Some of the strongest teams in the land appear to be falling over themselves to avoid a top-4 finish, in what has become a rather strange campaign. Both Leicester and Chelsea have shown they can play well enough to qualify for the Champions League, although both clubs are showing signs of vulnerability at the moment. John Newsome takes a look at what should be a tight game. You’ll find previews for all matches taking place, in game-week 25 here. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday
Scroll down for all previews.
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LEICESTER v CHELSEA
Early Saturday afternoon kick-off live on BT Sports.
This game at the King Power kicks-off at 12.30 PM in England.
All these Game Week Twenty Five fixtures are the reverse of Game Week Two which took place back in the sun of mid-August.
Leicester are back on the winning streak, after a few little blips.
Last time out, Brendan’s Wonderful Human Beings comfortably beat West Ham by a 4-1 scoreline.
Harvey Barnes scored the 1st for the Foxes, with Ricardo Pereira adding the 2nd, just before the break.
Ayoze Perez added 3 and 4 for Leicester and although they conceded a goal, early in the 2nd-half, never looked troubled against a poor Hammers team.
Rod’s still not happy with Brendan, the Scottish crooner has just pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ to assaulting a security guard at a New Years Eve party in Florida.
It’s rumoured that Rod punched the guard, not because, as alleged, he wasn’t allowed into the party but because the guard was wearing a Leicester City shirt and started singing to Big Rod, “He’s Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be”
Rod lost it and allegedly, smacked the security guard on the nose.
Rod’s beloved Celtic are 5-points ahead of arch-rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Pub League with Rangers having a game in hand over the Green and White hoops so Steven Gerrard’s Blues, could, in theory, be the new Champions of Scotland.
Rod will be doubly unhappy with Brendan if that happens.
Leicester remain 3rd in the Premier League table with 48-points, 8-more than today’s opponents.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea gained a point following a 2-2 draw against Arsenal last time out.
Although a point gained, Frank and the Blues faithful will be disappointed with the result as ex-Chelsea star David Luiz was sent off early in the game, giving Frank’s Boys a man advantage for 65-minutes.
Jorginho did his obligatory hop, skip and a jump whilst converting a penalty to give Chelsea a 1st-half lead.
Cesar Azpilicueta made it 2-1 late in the game after Arsenal had equalised but the Blues, like a bad dog walker, couldn’t hold on to the lead and conceded a late Gunners goal to share the points with Arsenal.
With Leicester beating West Ham, Chelsea have 40-points and are now 8-points behind the Foxes so this game could either reduce the gap or give Leicester an even bigger advantage.
Chelsea do have 6-points more than Manchester United, Tottenham and Wolves who all have 34-points chasing the Blues for that all-important coveted 4th-place.
At Stamford Bridge in the sun, Mason Mount gave Frank Lampard’s Chelsea an early lead in the 1st-half.
After the break, Wilfred Ndidi got the Foxes level to give both teams a share of the points following a 1-1 draw.
Betway offer Leicester at 6/4, the Draw at 11/4 and 8/5 for Chelsea to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 7/2 that Jamie Vardy Scores First and 6/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Home Win 3-1
BOURNEMOUTH v ASTON VILLA
This is a 15.00 PM kick-off in England at the Vitality.
Bournemouth got a much-needed victory last time out, beating Brighton by a 3-1 scoreline.
Harry Wilson scored the Cherries opener, followed by a Brighton own-goal to give Eddie’s men a 2-0 lead at the break.
Callum Wilson scored Bournemouth’s 3rd and despite a Brighton consolation goal, Eddie and the Cherries held on for the win that puts them on 23-points, the same as Watford and West Ham and just 2-points behind today’s opposition.
However, due to the goal-difference column, Bournemouth and Watford are the two who lie in the relegation places, so this really is a must-win game for both teams.
Aston Villa jumped out of the bottom 3, following a great 2-1 victory against Watford, switching places with the Hornets in the drop zone.
After going a goal behind and trailing 1-0 at the break, Douglas Luiz, who had only just come on, replacing Danny Drinkwater, equalised midway through the 2nd-half and with time running out, Tyrone Mings somehow got his big toe on the end of a speculative shot from Ezri Konza to deflect the ball into the Watford goal giving Dean Smith’s Villains the much-needed points.
Whilst everyone ran towards Ezri thinking that the defender was the goal-scorer, Big Tyrone ran off on his own, knowing that he was the hero.
Back in July, this EveryTip column published an article about the Best Young Players in the Premier League for the 2019/20 season.
Featured in that article was Villa’s Ezri Konza and Douglas Luiz.
‘2. Ezri Konsa Aged 21 Aston Villa
Ezri Konsa made his name in football playing as a Centre-Back for Charlton Athletic before being snapped up by Brentford for around £2.5 Million in 2018.
After just a season with the Bees, Ezri gets his chance in the Premier League and has joined Premier League new boys Aston Villa in a deal worth around £12 Million.
The significant factor in signing for Aston Villa is Ezri links up again with current Villa boss Dean Smith, who managed the England Under-21 Centre-Back when he was in charge of the Bees.
Ezri has played for the England Under-21s and was part of the ill-fated trip to Italy for the UEFA Under-21 tournament this summer.
Fortunately for Big Ez he only played the final 40-odd minutes or so in the meaningless game against Croatia so cannot really be found culpable for the 2-defeats suffered earlier for Aidy Hoofroyd’s youngsters.
What Ezri does have in his favour which is worth more than gold is not only the advice and guidance of current Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, who was a very capable Centre-Back himself but much more in the advice and guidance of Villa Assistant Manager John Terry.
If Ezri Konsa becomes half the player that John Terry was then he will have a great career and JT can guide Ezri into Gareth Southgate’s Full England Squad.
Whilst John Terry is a bit like Marmite (other Yeast Extract products are available) such as when he dresses up in a full kit for a game he wasn’t playing in, what cannot be in doubt is the brilliant Centre-Back JT was throughout his career with Chelsea, Aston Villa, England and a few games on loan at Nottingham Forest at the beginning of his career.
Whilst playing for Aston Villa in the latter stages of his career it was noted just how good a Centre-Back JT was when he was on show at Oakwell.
Aston Villa comfortably beat Barnsley FC 3-0 that day in September 2017. John Terry had a sublime game marshalling the defence and controlling all around. It was argued whether he had to wash his shirt afterwards as there was limited sweat produced under such a cool performance and definitely no grass stains on his shorts as John didn’t need to go to ground against the Championship team in Red.
Some of the Reds faithful that day saw JT in a different light and found out just how good John Terry was.
Ezri has something else in common with JT in the fact that they both started their youth football at Senrab.
There are few clubs in the world, let alone Britain, that can boast of having such an influence on football as Senrab.
The Sunday League football club, based in the East End of London, has produced a huge number of Premier League stars and continues to provide an invaluable grounding for the footballers of tomorrow. Some of the names that have started at Senrab include the greats such as Ashley Cole, Ledley King, Sol Campbell, and fellow Aston Villa ex-player and legend Ugo Ehiogu. As well as another legend who briefly passed through Villa Park that of Ray Wilkins.
English Football owes a debt of gratitude to Senrab.’
‘3. Douglas Luiz Aged 21 Aston Villa
Douglas Luiz or as he’s Brazilian will simply be known as Douglas and when he gets to the Midlands will become Dougie, has made the short move from Man City to Aston Villa.
The highly-rated Brazilian quit The Etihad for Villa Park in a £15 Million transfer subject to him securing a work permit to play in the Premier League.
That may become a stumbling block in the players future, bearing in mind that although Dougie was a City player, he couldn’t secure a work permit whilst in Manchester.
Pep’s High Flying City previously saw their requests shunned by The Football Association, whose work permit criteria for players from outside the European Union is rigorous.
However, Aston Villa are extremely confident that the midfielder’s application will be accepted and at £15 Million, is a snap in today’s inflated transfer market.
What will be the difference for Villa’s acceptance of a Work Permit is that Dougie will play regularly for Dean Smith, whereas Pep couldn’t guarantee this, thus it was harder for City to get the application granted.
Douglas joined City from Brazil’s Vasco da Gama in 2017 but never played a game for the Premier League champions. The Centre-Midfielder spent the past two seasons on loan at Girona, making 46 appearances for the Spanish side.
Young Douglas is an extremely talented player with outstanding control in both feet and should fit nicely into the Premier League. He is a tall muscular player who is of similar stature and style of a Jordan Henderson or a Cesc Fabrigas and should quickly become a fan favourite on the Holte End.
With Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane by his side, Villa will have a midfield to rival any of the top sides and whether they win or lose will definitely be good to watch.
Douglas was player of the tournament at the Toulon Tournament in France this June as Brazil Under-21s won the competition. Dean Smith makes Dougie his 10th signing so far. The main problem that brings is trying to integrate them all and keep everyone happy when not playing.
Fulham did the same last season and found their way back to the Championship quicker than Usain Bolt nipping to the shops.
Dean Smith and John Terry will hope their new signings are not Fulham Flip Flops.’
Josh King and the Harry of the Bournemouth Wilson’s gave Eddie’s Cherries an early lead at Villa Park, back in August.
After the break, Douglas Luis pulled a goal back for Dean Smith’s boys but Bournemouth held on for the 2-1 victory.
Betway offer Bournemouth at 11/10, the Draw at 11/4 and 9/4 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 7/5 that Callum Wilson Scores Anytime and 3/1 that Conor Hourihane Scores Anytime.
WATFORD v EVERTON
Another 15.00 PM kick-off in England at Vicarage Rd.
After Watford’s fine resurgence that saw them come off the bottom of the Premier League table and out of the relegation zone, the 2-1 defeat against Aston Villa in the midweek games, saw Nigel Pearson’s Hornets drop back into the bottom 3, albeit, with the same 23-points as Bournemouth and West Ham, so all is not lost.
Troy Deeney did put Watford in front at Villa Park but after the break, Big Nigel’s boys conceded 2-goals to lose the game and swap places with Villa who jumped ahead of them.
That’s only the 2nd-Premier League defeat under new-boss Nigel since he took over, the other being against Liverpool, so no disgrace there, however, Watford were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup against League 1 side Tranmere, so Big Nige just needs to get his boys back on track for this fixture against the Toffees.
Everton were comfortably beating Newcastle in the midweek game at Goodison Park, leading 2-0 with the clock going into injury time.
The goals coming from Roy’s brother Moise Kean, his 1st in a Toffees shirt, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, one in each half.
With a few of the Toffees faithful leaving early, the shock they must have endured when they got home and put Match of the Day on the goggle-box to find out that their beloved Blues had conceded not one but two late goals to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory.
No doubt a few Scouse cats had to move lively.
Carlo Ancelotti was quite philosophical about the late goals in his post-match interview and just said it was one of those things.
Carlo is used to comebacks as he was the boss of AC Milan when the Rossoneri were leading Liverpool 3-0 at half-time in the 2005 Champions League Final, in which the Italian saw Liverpool stage a great comeback to score 3-second-half goals to take the final to penalties, which Liverpool won.
The philosophical Italian may have kicked a few Italian cats that night in May 2005.
At Goodison Park back in August, both these teams were under different managers with ex-Watford boss Marco Silva, at the time in charge of the Toffees, getting a 1-0 victory over Javi Gracia’s (that’s Gracia’s not Garcia’s) Hornets.
Bernard getting the solitary goal.
Betway offer Watford at 19/10, the Draw at 9/4 and 6/4 for Everton to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 4/1 that Troy Deeney Scores First and 23/20 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores Anytime.
Home Win 2-1
CRYSTAL PALACE v SHEFFIELD UNITED
This game at Selhurst Park kicks-off at 15.00 PM in England.
Crystal Palace are in a cluster of 5-clubs with 30-points but haven’t actually won a game since the Boxing Day victory against West Ham.
That’s now 5-winless games, the latest being a 2-0 defeat against Southampton.
Roy’s Boys make a quick return to Selhurst Park with this back-to-back home game against the Blades.
The defeat against the Saints has surprisingly, seen Southampton overtake the Eagles so Roy just needs to get his boys back on track, however, a visit from Sheffield United is a tough ask, considering Chris Wilder’s boys have only lost twice on their travels and those were against Liverpool and Man City.
As mentioned, the Blades have a great away record this season with a quick return to the Capital following a 1-1 draw against Arsenal a fortnight ago.
United were unlucky last time out against Pep’s High Flying City losing by a single goal at Bramall Lane in the midweek fixture.
Chris Wilder was not happy, it was evident in his facial expression.
The Blades had defended solidly for three-quarters of the game against City but Pep decided to bring on Sergio Aguero and within minutes of coming on, the Argentinian ace scored the winner inflicting a home defeat on the Blades.
The Blunts will be asking everybody whether they need their Passports to travel to South London, even after they were told that the passport wasn’t required two weeks ago for the trip to the Emirates.
Little James from Swinton is so excited about his trip to London.
Jimbo will be on the rattler early doors with his case packed full of sweets, jam sandwiches and suntan lotion as someone told him the South is warmer than the North.
Little Jim loves a fruit Kopparberg but his girlfriend, which is a surprise in itself, Jimbo having a girlfriend, only lets him have 2, bless him as he goes mental after a couple.
The remarkable thing about Sheffield United’s superb season is that with 33-points they are only 7-points behind Chelsea in the Champions League place and a point behind Manchester United, Tottenham and Wolves.
However, the opposite side to that coin, is the Blades are only 3-points ahead of Crystal Palace so the outcome of this game could prove vital for both teams.
Sheffield United beat a stunned Palace side by a 1-0 scoreline in sunny Yorkshire, at Bramall Lane back in August.
John Lundstram with the Blades goal in a game that was quickly forgotten by the Eagle Ultras as they embarked the rattler back to the Capital.
Betway offer Crystal Palace at 21/10, the Draw at 11/5 and 7/5 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 11/2 that Luka Milivojevic Scores Anytime and 5/1 for a 1-1 Scoreline.
LIVERPOOL v SOUTHAMPTON
A rare 15.00 PM home fixture for the Anfield faithful and surprisingly for the Champions elect, not a live televised game in England.
Liverpool continued their virtually immaculate unbeaten run midweek, getting a great 2-1 professional victory against Wolves.
Virtually immaculate because the Reds have only dropped 2-points this term and have won 22 out of 23 Premier League games.
Professional because, in truth, Wolves were the better side and could quite easily have taken points from Liverpool themselves but Jurgen’s Boys, as always, found a way of winning with Roberto Firmino getting the all-important goal late on to get the 3-points.
Jordan Henderson had given Liverpool a 1st-half lead but Wolves equalised just after the break and gave the Reds a run for their money.
Big Bobby F came up with the goods late on to keep Liverpool on track for their first Premier League title and first top-flight title in 30-years.
Jurgen has just signed a Japanese forward called Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg.
Or, when they are in the Champions League, Salzburg.
The girls and guys at UEFA don’t like to put the Red Bull in front of the Salzburg, as they think it gives them wings (keep that, that’s for everyone!) The Reds faithful have already trademarked the famous Sesame Street song Mahna-Mahnam for the little Japanese forward.
You can hear the Scousers now, many naturally resembling Elmo, Big Bird and the Cookie Monster, singing at the Kop end,
‘Minamino, da-doo-da-doo-do, Minamino, da-doo-do-doo, Minamino, da-doo-da-doo-do, Minamino’
The Scouser’s will love that every-time Takumi comes on.
In the EveryTip article back in July about the youngsters, Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster was included in that piece.
Although the lad hasn’t featured much in a Reds shirt this term, Rhian has recently gone out on loan after a long term injury.
Swansea, in the Championship, have got the services of the youngster and after appearing 3-times for the Welsh outfit, young Rhian has scored 1-goal up to now.
‘12. Rhian Brewster Aged 19 Liverpool
Rhian Brewster is another one of those rare Premier League talents that were born in this new Millennium.
There will be more come through in the coming season’s that is just evolution but there currently aren’t that many players who are regular’s for a Premier League club who are born in the Noughties.
Rhian Brewster has been on fire this summer. Four goals in three games so far, having been on the field just 120-minutes, have made young Rhian the talk of Liverpool’s pre-season.
At 19-years-old, Rhian is now poised to make it into Jurgen’s full Liverpool team to compete in the Top Flight having not yet made his senior Premier League debut.
However a couple of years back, Jurgen gave a long interview ( he rarely gives a short interview! ) in which he hinted that there was a wonderkid in the Liverpool Academy for whom he had extremely high hopes for.
It was assumed at the time that Big Jurgen was referring to Trent Alexander-Arnold but Mr Klipperty might just have been referring to Rhian Brewster.
Unlike Trent Double-A, Rhian is not a native of Liverpool having been born and brought up in London.
Rhian is a Cock-er-ney but is now an adopted Liver Bird who will be hoping to hit the ground running once Jurgen lets the reigns off him.
If pre-season is anything to go by, Pep and the rest should start taking note of the young striker who penned a Five-Year deal with Liverpool recently so will be a force at Anfield for the foreseeable future.
The only slight worry for Brewster’s Millions is the obvious issue in the number of players he’s behind in terms of getting competitive first-team minutes.
It really is conceivable to imagine getting to November or December and Rhian hasn’t played any minutes for Jurgen. It doesn’t feel like that will happen.
It feels like it’s all coming together for Rhian but with players such as Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Divock Origi all vying for a place up top for Jurgen’s Red’s, Rhian Brewster cannot take anything for granted and will have to let his talent and hard work shine through.
One thing that is for certain is Jurgen’s Youngsters will once again be the main threat to Pep’s Pups attempt to regain the Premier League Title’ Southampton have had a remarkable run of late, amassing 16-points from a possible 21-that was on offer from the previous 7-games.
The latest being a great 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Nathan Redmond scored a beautiful individual goal in the 1st-half, with Stuart Armstrong getting the 2nd after the break.
Another great victory for Wreck-It Ralph and his Saints, that elevates them up the table to a staggering 9th, with 31-points, just 3-shy of Manchester United in 5th-place.
Back in August, at St Mary’s, ex-Saints star, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino got the goals either side of the break to give Jurgen’s Reds a 2-1 victory Danny Ings got a late consolation to give the faithful brief hope of a comeback but not to be. Although a loss, Danny would have been pleased with the goal against his old club.
Whilst never showing his full potential at Anfield, Danny is a great player and injuries did scupper his time on Merseyside.
Danny may just find game time for England over the next few months, watch this space.
Betway offer Liverpool at Odds On 30/100, the Draw at 19/4 and 8/1 for Southampton to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 14/5 that there will be Over 4.5 Goals and 12/5 that Danny Ings Scores Anytime.
Home Win 4-1
NEWCASTLE v NORWICH
The Norwich faithful have an early start to get up to St James Park for this 15.00 PM kick-off in England.
Newcastle literally stunned Everton in the midweek fixture at Goodison Park.
Trailing 2-0 going into injury time, Steve Bruce’s inspired substitution midway through the 2nd-half where Big Brucey brought on Florian Lejeune, paid off when Florian scored, not one but two goals, in the 94th and 95th-minute to earn the Magpies a very creditable 2-2 draw.
There was a lot of disgruntled members of the Toon Army that were venting their anger towards Steve when he brought on Florian, however, the faithful were a lot happier on their long journey back to Newcastle.
The point gained on Merseyside leaves Newcastle in mid-table with 30-points, the same as Everton, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Arsenal, which is a better return than at the same time of Rafa Benitez’s year in the Premier League, yet Rafa was lauded and Steve is pilloried.
Norwich suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Tottenham in the midweek fixture with Teemu Pukki getting the solitary Canaries goal from the penalty spot, which at the time, equalised an earlier Spurs goal.
Unfortunately for Daniel Farke’s men, they conceded another Tottenham goal, to come away from the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium empty-handed.
Norwich remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table with just 17-points which is 6-points from safety.
When the Toon Army ventured to Norfolk back in August, a superb Teemu Pukki hat-trick gave Norwich a 3-0 lead before Jonjo Shelvey got a late consolation for Newcastle with the game finishing in a 3-1 victory for the Canaries.
Betway offer Newcastle at 5/4, the Draw at 12/5 and 11/5 for to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 15/4 that Miguel Almiron Scores Anytime and 13/8 Teemu Pukki Scores Anytime.
Home Win 2-1
WEST HAM v BRIGHTON
Another 15.00 PM kick-off in England at the London Stadium.
West Ham are one of 3-teams that have 23-points along with Watford and Bournemouth and sit just outside of the relegation places on goal difference.
It was mentioned in a previous column by this EveryTip contributor that David Moyes is not the answer to West Ham’s troubles but the owners David Gold and David Sullivan seem to think that David Moyes will do something different from his reigns at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland and wasn’t very inspiring the last time he was at the London Stadium.
Apart from a victory against a very poor Bournemouth side, West Ham haven’t beaten anyone else in the Premier League and suffered the indignity of being beaten by the Championship side West Bromwich Albion at home in the FA Cup.
In the midweek Premier League fixture away at the King Power Stadium, only a Mark Noble penalty in the 2nd-half gave the travelling Bubbles something to sing about.
Unfortunately, for the Hammers Leicester were already leading 2-0 before Mark’s goal and scored 2-more after the spot-kick to inflict a 4-1 defeat on David Moyes and his not so Happy Hammers.
West Ham are 2-points behind Brighton so this really is a must-win game for both teams.
Brighton’s hierarchy decided to extend Graham Potters contract a few weeks back, giving him another 6-years.
Since that decision, the Seagulls fortunes have taken a turn for the worse, having recorded just 1-victory in the last 9-Premier League games and being knocked out of the FA Cup in the 3rd-round against the Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
Brighton even suffered a humiliating 3-1 defeat away against Bournemouth, who can’t beat anyone at the moment.
Aaron Mooy scored the Seagulls consolation who were already losing 3-0 at the time.
The owners might just be thinking that the contract extension for Harry, may have been a little premature.
As mentioned, Brighton are just 2-points ahead of the Hammers so this really is a crunch game, all things considered.
On the South Coast in August, the points were shared when the Seagulls, Leandro Trossard equalised 4-minutes after Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez scored the opener for the Hammers, resulting in the game finishing in a 1-1 draw.
Javier picked up an injury not long after his goal and had to be substituted.
That was ‘Chicharito’s’ final goal in his final appearance for West Ham before he moved to Seville.
Betway offer West Ham at 6/4, the Draw at 12/5 and 9/5 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 3/1 that Mark Noble Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 7/8 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v WOLVES
Late Saturday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports kicking-off at 17.30 PM in England.
There as been a lot written and said about this current Manchester United squad, with the opinion being that Ole is seen to be getting away with a lot.
For a long time, it was quite conceivable that the problem was much wider than that of Ole’s control, yet there are basics that a person can put in place to deal with the inadequacies of others.
Against Burnley, in the last Premier League game, Ole’s team selection was completely wrong.
Whilst every Manchester United fan can argue if Lingard is this or Shaw is that?
Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw should be in the starting eleven ahead of Brandon Williams and Andreas Pereira.
Now some of the United faithful will be literally screaming at this column saying this and stating that but the simple answer is, whilst Andreas and Brandon are decent players, they aren’t United standard, whereas Luke and Jesse, whilst themselves, are not United standard either, will give United more.
The Red Devil’s were unceremoniously beaten 2-0 by Burnley, in front of the Old Trafford faithful, who vented their anger towards the owners and Ed Woodward.
United did beat League 1 Tranmere 6-0 in the FA Cup prior to this fixture and it was rumoured that the Red Devil’s had found their level.
This is the 4th-meeting between these 2-sides this season.
With United beating Wolves at Old Trafford a couple of weeks back in a 3rd-Round FA Cup replay following the 1-1 draw in the game at Molineux.
Back in the 1997/98 season, United played Barnsley FC, 4-times in one season with the Super Reds getting the better of United in the FA Cup.
After the initial tie finished 1-1 at Old Trafford, with the current Premier League referees boss, Mike Riley failing to award a blatant penalty when Gary Neville hacked down Andy Liddell.
Even Gary was shocked that he got away with that one.
Peter Schmeichel made a horrendous error to gift John Hendrie the Barnsley goal which took United back to Oakwell.
With most expecting Manchester United to comfortably beat the Reds in the replay, Danny Wilson included young Scott Jones in the starting eleven and Big Scotty came up with goods to score 2-headers to add to another John Hendrie goal to give Barnsley a famous 3-2 victory over the Premier League Champions at the time.
United did beat Barnsley in both of the league encounters, one being a 7-0 thrashing, in the Super Reds one and only venture into the elite of the Premier League.
However, the victory in the FA Cup was legendary for the Yorkshire club who went on to the Quarter-Final that year, including a 3-1 victory against Tottenham as well, or as they say in Barnsley, anorl!
Regular readers to this column will have seen a legends name pop up every now and again when a player handles the ball.
Kobe Bryant is often mentioned in reference to when a player handles the ball, being given the nickname of the LA Lakers basketball player as a bit of fun.
‘He handled that like Kobe Bryant’
This week, the world sadly lost the legend that is Kobe Bryant who was tragically killed along with his daughter and several others in a helicopter crash.
Respect Kobe, RIP.
Wolves have the same 34-points as today’s opponents.
Following a great comeback in the game against Southampton, where Nuno’s Gold and Blacks came from 2-0 down to get a 3-2 victory, Wolves hosted Champions elect Liverpool at Molineux and although they put in a tremendous effort, with Raul Jimenez equalising a 1st-half Reds goal, Wolves, unfortunately, conceded a late goal to ultimately lose by a 2-1 scoreline.
Wolves, Tottenham and Manchester United all have 34-points, 6-behind Chelsea, in the chase for the coveted, final Champions League spot.
At Molineux back in August, Anthony Martial scored United’s solitary goal midway through the 1st-half.
Ruben Neves equalised for Wolves after the break and the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
That doesn’t tell the full story with Paul Pogba (remember him?) missing a 2nd-half penalty, that could have given United all the points.
Betway offer Manchester United at 11/10, the Draw at 9/4 and 11/4 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 19/10 that Raul Jimenez Scores Anytime and 17/4 that Wolves Win to Nil.
Away Win 0-1
BURNLEY v ARSENAL
Early Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports, with this game at Turf Moor kicking-off at 14.00 PM in England.
Burnley simply stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford, in the midweek game, getting a brilliant 2-0 victory against Ole’s Wheels, which came off the back of a victory against Leicester.
Those 2-great results followed 4-straight Premier League defeats which had Sean Dyche and his Clarets wobbling on the brink of the relegation places.
Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez got the Burnley goals either side of the break, to heap pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The victory and 3-points puts Burnley in a cluster of 5-teams with 30-points, another being today’s visitors.
Back in 2012, both Chris and Jay had separate loan spells at Barnsley FC.
It’s fair to say that it wasn’t the best month of their footballing lives but the two are remembered fondly by the Oakwell faithful.
Arsenal were reduced to 10-men, midway through the 1st-half at Stamford Bridge, in the midweek game when ex-Blue David Luiz wanted to give his old employer’s a chance and was shown a straight Red Card after a challenge on Tammy Abraham resulting in a penalty to Chelsea.
A few years back, a Double-Jeopardy rule was introduced which stated that, if a foul is committed that results in a penalty, the Red Card should not be given as, hence the title, Double-Jeopardy comes into play.
The referee in the Chelsea v Arsenal game, Stuart Attwell, didn’t agree and gave Chelsea a penalty and David a Red Card.
Stuart’s a young referee but has a history of making daft decisions.
Big Stu once awarded a goal in a game between Watford v Reading at Vicarage Rd, back in 2008, which wasn’t a goal with the ball going wide not into the net.
After a brief conversation with his linesman, a goal, instead of a goal-kick was given to the amazement of the 14,000 plus in attendance.
Yes, that does appear far fetched but can be confirmed on Google or YouTube.
The scariest thing about that whole situation is the incident took place almost 12-years ago.
Where does the time go?
Gabriel Martinelli equalised for the Gunners, scoring a brilliant individual goal, albeit with a little help from N’Golo Kante, who inadvertently slipped and left Gabriel to run the full length of the pitch to score.
Chelsea then scored again but that just inspired the 10-men Gunners to rally with Hector Bellerin scoring an equaliser soon after.
A great result for Mikel Arteta’s 10-men, however, that is 3-draws in a row but a 4-game unbeaten run since the loss against Chelsea at the Emirates.
Gabriel Martinelli will be a star and has filled in brilliantly for the suspended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Pep 2 having a decision to make in whether to bring Pierre-Emerick straight back into the starting eleven following the end of his 3-game ban, keep Gabriel in and/or play them both.
In the EveryTip column back in July 2019, about the Best Young Players, Gabriel was included.
‘ 1. Gabriel Martinelli Aged 18 Arsenal
Gabriel is a young Brazilian Striker who has just penned a new contract at Arsenal after signing for a fee of £6 Million from Ituano FC at the beginning of July 2019. One of a number of Premier League new boys who has the distinction of being born in this Millennium having only just turned 18 in June.
Whilst Gabriel may not get the same game time as some of the other youngsters on show in various other Premier League sides, Gabriel, over the coming months, could quite easily push Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for a place in the Gunners First Team.
On his debut in a recent Pre-Season game in America, Gabriel scored for Arsenal as Unai Emery’s side beat Colorado Rapids 3-0.
In Pre-Season Gabriel or Martinelli as he will become known, got a bit of game time and thought he’d scored his 2nd Gunners goal in the game against Lyon, however, was ruled out for offside.
Ituano FC may not be the commonest of the Brazilian teams and play at a very low level in Brazil’s footballing pyramid. Gabriel found his way to Ituano FC who are based in São Paulo via the more commonly known Corinthian’s where he started playing Futsal as a youngster.
The new Technical Director at the Emirates is former Gunners midfielder Edu who has gone back to his native Brazil to beat off the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona for his fellow Brazilian and has big hopes for Gabriel Martinelli.
His pace and hard work, that of a similar mould to current Brazilian International and Everton striker Richarlison, will go along way in making him a fans favourite at the Emirates and Gabriel will know that he has to work hard to appease the Gooners who do take some pleasing.’ At the Emirates back in August, Arsenal got the victory beating Burnley by a 2-1 scoreline.
Alexandre Lacazette scored the opener for the Gunners with Ashley Barnes equalising for the Clarets to take the teams in level at the break.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the winner midway through the 2nd-half to give Unai Emery a rare victory.
Betway offer Burnley at 14/5, the Draw at 12/5 and Evens 1/1 for Arsenal to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 15/4 that Chris Wood Scores First and Evens 1/1 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores Anytime.
TOTTENHAM v MAN CITY
Late Sunday Afternoon Football and the final fixture of Game Week Twenty Four.
This game at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium Kicks-off at 16.30 PM in England.
Tottenham got a good professional 2-1 victory against Norwich last time out with Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min scoring either side of Norwich’s equaliser.
Jose’s Spurs have 34-points, the same as Manchester United and Wolves and sit in 6th-place, 6-points behind Chelsea in the race for the 4th-Champions League spot.
It was thought that Christian Eriksen had made his final appearance for Tottenham in the home fixture against Middlesbrough a few weeks back, however, Christian is like a boomerang at the moment and keeps coming back.
The game against Norwich could now become Christian’s farewell as with the January Transfer Window coming to a close, Big Chris looks set for a move to Inter Milan.
Harry Kane is still out, so Jose has to rely on the goals coming from Dele, Son and Lucas.
Man City got a narrow 1-0 victory against Sheffield United in the midweek game at Bramall Lane.
Pep’s High Flying City struggled to break down Laughing Chris’s Blades so had to bring on the big gun midway through the 2nd-half.
Having warmed the bench for just over an hour, Sergio Aguero was introduced as a replacement for Gabriel Jesus, who had missed a 1st-half penalty.
Within 5-minutes of entering the field of play, Sergio scored the only goal of the game giving Pep 1 a professional victory and leaves City with 51-points, still a massive 16-points behind Jurgen’s Reds and having played a game more than Liverpool.
It’s fair to say that City will be concentrating solely on the 3-cup competitions they remain in, with the Champions League being the priority.
Before this trip to the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium, City entertain Numpty Neighbours Manchester United in the 2nd-leg of the Semi-Final of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 lead from the 1st-game.
When Mauricio Pochettino took his Tottenham team up to the Etihad in August, Spurs stunned City and came away with a point following a 2-2 draw.
Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero got City’s goals both in the 1st-half with Erik Lamela scoring for Tottenham between the 2-strikes.
Lucas Moura equalised again for Spurs after the break to make the Lilywhite faithful’s long journey home, a comfortable one.
Betway offer Tottenham at 17/4, the Draw at 15/4 and slight Odds On 8/15 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betway offer 15/8 that Tottenham Lead 1-0 at Anytime and 13/10 that Raheem Sterling Scores Anytime.
Away Win 1-3