Steve Bruce has a thankless task, trying to rescue Newcastle from relegation, with a threadbare squad and fans who don’t like the fact that Sunderland features heavily on his CV. Manchester City visit St James’ Park on Saturday and Bruce’s defensive tactics will really be put to the test. Can the Magpies cause a shock? Here are John Newsome’s predictions for all matches taking place in game-week 14. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday
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NEWCASTLE v MAN CITY
Early Saturday Afternoon Football live on BT Sports to kickoff Game Week Fourteen of the Premier League.
Newcastle headed to Villa Park on Monday Night Football and were well beaten by Dean Smith’s Villains.
The last time Steve Bruce was at Villa Park was as the manager of Aston Villa and had the indignation of having a Cabbage thrown at him (other vegetables are available). On a serious note guys, don’t throw anything at anyone, unless it’s your heart.
There’s too much tension in the world at the moment, football should unite everyone, not instil the premise that it’s ok for someone to throw a Cabbage at another human being just because that particular human being is the manager of a football club that aren’t doing well.
What’s the difference between Football and Tennis?
Apart from the obvious, Football has 3-results possible, yet Tennis only has 2.
A Tennis player either wins or loses, never draws.
A Football team can win, lose or draw.
That’s all folks!
If a football team isn’t doing particularly well, yes it causes frustration, anxiousness even misery but it doesn’t warrant a throwing of a vegetable or a slanging of abuse, especially of the racist kind.
Watch the game, cheer on the boys or girls, then have a beer and chill guys and girls.
It really is only a game.
Steve Bruce, returning to one of a number of his former clubs.
It could be argued that Steve Bruce has had more clubs than Tommy Fleetwood.
In the olden days, it was more clubs than Jack Nicklaus, then as time progressed it was more clubs than Sevvy Ballesteros or Tiger Woods.
Now to bring the analogy more contemporary it’s more clubs than Tommy Fleetwood.
Basically, Big Brucey has played for and managed a few different football clubs.
Unfortunately, on this occasion, Big Steve’s Newcastle were convincingly beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa.
The defeat leaves Newcastle in 14th-position in the Premier League table.
Pep’s High Flying City beat Chelsea in the late Saturday Afternoon kickoff to leapfrog them above Frank’s Blues into 3rd place in the Premier League table.
City fell behind against Chelsea but goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez gave Pep’s boys a 2-1 victory.
Late in the game, City had a goal chalked off via the dreaded VAR.
The angle did show that Raheem Sterling was clearly onside but it’s rumoured VAR had switched channels in Stockley Park and were watching Strictly so automatically ruled out the goal.
Riyad Mahrez made his first start since the defeat against Wolves back in early October and does give City an added extra in an already excellent forward lineup.
Pep is sometimes reluctant to start Riyad but without the services of Leroy Sane, Riyad can offer the extra 5 or 10 per cent that a team needs to beat the likes of Chelsea.
With Brendan’s Foxes continuing their fine start to the season, City’s victory against Chelsea only lifted them up a place to 3rd behind the two ‘Ls’ Leicester and Liverpool.
Man City have to host the numpty neighbours at the beginning of December then face Leicester at the Etihad just before Christmas as well as travelling the short distance over to Turf Moor and the long-distance south to the Emirates in between those two tough fixtures.
Man City host Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League midweek prior to this trip to Newcastle.
At St James Park last season, Newcastle smashed everyone’s Accas beating Pep’s High Flying City 2-1.
Sergio Aguero scored in the 1st-minute giving the City fans hope that it was going to be an easy away day.
Not to be, Salomon Rondon equalised after the break, with Matt Ritchie converting a penalty late on to give Rafa’s Magpies a great victory.
Betway offer Newcastle at 14/1, the Draw at 13/2 and massive Odds On 2/11 for Man City come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 14/5 that Gabriel Jesus Scores First and 21/20 that Raheem Sterling Scores Anytime.
Away Win 0-3
TOTTENHAM v BOURNEMOUTH
Wow, they say a week is a long time in Politics, well a day is a long time in football.
Last Tuesday morning everyone was talking about England’s qualification to next years Euro 20/20.
Within hours that news was tomorrow’s chip paper when about 19.
30 PM on Tuesday evening the news came through that Mauricio Pochettino was down the concrete.
Following on from that shock news, Jose Mourinho was installed as favourite to land the Tottenham job and
almost immediately Spurs and Jose confirmed favouritism by becoming the new Head Coach at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
There are always rumours in football about this and that and some are confirmed and others are just that, rumours.
It was rumoured that Mauricio’s time in London was coming to an end.
A club of Tottenham’s stature and a chairman like Daniel Levy are too savvy to not have anything in place.
Jose was obviously lined up.
There’s a statement which pops up every now and again which divides opinion, being,
“Be careful what you wish for”
The anti-Mauricio Pochettino fans, which obviously includes Daniel Levy and owner Joe Lewis, should just be careful what they wish for.
It’s been said that Jose Mourinho is a serial winner and wins trophies.
That fact is true but at what cost?
Jose is also nicknamed Dracula, as he literally sucks the life out of football clubs.
Both times at Chelsea, at Inter Milan, at Real Madrid and at Manchester United.
Jose won the Champions League with Porto, no one can demean that achievement.
Jose won the Champions League with Inter Milan then left Italy.
Again a tremendous achievement, a little downside to that achievement was that Inter Milan, the great Italian side from the San Siro, didn’t include any Italian players in the Champions League victory.
Jose chose all the players from outside of Italy.
Jose couldn’t achieve the Champions League with Real Madrid and whilst winning the League Cup and Europa League with Manchester United, both tremendous achievements, United descended into chaos, with players downing tools and eventually resulting in Jose leaving the Lowry.
No one can ever say Jose is not a winner, Louis Van Gaal is a winner, he’s the reason Jose had the opportunity to win the Europa League.
What Jose does is sucks the life out of the players.
The future may be different and Tottenham may just have found a winning formula but the question is at what cost?
Will Daniel Levy back Jose with Multi-Million pound signings?
Will Jose keep Harry Kane on his side?
That’s all for the future.
Jose’s first game in charge was at the London Stadium with Tottenham getting their 1st away victory in 12- games stretching back 11-months to January.
Jose’s history shows he usually wins his opening game wherever he’s rocked up but he must have been happy when he saw that his Tottenham side were playing West Ham.
Mourinho tweaked the starting eleven, significantly bringing Eric Dier straight into the lineup.
Son Heung-Min gave the new Tottenham manager his first goal early in the game against the Hammers, then set up Lucas Moura for the 2nd.
Harry Kane got his obligatory goal in the 2nd-half following on from scoring 4-times for England in the recent International Break.
With a 3-0 lead Spurs decided to give Jose a glimpse of the reason Mauricio Pochettino was sacked, conceding two late goals to give the Lilywhites faithful a nervy last few minutes.
Tottenham held on for a 3-2 victory giving Jose a great start to his managerial stint at Tottenham.
Jose will have had chance to say hello to the Home Fans with Tottenham entertaining Olympiakos in the Champions League prior to the visit of Bournemouth.
Eddie and the Cherries endured a torrid afternoon at the Vitality last Saturday suffering a 2-1 defeat against Wolves.
Not only did the Cherries concede 2-goals in the first 30-minutes but Eddie’s men were also reduced to 10 when Simon Francis was shown 2-Yellow Cards in quick succession and took a very early bath before the half-time whistle.
Simon hadn’t started a game for Bournemouth in 11-months after a long-term injury so would have been disappointed with his 37-minute cameo.
The positive that Eddie Howe can take from the defeat is that his 10-men didn’t concede again and actually scored to effectively win the 2nd-half.
Steve Cook getting the solitary goal.
The loss leaves Bournemouth in 11th place in the Premier League table with only 1-victory in 7-games.
There have been 3-draws in the other 6-games to give Eddie 6-points from a possible 21 on offer.
The solitary victory in the 7-games was against Manchester United which will give the Cherries hope that they can get their season back on track.
This is Bournemouth’s first visit to the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, last season’s fixture between the two, took place on Boxing Day and was played at Tottenham’s temporary Wembley home.
Mauricio’s men gave a knockout performance against Eddie’s Cherries with Spurs easily beating Bournemouth 5-0.
Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura gave Tottenham a 3-0 lead at the break, a Harry Kane goal and Son’s 2nd after the break gave Tottenham the belated Christmas presents.
Betway offer Tottenham at Odds On 3/8, the Draw at 17/4 and 6/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 12/5 that Harry Kane Scores First and 6/4 that Tottenham Win to Nil.
Home Win 3-0
BURNLEY v CRYSTAL PALACE
Burnley recorded back-to-back victories by the same scoreline of 3-0 at Vicarage Rd last Saturday.
There was talk prior to this game that Watford v Burnley had 0-0 written all over it.
It’s not sure what that was written in though, probably crayon!
Burnley’s deadly strike duo of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes continued their fine goalscoring form both notching against the Hornets with James Tarkowski getting a rare goal to give Sean Dyche’s Clarets another great victory that lifts them up to 7th in the Premier League table.
Chris Wood was on Goals On Sunday along with his strike-partner Ashley Barnes.
Talking about his early career, when he arrived in England from his native New Zealand, Chris went out on loan at a few clubs whilst at his parent club of West Bromwich Albion.
What Chris didn’t mention was his 7-appearances for Barnsley FC back in 2010.
It’s fair to say that Chris might just have taken that Month at Oakwell out of his head after counselling.
Crystal Palace lost 2-1 against Liverpool at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
No disgrace there as apart from Manchester United, everyone has lost against Liverpool.
What might just be of concern for Roy Hodgson’s Eagles is that the defeat against Liverpool is the 4th loss out of the last 5-games for Crystal Palace with the other being a draw.
Meaning just 1-point yielded from a possible 15 on offer.
The strange anomaly in those 5-games is that Palace have conceded 2-goals in all of the games.
Three 2-0 defeats, one 2-1 defeat and a 2-2 draw.
In the 2-1 defeat against Liverpool, Wilfred Zaha did equalise late in the game to give the Eagle Ultras brief hope of gaining a point against Jurgen’s Reds.
Unfortunately, the hope didn’t last long with Liverpool getting the winner 3-minutes after Wilf’s goal.
Roy’s Boys drop to 13th in the Premier League table with 14-points, 5-points above the relegation places.
Crystal Palace took the spoils back in February when they last visited Turf Moor.
Phil Bardsley gave Palace a goal start scoring past his own ‘keeper.
Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi and Wilfred Zaha made it 3-0 after the break.
Ashley Barnes got a late consolation for the Clarets but Roy’s Eagles held on for the 3-1 victory.
Betway offer Burnley at 13/10, the Draw at 23/10 and 11/5 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 17/4 that Chris Wood Scores First and 7/2 that Luka Milivojevic Scores Anytime.
Home Win 2-1
LIVERPOOL v BRIGHTON
00 PM kickoffs for the Liverpool fans which rarely happens nowadays especially with the Reds so dominant at the summit of the Premier League table.
Liverpool kept up there winning streak last Saturday beating Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring for the Reds early in the 2nd-half after a lacklustre first 45-minutes.
Palace equalised late on in the proceedings but Liverpool weren’t going to leave London without the 3-points and Roberto Firmino got the winner with time running out to give Jurgen’s men 12-victories out of the 13 games played so far.
What might be a surprise to everyone is that in the 13-games, Liverpool have only kept a clean sheet twice meaning it is possible to score against the Reds but the problem for the opponents is keeping the Reds from scoring themselves.
Brighton were beaten at the Amex last time out losing 2-0 against Leicester.
That’s 2-defeats in a row after 2-victories in succession leaving Graham Potter’s Seagulls with 15-points in 12th position in the Premier League table.
Old stager Glenn Murray got a brief 8-minutes against Leicester which stretched his legs but what will be irking Big Glenn is he hasn’t started a game for Brighton since the middle of September and although the big man is now 36, Glenn will feel there is still goals left in him.
After 2-straight defeats, Liverpool are probably not the team Harry Potter would have wanted to face to reverse the trend.
Especially, playing Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool will have played Napoli in the Champions League midweek prior to this game against Brighton.
At Anfield last term, this fixture was played in late August with a Mo Salah goal the difference between the 2-sides.
Betway offer Liverpool at Odds On 1/5, the Draw at 6/1 and 12/1 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 17/4 that Sadio Mane Scores Two Plus Goals and 11/10 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Home Win 4-0
CHELSEA v WEST HAM
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea played in a very entertaining game against Pep’s High Flying City in the late Saturday Afternoon kickoff at the Etihad but ultimately left Manchester pointless.
N’Golo Kante, who by the way, is simply different class, gave Chelsea the lead early on in the game.
The little Frenchman defies his stature and plays like Patrick Vierra in the middle of the park for Chelsea with Pep stood on the touchline, wishing that N’Golo was playing in the Blue of Man City instead of the Blue for Frank’s team.
It’s amazing to think that N’Golo Kante was a Free Transfer from his first club Boulogne to Caen in the French 2nd Division.
Leicester paid Caen just short of £6 Million for N’Golo and the rest, as they say, is history with the little guy winning the Premier League twice with firstly the Foxes, then the following season with Chelsea and not forgetting the little matter of the World Cup with France in 2018.
Unfortunately for N’Golo and Frank, Chelsea couldn’t hold onto the lead and conceded 2-goals in the 1st-half to eventually lose the game 2-1.
Although a loss, Frank will quickly move on to this fixture against their London rivals knowing that his team are not far off competing with the likes of City and Liverpool.
West Ham are struggling and Manuel Pellegrini is under extreme pressure, however, all Manuel needs to do is tell his team to stop conceding 3-goals before they start to play.
In the last 2-games at the London Stadium, West Ham have conceded 3-goals then scored twice themselves, ultimately losing both home fixtures by the scoreline of 3-2.
It appears that the Hammers can only score when their backs are against the wall which isn’t a good recipe for gaining much-needed victories.
In the game against Tottenham, after conceding the 3-goals, Michail Antonio, who was a 2nd-half substitute, got a goal back for West Ham midway through the 2nd-half.
With time running out, Angelo Ogbonna scored the Hammers 2nd but unfortunately, there wasn’t time for West Ham to get an equaliser giving Manuel Pellegrini his 5th defeat in the last 6-games, the other being a draw.
That’s just 1-point from a possible 18 on offer which is relegation form and simply unacceptable for the Bubbles faithful, leaving their beloved team languishing in 17th-place in the Premier League table, just above the relegation places.
It’s also the 3rd game in succession that West Ham have conceded 3-goals so it’s clear to see what Manuel needs to work on, on the training field.
Chelsea head to Spain on Wednesday to take on Valencia in the Champions League before this game against the Hammers.
Last season’s fixture at Stamford Bridge finished in a 2-0 victory for the home side.
Eden Hazard scored a goal in each half for Sarri-Ball’s Blues.
Betway offer Chelsea at Odds On 30/100, the Draw at 19/4 and 8/1 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 12/5 that Tammy Abraham Scores First and 5/1 that Jorginho Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
SOUTHAMPTON v WATFORD
Late Saturday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
Southampton stunned everyone last Saturday getting a great 2-2 draw against fellow relegation-threatened Arsenal at the Emirates.
Danny Ings opened the scoring for the Saints in the 1st-half.
Arsenal did equalise before the break meaning the scores were level at half-time.
James Ward-Prowse had the chance to put Southampton back in front midway through the 2nd-half when Ralph’s men were awarded a penalty.
James had his spot-kick saved but the ball kindly rebounded back to him giving him the opportunity to redeem himself.
With 95-minutes played, it looked like Wreck-It Ralph’s men were going to get a famous much-needed victory.
Alas, it wasn’t to be as Arsenal got a late equaliser to gain a share of the points.
Although a great result under the circumstances, it is now 8-games without a victory for the Saints with only 2-points yielded from a possible 24 on offer, leaving Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men in 19th-place in the Premier League table.
As well as Ralph Hasenhuttl, another Austrian manager came into English football last week with Championship club Barnsley FC appointing Gerhard Struber who heads to Oakwell off the back of an impressive campaign with Wolfsberger.
Unfortunately, for Gerhard and the faithful, Barnsley continued their poor form and were beaten 3-2 against Blackburn last Saturday.
There’s still plenty of games left for Gerhard Struber to get the Reds playing and away from the bottom of the Championship table.
Welcome to Yorkshire Gerhard.
Blackburn are managed by the much experienced Tony Mowbray who has history against Barnsley FC.
In 2000, Barnsley played in one of the final games at the Old Wembley Stadium in the Championship Play-Off Final against Ipswich Town.
With the game level at 1-1, Big Tony getting the Ipswich goal, Barnsley were awarded a penalty seconds before the half-time break.
Unfortunately, Darren Barnard’s effort was too close to the Ipswich ‘keeper and the teams went in at the break level.
That was a massive moment in the game, if converted, the Reds would have come out for the 2nd-half, full of confidence with a 2-1 lead.
Unfortunately, the miss knocked the stuffing, not only out of the players but the watching Reds faithful.
Ipswich eventually ran out winners beating Barnsley 4-2 and gaining promotion to the Premier League.
The Twin Towers were pulled down soon after that game along with the hopes and dreams of the Tykes who have never got anywhere near the chance to get into the Promised Land in the 19-years that have elapsed.
Watford slipped back to the foot of the Premier League table after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat against Burnley.
Don’t mention the Crayon Serg!
Watford held out until the 53rd-minute before conceding the opener against the Clarets.
With time running out, the Hornets conceded 2-further goal’s resulting in another defeat for Quique Sanchez Flores.
That’s now 7-defeats, 5-draws and just 1-victory in the 13-games played so far, leaving Watford rock bottom of the table on 8-points, a point behind today’s opponents, so this really is the proverbial 6-pointer.
Troy Deeney finally saw some action getting the final 35-minutes of the game against Burnley and will be pushing for a place in the starting eleven.
That’s Big Troy’s first taste of football since early August following a knee injury.
With Troy and Gerard Deulofeu in the Watford team, there is still hope that Quique can get the Hornets out of the relegation places.
At St Mary’s last season, this game took place almost 12-months ago in early November and finished in a very entertaining 1-1 draw.
Both teams were under different managers at the time with Mark Hughes in the Saints dugout and Javi Gracia at the Watford helm.
Manolo Gabbiadini scored for Southampton in one of his final appearances for the Saints.
Jose Holebas replied for the Hornets late on to give both teams a share of the points.
Betway offer Southampton at 23/20, the Draw at 5/2 and 23/10 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 9/1 that Nathan Redmond Scores First and 23/10 that Troy Deeney Scores Anytime.
NORWICH v ARSENAL
Early Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
Norwich smashed everyone’s Accas on Saturday going up to Goodison Park and getting a great 2-0 victory, which, after 3-straight defeats and only 1-point gained from a possible 21, surprised everybody.
Following a goalless 1st-half on Merseyside, Todd Cantwell gave the Canaries the lead after the break from a Teemu Pukki assist.
Norwich left it late to score the 2nd and wrap up a well-deserved victory.
With 92-minutes on the clock, Dennis Srbeny scored, literally a minute after replacing Teemu.
The victory lifted the Canaries off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Daniel Farke has now a week to instil some positivity into his side to face an Arsenal team that are struggling at the moment and Norwich could quite easily take advantage of the lack of Gunners confidence.
Arsenal left it very late last Saturday getting a 96th-minute equaliser against Southampton at the Emirates.
Alexandre Lacazette equalised an early goal by the Saints then with time running out, the Frenchman had to again get his team a last gasp goal to give and under-pressure Unai Emery a vital point.
The Gooners are becoming restless and there are calls for Unai’s time at the Emirates to come to an end, especially with the North London Rivals down the road getting rid of their manager and bringing in Dracula.
Would the Arsenal fans want Mauricio Pochettino as their boss?
It would certainly give Robbie and the boys a lot to talk about on the Arsenal Fans TV.
Arsenal entertain Eintracht Frankfurt in the Thursday Night Europa League prior to this trip to Norfolk.
It’s almost exactly 4-years to the day that Arsenal last visited Carrow Rd.
That game on the 29th of November 2015, was also a Game Week Fourteen fixture and finished in a 1-1 scoreline.
Lewis Grabban replied for the Canaries after Mesut Ozil had scored an opener for the Gunners.
Both teams were managed by different men back in 2015 with Alex Neil in charge of Norwich and the legend that is Arsene Wenger still at the forefront of Arsenal.
Alex Neil’s Canaries ultimately we’re relegated in the 2015/2016 season and Alex didn’t see out the following campaign in the Championship having been shown the door at Carrow Rd.
Ironically, the little Scottish gaffer, who once graced the turf of Oakwell wearing a Barnsley FC jersey, is now manager of Championship club Preston who could just gain promotion this season and replace Norwich in the Premier League.
Betway offer Norwich at 14/5, the Draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 5/6 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 11/10 that Teemu Pukki Scores Anytime and 3/1 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First.
WOLVES v SHEFFIELD UNITED
Another Sunday Afternoon kickoff due to Wolves adventure in the Europa League.
Wolves beat Bournemouth last time out getting a 2-1 victory on the South Coast.
Both the Gold and Blacks goals came in the 1st-half and although Bournemouth had a man sent off in the 37th-minute, Nuno’s men couldn’t add to the scoreline even conceding a 2nd-half goal.
Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez with the Wolves goals.
Wolves will have been to Portugal and back before this home game against Sheffield United to take on Braga in that competition.
Sheffield United continued their fine start to life in the Premier League getting a great 3-3 draw against Manchester United on Sunday.
What would have annoyed the Blunts would be the fact that the United of Sheffield were actually leading Manchester 2-0 with 20-minutes to go.
John Fleck gave the Blades the lead midway through the 1st-half deflecting the ball past a helpless David De Gea who had denied the Blades on several occasions prior to 1st-goal.
Lys Mousset added a 2nd after the break, which preceded an incredible 7-minutes that saw Chris Wilder’s men concede 3-goals.
Chris wasn’t happy, it was clear to see, however, it’s difficult to see when Chris is.
The joy that was drained from Chris’s face after Manchester’s 3rd goal went in, quickly returned when an inspired substitution by Chris yielded a reward.
Chris brought on Ollie McBurnie and within minutes, the Scottish striker with the Yorkshire accent scored the Blades equaliser to see Bramall Lane erupt.
Chris Wilder ran down the touchline applauding the goal which did have to be checked by VAR, resulting in Chris ducking into the dugout until the goal was given.
It’s rumoured that VAR was watching Countryfile and missed Ollie’s handball.
In the dressing room afterwards, the Sheffield United lads nicknamed McBurnie, LeBron James.
James from Swinton hasn’t been seen at work for a couple of days, supposedly with a cold.
Jim would have been straight out for a night in Sheffield, eating a chip butty, drinking a gallon of Magnet, with a good pinch of snuff and a packet of woodbine in the pocket of his Chino’s.
Texting his boss late on saying he’s got ‘cold’
Nice one Jimbo.
Sheffield United are unbeaten so far away from home and will want to continue that trend at Molineux.
Chris Wilder’s Blades drop a place to 6th after the draw but is still a position way beyond the expectations of the Blades faithful.
These 2-teams met each other last year, however, not in the Premier League but in the Championship.
At Molineux in February 2018, Nuno’s Gold and Blacks comfortably beat Chris Wilder’s Blades 3-0.
Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and Ivan Cavaleiro getting the goals.
Wolves went on to win the Championship that season gaining promotion to the Premier League, with Sheffield United following them a year later.
Surprisingly both squads are relatively unchanged from the teams that featured back in February 2018, also with both managers still in the opposing dugouts.
Betway offer Wolves at slight Odds On 10/11, the Draw at 12/5 and 100/30 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer slight Odds On 3/5 that there are Under 2.
5 Goals and 11/2 for a 1-1 Scoreline.
MANCHESTER UNITED v ASTON VILLA
After 71-minutes at Bramall Lane, United were losing 2-0 against Sheffield United and #SolskjærOut was trending on the Social Media platform.
Seven minutes later, Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford had all scored for United giving Ole a stay of execution.
The United of Manchester did concede a late goal that needed checking by VAR and after flicking their channel back to Sky Sports from BBC 1, VAR deemed LeBron McBurnie hadn’t touched the ball with hand or arm and allowed the Sheffield United equaliser.
All in all a fair result with the point gained by Ole leaving United in 8th-position in the Premier League table.
Whilst it’s the norm now for fans to constantly want a change in management after a couple of bad results, at the moment, Manchester United should stick with Ole.
However, last Tuesday night, Ole’s cup of tea must have been spat everywhere when the news came through that Mauricio Pochettino had been sacked by Tottenham.
Ole was just settling down to watch Coronation St when Mrs Solskjær came in and told him the news of Mauricio’s sacking.
The tea went everywhere and the cat disappeared well lively.
After a disastrous 1st-half performance by 10 of the United team, David De Gea excluded, Ole could have made numerous changes but initially just replaced Phil Jones at the break.
It will be interesting to see whether Phil wears a United jersey again.
What will rankle the many Manchester United fans and football fans, in general, is that although this fixture is a late Sunday Afternoon affair, it is not broadcast live by Sky Sports.
Sky needs to have a look at this moving forward.
A Sunday Afternoon game due to United’s Europa League adventure.
United head to Kazakhstan to face FC Astana in that said competition with the game taking place at the unusual kickoff time of 15.
50 PM on Thursday afternoon.
A fortune is paid every month by subscribers to Sky, yet lately, a few issues have cropped up that Sky could deal with better.
Sky are at the forefront of football coverage in the United Kingdom.
Now, on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, when the English Championship has fixtures, all Sky Sports subscribers can press the Red Button on their remotes and watch the team of their choice.
A wonderful brilliant innovation from Sky.
On a Sunday afternoon, the week of the European competitions, there may be 4-Premier League games like this week when Manchester United host Aston Villa, Arsenal head to Carrow Rd, Wolves entertain Sheffield United and Everton go to Leicester.
Sky are showing Norwich v Arsenal and Leicester v Everton yet the fans of Wolves, Sheffield United, Aston Villa and Manchester United can not watch their team on TV.
If these had been Championship games, those fans could have pressed the Red Button on their remote and watched their beloved or unloved team.
The Premier League is supposed to be the pinnacle yet, no Red Button is involved in the making of those programs.
Sky need to look at that.
On Boxing Day this year, all the live Premier League football is going to be shown on Amazon Prime.
On New Years Day all the Premier League games will be shown on BT Sports.
Sky Sports have not got any Premier League games on Boxing Day or New Years Day.
Prior to the festive fixtures that all Sky Sports subscribers won’t be able to watch, the Premier League have a midweek fixture list on Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th of December that is only available to watch on Amazon Prime
Is Sky going to offer a discount to their customers?
Amazon are testing the waters, can they get the viewers to pay the dollar.
The simple answer is yes, they can.
Amazon have redefined the parcel delivery market and could quite conceivably redefine the Premier League market too.
Apple, Facebook, Google can blow Sky out of the water in the Money market.
If, or when the Premier League realise that the next TV deal is going to be worth a lot more than the £4 Billion Pound paid for the coverage between 2019-2022, Sky Sports are history.
Amazon are testing the water, Facebook are monitoring the situation and Google are google-in the figures.
Sky Sports may just be the new Setanta.
Watch this space.
Aston Villa comfortably beat Newcastle 2-0 on Monday Night Football.
Regular readers to this famous EveryTip column will know how much Conor Hourihane is held in the highest esteem.
Dean Smith limits Conor’s appearances for Villa, rotating Conor with either Marvellous Nakamba or Douglas Louis.
Against Newcastle, Dean opted to leave Marvellous on the bench and start Conor.
Mr Hourihane did not disappoint, scoring a superb free-kick and setting up Anwar El-Ghazi to tap home, with a peach of another free-kick with his sublime left foot.
Daniel Day-Lewis is literally salivating every time he watches Conor.
It would be interesting to know the actual stat from OPTA, just how much Conor’s contribution, whilst on the pitch, that Villa were in the ascendancy.
In the opening game of the season, Conor started and was taken off by Dean in the 82nd minute whilst the scoreline was 1-1.
Villa went on to lose that game.
Game Week Two, Dean left Conor on the bench, Villa lost that one too.
In Game Week Three, Conor didn’t play again, however, Villa won that particular game.
Game Week Four, Conor got 20-minutes at the end of the game, another one Villa lost.
Conor got a total of just 5-minutes in the following 2-fixtures, 1-drawn by Villa and one a defeat.
In Game Week Seven, Dean decided to start Conor, giving the Irishman a rare 90-minutes.
The game finished in a 2-2 draw against Burnley.
The following game, Dean started Conor again and Conor excelled creating and scoring a goal in a 5-1 victory away at Norwich.
Game Week Nine, Conor started in a 2-1 victory against Brighton.
However, in the interest of fairness, was taken off by Dean whilst the score was 1-1.
Dean left Conor in the bench in the defeat against Man City but did start Conor in the next game against Liverpool.
Again, in the interest of fairness, Aston Villa were beating Liverpool 1-0 at the point when Conor was substituted, Villa went on to lose that game 2-1, conceding 2-goals whilst Conor was resting.
In the game prior to the 2-0 victory against Newcastle, which Conor started and starred and it was a toss-up as to whether he or Jack Grealish was Man of the Match, Conor was again rested by Dean Smith and just warmed the bench in the 2-1 defeat against Wolves.
It’s fair to say that Aston Villa are a better side with Conor Hourihane in the starting eleven than not.
Conor Hourihane is simply class and the Oakwell faithful miss him but wish him well for the rest of his career.
It was April 2016 when Villa last went to Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal to give Louis Van Gaal’s Army a 1-0 victory over Eric Blacks Villains who were games away from finishing rock bottom of the Premier League and relegation to the Championship.
Betway offer Manchester United at Odds On 19/40, the Draw at 100/30 and 6/1 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 3/1 that Anthony Martial Scores First and slight Odds On 17/20 that Marcus Rashford Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-0
LEICESTER v EVERTON
Late Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
Leicester, like Liverpool, continued their unbeaten run, away at the Amex on Saturday getting a great 2-0 victory over Graham Potter’s Seagulls.
That’s now 5-straight Premier League victories in a row for Brendan’s Wonderful Human Beings.
In truth, the Foxes could have easily had 2 or 3 more on the South Coast repeatedly catching Brighton on the counter-attack with the pace of Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Perez and Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy.
Jamie set up Ayoze for a tap in to put Leicester in front after a goalless 1st-half.
There has been a lot of controversy with VAR over the season, with strange decisions coming out of Stockley Park.
At the Amex on Saturday, the controversy continued when VAR got involved again.
The irony in the decision made by VAR for the Foxes 2nd-goal is, amongst the confusion, VAR benefited from the decision given from Stockley Industrial Estate.
That is Jamie VARdy!
A certain EveryTip contributor who obviously supports Barnsley FC doesn’t believe in Aliens, Ghosts or UFO’s and is not 100% sure that the Moon was landed upon, however, if said Aliens had come dressed as a Ghost and landed in Brighton on a UFO from the Moon, then he or she or it would definitely not understand football after Jamie VAR’s goal.
It would be difficult to explain the concept of a penalty.
Let’s just assume that the Alien is there, at the Amex, having a pint, for argument’s sake he’s called Albert and he says to one of the Foxes faithful
‘what went off there then ?’
The Leicester fan, called Francis, takes a deep breath and starts.
‘Well that guy in the Blue with the Number 17 on his back was tripped in the area’
Francis the Fox replies,
‘Mike Dein has pointed to the spot and has given a penalty ‘
‘Mike Dein the Tottenham fan?’ Albert responds.
Francis the Fox says
‘I thought you were an alien and dint know owt about football?’
‘Anyways we are getting off track, it’s a penalty’
Jamie VARdy steps up and takes the debatable penalty and has it saved which rebounds to James Maddison who heads it into the net.
So everyone in this World and beyond are clear so far.
No, Albert, that’s not how it works, Stockley Park have just switched back from the ITV Racing which they lost a fortune on Altior and are annoyed.
They say to Mike Dein in his ear,
‘You need to look at the pitchside monitor as there may be evidence of encroachment ‘
‘I can’t, my monitors on eBay‘
‘Well a couple of Brighton players and a few Leicester players all encroached into the area before Jamie hit his spot-kick’
Mike Dein, Albert, Francis and the millions that are watching around the world are thinking,
Francis says to Albert,
‘Do you even know what encroachment means?’
Albert is like,
Sheffield Superstar Jamie VARdy doesn’t need asking twice to convert a penalty and makes it 2-0 to the Foxes.
Francis the Fox goes back to his Leicester home and tells the wife about his afternoon.
‘Really dear? So you expect me to believe that Jamie VARdy missed a penalty!’
‘I don’t think so!’
Mrs Francis replies.
Albert goes back to his home on planet Zorg and tells his wife about his afternoon at the Amex.
‘Yeah, that’s VAR for thi’
Mrs Albert replies.
Marco Silva’s Swing-Ometer is in overdrive at the moment following the disastrous result at the weekend.
It’s quite conceivable that Marco will be joining Mauricio at the Job Centre before this tough fixture at the King Power.
Everton lost 2-0 against Norwich last Saturday, who were rock bottom of the Premier League, prior to the visit to Goodison Park.
The defeat has heaped tremendous pressure on Marco with his Swing-Ometer now pointing towards the Exit door.
There is talk that Everton could remove Marco Silva before this fixture at the King Power and replace him with David Moyes.
That old saying springs to mind.
“Be careful what you wish for Toffees!”
Marco’s Toffees beat Claud Puel’s Foxes 2-1 at the King Power Stadium in October last year.
Ricardo Pereira equalised a Richarlison opener in the 1st-half to head in at the break with the scoreline at 1-1.
Unfortunately for Leicester, their task was made harder in the 2nd-half when Wes Morgan was shown a 2nd-Yellow Card and ultimately a Red to reduce the Foxes down to 10-men.
Gylfi Sigurdsson took advantage of the extra space and scored the winner to give Marco Silva’s men the victory.
Betway offer Leicester at Odds On 7/10, the Draw at 14/5 and 4/1 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 23/10 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 19/10 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Home Win 4-0