EPL Game Week 5 – 2020/21 Season – Weekend Premier League Tips

John Newsome Football Betting Tips - everytip

After what seems like an incredibly long international break, we can start to look forward to some top-class action once more this weekend as the Premier League returns. Three fantastic head to heads to look forward to; Everton vs Liverpool, Man City vs Arsenal & Spurs vs West Ham. John Newsome previews these games along with all the remaining English Premier League week 5 matches. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here:English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.

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EVERTON v LIVERPOOL

Saturday 17th

This Merseyside Derby kicks-off at 12.30 PM in England live on BT Sport.

What a cracker of a fixture to restart the Premier League after the International break.

It’s the Blue half of the City that are surprisingly at the summit of the Premier League table with Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton side currently the only team out of the 20 that have 4 from 4 in the win column.

Aston Villa can match that if Dean Smith’s boys win their 4th fixture as the Midlands club are currently 3 from 3 due to missing the opening weekend.

As for the other 18-clubs, there aren’t any of the teams left that can still achieve a 100 % record.

The latest Toffees win was a 4-2 victory against Brighton prior to the break.

Sheffield Superstar 2, that is Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his fine start to the season notching his 6th-goal of the campaign so far against the Seagulls, to join Nice-One Son at the top of the goal-scoring charts, with one more than SS-1, Jimmy Vardy who has 5 up to just.

Dominic then went on to score for England in the friendly against Wales.

Big Yeri Meena scored the 2nd before the break to take Everton in leading 2-1 after Brighton had equalised.

James Rodriguez then scored a brace before the Seagulls got a late 2nd to give Everton the victory by a 4-2 scoreline.

There were a number of clubs over the past few seasons that were in line to sign the Colombian midfielder that is James Rodriguez, however, none took up the opportunity.

Carlo Ancelotti did!

Aged 29, James,  pronounced ‘Ham-es’ should, in theory, becoming into his prime and after the opening 4-fixtures, looks like he is going to be one of the signings of the season.

That’s a big statement and but Hammy has already scored 3-goals and provided 2-assists and as basically ran the midfield in the 4-fixtures so far.

Considering the teams James has played for, with his first European club being Porto, then Monaco before joining Carlo at Real Madrid and a loan spell at Bayern Munich, Hammy should have been courted by many clubs from the top divisions, yet it was Everton who took a chance and appears to be the lucky ones who have the services of the Colombian.

It’s early days for the Toffees to start dreaming of title glory and if any other manager was in charge than it would just be a pipe dream, however, Carlo isn’t any other manager, Carlo is up there with the best of the best being one of only three managers to win the Champions League with 3-different clubs, so the dream might just exit the pipe before too long and become more of a reality.

Some will scream,

‘No way can Everton win the Premier League title!’

However, those that are screaming were probably the same folk yelling back in the early part of the 2015/16 season, stating,

‘No way can Leicester win the Premier League title!’

As Gabrielle once warbled,

‘Dreams can come true’ and with the 2nd Sheffield Superstar and Hammy in the ranks, the Toffees faithful, both cardboard and real, will be hoping their dreams can come true.

In the recent Transfer Window, that ‘slammed shut’ on the 5th, Everton brought in Robin Olsen, a goalkeeper from Roma, whom will provide much-needed competition for Jordan Pickford, who still is capable of making the odd mistake.

Norwich’s Ben Godfrey comes into Goodison Park for a fee of around £25 Million.

Ben is famous for scoring a superb goal against Burnley, just prior to the Canaries relegation from the Top Flight, however, the superb goal was an ‘own’ which Big Ben will want to quickly forget.

A couple of Toffees have left Goodison Park with Theo Walcott returning to the club he started his career with, that of Southampton, initially on loan with a permanent move in the offering if the loan works.

Moise Kean as also left Merseyside and as headed across the water to France, joining Paris Saint-Germain, again initially on loan.

With Dominic and Richarlison in the starting eleven, it was increasingly likely that Moise wouldn’t get regular game time so the move is probably for the best.

It was thought that both of the clubs would come into the game unbeaten, however, Liverpool suffered a shock, no other word for it, defeat away against Aston Villa by a remarkable 7-2 scoreline, prior to the stoppage.

After conceding 2-early goals, Mo Salah pulled one back to give the Reds hope of another comeback, however, Villa scored 2-more to leave Liverpool trailing 4-1 at the break.

The 2nd-half started off roughly the same as the 1st, with Villa adding a 5th to their tally before Mo added his and the Reds 2nd.

Unfortunately for Jurgen’s Boys, Mo’s 2nd was merely a consolation with Villa scoring another 2 to run out winners by the bizarre 7-2 score.

Earlier in the afternoon, West Ham had beaten Leicester by a 3-0 scoreline and Manchester United were hammered 6-1 by Tottenham, so there definitely was something in the air that Sunday afternoon.

To be fair to Jurgen Klopp, he didn’t offer up any excuses and accepted the defeat with the minimum dignity that a Premier League manager can.

In the victory against Arsenal, 7-days previous, Jurgen took exception to comments made by Roy Keane in the Sky Sports studio.

Roy had described Liverpool’s defending against the Gunners as ‘sloppy’ which Klipperty refuted, yet Arsenal’s goal came from a sloppy defensive error by Andy Robertson, so although Keano sent into the Liverpool team and is constantly being controversial, on this occasion, was correct.

Cut to a week later and Jurgen was in effect agreeing with Roy, who this time, wasn’t in the studio, just watching at home, with a pint of Guinness in his hand and a big grin on his face as he had given everyone a warning 7-days previous.

The collective back-four of Liverpool were simply shocking against Aston Villa conceding chance after chance to Dean Smith’s men who must have thought it was Christmas Day already.

The usually assured Rolls Royce that is Virgil Van Dijk must have had the car back in the garage and loaned the Austin Allegro as the defending, at times, again resembled an episode of the Chuckle Brothers.

Jordan Henderson was on the bench against Villa but didn’t see game time and Jordan’s reputation is enhanced every time he doesn’t play.

With this international break, Big Hendo should be fit to start against the Toffees and new boy Thiago Alcantara will be hoping to make an appearance.

The loss of Sadio Mane, who tested positive for the Coronavirus was significant in the defeat against Villa as Big Sadio starts off the Gegan-Press that is a big factor in Jurgen’s set-up.

Liverpool are still a great team and with Sadio and Jordan returning to the starting eleven will be a different proposition for Everton than Villa encountered.

Last season at Goodison Park, this fixture was played post-lockdown and finished in a very entertaining 0-0 draw.

Enough said!

If this game today finishes goalless, a certain EveryTip contributor will walk up and down his street, clothe-less.

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CHELSEA v SOUTHAMPTON

Saturday 17th

A rare 15.00 PM kick-off in England for Chelsea that is not a live TV game.

After the Broadcasting companies had agreed to show all of the Premier League fixtures live on various outlets because fans weren’t allowed into the stadia, that has now changed and both Sky and BT Sports are offering some games on their Box Office service for an additional cost of £14.95.

This fixture at Stamford Bridge is not one of them.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea got back on track on Saturday after the draw against West Brom the week before.

Crystal Palace were the visitors to Stamford Bridge and having conceded 3-goals in the first 30-minutes against the Baggies, Frank instilled into his Blues to keep it tight at least until half-time.

The opening goal after the break came from an unlikely source when new boy Ben Chilwell hammered home following good work by Kai Havertz.

Kurt Zouma then scored Chelsea’s 2nd on the hour-mark to ease Frank’s nerves, after they were rattled by his old boss Jose Mourinho in the midweek Carabao Cup defeat.

Then came 2-penalties which were both converted by the penalty master that is Jorginho who seldom misses from 12-yards.

That said, the Italian did miss one against Liverpool a couple of weeks back when his famous hop, skip and jump routine didn’t work.

This time against the Eagles, Jorgi Boy was on target to give Chelsea a convincing 4-0 victory.

That’s 7-points from a possible 12 that puts Frank’s Blues in a cluster of 4-teams that have the same 7-points.

There were no incomings on Transfer Deadline Day but Ruben Loftus-Cheek went out on loan to Fulham.

It looked like the defeat against Liverpool so early in the season could have been detrimental to Chelsea’s title ambitions especially after the subsequent draw against West Brom but with Liverpool losing against Aston Villa, Chelsea are now just 2-points off the current champions and 5-points away from Everton at the summit.

It’s early days yet in the race for the title so there’s still time for the Blues and a victory against the Saints will be Frank’s next objective.

Ralph Hasenhuttl actually went one better than Frank Lampard when his Southampton boys beat West Brom last time out.

Moussa Djenepro scored first just before the break then Oriol Romeu added the 2nd midway through the 2nd-half to give Southampton a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Wreck-It’s men are one of four teams with 6-points from the opening 4-fixtures.

Aged just 17, Theo Walcott left Southampton in 2006 and signed for Arsenal, after then moving onto Everton, the prodigal son has returned to St Mary’s on an initial loan deal which could become permanent if Theo starts to perform.

Theo will definitely enhance the Saints and the faithful, both cardboard and real, will relish seeing the now 31-year old running down the St Mary’s wing.

At Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day last season, Frank’s Blues must have had too much Turkey and roast potatoes as Wreck-It Ralph’s Saints came away with a victory from a 2-0 scoreline.

Goals in both halves from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond gave Southampton a great post-Christmas present.

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MAN CITY v ARSENAL

Saturday 17th

Late Saturday Afternoon football with this game kicking-off at 17.30 PM in England live on Sky Sports.

What a fixture to round off Saturday’s proceedings with Pep 2, Mikel Arteta taking his chargers up the M1 and M6 to the Etihad to take on Pep 1’s relegation-threatened Man City.

Following the 5-2 home defeat against Leicester the week before, City went to newly-promoted Leeds United and after Raheem Sterling had scored to put City in front a pattern seemed to emerge that was similar to the game against the Foxes.

In both games, Pep’s Blues have dominated the opposition for the first 25-minutes, taken the lead then appear to take the foot off the gas.

Leicester ran riot after the initial quarter of the game and although Leeds didn’t score 5-goals, they did equalise and with no further goals, held City to a 1-1 draw.

After 3-fixtures so far, Man City have only accrued 4-points and are a staggering 8-points behind Everton who are the current front runner.

It looks from the outside that the defence is again the main cause of concern for Pep with there not being a definitive Centre-Back pairing.

Against Leeds, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias were the 2 chosen, with Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker at the sides.

A lot has been made about the 2 in the middle but it’s sometimes not certain quite what Mr Mendy brings to the table.

Kyle Walker is always an 8/10 and his pace will keep him out of trouble but he cannot be expected to constantly cover the other 3.

John Stones appears to be either unfit or out of favour, or both and with the signings of Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake looks to be pushed further down the Pep pecking order.

Maybe the International break as just come in time for all concerned at City, with this fixture against Arsenal being the one to get back on track.

Kevin De Bruyne is on the verge of committing his future to the Mancunians which will please Liam and Noel and the other Kagool wearers.

Arsenal are in a cluster of 4-teams currently with 9-points, after their opening 4-fixtures and whilst that certainly is a fact, 2 of the 3-victories achieved from the 4-games have been against Fulham and Sheffield United who are yet to win a game.

The 3rd victory was against West Ham who was rubbish at the time so the Gooners don’t need to be getting too excited just yet.

The latest win was a professional 2-1 defeat of Sheffield United at the Emirates.

Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe scored the Gunners goals in the 2nd-half and although conceded a goal late on, held on for the 3-points.

Bukayo was then called into Gareth Southgate’s England squad and made his debut in the 3-0 victory against Wales on Thursday.

Having just turned 19 at the beginning of September, the youngster looks to have a great career ahead of him on the left-hand side for both the Arsenal and England teams and if Mikel Arteta fails to provide Champions League football anytime soon, the lad may just find himself at a club that will be able to showcase his skills on the European stage.

As with the fixture against Liverpool a couple of weeks back, this is another test to see where Arsenal can consider themselves in the Premier League hierarchy.

Last seasons fixture between Pep 1 and Pep 2, took place as the first game after lockdown due to the original game being rescheduled because of cup commitments.

Raheem Sterling scored in first-half stoppage time to give City the advantage.

Within minutes of the restart, Sideshow Bob, aka David Luiz was given his marching orders following a challenge that resulted in a penalty to City which Kevin De Bruyne despatched.

The 10-men of Arsenal were never going to beat City now and it was just a case of keeping the score down.

Phil Foden added City’s 3rd in the 91st-minute to give Pep 1 a 3-0 victory over his protege.

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NEWCASTLE v MANCHESTER UNITED

Saturday 17th

This fixture was scheduled for a 15.00 PM start-time in England but has now been pushed back to 20.00 PM.

The reason being that the Capitalist thieves that are the Premier League have decided that because fans can’t attend the matches, they will get Sky and BT Sports to show a selection of fixtures on their Box Office channel charging £14.95 per game.

So on top of paying an extortionate amount of money to Sky and BT that helps pay Mesut Ozil and Gareth Bale £500,000 a week (a week!), the broadcasting organisations are now wanting to exploit the working man and woman and ask for another £15 quid, to watch their team.

Marcus Rashford as just received an MBE following his plight to get free school meals for the children of families struggling, who a lot are probably Manchester United fans, who now have to find an extra £14.95 to watch this historic fixture against Newcastle.

It’s just another kick in the teeth for the working man and woman which Sky and BT Sports should hang their heads in shame.

People shouldn’t pay it, they should save the £14.95, go to Aldi or Lidl and buy a decent amount of food so that the families are able to provide food for their children and not have Marcus Rashford campaign to the government for free school meals.

It’s the reverse of Robin Hood, Sky and BT are robbing the vulnerable families to pay the already rich footballers who then blame the government for not feeding the vulnerable that can’t afford food because Sky and BT are asking for an extra £14.95 on top of the monthly subscriptions to pay the already rich footballers, then award Marcus an MBE for campaigning against the government.

Marcus should really be campaigning against Sky and BT Sports but obviously, that won’t happen because they subsidise his extortionate wages, so he attacks the easy targets that are h the bumbling government.

Don’t pay to watch football on Box Office!

It’s just the start.

Newcastle entertain relegation-threatened Manchester United, sitting on 7-points from the 4-games played so far, the same as Tottenham, Chelsea and Leeds so Steve Bruce is in exalted company.

Prior to the International break, the Magpies earned a great victory against Burnley by a 3-1 scoreline.

Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring after 14-minutes to give Big Brucey’s black and whites a half-time lead.

Burnley did equalise briefly midway through the 2nd-period but 2-goals from Callum Wilson put the game to bed and gave the cardboard Toon Army a great Saturday night out in the centre of Newcastle, all social distancing and all home by 10.30.

George Orwell will be laughing his head off.

Newcastle made their summer transfers along time before the 5th of October. Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis arrived a couple of weeks back, with Steve Bruce surprisingly being backed by Mike Cashley, to push on this season.

The Magpies will never win the Premier League title any time soon but will always be a competitive match for any team and will relish the visit of Manchester United.

www.half-time.co.uk

As mentioned on a few occasions, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has had a number of phases to work through to get Manchester United resembling something like the United under Fergie.

Unfortunately the Red Devil faithful will argue that Phase 4 hasn’t materialised this summer with the signings not being as exciting as expected.

That said, United have persuaded the excellent Edinson Cavani to pitch up at the Lowry and have brought in Alex Telles from Porto.

Alex is a Left-Back and should push for a starting birth ahead of Luke Shaw who it’s fair to say as struggled in the past few weeks.

Luke is undoubtedly a good player but of late it appears from just watching Manchester United that he is getting caught out of position too many times, the same as the rest of the back-line.

Whether that is Luke’s fault or a combination of the fact that United’s defence is useless at the moment and Luke is maybe overcompensating for the failures of his teammates but one thing is for certain Alex Telles will enhance Manchester United and Luke Shaw will need to up his game.

In the disastrous 6-1 defeat on Full Moon Sunday, against Tottenham prior to the break, Luke was lucky to stay on the pitch after blatantly scything down Lucas Moura, purely due to a lack of positional awareness mainly down to not being fit enough.

There were another couple of signings Facunda Pellistra and Amad Diallo who are probably not ready for the first team but if both show potential in training could quite easily reverse that perception.

Against Tottenham, even the fiercest of Manchester United rivals were quite embarrassed seeing the horrendous performance from the United players.

The strange thing about the game was that United earned a penalty in the 1st-minute which Bruno Fernandes despatched to give the Red Devil’s a great start.

Unfortunately, that was it as far as the positives are concerned as Tottenham then scored 6 to run out easy winners.

It could easily be said that Tottenham blitzed United but in truth, Spurs didn’t have to do too much and even Jose Mourinho was sat perplexed in the dugout thinking,

‘Wow, I really have sucked the life out of this team!’

Bruno Fernandes as reinvigorated the United dressing room but even his performance gave thought that it was his useless twin brother who had taken the Old Trafford stage in the 1st-half and was promptly hooked at half-time.

To be taken off at half-time is in itself a terrible indictment as to how one has performed but then to be replaced by Fred, even Mr Fernandes must have been embarrassed.

Manchester United have just forked out £35 Million for Donny Van Der Beek, yet it was Fred that Ole sent on as a replacement for Bruno when United were trailing 4-1 at half-time.

How must young Donny have felt witnessing that tactical switch?

Donny’s agent as already voiced his concern over a lack of game time that the Ajax youngster as enjoyed up to now.

It’s always been a narrative of this column that Ole Gunnar Solskjær should be afforded time at Old Trafford as to continuously keep getting rid of the manager, isn’t progressing Manchester United.

However, that narrative will quickly expire if Ole oversees many more performances that mirror the Tottenham debacle.

As well as the great Liverpool v Newcastle games of the mid-90s that twice finished with a 4-3 scoreline, there was one particular Newcastle v Manchester United fixture that goes down in Premier League history too and took place almost 24-years ago to the day on the 20th of October 1996.

Newcastle 5 V Manchester United 0

This was a poignant game for this EveryTip contributor as 2-days before this brilliant victory for the Magpies, John Newsome lost his faithful dog after 15-years.

Mac was brought into the Newsome family on the 29th of September 1981, the same day as the legendary Bill Shankly died.

The elder sister of the Newsome clan was allowed to get a puppy but being 16, her doggy-attention span lasted barely a week, when a 12-year old football fanatic took over the role of puppy walker.

The good thing about dogs in the 1980s was that dogs were dogs.

When you threw a stick the dog would run away for four hours, nowadays dogs get treat like children in England.

Thing is, they are not children, they are dogs, the clues in the title.

They look like dogs.

When you take the hound on the park, all they do is sniff other dogs bits.

Sometimes a dog walker will be on the park chatting some sort up and the dog is sniffing their dogs bum.

Then the dog does its business in the middle of the football field, not in the wood bit, no! the dog has to go in the middle of the field.

So then the modern dog owner has to go over with his bag and pick it up.

The reason England are not producing good Young footballers is that the business is now picked up.

In the ‘80s the youths used to dribble round the said dog business on the street or in the middle of the park.

Paul Gascoigne was the player he was because he lived on a Newcastle housing estate where dogs were everywhere.

So Gazza honed his skills dribbling around the dog’s doo-doo.

Nowadays, with the owner picking up the stuff with his or her bag, it’s becoming detrimental to the English game.

Macca Doobs was 9-years old before he understood ‘come here’ by that time, this contributor was the ripe old age of 21.

On many occasions, the boy had to ring his mates up, on the landline and say that he would be late to the boozer because he couldn’t find the dog.

For 15-years Mac was the best pal ever, 24-years later, he’s still in a box, in a cabinet and is spoken to every day.

Having had to have the old fella put to sleep, 2-days before, it was a Sunday afternoon on the sofa watching Newcastle wipe the floor with the then Premier League Champions, Manchester United.

Defender Darren Peacock opened the scoring for the Magpies after 12-minutes, which in today’s game may not have been allowed with Goal-line Technology.

The referee Steve Dunn had no hesitation in awarding the goal to Darren.

David Ginola added a 2nd on the half-hour mark and with no further goals, Newcastle went in at the break, leading 2-0.

In the 2nd-half, Les Ferdinand made it 3-0 before the Newcastle legend that is Alan Shearer scored the Magpies 4th.

The final goal in the 5-0 victory was a superb, sublime chip from the Centre-Back Philippe Albert which in Belgium is a sexy name but in Newcastle, it’s just Phil Albert who could be a butcher.

Kevin Keegan was still at the helm after the previous season’s capitulation that allowed Sir Alex the victory in the mind games, (I would love it, love it!) so this was a very sweet moment for the Doncaster born legend gaining a little victory against Fergie.

In life, little victories are priceless, everyone gets a little victory every now and again and once the occurrence happens, rightly celebrate.

Kevin Keegan celebrated in October 1996.

Hope Macca Doobs has a few doggy treats up in heaven with Joanie.

Rest in Peace Macca Doobs, Woof woof.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is waking up, the day after the Transfer Window closed, to the same realisation that dawned on David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Dracula that World Wide global sponsorship, fan base Social Media impressions and being Manchester United, do not translate into high profile transfers.

However, that said Edinson Cavani, who is the latest Manchester United Number 7, is a high profile signing, despite his age and could offer the same valuable experience that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson gave in the twilight of their career.

The problem maybe is that the United faithful would have liked a few younger high profile signings.

A quick story about the Uruguayan striker, that as been told before but apt now that Manchester United have signed the goal scorer.

On a trip to Milan, back in 2008, this EveryTip contributor went to see a live game Atalanta v, Palermo.

The Pink Devils of Palermo beat Atalanta by a 3-1 scoreline with a young Italian player having a superb game scoring the 1st Palermo goal and running the Atalanta defence ragged.

On returning to England, the EveryTip contributor contacted a number of clubs to advise them that there was a young Italian striker, playing for Palermo that needed to be signed and probably could have been picked up for a couple of Million pound at most.

None of the clubs contacted seemed to be bothered about signing the Italian.

As it turned out, the Italian, Edinson Cavani, isn’t Italian, he’s Uruguayan.

Easy mistake to make, Edinson Cavani, sounds Italian, plays for an Italian club and looks Italian.

Whether Edinson Cavani is Italian, Uruguayan or whatever, if a numpty from Barnsley who loves football, can spot a talent playing for Palermo then the top English clubs should have been able to snap up Mr Cavani back in 2008.

Big EC is 34, in a couple of months, coincidentally, the same age as Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy, so still has life in his Italian, sorry, Uruguayan legs and will enhance the Manchester United team.

This fixture last season at St James was just over 12-months ago to the day, taking place on the 6th of October and saw Newcastle defeat United by a 1-0 scoreline.

Matty Longstaff got the solitary goal giving Big Brucey’s Newcastle a victory over Ole’s Wheels.

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SHEFFIELD UNITED v FULHAM

Sunday 18th

Another Pay-Per-View game, live on the BT Sport Box Office channel kicking-off at 12.00 PM in England at an added extortionate premium of £14.95.

After a brilliant start to life back in the Premier League last season, Sheffield United have struggled this term and now sit in the relegation places with zero-points from their 4-games so far. Probably the positive that Chris Wilder can take is that the only team out of the 19-rivals, that is worse than the Blades are Fulham who heads to Bramall Lane for this Game Week-5 encounter, so Happy Chris will definitely be targeting the Cottagers to get back on track.

Sheffield United’s last fixture prior to the break resulted in a 2-1 defeat away at the Emirates against Arsenal.

David McGoldrick scored with 10-minutes to go to give United hope of a comeback after conceding 2, 2nd-half goals against the Gunners.

Unfortunately, time ran out for the Blades who recorded their 4th-defeat from the new 2020/21 season.

Little James from Swinton, the ex-Barnsley fan, as had a few quid on the prospect of David Brooks returning to the Lane.

David is a great little player who Bournemouth snapped up a couple of seasons back when Sheffield United were still a Championship outfit.

Now the Cherries are the Championship outfit, David Brooks is wanted by a number of clubs but a return to Bramall Lane is thought to be on the cards.

Although the Transfer Window closed on Monday the 5th, Premier League clubs can still do business with the rest of the English Football League up until the 16th of October.

Jimbo has promised his lovely girlfriend a steak dinner at the Bernie Inn, Sheffield branch if Mr Brooks re-signs for the Blades before the 16th.

The lads like that, all heart!

James girlfriend doesn’t know how lucky she is, although she’s only allowed either a starter or a dessert, not both, as Jim says,

‘I’m not made of money!’

Fulham are rock bottom of the Premier League table with 4 from 4 in the defeat column and lie at the foot just below Sheffield United due purely on conceding more goals than the Blades.

The latest loss was a narrow 1-0 defeat against Wolves.

Scott Parker’s side are competitive and show willing but Scott’s belief on a possession-based game isn’t working and maybe he needs to go more direct and use the obvious physical attributes of Aleksandar Mitrovic.

In the 4-defeats so far, Fulham have had the higher possession percentage in 2 of the games, 50/50 in the 3rd and 45/55 against Arsenal, so it’s evident that Ronald McDonald is wanting his team to play a certain way.

The added extra to that is Fulham have also been dumped out of the Carabao Cup by their last season play-off rivals Brentford.

Fulham did have 61% possession though in the 3-0 defeat against the Championship club.

Ultimate respect to Scott Parker for believing in his formula, however, it’s ok having principles but those principles could result in a seat at the Job Centre as the owners won’t put up with constantly losing and Scott could just find himself down the concrete, with a certain Edward Howe, at the minute, pruning his roses on the South Coast, just waiting for the first managerial casualty of the new campaign.

Fulham have completed the loan signings of Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lyon’s Joachim Andersen, plus a permanent deal for Tosin Adarabioyo from Man City.

It was November 2017, the last time Fulham had a night out in Sheffield with the away side getting a victory by a 5-4 scoreline, yes that’s correct, 5-4!

However, although a very entertaining game, this was a Championship fixture before both teams eventually made it to the Premier League.

The 9-goals were scored as follows,

Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 6th-minute, with Sheyi Ojo replying for Fulham.

Ryan Sessegnon then put Fulham ahead, before both him and Leon scored theirs and their teams 2nd, taking the Cottagers in at the break leading 3-2.

Sheyi scored his 2nd and Fulham’s 4th after the break, with Ryan completing his hat-trick to give his team a 5-2 advantage with still 12-minutes to play.

Sheffield United then staged a mini-comeback with goals from Samir Carruthers and Leon completing his hat-trick, however, time ran out and the game finished in a 5-4 scoreline in favour of the London side.

Fulham then went on to gain promotion via the play-offs but were relegated the following season with the Blades taking their place in the Top Flight, now both are on an even keel and coincidentally, both are pointless with 4 from 4 in the loss column.

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CRYSTAL PALACE v BRIGHTON

Sunday 18th

Early Sunday Afternoon football with this fixture at Selhurst Park kicking-off at 14.00 PM in England live on Sky Sports.

Prior to the International break, Roy Hodgson’s Palace side travelled the short distance over London to Stamford Bridge and were taught a footballing lesson by Frank’s Blues.

After 2-straight wins, it’s now 2-defeats in a row for Palace and a visit from Brighton is probably just what Roy needs to get back on track.

Against Chelsea, the Eagles went in at the break matching Frank’s boys at 0-0 but the Blues scored 4-times in the 2nd-half to ultimately inflict a defeat on Palace by a 4-0 scoreline.

Probably one of the most satisfying things that have happened in the 2-week break is that Wilfried Zaha is still a Crystal Palace player having had no one come in for him.

There are plenty of clubs out there who would love the services of Big Wilf but not many were prepared to pay the £70 Million Palace were wanting.

At most Wilfried is worth £40 Million so for the time being, at least until January, Wilf will be entertaining the Eagle Ultras.

Brighton have suffered 2-straight defeats against Manchester United recently, the first in a bizarre Premier League fixture that ended 10-minutes after the 90-were up and the second being a defeat that knocked the Seagulls out of the Carabao Cup.

Following the defeats against United, Graham Potter’s men then suffered a 3rd loss in a row, a 2nd in the Premier League away at Goodison Park.

Neal Maupay equalised an early Everton goal but the Seagulls then conceded on the stroke of half-time to go in at the break trailing.

Everton then scored 2-more before Yves Bissouma scored a very late consolation that resulted in Brighton suffering another loss by a 4-2 scoreline.

Brighton are currently just above the drop zone with 3-points from their 4-fixtures so far, the same 3-points as Manchester United.

Brighton’s transfer policy appears to be,

invest in the youth, purchasing several youngsters in the recent Transfer Window.

Should the gamble on the likes of Jakub Moder, Michal Karbownik, Lars Dendoncker, Reda Khadra and Jan Paul van Hecke pay off, then Brighton could have one of the most exciting teams in England in a few years time.

The problem may arise that in a few years time, the Seagulls will be back in the Championship.

A current Championship club that has a similar model where the so-called Billionaire owners think they know how to run a football club are heading down to Division 3, or League 1 as it’s now known.

Barnsley FC are owned by a consortium that includes the American Billy Beane as one of the shareholders.

Billy was portrayed by Brad Pitt in a terrific sports drama a few years back called MoneyBall where the owners of a Baseball team chose players based on stats instead of talent.

The owners of Barnsley FC are following the same principles which is becoming a bugbear of the Oakwell faithful.

Whilst being an ardent Reds fan and not necessarily agreeing with the philosophy of the Barnsley owners, it is their philosophy on how to run a successful sports franchise, which is basically what Barnsley FC have become.

Even with the owners suggesting that the club could move away from Oakwell and Barnsley and possibly play their football out of the county.

Twelve months ago, Daniel Stendel, who had worked miracles at the club gaining promotion back to the Championship and was revered all around Barnsley and surrounding areas, spoke out against the owner’s philosophy of just investing in young players, to ultimately increase their stats and sell on for a profit.

Daniel was subsequently sacked.

The owners then employed a manager from Austria who no one outside of Austria had heard of.

Gerhard Struber had a style of football that mirrored Daniel and helped Barnsley stay in the Championship, albeit, on a technicality.

Big Dan was soon forgotten and was even criticised by MoneyBall Mayhem PLC and some of the faithful for being a moaning so and so when calling out the owners.

Cut to exactly 12-months later and Big Gerry Strube is away, poached by the Austrian energy drinks company Red Bull to oversee proceedings in New York.

On leaving Barnsley, in a radio interview, Gerhard pronounced that,

“For me, it is not the goal to always play in the relegation zone.

I have other ambitions and aims and I cannot feel that the owners have the same ambitions and goals as me.

My future is open and we will see.

Every year, every season, this is a big, big fight with big, big energy until the last game to stay in the league.

One more time, it is a big question to the owners, is this the goal?

For me, no.”

Pretty much similar to the thoughts of Daniel Stendel, 12-months previous.

Not sure why someone would want to leave Gods own Country and head to the bright lights of New York though.

It will always be that way under the current owners unless a group of fans win the lottery and buy out Billy Pitt and his Yanks.

As for the Reds next manager, it will be an unknown who will have an ego and will think he can change the philosophy but will end up the same as Dan and Gerry, the odds for the new manager are as follows,

Darren Moore

1/2

Hannes Wolf

3/1

Eddie Howe

8/1

Danny Cowley

10/1

Markus Schopp

10/1

Adam Murray

12/1

Martin Devaney

14/1

Lee Johnson

16/1

Paul Cook

16/1

Poya Asbaghi

16/1

Unless it’s Hannes Wolf, an unknown, it won’t be any of the others.

It will be a no-mark who wants an opportunity on £100 quid a week to prove himself which he undoubtedly will then get fed up with MoneyBall Mayhem PLC and move on or be down the concrete.

Adam Mowatt, the Captain, will be the next to go.

The owners won’t change their philosophy so it may have to be either put up with or revolted.

Let’s hope the Seagulls faithful are not in the same boat as the loyal Reds fans anytime soon.

When Brighton headed to Selhurst Park just before Christmas last season, 2nd-half goals from Neal Maupay and Wilfried Zaha gave both teams a share of the points following a 1-1 draw.

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TOTTENHAM v WEST HAM

Sunday 18th

Late Sunday Afternoon football with a 16.30 PM start-time in England live on Sky Sports.

On Full Moon Sunday, Tottenham got the 2nd strange result of the day following, West Ham’s victory against Leicester and just prior to Aston Villa’s brilliant win against Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho took his Spurs side up to his old haunting ground and after conceding a penalty just a minute into the game, must have feared the worst.

What followed next, even left Dracula embarrassed in the Old Trafford away dugout which made him famous back in 2004 when his Porto side equalised in the final minutes to send them through to the Quarter-Final of the Champions League against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United team.

After witnessing the goal Jose jumped out of his seat and ran down the touchline to his players announcing himself on the English stage.

This time, in charge of his new-look Tottenham side, Dracula just sat perplexed as he watched, firstly Tanguy Ndombele equalises then see Son Heung-Min, Harry Kane and Nice-One Son again, take his chargers in at the break leading Manchester United 4-1.

Serge Aurier made it 5, midway through the 2nd-half with Big Harry adding his 2nd and Tottenham’s 6th to give Jose and his boys a superb away-day victory by a 6-1 scoreline.

Even Dracula couldn’t believe how much he had sucked the life out of the Manchester United players prior to his departure from the Lowry.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has rightly come in for criticism for his previous displays in a Spurs shirt but credit where credits due as Pierre-Emile had a superb game against United, showing Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes the ugly part of the midfield that is missing from the United players.

Another player that went under the radar against Ole’s Wheels was Sergio Reguilon who is starting to make the Left-Back berth his own, following the Spaniard’s move from Real Madrid.

Tottenham head a group of 4-clubs that have 7-points from the 4-played so far.

Whilst a superb victory against Manchester United that cannot be taken away from Jose and Tottenham, this fixture against West Ham may be a sterner test as United were simply horrendous on that Full Moon Sunday and the Hammers should put in more of a performance to prevent a defeat.

West Ham were themselves part of the Full Moon Sunday, kicking-off the footballing mayhem with a stunning 3-0 victory against Leicester.

Prior to the fixture at the King Power, there was no real evidence that the Hammers would come away with 3-points.

Leicester had won their 3-opening fixtures and West Ham had lost 2 out of the 3, so for all-purpose, it just looked like an easy Home Win.

Michail Antonio gave the Hammers an early lead that was doubled when Pablo Fornals scored a 2nd before the break.

Jarrod Bowen made it 3-0 midway through the 2nd-half and with no more goals, the cardboard Bubbles were ecstatic on their way back to London singing their famous ditty,

‘I’m forever blowing..’

David Moyes has missed a couple of games due to Self-Isolation so should be back for this short trip over to the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.

There’s one new signing in at West Ham already with Vladimir Coufal coming in from Slavia Prague, joining his Czech Mate, Tomas Soucek at the London Stadium.

Brentford’s Said Benrahma appears to be heading to East London too in a £30 Million deal so could feature against Tottenham.

One thing to mention is Jack Wilshere is no longer a West Ham player after having his contract paid up, so the Bubble faithful wish Jack well for the future.

Jack is a great player but injury has blighted his career which is a real shame for the lad and for the England fans.

This was the 1st game post-lockdown last term, with 2, second-half Spurs goals giving Jose’s men the victory.

The unfortunate Tomas Soucek turned past his own ‘keeper to give Tottenham the lead then Harry Kane did what Harry does and added the 2nd to earn Spurs the win by a 2-0 scoreline.

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LEICESTER v ASTON VILLA

Sunday 18th

This is a 19.15 PM start time in England live on Sky Sports Box Office at an added cost of £14.95.

What’s been called the Full Moon Sunday that saw some very strange Premier League results and performances, Brendan’s Not-So Wonderful Human Beings were part of the freakiness when West Ham turned up at the King Power and blew the Foxes away.

The Foxes had just beaten Pep’s Low Flying City at the Etihad by a 5-2 scoreline and were 3 from 3 heading into the home fixture against the Hammers, who had lost 2 of their 3 games so far.

There was no real evidence to suggest that Leicester would capitulate like they did conceding 2-goals to trail at the break.

The Foxes then conceded a 3rd in the 2nd-half to ultimately lose the game by a 3-0 scoreline.

The defeat still leaves Leicester in the Top Four in a group of 4-teams with 9-points, so will feel the loss against the Hammers was just a blip and will want to get back to winning ways against their Midlands rivals.

Brendan Rodgers didn’t have the services of James Maddison, Dennis Praet and Wilfred Ndidi against West Ham, who had all starred against Man City the week before and Brendan will feel the international break as come at the right time to get the lads back fit.

Rod Stewart was happy though, back at his 3-bedroom terrace, the crooner, wearing his West Ham shirt, with ‘Stewart’ on the back, was blasting out ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ on his karaoke all afternoon, although the neighbours had to bang on the walls a few times to tell Rod to turn it in.

Still, Rod didn’t mind as his beloved Green and White Hoops had beaten the mighty St Johnstone in the SPL (Scottish Pub League) at the exact same time as Brendan was losing, so a win/double for the Celtic fans all over the world.

He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be.

Before the following is read, please rub one’s eyes as the sentence may appear non-sensical.

Aston Villa are one of the only 2-teams left that have a 100% record in the Premier League after beating Liverpool by a 7-2 scoreline.

Up and down the various countries, everybody are now rubbing their eyes.

Aston Villa beat Liverpool, the current Premier League champions by 7-goals to 2, unbelievable but true.

That gave Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues 3 from 3 in the win column and takes them 2nd in the table, in a group of 4-teams with 9-points, however, the other 3 have played a game more.

Villa missed the opening weekend following Man City being useless in Europe.

Against Liverpool, Ollie Watkins scored after 4-minutes then added his and Villa’s 2nd, 20-minutes later.

That briefly shocked Jurgen’s Reds into life who quickly pulled a goal back, however, John McGinn restored the 2-goal advantage almost immediately.

Ollie, then completed his hat-trick before half-time, heading home his 3rd and Villa’s 4th.

Ollie hadn’t scored in the Premier League after his move from Brentford but had now the perfect hat-trick when the header went in, following his right-foot strike for the 1st and then the left-foot for the 2nd.

Almost 12-months ago to the day, Ollie scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory against Barnsley at Oakwell, with all 3-goals coming from headers.

Leading 4-1 at the break, against the Premier League champions would have given Dean an easy half-time team talk, telling his boys that Liverpool will be wounded and would come out all guns blazing in the 2nd-half.

One way of dampening that would be to score a 5th, which is exactly what Villa did, through new boy Ross Barclay who had just arrived at Villa Park on loan from Chelsea.

Back in January, another Chelsea midfielder came on loan to Aston Villa and made his debut against the current Premier League champions at the time Man City.

Unfortunately, Danny Drinkwater’s debut for Villa wasn’t as successful as Ross, with Danny’s Villa losing by a 6-1 scoreline with Double-D being responsible for a couple of the City goals.

Liverpool did score a 2nd but Villa hadn’t taken their foot off the gas and 2-further goals from Jack Grealish gave Villa the brilliant yet simply unbelievable 7-2 victory over Jurgen’s Title Winners.

Leicester will be like a wounded animal, well wounded Fox and should give Aston Villa a sterner test than Liverpool but nothing can be taken away from Dean Smith’s boys who are 3 from 3 in the win column and have victories against Sheffield United, Fulham and the mighty Liverpool, registered on the account already.

With Jack Grealish signed long term, Ollie Watkins opening his Premier League account already and the arrival of Ross Barclay, Villa should be able to stay away from the relegation zone and after that, anything else will be seen as a bonus for the Villains.

Jack Grealish starred for England in the recent Internationals against Wales, Belgium and Denmark and could just be what England have lacked since the days of Paul Gascoigne, a creative midfielder who can open up the opposition.

It’s early days to compare Jack to Paul but if the lad continues, Manchester United, as well as others, may just regret not poaching the player at a reasonable price, before Aston Villa tied Jack down to a longer contract that as surely seen his transfer fee go through the roof.

Last seasons fixture at the King Power was the final game before Boris locked down the country with the Foxes getting a brilliant Monday Night 4-0.

Harvey Barnes opened the scoring in the 1st-half with Jamie V surprisingly sat on the bench.

Brendan introduced his Wonderful goal-scoring machine on the hour mark and it didn’t take long for the original Sheffield Superstar to score, converting a penalty after just 3-minutes of entering the field.

Big Vards added his 2nd and the Foxes 3rd not long after with Harvey Barnes matching his mates 2-goal tally late on to give Leicester a pre-lockdown 4-0 victory.

Probably at the time, neither team would have envisaged having just over 3-months off in self-isolation and returning to playing in empty stadiums.

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WEST BROM v BURNLEY

Monday 19th

Late Monday Afternoon football with a 17.15 PM kick-off live on Sky Sports Box Office for an added fee of £14.95.

West Brom held out for 41-minutes against Southampton last time out but conceded a goal just before the break.

The Saints then scored again to inflict a defeat on the Baggies by a 2-0 scoreline that leaves Slaven Bilic’s Boys just outside of the relegation places purely due to the brilliant point earned against Chelsea a week before.

Even though the Transfer Window closed on the 5th, English clubs can still do deals between themselves up until the 16th of October, with West Brom still in pursuit of Karlan Grant who is currently a Huddersfield Town player.

Bournemouth’s Josh King is another potential target for Slaven so the Boing Boing Baggies could have a new striker, come October the 17th.

Surprisingly Sean Dyche’s Clarets are currently below West Brom in the Premier League table and sit in the relegation zone with zero-points from their 3-games played so far.

It’s 3-games, not 4, due to Burnley getting the opening weekend off when their fixture against Manchester United was postponed due to United being rubbish in Europe.

Burnley are competing in the games they have played but ultimately have lost the 3-fixtures the latest being a 3-1 defeat away against Newcastle.

Ashley Westwood equalised an earlier Newcastle goal but then the Clarets conceded 2-further goals to lose their 3rd-game in a row.

Although in the drop-zone with nil-points, Burnley, including this fixture against West Brom, will have played 3 of their opening 4 games away from Turf Moor, so will feel relatively confident that once the home fixtures kick in, the points will start materialising.

It was March 2018 when Burnley last visited the Hawthorns.

Ashley Barnes scored midway through the 1st-half to take the Clarets in at the break leading.

Second-half goals from Chris Wood and a Salomon Rondon reply for the Baggies gave Sean Dyche’s boys a 2-1 victory.

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LEEDS UNITED v WOLVES

Monday 19th

Monday Night Football, brings Game Week-5 to a close, with this tantalising fixture at Elland Rd, kicking-off at 20.00 PM in England live on Sky Sports and not an additional £14.95 but part of the already expensive monthly Sky subscription.

Leeds United are unbeaten in the 3-previous Premier League fixtures following the opening day defeat against Liverpool which could have gone either way at the time.

Pep’s Low Flying City were the latest team to come up against Bielsa’s Whites and after initially being outplayed for the first 25-minutes, where Leeds conceded an early goal, Marcelo’s boys came back into the game and the Whites supreme fitness told against Mr Guardiola’s Blues.

New signing Rodrigo was introduced just after the break and within minutes scored a great equaliser to set up a thrilling last half-hour at Elland Rd.

With no more goals, Marcelo earned a creditable draw against Pep and with the point gained, now have 7, from the 4-games so far played.

The 7-points put Leeds United in a cluster of 4-clubs on the same, that are Tottenham. Chelsea and Newcastle which is a great company this early in the season.

Leeds have already shown they will be a match for any team taking on and matching both of the previous 2-seasons Premier League champions already.

Rodrigo as come off the bench a couple of times and is pushing for a place in the starting eleven but may just have to wait as Patrick Bamford hasn’t really put a foot wrong yet and is a favourite of Mr Bielsa’s.

What’s probably not known about Rod, is that the Brazilian/Spaniard as already played in the Premier League back in 2010, when he joined Bolton Wanderers on a season-long loan.

The lad was one of Gary Neville’s players when G Nev made his ill-fated stint in management at Valencia which Rodrigo is still scratching his head at when Gary wanted him to be a winger.

Maybe Nev’s career at Valencia would have been a bit more successful if Rodrigo had played in his natural position as a striker.

Wolves head to West Yorkshire off the back of a 1-0 victory against Fulham before the International break with Supermarket man Pedro Neto getting the solitary goal.

That’s 2-victories and 2-defeats for Nuno’s Gold and Blacks from the 4-games so far giving Wolves 6-points and puts them in a cluster of 4-teams on the same that are West Ham, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

These two teams have met at Elland Rd a number of times over the past 16-years but all as Championship games.

It’s February 2004 that the two great clubs last played in the Premier League with Leeds United getting the victory by a 4-1 scoreline.

Alan Smith scored first for Leeds with the Romanian Ioan Ganea equalising for Wolves with a superb 20-yard strike.

Dominic Matteo added a 2nd for the Whites before the break to take them in at half-time with a slender lead.

James Milner and Mark Viduka added 3 and 4 for Eddie Gray’s Leeds to run out convincing 4-1 winners.

The Leeds United team that day consisted of Paul Robinson, Gary Kelly, Steven Caldwell, Didier Domi, Eirik Bakke, Dominic Matteo, Jermaine Pennant, James Milner, Seth Johnson, Alan Smith and Mark Viduka.

Wolves, under Dave Jones, had Paul Jones in goal, Dennis Irwin, Jody Craddock, Paul Butler, Ioan Ganea, Colin Cameron, Lee Naylor, Alex Rae, Mark Kennedy, Kenny Miller and Carl Cort.

As it turned out both teams were relegated from the Premier League, both finishing with 33-points.

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