The highlight games for this weekend’s action are NEWCASTLE versus CHELSEA and LIVERPOOL versus LEICESTER. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 9 EPL 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 time of publication.
NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA
Early Saturday Afternoon football live on BT Sport with a 12.30 start time in England.
Newcastle suffered a defeat last time out when the cardboard Toon Army travelled the long distance, a near 700-mile, 10-hour round journey, to the South Coast and St Mary’s to take on Southampton.
Brucey’s boys conceded after just 7-minutes, then midway through the 2nd-half to ultimately lose the game by a 2-0 scoreline.
Newcastle did have virtually a full team out, however, Jonjo Shelvey was missing and is a big loss to the Magpies.
The defeat leaves Steve Bruce and his squad in 13th-place in the table with 11-points from the opening 8-fixtures.
Thirteenth does seem low but in truth, the 11-points are only 7 away from Leicester at the summit, though this will be a tough test against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Frank’s Blues are steadily on a roll after a convincing 4-1 victory against Sheffield United before the International break.
Chelsea went behind early in the game, conceding a goal after just 9-minutes.
The goal just kicked the Blues into life with Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell replying to give them a 2-1 lead at the break.
In the 2nd-half, thanks to an inspired display by Hakim Ziyech, who was superb for the 90-minutes, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner scored to give Chelsea a great victory by a 4-1 scoreline.
In all competitions, Chelsea have lost just 2-games out of 13 this season, with one of the losses on penalties, against Tottenham, in the Carabao Cup and the other against Liverpool in Game Week-2 of the Premier League.
Frank’s Blues now sit 5th in the table, with 15-points, just 3-away from the Foxes at the top.
Bearing in mind, Liverpool and Leicester will take points off each other this weekend and Tottenham face Man City, Chelsea could jump a couple or more places with a win up at St James Park and with the form of Hakim and Timo, as well as the rest, Frank is in a nice position.
Steve’s Magpies got a victory last season at St James against Frank’s Blues, back in January before the Coronavirus kicked in.
Isaac Hayden left it very late, 3-minutes into stoppage time to score the solitary and winning goal to give Newcastle the win by a 1-0 scoreline.
Bet 365 offer Newcastle at 6/1, the draw at 7/2 and Odds On 9/20 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 21/10 that Callum Wilson Scores Anytime and 6/5 that Chelsea Score in Both Halves.
ASTON VILLA v BRIGHTON
A 15.00 start time in England, live on BT Sport after the Premier League decided to scrap the Pay Per View system and show all Premier League fixtures between now and the New Year, on the respective subscription outlets such as Sky Sports and BT Sport with a few Free-To-Air games thrown in.
It’s quite difficult to fathom why Aston Villa can go away to the Emirates and comfortably beat an Arsenal team that had done so well the week before at Old Trafford.
However, that’s exactly what happened the last time out for Dean Smiths Claret and Blues with 2-goals from Ollie Watkins in the 2nd-half to add to the own-goal conceded by the Gunners just before the break, giving Villa a superb victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
Aston Villa have now registered victories against Fulham and Sheffield United, no surprise as both are struggling but the surprise is, there are 3 other victories against Liverpool, Leicester and now Arsenal, so the Villains will now know that their team can compete against anyone.
Jack Grealish is on top form at the moment, that’s been carried on in the England performances and Ollie Watkins as now scored 6-Premier League goals since his move from Brentford.
Dean used to manage Brentford so knows young Ollie well and knew the lad would score the goals that Villa needed to stay away from the relegation places.
What probably Mr Smith didn’t know was that his Villa side would be lying 6th in the table, 3-points away from the leader’s Leicester, who Villa have beat, bearing in mind that Aston Villa didn’t play in Game Week-1 and have only played 7-fixtures not the 8 that Leicester, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Southampton, the teams above Villa, have.
After beating Arsenal, probably Dean wouldn’t have wanted an International break, with Jack and Tyrone Mings risking injury with England but this home fixture against a struggling Brighton side will be a great game to get his boys going again.
In EveryTips Premier League predictions for Game Week-7, it was predicted that Brighton against Burnley would finish in a 0-0 draw.
That’s exactly what happened.
It was probably one of the easier predictions to make over the season, considering that most fixtures are quite hard to work out at the moment, Arsenal 0-Aston Villa 3 being a case in point.
However, Brighton v Burnley just had no goals written all over, with both struggling in front of the net.
The Seagulls do score goals but not many and usually need an opposing team to come and open up the game for Graham Potter’s men to score, as with the fixture against Manchester United, where Brighton could easily have scored 5.
The point earned from the goalless draw against Burnley leaves Harry’s boys with 6 from the 8-fixtures played.
At Villa Park last term, Adam Webster scored 1st to give the Seagulls an early lead.
With 1st-half time running out, Jack Grealish equalised for Villa to take both teams in level at the break.
Between the 2-goals, Brighton’s Arron Mooy had received 2-Yellow Cards in quick succession, that ultimately resulted in a 1st-half bath.
Although Villa had the extra-man advantage for over an hour, it wasn’t until the 94th-minute that Dean Smith’s boys got the winner, with Matt Targett scoring to earn the victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Bet 365 offer Aston Villa at 23/20, the draw at 13/5 and 11/5 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 that Ollie Watkins Scores First and 7/2 that Villa Win To Nil.
TOTTENHAM v MAN CITY
Late Saturday Afternoon football with this mouthwatering fixture kicking-off at 17.30 in England live on Sky Sports.
Tottenham left it late against West Brom before the International break with Harry Kane, doing what Harry does and scoring the solitary winning goal in the 88th-minute to temporarily take Jose Mourinho’s boys to the top of the Premier League table.
Temporarily as Tottenham’s fixture against West Brom kicked-off at midday and Leicester’s game against Wolves started at 14.00, so with the Foxes getting the victory, Tottenham slipped a place to 2nd with 17-points, 1-less than Brendan’s Wonderful Human Beings.
At the minute, Dracula isn’t sucking the life out of many at the club (Dele Alli may argue that!) and Spurs are doing well in the league, beating the teams that they should, however, Jose’s boys haven’t really beaten anyone in the top half of the table, even this fixture against City isn’t a top of the table clash with Pep’s Blues currently lying 10th.
Most will be shouting that Tottenham have beaten Southampton, who are currently 4th, which is true and no one can dispute and whilst a great victory against the Saints, it was only the 2nd-game of the season and Southampton weren’t the surprise force of now.
Out of the 8-fixtures Tottenham have played, there are only Southampton and Everton who are in the top half of the Premier League table and Spurs lost against the Toffees.
Whilst it appears that statement is diminishing Tottenham’s achievement of currently lying 2nd in the table, it is really just to add caution to the Lilywhite faithful who may just be getting ahead of themselves.
This fixture against Man City will be the first real test for Jose and the boys and will be a marker of just where Tottenham are at the moment.
A convincing victory will steady the fans nerves but if City prevails, then Dracula may just surface from the shadows.
Man City find themselves in mid-table in the Premier League with 12-points from their 7-fixtures so far, 7 due to getting the opening weekend off for being rubbish in Europe last term.
Before the International break, City entertained Liverpool at the Etihad and got a great point from a 1-1 draw.
Gabriel Jesus equalised an earlier Reds goal in the 1st-half.
What will have made the half-time cup of tea taste sour was a couple of minutes before the break, City were awarded a penalty and when Kevin De Bruyne stepped up, it seemed a formality that Belgium would put City in front.
Unfortunately, Big Kev didn’t even work the Reds ‘keeper and kicked the ball wide.
Pep was not happy and made Kevin sit in the corner of the dressing room whilst he gave his half-time team talk.
With no more goals in the 2nd-half, the game finished in a half Desmond, (not the best!) 1-1 draw.
Although currently lying in 10th-place with 12-points, City does have that game in hand and will be looking for 3-points against Spurs to close the gap.
This game at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium last term was probably the start of the defeats that cost Man City the title, with this pre-lockdown contest in February resulting in a 2-0 victory for Jose Mourinho’s Spurs over Pep Guardiola’s Blues.
Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-Min with the 2nd-half goals to earn the Tottenham victory, however, that didn’t tell the full story as it’s fair to say City had a bad day in London.
In the 1st-half, City’s Ilkay Gundogan missed a penalty that would have given Pep’s boys the lead.
On the hour mark, before Tottenham’s 1st-goal, Oleksandr Zinchenko was shown a 2nd-Yellow Card and ultimately a Red to leave Man City with 10-men for half an hour, which Tottenham immediately took advantage of.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at 3/1, the draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 4/5 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Harry Kane Scores First and 10/3 that Tottenham Score in Both Halves.
It’s 6/4 that City Score in Both Halves.
MANCHESTER UNITED v WEST BROM
Scheduled to kick-off in England at 20.00, live on BT Sport after the Premier League decided to abolish the ridiculous and immoral Pay Per View system that this EveryTip column protested against from the beginning.
A bottom of the table relegation battle sees Slaven Bilic take his boys up the M6 Toll Rd to Manchester and take on Ole’s Struggling Wheels.
After 2-very poor results against Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir, Manchester United comfortably beat Everton last Saturday.
After conceding an early Toffees goal, Bruno Fernandes scored twice for United to give the Red Devil’s a half-time lead.
Ole brought on Edinson Cavani late in the 2nd-half with the big Uruguayan adding his 1st-goal and a 3rd for United with virtually the last kick of the game to give United the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
The siege mentality kicked-in at Old Trafford with Ole and his Wheels all proclaiming that the problems experienced against Arsenal and Basaksehir were in the past and United were back.
Although the United faithful think their idols are back on track, a few new questions are thrown up.
Firstly, Everton aren’t the team that won the first 4-Premier League games and drew the 5th against Liverpool.
The Liverpool fixture actually was the last time Carlo’s men gained a point from and the Toffees have now lost their last 3-games.
One of the main reasons for that is, against Liverpool, Richarlison was sent off and received a 3-match ban.
The 3-matches coinciding with the 3-defeats, which is not a coincidence as in the 8-games Richarlison hasn’t played for Everton, since he joined, the Toffees haven’t won any of the games.
That’s not to say Richarlison has never lost a game, it’s just that when the Brazilian doesn’t play, Everton don’t win.
So that gave United an advantage straight away.
Another point to mention about Everton is Jordan Pickford.
It appears Jordan gets away without any criticism.
There were reports after the United fixture that Jordan wasn’t at fault for any of the goals conceded.
Mr Pickford was reckless against Liverpool and Virgil Van Dijk and it will be interesting to watch the return tie at Anfield, a few Reds players may leave a bit on old Jordan.
On a 55-inch TV in Barnsley, whilst watching the midday game, it’s not accepted that Jordan wasn’t at fault and it’s a thought that both Bruno Fernandes goals could have been saved.
The same can be said when Jordan plays for England, it appears Big Pickford is getting a free ride.
Manchester United beat a poor Everton side and it could become the norm for Ole, lose, lose, like against Arsenal (who are not pulling up any trees at the moment) and Basaksehir, get on Ole’s back, a siege mentality ensues, play well, (like against Everton), play well, (West Brom are next on the conveyor belt), lose, get on Ole’s back! siege mentality, etc!
It’s whether the faithful can deal with it and how long the Equaliser will put up with it before Mr Pochettino receives a phone call.
Another narrative of this column is that it’s perceived that Ole won’t achieve anything if he continues to pick Fred and Scott McTominay.
A few have questioned that, even stating that both were magnificent against Everton, (the 55 inches must have shown a different game!) so although this weekly piece sticks by the comment, Fred and Scott will not be singled out for the time being, as it’s felt the results over the next few weeks, will bear that narrative out.
United lie in 14th-place in the Premier League table with 10-points, 7-more than today’s opponents and 8-less than the leaders Leicester.
West Brom finds themselves in the final relegation place with just 3-points from the 8-fixtures so far, the latest being a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham, which in truth is no disgrace for Slaven Bilic and his boys.
The Baggies actually held Spurs until the 88th-minute and were looking like gaining a point but not to be as big Harry Kane did what Harry does and scored the solitary winning goal to inflict West Brom’s 5th defeat of the campaign so far, with the 3-points coming from 3-draws.
Despite a great point earned from a 3-3 draw with Chelsea, Slaven’s men are finding it hard to score with just 1-goal in the 5-games since the Chelsea fixture.
Big Bilic will have his boys out on the training pitch with the instructions to put the ball in the back of the net, during the International break.
During the previous lockdown in the Spring, there were a few stories told in this column to pass the time away.
In the words of Eddy Grant, ‘Gonna lockdown 2, Electric Avenue.’
As there is a 2nd-lockdown, a few of the stories are revisited for our Australian friends who are new to EveryTip.
Over the years, in Barnsley, there have been quite a lot of extremely talented footballers who have either worn the famous Red Jersey or played for the opposition, at the original Theatre of Dreams.
It would be extremely time-consuming to name them all but a few should be given the air-time.
Tottenham were the original Double Winners in the 1960/61 season with their Captain, Danny Blanchflower lifting both the First Division League trophy and the FA Cup.
Mr Blanchflower, as a 23-year old played for Barnsley FC from 1949-1951.
One of Danny’s team-mates at Oakwell was a certain England and Manchester United legend that is Tommy Taylor.
Unlike Danny, who crossed the Irish Sea to make his way to God’s Own Country, Tommy was born and bred in Barnsley as was his mate Syd ‘Skinner’ Normanton
This EveryTip contributor could say that he comes from the same Town as the Manchester United legend.
The EveryTip contributor could then say that he comes from the same village as the Manchester United and England star, who sadly lost his life, in the Munich Air Disaster, aged just 26.
This EveryTip contributor actually lived 8-doors down from where Mr Taylor was born in Barnsley, growing up in the 1970s and 80s on St Helen’s Ave.
Tommy scored 16 goals in just 19 England appearances before his tragic death.
What could have been!
During the 1960s there were players such as Eric Winstanley and Barry Murphy, who has the all-time appearance record for the club and still works at Oakwell in his 80th year.
Three opponents that graced the turf were George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton, who played in an FA Cup tie, that United won by a 4-0 scoreline.
That might sound like a ‘so what’ statement with the 3-players playing for Manchester United over a long period, however, Manchester United only ever played once at Oakwell between, 1938 and 1998 and that was in February 1964, when it coincided with the inclusion of Best, Law and Charlton.
The 70s saw Neil Warnock, Mick McCarthy, Allan Clarke, (Barry continue), Ronnie Glavin and the legendary Norman Hunter.
In the 1980s, Barnsley had some great players in their side, such as Martin New, Bobby Horn, Phil Chambers, Joe Joyce, Bobby Collins, Ian Evans, Neil Cooper, Ray McHale, Ian Banks, Mike Lester, Trevor Aylott, Derek Parker, Bobby Downes, Glyn Riley, Stuart Barrowclough, Colin Walker and Winston Campbell.
Later, a certain Paul Gascoigne made his one and only appearance at Oakwell, against the Reds, playing in a 1-1 draw in a League Cup 2nd-leg fixture for the Magpies.
Another great Newcastle player, John Beresford graced the turf, however, not just playing for Newcastle but actually playing for the Reds at the start of his career.
Steve Agnew, Julian Broddle, both of the Futcher twins Ron and Paul and all of the stars of the 1997/98 Premier League season graced the hallowed turf, Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, the Neville’s, Matt Le Tissier, David Hirst, Paulo Di Canio, Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vierra.
Jan Molby, back in 1995, stretched his big legs in the semi-circle for a month on loan, although it’s fair to say Big Jan was more interested in the pie stalls than the pitch.
Jurgen Klinsmann ended up at Barnsley General Hospital with a sore head, after a brief run out on the hallowed turf.
David Ginola’s spectacular individual goal for Tottenham at Oakwell, in the FA Cup in 1999, is often shown on Sky, with all the Barnsley defenders parting like the Red Sea.
Dennis Bergkamp, who many think is one of Arsene Wenger’s finest signings, was in fact signed for the Gunners by Bruce Rioch, over a year before Arsene’s arrival at Highbury.
Within a couple of months of arriving from Inter Milan, Big Dennis the Menace was playing on a cold Tuesday night in Barnsley, even helping himself to a goal.
Over the years, Barnsley FC have had their fair share of wonderful footballers who have either spent a year or two in Yorkshire or just passing by on loan.
John Stones and Mason Holgate both started their career at Oakwell.
When John is sat in the Man City changing room, surrounded by the Superstars, before their game against Tottenham, Pep and the City boys will no doubt enquire,
‘Johnny Boy, tell us about that time you played alongside Mido at Oakwell’
Conor Hourihane had a couple of years in Barnsley.
Jack Butland had a few games between the Oakwell sticks, as did Ross Turnbull, who has a European Champions League medal in his cabinet, albeit as an unused substitute for Chelsea in the Champions League Final of 2012.
Jon Walters, Chris Wood, Jay Rodriguez, Kevin Long, Josh Brownhill, Danny Drinkwater, Harvey Barnes, Olly McBurnie, all spent time on loan at Oakwell, all now regulars in the Premier League.
However, Emanuel Frimpong is one to forget.
Kieran Trippier had a year in Red, now the lads an England International playing with Diego Costa, in the Champions League at Atletico Madrid.
Barnsley or Madrid, no contest!
Even the superstars of Santos, enjoyed 90-minutes in the Yorkshire Sun, before the start of the 1997/98 Premier League campaign.
It’s just like watching Brazil!
Due to West Brom’s 2-year absence from the Premier League, it was April 2018 the last time the Baggies visited Old Trafford.
Under the helm of Darren Moore, West Brom earned a rare 1-0 victory over Jose Mourinho’s Red Devil’s with Jay Rodriguez getting the solitary goal.
Bet 365 offer Manchester United at Odds On 3/10, the draw at 9/2 and 9/1 for West Brom to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/5 that Bruno Fernandes Scores Anytime and 2/1 that United Win Both Halves.
FULHAM v EVERTON
This game kicks-off at 12.00 in England, live on BT Sports.
For 90-minutes against West Ham last time out, there wasn’t any real action, then suddenly the game sprang into life.
The Hammers scored in the 91st-minute then moments later Fulham were awarded a penalty.
Ademola Lookman took up penalty duties ahead of Aleksandar Mitrovic and then inexplicably tried a Panenka style penalty.
Maybe if a team are comfortably winning then to take a Panenka kick is acceptable.
Not in the 98th-minute when a goal would earn your team a vital point.
Ademola’s spot-kick was saved by the West Ham ‘keeper and the game finished with Fulham losing by a 1-0 scoreline.
Young Lookman wasn’t allowed on the coach home and had to walk back to Craven Cottage.
Most Fulham fans are wondering why Aleksandar Mitrovic didn’t take the penalty, however, 5-days later, whilst playing for Serbia against Scotland, the Big Lad missed the 5th of the 5-penalties in a shootout that cost Serbia a place at Euro 2020 (obviously played in 2021 due to the Coronavirus) and allowed the Jocks to turn up at Wembley next June.
Ademola actually played, the last time Everton came to Craven Cottage but was in the Blue of the Toffees so will be wanting to put up a good performance against his former employers and make up for his missed penalty against West Ham.
For those who don’t know what a Panenka penalty is, it was explained in EveryTips Game Week-4 Predictions but can be explained again at no extra charge.
The term refers to a penalty taken by Antonin Panenka in the 1976 European Championship Final for Czechoslovakia against West Germany.
After the game finished in a Desmond 2-2 draw, the match went to penalties in which Antonin ran up and instead of blasting the ball like many penalties are, softly chipped the ball down the middle fooling the goalkeeper into diving.
With this being the final penalty, it took huge Czech cahonas by Mr Panenka but his name will always be associated with the winning penalty kick.
The Lookman Derby!
Since winning their first 4-fixtures, Everton have now lost their last 3, following the draw against Liverpool.
The latest defeat being against Manchester United with the Toffees suffering a loss by a 3-1 scoreline.
Bernard, who started the game brilliantly, did give the Blues the lead after 20-minutes but then United scored 2-goals to leave Everton trailing at the break.
There were no further goals until the 95th-minute when United scored a 3rd but in truth, Everton were second best for most of the game and didn’t deserve anything.
It was mentioned earlier that Jordan Pickford seems to be getting a free ride at the moment with not many scrutinising the England’ keeper.
Jordan’s performances are not the best at the moment and the new summer signing Robin Olsen may just be getting another outing pretty soon.
There’s a stat floating around that if Richarlison doesn’t play, Everton don’t win, so after the Brazilian’s 3-game ban for his Red Card against Liverpool, the Toffees will be glad to see him back and should slip straight back into Carlo Ancelotti’s starting eleven.
Carlo, by the way, hasn’t ever lost 4-games in succession so will be wanting a positive result against the Cottagers.
It was April 2019 when Everton, under the guidance of Marco Silva, last visited Craven Cottage.
Fulham were 5-games from relegation but surprisingly, Scott Parker inspired his boys to a great 2-0 victory.
Tom Cairney and Ryan Babel with the 2nd-half goals.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 3/1, the draw at 14/5 and slight Odds On 5/6 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Ademola Lookman Scores Anytime and 6/1 that Fulham Score a Penalty.
Away Win 1-2
SHEFFIELD UNITED v WEST HAM
Early Sunday Afternoon kick-off with a 14.00 start time in England live on Sky Sports.
What has happened to Sheffield United? Chris Wilder is not happy, his face is letting everyone know.
Last season, the Blades were the boys, surprising everyone in their return to the Top Flight but this season, United are struggling, some would say rubbish, however, that might be a bit harsh.
Against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out, David McGoldrick gave the Blades an early lead.
That just spurred Frank’s Blues into life and Chelsea took control with 2, 1st-half goals and 2, 2nd-half goals resulting in another defeat for Sheffield United by a 4-1 scoreline.
The loss leaves Chris Wilder and his Blunts rock bottom of the Premier League with just 1-point from their 8-fixtures with only 4-goals scored and 14-conceded.
So again, what has happened to Sheffield United?
James from Swinton, which is nowhere near Bramall Lane is now a game away from reverting back to his first football love that is Barnsley FC.
Little Jim was initially a Reds fan but changed to Sheffield United when he was 6.
The thing is, Jimbo is now 30 but still looks 6 and is constantly asked for ID when he goes into a pub for his fruit cider.
The little Blunt as tried drinking John Smiths beer but his lovely girlfriend prefers him to drink fruit cider as, after a pint of John’s, Jimbo, let’s just say, as little accidents at home.
Can everyone remember going to the pub?
Smiling Chris needs to get his Blades back to winning ways has. Although the lad’s a legend in Sheffield, every manager has a shelf life and if the defeats carry on and United’s form doesn’t improve, Happy Chris could just find himself at the Job Centre, with the cast of the Full Monty.
West Ham got a great victory against their London rivals Fulham before the International break with Tomas Soucek scoring the winner in the 91st-minute.
For 90-minutes it looked like the game would finish in a drab 0-0 draw but then the game kicked into life.
After Tomas had scored, the Hammers then conceded a penalty but luckily for the Bubbles faithful, Ademola Lookman tried and failed a Panenka penalty and West Ham’s goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski just scooped the ball into his hands to earn David Moyes and his boys a valuable 3-points.
Whilst away on international duty,
Andriy Yarmolenko missed a penalty for Ukraine, however, it wasn’t a Lookman as it’s now known, Andriy smashed the ball against the post.
West Ham have 11-points from the 8-fixtures so far and lie 12th in the Premier League table.
Ollie McBurnie scored the only goal in last season’s fixture at Bramall Lane that took place early in the New Year when the fans were allowed in the stadiums and the Blunts were in full flow of their John Denver parody.
Like a night out in Sheffield.
Bet 365 offer Sheffield United at 15/8, the draw at 9/4 and 6/4 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 13/2 that Rhian Brewster Scores First and 6/5 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v ARSENAL
Late Sunday Afternoon football with this game at Elland Rd kicking-off at 16.30 in England live on Sky Sports.
Leeds United could be forgiven for their 4-1 defeat against Crystal Palace last time out as the dreaded VAR somehow disallowed a perfectly good goal by Patrick Bamford which would have put Leeds level at 1-1 after conceding an early Palace goal.
The Whites then conceded a 2nd, before Patrick scored a legitimate goal to half the deficit.
Unfortunately, just before the half-time whistle Helda Costa put passed his own ‘keeper to take Leeds in trailing 3-1 at the break.
Midway through the 2nd-half, Leeds conceded a 4th to ultimately lose the game but the disallowed Bamford goal, which would have levelled the score, was a key factor.
It’s been a constant discussion in this column about VAR and the dubious decisions made but Patrick’s supposedly offside goal was a new low in the life of the dreaded.
Patrick was pointing with his arm where he wanted his teammate to put the ball and when the ball was played through, his arm was adjudged to be offside, when he was clearly 2-yards on.
It defies belief that the so-called Video Assistant Referee sat in an industrial unit in Stockley Park, can adjudge that the Leeds striker was offside for pointing.
Leeds could have lost by a 4-2 scoreline instead of 4-1, no one can say anything other but to disallow a perfectly good goal which would have put United level, could have had a big bearing on the game.
Marcelo’s Whites have now lost the last 2-fixtures by the same 4-1 scoreline so it’s clear what Mr Bielsa will be working on over this International break.
Leeds sit in 15th-place in the table with 10-points but there are only 5-points between 15th position and 5th so all to play for.
Kalvin Phillips is a big loss for Mr Bielsa, however, Kalvin has hinted in recent interviews that he could be back for this fixture against the Gunners.
The scoreline 4-1 pops up quite a few times in this preview so don’t be surprised if the score finishes by those numbers to either team in this game.
After a brilliant tactical display by Pep 2 at Old Trafford where Mikel Arteta outsmarted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get a 1-0 victory, Arsenal then went and threw all that good work away by losing against Aston Villa at the Emirates a week later, by a 3-0 scoreline.
The Gunners have now lost 4 of their 8-fixtures, however, have won 4 of the 8-games played, so that says Arsenal don’t draw.
With 12-points, Pep 2’s boys sit 11th in the Premier League table and have the chance to put the gap between themselves and today’s opponents to 5-points but a defeat would see Leeds United overtake the Gunners.
The good thing for Mikel is that the 4-victories achieved this term have been against teams that are below Arsenal in the table, with the 4-defeats being against teams above them in the Premier League, so will relish a visit up the M1 with the cardboard Gooners in tow.
It was almost 17-years ago to the day that Arsenal last headed North to take on Leeds United in the Premier League.
On November the 1st, 2003, Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, that consisted of Jens Lehman, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure, Lauren, Gilberto Silva, Ray Parlour, Freddie Ljungberg, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, came away with a brilliant 4-1 victory.
Thierry Henry scored twice with, Robert Pires and Gilberto Silva adding the other 2, to give Arsenal a 4-0 lead.
Alan Smith with a consolation for Leeds midway through the 2nd-half.
The Leeds United team that day, picked by Peter Reid, consisted of Paul Robinson, Gary Kelly, Zoumana Camara, Roque Junior, Salomon Olembe, David Batty, Seth Johnson, Jermaine Pennant, Alan Smith, Michael Bridges and Lamine Sakho.
Peter Reid only survived one more game after the defeat against Arsenal and was sacked following an even worse defeat against Portsmouth where the Whites lost by a 6-1 scoreline.
A young James Milner, 17 at the time and an even younger Arron Lennon, who was only 16, came on as substitutes in the 2nd-half.
The referee, by the way, was a certain Mike Dean.
This was the 2nd season in a row that Leeds had suffered a defeat against Arsenal by a 4-1 scoreline at Elland Rd, following the loss in the 2002/03 Premier League campaign.
A couple of months later, in the 3rd-round of the 2003/04 FA Cup, Arsenal again beat Leeds United by the same 4-1 scoreline at Elland Rd.
Arsenal went on to win the Premier League title that season, with Leeds being relegated.
Bet 365 offer Leeds United at 9/4, the draw at 5/2 and 23/20 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 13/2 that Patrick Bamford Scores First and 7/5 that Eddie Nketiah Scores Anytime.
LIVERPOOL v LEICESTER
Sky Sports have chosen to air this top of the table fixture at 20.00 in England on a Sunday night.
It’s got to be better than I’m A Celebrity!
Liverpool were lucky to come away from the Etihad with a point following a 1-1 draw.
Many may argue with that but after taking the lead through a Mo Salah penalty, the Reds then conceded an equaliser.
The lucky part then arose when just before the break, Liverpool conceded a penalty themselves but the usually assured Kevin De Bruyne fluffed his lines and kicked the ball wide.
So when it looked like Jurgen’s half-time talk was to rally his boys into coming from behind, Jurgen had the luxury of telling his men that if they don’t concede in the 2nd-half, they will at least come away with a point.
As there weren’t any further goals that’s exactly what happened and Liverpool, with 17-points from the opening 8-fixtures, sit in 3rd, with the same points as Tottenham and a point behind today’s opponents who just happen to be at the summit of the Premier League.
With Tottenham taking on Man City, a victory against the Foxes could send Liverpool to the top of the pile, however, Jurgen’s Reds not only have Virgil Van Dijk missing but now are without the services of Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomes who both sustained an injury whilst away with England.
Jamie Vardy could quite easily take advantage of a Liverpool defence without Big Virgil and Joe.
Leicester sits at the summit following a 1-0 victory against Wolves before the International break.
The aforementioned Jamie Vardy converted a 1st-half penalty which was initially not given by the on-field referee Anthony Taylor but the dreaded got involved and told Tony T to have a look on his pitch-side monitor.
A pattern is developing that when the on-field referee does go over to his monitor, a penalty is usually awarded or for other decisions, the reverse is given.
In the Wolves preview, it was explained that the decision to award the Foxes a penalty was correct despite the so-called pundits stating that it wasn’t a handball.
The ball sent in by Dennis Praet was stopped by an outstretched arm/hand which prevented Jamie from getting on the end of it.
If the arm/hand is down by the defender’s side and it hits, then it’s not an offence, however, when a defender stretches out his arm/hand to stop the ball, it’s a penalty.
Jamie V stepped up and coolly converted.
Twenty-five minutes later, Leicester were awarded another penalty, this time being a bit straight forward but still needed Anthony to look again.
Obviously, having converted the first penalty, the Sheffield Superstar stepped up to add another, unfortunately, the normally confident Jamie Vardy missed the 2nd spot-kick with the Wolves ‘keeper saving his effort.
That will have irked Jimbo, however, it didn’t affect the result, as with no more goals, the Foxes won the David Attenborough Derby, beating the Wolves by a 1-0 scoreline.
The victory against their Midland rivals took Brendan’s Beautiful Boys to the top of the Premier League table.
Rod Stewart wasn’t happy and threw his Wolves shirt onto the fire.
Rod’s bad mood was compounded when he checked the Scottish Pub League results and saw that Celtic’s Glasgow rivals Rangers, had beaten Hamilton by an 8-0 scoreline, to maintain their lead at the top of the SPL table.
Before the Leicester v Wolves game had kicked-off, the Scottish crooner had watched his beloved Green and White Hoops beat Motherwell by a 4-1 scoreline and was hoping Hamilton would do him and Celtic a favour by beating Rangers.
Not to be as the pub league came good with Rangers getting the 8-goals.
Lennon, Rod’s dog, took off pretty lively as he hates it when Leicester win.
Late Sunday night, Lennon might need to disappear again come the final whistle at Anfield.
The odds below suggest Leicester have no chance of beating Liverpool, yet although Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield for 63-games, this could be the one when an away team get the victory.
Liverpool are currently 4 from 4 this term at Anfield. However, the Foxes are currently sitting at the top of the Premier League and surprisingly have won all 4 of their away fixtures having lost 2 at the King Power so suggests that Leicester are better away from home than in front of their cardboard cutouts.
This fixture last season at Anfield was played in October 2019 and saw Liverpool get the victory.
Sadio Mane scored just before half-time to give Jurgen’s Reds a lead going into the break.
James Maddison then equalised for Brendan’s Foxes with 10-minutes to go.
With time running out, it was adjudged that Sadio Mane was fouled by Marc Albrighton and after a few minutes back and forth to Stockley Park, the dreaded VAR awarded Liverpool a penalty.
With James Milner on the pitch, there was only going to be one outcome, Jimmy M, does not miss from 12-yards and subsequently scored to give the Reds a victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at Odds on 10/11, the draw at 11/4 and 14/5 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 21/20 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime and 9/2 that Leicester Score in Both Halves.
BURNLEY v CRYSTAL PALACE
Early Monday Night Football with this game at Turf Moor, kicking-off at 17.30 in England live on Sky Sports.
It was probably one of the easiest predictions to make when Burnley visited the Amex last time out with Sean Dyche’s Clarets struggling to score so a 0-0 draw was always on the cards.
Probably what is a surprise is that Burnley don’t have any injuries to their strikers with both Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood starting against the Seagulls and Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra coming off the bench, so there are no real excuses that Sean can offer up, other than the boys are not doing the business.
Burnley have just 2-points from 2-draws, with 5-defeats from their 7-fixtures.
Seven due to getting the opening weekend off, so Big Sean will have in the back of his mind that if the game in hand is won, the Clarets will be out of the relegation zone.
Crystal Palace probably got the result of Game Week-8 beating Leeds United by a 4-1 scoreline.
Scott Dann gave the Eagles the lead early in the game but then Palace had a stroke of luck when a perfectly legitimate goal by Leeds was ruled out by the dreaded VAR.
There’s no telling what would have happened afterwards and Crystal Palace could have won 4-2 instead of 4-1 but the Leeds goal would have put the two teams level, instead Eberechi Eze, who had a great game throughout, gave the Eagles a 2-goal advantage.
Leeds then scored a goal that counted but with time running out in the 1st-half scored an own-goal to restore Palaces 2-goal lead.
After the break, Jordan Ayew scored to make it 4-1 and a great victory for Roy Hodgson over his fellow elder statesman.
At 73-years old, Roy is slightly older than the 65-year old Marcelo so there was a fair few years of football on show at Selhurst Park but probably neither have witnessed a player being offside for pointing.
The victory gives Palace 13-points, the same as Wolves and Everton and leaves the Eagles in 8th-place in the Premier League.
This fixture at Turf Moor, took place almost 12-months ago to the day last season on the 30th of November with Roy Hodgson’s Eagles getting a brilliant 2-0 away-day victory over Sean Dyche’s Clarets.
Wilfried Zaha scored the opener in 1st-half stoppage time to give Palace a half-time lead.
Jeffrey Schlupp added the 2nd midway through the 2nd-half that sealed the win and gave the Eagle Ultras when they were allowed to travel, a great journey back to South London.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at 17/10, the draw at 9/4 and 13/8 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Eberechi Eze Scores Anytime and 10/3 that Crystal Palace Win To Nil.
WOLVES v SOUTHAMPTON
Monday Night Football, with a 20.00 start time in England live on Sky Sports.
Wolves were beaten last time out in the David Attenborough Derby by their Midland rivals Leicester.
There’s been a debate about VAR since the dreaded was introduced and that debate will continue probably until time immemorial with so-called experts saying that ‘this handball isn’t’ or that ‘foul was too easy to give’ or that ‘it should be a Red Card, not a Yellow’ and the favourite ‘that’s not offside’.
Wolves conceded a 1st-half penalty when the Foxes winger crossed the ball, which struck Max Kilman’s arm/hand.
Immediately the Sky commentator, Alan Smith, who is an ex-Leicester player, said,
‘that’s not a penalty’.
Admiral by Mr Smith, who secretly must have been overjoyed that his team had been awarded a spot-kick.
The problem, if it is a problem? is that defenders have been getting away with these sort of handballs for years and it’s just become the norm that referees, ex-players and so-called pundits don’t accept that it’s a penalty.
Max Kilman stuck out his arm and stopped the ball going to the Leicester attacker in the penalty area, it’s handball and it’s a penalty.
It’s as simple as that!
The ex-players and so-called pundits who now appear to have become both can moan all they want, the VAR is just confirming what the on-field referee should award anyway.
The Foxes subsequently converted the spot-kick to take a 1-0 lead.
Wolves young Left-Back, Rayan Ait Nouri then fouled a Foxes player and a 2nd-penalty was awarded.
Fortunately, Rui Patricio saved the 2nd kick, however, with no further goals, Nuno’s Gold and Blacks suffered a 1-0 defeat, which is the 1st in 5-fixtures.
Wolves are currently 9th in the Premier League table with the same 13-points as Crystal Palace and Everton, 3-points less than today’s opponents.
Southampton are top of the Premier League table!
Well, the Saints were for a few hours after last weekend’s brilliant 2-0 victory against Newcastle.
Che Adams scored the 1st early on in proceedings with Stuart Armstrong adding the 2nd after the break.
Che is only 24-years old and is becoming an excellent player and after the loss of Danny Ings, for a few weeks due to injury, as to step up to the plate in Danny Boys absence.
One particular assist to Danny was a brilliant threw ball from Che that Ingy converted against Chelsea and eventually resulted in a great 3-3 draw.
Mr Adams could have been selfish and go down a different avenue but saw Danny and simply passed the ball for Mr Ings to tap home.
Little things like that separate the good players from the better ones and Che is fast becoming a better one, Gareth take note.
The victory temporarily put Wreck-It’s boys at the summit of the Premier League table for the first time this century but after everyone had played, the Saints are now 4th, with 16-points, 2-behind the current leaders.
That 9-0 defeat against Leicester 12-months ago, seems, well 12-months ago.
At Molineux, last term, both teams left with a point from a 1-1 draw.
Raul Jimenez equalised for Wolves 8-minutes after Danny Ings had scored the opener in a frantic period after the break.
Bet 365 offer Wolves at 5/4, the draw at 23/10 and 11/5 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Raul Jimenez Scores First and 3/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
It seems a constant of late that we are remembering great players who have sadly passed away and EveryTip makes no apologies for giving the great Ray Clemence the respect he deserves after Skegness finest export passed away on Sunday.
Ray started his career with Scunthorpe and soon made his way to the best English football team at the time, Liverpool and was joined shortly afterwards by another Scunthorpe player Kevin Keegan.
Winning 5-First Division titles, 1-FA Cup, 1-League Cup and 3-European Cups whilst at Liverpool.
Ray left after the 1981 European victory against Real Madrid and joined Tottenham, where he went on to win another FA Cup and the UEFA Cup.
On top of the brilliant domestic career, Mr Clemence earned 61-England caps, which at the time, was a great achievement considering the gloves were shared between himself and Peter Shilton.
Ray continued his connection with the England National team by helping out the young goalkeepers coming through.
Ray Clemence RIP