The highlight games for this weekend’s action are WATFORD versus LIVERPOOL and LEICESTER versus MANCHESTER UNITED. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 8 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
WATFORD v LIVERPOOL
12.30 in England.
The first casualty of the 2021/22 season has occurred and it’s probably no surprise that Watford have sacked their manager Xisco Munoz.
There’s usually a common theme in football that the October International Break brings about the departure of a struggling gaffer, married with the Hornets hierarchy having a reputation for getting rid, the inevitable has happened.
What’s probably a surprise in the no surprise story, is Watford are not actually doing too bad.
Xisco’s sacking came following a defeat away at Elland Rd, against Leeds United by a single 1-0 scoreline, however, the Hornets have 7-points from the 7-fixtures played and sit 14th in the table, above Leeds.
The Pozzo family, who own the Hertfordshire club, feel a change is needed and have brought in the 14th permanent Watford boss since purchasing the club in 2012.
Claudio Ranieri, the ‘Tinker Man’ is in at Vicarage Rd, with the owners somehow thinking that Mr Ranieri will replicate his performance at Leicester and win the Premier League.
As this is a prediction column, John Newsome predicts, ‘he won’t!’
There may be the odd victory and good performance but Mr Ranieri is closing in on being aged 3-score and 10, which for the younger listeners is 70-years old.
A ‘score’ is 20, 3 x 20 = 60, plus 10 = 70. Claudio is 70, 4-days after this first game against Jurgen’s Reds.
No one can blame the Tinker Man for coming back to the Premier League, it pays way better than the Old Age Pension, however, Watford should be more ambitious, more adventurous and employ a young, up and coming manager, like for example, Xisco Munoz.
Leicester‘s Premier League success, back in 2015/16, whilst should rightly be lauded as spectacular, was a one-off and as a result of some extreme circumstances regarding the main protagonists, Man City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, all experiencing a transition.
The Pozzo brigade should just concentrate on keeping the Hornets away from the drop zone, which is what Xisco the Disco was doing.
Liverpool gained a great point in the home fixture against Man City last time out, with the game living up to its heavyweight billing.
Jurgen’s Reds are the only team still unbeaten in the Premier League but had seen Chelsea leapfrog everyone and jump to the summit of the table, with only a victory for either team at Anfield, enough to go ahead of Thomas’s Blue Engines.
Mo Salah or as the Angry Man in Australia likes to call him, ‘Salad’, was superb throughout the 90-minutes, setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s opener, then scoring a wonder-goal himself to give the Reds the advantage.
What was even more enjoyable about Mo’s goal was the usually predominant left-footed player, blasted the ball past Ederson with his right peg.
Unfortunately for all connected with Liverpool, Man City equalised both Sadio and the Salad Man’s goals, to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a Desmond 2-2 scoreline.
Jurgen’s Reds were lucky to finish the game with a full complement of players, when James Milner, who was in at Right-Back for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, should have received a 2nd-Yellow Card in the 73rd-minute and ultimately a Red and an early bath.
Mr Milner had picked up a Yellow Card in the 1st-half for a foul on Phil Foden.
The Sky Sports pundits did think Jurgen would take James off at half-time but Klipperty kept the lad on. After fouling Bernardo Silva midway through the 2nd-half, the on-field referee, Paul Tierney, kept his cards in his pocket, saving Jim from an early cup of tea.
It was significant that Mr Milner was replaced by Joe Gomez, straight after the incident.
James has been a great player over the years but the lad is close to 36-years old and as is the same for everyone, Father Time catches up, this could just be Jim’s last season in the Premier League but should be afforded tremendous respect for the career the Leeds Boy has enjoyed.
The point gained because as everyone knows, it’s always a point gained, not 2-points lost, that some might say, as one can’t lose something that was never there in the first place, leaves Liverpool in 2nd-place, with 15-points, 1 behind Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
Pep’s High Flying City, sit 3rd, in a cluster of 4-teams, Manchester United, Everton and Brighton, who all have 14-points.
Another legend of the game, Roger Hunt, sadly passed away in the week leading up to the fixture against City.
Sir Roger, as the Anfield faithful referred to Mr Hunt, was one of the eleven that won the World Cup with England in 1966. In that final, there was a controversial incident when it wasn’t sure whether one of Sir Geoff Hurst’s 3-goals had crossed the line.
Roger Hunt was on hand to qualify this and the goal stood. Sir Roger scored 244-league goals in his spell at Anfield and is still the Reds leading league-scorer, in the club’s history.
Ian Rush did overtake the 282-total scored by Roger but not the 244, notched in the league. Added to that, there were 18-goals for England.
It now means, that there are only 3-players from the starting eleven, that won the World Cup in 1966, that are still alive, Sir Bobby Charlton, George Cohen and Sir Geoff Hurst. Surely, Mr Cohen deserves a knighthood too?
Ian Callaghan, Terry Paine, George Eastham and Ron Flowers along with the 3-above, mean that there are only 7-players from the 1966 England 22-man squad, that are still with us.
All 22-are Three Lions legends and all deserve tremendous respect, with the 7-remaining being looked after by our country for the time we have left. Respect Roger Hunt, Rest In Peace.
When these two last met at Vicarage Rd, back in February 2020, Watford surprised everyone and became the first team that particular season to inflict a defeat on Liverpool.
After a goalless 1st-half, a couple of goals from Ismaila Sarr and a Troy Deeney strike gave Nigel Pearson’s Hornets the brilliant victory over Jurgen’s Reds.
Liverpool did go on to lift the Premier League title a few months later, with Watford dropping down to the Championship, however, the defeat will still irk Klipperty Klopp.
888 Sport offer Watford at 15/2, the draw at 41/10 and Odds On 3/10 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/1 that Mo Salah Scores Two Plus Goals and 85/40 that Liverpool Win To Nil.
ASTON VILLA v WOLVES
15.00 in England.
Aston Villa suffered a defeat away at Tottenham, in last Sunday’s fixture, succumbing to a loss by a 2-1 scoreline.
After Spurs had taken the lead, Ollie Watkins equalised for the Villa, just after the break and were matching the home side, until the unfortunate Matt Targett turned past Emiliano Martinez, to gift Tottenham the victory.
To be fair to young Matt, who did provide the assist for Ollie, Lucas Moura would have scored if the Defender had not beaten the Spurs lad to the ball.
Dean Smith was full of praise for Son Heung-Min after the game, who was the difference between the two clubs. The defeat leaves Aston Villa in 10th-place in the Premier League table, with 10-points from the 7-fixtures so far.
The International Break, which is the same for all clubs, allows Dean to regroup and work out where the problems lie.
Wolves finally got a victory at Molineux, in front of the Gold and Black faithful, when Bruno Lage’s men inflicted a defeat on Newcastle by a 2-1 scoreline.
Hwang Hee-Chan, scored both goals for the Wolves, one in each half, the 2nd being the winner, following a Newcastle equaliser just before the break.
That gives Bruno’s boys, 9-points, a point less than today’s hosts, from the 7-fixtures completed, going into the International Break, leaving Wolves sitting 12th in the table.
The ladies and gentlemen all celebrated with a few drinks post-match, obviously lager. This fixture at Villa Park last term finished in a very entertaining goalless draw. There’s not much else to say.
888 Sport offer Aston Villa at 23/20, the draw at 9/4 and 12/5 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 41/10 that Danny Ings Scores First and 8/5 that Raul Jimenez Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v MANCHESTER UNITED
15.00 in England.
The Foxes blitzed the Eagles in the opening half at Selhurst Park, before the International Break, with goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy giving Leicester a 2-goal advantage at half-time.
Unfortunately for Brendan’s not so Wonderful’s, Crystal Palace scored twice in the 2nd-half to give both a share of the points from a draw by a Desmond 2-2 score. The point leaves Leicester in 13th-place, with 8-points from the opening set of fixtures.
Lennon the pooch was beginning to get worried at half-time with the Foxes leading and Rod Stewart’s mood, not too good, fearing the Palace shirt with ‘Stewart’ and ‘75’ on the back, it’s last year’s jersey, heading in the dogs’ direction.
Fortunately for the puppy, with the Eagles coming back to earn a draw, Sir Roderick was in a better mood, come the final whistle.
The Scottish Crooner was doubly happy, with his beloved Green and White Hoops, getting a victory in the Scottish Pub League, beating Aberdeen (who?) by a 2-1 scoreline. The Celtic legend, Scott Brown, was in the Red of Aberdeen, which did seem odd, however, that’s football.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers got a victory themselves on Sunday, defeating Hibernian (who?) by the same 2-1 score as the Glasgow rivals but sit at the summit of the Pub League with 19-points, 6-more than Rod’s Celtic.
A quick note on Stevie G, there are rumours that Newcastle United will offer the ex-Liverpool lad, the chance to be the next manager at St James Park. Watch this space.
All in all, a good day for Lennon, who could be heard in the back yard, whilst chewing on a bone, barking out the tune to the famous ditty,
‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be’ Woof Woof!
There’s going to be an additional sentence to every Manchester United preview from now on, that will go something like, ‘Wait until the team sheet is handed in by Ole before having a bet, if Fred and Scott are in the midfield, United will struggle, however, if Mr Gunner Solskjaer sees the iceberg and chooses some other player, United’s odds of a victory will increase dramatically.’
Granted, not the catchiest of sentences, however, that was certainly the case last time out, when Ole’s Trollies starting eleven, excluded Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho.
Harry was injured but CR7 and PP weren’t and neither was young Jadon.
It’s thought that because Cristiano played the previous Wednesday and scored the winner in the 95th-minute against Villarreal in the Champions League, that the lad couldn’t play a 3rd-game in 7-days.
The Portuguese superstar is an athlete and could and should have started against Everton, considering there’s now an International Break.
Young Jadon is 21 and definitely should have started, as a 21-year old kid, he can play 3-games in a day, never mind in 7.
Although it was only Andorra, Mr Sancho had a great outing for England, last Saturday, helping the Three Lions to a victory by a 5-0 score.
Once again, John Newsome will be boring and state the obvious, that Fred and Scott McTominay were included in the starting eleven against the Toffees and once again Manchester United lacked fluidity.
The best performance of the campaign so far at Old Trafford was against Newcastle, with no Fred or Scott involved in the making of that convincing victory by a 4-1 scoreline.
The United midfield that day had Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba sat, allowing the 4 in front, that of Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo to be more influential in proceedings.
It is now apparent that Ole’s go-to players are Fred and Scott, yet there is simply no evidence to suggest that United are a better side with the two.
That will be Ole’s downfall, who is now Odds On (4/7) not, to be the Manchester United manager, at the end of the season. Not!
Donny Osmond has gone missing and needs moving on in January, £35 Million to warm the bench. Wow!
That’s obviously Donny Van De Beek, however, Mr Osmond has a better chance of playing for United than DVDB.
Against Villarreal, Unai Emery introduced Boulaye Dia on the hour mark, Ole introduced No I Dia with a minute remaining.
In the interest of fairness, which is what this column will always produce, Fred did make a contribution in the time he was on the pitch sending in the ball that eventually lead to Cristiano’s winner. The lad was brought on for Alex Telles as a Left-Back, maybe that’s Fred’s position.
At Old Trafford, against Everton, in front of 73,000 of the Red Devil faithful, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chooses Fred and Scott and oversees his Wheels play out an un-entertaining 90-minutes that bored the life out of the crowd and the watching millions at home.
There’s another player that is overlooked and should be given more game time and that is Jesse Lingard. Jesse always puts in a shift and would give a better show for the fans than either Fred or Scott.
Anthony Martial, who got a rare start, scored United’s goal just before half-time, which should have kicked Ole’s Trollies into life, however, Rafa Benitez’s Blues got an equaliser in the 2nd-half to earn a point from a draw by a 1-1 scoreline.
It’s worth mentioning that Mr Gunnar Solskjaer introduced CR7-2.0 and Jadon Sancho just before Everton’s goal. Then took Fred off, replacing the Boy from Brazil, with Paul Pogba.
Everton were on the same points as Manchester United coming into the game and Rafa Benitez must have been delighted when the team sheet was handed in.
There was a comment on Sky Sports News, that Manchester United weren’t going to comment, so a comment on not going to comment, no comment!
The comment being, Sir Alex Ferguson, was seen in a video, talking to the awesome MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, with Mr Ferguson saying that Mr Gunnar Solskjaer got his starting eleven wrong and should have picked his strongest team, especially the inclusion of Cristiano, who wasn’t happy at being omitted.
However, the current United boss defended his decision to rest the 36-year-old Portugal captain.
In his Norwegian/Manc accent, Ole pronounced, ‘Me and him, (Cristiano) we understand more than the experts!’ said Mr Solskjaer. ‘It’s about picking the right moments to play him, to not play him.
He’s not a young puppy anymore but he’s as professional as ever and ready to come on and he came on today with energy and attitude’ That suggests, Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t an expert?
What OGS said was somewhat correct, however, when taking on an opponent, who have the same points tally, at Old Trafford, with an International Break on the horizon, the strongest starting eleven should have been put out, then rest the old dog (Ole’s words!) later on in proceedings.
The point gained leaves Manchester United in 4th-place, with the same 14-points as the Noisy Neighbour, Everton and Brighton. What could be a blessing is, Ole may be forced to start someone else in midfield, in this fixture against Leicester.
It wasn’t sure whether Fred could play, in the Newcastle game, due to the trip back home and FIFA rules, which eventually got sorted.
This International Break, Brazil play against Uruguay on the 15th, so it’s highly unlikely that Fred will be available for this Saturday start, which will change the whole dynamic of United’s performance.
Added to that, Fred’s teammate Edinson Cavani, who will probably lineup against the midfielder for Uruguay, will be missing also.
These two last met at the King Power on Boxing Day, with the post-Christmas presents being shared following a draw by a Desmond 2-2 scoreline.
Harvey Barnes cancelled out an earlier Marcus Rashford (remember him!) goal to take the teams in level at the break.
Bruno Fernandes gave United the lead midway through the 2nd-half, before the unfortunate Axel Tuanzebe, who came on as a substitute but had too much Christmas pudding, the day before, scored an own goal, late on in proceedings, to give both a share of the points.
888 Sport offer Leicester at 53/10, the draw at 51/20 and slight Odds On 19/20 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime and 7/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
MAN CITY v BURNLEY
15.00 in England.
A strange thing occurred in the French Promised Land last Sunday, Paris Saint-Germain, who were outstanding against City in the Champions League, with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar up top, helping get PSG the victory by a 2-0 scoreline, were beaten by Rennes, who sat 15th in the table before the game, by the same 2-0 score.
With the Paris boys, who are at the summit of Ligue Un, starting the 3-superstars against Rennes.
Whilst watching the Champions League fixture between City and PSG, John Newsome thought he’d turned the PlayStation on by mistake (not that he’s got one! an Atari was the last time this EveryTip contributor played a computer game)
Seeing Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and the excellent Lionel Messi, run the City players ragged was pure joy.
Another game in Ligue 1, that Sunday, was Nice v Brest, with the home team getting the victory by a 2-1 scoreline. Nice and certainly one for the Benny Hill brigade!
Pep’s High Flying Blues, earned a great point at Anfield before the break, coming from behind twice to share the spoils with the Anfield Rappers by a Desmond 2-2 score-draw.
Phil Foden, who was sensational throughout and Kevin De Bruyne scored the goals, with both coming after City had conceded.
Bernardo Silva had another brilliant game, with a piece of skill in the first half, reminiscent of the actions of the great Diego Maradona.
After shrugging off 6-Liverpool players then finding Jack Grealish, with a superb through ball, Bernardo unfortunately, watched JG fluff his lines and couldn’t convert, which would have been the goal of the season.
Although both of these heavyweight contenders couldn’t obtain the knockout blow, the game certainly lived up to expectations with John Newsome’s opinion being that City were the better team on the day. Tyson Fury, got his knockout blow, against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas, last Saturday night.
The Gypsy King, originally from Manchester, beat the Alabama Bronze Bomber by an 11th-round K/O, in the 3rd fight of their epic, Heavyweight Boxing Trilogy.
City sit 3rd in the table, with the same 14-points as the Numpty Neighbour, Everton and Brighton, from the 7-fixtures completed.
With Chelsea winning, Thomas’s Blues sit at the summit but both Liverpool and Man City are the likely teams from the chasing pack that could overhaul the Stamford Bridge outfit over the next few weeks.
Pep Guardiola wasn’t happy with the referee, when Liverpool’s James Milner, who is a double Premier League title winner, getting a medal with both City and the Reds, blatantly brought down Bernardo Silva early in the 2nd-half.
James had already received a Yellow Card, for a 1st-half indiscretion and the foul on Bernardo should have resulted in another and the ultimate Red.
The on-field referee, Paul Tierney didn’t show a 2nd-card which enraged Pep and rightly so. It would have seen Man City have a man advantage over Liverpool for the remaining 20-minutes or so.
What is a farce regarding the laws of the game, is the dreaded VAR, can’t get involved in a Yellow Card incident and couldn’t inform Paul Tierney to issue a 2nd-Yellow but can get involved if the incident warranted a Red Card.
That appears not to make sense but to try and explain, if James Milner had dived in on Bernardo Silva with studs showing and the on-field referee, shows a Yellow Card, the Stockley Park Brigade can have a word with Paul Tierney and say that it was probably a Red Card, however, because Mr Tierney didn’t show any card, VAR cannot inform Paul to issue a Yellow and ultimately a sending off.
It sounds bizarre but those are the laws of the game and the dreaded VAR. Check out the incident in the Chelsea v Southampton fixture.
James Ward-Prowse dove in on Thiago Silva and was initially shown a Yellow Card by the on-field referee, Martin Atkinson.
The VAR then advised Martin to have a look at the pitch-side monitor and as is becoming the norm, once that happens, a decision is changed, meaning Mr Atkinson could upgrade the card to Red.
As Mr Tierney, didn’t show James a Yellow Card initially then the dreaded VAR couldn’t intervene. No wonder Pep was outraged and rightly so.
Man City comfortably beat Burnley at the Etihad last term, by a 5-0 scoreline. Riyad Mahrez took home the match-ball, after scoring a hat-trick, with 2-goals in the 1st-half and a 3rd, after Benjamin Mendy and Ferran Torres had given City a 4-0 lead.
888 Sport offer Man City at Massive Odds On 1/9, the draw at 31/4 and 19/1 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 3/1 that Gabriel Jesus Scores First and 7/4 that Man City Win To Nil.
NORWICH v BRIGHTON
15.00 in England.
The Battle of the Birds.
Norwich earned their 1st-point of the season so far, following a goalless draw, away at Turf Moor, against Burnley, last time out.
After 6-straight defeats, the bottom-2 in the Premier League table, went head to head and produced a drab draw, that earned the point, leaving Daniel’s Excitable’s at the foot of the table, with the 1-point gained against Sean’s Clarets.
The New Canary, James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd, saw just 1 of his 3-teams gain something from a dismal weekend of football.
Jim’s first footballing love, Barnsley FC, suffered a defeat against Millwall, by a 1-0 scoreline, in a dreadful game, witnessed by John Newsome.
After reaching the Play-Offs last season, the Oakwell outfit, now reside in the bottom-3, of the Championship, with just 1-victory from the 11-fixtures so far.
Jim’s beloved Blades also suffered a defeat against Bournemouth by a 2-1 scoreline. The only solace the Little Blunt could take, was seeing his new adopted club, Norwich earn a point.
James and the lovely girlfriend, Jade went out to commiserate and went and watched the new Bond film, No Time To Die, followed by a few Fruit Kopparberg’s.
In a conversation in the boozer afterwards, someone asked what his name was, The names Blade, James Blade! Double-0-Daft. Yellow Canary, Yellow Canary.
Brighton continued their great start to the new campaign, gaining a point against Arsenal on Saturday, by the same 0-0 scoreline as Norwich v Burnley.
Although there weren’t any goals served up for the Seagulls faithful, it wasn’t a defeat against a much-improved set of Gunners, which is a testament as to where Brighton find themselves at the moment.
Graham Potter’s men sit in 6th-place, however, only on goal difference, having the same 14-points as Everton and the 2-Manchester clubs and just 2-away from Chelsea at the summit.
Leandro Trossard scored the solitary winning goal, midway through the 1st-half, at Carrow Rd, back in July 2020, in the protracted Coronavirus affected season.
888 Sport offer Norwich at 13/5, the draw at 119/50 and Evens 1/1 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 51/10 that Neal Maupay Scores First and 85/40 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
Premier League Team of the Week
GOALKEEPER- Illan Meslier – Leeds United
RIGHT-BACK- Kyle Walker – Man City
CENTRE-BACK- Michael Keane -Everton
CENTRE-BACK- Diego Llorente – Leeds United
LEFT-BACK- Ben Chilwell – Chelsea
MIDFIELDER- Phil Foden – Man City
MIDFIELDER- Bernardo Silva – Man City
MIDFIELDER- Kalvin Phillips – Leeds United
FORWARD- Andros Townsend – Everton
FORWARD- Yoane Wissa – Brentford
FORWARD- Mo Salah – Liverpool
STAR MAN- Bernardo Silva – Man City
SOUTHAMPTON v LEEDS UNITED
15.00 in England
Southampton suffered their 2nd loss in succession, succumbing to a defeat away at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea by a 3-1 scoreline.
Whilst most teams will lose against Thomas’s Blue Engines this term, the Saints fans shouldn’t take the defeat too lightly as despite everyone thinking Ralph Hasenhuttl is the answer, there isn’t any real evidence to suggest Southampton have improved, year on year.
When Wreck-It arrived in 2018, the Saints were 18th in the Premier League. At the end of the 2016/17 season, the Saints league position was 8th, under Claude Puel. Claude was deemed boring and not good enough.
Mark Hughes took over in 2017 and led Southampton to a 17th-place finish at the end of the 2017/18 season, a place and 3-points above the drop zone.
Then Mr Hasenhuttl arrived in December 2018, with the St Mary’s outfit finishing 16th at the end of that 2018/19 campaign, with 39-points.
The protracted, Coronavirus affected 2019/2020 term, which saw Ralph have a full pre-season and all 38-games in charge, led to Southampton finishing 11th with 52-points, granted an improvement.
However, the 2020/21 season, saw the Saints finish 15th, with 43-points. Is this progression?
Last Saturday’s defeat against Chelsea, saw James Ward-Prowse, convert a penalty, to equalise an earlier Blues goal, only for JWP to then be shown a straight Red Card, resulting in leaving his team with 10-men and conceding 2-further goals to suffer the loss.
Southampton now sit 17th, with just 4-points, from 4-draws out of the 7-fixtures completed. Is this progression?
If one was a Saints fan, there should be questions asked as to whether Wreck-It Ralph in his Peaky Blunders attire, is the right man.
Leeds United went above today’s hosts, following a 1st-victory of this season, defeating Watford, at Elland Rd, by a single 1-0 scoreline.
Diego Llorente scored the goal, midway through the 1st-half and although there were no further goals in the game, Marcelo’s Whites were the dominant team and always in control.
The victory and 3-points gives Leeds, 6 from the 7-fixtures and leaves Mr Bielsa’s men 16th, a place and 2-points above Southampton.
Despite the concerns at Elland Rd, with the thoughts of the Second Season Syndrome, Leeds are not one of the 3-worst teams in the Premier League and will be ok, the start has just been a little bit more difficult than last term.
Leeds have suffered defeats against Manchester United at Old Trafford (the same as last season) West Ham at Elland Rd (the same as last season) and Liverpool at Elland Rd (Jurgen’s Reds are unbeaten this term so no disgrace there).
It was just a matter of time before the Whites got back on track and the 1st-victory of the season will kick start the Second Season Scenario. Marching On Together!
At St Mary’s last season, this fixture was the penultimate game of the 2020/21 campaign, with Leeds United getting the victory by a 2-0 away-day scoreline.
The game sprang into life in the 73rd-minute with Patrick Bamford scoring the Whites opener before Tyler Roberts left it very late to seal the win scoring Leeds 2nd, in the 95th-minute.
888 Sport offer Southampton at 29/20, the draw at 5/2 and 33/20 for Leeds United to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 41/10 that Patrick Bamford Scores First and 7/4 that Leeds United Win To Nil.
BRENTFORD v CHELSEA
17.30 in England.
Brentford are surprising everyone at the moment, which, tremendous credit should be given to Thomas Frank and his Bees as most, including this EveryTip contributor, thought the new boys would be Premier League fodder.
After a brilliant result against Liverpool, in Game Week-6, that saw Brentford secure a point from a draw by a 3-3 score, Thomas’s Bees went one better last time out and beat West Ham at the London Stadium.
Bryan Mbeumo opened the scoring for the away-side, midway through the 1st-half to give Brentford the lead at the break.
West Ham equalised on the hour mark and with time running out, it looked like the 2-Londoners were going to share the points until Yoane Wissa popped up with a goal in the 94th-minute to inflict the defeat on the Hammers, by a 2-1 away-day score.
The ex-Barnsley Boys, Ethan Pinnock and Ivan Toney were again instrumental in the victory, with Ivan enhancing his reputation as a Top Flight performer. If the lad continues in this form, Gareth Southgate may just give Mr T a call up for the November Internationals.
Ethan has already seen International duty for Jamaica, the home of his father, playing a couple of games, for the Reggae Boys, one being against the USA back in March. In the States starting eleven that day was Christian Pulisic who could just be on show today.
The USA have just played against Jamaica again in the recent break, however, this time, Ethan was absent, having not been called up due to a recent injury.
The superb victory against West Ham, leaves Brentford in 7th-place, with 12-points, the same as Tottenham and just 4-adrift of today’s visitors. A brilliant start to the Bees inaugural season in the Promised Land.
Chelsea jumped above Liverpool to the summit of the Premier League table, after the victory against Southampton, at Stamford Bridge last time out.
Trevoh Chalobah (it’s Trevoh with an H, not an R!) opened the scoring for Chelsea early on in proceedings, to give the home side a lead at the break.
Southampton pulled a goal back on the hour mark through James Ward-Prowse who then jumped in on Thiago Silva and was shown, eventually, a straight Red Card, after the dreaded VAR got involved, giving the Blues a man advantage for the remaining 15-minutes.
Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell then scored to give Thomas’s Blue Engines the win by a 3-1 scoreline. Ben subsequently scored his first England goal in the victory against Andorra.
Ross Barkley saw 8-minutes of game time, after not featuring much this season. Ross did get a 15-minute run-out against Juventus the previous Wednesday and the same against Aston Villa, so that’s just short of 40-minutes of football in total for the ex-Toffee.
With the chasing two of Liverpool and Man City, playing each other, 24-hours later, Chelsea sat at the top of the table, with 16-points from the 7-fixtures and after the Sunday draw, the Blues remained at the summit, going into the International Break, a point more than Jurgen’s Reds and 2-more than Man City, Manchester United, Everton and Brighton, who all have 14.
Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris will no doubt be at the new Brentford Community Stadium, which does require a rebrand. Maybe ‘Rowse’ should get involved? The Rowse Stadium.
The Chelsea legend, Mr Harris, had a spell with the Bees in the twilight of his career, back in 1980. At the time, Big Ron was 36-years old and went as Player-Coach but had a great stint at Griffin Park, continuing to turn out in his 40th-year.
888 Sport offer Brentford at 6/1, the draw at 3/1 and Odds On 8/17 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Bryan Mbeumo Scores Anytime and 6/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime.
EVERTON v WEST HAM
14.00 in England.
Everton earned a great point against Manchester United last time out, with Andros Townsend scoring midway through the 2nd-half, to cancel out a 1st-half United strike. With no further goals, the game finished in a draw by a 1-1 score.
That doesn’t tell the whole story as the surprise of the day was probably when Rafa Benitez saw the Red Devil’s starting eleven.
The commentator on BT Sport and Arsenal legend that is Martin Keown, who’s had his own moments against Manchester United and it’s sometimes forgotten that Martin also turned out for the Toffees back in 1989/93, informed a few of the travelling fans that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had left out, Harry Maguire, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba or Jadon Sancho from the United starting lineup.
Everton were on the same points as Manchester United coming into the game and Rafa Benitez, who is a great manager, by the way, must have been delighted when the team sheet was handed in.
Rafa must have been rubbing his hands, as well as shaking his head at that eleven, going back to the away dressing room and informing his players, ‘No Harry, Cristiano, Paul or Jadon today lads’ ‘Fred and Scott in midfield!’
The Toffee Rafa’s had their incentive there and then, with Ole, showing contempt for Everton, by not choosing his strongest eleven on offer. The point leaves the Toffees in 5th-place, with 14, the same as United, City and Brighton. Toffee Rafa’s and this morning’s paper.
West Ham suffered a home loss against fellow Londoners Brentford, before the International Break, succumbing to a defeat by a narrow 2-1 scoreline.
Jarrod Bowen equalised an earlier Bees goal and with 4-minutes of injury time up on the clock, it looked like a draw was on the cards, until the away team scored to inflict the defeat. That was only the 2nd-loss of the season so far, which leaves David Moyes Boys, in 9th-place, with 11-points from the opening 7-fixtures.
A point behind the fellow Londoners, Tottenham and Brentford. The Bubbles did have a great night in the Europa League tie against Rapid Vienna.
Remember a couple of weeks back when the General Secretary of the Man City Supporters Club was bemoaning the fact that Pep Guardiola had stated that the Citizens should turn up for the Champions League games at the Emptyhad and made excuses for the faithful not turning out on a Wednesday night at 20.00 hours.
The West Ham players had 58,000 joyous fans supporting them on a Thursday night at 20.00 hours in the Europa League, which is a brilliant effort from the Eastenders, who were full of Pie and Mash, Jellied Eels and warm beer with no head-on. Respect Bubbles!
The City Secretary should instil into his Citizens that the Emptyhad needs filling too on a Champions League night.
At Goodison Park last term, this was a New Years Day affair, with Tomas Soucek bringing in the New Year Cheers for the Bubbles, scoring the solitary winning goal, in the 88th-minute.
888 Sport offer Everton at 11/8, the draw at 12/5 and 47/25 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 7/4 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores Anytime and 3/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
NEWCASTLE v TOTTENHAM
16.30 in England.
The big news on Tyneside is that finally, Newcastle United have been sold, Mike Ashley is no longer and the On/Off sale of the club, which has gone on for almost 4-years, has happened.
Mike Cashley, had to sell the club now, as a Premier League football team is a better proposition for a potential buyer, than a Championship club, which the Magpies good quite realistically become, next year.
The new owners are a Saudi Arabian Consortium, who have paid a reported £300 Million and have a major task ahead of them, the first being to decide whether to stick with Steve Bruce or start their tenure with a new man.
Newcastle are struggling at the moment, no doubt about it, succumbing to the 4th-defeat of the campaign away at Molineux against Wolves by a 2-1 score.
Jeff Hendrick, who was initially a substitute, was introduced by Steve Bruce after 35-minutes, following an injury to Joe Willock, equalised an earlier Wolves goal, 6-minutes after entering the field of play, to take both teams in level at the break.
Unfortunately, the travelling Toon Army saw their idols concede on the hour-mark and ultimately lost the game, which leaves Steve Bruce’s Magpies 2nd-bottom of the table, or 19th, with 3-points from 3-draws from the 7-fixtures completed.
It’s highly unlikely that Steve will stay at St James Park, however, that remains to be seen. It’s thought that Big Brucey could be given the chop as early as this week and won’t be in the dugout on Sunday, with Graeme Jones in temporary charge.
A Newcastle United Fans Trust had a vote recently, with 94% wanting Big Brucey out of the club. That means 94 out of every 100 of the Toon Army want a new manager, which begs the question, why do 6 out of every 100 want the lad to stay?
In situations like these, there is another question to ask, who does the 94% want as the gaffer?
Currently, Steven Gerrard is the favourite to succeed Steve Bruce, with Eddie Howe, Antonio Conte, Chris Wilder, Roberto Martinez and the other usual suspects, such as Jose Mourinho, Rafa Benitez and even Frank Lampard propping up the list.
The Toon Army certainly love their Black and White idols but it’s unknown whether the new Saudi Owners wanted the Tyneside club or just wanted a new castle.
Tottenham got a great victory last Sunday, against Aston Villa at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, beating the Villa by a 2-1 scoreline. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored a rare goal to give Spurs the lead midway through the 1st-half.
Aston Villa did pull a goal back but Tottenham, scored a 2nd, with the superb Son Heung-Min, playing a pivotal role in the winner, crossing for Lucas Moura to tap home.
Unfortunately for Lucas but fortunately for Tottenham, the Villa Defender got the last touch meaning an own goal but still a winner for the home team.
The performance against Aston Villa was a vast improvement over the displays against the fellow Londoners, Arsenal and Chelsea, that saw 2-defeats.
Spurs had beaten Mura in the Europa Conference League tie, the previous Thursday, with Harry Kane, who was a substitute and introduced after the break, getting a 2nd-half hat-trick in the space of 19-minutes.
Tottenham running out convincing winners by a 5-1 scoreline against Slovenia’s finest. At least Harry got back to scoring ways, however, has yet to notch in the Premier League.
The victory against Aston Villa, leaves Tottenham in 8th, with the same 12-points as Brentford, from the 7-fixtures completed and more importantly for the faithful, back above the North London rivals, Arsenal, who had jumped above Spurs, the previous week.
Newcastle earned a great point from a Desmond 2-2 scoreline, back in April, in a St James Park full of the cardboard Toon Army.
The Magpies goals were both scored by Joe’s, the 1st from Joelinton, just before the half-hour mark to give the home team the lead and the equaliser in the 85th-minute, by Joe Willock, after Harry Kane had scored twice, to give Spurs the half-time lead.
888 Sport offer Newcastle at 49/20, the draw at 51/20 and Evens 1/1 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 3/1 that Tottenham Score in Both Halves.
ARSENAL v CRYSTAL PALACE
20.00 in England
The Patrick Vieira Derby.
Arsenal gained a point from a draw against Brighton before the International Break. Unfortunately for the early Saturday evening, Sky Sports viewers, neither the Gunners nor the Seagulls could muster up a goal, with the game ending in a drab goalless draw.
The point gained, leaves Mikel Arteta’s men with 10 from the opening 7-fixtures, however, did drop the Gunners down the table to 11th, below the fierce rival from up the road, Tottenham. What is strange is that Arsenal are back out again on Friday, for the start of Game Week-9.
The Arsenal legend that is Mr Vieira, is back at the Emirates only this time, as the gaffer of the Eagles but surely an emotional return for not only Patrick but the Gooners faithful, who no doubt will give Roy Keane’s mate a great reception.
Crystal Palace also gained a point from a draw by a Desmond 2-2 scoreline against Leicester last time out. The Foxes looked to be devouring the Eagles, scoring twice in the 1st-half to leave Roy Keane’s best mate, Patrick Vieira having to give an inspirational half-time team talk.
Patrick introduced Michael Olise just after the break, which produced an immediate response, with Michael scoring soon after coming on.
Mr Vieira then sent on Jeffrey Schlupp and again, another moment of inspiration from Patrick, with Jeff scoring the equaliser, a minute after coming on. With no further goals, both the Foxes and the Eagles shared the points from the draw.
Palace stay 14th in the Premier League table, with the same 7-points as Watford and just a point adrift of Leicester.
In last season’s affair between the North Londoners and the South Londoners, the cardboard faithful were treated to a drab draw by a 0-0 scoreline. Enough said.
888 Sport offer Arsenal at Odds On 8/15, the draw at 3/1 and 51/10 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores Anytime and 9/4 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime.