The highlight games for this weekend and early next week’s action are CHELSEA versus MAN CITY and ARSENAL versus TOTTENHAM. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 6 matches with his unique and insightful commentary. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
Please note all prices quoted below were correct at the time of publication
CHELSEA v MAN CITY
BT Sport 12.30 in England.
A cracker of a game to kick-off Game Week-6. Chelsea blitzed Tottenham on Sunday getting a brilliant away-day victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
In the Worlds first Net Zero Carbon football game, at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, it was actually the home side that started the better of the 2-London clubs. Nuno Espírito Santo set up his Spurs boys to attack Chelsea which did appear to catch Thomas’s Blue Engines by surprise and cause a few problems.
That changed at half-time when Thomas introduced the brilliant N’Golo Kante, from the bench, in place of Mason Mount, with the tactical change paying dividends straight away. Thiago Silva headed home the opener within 4-minutes of the restart.
N’Golo then took a speculative shot which deflected wickedly off Eric Dier past a helpless Hugo Lloris. The goal was very similar to West Ham’s opener against Manchester United earlier in the day.
Antonio Rudiger added a 3rd late on in proceedings to give the Blues the London bragging rights.
Romelu Lukaku was involved heavily in the game but failed to score.
Big Rom has 3-goals for the Blues, now in a cluster of 10-players all with 3-so far, 1-less than the leading scorers, Michail Antonio, Mo Salah and Bruno Fernandes who all have 4.’
Chelsea are at the summit of the table, with 13-points, purely on the fact that Chelsea begins with a C and Liverpool starts with an L. Both have the same 13-points, with both scoring 12 and conceding 1. Manchester United also have 13 but lie 3rd, with 13-goals scored and 4-conceded.
Regarding the Net Zero Carbon game. In last week’s column, John Newsome promised to walk the 8-mile round trip to Oakwell to do his bit for the Net Zero Carbon football.
On a scorching hot day, this EveryTip contributor did just that and walked to Oakwell, watched a poor game of football and then walked home, possibly suffering from sun-stroke but making the evening glass of wine, very enjoyable.
Also having the enjoyment of seeing the Red Arrows fly over Barnsley, which rarely occurs and made the walk memorable. Plus, if folk think that’s not true, there is video evidence of the walk and the Arrows. The football at Oakwell, however, was horrendous and if continues, will get the game put into disrepute.
Man City had the luck with them on Saturday, however, couldn’t get the victory against Southampton. The luck part came when the on-field referee Jon Moss, initially awarded a penalty to the Saints following a challenge by Kyle Walker.
Jon then decided to show Kyle a straight Red Card and sent the City Defender to the dressing room. Everyone following?
Meanwhile back at Stockley Park, the VAR boys (and girls) who haven’t had any controversy of late, thought to themselves, ‘Hang on, switch the ITV horse racing off and pretend we are watching the football at the Etihad, tell Mr Moss that was never a penalty in a million years!’
Sounds far fetched but that’s exactly what happened, a straightforward penalty was somehow overturned and not awarded.
Once the on-field referee is advised to go to the pitchside monitor, which, remember, was redundant two seasons ago, with most not even plugged in, it’s usual that the original decision will be reversed.
Not to imply that there was some underhand dealing involved with The Stockley Park Brigade and the Emptyhad but it was a penalty, Jon Moss was correct in awarding it and Southampton should have had the opportunity to take the lead.
Note, ‘had the opportunity’ as even though a penalty should have been given, it’s not a guarantee that the Saints would have scored. What was strange about the incident, before VAR got involved, is Kyle Walker was subsequently shown a Red Card when at worse, a Yellow should have been given.
In the end, Kyle stayed on the pitch, City held on for a draw by a 0-0 scoreline and are now lying 5th in the table, with 10-points, 3-less than the Numpty Neighbours, Liverpool and today’s hosts, Chelsea.
A victory for the former Bayern Munich manager Pep, over the former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas, would see Man City jump ahead of Chelsea purely by way of goal difference.
City had a goal disallowed late on by the dreaded, so maybe all was equal. Karma Chameleon! Regarding the Emptyhad, a City fan took exception to Pep Guardiola’s request that the Stadium should be full.
In the midweek Champions League fixture against RB Leipzig, that was a very entertaining game finishing in a 6-3 scoreline to the hosts, the Etihad had 38,000 in attendance, when the ground can hold close to 52,000, as was the case on Saturday against Southampton.
The Citizen that took exception to Pep’s quite acceptable comments regarding the crowd said that Mr Guardiola should stick to coaching and not get involved in how many fans turn up. This guy is supposedly the General Secretary of the official Man City Supporters Club.
The man stated that it was difficult for Man City supporters to attend midweek fixtures with the kick-off times, the cost involved etc, however, isn’t that the same for any supporter, whether a Barnsley FC fan or the follower of the Premier League title holders and the club who reached the Final of the Champions League last season.
In that Final against Chelsea, that took place in Portugal, the same said Citizens that find it difficult to get to the Emptyhad on a Wednesday evening, made it all the way to Portugal and were moaning that there weren’t enough tickets on offer.
If Leeds United got into any of the European competitions, Elland Rd would be full of the Marching On Together crew of a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night against the Kazakhstan Champions and the Leeds folk are of the same criteria as the Manchester residents, so that argument is futile.
The Etihad is labelled the Emptyhad for a reason, the reason being only 38,000 turn up for a midweek Champions League fixture.
In the next round of Group fixtures, taking place a week on Tuesday/Wednesday, Manchester United host Villarreal, which will see a virtually full Old Trafford.
The General Secretary of the Official City Supporters Club should practice what he preaches and instead of trying to make a name for himself, taking on Pep, should tell his Citizen members to make an effort, like every other football supporter and turn up to support their idols.
The cost and setbacks that supposedly are the problem that prevents the City fans from turning out are the same for every follower.
Everyone has suffered setbacks regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic and a lot have experienced financial difficulties but Football is a part of life and after 18-months of not being allowed to go to games, it would have been thought that the City faithful would want to attend the midweek footie.
Pep is right to offer up the question as to why the Etihad has 38,000 turn up for a midweek Champions League fixture, yet 3-days later have a full 52,000.
Regarding the General Secretary who has suggested that Pep should stick to coaching, the guy should just be careful what he says as Mr Guardiola may just do exactly that and stick to coaching another team somewhere else, that may just see Man City go back to the unsuccessful days with the Emptyhad firmly establishing its label.
This was just after the New Year on the 3rd of January when these two met at Stamford Bridge last term, with City getting the victory by an away-day 3-1 scoreline.
Ilkay Gundogan (tra-la-la-la-lar!), Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne gave City a lead at the break, with Callum Hudson-Odoi scoring a very late consolation for Chelsea, who were still under the guidance of Frank Lampard in one of his final games at the helm.
888 Sport offer Chelsea at 33/20, the draw at 11/5 and 33/20 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Romelu Lukaku Scores First and slight Odds On 3/4 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v ASTON VILLA
12.30 in England, however, not a live TV fixture, just brought forward a couple of hours to allow Manchester United to rest longer before the following midweeks Champions League fixture against Villarreal.
Manchester United came from behind against West Ham on Sunday, getting the victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
After dominating the first 30-minutes, Ole’s Trollies conceded a goal by way of a deflected shot from the Hammers that hit Paul Pogba and sent the ball past a helpless David De Gea.
It was then left to That Boy Ronaldo to get the Pale Blue Devils back level, tapping home following up his own original saved shot. The Pale Blue strip is lovely by the way.
Ole then introduced a Bubbles legend, well Jesse Lingard, who lit up the London Stadium for 6-months on loan, last term and again lit up the stadium with a superb strike that ultimately gave United the victory.
Although, it wasn’t certain that Jesse’s goal would be the winner when Luke Shaw, aka LeBron James, handled in the area to give West Ham the chance to equalise.
After the on-field referee, Martin Atkinson initially didn’t give the decision to award a penalty, the dreaded VAR got involved and sent Martin over to the plugged-in pitchside monitor and as everyone knows now, once that occurs, the decision is usually reversed.
Fortunately for LeBron Shaw, David De Gea bailed the Left Back out and saved the spot-kick to give United the victory that took them to 3rd in the Premier League table, with the same 13-points as Liverpool and Chelsea but with a slightly inferior goal difference.
Manchester United have scored 13 and conceded 4, whereas Liverpool and Chelsea have scored 12 but only let 1 in. That’s the important stuff out of the way, now for the nonsense.
Last week’s column as will be the want throughout the season, gets finished and published before the midway fixtures whether Carabao Cup Champions League or Europa so it can be seen as old news.
However, having settled down after an afternoon nap, to watch the first Group game of this season’s Champions League between Young Boys and Manchester United, fury set in.
Someone asked John Newsome, why does he have an afternoon nap? The reply was simple because he can!
After ‘resting’ the enigmatic, erratic Fred for the convincing victory against Newcastle, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the only person who somehow is convinced the Brazilian is a footballer, chose to bring Fred straight back into the starting eleven in Switzerland. That was OGS’s 1st-error of the day.
After taking the lead through a goal by, yes CR7-2.0, who else? Aaron Wan-Bissaka was shown a straight Red Card due to a bad challenge on the Young Boys midfielder. A quick note on that, a couple of times this week, a player has been shown a straight Red Card for going into a challenge with his studs showing. One was included in a game involving Stoke and Barnsley FC.
A couple of people, a Sergeant and an Angry Australian/Scotsman both commented that it wasn’t a sending off and players are soft nowadays. Implying that 5,10 or 15-years ago that it wasn’t a sending off.
Having been a competent footballer for well over 50-years, this EveryTip contributor has never gone into a challenge showing his studs, 5,10 or 45-years ago. Just because it happened doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.
When a player and it’s usually after he or she has missed controlled the ball, goes into a challenge, there is no reason to, firstly, go to ground and secondly, go in with a foot being raised skywards showing studs.
The only reason to do that is with the intention to hurt an opponent, not win the ball, to win the ball, it’s better to stay on your feet and have them firmly planted. Because it happened years ago, doesn’t mean it was or is right.
Usually, the players who tackle like that, trying to hurt an opponent, have limited talent and are jealous of the better players, intending to injure is the only thought. After Double-A-Ron was sent off, Ole immediately took off Jadon Sancho and brought on Diogo Dalot.
This wasn’t an error as United needed a Right Back, the 3rd-error occurred at half-time when Ole took Donny Van De Beek off and replaced the unlucky Dutchman with Raphael Varane.
Most are now thinking, where was the 2nd-error? That was not picking Raphael in the first place. It’s somehow assumed that players can’t play twice or three times in a week.
These are young fit athletes, not Sunday pub league level, who turn out a few hours after leaving Japanese Whispers with either an adorning partner or a Kay-Bab, it was never both!
Mr Varane is 28-years old and if fit enough to be on the bench, is fit enough to start and Ole should have kept the partnership with Harry Maguire after the Newcastle victory. Ole’s 4th-error was leaving Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch for 72-minutes.
A braver manager would have left Jadon on and taken Ronnie off, however, granted, that’s easier said than done. That said, Ole could have had a word with Cristiano at half-time and said,
‘Look, old boy, have an early shower, bloomin Mason is going out for the 2nd-half, stretch the game a bit!’ Obviously in the Norwegian/Manc accent. That would have been acceptable, with no egos damaged. Error number 5.
Ole took off Cristiano and Bruno when Young Boys had equalised, that’s called being re-active, not pro-active, the winners are pro-active.
Most will automatically think that the 6th-error was the mistake by Jesse Lingard to gift Young Boys the winner, however, that’s not part of Ole’s Errors, it’s part and parcel of football and happens from time to time.
The 6th-error was bringing Anthony Martial on, not because of anything on Anthony’s part but the timing of the introduction, in the 89th-minute, what’s Mr Martial meant to do?
The stats will simply show that Manchester United lost the opening Group fixture away against Young Boys, in this seasons Champions League but the underlying facts are Ole got it completely wrong throughout the night.
Aston Villa got a great home victory on Saturday evening against Everton by a 3-0 scoreline. After a goalless 1st-half, that saw John McGinn taken off due to concussion with the marvellously named Marvellous Nakamba coming on as a substitute for John in the 40th-minute.
As this was due to concussion, Dean Smith was still allowed to make 3-further substitutions after the break with Leon Bailey being introduced on the hour mark to completely change the fortunes of Villa.
Matt Cash scored his first goal in a Claret and Blue shirt, with the unfortunate Lucas Digne scoring an own-goal to put Aston Villa, firmly in control. The excellent Leon then scored the 3rd to give Dean Smith’s boys the victory over an uninspiring set of Toffees.
Mr Bailey was then substituted himself due to injury but had a significant 20-minute cameo that took the game away from Everton. The win leaves Villa in 10th-place with 7-points from the 5-fixtures played. The only team with 7-points.
At Old Trafford last season, this fixture took place on New Years Day with Anthony Martial and a Bruno Fernandes penalty giving Ole’s Wheels a victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Manchester United at Odds On 4/11, the draw at 19/5 and 32/5 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 3/1 that Cristiano Ronaldo Scores First and 7/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
EVERTON v NORWICH
15.00 in England.
This morning’s papers will have the Toffee Rafa’s headlines of sorrow following Saturday’s defeat against Aston Villa away at Villa Park.
When doing predictions, with the Australian branch of this EveryTip column joining in, the Aussies have realised that it’s not as easy as it appears, with friends and enemies, that at a time, blend into the same, often ridiculing the said predictions.
Everton were unbeaten from the first 4-fixtures and sat with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United at the summit on 10-points. Villa were struggling, so common sense indicated an away victory to Rafa’s Toffees.
However, come an hour before kick-off, as the team sheet gets produced, the commonsensical predictions go out of the window, when it’s realised that both Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are not playing.
Dominic missed the previous game against Burnley and wasn’t likely to play against Villa, however, the loss of the Brazilian Richarlison massively affects the Everton dynamic and as always done so.
There is a stat around that states the Toffees rarely lose when Richy plays, so not being involved dramatically changes the fortunes of Mr Benitez’s team.
That came to fruition on Saturday when Everton conceded 3, 2nd-half goals to ultimately suffer a defeat by a 3-0 scoreline. The unfortunate Lucas Digne, scoring Villa’s 2nd.
The positives to take from the loss were, Man City could only muster a point from a draw, West Ham lost against Manchester United and Tottenham lost against Chelsea, leaving Everton in 6th-place, with the same 10-points as Man City, so no real damage done.
Rafa Benitez will be wanting Richarlison back for this fixture against Norwich, with the hope that the Sheffield Superstar 2, is also close to recovery.
Norwich lost again on Saturday, this time against fellow new boy’s Watford, with the Hornets stinging the Canaries by a 3-1 away-day scoreline. Teemu Pukki equalised an earlier Watford strike to take both teams in level at the break.
The Hornets then scored twice more in the 2nd-half to inflict the defeat on the Canaries. That’s now 5 from 5 in the Loss column, with Teemu Pukki, the only goal scorer for Norwich so far this term.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd, set off to Norfolk, passport in hand, at 6.30 on Saturday morning, hoping to watch his new idols in the flesh.
Fortunately for the Little Canary, he got on the wrong train in Sheffield and headed to Hull, which turned out to be lucky as Jimbo’s 2nd-footballing love, the Blades were playing at the K-COM Stadium against Hull City.
The Little Blunt quickly ran into the train toilet and swapped his Norwich shirt for the Blades jersey. The lad was happy with the performance of Sheffield United who got the away-day victory by a 3-1 score.
Jim’s 1st-footballing love, Barnsley FC, played out a drab goalless draw against Blackburn. Jim has been learning the piano and was asked lately if he could play Chopin’s 7, to which James replied,
‘I could but I’m not going to, Choppy wouldn’t play any of mine would he?’ To be fair to the Little Blunt, he did think Frederic Chopin was a new signing Daniel Farke had brought in from Wisla Krakow.
At work, trying to mend Toyotas, with James referring to the iconic SUV as VAR 4, Jim’s boss, the beautiful Danielle was doing drinks and asked if the pretend Mechanic liked hot chocolate?
Jimbo said, ‘The earlier stuff was ok but after ‘You Sexy Thing’, Errol went downhill?’ Little Jimmy Canary likes Hot Chocolate because the lyrics of the famous band resemble the footballing life of James,
‘I believe in miracles!’ Being a Blunt
‘Everyone’s a Winner!’
Being a Barnsley fan and
‘Are you getting enough happiness?’
Being a Norwich Canary!
Respect Errol Brown, Rest In Peace!
With James witnessing a brilliant victory for his beloved Blades, the Little Blunt danced the night away, singing the tunes, badly, including the famous Chip Butty song, whilst drinking flaming Sambuca and wasn’t seen for 2-days.
Norwich beat Everton at Goodison Park, the season before last, by an away-day 2-0 scoreline. Todd Cantwell and Dennis Srbeny with the goals for Daniel Farke’s Canaries against Marco Silva’s Toffees.
888 Sport offer Everton at Odds On 8/15, the draw at 59/20 and 51/10 for Norwich to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 41/10 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores First and 33/20 that Everton Win To Nil.
LEEDS UNITED v WEST HAM
15.00 in England.
Leeds United played in a very entertaining game, away at St James Park on Friday Night Football, with the fixture against Newcastle ending in a draw by a 1-1 scoreline.
The Marching On Together crew, full of Newcastle Brown Ale, saw Marcelo’s Whites score first with Raphinha notching after 13-minutes.
The Brazilian looked to have crossed the ball into the box for a teammate but fooled everyone, including the Magpies ‘keeper and somehow the ball went straight into the net. Unfortunately for Leeds, Newcastle equalised on the stroke of half-time to take both teams in level.
With no more goals in the 2nd-half, a point was gained for the two sides who offered up a great Friday night’s entertainment. Dan James started and got an hour under his belt getting to know his new pals.
That leaves Mr Bielsa’s boys with 3-points, from the 5-fixtures, lying just above the relegation places in 17th. It’s early days yet but Leeds United won’t be in trouble and will move steadily up the charts. Marching On Together!
West Ham had mixed fortunes on Sunday in the fixture against Manchester United at the London Stadium. The first drawback of the day was the fact that Michail Antonio wasn’t available for selection after the previous weeks silly Red Card that saw the lad receive a 1-game ban.
The Hammers then had a stroke of good fortune when a speculative shot from Said Benrahme hit Paul Pogba and flew past David De Gea to give West Ham the lead. Unfortunately for the Bubbles faithful, United equalised and both went in level at the break.
It was bound to happen, last season’s Hammers Hero, Jesse Lingard, who was on loan from Old Trafford, was introduced as a 2nd-half substitute by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the inevitable occurred, that being Jesse, scoring the winner for Manchester United to inflict a defeat on David Moyes Boys by a 2-1 scoreline.
David Moyes is an experienced manager and has had his moments over the years, excelling at Preston and Everton, being useless at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland then excelling once more at West Ham.
The Scotsman must have had a bump on the head late Sunday afternoon when in the 93rd-minute, West Ham were allowed to get back on level terms after being awarded a penalty.
Mr Moyes, somehow thought it sensible to take off Jarrod Bowen and send on the club legend, Mark Noble to take the spot-kick. Why?
Why would any sensible person do that, when there were players such as Declan Rice, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals and Tomas Soucek all on the pitch?
With his first touch after coming on cold, Mr Noble saw his penalty kick saved by David De Gea, the first time Mr De Gea had saved a penalty in over 5-years.
David Moyes said afterwards that he didn’t regret that strange decision which suggests he doesn’t regret losing against his former employer’s.
Declan Rice needs to be stronger as the current Captain of the Hammers and next time a penalty is awarded, say, ‘This one’s mine, Gaffer!’
The defeat leaves West Ham in 8th-place with 8-points from the 5-fixtures so far.
Mark Noble is a Bubbles legend and the miss shouldn’t affect his legacy, however, even young Mr Noble must be scratching his head at that strange decision by David Moyes.
West Ham bullied Leeds United at Elland Rd last season, with goals from Tomas Soucek and Angelo Ogbonna, one in each half, giving David Moyes Boys the victory over Marcelo Bielsa’s Triers.
Mateusz Klich had scored first for Leeds via the penalty spot, however, on the December night last year, the Whites were no match for the Hammers.
888 Sport offer Leeds United at 17/10, the draw at 51/20 and 7/5 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 41/10 that Patrick Bamford Scores First and 85/50 that Michail Antonio Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v BURNLEY
15.00 in England.
Leicester got beat at the Amex on Sunday, succumbing to the away-day loss against Brighton by a 2-1 scoreline. In truth, the Foxes could consider themselves unlucky having 2-goals disallowed by the dreaded VAR, who after a quiet opening 4-set of fixtures, decided the Stockley Park Brigade needed to get back into the limelight.
Leicester conceded twice, either side of the break, one being a penalty, before the original Sheffield Superstar, Jamie Vardy pulled a goal back for Brendan’s not so Wonderful’s, with a trademark Jimmy V goal.
The dreaded then ruled 2-Foxes goals out, both for a similar situation, stating that the Brighton goalkeeper was impeded by a Foxes player, who stood in an offside position.
The first was subjective and couldn’t really be argued, however, the 2nd-disallowed goal should have stood giving Leicester at least a point from their long trip to the South Coast. The loss leaves the Foxes in 12th-place, with 6-points from the 5-games completed.
Rod Stewart had mixed emotions on Sunday afternoon, firstly being overjoyed that Leicester had been beaten but then experiencing sadness following his beloved Green and White Hoops, defeat against Livingston (who?) by a 1-0 scoreline.
The puppy, Lennon didn’t know what to do, at first feeling safe that the Brighton shirt with ‘Stewart’ and ‘75’ on the back (last years jersey!) wasn’t heading in his the direction but then scarpering lively after hearing shouting coming from the living room following Celtic’s defeat against Dr Livingston (I presume!).
Sir Roderick was in the kitchen, pouring the lovely Penny and himself a glass of wine later Sunday evening and had calmed down slightly, learning the result of the arch Glasgow enemy.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, could only muster a draw by a 1-1 score, against Motherwell (who?) so Rod felt there was minimal damage done and grabbed the drinks and a few doggie treats for Lennon.
The pooch, hate up all the treats then went off into the garden, barking to the tune of one of Rod’s famous ditties, ‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be!’ Woof-Woof!
Both these teams suffered a loss at the weekend with Burnley succumbing to a home defeat against Arsenal by a 1-0 scoreline.
Sean’s Clarets conceded on the half-hour mark and with no further goals, suffered the 4th-defeat from the 5-fixtures played, leaving Burnley in 19th-place with 1-point.
As with other games over the weekend, the dreaded VAR got involved, which did rightly upset Sean Dyche, when the on-field referee, Anthony Taylor awarded Burnley a penalty midway through the 2nd-half.
Matej Vydra was clipped by the Arsenal goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale with Mr Taylor immediately pointing to the spot.
There didn’t appear to be any confusion involved and the penalty award was accepted by everyone until the Stockley Park Brigade got involved and informed Anthony to go and look at the pitchside monitor.
As everyone now knows, once this occurs, it’s more than likely the original decision will be reversed and so was proved, with Mr T cancelling out the penalty, much to the annoyance of Sean and the watching Claret faithful.
In the midweek game, live on Sky Sports, between Stoke and Barnsley, an exact same incident occurred that resulted in a penalty being awarded to Stoke.
As the Championship doesn’t use the dreaded VAR, the decision couldn’t be reviewed or reversed, is this better? That’s a genuine question as the answer is hard to find, with a lot wanting the Video Assistant Referee but many not.
In the recent Euros, the VAR appeared to work and no one had any issues with most accepting the decisions.
It was thought that the Premier League would make subtle adjustments to the VAR to try and make it less confusing or controversial and for the opening few Game Weeks, it appeared that’s what happened, however, come Game Week-5, the Stockley Park Brigade seem to have thought to themselves, ‘It’s a bit boring this, let’s throw in a few controversial decisions!’
The whole ethos of the Video Assistant Referee is to prevent clear and obvious errors. Is the penalty awarded to Burnley, a clear and obvious error? Is the penalty awarded to Southampton, a clear and obvious error?
Same with the Leicester goals that were somehow perceived that the Foxes players were interfering with the Brighton goalkeeper’s eye-line.
Sean Dyche was rightly upset but ultimately in the papers the next day, it will state that the Clarets lost, not that the Stockley Park Brigade were watching the horse racing on ITV.
On a beautiful late Indian Summers day, the Clarets faithful all had an extra layer of clothing on, as whatever the weather throughout the country, it’s always a coat colder at Turf Moor. At the King Power Stadium last season, Brendan’s Wonderful’s got the victory in an exciting 6-goal thriller against Sean’s Clarets.
This was only a Game Week-2 affair with Harvey Barnes cancelling out an earlier Chris Wood opener to take both teams in level at the break.
Erik Pieters then scored early in the 2nd-half to give Leicester the lead, however, the Eagle-Eyed will know that Erik is a Claret so had scored an own-goal. James Justin added a 3rd for the Foxes before Jimmy Dunne pulled a goal back for Burnley.
With time running out and Sean’s Boys searching for an equaliser, Dennis Praet restored Leicester’s 2-goal advantage and with no further goals, Brendan’s Wonderful’s ran out winners by a 4-2 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Leicester at slight Odds On 1/2, the draw at 3/1 and 27/5 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 38/10 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 6/4 that Leicester Score in Both Halves.
Premier League Team of the Week
GOALKEEPER- David De Gea – Manchester United
RIGHT BACK- Anthony Rudiger – Chelsea
CENTRE BACK- Ethan Pinnock – Brentford
CENTRE BACK- Thiago Silva – Chelsea
LEFT BACK- Marcos Alonso – Chelsea
MIDFIELDER- Leon Bailey – Aston Villa
MIDFIELDER- Ismaila Sarr – Watford
MIDFIELDER- N’Golo Kante – Chelsea
FORWARD- Sadio Mane – Liverpool
FORWARD- Jesse Lingard – Manchester United
FORWARD- Ivan Toney – Brentford
STAR MAN- Ivan Toney – Brentford
WATFORD v NEWCASTLE
15.00 in England.
Watford achieved their 2nd-victory of the season, with the Hornets stinging the Canaries by a 3-1 away-day scoreline. Emmanuel Dennis gave Watford the lead after 17-minutes before Norwich equalised to take both teams in level at the break.
Xisco’s men then took control in the 2nd-half with the excellent Ismaila Sarr controlling proceedings and scoring twice to give Watford the victory. That leaves the Hornets in 11th-place with 6-points from the 5-fixtures completed.
Whilst still one of the favourites to be relegated, all Xisco Munoz will hope is that he can keep his team gaining the odd positive result here and there to eventually try and reach the safety point.
The Newcastle fans known as the Toon Army are not happy with Steve Bruce and the owner Mike Ashley. However, from the outside and not wanting to upset the Black and White faithful, it’s not 100% clear as to why?
On Friday Night Football, Newcastle served up an end of the week, brilliant bit of entertainment, playing in an excellent TV game, against Leeds United at St James.
Allan Saint-Maximin scored a wonderful, superb sole effort, to cancel out an earlier Leeds strike which took both teams in level at the break. Although there were no further goals, the game was still very entertaining with both Marcelo and Steve instructing their boys to go all out for the victory.
Newcastle have some great players in Allan SM, Miguel Almiron, who never stops running, Joe Willock, the Longstaff brothers, Jamaal Lascelles, Javier Manquilllo, plus the others without naming everyone.
The point gained from the draw against Leeds by a 1-1 scoreline, leaves the Magpies 3rd from the bottom with 2-points, which, although still residing in the relegation places, gives Steve a platform to build on.
The Toon Army should get behind their idols, as the players on show are performing for Big Brucey and offering up a fight and entertaining football.
It was July 2020 and Game Week-35 of the 2019/2020 season when the Toon Army ventured down the A1, to Hertfordshire to watch their beloved Magpies take on the Hornets.
Dwight Gayle scored the opener for Newcastle midway through the 1st-half, to give Steve Bruce the half-time bonus. After the break, Troy Deeney converted 2-penalties to give Nigel Pearson’s Watford the victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Unfortunately, that win wasn’t enough to prevent relegation, with Nigel leaving Vicarage Rd soon afterwards and the Hornets leaving the Premier League at the end of that season.
888 Sport offer Watford at 27/20, the draw at 9/4 and 2/1 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Ismaila Sarr Scores First and 8/5 that Alan Saint-Maximin Scores Anytime.
BRENTFORD v LIVERPOOL
Sky Sports 17.30 in England.
This should be a great late Indian Summer afternoon game for the neutrals after Brentford produced one of the displays of the weekend. The Bees stung Wolves, at Molineux, getting the brilliant away-day victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
Ivan Toney, who was superb throughout the game, converted a 1st-half penalty that was awarded when the Wolves Defender man-handled young Ivan in the area.
Bryan Mbeumo added a 2nd for Brentford before the break and with no further goals, the away team ran out convincing winners.
The only negative for Thomas Frank was the dismissal of Shandon Baptiste, who received 2-Yellow Cards in quick succession, which precluded the inevitable Red and an early bath for the Bees Midfielder.
Thomas himself was shown a Yellow Card in the 80th-minute, obviously for a few aggressive comments to the officials around.
Despite being left with 10-men for the final 25-minutes, Brentford held on for the victory that leaves them in 9th, with 8-points from the 5-opening fixtures.
Thomas has a 24-hour rule, which allows the players and staff to go on the beer or vino or whatever, for 24-hours after a victory, then it’s dry until the next game.
This is a brilliant incentive and after calculations are made, it would mean that Brentford have been dry for well over 6-days up to this late Saturday afternoon kick-off time.
Ivan Toney turned 25 earlier this year and is fast becoming a leading player for the Bees after just one season in West London.
Back in the 2015/16 season, when Ivan was only 19-years old, Mr T had a couple of spells at Barnsley, playing in League 1, the 3rd-tier of the English pyramid.
Ivan first arrived at Oakwell, in November 2015 and his first game was the day after arriving, against York City in the Johnstone Paint Trophy.
John Newsome was at the game on the night that saw Barnsley FC defeat York by a 2-1 scoreline. John’s young nephews, who live out near York, were also at the game, with Jake and his dad in the Barnsley home end and young Alfie, aged 13, with the York Ultras, all 20 of them, in the away end, causing chaos against the cleaning ladies.
Ivan Toney, got 80-minutes game time, in the victory against York, impressing the Oakwell faithful including this EveryTip contributor. The Johnstone Paint Trophy is now just called the EFL Trophy and is a competition for the League 1 and 2 clubs.
After appearing in the next 4, League 1 fixtures, Ivan played in the Northern Section-Semi-Final of the JP Trophy, away against Wigan, scoring in the game that finished in a Desmond 2-2 draw.
Mr Toney then converted a penalty in the subsequent shootout that saw Barnsley FC progress to the Northern-Section-Final. Unfortunately for the faithful and Mr T, Ivan returned to his parent club, who at the time, were Newcastle, as he was only on a 28-day loan.
Barnsley beat Fleetwood in the Northern-Section Final and progressed to the Final at Wembley in March of 2016.
Ivan was back in Yorkshire by then and was on the bench, for the showpiece occasion, coming on in the 66th-minute of the Johnstone Paint Trophy Final, against Oxford, that saw the Super Reds win by a narrow 3-2 scoreline.
That wasn’t Barnsley’s or Ivan Toney’s last appearance at Wembley that year, with Mr T, helping the Oakwell outfit to the League 1, Play-Off Final in May of 2016, where again, Ivan was a substitute and came on for the final 10-minutes to see out a great victory for Barnsley over Millwall by a 3-1 score.
It turned out to be young Ivan’s last appearance in a Reds shirt but the faithful, including this EveryTip contributor, Greeny and Little H, witnessed a great performance, that saw Barnsley FC promoted to the Championship and a brilliant night on the sauce in London.
Sadly our little friend H is no longer with us but like all of the Barnsley fans, past and present, are grateful to Mr Toney for his efforts in Yorkshire, wearing a Reds Shirt and wish the lad well for the future, hopefully scoring plenty of goals in the Promised Land.
Liverpool are joint top of the Premier League table with 13-points from the 5-fixtures completed, the same 13 as Chelsea and Manchester United, however, lie in 2nd place, purely in alphabetical order, the goal difference being the same as the Blues, with 12-goals scored and 1-conceded, matching Chelsea. Manchester United sit 3rd, scoring 13 but conceding 4.
Three of those 12-goals for Jurgen’s Reds came from the professional victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday, by a 3-0 scoreline.
Sadio Mane, who loves scoring against the Palace, got the opener, with Mo Salah adding the 2nd and Naby Keita with a superb 3rd, to get the convincing win in front of the Anfield faithful.
There’s a long way to go but the season is shaping up well, with all of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United remaining unbeaten so far and Man City hovering just below to pounce at the optimum moment.
A comment was made recently by John Newsome, in that it’s more than likely that the four will win their respective games when not playing each other and the rest will be making up the numbers.
The final league positions will be decided by the results of the fixtures between each other and who is available for selection on the day.
For example, Liverpool face up against Man City at Anfield in the game after this one and if say Virgil Van Dijk picks up an injury between now and the tie, then that changes the whole dynamic of the contest.
If Chelsea are without Romelu Lukaku or Man City are missing players then it changes the possible outcome of all the fixtures.
If when Manchester United face any of Chelsea, Liverpool or Man City and Ole persists with Fred, United won’t win, however, if there’s a lucky situation that means Fred cannot play, like against Newcastle last week, Ole’s Trollies have a better chance.
Liverpool play Man City, Chelsea and Manchester United twice, meaning 6-fixtures and a possible 18-points on offer.
That’s obviously the same for the rest but basic Math will dictate that if Jurgen’s Reds beat Pep’s Blues in the game on the 3rd of October, then City cannot accrue 18-points from their 6-fixtures against the perceived Top Four.
Liverpool have already completed one of those 6, against Chelsea with both getting a point from a draw, meaning neither Chelsea nor Liverpool can obtain the maximum 18 on offer.
Only Manchester United will have the opportunity to gain the maximum 18-points from the 6-games if Liverpool beat Man City.
There isn’t a previous Premier League fixture between these two, with the last time that Liverpool visited Brentford being in October 1983, 38-years ago.
That was a League Cup fixture, the equivalent of today’s Carabao Cup and as was the norm back then, the tie was a home and away affair, with the 1st-leg being at Griffin Park, at the beginning of October and the 2nd-leg, at Anfield at the end of the month.
The Brentford eleven at the time included goalkeeper Trevor Swinburne, Jim McNichol, Alan Whitehead, Danis Salmon, Ron Harris, Terry Rowe, Terry Bullivant, Tony Mahoney, Chris Kamara, Francis Joseph and Gary Roberts.
The legendary Ron Harris was 39-years old by then, with Sky Sports, Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara skippering the Division 3 outfit.
Liverpool, who were the current Division 1 Champions and went on to not only retain the League title but win the European Cup later that season plus the League Cup, with the Brentford victory kick-starting that run to the Final, had a starting eleven of Bruce Grobbelaar, Steve Nicol, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Alan Kennedy, Sammy Lee, Graeme Souness, Craig Johnston, Kenny Dalglish, Michael Robinson and Ian Rush.
Michael Robinson, Graeme Souness and a couple from Ian Rush gave Bob Paisley’s Reds the victory by a 4-1 scoreline. Brentford’s Gary Roberts with the reply. At Anfield, in the 2nd-leg, Liverpool beat Brentford by a 4-0 scoreline, giving an 8-1 aggregate over the 2-games.
Phil Neal replaced Steve Nicol and David Hodgson came in for Ian Rush, with Kenny Dalglish, David Hodgson, Michael Robinson and Graeme Souness getting the goals.
There was an FA Cup tie at Anfield in 1989, that finished by the same 4-0 scoreline. Don’t be surprised if Liverpool score 4 or more today. Unbelievable Jeff.
888 Sport offer Brentford at 57/10, the draw at 10/3 and Odds On 9/20 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 41/10 that Mo Salah Scores First and 5/4 that Liverpool Score in Both Halves
SOUTHAMPTON v WOLVES
Sky Sports 14.00 in England.
Southampton remain unbeaten from the last 4-fixtures, having lost the opener against Everton, however, the 4-games have all been draws, thus only producing 4-points. The latest draw was a goalless one away at the Etihad, against Man City, that was a great result in the whole context of the season so far.
It could have been better, when the on-field referee, Jon Moss (not the Culture Club drummer!) pointed to the spot after a foul on Adam Armstrong by Kyle Walker.
Jon then subsequently showed Kyle a straight Red Card but for some reason, the Stockley Park Brigade wanted to get involved and advised Mr Moss, to look at the pitchside monitor. It looked a certain foul, whether it warranted a Red Card is debatable but definitely looked like a penalty.
As with what usually happens after the referee gets sent to the monitor, the original decision is usually overturned, so not only did Southampton not get the spot-kick but Kyle Walker was allowed to play on. Clear and obvious?
Man City did have a late goal ruled out by the dreaded for offside, however, an offside decision isn’t subjective as it’s either offside or on. The penalty was subjective but not an obvious error so should have stood. That’s not to say the Saints would have scored but it would have certainly been a game-changer.
When something like that happens it’s always commented that Southampton or whoever would have won if the penalty had been given.
As was borne out in the West Ham v Manchester United game, a penalty awarded doesn’t equate to a goal, as although a spot-kick is given, it can be missed.
The 4-points from 5-fixtures leaves the Wreck-it Ralph’s Peaky Blunders in 15th-position in the table, a place and a point more than today’s visitors. That’s 2-goalless draws in the last 2-fixtures and with Wolves only scoring twice in their 5-fixtures, don’t expect many goals today. That said the two teams will probably produce a goal-fest.
Wolves lost their 4th-fixture from the 5-outings so far, this time at Molineux against Brentford in the early Saturday afternoon kick-off.
Bruno Lage’s Gold and Blacks, which included Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore, were outplayed by the new boys who inflicted the defeat by a 2-0 away-day scoreline.
The loss leaves Wolves in 16th-place, with 3-points from just a single victory and 4-defeats, as mentioned, a place and a point behind today’s hosts. Danny Ings gave the Saints a half-time lead when these two met last season at St Mary’s.
Unfortunately, Wreck-It’s bad dog walker was on show, with Ruben Neves and the Supermarket Man, Pedro Neto scoring in the 2nd-half to give Nuno’s Gold and Blacks the away-day victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Southampton at 6/4, the draw at 11/5 and 9/5 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 3/1 that James Ward-Prowse Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 3/4 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
ARSENAL v TOTTENHAM
Sky Sports 16.30 in England.
The North London Derby.
Arsenal come into this fixture, off the back of a victory last time out against Burnley at Turf Moor, by an away-day 1-0 scoreline. Martin Odegaard scored a great free-kick on the half-hour mark to give the Gunners the lead at the break.
With no further goals, Arsenal secured the win but that doesn’t tell the full story, with Burnley being denied the chance to equalise after the on-field referee had initially pointed to the spot following a foul by Aaron Ramsdale.
The dreaded VAR again got involved and informed Anthony Taylor to check the plugged in monitor and once that’s done, the on-field decision is usually reversed.
Mikel Arteta won’t be too concerned about that with the victory giving Arsenal 6-points and moves the Gunners up to 13th, however, Pep 2’s boys will need that good luck to continue to produce a positive result against the North London rivals.
Tottenham suffered their 2nd-defeat in a row, on Sunday, losing against Chelsea at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, by a 3-0 score. Nuno set his team up well in the 1st-half, initially surprising the away side with Tottenham going on the offence from the start.
Unfortunately for the home team, Spurs couldn’t capitalise on the aggression and failed to score taking both teams in goalless at half-time.
Thomas Tuchel tweaked things at the break, which saw the introduction of N’Golo Kante, allowing Chelsea to be more fluid, producing 3-goals to inflict the defeat in the Net Zero Carbon game. Net Zero is the points accrued by Tottenham on the day.
After 3-straight victories from the opening 3-fixtures, including an opening day win against Man City, Tottenham have lost the last-2, leaving Nuno’s men in 7th-place with 9-points.
One thing to take from the game against Chelsea was the observation that Harry Kane was playing too deep and not up top where there is a better chance of scoring.
It was as if Harry wanted to be a Midfielder and supply the front men, however, Mr Kane is the frontman, so all that happened was Harry would take the ball in the middle of the park but have no outlet upfront as Harry Kane wasn’t where he should have been.
If a Numpty from Barnsley can see this, Nuno should be able to and needs to address this before the North London Derby.
Jimmy Greaves, a true Tottenham and Chelsea legend, unfortunately, passed away on Sunday and will be sorely missed. There will be more about Jimmy in next week’s column. Rest in Peace, Mr Greaves.
At the Emirates last term, Martin Odegaard cancelled out an earlier Erik Lamela goal to take both teams in level at the break. Alexandre Lacazette converted a 2nd-half penalty to give Arsenal the North London bragging rights over the Tottenham neighbours.
Erik certainly had a game to remember, firstly scoring what was voted as the Goal of the Season, with what’s referred to as a Rabona.
In the 2nd-half Mr Lamela was then shown 2-Yellow Cards within 7-minutes and the subsequent Red to get sent off, beating his sorry Spurs teammates into the Showers.
A Rabona is when a player crosses over his leg and hits the ball with the leg that is at the back, for example, the left leg is on the right and hits the ball.
John Newsome tried the Rabona after watching Erik and ended up in the local Accident and Emergency.
888 Sport offer Arsenal at 27/10, the draw at 11/5 and 41/20 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 41/10 that Harry Kane Scores First and 7/2 that Tottenham Score in Both Halves.
CRYSTAL PALACE v BRIGHTON
Sky Sports 20.00 in England.
The M23 Derby.
Crystal Palace were comfortably beaten by Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, with the Eagles suffering a defeat by a 3-0 scoreline.
Patrick Vieira shouldn’t dwell on that result too much as most will lose against Liverpool this term especially up on Merseyside. The defeat leaves Palace in 14th-place with 5-points from the 5-fixtures completed.
Brighton are surprising everyone at the moment, continuing their brilliant start to the season, with a victory against Leicester on Sunday by a 2-1 scoreline.
Neal Maupay converted a penalty in the 1st-half at the Amex, before Danny Welbeck added a 2nd after the break.
The Foxes did pull a goal back but the Seagulls held on for their 4th-victory of the campaign from the 5-games, with just the 1-defeat against Everton.
Those good at Math will have worked out that’s 12-points for Graham Potter’s men, who currently sit 4th in the Premier League table, just a point behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Imagine Brighton in next season’s Champions League, even Graham’s namesake, Harry Potter would be struggling to wizard up that thought.
There’s a long way to go and the Seagull faithful will be restrained at the moment, just concentrating on nicking chips off the punters on the Brighton seafront.
A good friend of John Newsome and part of the John Boy Helpline, along with the Australian branch, the Widster, was in Brighton over the weekend and said it’s a beautiful place of a late Indian Summers evening but wasn’t happy when a Seagull swooped down and took a sip of the lads’ pint of John Smiths.
Ilkley’s newest resident, wouldn’t have minded if the Seagull had nicked his chips, as the birds usually do but he’s very protective over the beer, with the said Seagull being shown short shrift and was last seen fleeing the Brighton promenade, with a bit of the Widsters piece of mind.
When the Seagulls flew North to take on the Eagles at Selhurst Park last season, it was almost 12-months ago in mid-October with Wilfried Zaha converting a 1st-half penalty to give Roy’s Boys the lead at the break.
Brighton left it very late to earn a point with Alexis Mac Allister equalising in the 90th-minute to give both a share of the spoils from a draw by a 1-1 scoreline.
Lewis Dunk managed to get himself sent off following a straight Red Card after Alexis had scored.
888 Sport offer Crystal Palace at 47/25, the draw at 85/40 and 31/20 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
Nice one Boycie, Rest in Peace Mr Challis!