Game-week 1 threw up a few surprises! Big wins for Burnley and Brighton, a huge victory for Manchester United against Chelsea and an early departure for Liverpool’s goalkeeper that throws their title challenge into immediate doubt. John Newsome looks ahead to game-week 2, which includes Spurs’ trip to Manchester City. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday
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ARSENAL v BURNLEY
Early Saturday afternoon kick-off live on BT Sports.
Arsenal come into this home game at the Emirates off the back of a great away victory on Sunday at Newcastle.
The Gunners headed up North to St James Park and the first shock of the day was hearing that Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were not in the squad due to their recent altercation with a couple of robbers who were after their Mickey Mouse watches.
The second shock the Gunners faithful had to come to terms with was the fact that a pint in Newcastle is still under a fiver.
Some had to collude in the illusion that the cost of the said pint was over seven quid like in London.
Whilst it’s worrying that certain individuals want to attack famous footballers or rock singers or big film stars, surely it would be better for Mesut and Sead to actually do the exact thing that provided them with the millions to afford the luxuries that the attackers were after and should have at least been on the bus to Newcastle with the rest of the squad.
Whilst the Magpies put up a decent fight against Unai’s boys, Arsenal showed their superiority and simply outclassed their friends from the North.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the solitary goal in the 1-0 victory with not a VAR in sight.
Last season’s dreaded Europa League adventure took its toll on Sean Dyche’ men and Burnley’s opening game of the 2018/2019 season ended in a 0-0 draw away at Southampton which was the only point Burnley got until the end of September.
This time around the Clarets were at Turf Moor for the opener but again took on Southampton and ran out 3-0 winners against the Saints.
After a goalless first half, Ashley Barnes took control of the game and scored 2- quick-fire goals just after the hour mark with Joey Gudmundsson rounding off the scoring to give Sean’s boys a great start to the new campaign and put them temporarily 3rd in the infant Premier League table behind Man City and Liverpool.
Manchester United’s subsequent victory a day later knocked Burnley down to 4th.
Sean has attempted to contact Nuno Espírito Santo to give him Europa League advice but Nuno is not answering his Nokia.
Burnley’s new recruits Erik Pieters and Jay Rodriguez both got game time against Southampton with Pieters playing the full 90-minutes and Jay-Rod getting a 7-minute cameo as a late substitute.
At the Emirates last term, this fixture was a pre-Christmas cracker with Arsenal getting the 3-point presents after beating Burnley 3-1.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice and Everton bound Alex Iwobi getting the 3rd late on after Ashley Barnes had pulled a goal back for the Clarets giving them brief hopes of a comeback.
Bet 365 offer Arsenal at Odds On 2/9, the Draw at 11/2 and a massive 10/1 for Burnley to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 11/4 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First and 4/1 that Ashley Barnes Scores Anytime.
Home Win 4-1
NORWICH v NEWCASTLE
Norwich had the unenviable task of starting their return to the Premier League with an away trip to Anfield. The task was always going to be a difficult one with the talent on show for Liverpool who, whilst didn’t really need any assistance, were helped on their way when Norwich defender Grant Hanley turned the ball passed his own goalkeeper giving the Reds a start.
Jurgen’s boys quickly took advantage of Grant’s faux Pas and scored 3 more goals before half-time giving the Canaries a tough ask for the 2nd-half. Teemu Pukki did get a goal after the break for Daniel Farke’s Boys ( be careful how you say that! ) which, although was only a consolation, will give the little Finnish player confidence going forward knowing that he can score in the Premier League after a brilliant goal-scoring campaign in the Championship last season.
Out of the three teams that were promoted last term, Norwich will feel that their opener was the toughest but it does get the fixture at Anfield, against a Liverpool side that potentially will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season, out of the way and Dan can put that to bed and concentrate on this first home game against Newcastle.
Probably a lot of younger Football fans won’t remember Steve Bruce as a player.
Looking at the big Geordie now, most would think that Brucey was a professional pie-eater but Steve was actually a first-class Premier League defender and was the first player to lift the Premier League Trophy back in 1992 whilst captain of Manchester United.
Steve won the Premier League 3 times with United along with 3-FA Cup Winners Medal, a League Cup Medal and a European Cup Winners Cup Medal.
Big Brucey is a native Geordie but never actually played for Newcastle. What the youngsters won’t know either is the then Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson bought the tough-tackling Centre-Back from Norwich where Bruce had played over 140-games for the Canaries including winning the League Cup in 1985.
Sir Alex brought him to Old Trafford where, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
What’s remarkable about Steve’s career is, although Sir Alex picked him regularly and made him Captain of Manchester United, Steve never played International football for England.
England managers know best!
Newcastle did put up a fight against Arsenal on Sunday and held out for three-quarters of the game until Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the only goal resulting in a home defeat for the Magpies.
What was interesting was a couple of minutes before Pierre-Emerick scored, Big Brucey decided to take off Jonjo Shelvey who was having a pretty decent game.
At First the Toon Army would have thought Jonjo was injured, however, from his reaction to being hooked, it looked tactical which he would argue that if he had stayed on, Arsenal would not have scored.
Manchester United target Sean Longstaff got game time and will be hoping the hour or so he played will be enough to get him a shirt for this away trip to Norfolk.
This Norwich v Newcastle fixture was last played in February 2017 but wasn’t actually a Premier League game.
Both teams were in the Championship back then and the game at Carrow Rd finished in a 2-2 draw.
Ayoze Perez and Jamaal Lascelles were the Newcastle scorers.
The Canaries had The Murphy Twins in the squad that day in 2017 with Jacob getting a goal for Norwich.
Cameron Jerome with Norwich’s 2nd.
Both Jacob and Josh have moved on now and are no longer in Norfolk.
Josh is playing his football in South Wales for Cardiff and Jacob has just signed for Sheffield Wednesday on loan from Newcastle.
With virtually his first touch for his new club after signing on Deadline Day, Jacob scored in a 2-0 victory for Sheffield Wednesday against Barnsley FC. (www.Halftimepie.co.uk)
Jamaal Lascelles is the only one of the 4-goal scorers who is available for selection in this Premier League game.
Bet 365 offer Norwich at 13/10, the Draw at 21/10 and 9/4 for Newcastle come away with all 3-points
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Teemu Pukki Scores First and 8/5 that Teemu Scores Anytime.
SOUTHAMPTON v LIVERPOOL
Southampton went the long trip North on the opening day and took on Burnley at Turf Moor.
Unfortunately for the Saints faithful, the long trip wasn’t fruitful and Wreck-It Ralph’s Southampton left Turf Moor with their tail between their legs after a 3-0 defeat against Sean Dyche’s Clarets.
Ralph Hasenhuttl had enjoyed a decent first pre-season and must have felt confident heading to Lancashire but after a goalless first-half Burnley took control and ran out easy winners in the end.
New signing Moussa Djenepro was in the squad but just kept the bench warm and never got any game time.
Following on from that defeat, the Saints now have the task of entertaining Jurgen’s Reds who are in fine form at the moment.
Liverpool got off to a great start to the new 2019/2020 Premier League Season beating newly-promoted Norwich 4-1 on Friday Night Football.
All 4 of the Reds goals were scored before half-time and Norwich must have feared the worse coming out for the 2nd-half.
Norwich defender Grant Hanley gave Liverpool a start deflecting a Divock Origi cross into his own net.
Mo Salah got the 2nd for the Reds, with Big Virgil Van Dijk getting a terrific header for the 3rd.
Despite not getting credited with the opener, Divock Origi did get his name on the scoresheet with the 4th before the break.
Liverpool did go easy on the Canaries in the 2nd-half not adding to their tally and even allowed Teemu Pukki to get a consolation goal.
The victory did come at a cost though with Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson picking up a leg injury and having to be replaced just before half-time.
Jurgen has allowed back-up ‘keeper Simon Mignolet to leave Anfield and brought in ex-West Ham stopper Adrian to be his replacement goalkeeper.
Probably Adrian just thought he would be keeping the bench warm and playing the odd game in the Carabao Cup, yet within 40-minutes of landing on Merseyside was thrust straight into the action following Alisson’s injury. Luck plays a big part not only in football but life in general. It is said that it’s better to be lucky than good.
Adrian wasn’t wanted by West Ham now he’s playing for the European Cup Winners and could feature between the sticks for the foreseeable future until Alisson is fit again. That’s luck for you!
Rocky Balboa will be over the moon.
Liverpool’s comfortable victory over Norwich temporarily took them to the summit of the infant Premier League table until Man City played in the early Saturday Afternoon kickoff.
Jurgen’s boys will be title contenders with Pep’s City come to the end of the season with the rest playing for the Champions League places.
At St Mary’s last season Shane Long gave Southampton a great start scoring early in the game.
That just stoked Liverpool’s fire and Naby Keita equalised before the break setting Liverpool up to come out in the 2nd-half and comfortably beat the Saints 3-1.
Mo Salah got his obligatory goal and Jordan Henderson rounded off the Reds scoring wrecking Ralph’s day.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 6/1, the Draw at 15/4 and Odds On 2/5 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 Mo Salah Scores First and 11/8 that Liverpool Win to Nil.
Away Win 0-2
BRIGHTON v WEST HAM
Brighton walloped Watford at Vicarage Rd in what could arguably be the best result of the opening weekend of the new-look Premier League.
Graham Potter masterminded a superb tactical display as the Seagulls simply stunned Javi Gracia’s Hornets who must have thought Brighton at home was a gimme.
The unfortunate Abdoulaye Doucoure deflected the ball passed his own ‘keeper giving the Seagulls a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Andone in 60 Seconds.
Florin Andone scored within 60-seconds of entering the game as a 64th-minute substitute replacing a Jurgen Locadia.
A proper player gave the assist to Florin’s goal, a proper player that in Dutch Seagull Davy Propper.
Harry Potter then made another change bringing on new signing Neal Maupay, who had only just arrived at Brighton from Brentford on Transfer Deadline Day and was introduced to the travelling faithful midway through the 2nd-half.
Neal took slightly longer than Andone to get a goal after coming on as a replacement for old-timer Glenn Murray scoring 13-minutes into his debut.
There would have been a lot of disgruntled punters who had to bin their betting slips following Brighton’s victory.
Most would have had Watford in their Accumulators following Brighton’s struggles last season and the appointment of Graham Potter but The Seagulls faithful will wake up this morning and see their beloved Brighton sitting joint 4th in the infant Premier League table only behind Pep , Jurgen and Sean’s boys on goal-difference.
West Ham were the unlucky ones to host current Premier League Champions Man City in their opening game of the new season.
The Hammers fans had the opportunity to watch Pep’s Pups first of many games in which they will simply destroy teams over the coming season.
It’s quite conceivable that City will go the whole term unbeaten and could easily win every game.
That’s for the future but the West Ham fans got an early glimpse of just how good City are.
Manuel Pellegrini had the luxury of picking Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini and new boy Sebastian Haller.
Whilst all of the Hammers boys put in a decent shift, the reality was they were simply outplayed.
Manuel Pellegrini will put the 5-0 defeat against High Flying City to bed and swiftly move on to this game at The Amex.
Last season’s game at the Amex finished 1-0 in favour of Brighton with Glenn Murray getting the solitary goal.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at 8/5, the Draw at 11/5 and 7/4 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/1 Neal Maupay Scores First and 15/8 Glenn Murray Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
ASTON VILLA v BOURNEMOUTH
At Tottenham’s swanky new stadium last week, Aston Villa acquitted themselves very well in their return to the promised land.
For 70-minutes Villa were equalling last season’s European Cup Finalists and even took the lead through a John McGinn goal in the 9th-minute.
What Dean Smith and his Villa boys found out so cruelly is the Premier League allows no favours and Tottenham showed just why they will be up there come to the end of the season.
Villa started the game with a mixture of the players that won them promotion such as Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and John McGinn plus a couple of new boys in Wesley and Trezeguet.
Conor is a sublime footballer and had his trusty left foot on display but found that the Premier League is so-called because it is the place where the Premier players ply their trade and Conor and for that matter Jack just have to be careful not to give the ball away so cheaply as, unlike in the Championship, the Premier League elite will punish them.
It’s early days yet and the Holte End faithful will relish the opportunity to see their boys for the first time this season against a relatively matched opponent such as Bournemouth.
Bournemouth play the second of the three promoted clubs in successive weeks after entertaining Sheffield United at the Vitality last Saturday.
After taking the lead against the Blades just after half-time through Chris Mepham’s goal, it looked like Eddie and the Cherries ( what a great name for a band! ) were going to hold on for a first-day victory.
You can just imagine Peter Powell on BBC 4 introducing Top of the Pops 1982 “at Number One in this week’s Charts with their Debut Single ‘Football is Back, its Eddie and the Cherries“
Unfortunately for Eddie and his Cherries Sheffield United equalised and took a share of the spoils.
New Dutch signing Philip Billing made his debut and looks pretty decent.
It was just a shame that ex-Sheffield United star David Brooks was injured and couldn’t play against his former club. Hopefully, for young David, he’ll be back for the return at Bramall Lane.
What was a surprise was Eddie only made one substitute replacing Callum Wilson with Dominic Solanke in the 90th-minute.
That could say Eddie was happy with his starting eleven but could also have connotations that he isn’t happy with his squad and wants to send a message to the hierarchy at the Vitality that he could have done with a few more players in the recent Window.
Considering Sheffield United didn’t equalise until the 88th-minute, Eddie, which is what is common with most managers, could have used his substitutions as a way of counting down the clock.
Its 3-years since this was a Premier League fixture with Bournemouth coming away from Villa Park with all 3-points after a 2-1 victory.
What’s remarkable about that game is none of the current Villa players played other than Jack Grealish who came on as a substitute, yet the Bournemouth team that day included Artur Boruc, Steve Cook, Josh King, Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis, and Dan Gosling who are all still on Bournemouth’s books.
Steve Cook and Josh King were the Cherries goal scorers with Villa’s Jordan Ayew replying late on.
Bet 365 offer Aston Villa surprisingly as favourites at 11/8, the Draw at 9/4 and 2/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 15/4 that Jack Grealish Scores Anytime and 3/1 that Bournemouth Score in Both Halves.
EVERTON v WATFORD
Everton did some decent business in the recent Transfer Window bringing in Alex Iwobi from Arsenal and Fabian Delph from Man City as well as making Andre Gomes a permanent fixture following his loan from Barcelona last season.
Both Alex and Fab didn’t feature in the Toffees first game away at Selhurst Park and probably will be thankful not being involved in the drab 0-0 draw. The highlight of the game was Morgan Schneiderlin receiving two yellow cards and ultimately a red.
Marco will move on from that and the Toffees faithful will look forward to this first home fixture against their 1984 FA Cup Final opponents.
Everton beat Watford 2-0 that day in May 1984 with goals from Everton legends Graeme Sharp and Andy Gray.
With today’s VAR, Andy’s goal wouldn’t have stood as he assaulted the Watford ‘keeper Steve Sherwood before tapping home.
The good old days of football!
Marco Silva’s swing-o-meter is in his ascendancy at the moment and the Toffees love him, for now.
Young Mason Holgate was an unused substitute against Crystal Palace after spending most of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion.
Mason has got limited game time in a couple of pre-season games and may go out on loan again.
A class player remembered fondly at Oakwell where he started his career at the mighty Barnsley FC.
At only 22, time is definitely on Mason’s side and he will come good whether Everton or at another club down the line.
He would definitely be welcomed back at Oakwell if the option arises.
It’s rumoured Fabian Delph wanted the Number 4 shirt but had to settle for Number 8.
He will just have to be a Fab 8 on Merseyside.
Watford were the bookies’ dream team on Saturday, not because of anything they did but because of something they actually didn’t do and that was beat Harry Potter’s Brighton.
There were literally hundreds of disgruntled punters throwing their Acca betting slips in the bin after Javi Gracia’s Boys didn’t turn up and allowed a Seagull side to comfortably beat them 3-0.
Unfortunately, there were a few iPhones and Nokia’s damaged too as a lot of punters thought their phone was a betting slip and threw it in the bin as well.
Modern technology, it’s the future.
Watford head to Goodison Park to face their former manager Marco Silva who is surely due to receive a great reception from the Watford contingency.
Reg Dwight was not happy when Marco joined Everton and even re-released a classic “Saturday Night is alright” the full lyrics are available on Google or other search engines.
At Goodison Park, last term, a very entertaining game ensued just before Christmas.
Everton went 1-0 up through ex-Hornet Richarlison, Seamus Coleman then, unfortunately, turned into his own goal before Abdoulaye Doucoure made it 2-1 to Watford.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had the opportunity to equalise for the Toffees but missed his penalty kick.
With time running out, it looked like Watford would gain all 3-points until Lucas Digne scored a 96th-minute equaliser to spare Marco’s blushes.
Bet 365 offer Everton at slight Odds On 2/3, the Draw at 3/1 and 15/4 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 Richarlison Scores First and 2/1 Everton Win to Nil.
Home Win 2-0
MAN CITY v TOTTENHAM
Late Saturday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports.
What a cracker of a game to finish Saturday’s Premier League proceedings.
What can be said about Man City taking on the European Champions League Finalists.
Pep’s boys could quite conceivably go the entire season unbeaten like the Invincible’s of Arsenal in 2003/2004.
What City could do to top the Gunners achievement is actually win all 38-games.
A big ask but Saturday’s emphatic 5-0 victory over West Ham at the London Stadium was a marker to the other 19-clubs.
Like a horse in a handicap race, City would have destroyed Liverpool given both performances this weekend.
Usain Bolt aka Kyle Walker blitzed the Hammers Left-Back Aaron Cresswell to set up the opening goal for Gabriel Jesus.
The ex-Sheffield United star has decided to shave off his hair.
In truth, Nature has decided as the Blunt is losing his hair and years of bleaching as taken its toll on Kyle’s barnet.
Kyle has done what all men (and women!) after realising he’s losing his hair and shave it off.
A lot would spend thousands on re-inventing their hairline but let it go.
Derby County’s new signing Wayne Rooney spent close to £50,000 on his new thatch but in truth, most would say he’s wasted £49,999.99p.
Kyle is a Yorkshireman through and through, he’s not wasting Dollar on a new thatch, £8-quid for a 4-pack of Gillette Sensor Excell ( other hair removal products are available) that’s Kyle’s haircut for years to come.
Raheem Sterling got a superb hat-trick and could easily have had 4-goals to his tally if it wasn’t for VAR.
VAR will divide opinion throughout the season but in truth, the 10-games played over the weekend hasn’t really provided any controversy.
No one can say that VAR has been a bad thing.
Raheem’s disallowed goal due to his shoulder being 2-millimetres offside could have been a big talking point but the 3 he did score sort of ruled out the controversy.
Sergio Aguero had to retake a penalty because Declan Rice had encroached into the area and cleared Sergio’s missed spot-kick.
In truth that isn’t really VAR, the law states that players should not encroach when a penalty is being taken.
What VAR is doing is actually telling people the law.
The referee should always pick up on this regardless of VAR.
Whats happened over the years is that it’s become the norm that wrong decisions are just papered over and referees have got away with wrong decisions.
Not one referee over the past 30 years or so of the Premier League is corrupt and made the wrong decisions on purpose.
What’s happening now is that the wrong decisions are being checked and this is the right way forward.
West Ham fans were laughing and joking even though their team were losing because VAR was in-play.
In Cricket the VAR or DRS which is the cricket world’s version works wonderfully.
In the recent Ashes First Test, England’s Captain Joe Root was given out a number of times by the on-field umpire yet he knew the decisions were wrong and reviewed each decision. DRS which stands for Decision Review System, not Drag Reduction System as in Formula 1, is there to make sure errors are reversed.
VAR is there to make sure errors are reversed in football and will make the game better.
In the 10-games played over the opening weekend, VAR didn’t really cause much of a problem just sorted errors out.
There are a few who say it takes too long and whilst in its infancy will but things speed up.
All over the country, they want a new direction, they said all over this land, they need a reaction, there should be a youth explosion.
Inflate creation but something we can command.
What’s the point in saying destroy?
A new life for everywhere.
All around the world the Citizens have been looking for a new midfielder.
Roadie Rodri is the one.
Sergio finally got his goal after VAR had seen DR Declan encroach.
City were phenomenal against the Hammers and could get their third Premier League title in a row matching their Manchester rivals.
What Pep will want is a decent Champions League campaign to try and get that elusive first European title.
Tottenham entertained newly promoted Aston Villa on Saturday at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
For 70-minutes the Villains matched Spurs even going 1-0 up early doors.
What Aston Villa found out to their cost was the Premier League takes no prisoners and Tottenham said to themselves “Right Villa, you’ve had 70-minutes of fun now the party starts” New boy and record signing Tanguy Ndombele got Spurs back on track with the equaliser before Harry Kane scored 2-quick goals to take the game away from Villa.
Harry has the reputation of not scoring in August, well he has this year.
Nice one H.
Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino don’t want Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose and neither will feature this season.
However, both played 90-minutes against Aston Villa so that in itself is a true example of not believing the hype.
Tottenham had a great season last term and getting to the Champions League Final was brilliant for the Lillywhites, however, a lot of luck was involved in getting to that final and it’s unlikely that luck will continue this season.
This fixture last season took place towards the end of the campaign with City beating Tottenham by a single goal. Youngster Phil Foden got the solitary City goal early on in the game to put City 3-points closer to their 2nd-successive title.
Bet 365 offer City at slight Odds On 1/3, the Draw at 4/1 and 15/2 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 that Raheem Sterling Scores First and Evens 1/1 that Raheem Scores Anytime.
Home Win 4-0
SHEFFIELD UNITED v CRYSTAL PALACE
Early Sunday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports.
Sheffield United get an early chance to showcase their skills back in the big time in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
The Blades are back in the Premier League for the first time in 12-years and were the only side of the 3-promoted clubs to get anything over the opening weekend.
After heading the long trip South to Bournemouth, passport’s in hand, Chris Wilder’s boys put in a great performance against Eddie and The Cherries.
After a goalless first half, Sheffield United fell behind to a Bournemouth opening goal and with time running out looked like the Blades were heading for a defeat.
Chris sent on Blades legend Billy Sharp who did what Billy does and got the equaliser within 5-minutes of his Premier League introduction.
A lot has been said about Billy Sharp as to whether he could cut it in the Top Flight but the doubters were put in their place when Billy knocked in to earn a well-deserved point for the Blades.
Whilst not the most elegant of finishes, Billy was in the right place at the right time to shin the ball home sending the travelling Blunts into raptures.
Nice one Billy.
Chris has brought in a few strikers and Billy won’t be first choice and may just have to settle for warming the bench over the coming weeks but if he gets a chance, Billy will score and he will be the hero.
Crystal Palace entertained Everton on Saturday and whilst most expected a goal-fest not much materialised finishing in a drab 0-0 draw.
Birthday Boy Roy Hodgson who turned 72 over the weekend will put that to bed and head North up the M1 to Bramall Lane.
Roy should be lauded for his continued enthusiasm for the game we all love and at 72, is showing no signs of slowing down.
Roy must be over the moon that Palace didn’t sell Wilfried Zaha in the recent Window and whilst Roy will know that Wilfried’s time at Selhurst Park is coming to an end, he will have his services at least until January.
Palace are a different side without Wilf and the more games they can get out of him before the inevitability of a move away will go along way in the Eagles survival in this season’s Premier League.
Happy Birthday, Roy!
It’s been a few years since this was a regular fixture going back to 2010 when Palace last visited Bramhall Lane.
The Eagles, however, left empty-handed following a thrilling 3-2 victory for the Blades.
Richard Cresswell, Ched Evans and Daniel Bogdanovic were the Blunt scorers that day with Neil Danns and James Vaughan replying for the Eagles.
Things have changed a lot in Sheffield since that day in November 2010, the Steel City now has electricity.
Bet 365 offer Sheffield United at 17/11, the Draw at 21/10 and 15/8 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/4 that Billy Sharp Scores Anytime and 8/1 Crystal Palace Score a Penalty.
Home Win 2-1
CHELSEA v LEICESTER
Late Sunday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea came away from Old Trafford last Sunday dazed and confused after playing quite well for most of the game but conceding 4-goals and ultimately losing.
Frank was bold in his team selection picking Kurt Zouma, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham in the starting eleven and gave Christian Pulisic the final 30-minutes.
What was surprising is Frank left N’Golo Kante out of the starting lineup and only brought him on for the final quarter when Chelsea were already losing 3-0.
Maybe N’Golo wasn’t fit to last 90-minutes and Frank knows best but surely it would have been better for Kante to start and give his all for the first hour then be taken off.
Chelsea did have a lot of possession at Old Trafford and both Tammy and Emerson hit the United woodwork in the first half but ultimately mistakes cost Frank Lampard’s Chelsea none other than Kurt’s rash challenge in the Penalty Area.
VAR not needed for that one Kurt.
The scoreline of 4-0 may be tough on the Blues but they will not dwell on that too much and move swiftly on to this game against Leicester in front of the Chelsea faithful.
Leicester could be considered as very lucky to earn a point from their opener against Wolves with VAR coming to the Foxes rescue just after the break.
Following a goalless first-half, Leander Dendoncker thought he had put Wolves in front five minutes into the second half but after a bit of delay waiting for the Stockley Park Boys, the goal was ruled out due to Leander’s teammate Willy Boly being adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up to the goal.
That was about as entertaining as it got and the game finished 0-0.
This will be a tough ask for Brendan Rodgers men going to Stamford Bridge which is a place he knows well following a stint as a coach for Chelsea.
He’s lost Harry Maguire but still has the other Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy in his ranks who will relish the chance to play against a back four that looked completely out of sorts at Old Trafford.
Maybe Frank will rue letting David Luis leave for Arsenal.
That won’t bother Jamie and following Kurt Zouma’s performance on Sunday, Jamie might just put the youngster to the sword.
At Stamford Bridge just before Christmas, Leicester stunned the Blues and the Foxes faithful got an early Christmas present with Jamie Vardy getting the winner in a 1-0 victory for Leicester.
Bet 365 offer Chelsea at slight Odds On 3/4, the Draw at 5/2 and 15/4 for Leicester to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 that Tammy Abraham Scores First and 7/4 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
WOLVES v MANCHESTER UNITED
Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports to bring Game Week 2 proceedings to a close.
Wolves were unfortunate not to come away from the King Power Stadium on Sunday with all 3-points following a controversial VAR moment.
Leander Dendoncker had thought he had put his Gold and Black side in front just after the break but VAR adjudged that Willy Boly had handled the ball in the build-up to the goal.
VAR 1-Wolves 0
Wolves had the Indian sign over Manchester United last season beating United 2-1 twice, one being in the FA Cup Quarter-Final.
At Old Trafford in the Premier League, Wolves managed a point so Nuno hasn’t lost yet against Manchester United.
With the Europa League adventure this time around, Wolves are playing a lot of games on a Sunday and Monday which does through the fans out and they sometimes don’t know what day it is.
Manchester United hammered Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Sunday beating the Blues 4-0 at Old Trafford.
Whilst United could be considered as lucky not conceding a goal in the first half with Chelsea hitting De Gea’s woodwork twice, in reality Ole’s boys were simply too good for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Marcus Rashford scored two goals, one in each half, with the first being a superbly taken penalty following a rash challenge on him by Kurt Zouma.
Anthony Martial opened his account and new signing Daniel James came off the bench to score on his debut and literally with his first touch.
Ole Gunner Solskjaer has assembled a decent squad over the summer and the arrival of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Dan James and Harry Maguire has injected a new dimension into the Red Devil’s.
Harry Maguire had a dream debut and was simply sublime and Double A-Ron and Dan should be proud of their debuts too.
One player who was a class above the rest and maybe still has a future at Old Trafford is Paul Pogba.
Whilst Paul polarises opinion, he is a class act and destroyed Frank Lampard’s Chelsea midfield, with two assists and an all-round excellent display.
What the United fans will hope for is Paul gets his head down and performs to that standard for the majority of the season.
If Ole keeps his players fit United will have a great season and will hope to at least get back into the Top Four mix.
The dreaded Europa League adventure may be a stumbling block for United but if they turn the adventure into a positive then they could quite easily match Chelsea and Arsenal’s exploits of last season and reach that particular final.
Pep Guardiola was talking about his new signing Roadie Rodri earlier on in the week.
What was remarkable about what Pepster said was that he compared Rodri to not only his fellow Spaniard Sergio Busquets, who Rodri regularly comes on as a substitute for Sergio in the Spanish National Team but also to Michael Carrick.
Michael Carrick is the best English midfielder of his generation and the greatest manager of the Premier League era, Sir Alex Ferguson picked Michael without question.
Pep didn’t mention ‘Lampard’ or ‘Gerrard’ he mentioned Michael Carrick.
Question? Why haven’t England won a World Cup or European Championship since 1966?
Answer. English Manager’s think they are better than Sir Alex and Pep.
Michael Carrick was the Xavi, Iniesta or Busquets of the English game, yet English Manager’s such as Kevin Keegan, Sven-Goran Ericsson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello etc all chose not to pick Michael.
Michael Carrick has 34-Caps for England from 2001-2015.
Compare that to Xavi, similar age, 133-Caps for Spain from 2000- 2014.
Compare that to Andres Iniesta, 131-Caps for Spain and a World Cup Winners medal after scoring the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final against Holland in South Africa.
Compare that to Sergio Busquets from 2009 to now who has 113 Caps for Spain and counting,
34-Caps is all that Michael Carrick was afforded by the English managers over a 15-year period which saw him win everything in domestic football.
Question? Why haven’t England won a World Cup or European Championship since 1966?
As mentioned Wolves beat United 2-1 at Molineux last season with Diogo Jota cancelling out Scott McTominay’s opener for the Pink Devils in the first half.
Unfortunately for United, Chris Smalling turned into his own goal midway through the second half to gift Wolves the victory.
Ashley Young received his marching orders just after the break after getting two yellow cards in quick succession resulting in the obligatory red to make things harder for Ole’s boys.
Bet 365 offer Wolves at 23/10, the Draw at 12/5 and 8/7 for Manchester United to come away with all 3- points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Marcus Rashford Scores First and that 13/5 Paul Pogba Scores Anytime.
Away Win 0-2