The highlight games for this weekend’s action are CHELSEA versus NORWICH and MANCHESTER UNITED versus LIVERPOOL. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game-week 9 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
ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA
20.00 in England.
Arsenal are straight back in action after Monday Nights draw against Crystal Palace. The Gunners took the lead after 8-minutes on Monday Night Football, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring, following good work by Nicolas Pepe.
After an initial first quarter of the game, where Arsenal were dominant, Palace came back into the tie and were unlucky not to equalise before the break. Unfortunately for the Gunners, the Eagles did equalise within 5-minutes of the restart.
Mikel Arteta introduced Alexandre Lacazette midway through the 2nd-half, which initially lifted the home side. However, it was Arsenal that conceded a 2nd and with time running out, it looked like a defeat was on the cards.
Mikel’s men piled on the pressure which eventually paid off, with Alexandre scoring a last gasp equaliser to give both a share of the points from a draw by a Desmond 2-2 scoreline.
The point gained leaves Arsenal 12th in the Premier League table, with 11-points from the 8-fixtures, a point more than today’s visitors.
Aston Villa were on the wrong end of a 5-goal thriller at Villa Park on Saturday, with Wolves scoring the winner in the 95th-minute to inflict the defeat on Dean Smith’s men by a 3-2 scoreline.
What will upset all connected with the Villains is, after a goalless 1st-half, Danny Ings and John McGinn scored to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
With 10-minutes remaining, it was game on when Wolves scored, then 5-minutes later, scored the equaliser.
With time running out, Wolves got the winner to leave the Claret and Blues scratching their heads as to what had just happened.
Aston Villa have 10-points and sit 13th in the table, as mentioned, with a point less than today’s opponent’s after 8-fixtures completed. This fixture was a Game Week-8 affair last season, that took place in November.
Dean’s Claret and Blues got a great away-day victory by a 3-0 scoreline. Bukayo Saka was credited with an own goal midway through the 1st-half, with Ollie Watkins scoring twice after the break to give Villa the win.
888 Sport offer Arsenal at slight Odds On 5/6, the draw at 27/10 and 3/1 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 16/5 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First and Odds On 5/6 that there are Over 2.5 Goals.
CHELSEA v NORWICH
12.30 in England.
Thomas’s Blue Engines jumped back to the summit of the Premier League table with a professional victory against the local West London rivals Brentford at the new Community Stadium, which as mentioned last week, needs a rebrand.
Ben Chilwell is on a goal-scoring streak at the moment, scoring for Chelsea against Southampton before the International Break, then notching his first for England against Andorra and now getting the solitary winning goal against the Bees on Saturday evening.
In the Battle of the Tom’s, Mr Tuchel got the better of Mr Frank but did admit that his Blues were very strong for 70-minutes and very lucky for 20.
It appeared to be the case, however, it was significant that TT replaced Mateo Kovacic with Mason Mount just before 70-minutes and took off Romelu Lukaku just after the 70, bringing on Kai Havertz.
That suggests that Thomas Tuchel may have got his tactics wrong as Mateo was controlling the midfield in his usual calm manner and Romelu was an outlet when the Chelsea defence were under pressure.
It was apparent that once these two went off, Brentford took control and if not for the heroics of Edouard Mendy, could have at least grabbed a point.
Liverpool had temporarily gone above Chelsea following their victory earlier in the day but the win against Brentford took Thomas’s Blue Engines back to the top with 19-points from the 8-fixtures completed, a point more than Jurgen’s Reds.
Chelsea host Malmö at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday before this fixture against Norwich. Norwich didn’t lose in their fixture against Brighton on Saturday, however, didn’t win either, with both teams failing to score resulting in a goalless draw between the two flyers.
That leaves Daniel Farke’s Excitable’s still at the foot of the table with 2-points from the 8-games so far. James from Swinton, nowhere near Carrow Rd, saw all 3-of his teams gain all results on offer.
The New Canary was pleased with the draw, his first footballing love, Barnsley, lost again and his beloved Blades got the victory over Stoke by a 2-1 score.
The little Blunt went missing after the game at Bramall Lane and hasn’t been seen since, with rumours the lad, with passport in hand, caught a tram to Blackpool.
The half and half shirt will be out for next Sunday’s fixture at Oakwell when Jim’s first two loves, the Super Reds and the Blades, face each other. Normally this EveryTip contributor would be giving it large with the banter but Barnsley are just rubbish at the moment and will lose.
Markus Schopp, the manager of Barnsley, aka Supermarket Sweep, is way out of his depth in Yorkshire and should be down the concrete pretty soon, or the inevitability of relegation will occur. The on-loan Chelsea player, Billy Gilmour can’t play in this fixture for Norwich against his parent club.
The highly-rated Midfielder and Scotland International has somehow been allowed to leave Stamford Bridge and join Norwich on loan for the season. Whilst the lad will gain valuable experience in the Premier League for the new boys, have Chelsea missed a trick in not keeping Billy?
It was generally considered that Mr Gilmour was the Man of the Match for Scotland in the fixture at Wembley, against England in the recent Euros, outperforming all of Declan Rice, Kalvin Philips and his Chelsea team-mate Mason Mount.
There was a rumour that when Little Billy went back to the Away Dressing Room, after the draw against England, the New Canary had to take Double M out of his pocket and point him in the direction of the Home Team.
In the 2019/20 season, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea earned the victory against Norwich by a single 1-0 score. Olivier Giroud with the winning goal on the stroke of half-time. Norwich had already been relegated at the time of the Game Week-36 fixture in July 2020.
888 Sport offer Chelsea at Odds On 2/15, the draw at 27/4 and 41/2 for Norwich to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 6/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 4/7 that Chelsea Win To Nil.
CRYSTAL PALACE v NEWCASTLE
15.00 in England.
Crystal Palace started slowly against Arsenal, away at the Emirates, on Monday Night Football, conceding a goal after 8-minutes. The Eagles did come back into the tie and were unlucky not to score before the half-time whistle.
Within 5-minutes of the restart, Christian Benteke, who is often criticised for not scoring many goals, scored the equaliser with a brilliant strike from outside the area.
Patrick Vieira then introduced Michael Olise from the bench, replacing Jordan Ayew, with young Michael immediately making an assist for Odsonne Edouard to score a 2nd Eagles goal that appeared to be the winner.
However, with time running out and a spell of pressure from the home team, Crystal Palace conceded in the 94th-minute to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory.
The point gained against Arsenal from a Desmond 2-2 score, leaves Crystal Palace 14th in the Premier League table, with 8-points, from the 8-fixtures completed.
It may have been the dawn of a new era at St James Park but the result wasn’t new, with Newcastle succumbing to a defeat against Tottenham by a 3-2 scoreline.
The new owners were in attendance with Amanda Staveley, resembling the Joker from the Batman films. Callum Wilson did score the opener for Newcastle, still under the guidance of Steve Bruce who was rumoured to be for the chop after the departure of Mike Ashley.
Steve was on the distinctive mark of 999-games as a manager so maybe, the Joker wanted to allow Big Brucey the honour of 1000-fixtures in charge, before the visit to the Job Centre. If that was the case, it’s a nice gesture from the new owners.
After Callum had notched, Tottenham then scored 3-times before the half-time whistle, which had been delayed for 24-minutes due to an incident in the crowd.
As someone who has experienced a heart condition, it’s hoped the Newcastle fan is well after the incident. At least he didn’t have to watch the 2nd-half.
Eric Dier felt sorry for the Toon Army in attendance and scored an own goal to give a final score of 3-2. The defeat leaves Newcastle in the bottom 3, 19th to be exact, with 3-points from the opening 8-fixtures. There are all sorts of rumours as to who is going to replace Big Brucey, the latest being Zinedine Zidane.
Lionel Messi makes his debut in a Newcastle Black and White shirt away in London. That’s obviously just a bit of fun, however, since the takeover, the Toon Army are expecting marquee signings such as Lionel to be heading to St James Park.
A year or so back, there were rumours that Mr Messi was on his way to Man City, which John Newsome stated that Mrs Messi wouldn’t sanction the move. A quick exert from that column published September 7th, 2020,
‘Imagine the scenario, Little Lionel goes home to the missus who’s in the backyard sunbathing in the Spanish sun and says,
‘Hi lovely, I’ve signed for Man City, we are moving to Manchester, England.’
Mrs Messi lifts her head, pulls down her Louis Vuitton sunglasses and replies,
‘Have you been drinking Leo, come and have a sit down my dear and rest your head’
‘Has that funny man, Arturo Vidal, him with the silly hair given you one of those sweets again, you know what they do to you’
Little Lionel’s determined and carries on the discussion,
‘No love, I’m signing for Man City!’
Mrs Messi takes a drink of her Cubre Libre and coolly replies,
‘If you think I’m leaving the sunshine of Barcelona and taking the kids to Manchester, where it rains for 324-days a year, they all talk funny, (ya’orr-right) and wear funny kagool’s because it rains 324-days a year, then you must have had a bang on the head love!’
‘Yeah, ya right lovely, I’m not eating anything Arturo gives me again, I’m going for a lie-down, be feeling better later’ End of conversation’
Imagine what Lionel’s missus would say if the lad went home and said,
‘We are moving to Newcastle love!’
At Selhurst Park last season, Newcastle got a rare away-day victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
After 87-minutes of dull proceedings, the game appeared to be heading for a goalless draw, until Callum Wilson and Joelinton, came up with the goods to give the travelling cardboard Toon Army something to cheer, as they hitched a ride home on the Amazon Parcel Transporter back up the road.
888 Sport offer Crystal Palace at Odds On 10/11, the draw at 51/20 and 14/5 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 8/5 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime and 9/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
EVERTON v WATFORD
15.00 in England.
Everton suffered their 1st-home defeat of the season succumbing to a loss against West Ham by a single 1-0 scoreline. After a goalless 1st-half, the Hammers scored midway through the 2nd, from a corner to inflict the defeat on the Toffees.
Although a loss, it was a pretty even game that leaves Everton in 8th-place with the same 14-points from the 8-fixtures as West Ham and Manchester United, who are in the places directly above on goal difference.
Claudio Ranieri had the unenviable task of taking on Liverpool in the Italians first fixture in charge of Watford. Whilst Jurgen’s Reds were simply too good for the Hornets, it’s debatable whether Claudio got his team selection wrong or that Liverpool would have beaten any team that the Tinker Man put out.
Ex-Tottenham star, Danny Rose had a torrid time against Mo Salah who was sensational on the day scoring one of the goals of the season.
Watford conceded 2-goals in the 1st-half and 3 after the break, to ultimately lose the game by a 5-0 scoreline. That leaves the Hornets in 16th-place with 7-points from the 8-fixtures. This game was the 2nd-fixture of the 2019/20 campaign when the two last met at Goodison Park.
Everton’s Bernard scored the only goal after 10-minutes to give Marco Silva’s Toffees a victory over his old club, under the helm of Javi Gracia at the time, to earn the victory from a 1-0 scoreline.
Abdoulaye Doucoure was in the Watford lineup that day in August 2019 but will be in the Blue of the home team today.
888 Sport offer Everton at Odds On 4/7, the draw at 59/20 and 23/5 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores First and 9/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v WOLVES
15.00 in England.
Leeds United are rubbish at the moment and Marcelo Bielsa needs to turn around fortunes pretty soon or it will be a long old season for the Marching On Together crew.
There were a few players absent from Saturday’s away-day trip to St Mary’s, where the Whites succumbed to a defeat by a 1-0 score.
Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford, Robin Koch, Raphinha and most importantly, Kalvin Phillips, all missed the fixture against Southampton, which is a big hole to fill in the Leeds starting eleven.
The players filling in did have 55% possession but couldn’t muster a shot on target throughout the 90-minutes, which tells a story in itself.
Not to tell Mr Bielsa what to do, as the Argentinian legend knows more about football than John Newsome but it should be an easy week in training at Elland Rd, with the gaffer speaking via the interpreter, ‘White post’s, ball, kick at, score goal!’
Leeds sit just above the relegation zone with 6-points from the 8-fixtures. Marcelo will be hopeful that some of the injured players are close to recovery for this home game. Marching On Together.
It looked for all-purpose that Wolves would suffer a defeat away at Aston Villa on Saturday, conceding 2-goals and trailing going into the final 10-minutes. After a goalless 1st-half, Villa scored twice to take control of the Midlands Derby, before Romain Saiss, pulled a goal back in the 80th-minute.
Five minutes later, Conor Coady equalised for the Gold and Blacks and with 95-minutes up on the clock, Ruben Neves saw his free-kick, deflect past a helpless Villa goalkeeper to earn the surprise away-day victory by a 3-2 scoreline.
That’s now 3-straight wins for Wolves and 4 from 6 in the Premier League that takes Bruno Lage’s boys up to 10th in the table, with 12-points from the 8-fixtures completed. A quick note on Captain Conor Coady.
Conor played for England against Andorra in the International Break, with the Three Lions running out easy winners. In the following game against Hungary, Gareth Southgate dropped the Wolves Defender and brought in Tyrone Mings.
England laboured to a dismal draw by a 1-1 score against the Hungarians. In the 7-games Conor has played for England, the Three Lions haven’t lost and haven’t conceded a goal.
Granted, it appears that Gareth includes Conor Coady in the less challenging fixtures such as both games against Andorra, however, it could be argued that Mr Coady should have kept his place at the side of John Stones for the fixture against Hungary.
Last season’s game between the two at Elland Rd, took place almost 12-months ago to the day on the 19th of October 2020.
After a goalless 1st-half, Raul Jimenez scored the solitary winning goal after the break to give Wolves the away-day victory by a 1-0 score.
888 Sport offer Leeds United at 13/10, the draw at 12/5 and 39/20 for the Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Raul Jimenez Scores First and 31/10 that Wolves Score in Both Halves.
Premier League Team of the Week
GOALKEEPER- Edouard Mendy-Chelsea
RIGHT-BACK- Trent Alexander-Arnold- Liverpool
CENTRE BACK- Caglar Soyuncu- Leicester
CENTRE BACK- Virgil Van Dijk- Liverpool
LEFT-BACK- Ben Chilwell- Chelsea
MIDFIELDER- Bernardo Silva- Man City
MIDFIELDER- N’Golo Kante- Chelsea
FORWARD- Jamie Vardy- Leicester
FORWARD- Roberto Firmino- Liverpool
FORWARD- Mo Salah- Liverpool
FORWARD- Armando Broja- Southampton
STAR MAN- Mo Salah- Liverpool
SOUTHAMPTON v BURNLEY
15.00 in England.
Wreck-It Ralph Hasenhuttl was back in the Peaky Blunder outfit on the touchline on Saturday and it may stay as a permanent attire for the time being following the victory against Leeds United by a single 1-0 score.
The Albanian Striker Armando Broja, making his first Premier League start since his loan move from Chelsea, put in a great display against a lacklustre Leeds United, culminating in scoring the solitary winning goal just after the break.
Another ex-Chelsea youngster, who has made the move to Southampton permanent, is Valentino Livramento, who is quickly establishing himself as a Saints regular under Mr Hasenhuttl and put in another solid performance against the Whites.
The victory lifts Southampton above Leeds United into 15th-place in the table, with 7-points, from the opening 8-fixtures.
Burnley remain 3rd-bottom of the Premier League table, or 18th, if the glass is half full, following Saturday’s defeat against Man City by a 2-0 scoreline.
Whilst a loss, it shouldn’t be dwelled on too much as most will lose against Pep‘s High Flying Blues and Sean Dyche just needs to focus on winnable fixtures such as this one against Southampton.
Burnley conceded a goal either side of the break at the Etihad to ultimately lose the 5th-game out of the 8-completed, with Draws from the other 3, so definitely in need of a victory to kickstart the campaign.
Maxwell Cornet did have a chance to equalise after City had opened the scoring but melted in front of the City goals. This was a goal-fest last term when Burnley travelled the long-distance South to St Mary’s.
Chris Wood and Matej Vydra scored for Sean’s Clarets before Stuart Armstrong and Danny Ings equalised to take both teams in level at the break. Nathan Redmond scored the winner for the Saints just after the hour mark to give the home team the victory by a 3-2 scoreline.
888 Sport offer Southampton at slight Odds On 9/10, the draw at 51/20 and 29/10 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Chris Wood Scores Anytime and Odds On 5/6 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
BRIGHTON v MAN CITY
17.30 in England.
The Seagulls couldn’t get the victory against the Canaries on Saturday, playing out a goalless draw at Carrow Rd, with the point gained, leaving Graham Potter’s men in 4th, with 15-points, the same as Tottenham and a point more than Manchester United, West Ham and Everton, from the 8-fixtures completed.
Brighton have only lost once in the 8-games, that was against Everton but have drawn the last 3-fixtures, the last 2 being goalless, with just 1-goal scored in 270-minutes of football.
Like Marcelo will be doing this week, Harry will be using his wizardry and also saying, ‘Expecto patronum’ ‘White post’s, ball, kick at, score goal!’
Man City gained a professional victory against Burnley on Saturday, defeating the Clarets by a 2-0 score. Bernardo Silva scored the 1st, early on in proceedings, giving City a narrow lead at the break.
Kevin De Bruyne then added a 2nd to give Pep’s High Flying Blues the comfortable win, that leaves Man City in 3rd-place, with 17-points, behind Liverpool and Chelsea
John Stones made his first appearance in a City shirt this season having only featured in an England jersey so far. As with the same as last season, the mantra was back, ‘If John Stones plays, City don’t concede’ Raheem Sterling was also back in the starting eleven, a bit like John, having not featured much this term.
There was a story that stated Raheem was not happy at being left out by Pep Guardiola, with Pep adding that he could not guarantee Mr Sterling any game time at Man City.
This isn’t really a story, it’s what happens at most top clubs throughout, with a manager having so much talent on offer but only being able to choose eleven for each game.
Whether it’s Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, John Stones and any of the other immensely talented players, it’s just about being patient, waiting for the opportunity, which will come, as the top teams have so many fixtures to contest and not disappointing.
Man City head to Belgium on Tuesday to take in Club Brugge in the Champions League. At the Amex last term, this fixture was the penultimate game of the season, with surprisingly, Brighton getting the victory over the eventual Premier League winners by a 3-2 scoreline.
Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring for City after 2-minutes, however, Joao Cancelo was shown a straight Red Card 8-minutes later. At half-time, City were still leading by the solitary goal and surprisingly, considering the final score, Phil Foden added a 2nd, just after the restart.
The man advantage for the Seagulls then kicked in with Leandro Trossard, Adam Webster and Dan Burn scoring for the home side to give Graham the victory over Pep. At the time, City were confirmed as the Champions but the defeat would still have irked Pep Guardiola.
888 Sport offer Brighton at 33/5, the draw at 18/5 and Odds On 4/11 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 85/40 that Gabriel Jesus Scores Anytime and 13/10 that Man City Win To Nil.
BRENTFORD v LEICESTER
14.00 in England.
Brentford put in a great performance against the current Champions League winners on Saturday evening but ultimately suffered a defeat against Chelsea by a 1-0 score.
It was only the superb display of Edouard Mendy that prevented the Bees from getting anything from the fixture, with the last 20-minutes seeing Chelsea on the back foot and the Bees peppering the away sides goal.
Ivan Toney was once again superb, terrorising the Blues backline, in particular, targeting Trevoh Chalobah, who couldn’t cope with the Brentford Striker. Unfortunately for Thomas Frank and his boys, it was a defeat that leaves Brentford in 9th, with 12-points from the opening 8-fixtures.
Leicester got back to winning ways on Saturday, comfortably beating a very poor Manchester United by a 4-2 scoreline. The Foxes had not won in the Premier League since the end of August but were brilliant against the Red Devil’s.
Kasper Schmeichel couldn’t stop a stunning shot from Mason Greenwood that gave United the lead but Youri Tielemans, who had a great game, equalised on the half-hour mark, to take both teams in level at the break.
Caglar Soyuncu scored midway through the 2nd-half in a 5-minute spell that saw 3-goals. United quickly equalised Caglar’s notch but within 15-seconds of the restart, the Sheffield Superstar that is Jamie Vardy scored to restore the Foxes lead.
Patson Daka scored Leicester’s 4th, with time up on the clock, to earn Brendan’s Wonderful’s the convincing victory over Ole’s Trollies.
Leicester sit in 11th-place, with 11-points from the 8-fixtures. Jamie Vardy scored his 125th-Premier League goal. That statistic on its own is sublime but consider the following. Jamie is 34-years old and didn’t score his first Top Flight goal until he was 27.
Alan Shearer is the all-time leading Premier League goalscorer with 260. Alan scored the first of his tally aged 22, in 1992, so had a 5-year head start on Jimmy V. The Sheffield Superstar has scored an average of 17 per season, before the 7-scored this 2021/22 campaign.
Hypothetically, if Jamie had started in the Premier League at 22, the same as Mr Shearer, the extra 5-seasons, at 17-per, would give Mr Vardy an additional 85-goals, taking the lads tally to 210.
Granted, that is just a hypothetical situation but it is worth thinking about. What’s not a hypothesis and is a fact, is Jamie is just 4-goals away from being the leading goal scorer after reaching the age of 30.
Mr Vardy is almost certain to break the record, currently held by former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright who scored 93-Premier League goals after turning 30. Jamie has 90.
Mr Wright, like Jamie, also started in non-league football. The Top-4 list of those who scored many goals in the twilight of their careers are all Premier League title winners.
Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Frank Lampard are up with Jimmy V, as the old stagers in the goal-scoring charts, so the Sheffield Superstar is in exalted company. There are few guarantees in life but seeing Leicester’s number-9 tuck one away is surely one of them.
To add to that, as Mr Vardy shared a pitch with Mr Ronaldo, it’s worth contemplating that when Cristiano won his first Ballon d’Or back in 2008, Jamie worked in a factory making prosthetic limbs and earned £30 quid a week playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Cut to the final whistle on Saturday that saw a forlorn-looking CR7-2.0, leave the King Power turf, not sure as to why he’s come back to Manchester and the Sheffield Superstar, a gleefully wicked smile on the face, with the Man of the Match performance, helping bring Leicester’s chaotic opposition to their knees. Man of Steel!
The Foxes have a long trip to Russia to take on Spartak Moscow in the Europa League, which is usually on a Thursday night but this week is Wednesday that does allow Brendan’s Wonderful’s an extra recovery day.
One pooch that went missing at 17.00 on Saturday was Lennon when the result from the King Power came over the wireless.
Rod Stewart, wearing his Pink Manchester United shirt with ‘Stewart’ and ‘73’ on the back (it’s from a couple of seasons back, as like everyone Rod is feeling the pinch of the Coronavirus situation and can’t afford a new one), was furious at full time with Leicester getting the victory.
Lennon the puppy was off, knowing that the Pink top was heading in his direction.
Sir Roderick did eventually calm down when his beloved Green and White Hoops got the victory against Motherwell (who?) in the Scottish Pub League.
Lennon then knew it was safe to return when Celtics fierce Glasgow rivals, Rangers, could only manage a draw against Hearts (who?).
Steven Gerrard’s team are still at the top of the Pub League, North of the Border, however, Rod’s Celtic did narrow the gap to 4-points and sit 4th in the table.
All in all, despite seeing Brendan’s Wonderful’s get the win, Rod Stewart was happy and after pouring Penny and himself a glass of wine and settling down to watch Strictly, Lennon poked his little wet nose around the door hoping for some doggie treats.
Later, whilst Match of the Day was on, the pooch could be heard humming the ditty, ‘He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be’ Woof Woof!
It was January 1993, that these two last met in a league fixture in the old Division 2. However, Brentford have host Leicester in the FA Cup, over the last 2-seasons, in the same 4th-round, with the Foxes winning both ties.
888 Sport offer Brentford at 13/8, the draw at 9/4 and 33/20 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Yoane Wissa Scores Anytime and 85/40 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime.
WEST HAM v TOTTENHAM
14.00 in England.
West Ham got a great away-day victory at Goodison Park on Sunday, inflicting the first home defeat for Rafa Benitez since the Spaniard took over.
Ex-Everton boss, David Moyes and the travelling Bubbles, oversaw the Hammers, get the victory by a 1-0 scoreline, with Angelo Ogbonna heading home the solitary winning goal.
David’s team, work tirelessly on set-pieces and that proved the difference between the two clubs with Angelo scoring from a corner floated in by Jarrod Bowen.
The win lifts West Ham above Everton into 7th-place, on goal difference, with the Hammers having the same 14-points as the Toffees from the opening 8-fixtures.
Also the same 14 as Mr Moyes old club, Manchester United, with the thoughts of overhauling his previous employers in the next week or so.
Tottenham fell behind early against Newcastle on Sunday in an emotional fixture at St James Park.
Newcastle had the inspiration of the watching new owners in attendance but after scoring in just the 2nd-minute, the Magpies soon resorted to type, that being rubbish and Spurs quickly took control with Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min all scoring before the half-time whistle.
There was an incident with a member of the crowd being taken ill, that delayed proceedings in the 1st-half.
Eric Dier then awkwardly, turned the ball past Hugo Lloris to gift Newcastle a 2nd-goal in the 89th-minute but Tottenham held on for the narrow victory.
Harry Kane finally scored his 1st-Premier League goal of the campaign. The lad was quick to point out that it was his 10th-goal of the season, however, 5 were in the Europa Conference League, 3-for England and 1 in the Carabao Cup but will be pleased he’s broken his Premier League duck.
Tottenham move up to 5th in the table, with 15-points, a place and a point above Manchester United, West Ham and Everton, which is a great comeback after the disastrous performances against Chelsea and Arsenal, a couple of weeks back.
Both are in action on Thursday, with West Ham staying in London to host the Belgium side Genk in the Europa League and Tottenham heading to the Netherlands to play against Vitesse in the new Europa Conference League.
At the London Stadium last season, this game took place in February 2021. Michail Antonio scored after 5-minutes to give the home team the lead at the break. Jesse Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, added a 2nd within 2-minutes of the restart.
Lucas Moura pulled a goal back for Tottenham but ultimately that was just a consolation with David Moyes getting the victory over Jose Mourinho by a 2-1 score.
888 Sport offer West Ham at 27/20, the draw at 49/20 and 47/25 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 4/1 that Michail Antonio Scores First and 3/1 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v LIVERPOOL
16.30 in England.
The game of the weekend sees the fiercest of fierce rivals go head to head. Where does one start regarding Manchester United? As most know, it’s a common theme and mantra from John Newsome, that Manchester United won’t win anything with Fred.
It now appears that Manchester United won’t win anything without Fred either, following Saturday’s abysmal performance against Leicester at the King Power. Fred was still in Brazil with the National team, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to pick another Midfield pairing.
In the best United performance of the season so far, against Newcastle, where Fred didn’t start, Ole chose Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba as his two sitting Midfielders.
On that occasion it worked, unfortunately, after starting the two against the Foxes, it’s now apparent that Manchester United are woefully short of talent in the midfield department.
Mason Greenwood gave United an early lead against Leicester with a superb strike from 30-yards that Kasper Schmeichel had no chance with. The lead didn’t last when the Foxes scored an equaliser to take both teams in level at the break.
Leicester then went in front early in the 2nd-half before Marcus Rashford, on as a substitute for Jadon Sancho, equalised for the away side. The parity only lasted 15-seconds with the Foxes scoring immediately from the restart. United conceded a 4th in stoppage time to suffer the defeat by a 4-2 scoreline.
The defeat leaves Ole’s Wheels with 14-points and drops them down to 6th in the table, with the same 14 as West Ham and Everton.
Back at the end of August, John Newsome wrote the following for an EveryTip column, ‘It’s difficult to say Ole is a serial loser after what the lad has achieved in the game, however, that was as a player, as a manager, OGS has yet to win anything and on current form, doesn’t look like winning anything anytime soon.
The real problem at Old Trafford has yet to be addressed, it’s all very well paying millions for a Forward line and Millions for a Defence when the Midfield is not good enough to firstly protect the Defenders and then to supply the Forwards. Against Southampton, Ole picked Fred and Nemanja Matic.
As stated in last week’s column, there’s an amnesty regarding Fred, so no comment and Nemanja, although once of quality, is past his sell-by. Against a poor set of Saints, United’s Midfield was simply inferior, with James Ward-Prowse, wearing the wrong colour shirt, being a class above.
Aston Villa supposedly offered £25 Million for JWP, which resulted in the Saints Captain signing a new deal at St Mary’s. Why haven’t Manchester United gone to Southampton with a cheeky little bid for James? At least enquire!
Added to that, there’s a brilliant Midfielder at the Amex, which John Newsome documented last season and that is the excellent Yves Bissouma.
Granted, Brighton may not want to sell Yves (nicknamed Christmas in the dressing room) but as mentioned on many occasions, money talks and at worse, United should at least make an enquiry about Mr Bissouma and offer an amount that the Seagulls would struggle to turn down.
Can any of the United faithful both cardboard and real, say that the current Midfield crop at Old Trafford are better than the 2-South Coast lads, James Ward-Prowse and Yves Bissouma? Doubtful.
After just 2-fixtures of the new campaign, it’s already apparent that Ole’s Trollies are way off the pace of Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and for that matter, Leicester, who should be included in the conversation.
Manchester United somehow finished as runners-up to the Noisy Neighbours, however, as this is a prediction site, John Newsome predicts that Ole’s Wheels will struggle to finish in the Top Four unless the Midfield is addressed. That still may not get United up to the level of the others mentioned above.
Whilst not wanting to pour water on the excitement of Cristiano’s return to Old Trafford who will certainly enhance Ole’s Trollies, Manchester United have still not addressed the real problem, that being in Midfield.
The narrative from last season will continue, that United won’t win anything with Fred, it’s as simple as that. As mentioned previously, there is currently radio silence regarding the Brazilian so no comment will be made until further notice.
Ole needs to get one, if not two, decent Midfielders in, to compete with the Noisy Neighbours, Klipperties Klopp’s and Thomas’s Blue Engines. Without reinforcements in that department, Manchester United will be ‘also rans’ for the time being.
Chelsea have two of the best Midfielders in the World in Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, yet have gone out this Summer and brought in Saul Niguez, considered to be up there himself. Ole, whilst exciting the Devils faithful, is still short of a decent Midfielder.
Scott McTominay isn’t the answer and at the moment is sidelined through surgery on a shoulder injury. Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are past their sell buys and of course Fred. Donny Osmond has simply gone missing.
That’s Van De Beek, by the way, however, may as well be Mr Osmond as the Dutch lad isn’t getting a sniff in the 1st-team.
There is something amiss there, that a player who was lauded by everyone and cost £35 Million, just sits on the bench twiddling his thumbs.
In the fixture against Wolves, Ole chose Diogo Dalot (who?) as a replacement for Mason Greenwood, in front of DVDB.
As stated, this isn’t to dampen the enthusiasm of the United faithful after the star-man CR7’s return, it’s just to highlight the fact that Manchester United are light in the Midfield department and won’t win the Premier League anytime soon unless that situation is addressed.’
That was written some 8-9 weeks ago, which at the time, a lot scoffed and thought Cristiano was the messiah, coming back to Old Trafford to put Manchester United back at the Top Table.
If John Newsome can see it, why can’t Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the coaches at United see it? Why isn’t Donny Van De Beek getting action?
Again, sitting on the bench at the King Power Stadium without getting his boots dirty. The fixture between these two heavyweights could just spell the end for Ole Gunnar as it did for his predecessor back in 2018. Jose Mourinho was sacked after the defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.
Granted today’s fixture is at Old Trafford but if Ole’s Trollies are embarrassed by Jurgen’s Reds, then Mr Solskjaer could just find himself down the concrete.
Manchester United have the slight advantage from the midweek Champions League fixtures that both compete in, with a home tie against Atalanta, whereas Liverpool have to travel to Spain to take on Atletico Madrid.
Whilst form usually goes out of the window for these games between Liverpool and Manchester United, it’s hoped for all connections at Old Trafford that the window is open as if Jurgen’s Reds perform anywhere near the level of that at Vicarage Rd on Saturday and Manchester United perform the same as against Leicester, then the abacus might be needed.
Liverpool were outstanding against Watford with the 3-front men of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, all having excellent performances.
Mo Salah gave a brilliant assist for Sadio Mane to open the scoring, passing the ball with the outside of his left foot perfectly for Sadio to run onto and pass into the net without breaking his stride. Bobby F, then tapped home on the stroke of half-time to give Liverpool a 2-goal advantage.
Roberto then tapped home the 3rd and his 2nd, just after the restart before a moment of pure joy from the Egyptian King, gave Jurgen’s Reds a 4-goal lead.
Mo Salah collected the ball inside the Watford area and with blistering feet speed, bamboozling the Hornet defence, hit a superb strike past a helpless Ben Foster in the goal.
Craig Cathcart got turned in and out so much he had to pay to get back into the ground. The goal will be shown week after week on the highlight reel and will be up there with the Goal of the Season come May.
Roberto Firmino then scored the 5th and the 3rd of his hat-trick which bizarrely was almost identical to the first 2, with all 3-being tap ins to an empty net.
A brilliant performance, albeit against a poor Watford team, under the guidance, if one can call it that, of Claudio Ranieri.
The victory by the 5-0 scoreline, temporarily took Jurgen’s Reds to the summit until Chelsea’s win against Brentford in the evening kick-off.
Liverpool, with 18-points, from the opening 8-fixtures, drop to 2nd, a point behind Chelsea and a point more than Man City.
There is now a 4-point gap between Ole’s Trollies and Klipperties Klopp’s which could be widened even further if Liverpool put on a display, mirroring that at Vicarage Rd.
Sadio, Roberto and Mo are all of a similar age, with Bobby F, just turning 30 at the beginning of October. Sadio turns 30 in April next year and Mo is that number in June 2022.
If any can remember, last season’s fixture between the two heavyweights was initially postponed because of a fan invasion of Old Trafford, unhappy with the ownership and the potential, ill-fated European Super League.
Eventually, when the game took place in May, Jurgen’s Reds, got the brilliant away day victory over Ole’s Trollies by a 4-2 scoreline.
Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring for the home side before Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino scored to give Liverpool the lead at the break. Roberto’s goal coming in 1st-half stoppage time.
Bobby F then scored a 2nd and Liverpool’s 3rd, just after the restart, with Marcus Rashford pulling a goal back for United to give the cardboard Red Devil’s hope of a comeback.
Mo Salah put the game to bed in the 90th-minute to give Jurgen’s Reds the victory.
888 Sport offer Manchester United at 39/20, the draw at 51/20 and 5/4 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
888 Sport offer 5/1 that Mo Salah Scores First and that Liverpool Score in Both Halves.