game of the new Premier League campaign that as ended in a draw.

A lack of concentration from a set-piece, a horrendous error from new boy Thiago Silva and poor marking by Marcos Alonso, resulted in 3-goals being conceded before the half-hour mark, making Frank’s half-time team talk a heated one.

Marcos and Mateo Kovacic didn’t need their boots for the 2nd-half being replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta and Callum Hudson-Odoi and although Lamps got his tactics wrong in the 1st-half, rectified the problem and Chelsea were a much better side after the break that resulted in goals from Mason Mount, Callum and Tammy Abraham to give Chelsea a point from a very entertaining fixture.

Thiago Silva’s error was just that and the experienced defender won’t need telling anything from anybody if anybody were brave enough to mention the slip to the big Brazilian.

Cesar is a better Right-Back than Left-Back but is a better Left-Back than Marcos Alonso, who’s time, at the Bridge, maybe, is coming to an end once Ben Chilwell is fully fit.

Frank chose Reece James as his Right-Back against West Brom and whilst not to dig out the youngster, Reece was culpable for the Baggies 3rd-goal when he left his position on the far post and just ignored the goal-scorer.

Kai Havertz looks decent as does Timo Werner who probably just needs a goal to kick-start his Blues career.

Chelsea does have the making of a great side and once the players gel and get used to each other’s way, Frank will be back on the coat-tails of Brendan, Carlo, Jurgen and even Pep 2 at the top of the table.

Chelsea was unlucky against Liverpool with a few errors and beating Barnsley FC is not a real marker for how the season will play out but Frank’s Blues will be there or thereabouts come May 2021.

Crystal Palace suffered a 2-1 home defeat on Saturday against Everton, in front of the cardboard Eagle Ultras.

Cheikhou Kouyate scored the Eagles goal in between 2-first half Toffees strikes and with no more goals after the break, ultimately lost the game.

Palace could consider themselves unlucky with the dreaded VAR becoming involved when the ball struck Joel Ward’s hand.

A very harsh decision, however, that is dreaded for you!

Crystal Palace’s good start to the new season, with 2 straight victories, ended but they will be back, however, this will be a tricky game against the Blues.

When Palace travelled the short distance over to Stamford Bridge last season, this fixture was played just after Bonfire Night in November and Frank’s Blues got the win following 2nd-half goals from Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic to give Chelsea a 2-0 victory.

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EVERTON v BRIGHTON

Saturday, October 3rd

Saturday Afternoon football with this fixture kicking-off at 15.00 PM in England live on BT Sport.

Everton have made their best start in 27-years, since winning the first 3-fixtures of the 1993/94 season, matching that with 3-wins from the opening 3-games of this campaign, the latest being a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Sheffield Superstar 2, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s new name, got his 5th-goal of the season to give the Toffees a lead.

After Palace had equalised, Everton was awarded a penalty from a handball incident by the Eagles defender.

The on-field referee, Kevin Friend certainly found some friends in blue when he awarded a penalty after being advised by the dreaded to go and have a look at the monitor, initially waving play on following the ball hitting the defender’s hand.

Richarlison promptly scored from the spot, with all 3-goals before the break.

With no 2nd-half goals, Everton got the victory and remain one of only 3-teams that are currently 3 from 3 in the win column.

James Rodriguez had another brilliant game and if stays fit will certainly help Carlo and his boys stay in the Top Six with the Blue Scousers dreaming of a trip to Europe next season.

Brighton will feel aggrieved after Saturday’s early afternoon defeat against Manchester United after a very eventful 100-minutes.

Most will be screaming,

‘It’s 90-minutes!’

However, Brighton conceded the losing goal in the 100th-minute, the latest goal scored in the Premier League since 2011.

The Seagulls took the lead against United when Tariq Lamptey got the better of Bruno Fernandes who upended the Right-Back to concede a penalty.

Neal Maupay took the spot-kick and coolly chipped the ball, Panenka style, past David De Gea.

For those who don’t know what a Panenka penalty is, the term refers to the penalty taken by Antonin Panenka in the 1976 European Championship Final for Czechoslovakia against West Germany.

After the game finished in a Desmond 2-2 draw, the match went to penalties in which Antonin ran up and instead of blasting the ball like many penalties are, softly chipped the ball down the middle fooling the goalkeeper into diving.

With this being the final penalty, it took huge Czech cahonas by Mr Panenka but his name will always be associated with the winning penalty kick.

United were level soon after then scored a 2nd after the break.

The Seagulls did have a couple of shouts for a penalty with Aaron Connelly being apparently fouled but even after the on-field referee had awarded one, the dreaded got involved and reversed the decision.

In truth, Aaron Connelly, aka Tom Daley to his teammates, was lucky not to be given a Yellow Card for diving.

With 90-minutes up on the clock and 5-extra minutes announced, Solomon or ‘Solly’ March equalised for Brighton and with time running out it looked like Harry’s men had snatched an equaliser.

What happened next did provide controversy but in truth was correct, however, the Brighton boys were not happy.

United were given a corner with the 95-minutes up and when the ball was swung in and headed by Harry Maguire, Neal Maupay, aka Lebron James inexplicably punched the ball.

The on-field referee blew for full-time but as the incident happened before the whistle, the dreaded VAR took over and after informing Chris Kavanagh to have a look on the monitor, a penalty was awarded and once converted, Brighton were on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline.

Whilst the timing was a bit awry the procedure was correct and despite everyone connected with the Seagulls having a moan, it was the 2nd defeat for Graham Potter out of the 3-fixtures played up to now.

Brighton, coincidentally, take on Manchester United again in the Carabao Cup prior to this trip to Everton but no doubt will face a completely different starting eleven that turned up on Saturday.

At Goodison Park in early January, before the current situation in the World and no one was wearing masks, a single Richarlison goal in the 1st-half gave the Toffees the victory by a 1-0 scoreline.

That said, there’s a few out there who should have worn a mask for years, some are not blessed in the looks department.

Greenmeister!

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LEEDS UNITED v MAN CITY

Saturday, October 3rd

Early Saturday evening football with this mouthwatering game at Elland Rd kicking-off at 17.30 PM in England live on Sky Sports.

Leeds United continued their fine start to the new campaign in the Premier League with another victory on Sunday beating their Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United by a 1-0 scoreline.

Patrick Bamford scored his 3rd-goal of the season late in the 2nd-half to give Marcelo’s Whites the win and register another 3-points that gives them 6 from a possible 9 so far.

After 3-games, Leeds United are currently above all of Tottenham, Chelsea and the 2-relegation threatened Manchester clubs which has given the Whites faithful, both cardboard and real propitious hope of a successful term.

Cardboard Osama is over the moon.

It’s 29-years ago that Leeds United last won the Top Flight title, which was actually the last season before the inaugural Premier League started.

No ones getting above themselves thinking that it will be a title-winning campaign but all connected with Leeds are just enjoying the moment and watching some scintillating football.

Kalvin Phillips rivals any Premier League midfielder and if can stay fit could just be what England need going forward.

It was noticeable that Gareth Southgate oversaw the victory at Bramall Lane where Kalvin dictated the midfield and as quickly established the nickname of the Yorkshire Pirlo.

During the early noughties, England had a player that rivalled the great Italian Andrea Pirlo, yet the numerous England managers refused to believe in the midfielder and subsequently continued to pick Lampard and Gerrard.

Michael Carrick was the most successful English midfielder of a generation and was continuously chosen by the greatest manager ever, Sir Alex Ferguson, yet the England managers, who couldn’t lace Sit Alex’s boots, thought they were better and overlooked Michael constantly, winning nothing at all the tournaments competed in, even missing out on the 2008 Euro’s when the Wally with the Brolly, Steve McClaren underperformed, shall one say.

Gareth now has a player in Kalvin that can control the midfield, similar to what Mr Carrick did at Manchester United.

Relegation-threatened Man City were humiliated, no other word for it, at the Etihad on Sunday losing against Leicester by a 5-2 scoreline.

Pep Guardiola must be one of the few people grateful that the Coronavirus is around and no fans are allowed into the stadiums as the Citizens would not have been happy with the performance from their beloved Blues.

Noel and Liam are already changing the lyrics to a few tunes written trying to find words that rhyme with useless, pathetic, rubbish and uninspiring, even one of the Gallagher brothers all-time favourites ‘Cigarettes and Alchohol’ as already been changed to,

‘We had no imagination

at the final whistle, Leicester scoring one more than four!

We were hoping for some action but all we found was Jamie Vardy scoring more’

You can have that one Noel!

In City’s opener against Wolves, Pep chose John Stones to partner Nathan Ake and although there were a few nervous moments, John had a relatively steady game that should have afforded him the right to keep his shirt for the Foxes visit.

Apparently, the Barnsley boy is lacking fitness, yet Pep deemed him fit enough to start against Wolves but dropped him for the midweek Carabao Cup game, an ideal fixture to gain fitness and for the game against Leicester.

The added factor in that is John has been in many England squads and teams with Jamie Vardy so would have had a better understanding of trying to stop Jamie than Eric Garcia who apparently isn’t bothered about staying in Manchester and wants to go back to Spain and possibly Barcelona.

A numpty from John Stones home town of Barnsley isn’t going to advise Pep Guardiola on how to manage a football team and maybe Pep chose Eric to put him in the shop window, however, after the performance against Leicester, Barnsley FC, never mind Barcelona FC wouldn’t sign Eric for 4-Bob and a bag of Yorkshire Mixtures and would choose John over the Spaniard every time.

Again, not to advise Pep on his training routine this week but the first thing that would be worked on, at the Man City complex, would be to tell his defenders to stop manhandling the opposing players in the penalty area.

‘Social Distance’ would be the message after not one, not two but three penalties were awarded against City on Sunday where Kyle Walker, Eric Garcia and Benjamin Mendy all grabbed hold of the original Sheffield Superstar and his Foxes mates.

Riyad Mahrez gave City the lead against Leicester with a superb strike then Kyle got up close and personal to his Steel City pal Jamie and conceded a penalty.

Jamie then scored 2-more, the 3rd due to Eric grabbing Jamie in the box too.

Leicester scored a 4th before Nathan Ake pulled a goal back for City with 6-minutes to go to give the cardboard kagool wearers hope of a comeback.

That didn’t materialise as Leicester scored a 5th to inflict an embarrassing defeat on Pep and his Blues which was also the first time in Pep’s management career that one of his teams as conceded 5-goals.

Cinco is the word!

The defeat leaves City perilously close to the relegation zone and a visit to Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites may even leave Pep in the bottom 3 come Saturday evening.

March 22nd 2004, was the date the last time a very different looking Man City, under the guidance of Kevin Keegan headed East along the M62 to West Yorkshire to take on Eddie Gray’s Leeds United.

Sitting rock bottom of the Premier League, Leeds got a shock 2-1 victory over Keegan’s City to jump off the foot of the table.

Stephen McPhail scored a free-kick, midway through the 1st-half to give the Whites a lead.

Nicolas Anelka equalised for City just before the break to set up a thrilling 2nd-half, where Mark Viduka scored Leeds 2nd and ultimate winner in the 76th minute.

Vids goal came as a result of a penalty after City’s big Belgium defender Daniel Van Buyten, made an uncompromising challenge on Alan Smith that resulted in Van the Man being sent off.

Stephen McPhail went on to play for Barnsley FC at the start of that 2004/05 season, eventually helping the Reds gain promotion from League One to the Championship following the Play-off victory against Swansea at the Millennium Stadium in May 2006.

After the game finished in a Desmond 2-2 draw, the Reds beat Swansea by 4-penalties to 3, with Big Stephen converting the 2nd of the 4.

A great day out in the Welsh Capital was had by the Barnsley Boys that started with a car journey in a Vauxhall Zafira at 06.00 AM in Barnsley, with the first can cracked open at 06.02 AM (it took a minute to get the can out of the bag)

After several beverages along the way, whilst stories were told about caravanning holidays in Skegness that resembled an episode of Tenko, the lads had a great day out, a lot of alcohol, including a bottle of champagne for the Zafira journey home that resulted in arriving back in Barnsley just after midnight knowing that the Super Reds with the help of Mr McPhail, were now back in the Championship.

A couple of weeks later the Barnsley boys headed to Germany to watch England in the World Cup finals.

Stephen is remembered fondly at Oakwell and the Reds faithful wish him well for the future.

The Leeds side that day in 2004, consisted of Paul Robinson, Gary Kelly, Stephen Caldwell, Didier Domi, Dominic Matteo, Jermaine Pennant, James Milner, Stephen McPhail, Seth Johnson, Alan Smith and Mark Viduka.

Man City’s team had David James, Richard Dunne, Silvain Distin, Daniel Van Buyten, Paul Bosvelt, Michael Tarnat, Antoine Sibierski, Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler.

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NEWCASTLE v BURNLEY

Saturday, October 3rd

Late Saturday evening football with a start time of 20.00 PM in England live on Sky Sports.

Newcastle did what a lot of football fans dream of each week and that is upset Jose Mourinho with Steve Bruce’s Magpies earning a draw following a last-gasp penalty awarded by the dreaded VAR that sent Jose into overdrive.

After falling behind, midway through the 1st-half at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Sunday, Newcastle left it very, very late to firstly be awarded a penalty, then to convert.

It could be argued that the handball by the Tottenham player was harsh but a precedent had been set in the Brighton v Manchester United game and the Crystal Palace v Everton fixture so despite Jose not being happy the decision was consistent and the football fraternity is always demanding consistency.

Callum Wilson held his nerve and despatched the spot-kick in the 97th-minute to earn Newcastle a point.

In truth, the real hero was Karl Darlow, the Magpies ‘keeper who made a string of excellent saves in the game to deny Tottenham and significantly Harry Kane.

The point earned, gives Newcastle 4-points from the 3-fixtures so far, the same as Jose’s Spurs, which will please Big Brucey.

Burnley is 2 from 2 in the loss column following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Southampton at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche wasn’t happy with a couple of decisions but in truth, the Clarets were beaten fair and square and despite a couple of slightly contentious issues that could be given argument time, Burnley needs to start putting chances away to prevent an early relegation battle.

The fact that the Clarets are only 2 from 2 is that Burnley have only played the 2 fixtures so far due to getting the opening weekend off so do have a game in hand and a win would lift them up the league.

Newcastle are probably just the team Sean needs to kick-start the season as it’s pretty difficult to predict the Magpies after beating West Ham away then losing against Brighton at St James Park.

So really anything can happen.

Pre-lockdown and the suspension of the 2019/20 Premier League season, this game at St James Park last season, finished in a very entertaining 0-0 draw.

Enough said.

The highlight of the day was the Claret faithful noticing the weather in Newcastle and thinking to themselves,

‘It’s warm-up here for February’

As everywhere in England is warmer than Burnley, whatever the month.

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LEICESTER v WEST HAM

Sunday, October 4th

An early Sunday Afternoon kick-off in England with this fixture starting at 12.00 PM live on BT Sport.

Brendan’s Wonderful Human Beings became even more wonderful on Sunday after coming away from the Etihad smashing Pep’s City by a 5-2 scoreline.

After falling a goal behind, the original Sheffield Superstar-Jamie Vardy earned a penalty by getting his mate Kyle Walker to haul him to the ground.

Jamie jumped up and converted to make it 1-1.

In the 2nd-half, Vards scored a superb individual goal when he cheekily back flicked the ball past the helpless City ‘keeper.

After being hauled down again in the box, Jamie scored another penalty that gave him his hat-trick and the Foxes a 3-1 lead.

In total, Jamie touched the ball just 21-times with 3 of the touches being goals.

Every other player of the starting twenty-two touched the ball more, with Jim V proving that a team can have all the possession in the world but it’s putting the ball in the back of the net that counts.

Brendan introduced James Maddison midway through the 2nd-half to give the youngster game time, which although the lad only got 20-minutes, scored a superb goal.

City pulled a goal back with 6-minutes to play but that wasn’t the end for the Foxes with Youri Tielemans rounding off the scoring with a couple of minutes to go, following a 3rd-penalty being awarded, to give Brendan his 1st-victory over Pep by a brilliant 5-2 scoreline.

As well as the Oasis boys being upset, another singing sensation that is Rod Stewart wasn’t happy either.

Noel had given Rod a City shirt to wear with ‘Gallagher’ and the number ‘37’ on the back and all the boys, Noel, Liam and Rod were on Zoom together hoping for a big City win.

Ninety-minutes later, the 3 were smashing up the tellys in disgust at the performance and Liam was straight on Twitter demanding Pep be sacked!

‘You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul, the Foxes have just scored 5-goals’.

Rod’s still not happy with Brendan.

West Ham, along with today’s opponents, arguably got the result of the weekend beating Wolves by a superb 4-0 scoreline at the London Stadium.

After 2-straight defeats, one being in the previous home fixture, there was no real evidence to suggest that West Ham would get the victory.

Jarrod Bowen scored midway through the 1st-half to take David Moyes team in at the break leading 1-0.

Jarrod then scored his and the Hammers 2nd to calm the Bubbles nerves.

Wolves were credited with West Ham’s 3rd goal then Sebastian Haller managed to get his name on the scoresheet, to finish off the scoring and give David Moyes a brilliant 4-0 victory over Nuno Espírito Santo.

David was self-isolating at home and masterminded the victory from his sofa, however, there are rumours the Scot was watching Britain’s Not Got Talent on ITV and never bothered with the game.

Only a bit of fun David, get well soon!

The 3-points gained along with the 4-goals elevated West Ham up to 10th in the table but following Aston Villa’s victory on Monday, finished the weekend off in 11th-position.

The victory will definitely give the Bubbles faithful confidence but a visit up to the King Power will be another tough test of the season so far.

Leicester hammered the Hammers at the King Power last season getting a great 4-1 victory at the end of January.

The brilliant youngster, Harvey Barnes, opened the Foxes scoring midway through the 1st-half with Ricardo Pereira making it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.

Mark Noble pulled a goal back for West Ham to give the travelling Bubbles hope but that hope quickly burst when Ayoze Perez converted a penalty with 10-minutes to go and then added his 2nd and Leicester’s 4th a couple of minutes later to give Brendan’s Foxes a comfortable victory over David’s Hammers.

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SOUTHAMPTON v WEST BROM

Sunday, October 4th

Another 12.00 PM kick-off in England, again live on BT Sport.

With Danny Ings in the Southampton starting eleven, the Saints will always be a threat and Danny came up trumps on Saturday scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Wreck-It Ralph’s boys did have to withstand a bit of pressure which is standard from a Burnley team but held on for a vital victory and 3-points in their quest to get to the magical 40-points and avoid relegation.

West Brom was simply amazing on Saturday against Chelsea scoring 3, first-half goals to stun the Blues.

After defeats against Leicester and Everton, a visit from Frank Lampard’s Chelsea is probably not what Slaven Bilic would have wanted but his Baggies were simply awesome against his former teammate in front of the cardboard Boing Boings.

Callum Robinson scored 2-early goals after fine work from the Man of the Match, Matheus Pereira.

West Brom’s big Centre-Back, Kyle Bartley was given the freedom of the Blues penalty area from a corner and slotted home to put the Baggies 3-0 in front after just 27-minutes.

Even though it was a brilliant half-hour, Slaven would have known that Frank’s Blues had 60-minutes to get back into the game, which is just what Chelsea did with West Brom conceding 3, second-half goals to ultimately end up with a point from a 3-3 scoreline.

Whilst initially Slaven will be disappointed that his team let slip a 3-0 advantage, in truth, to earn a point against Chelsea is no mean feat and that point, come the end of the season, could be the difference between relegation and safety.

It’s been almost 3-years since West Brom headed South to St Mary’s back in October 2017.

Mauricio Pellegrino (who!) guided his Saints side to a victory by a 1-0 scoreline over the Baggies who had Tony Pulis in charge.

Soufiane Boufal with the solitary goal.

Virgil Van Dijk was still at Southampton and a couple of the West Brom players are still at the Hawthorns, including Kieran Gibbs and Jake Livermore.

Mauricio and Tony are long gone.

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ARSENAL v SHEFFIELD UNITED

Sunday, October 4th

Another Sunday Afternoon football with this fixture kicking-off at 14.00 PM in England live on TV.

Arsenal was simply outclassed at Anfield on Monday Night Football and although taking the lead through Alexandre Lacazette, early in the 1st-half, against the run of play, Liverpool was simply too good.

Soon after Alexa’s goal, the Reds scored twice to go in at the break, leading 2-1.

Jurgen’s Boys added a 3rd late on to inflict a defeat on the Gunners by a 3-1 scoreline.

After victories against Fulham and West Ham, it was always thought that when Arsenal took on one of the big boys, then it would really show where Mikel’s men are.

Following the game at Anfield, it’s clear that Arsenal is a long way off Liverpool but probably that’s not Pep 2’s aim, Mikel’s aim is to break back into the Top Four but on the current displays of Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham and Manchester United, the Top Four could soon consist of 3-new boys.

Whilst a professional performance in the Yorkshire derby against Leeds United on Sunday which could have gone either way, Sheffield United ultimately lost the fixture by a single goal scored late in the 2nd-half.

The Blades did have a number of chances but the Leeds goalkeeper made some great saves to deny the Sheffield of the United’s.

After last seasons brilliant start to the campaign, this season is now 3-defeats in a row and see Chris Wilder’s men with zero-points the same as Fulham and Burnley.

Chris is not happy at the moment, it is apparent from his facial expressions.

Little James from Swinton isn’t happy either.

The youth spent Sunday afternoon in the local drinking establishment with a pint of the strong stuff, well John Smiths and 2-straws for him and his imaginary friend Ivor.

Apparently, according to Jim’s lovely girlfriend, James never stops talking about Ivor and his engine as with Jim being a supposed mechanic, Ivor lets him practice on him.

Well, that’s their story anyway.

After last weeks bombshell that Jimbo is a Barnsley FC fan, evidence was shown when a photo of the lad in a Reds shirt emerged.

Little James denies it now but when someone is in denial they always get their feet wet.

Chris Wilder’s boys got a well-earned point from a 1-1 draw against Mikel Arteta’s men back in January, prior to the suspension of the 2019/20 season.

Gabriel Martinelli scored for Arsenal in the 1st-half and looked a promising prospect before his injury ruled him out.

The Blades left it late to grab the equaliser with John Fleck scoring in the 83rd-minute to give Sheffield United a share of the points.

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WOLVES v FULHAM

Sunday, October 4th

Another 14.00 PM start time in England.

The Premier League are throwing these games in thick and fast and at the same times as other fixtures due to the International break coming up.

Wolves were simply outclassed on Saturday suffering a humiliating 4-0 defeat away at the London Stadium.

Trailing 1-0 at half-time, the Gold and Blacks let in 3, second-half goals to ultimately lose the fixture by a 4-0 scoreline.

Nuno will put the loss to bed and after 2 defeats from the opening 3-fixtures, a visit from Fulham is probably just what Nuno would have wanted.

Fulham, along with Sheffield United are now 3 from 3 in the loss column following Monday’s 3-0 home defeat against Aston Villa.

Scott Parker always knew that the Premier League is a different beast than the Championship and just needs to make sure his team are not cut adrift at the bottom following 3-straight defeats.

The last time these two met at Molineux in the Premier League was the penultimate Game Week of the 2018/19 season with Wolves getting the victory from a 1-0 scoreline.

Leander Dendoncker with the solitary strike.

Fulham was virtually relegated by this point but the defeat confirmed that the Cottagers were heading back to the Championship.

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MANCHESTER UNITED v TOTTENHAM

Sunday, October 4th

Late Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports with a 16.30 PM kick-off in England.

Manchester United are one of the most annoying teams in the Premier League and must send the Red Devil faithful, both cardboard and real into meltdown every time they play.

Ole’s Wheels are good lads, decent players, excellent professionals but just lack something that the Liverpool, Leicester and Man City players have.

It’s been said that the result of a United game can be defined an hour before kick-off when the team sheet is handed in.

On Saturday against Brighton, the team sheet looked fairly solid and probably Ole picked United’s strongest eleven with no sign of Fred, Scott or Dan.

Yet once again the performance lacked a cutting edge.

The Red Devil’s did concede first via a penalty when Bruno Fernandes dove in on the Seagulls Full-Back.

David De Gea wasn’t happy having a Panenka style penalty taken against him.

Prior to the goal, Brighton had hit the woodwork twice and went on to hit the frame 5-times in total.

It looked like Harry Maguire had quickly equalised but the replays showed it was a Brighton own goal that brought the teams level at the break.

In the 2nd-half, a superb ball from Bruno sent Marcus Rashford on his way and after the Free School Meal King jinked and jived past a number of Brighton defenders, scored to put United 2-1 in front.

With 90-minutes on the clock, the Seagulls equalised and it looked for all-purpose that the game would finish in a draw.

Not so and Ole Time came into play with the boss following the great man Sir Alex’s legendary Fergie Time.

With 5-minutes shown as the added time that was up, United got a corner and when Harry headed the ball towards goal, inexplicably a Seagull player punched the ball away.

Great if he was the ‘keeper but he wasn’t.

The referee blew the final whistle then chaos ensued with the dreaded VAR informed Chris Kavanagh to have a look at the monitor.

A penalty was rightly awarded, despite the timing and the fact that the whistle had blown, the incident took place before the referee called time on proceedings so the penalty was the correct decision.

Big Bruno Fernandes never misses a penalty and promptly scored to give United the 3-2 victory.

United got the 3-points giving them 1 from 2-games played but make it hard work when really the quality on the show should beat Brighton easily, however, what the Seagulls lack in quality make up for in effort and commitment which the United players should have a look at.

Paul Pogba is 6 foot 4 inch and is an athlete with superb attributes that earned him a World Cup winners medal, yet plays like he’s not interested, hasn’t any physical qualities and is scared.

Someone needs to sit down with the lad and have a real talk with him to instil some confidence.

It’s ok some of the United faithful coming out with comments like.

‘Pogba’s useless, get rid etc etc’

Paul is a decent player, a World Cup winner, those chocolates are hard to come by so there’s an obvious player there but someone needs to have a chat with him as being subbed against Brighton, with Fred coming on in his place, doesn’t inspire any confidence in the United faithful who just want him to get back to the form that earned him a £90 Million move back to Old Trafford.

Liverpool has just signed Diogo Jota from Wolves, 2-fixtures into the new campaign.

Why weren’t Manchester United in for the Wolves player?

Liverpool paid £40 Million for him, peanuts in today’s inflated market, yet there was never any sign that United wanted the Portuguese playmaker. Diogo only played 10-minutes in his debut for Liverpool on Monday yet showcased his obvious skills that included a goal.

Donny Van Der Beek was the same price as Diogo and could just be the same great player as him, yet DJ is proven in the Premier League, whereas Donny isn’t and it may take him a while to get up to pace.

Diogo’s mate at Molineux, Pedro Neto is another great player who is established in England yet it’s very unlikely that Manchester United would attempt to sign him.

United still need players in before next Monday when this summers Transfer Window closes or Phase 3 will be put on hold until January.

Tottenham somehow snatched a draw from the jaws of victory on Sunday conceding a very late equaliser against Newcastle that Jose Mourinho was not happy about.

After Lucas Moura had given Spurs the lead in the 1st-half, Tottenham peppered the Newcastle goal for most of the game but couldn’t get past the excellent Magpies goalkeeper.

With time almost up, the ball spun up and hit Eric Diers hand and although the on-field referee Peter Bankes played on VAR got busy and advised Big Pete to have a look at the monitor.

After an age, Mr Bankes awarded Newcastle a penalty, which was promptly despatched and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Dracula was not happy and advised Peter to sleep with a silver bullet and some garlic cloves if he knew what was best for him.

Sympathy could have been bestowed on Jose if the footballing community weren’t tired of the not so Special One, who constantly blames everyone else but fails to mention that his players had countless chances to put the game to bed before the incident.

That’s Dracula!

Last seasons fixture at Old Trafford took place in early December and was one of Jose Mourinho’s first games in charge of Tottenham, returning to the club he sucked the life out of.

Luckily for everyone connected with United, Ole’s Wheels got a vital 2-1 victory.

Marcus Rashford scored after just 6-minutes but Spurs were back on level terms just before the break when Dele Alli equalised.

Within minutes of the restart, United was awarded a penalty after a challenge by Moussa Sissoko on Marcus inside the area.

Marcus dusted himself down and converted the spot-kick to give United the lead which they held on to until the final whistle giving Ole a victory over Jose.

www,halftimepie.co.uk

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ASTON VILLA v LIVERPOOL

Sunday, October 4th

The final fixture of Game Week-4, whereafter, the Premier League has a rest and an International set of fixtures arrive, sees Liverpool head to Villa Park for a 19.15 PM start time in England live on Sky Sports.

Both these two played on Monday Night with both getting great victories.

Aston Villa went to the Capital and took on Fulham coming away with a great win by a 3-0 scoreline.

Jack Grealish and Connor Hourihane scored in the 1st-half with Tyrone Mings adding the 3rd just after the break to give Villa another 3-points that lifts Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues up to 4th in the table with the Villains dreaming of next year’s Champions League.

In truth, whilst a great victory, most will beat Fulham and Villa won’t be in the Top Four for long after the visit from the current Premier League title holders.

Liverpool simply blitzed Arsenal an hour or so after Villa had beaten Fulham.

Despite falling behind against the run of play, the Reds were quickly back on level terms when Sadio Mane equalised the Arsenal opener.

Andy Robertson who was at fault for the Gunners goal then redeemed himself and put Jurgen’s Men in front heading into the break.

Liverpool never really looked in trouble and in truth, even if Arsenal had scored again, most likely wouldn’t have been level for long.

New boy Diogo Jota, just signed from Wolves was introduced with 10-minutes to go and immediately showed why Liverpool had paid £40 Million for the Portuguese star, who instantly made a name for himself scoring the Reds 3rd, which ironically, took Liverpool above their Merseyside rivals on goal-difference with both having 3 from 3 in the win column.

Liverpool appeared to step up a gear after the victories against Leeds United and Chelsea to send out a message to the rest of the Premier League that they will fight vigorously to retain the title having waited 30-years and a bit to finally get their hands on.

Last season when the Scousers travelled to Birmingham, Aston Villa almost shocked the eventual title winners.

Trezeguet scored in the 21st-minute to give Villa a half-time lead. Despite constant pressure from the Reds, Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues held out until the 87th-minute until Andy Robertson equalised.

It then looked like Villa would hold out for a draw until Liverpool showed why they eventually became Premier League champions with Sadio Mane scoring in the 95th-minute to break the hearts of the watching Villains.

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