The highlight games for this weekend’s action are BURNLEY versus CHELSEA and ARSENAL versus MAN CITY. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and 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.
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LUTON v TOTTENHAM
12.30 in England
The David Pleat Derby!
Luton quickly return to action after Tuesday’s rearranged game against Burnley.
The Hatters finally registered a Premier League victory last Saturday, inflicting a defeat on a sorry set of Toffees at Goodison Park by a 2-1 score.
Tom Lockyer and Carlton Morris with the Luton goals before Everton replied, with all 3 going in before the half-time cup of tea.
That’s the ex-Barnsley Boy Carlton’s 3rd goal of the campaign and the 1st that wasn’t a penalty.
Whilst it was a brilliant victory for Rob Edwards boys and not to pour cold water on the achievement, Everton are rubbish, especially at Goodison Park, where the Toffees have lost all 4 home games, so no doubt this fixture against Tottenham will be a tougher ask.
That said Luton can only beat the team put in front of them and all the Hatters faithful will want is to finish no lower than the 4th worst team out of the 20 and that will do.
In the game against Burnley on Tuesday evening, Luton conceded a goal on the stroke of half-time to trail at the break.
Rob got into his boys in the dressing room and gave the Hatters players a jolt which produced an equaliser late in the 2nd-half from Elijah Adebayo.
Unfortunately for the watching faithful, the parity lasted around 40 seconds when a speculative shot from a Burnley player flew past Thomas Kaminsky in the Luton goal to reinstate the Clarets lead.
With no further goals, Luton suffered another defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
Luton sit in 17th place with the same 4 points as Everton and Burnley, with all of the 20 teams now having completed 7 fixtures.
Tottenham somehow gained a victory over Liverpool in the late Saturday Afternoon kickoff.
When one says ‘somehow’ it’s usually followed by an excuse or something but this particular victory is difficult to comprehend.
With 26 minutes up on the clock, the first of the contentious VAR decisions came about when Curtis Jones tackled Yves Bissouma.
Initially, the on-field referee, Simon Hooper, gave Curtis a Yellow Card, however, the Stockley Park crew, which consisted of a Barnsley Boy called Darren England, informed Simon to have a look at the pitchside monitor and as everyone now knows, that means the on-field referee doesn’t have the cahona’s to stick to his decision and has to listen to someone miles away who has watched the incident a million times in ‘Super Slo-Mo!’ as Ace Ventura would say.
When the dreaded VAR get involved the scenario is already planted in the referee’s mind.
The on-field referee is advised to look at the pitch side monitor but when the referee approaches the telly, the image of the player’s indiscretion is on the screen, i.e. (that is) Curtis Jones’ foot is shown halfway up Yves’ leg, which granted does look bad.
Added to that, whilst the referee is walking to the monitor, the dreaded VAR are in his ear basically saying,
‘Send him off, send him off, send him off!’
So either subconsciously or subliminally, Simon Hooper or whoever is on the field is almost certain to change his original decision and send the player off!
That’s not what going to the monitor is meant to be, it should be entirely for the on-field referee to see if his original decision was correct or as close to correctness as the referee had initially intended.
Ten minutes after Curtis was putting the kettle on for his mate’s half-time cuppa, Luis Diaz scored what appeared to be the opening goal.
As normal the dreaded VAR got involved, however, this is where the fun started.
Normally, the VAR, who, as already mentioned, was Darren England on this occasion, put lines up on the TV screen to show that the Attacking Player is a millimetre or whatever in front of the Defender.
However, on this occasion, that didn’t happen and to the naked eye, Luis was way onside.
What happened then defies belief!
The linesman put his flag up and ruled the goal offside.
Darren England assumed that the on-field officials had given the goal so instead of the two talking to each other (surely that’s what one would do!) immediately stated ‘Check Over!’ as Mr England thought the goal had been given and seeing that Luis Diaz was onside informed everyone that the VAR ‘check’ was ‘over!’
As Simon Hooper and his linesman had stated that the goal was ruled out, they were waiting for Darren England to check the offside and confirm.
Obviously, there was a bit of confusion, however, nobody spoke to each other, which in itself is just bizarre.
Surely, Simon should have said to Darren,
‘Linesman has said Luis was offside, was he?’
‘No mate, he’s onside, goal allowed!’
How hard is that?
The Sky Sports team couldn’t clear up the problem and showed where the lines should have been but even without the lines, it was clear and obvious that Luis Diaz was a yard onside.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL!) gave the following statement later on Saturday evening.
‘PGMOL acknowledge a significant human error occurred during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool.
The goal by Luis Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials.
This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention, however, the VAR failed to intervene.
PGMOL will conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the error.’
That in itself is horrendous but also offers up another question,
‘How many times has this happened before?’
To clear up the events of the game, Son Heung-Min scored just after the controversial incident, with Cody Gakpo equalising to take both teams in level at the break.
Liverpool’s problems then got worse when Diogo Jota was shown 2 quick Yellow Cards and the ultimate Red leaving Jurgen’s Reds with 9 Men for the remaining half-hour or so.
When it appeared that the game would finish in a draw, Joel Matip inadvertently scored an own goal in the 96th minute to gift Tottenham the victory by a 2-1 score.
The record books will show the fixture as a win for Tottenham, however, Liverpool want the game replayed.
Tottenham sit in 2nd place behind Man City with the same 17 points as Arsenal.
Both, a point adrift of Pep’s High Flying Blues who had their own problems on Saturday.
Added to that, the replay won’t happen as the game is over and lessons need to be learnt to move forward not change the outcome of a game that’s finished.
There was irony from the PGMOL offered up for the Monday Night Football that featured Fulham v Chelsea.
The on-field referee was a guy called Tim Robinson who was in charge of the League One Play-Off Final between Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday that did feature the dreaded VAR who denied Barnsley a blatant penalty and also, incorrectly informed Tim to send off the Barnsley player Adam Phillips.
The PGMOL then promoted Tim Robinson to the Premier League referees panel.
A couple of paragraphs above, John Newsome put ‘9 Men’ referring to the number of players Liverpool had on the pitch at the end following the sending-offs.
There’s a phenomenon creeping into the media that journalists and reporters are now saying ’10 Player so and so!’ or in the case of Saturday’s game, ‘9 Player Liverpool suffered a defeat!’
As far as this EveryTip column knows, the Men’s Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two are contested by Men!
There are no Women that are playing, there are a few on the coaching staff, a couple or three who are Physios and plenty making the Tea (only a bit of fun girls!) but none that are actually playing, therefore is ’10 Man Forest’ or ‘9 Men Liverpool’ factually wrong?
The answer is NO!
It’s the same as the ludicrous,
‘Player of the Match!’
It’s ‘Man of the Match!’
If women are playing, then it’s ‘Woman of the Match!’
Who decides these terms that have been used for decades are now incorrect?
It’s not Politically Incorrect to say Man of the Match if it’s a Mens Team that has been playing.
It would be wrong to say ‘Man of the Match’ if the game was played by a mixture of both men and women or in the Women’s game.
Whilst this doesn’t really mean that much, John Newsome predicted a draw by a 2-2 score for the late Saturday Afternoon fixture between Tottenham and Liverpool.
The bookmakers will have paid out for a Tottenham victory, plus for a correct score prediction of 2-1, Under 3.5 Goals and Son Heung-Min being the First Goal Scorer, as well as not paying out for Luis Diaz Scoring First or for that matter, anytime.
Look at that scenario if Darren England and Simon Hooper had allowed Luis Diaz’s First Goal.
There was still over an hour to play after the initial ruled-out notch, so one can’t say for certain how the game would have panned out as different circumstances come into play.
It won’t happen but it would be nice if the Bookmakers also paid out for a Draw, a 2-2 Correct Score Draw, Luis Diaz Scoring First, as well as Over 3.5 Goals.
The decisions made by these PGMOL people not only affect everyone concerned with the clubs (all of the 20 in the Premier League) but also the folk out there who have a cheeky punt on a game.
David Pleat was the Manager of Luton over 2 periods, the first being in the early 1980s.
After a successful time at Kenilworth Rd, Tottenham came calling in 1986, where Mr Pleat enjoyed a couple of turbulent years at White Hart Lane before being shown the door.
Following a spell as boss of Leicester, David went back to manage Luton in 1991 but unfortunately, couldn’t prevent relegation from the Top Flight in 1992, just before the inaugural Premier League season started.
It was towards the end of that 1991/92 First Division campaign that Luton last played a fixture against Tottenham, with the two clubs not meeting each other in any competition for over 30 years.
The fixture at Kenilworth Rd back in March 1992, finished in a goalless draw.
It’s more than likely that there will be goals today, mainly going into the home team’s net.
Betfred offer Luton at 6/1, the draw at 18/5 and Odd On 4/9 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 12/5 that Carlton Morris Scores Anytime and 21/20 that Tottenham Score in Both Halves.
BURNLEY v CHELSEA
15.00 in England
Burnley suffered another defeat on Saturday, this time against Newcastle at St James Park by a 2-0 scoreline.
Vincent Kompany knows exactly how difficult this season will be and most will suffer a loss against Newcastle, especially in their backyard.
It was then the rearranged Game Week-2 affair against Luton at Kenilworth Rd on Tuesday Night.
Lyle Foster, back in the starting lineup after his 3-game ban for the Red Card against Nottingham Forest, scored on the stroke of half-time to give the Clarets a lead at the interval.
Luton scored an equaliser in the 84th minute but within seconds of the restart, Jacob Bruun-Larsen reinstated the Clarets lead.
With no further goals, Burnley gained the brilliant away day victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Burnley sit in 18th place with the same 4 points as Luton and Everton.
Chelsea impressed and improved on Monday Night Football against Fulham, putting in an excellent performance that reaped a victory by a 2-0 score.
Both goals scored within 20 seconds of each other midway through the 1st-half.
Mykhailo Mudryk finally scored for the Blues, 18 minutes in against the Cottagers with Armando Broja adding the 2nd, 20 seconds after Fulham restarted the game.
Mauricio Pochettino mixed up the starting lineup, replacing Raheem Sterling with Armando Broja, however, despite this being a great move, it was probably more to do with Raheem being ill over the weekend.
Regardless of the reason for the change Armando had a great game and was the outlet for the Blues that has been needed for a few months now.
The goals for both players should now see them and the team push on and whilst it was initially difficult to predict the outcome of this game against Burnley, it’s more than likely that Chelsea will achieve back-to-back victories.
It was March 2022, when Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea last ventured North to Turf Moor.
Burnley, under the guidance of Sean Dyche, suffered a home defeat by a 4-0 scoreline.
Reece James, a Kai Havertz double and Christian Pulisic with the goals, all scored in the 2nd-half.
Betfred offer Burnley at 4/1, the draw at 11/4 and Odds On 4/6 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer that Raheem Sterling Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
EVERTON v BOURNEMOUTH
15.00 in England
How bad are Everton?
The dogs that reside in and around Goodison Park had already scarpered long before the final whistle on Saturday as Sean Dyche’s Toffees were about to suffer their 4th home defeat of the season.
The hounds knew that they would be the only ones who could hear the high-pitched noise coming from the faithful who had witnessed another defeat and what probably compounded the situation was the loss occurred against the newly promoted Luton Town who themselves had lost 4, only drawing 1 of their first 5 games in the Top Flight so far.
After conceding 2 goals, Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored just before the break to give the Blue Scousers hope of a better 2nd-half.
With no further goals, Everton suffered the defeat that left Sean’s Men sitting in 16th place with the same 4 points as Luton and Burnley, all now having played the opening 7 games.
As mentioned last week, Everton have been taken over by a consortium called 777, however, these boys, have a checkered history with the other clubs they own such as Genoa, Sevilla, Standard Liege, Red Star FC, Vasco Da Gama as well as dallying in the Australian football with Melbourne Victory, all experiencing problems.
Maybe, 777 should be renamed 666.
Bournemouth are just as rubbish as Everton so this fixture could be labelled as,
Following another defeat on Saturday against Arsenal, the Cherries dropped into the relegation zone with 3 points from the opening 7 games played.
Granted the loss against the Gunners by a 4-0 scoreline wasn’t much of a shock as most will lose against Mikel’s Young Guns, it’s probably the manner of the defeat that will leave the faithful scratching their heads, as Arsenal were simply ruthless with Bournemouth having no answers.
Last season’s encounter between these two teams at Goodison Park was the final fixture of the campaign with a single Abdoulaye Doucoure goal giving Everton the much-needed victory over Bournemouth by a 1-0 scoreline.
The win was vital as the Toffees survived by a mere 2 points more than the Foxes who also won their final fixture but were relegated.
Betfred offer Everton at slight Odds On 10/11, the draw at 5/2 and 3/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Beto Scores First and 9/4 that Only Everton Score.
FULHAM v SHEFFIELD UNITED
15.00 in England
Fulham suffered a defeat on Monday Night Football against Chelsea at Craven Cottage with the away West Londoners getting the victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
In truth, it was a poor performance by Marco Silva’s Men who didn’t really produce much up front and gifted Chelsea’s 2nd goal which was 20 seconds after kicking off from the opener.
The defeat leaves Fulham in 13th place with the same 8 points as Nottingham Forest and Chelsea, all having completed 7 games.
Sheffield United remain at the foot of the Premier League after Saturday’s trip to the London Stadium with Paul Heckinbottom’s Blunts suffering a defeat against David Moyes’ Hammers by a 2-0 scoreline, with both goals conceded before the break.
It was probably just a relief to go at least 45 minutes without conceding a goal having conceded 8 in last week’s disastrous loss against Newcastle at Bramall Lane.
The October International Break does usually coincide with a couple of Premier League Managers being sacked so it might not be too much of a surprise if this fixture against Fulham is By Heck’s final game and there’s a New Manager (Chris Wilder!) at the helm come the relegation battle against Manchester United next time out.
James from Swinton, nowhere near Bramall Lane didn’t make the trip down to the Capital as the lad was out collecting Conkers for the Annual Conker Competition.
The Little Blunt was disqualified last year, for covering the said Conker in Brown Nail Polish and baking in the oven, disqualified not only by the judges but also by the lovely Jade who had paid £10 for the Nail Polish from Essie.
Jimbo has confirmed that the Passport is out and ready for the trip to Craven Cottage and the little fella is like a Kid at Christmas shouting at Jade through the window (he’s banned from the house at this time of the year due to Nail PolishGate)
‘5 more sleeps J!’
‘Please can I come in now, sorry about the Nail Polish but I had a 47-er before I was disqualified!’
As a good mate of the Little Blunt, John does feel a bit sorry for the lad, seeing his team suffer a defeat every week.
Maybe things will change if (when!) Chris Wilder comes back home.
These two last met at Craven Cottage back in December 2021, 5 days before Christmas, in a Championship affair, which saw an Iliman Ndiaye goal secure the early present of 3 points for Paul Heckingbottom’s Blades over Marco Silva’s Cottagers.
Betfred offer Fulham at Odds On 8/13, the draw at 11/4 and 9/2 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer that 16/5 that Fulham Win Both Halves and 6/4 that Fulham Win To Nil.
MANCHESTER UNITED v BRENTFORD
15.00 in England
The John Newsome/Manchester United Benefit of the Doubt Situation (granted, a title that needs work!) has officially ended.
Over the past few weeks, a United victory has been predicted but following lame displays against Tottenham, Arsenal, Brighton and now Crystal Palace, that will now stop as it’s unfair to the punters out there who are still thinking about the United team of old.
Manchester United are rubbish, Erik Ten Hag is on borrowed time and if results don’t improve, the likeable Dutchman will be visiting the Amsterdam Job Centre.
Let’s go through the whole team that Erik Ten Bob has assembled, it’s his team remember!
Andre Onana- not good enough and is at Old Trafford purely on the basis of knowing Erik from their time at Ajax.
United had a World Class Goalkeeper in David De Gea, so why get rid?
The signing of Andre is a kin to the signing of Massimo Taibi.
Diogo Dalot- not good enough and was actually shown the door at Old Trafford by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, lending the lad to Milan for a year before being allowed back into the fold.
This is a position that Gary Neville comfortably filled for over 10 years.
The same position where Man City have Kyle Walker, John Stones and a host of youngsters who are all better than DD.
Raphael Varane- it’s hard to say the World Cup Winner isn’t good enough but age and injuries are taking their toll on the Big French Defender.
Victor Lindelof- a bit easier to say not good enough, the Swede wouldn’t get in Man City’s Squad or for that matter Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal or even Newcastle.
Lisandro Martinez- again, it’s difficult to say the World Cup Winner isn’t good enough and has picked up an injury that more than likely will need surgery and keep him out, however, opposing teams have worked the Argentinian out and know that he’s vulnerable to an early Yellow Card that affects the rest of the game.
Sofyan Amrabat- too early to judge but shouldn’t be playing at Left Back and should be at the side of Casemiro.
Again Erik Ten Bob has got it wrong in choosing Sofyan as the Left Back, in the Moroccan’s opening 2 games at Old Trafford.
There’s another Amrabat, him being Nordin, the elder brother to Sofyan.
Nordin is 9 years older than his little brother but having watched the lad play for AEK Athens against Brighton in the Europa League, could definitely do a job at Old Trafford and maybe Erik could have got an Amrabat BOGOF (By One Get One Free).
By the way, it’s A E K Athens as in 3 separate Letters, those being A, E and K then Athens, as they have been referred to for 1000s of years (well all my lifetime) not one-word AEK, pronounced (HIKE) Athens.
Luke Shaw- is injured at the moment but is one whom John Newsome would consider good enough for Manchester United, however, just because he’s injured doesn’t equate to playing Sofyan Amrabat at Left Back, there should be other options.
Harry Maguire- not good enough and should have been moved on in the Summer, there were ample opportunities for Harry to leave but it appears money was the issue.
So United decided to keep the Sheffield lad at the club and pay him the £20 Million or so in wages to sit on the bench, when Manchester United could have got a fee of around £30 Million for HM, paid him his £20 Million and still be in credit plus have a player that’s not wanted, out of the club.
Casemiro- age is catching up on the Brazilian, yet is still the linchpin of the Midfield but needs a player with energy at the side of him, that player being Sofyan Amrabat.
Mason Mount- not good enough, Chelsea saw the Iceberg and allowed Mason to leave, plus Gareth Southgate has gone quiet on the lad and it’s more than likely M and M won’t be in the Three Lions Squad for the International Break coming up after this set of fixtures.
A caveat to that is Mason has been injured so will be given time to get back to form, however, as GNev always says,
This is Manchester United, so there won’t be much time afforded to Mason Mount as the faithful want more from a £65 Million player.
Facundo Pellestri- no comment as the kid is starting his career and should be given a chance to prove himself at Old Trafford.
At least ETH has chosen the Uruguayan to play.
Bruno Fernandes- not good enough and definitely shouldn’t be the Captain of Manchester United.
The Portuguese Midfielder needs a spell on the sidelines to, at worst, rest his arms from all the flinging about.
Granted that’s just an opinion by John Newsome and Bruno will be picked each week, mainly because United haven’t got anyone else to push Mr Fernandes, which, in itself, is a damming indictment on the famous club.
Christian Eriksen- one can’t be too critical of the Dane as he’s a credit to the game, coming back from the brink of death to play at Old Trafford.
However, taking sentiment from the situation, the lad wouldn’t get into any of the Top Six clubs and would probably be playing for a mid-table team (which is ironic really as that is what Manchester United are now!)
Rasmus Hojlund- too early to judge and should be given more time to fit in but does need help from the supposed Superstars of Manchester United and despite scoring against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, needs that first Premier League goal to set things in motion.
Alejandro Garnacho- this EveryTip column won’t be too hard on the youngster but it has been mentioned before by John Newsome, is Alejandro the new Frederico Macheda.
Aged 19, the Mexican Snack does have time to train on but needs to show more composure in the final third of the pitch.
Antony- the Jury is definitely out on this lad, the Brazilian Daniel Day-Lewis.
What does the Winger do?
£85 Million, the mind boggles as to who thought the kid was,
A- a footballer and 2- good enough for Manchester United.
Before the judgement of one more player, it’s worth mentioning Jonny Evans, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Donny Van De Beek and Hannibal Mejbri.
Hannibal had some brilliant stats thrown up following his performance against Burnley, which were sent around the internet but did offer up a comment by John Newsome, that being,
It was only against Burnley!
The same reason Jonny Evans started a game was that it was Burnley who were the opposition.
United struggled against Vincent Kompany’s Clarets when Man City, Tottenham, Newcastle and Aston Villa all gained comfortable victories.
There’s no real point in adding a comment about Scott McTominay, that’s not been offered before, plus Donny Van De Beek just needs a new start somewhere else as Old Trafford isn’t the place for the Dutch lad, as for Anthony Martial, wow!
God loves a trier!
Now for the final player that is letting everyone down and that is Marcus Rashford.
The lad needs dropping, as the Meerkats say,
Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?
Since signing the new 5-year, £300,000 a week (a week!) contract, Marcus (Slim Shady) Rashford has gone missing.
Despite scoring against Arsenal, Marcus has failed to find the back of the net in the other 9 games in all competitions that he’s been involved in.
Erik Ten Bob needs to sit the lad down and say,
‘Have a rest son but don’t go to New York giving food to the kids, stay in Manchester and just have a bit of time out to revitalise the body!’
Any of Alejandro Garnacho, Facundo Pellestri, Christian Eriksen, Mason Mount or Bruno Fernandes (or for that matter, Anthony Martial) can have a spell in Marcus’s shirt, allowing Mr Rashford to get some rest as, at the minute, the time out is happening during the 90 minutes on the pitch.
The above all comes from the placid display put in against Crystal Palace on Saturday, where Manchester United, under the guidance of Erik Ten Hag, suffered the 4th defeat of the season, from the opening 7 games, this time by a 1-0 score.
United had gained a victory over Palace last Tuesday in the Carabao Cup, however, Roy Hodgson did make several changes for the Premier League fixture.
It was strange that after 2 decent performances, albeit against Burnley and a second-string Crystal Palace and after rave reviews offering up all sorts of stats on the Social Abuse sites, Hannibal Mejbri was left on the bench for the full 90 minutes in the defeat on Saturday.
United sit in 10th place from the opening 7 games, with 9 points gained from 3 wins and 4 losses.
Manchester United face Galatasaray on Tuesday at Old Trafford before this visit from Brentford.
Brentford gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score, against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday.
Christian Norgaard with the Bees goal after Forest had a player sent off.
Unfortunately, Thomas Frank’s boys couldn’t hold on for the victory and allowed Forest to equalise.
There were another couple of contentious VAR moments with a certain penalty not being awarded but in truth, a draw was probably the right result.
The draw did put a stop to the losing streak following 2 straight defeats and leaves Brentford in 14th place with 7 points from a win, 4 draws and 2 losses.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game when these two teams met at Old Trafford last season, giving Manchester United the victory over Brentford by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Manchester United at Odds On 8/13, the draw at 16/5 and 4/1 for Brentford to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 9/2 that Rasmus Hojlund Scores First and that 12/5 that Bryan Mbeumo Scores Anytime.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- David Raya- Arsenal
RIGHT-BACK- Max Kilman- Wolves
CENTRE-BACK- Craig Dawson- Wolves
CENTRE-BACK- Thiago Silva- Chelsea
LEFT-BACK- Levi Colwill- Chelsea
MIDFIELDER- Conor Gallagher- Chelsea
MIDFIELDER- Douglas Luiz- Aston Villa
MIDFIELDER- Martin Odegaard- Arsenal
FORWARD- Ollie Watkins- Aston Villa
FORWARD- Son Heung-Min- Tottenham
FORWARD- Hwang-Hee Chan- Wolves
STAR MAN- Ollie Watkins- Aston Villa
CRYSTAL PALACE v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
17.30 in England
It should not have been considered a surprise that Crystal Palace achieved a victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Joachim Andersen’s goal midway through the 1st-half was the difference between the two teams giving Palace the victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
The reason it shouldn’t have been a surprise is Roy Hodgson has achieved a win in 3 of his previous visits to Old Trafford and 2 draws from the last 5 ventures up North.
One of those draws was as boss of Watford with 3 victories and a draw as the Eagles gaffer over the last 5 years.
That is simply brilliant by the Old Boy who should be lauded as one of the best that has been and who is still being.
(Let’s not mention the England stint!)
Nottingham Forest gained a point from a draw by a 1-1 score against Brentford on Sunday.
After Moussa Niakhate had received the 2nd of 2 Yellow Cards and the subsequent Red in the 56th minute, Brentford scored to take the lead.
Nicolas Dominguez scored an equaliser for the Tricky Trees and with no further goals both shared the points.
There was another contentious moment in the 1st-half when Matty Turner kicked Yoane Wissa as he was clearing the ball, however, nobody seemed to be bothered and the play went on without VAR getting involved.
It should have been a penalty and would have been a foul anywhere else on the pitch.
The point gained leaves Nottingham Forest in 12th place with the same 8 points as Chelsea and Fulham from 7 fixtures played.
This fixture last season was the final game of the 2022/23 campaign with both sharing the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Taiwo Awoniyi scored in the 1st-half for Forest with Will Hughes equalising for Palace after the break.
Both teams were safe from relegation so in theory, the players had one eye on the Jet 2 holiday to Magaluf.
Betfred offer Crystal Palace at 21/20, the draw at 23/10 and 11/4 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 15/8 that Jean-Philippe Mateta Scores Anytime and 21/10 that Taiwo Awoniyi Scores Anytime.
BRIGHTON v LIVERPOOL
14.00 in England
The following Premier League Preview highlights just how difficult predicting football is and the thoughts of John Newsome and this column should be respected each week.
Brighton were sitting in 3rd place before
Saturday’s early kick-off against Aston Villa.
If one had said that the Seagulls would suffer an away day defeat against the Villains by a 6-1 scoreline, then the Men with White Coats on would have been knocking at the door.
That’s exactly what the score was with Ansu Fati getting the consolation goal for Brighton.
Roberto De Zerbi does have a habit of changing the starting eleven which can cause inconsistency on behalf of the players but in truth, with all the competitions that Brighton are involved in, the Whole Squad has to be used.
Brighton dropped down to 6th in the table after the weekend’s results, with the same 15 points as Aston Villa, who jumped above based on goal difference.
One of the competitions mentioned was the Carabao Cup, however, that journey is over for the Amex girls and boys with the Seagulls being knocked out by Chelsea last week.
Whilst it was a loss, it might be a blessing in disguise, freeing up some space in the football calendar.
Another competition is the Europa League, where Brighton face Marseille in France on Thursday in Match Day-2 of the Group Stage.
Liverpool themselves compete in the Europa League on Thursday, taking on Royale Union SG at Anfield.
Royal Union are a Belgian team that competes in the Jupiler Pro League.
As mentioned earlier in the Tottenham Preview, Liverpool played in a very controversial fixture on Saturday that eventually resulted in a defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
Joel Matip scored the Tottenham winner in the 96th minute to knock the stuffing out of the Anfield Rappers.
Obviously, Joel didn’t mean to score the own goal, however, it was a great finish by the Big Defender that Mr Matip should be proud of.
Luis Diaz had scored a completely legitimate goal that was ruled offside which then offered up the controversy that can be read again in the Luton v Tottenham Preview above.
Curtis Jones had been shown a straight Red Card after 26 minutes leaving Liverpool with 10 men for the majority of the game until the 70th minute when Diogo Jota received the 2nd of 2 Yellow Cards and the subsequent Red, leaving Liverpool with 9 men for over 25 minutes.
The pressure from 11 v 9, eventually paid off for Tottenham who took control, forcing Joel to score the OG in the 96th minute.
Cody Gakpo had equalised the earlier Tottenham goal on the stroke of half-time.
Following the controversy, Liverpool, without actually saying it in words, want the game replayed, however, that won’t happen and the defeat will just have to be swallowed like the bitterest of Bitter Pills.
Jurgen’s Reds sit in 4th place with 16 points from the opening 7 fixtures.
With both suffering defeats and both playing in the Europa League on Thursday, probably the marginal gain that either of the teams will be looking for is the travelling, with Brighton heading to France but Liverpool staying on Merseyside.
These two teams faced each other 3 times last season and the Seagulls never suffered a defeat in any of those games, with a victory and a draw in the Premier League fixtures plus also knocking out the Reds in the FA Cup.
In the league game at the Amex, a double from Solly March and a Danny Welbeck goal, all in the 2nd-half gave the home team the victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
A fortnight later Brighton knocked out Liverpool in the 4th Round of the FA Cup by a 2-1 score.
The game earlier on in the season at Anfield finished in a draw by a 3-3 scoreline.
Betfred offer Brighton at 15/8, the draw at 3/1 and 6/5 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 8/5 that Darwin Nunez Scores Anytime and 2/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
WEST HAM v NEWCASTLE
14.00 in England
West Ham gained a comfortable home victory against the worst team in the Premier League on Saturday, inflicting a defeat on Sheffield United by a 2-0 score.
Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek with the goals both scored before the break.
Whilst it was only against the Blades, who were hammered last week against Newcastle by an 8-0 score, West Ham can only do their part and a win is a win.
That leaves the Hammers in 7th place with 13 points from the opening set of fixtures.
West Ham face the German club Freiburg on Thursday in Match Day-2 of the Europa League.
Newcastle also compete in the midweek European competitions facing Paris Saint-Germain in the next Champions League clash.
After a tricky start for Eddie Howe and his Magpies, which saw 3 defeats in a row against Man City, Liverpool and Brighton, Newcastle are now unbeaten out of the last 5 games in all competitions.
A draw against Milan in the Champions League, a win over Man City in the Carabao Cup and victories over Brentford, Sheffield United and Burnley in the Premier League.
On Saturday against Burnley, goals from Miguel Almiron and an Alexander Isak converted penalty gave Newcastle all 3 points from a victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
That lifts the Mapies up to 8th in the table with 12 points from the opening 7 games.
Considering the bad start to the campaign, it is only 6 points adrift of Man City at the summit, so the Toon Army will be feeling much better about the situation and will be looking forward to welcoming Kylian Mbappe to St James Park.
In last season’s encounter between West Ham and Newcastle at the London Stadium, the Magpies hammered the Hammers gaining the victory by a 5-1 scoreline.
Callum Wilson and Joelinton scored in the 1st-half for Newcastle with Kurt Zouma pulling a goal back before the break to give the home team hope of a comeback.
Unfortunately, for the watching Bubbles, it was the Toon Army that were the happiest in the 2nd-half with Callum and Joelinton scoring their 2nd of the game plus Alexander Isak notching in between, making it a Five Star away day performance.
Betfred offer West Ham at 11/5, the draw at 13/5 and 23/20 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 13/5 that Jarrod Bowen Scores Anytime and 6/5 that Callum Wilson Scores Anytime.
WOLVES v ASTON VILLA
14.00 in England
Don’t rub one’s eyes, as the following sentence is true.
Wolves gained a victory over Man City on Saturday.
Gary O’Neils Gold and Blacks inflicted a defeat on Pep Guardiola’s Blues at Molineux by a 2-1 scoreline.
After Ruben Dias was credited with Wolves opener and City had equalised, Hwang-Hee Chan scored the winner in the 66th minute to stun the Treble Winners.
What was good to see was, after Hwang-Hee had scored, Jose Sa, the Wolves Goalkeeper, didn’t start jumping around like a lunatic celebrating the goal wildly.
The ‘Keeper knew that there were over 20 minutes left to play and still time for City to get back in the game.
Whether Jose’s calmness was the deciding factor will never be known, however, Wolves held on for the famous victory that leaves Gary’s Golds (and Blacks) in 15th place with the same 7 points as Brentford from the opening 7 games.
Aston Villa gained the result of the weekend, inflicting a devastating defeat on Brighton by a 6-1 home scoreline.
Ollie Watkins scored a superb hat-trick, in front of the watching Gareth Southgate which will surely mean Ollie is included in the England Squad for the upcoming Internationals against Australia and Italy.
England face Australia in a friendly and then Italy in the Euro Qualifiers, both games being at Wembley.
A Brighton own goal, plus Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz with the others, gave Villa the win against a sorry set of Seagulls, who were that distraught, couldn’t muster up the energy to nick chips off the Midlanders.
Aston Villa were simply too good for Brighton with Unai Emery tactically outsmarting Roberto De Zerbi.
Villa jumped above Brighton into 5th with the same 15 points but with a slightly better goal difference than the Seagulls.
Aston Villa face Zrinjski at Villa Park in the Europa Conference League on Thursday before this short trip.
Unlike the Toon Army, the Villains haven’t far to travel on a Sunday Afternoon, for this Midlands encounter at Molineux.
It was the home fans that were the happiest in last season’s game between the two with a single Toti goal after 9 minutes giving Wolves the victory over Aston Villa by a 1-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Wolves at 12/5, the draw at 5/2 and 11/10 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 9/2 that Ollie Watkins Scores First and 11/4 that Aston Villa Win To Nil.
ARSENAL v MAN CITY
16.30 in England
Pep 2 v Pep 1
A great fixture to round off Game Week-8 which also sees a rest in the Premier League for yet another International Break.
Arsenal smashed Bournemouth on Saturday gaining a victory by a 4-0 scoreline.
In truth, it was like the Serengeti Planes where the Pride of Lions hunt in packs and overcome the lesser beasts.
Arsenal were just too good for the lesser Cherries, with goals from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz and Ben White gaining all 3-points for Mikel Young Guns.
It was nice to see Martin give the ball to Kai when the Gunners were awarded a penalty, allowing the German to score and gain some much-needed confidence.
The victory leaves Arsenal in 3rd place with the same 17 points as Tottenham but with a slightly inferior goal difference to the North London Rivals.
Arsenal face Lens away in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter.
Man City suffered a defeat in the Premier League, with Pep’s Low Flying Blues succumbing to the loss against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday by a 2-1 scoreline.
After Ruben Dias gifted Wolves the opener, leaving Wolves in front at the interval, Julian Alvarez scored a superb equaliser that should have allowed Man City to push on for the win.
However, it was the home team that scored to get the unexpected victory.
Later, on the iconic BBC show, Match Of The Day, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards spent 10 minutes dissecting the defeat.
John Newsome summed the loss up in 10 seconds,
‘Bad day at the office and City missed Roadie Rodri terribly, as the Meerkats would say, Simples!’
It was just that, however, Pep Guardiola should have been able to send out a team from his Superstar Squad to get a victory against Wolves.
The added problem to that is Rodri will be missing today against Arsenal, serving the final fixture of a 3-game ban following his indiscretion against Nottingham Forest.
Despite Man City being the Treble Winners and so dominant in most games, it does appear that Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri are the main men and without either or both, the team dynamic is not the same.
Probably the only positive that Pep and the Citizens can take from the defeat is the closest rivals Liverpool, also lost, which keeps Man City at the summit with 18 points from 7 games completed.
John Newsome had offered up the prospect of City going the entire season without losing and possibly getting a victory in all 38 games.
That’s no longer on the cards!
Another thing that’s no longer applicable is Man City going one better and winning the Quadruple as Pep’s Low Flyers were knocked out of the Carabao Cup last week, suffering a defeat against Newcastle.
To be fair to the Citizens, that particular competition was never near the top of the agenda with Pep playing a 3rd string side, even leaving Erling Haaland on the bench when a goal was needed.
Man City face RB Leipzig on Wednesday in the Champions League Match Day-2 encounter over in Germany, which pitches Josko Gvardiol against his old mates.
The loss of Roadie Rodri in this match against Arsenal could be a significant factor and may give the home team the advantage.
In last season’s encounter between these two, the original fixture at the Emirates was postponed due to Arsenal’s Europa League adventure which for some reason, took precedence over the Premier League.
What was strange about that is the original tie should have taken place in October 2022, when the season hadn’t really taken shape, however, when the game eventually came around, Arsenal were sat at the summit of the table, with a 3-point advantage and a game in hand, so a victory would have changed the outcome of the Premier League destiny.
As it turned out, Man City gained the away night victory by a 3-1 scoreline which meant that City were at the summit and although Arsenal still had a game in hand, the momentum had shifted in City’s favour.
Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland scored the Man City goals with Bukayo Saka getting the Arsenal strike.
Betfred offer Arsenal at 9/5, the draw at 12/5 and 7/5 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/4 that a Penalty is Awarded and Evens 1/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
The Scottish Premier League saw Celtic stay at the summit following Saturday’s victory over Motherwell (who?).
The Glasgow rivals in Blue not only suffered another defeat, this time against Aberdeen (who?) but also saw the sacking of their Manager Michael Beale.
The loveable OzScot over in Melbourne was delighted at that news and was straight onto Aussie Jet (the Australian version of Easy Jet) to see about flying over to Scotland to apply for the vacant position.
The wife of 30 years responded by saying,
‘Firstly, put some trousers on Soft Lad and turn off the Computer, you are not going to Scotland, Rangers are in enough trouble without you getting involved!’
She’s not wrong.
The early favourite for the Manager’s position at Ibrox is the old Wolves (and several other clubs) monster Kevin Muscat.
Kevin is the current boss of Yokohama F. Marinos, where coincidentally, the lad took over from Ange Postecoglou when Big Ange moved to Celtic.
One thing is for certain, none of the Rangers players will argue with Mr Muscat who let’s just say, would sort the situation out.
Rangers are now 7 adrift of Celtic after the opening 7 games.
Celtic face Lazio on Wednesday in the Champions League Match Day-2, with Rangers off to Cyprus to face Aris Limassol in the Match Day-2 of the Europa League.
Meanwhile, back in Melbourne, Braveheart/Kylie was last seen pointing at a bicycle and asking the lovely April,
‘Are those Trousers?’
The lad will have his Australian/Scotland jersey on next week, cheering on the Convicts who face England at Wembley, then quickly switch allegiance to the Mother Nation of Scotland for their Euro Qualifier against Spain in Seville and a friendly against France at the home of Lille.
Scotland inflicted a defeat on Spain at Hampden Park so the Spanish will be up for revenge against Bravehearts Finest.