This weekend’s action begins down by the English Channel, where Southampton entertain local rivals Bournemouth. The Cherries began the season unconvincingly, but beat Everton last time out after Ryan Fraser made a big impact from the bench. How does John Newsome see this fixture (plus all of the rest in game-week 6) playing out? You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday
SOUTHAMPTON v BOURNEMOUTH
Friday Night Football live on Sky Sports.
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Eddie’s Cherries head the short distance East along the South Coast to take on Wreck-It Ralph’s Saints.
Southampton went up North last Saturday to Sheffield and beat the Blades at Bramall Lane 1-0.
Ralph Hasenhuttl decided to bench Danny Ings which came as a shock to the faithful but his decision paid off when Moussa Djenepro scored midway through the 2nd-half to seal all 3-points in what could easily be an early relegation battle.
Young Moussa has now doubled his tally to 2-goals in the first 5-games which is a great personal achievement for the Southampton starlet.
The victory gives the Saints 7-points from their 5-games so far which, following Bournemouth’s subsequent victory over Everton on Sunday, puts the 2-South Coast club’s level on points with just goals separating them.
There are a cluster of 4-clubs with a return of 7-points so far which Southampton will definitely feel a success.
Bournemouth comfortably beat Everton on Sunday to put them level with the Saints and the Toffees in the not so infant Premier League table.
Callum Wilson got a couple and a Ryan Fraser strike gave the Cherries all 3-points to put them level on points with today’s South Coast rivals.
Along with Southampton, Bournemouth share the 7-point slot with Everton and Crystal Palace.
Eddie has assembled a decent squad, however, one strange decision at the beginning of the season, was to allow Tyrone Mings to leave and join Aston Villa.
Eddie and the Cherries will have their reasons but with Tyrone being called up in the latest England squad it does seem a strange decision.
Bournemouth will always be a match for anyone at the Vitality as Everton found to their cost but surprisingly the victory over the Toffees was Eddie’s first home win of the season.
At St Mary’s last term this fixture was played at the end of April in one of the final games of the season.
With Southampton trying to avoid relegation, the game ended in a very entertaining 3-3 draw.
Shane Long gave the Saints an early lead before Dan Gosling and Callum Wilson put the Cherries 2-1 ahead going into the break.
James Ward-Prowse and Matt Targett restored the lead for Southampton midway through the 2nd-period but couldn’t hold on for the victory.
With time running out, Callum Wilson scored his 2nd of the game and the equaliser to give Eddie and the Cherries a share of the points.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 12/11, the Draw at 5/2 and 12/5 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 that Callum Wilson Scores First and 11/10 that there are Under 2.
LEICESTER v TOTTENHAM
Early Saturday Afternoon kickoff live on BT Sports.
What a cracker of a game to kick-start Saturday’s Premier League fixtures.
Leicester will feel unlucky to come away from Old Trafford with nothing after an early penalty conceded by Turkish Centre-Back Caglar Soyuncu left them on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline.
That’s Brendan’s first defeat of the season and whilst a blow, Mr Rodgers will put that to bed and move on to this game against Tottenham.
In truth, the Foxes never get anything at Old Trafford with their last victory there almost 22-years ago.
Leicester beat Manchester United 1-0 back in January 1998 with Tony Cottee getting the solitary goal.
The Leicester faithful made their feelings known to ex-Fox Harry Maguire but the constant jeering towards Big Harry just inspired Maguire to perform to his best.
It’s rumoured that when Harry came off the pitch at the end he pulled his Sheffield mate Jamie Vardy out of his pocket and sat him back in the Away dressing room.
Rod Stewart is still not happy Brendan left Celtic to join a proper football club playing in a proper division, not a pub league.
What looked a tricky ask for Tottenham last weekend, a home game against an inspired Crystal Palace side who had beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford, turned out to be a stroll in the park for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
What’s surprising in the 4-0 victory over the Eagles was that all 4-goals came before the break.
Son Heung-Min opened the scoring after 10-minutes before Tottenham were helped along with an own goal from Patrick Van Aanholt.
Big Son added his 2nd and Spurs 3rd on the 23-minute mark.
Erik Lamela finished off the 4 just before the half-time whistle.
It would have been thought that Tottenham would come out in the 2nd-half and get more but Mauricio must have felt sorry for old Roy and the score remained 4-0.
Spurs jumped to 3rd in the Premier League table.
It’s early days yet in the infancy of this season’s Premier League but Tottenham are a great side and a great side to watch.
The Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium is possibly the best in the world at the moment so the players must feel at the top of their game turning out there week after week.
Tottenham do head to the King Power off the back of a midweek trip to Greece to take on Olympiakos.
That game midweek was on the Wednesday night and doesn’t give Mauricio Pochettino’s men much time to recover before this early kickoff in Leicester.
This fixture was played in the cold of December last term with Leicester under the stewardship of Claude Puel.
Son Heung-Min gave Tottenham the lead right on the half-time whistle.
Dele Alli made it 2-0 after the break to give Tottenham a comfortable victory over a Foxes team that was missing both Sheffield Superstars Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy.
Bet 365 offer Leicester at 21/10, the Draw at 12/5 and 5/4 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 Jamie Vardy Scores First and Evens 11/10 Harry Kane Scores Anytime.
Away Win 1-3
BURNLEY v NORWICH
Burnley come into this game after scraping a point away at Brighton last time out.
Scraping a point because with time running out and a minute into injury time, the Clarets were losing 1-0 before Jeff Hendrick, fresh from his appearances for the Republic of Ireland, came up with a last gasp equaliser to scrape the point so to speak.
Before Saturday night the Turf Moor faithful would have been on their way back from Brighton, which, by the way, took some of them 2-days by train, thinking
“Got Norwich next, Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeasy!”
Then after their epic journey from the Amex, put 50p in the telly to watch Match of the Day and found that Norwich had done the unbelievable, the unthinkable and at 22/1, against the odds, beat Man City.
Bring on the Champions.
Yes, Norwich did what most teams have found impossible in recent times and beat Pep’s High Flying City.
Whilst in any game of football, shocks occur but what’s maybe remarkable about the victory against Man City was that Norwich actually outplayed Pep’s boys.
Possession stats will say City had almost 70%, more goal attempts, more shots on goal, more free-kicks and corners but the most telling stat is the one seen in the top left of the TV screen which stat or stated
Norwich 3-2 Man City.
Another interesting stat for the statisticians amongst us is that the City goalkeeper Ederson didn’t make a save in the entire game yet Norwich’s stopper made 6-telling contributions.
To be fair to Ederson he didn’t need to make a save as the netting attached to his sticks saved the ball for him 3-times.
Daniel Farke who has several songs sang to him from the Carrow Rd faithful, one being a parody of the Blur tune “Park Life” simply out thought Pep which not many coaches can claim.
“Farke Life” knew that City are susceptible to set pieces and near post corners.
To get a corner against City is a big ask but once the corner is acquired Daniel knew that City mark zonally and knew that the right delivery married with a good manoeuvre from his big players could easily gain reward.
That is just what happened when City conceded a corner, the delivery was perfect and big Kenny McLean headed the ball past Ederson.
Big Kenny had just come from a midweek International game for Scotland where the Jocks were taught a footballing lesson beaten 4-0 by Belgium.
Ken must have feared the worse after being run ragged by Kevin De Bruyne in that loss but he must have been ecstatic when he found out KDB wasn’t in City’s starting eleven.
Teemu Pukki unselfishly set up Todd Cantwell for the Canaries 2nd and with 1st-half time running out Norwich were hoping to go in at the break with the 2-0 advantage.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as City pulled a goal back.
In the dressing room, Farke Life’s first sentence must have been
“Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as”
Informing the boys that City have the confidence after that goal to come out in the 2nd-half and blitz Norwich.
Not to be, the next goal scorers were Norwich themselves with City deciding that playing out from the back is boring so they will just give the ball back, Teemu took advantage of an Otamendi error and made it 3-1.
When asked if Teemu was Finnish,
He replied, “Am no finished, I’m only 29!”
City did pull a goal back but in truth, Norwich outplayed, outfought and outthought Pep’s Citizens and the 3-points gained weren’t an injustice.
It’s been a long time since Turf Moor hosted Norwich in any game let alone a Premier League fixture.
The last time the Canaries visited the Clarets was back in February 2011 and was a Championship game which finished in a 2-1 victory for Burnley.
What might come as a surprise to a lot of fans is Burnley, not only have one player currently playing in today’s squad but two.
Jack Cork and Jay Rodriguez both got game time back in 2011.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at slight Odds On 9/10, the Draw at 13/5 and 11/4 for Norwich to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 Ashley Barnes Scores First and 8/5 Teemu Pukki Scores Anytime.
Home Win 1-0
EVERTON v SHEFFIELD UNITED
Everton continued their poor away form last Sunday going the long-distance South to the Vitality and whilst putting in a good shift, ultimately came away with nothing after a 3-1 defeat against Bournemouth.
The Toffees did get back on level terms briefly just before half-time when Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised but in all honesty, Bournemouth were the better side and took control in the 2nd-half resulting in another away defeat for Marco Silva which he will have to quickly adjust if the Marco Silva Swing-Ometer wants to remain in his ascendancy.
Marco left Michael Keane out of the starting eleven after Michael’s adventures for England in the International Break.
Keano started his career at Old Trafford but didn’t make the grade for Manchester United and eventually knew he had to leave to progress his career.
The name Keane is legendary at Old Trafford but whilst Michael is of no relation to Roy, Michael does have a twin brother called Will or William to give him his Sunday name.
Both Will and Michael were on the books of Manchester United in their youth but both have moved on to pastures new.
Michael is at Everton via Burnley and tries to prevent the goals, whereas Will is at Ipswich Town via a few clubs and is a striker trying to get the goals.
Michael will argue that he is the better player of the twins but Will will counter that argument and say that it’s easier to stop goals than score them.
Either way, there must be a couple of proud parents out there who just love football.
John Denver penned numerous iconic and superb songs back in the early ‘70s but what the legendary singer and composer could not have imagined was that not one but two of his greatest hits are sung on the terraces of English football stadiums.
The first question everyone is asking is
“Which 2 songs?”
You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again.
Sheffield United are famous for re-wording this iconic song from John Denver, written as a tribute to his first wife, Annie’s Song can be heard on the terraces of Bramhall Lane moments before kick-off with the lyrics re-jigged to mention “greasy Chip butties” and “a night out in Sheffield “
You fill up my senses,
Like a gallon of Magnet,
Like a packet of Woodbines,
Like a good pinch of snuff,
Like a night out in Sheffield,
Like a greasy chip butty,
Like Sheffield United,
Come fill me again.
Whilst Chris Wilder and his Blades perform to the tune of John Denver’s best, another iconic tune sang once by the King himself will haunt the Blunts this week.
The King himself, Elvis Presley famously sang “Oh When the Saints go Marching In”
That’s just what Sheffield United had to contend with when Southampton came to Bramhall Lane and grabbed all 3-points.
The Blades held Southampton in the 1st-half but succumbed to a Saints goal midway through the 2nd-period to leave Chris Wilder’s Blunts with 5-points from their 5-games back in the big time.
Chris Wilder wasn’t happy, his face told the story.
Blades legend Billy Sharp who had a very brief spell at Southampton was harshly shown a straight Red Card for an innocuous challenge 20-minutes after he had entered the play as a substitute.
Harsh on Big Billy.
Keep going son, Billy is a top player and knows where the net is.
Whilst most have written him off for Top Flight football, Chris knows that when a goal is needed, Big Billy Sharp is the go-to man to get said goal.
A legend in the greasy chip butty shops around Bramhall Lane.
One player hoping for game time at Goodison Park is Phil Jagielka.
Phil is one of those rare players who come along infrequently that will be afforded immense respect by both sets of fans if given a run-out by Chris Wilder.
Phil started his career for the Blades back in 2000, left to serve the Toffees valiantly for 12-seasons in 2007, then rejoined the Sheffield club at the start of this season.
Whilst in the twilight of his career it would be a fitting honour if he gets a couple of minutes today to get a good send-off from the Toffees faithful.
He was awarded legendary status for Everton after a brilliant 30-yard volley almost 5-years ago to the day in the Merseyside Derby that gave the Toffees the equaliser and a share of the points against Liverpool.
With the Reds leading 1-0 and time running out, Big Phil unleashed a superb right-foot shot to leave Liverpool’s goalkeeper Simon Mignolet helpless.
If ever a person needs a moment to become a legend on Merseyside, it’s to score a stunner for the Blues, in the last minute at Anfield against the Reds to earn a valuable point.
Phil was at the back for the Blades when these two teams previously met.
October 2006 was the last time Sheffield United ventured to Goodison Park.
The Toffees beat the Blades 2-0 on that occasion with Mikel Arteta and James Beattie getting the goals to give the home team all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer Everton at Odds On 4/7, the Draw at 14/5 and 5/1 for Sheffield United to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 4/1 Richarlison Scores First and 7/4 Everton Score in Both Halves.
Home Win 2-0
MAN CITY v WATFORD
Like with buses, the Citizens wait a long time for a rare 3.00 PM kick-off at the Etihad then 2-come along in quick succession for Pep’s High Flying City.
Anyone can lose a game of football that’s why, in essence, the game is played, the problem for City is the loss against Norwich, whilst a shock, wasn’t what could be called, unlucky.
Pep and City were tactically outthought by Pop-star Daniel Farke and were never at the races.
Pep decided he didn’t need Kevin De Bruyne after KDB had destroyed Scotland in the International game.
To be fair Kevin De Choisy would have destroyed Scotland who are just rubbish.
Pep has some work to do on his defence.
When Match of the Day or Goals on Sunday (other football highlight shows are available) analyse games and show the failings or a defensive error or on this occasion City’s defensive failings and defensive errors in great detail what they don’t mention is the obvious.
Whilst it’s easy to point out the defensive errors and Pep’s failings what’s not mentioned is because City are always attacking, they rarely have to defend so in theory defending isn’t at the top of Pep’s coaching manual.
In the 5-Premier League games, for example, Manchester United have conceded 21 corners, Tottenham 29 corners and Liverpool 18 corners.
City have conceded 11 corners opposed to the others.
It’s all well and good pointing out deficiencies but if you are being beaten by something that is a regular then fair enough but if the fault comes from something that happens rarely then Pep just needs a little tweak.
Not many teams even manage a corner against City but when the occasion arises, Pep’s boys have a front post deficiency.
It can be manipulated and that is just what Norwich did.
Others will be watching.
It’s fair to say some of the City boys had an off day, Raheem Sterling in particular.
It happens, Raheem is a top player but unfortunately for him, he had an off day.
As did John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
For a man who loves to rotate, it’s significant that Pep only played the pairing 3-times last season.
Now John Stones is injured and will miss approximately 5-weeks so Pep really does have some decisions about his defence to make.
Pep and City refused to purchase a Centre-Back even when Harry Maguire was available for coppers in comparison to City’s millions.
That may come back to haunt the Citizens,
The Watford hierarchy decided to get rid of Javi Gracia (Gracia not Garcia!) after the draw against Newcastle.
The draw probably wasn’t the deciding factor it was probably the 3-losses prior to that.
Watford headed to the Emirates on Sunday and after going into the break 2-0 down the new gaffer Quique Sanchez Flores inspired the boys in the dressing room and Tom Cleverly and a Roberto Pereyra penalty pulled 2-goals back to give the Hornets a valuable point.
The point, however, wasn’t enough to take them off the bottom of the not so infant Premier League.
It is a start though for Quique who is known well and fondly at Vicarage Rd following the brief spell he held as boss in 2015.
Even getting the Hornets to the Semi-Final of the FA Cup in 2016.
A good start but the visit to the Etihad is a tough ask.
Pep’s City Boys will have travelled the long distance to and from the Ukraine for the midweek Champions League game against Shakhtar ahead of the visit from Watford so team selection is key in both games.
Man City comfortably beat Watford 3-1 back in March at the Etihad.
Following a goalless 1st-half, Raheem Sterling got a 13-minute, 2nd-half hat-trick to take the game away from the Hornets.
Gerard Deulofeu replied for the Hornets which was merely a consolation goal.
What the Hornets faithful won’t be wanting is a repeat of the last time these two met.
Man City blitzed Watford in the FA Cup Final at Wembley in May inflicting a soul-destroying 6-0 victory over the Hornets.
Bet 365 offer Man City at massive Odds On 1/10, the Draw at 9/1 and 16/1 for Watford to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer Raheem Sterling at 7/2 to Score First and 14/1 for a 4-1 Scoreline in favour of City.
Home Win 4-1
NEWCASTLE v BRIGHTON
Late Saturday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
The Sky Sports producers must be Crystal Palace fans after deciding to put this as a live TV game making the Brighton fans travel all the way to Newcastle for an early Saturday evening kick-off.
The trip from Brighton to Newcastle is approximately 350-miles and will take just short of 6-hours making it a 700-miles/12-hours round-trip for the Seagull faithful.
When the game finishes at approximately 7.
30 PM on Saturday night and by the time the fans exit the stadium and set off for their journey home, it will be close to 3.
00 AM on Sunday when they arrive back in Brighton.
Maybe the Seagulls could fly to Newcastle.
Newcastle took the lead against Liverpool in the lunchtime kick-off last Saturday through a superb strike from left-back Jetro Willems.
Jetro, who’s Magpies nickname must be ‘Tully’ outmanoeuvred Trent Alexander-Arnold and fired an unstoppable shot past Adrian in the Liverpool goal.
Unfortunately for Steve Bruce’s men, the goal was like a red rag to a bull and Liverpool ran Newcastle ragged for the remainder of the game running out comfortable 3-1 winners.
Big Brucey just needs to put that result behind him as not many come away from Anfield with a positive result.
This fixture against Brighton will be one that the Magpies have targeted as very winnable.
Joelinton and Miguel Almiron are lively upfront for Newcastle but Joelinton just needs to watch his runs as against Liverpool he was constantly caught offside.
Miguel has pace to burn but just needs to be more composed and think about an end product.
At the moment he just looks like a headless chicken who is fast.
This game against Brighton gives Newcastle another chance to showcase their progression under Big Brucey in front of the cameras which is their 4th TV game out of the 6 they have played so far.
Brighton were minutes away from a great victory against Burnley at the Amex on Saturday after Neal Maupay put the Seagulls in front in the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately for Graham Potter’s men they couldn’t hang on and succumbed to a late Burnley equaliser to get a share of the points.
After a great victory on the opening weekend, Brighton have stuttered a bit and find themselves just above the relegation places on 5-points, 1-point above Newcastle.
It’s early days yet but a victory here for either side will set down a marker in what could prove an early relegation battle.
This fixture last season was played in October and finished 1-0 in favour of Brighton.
Beram Kayal with the Seagull winner.
Bet 365 offer Newcastle at 7/5, the Draw at 11/5 and 2/1 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 6/1 Joelinton Scores First and 12/5 Neal Maupay Scores Anytime.
WEST HAM v MANCHESTER UNITED
Early Sunday Afternoon kickoff live on Sky Sports.
West Ham left the Midlands on Monday Night Football with a point in a very drab 0-0 against Aston Villa.
It’s two hours the Hammers faithful will quickly erase from their memories and will move on to this home game against Manchester United.
Arthur Masuaku was given his marching orders midway through the 2nd-half at Villa Park picking up 2-Yellow Cards and the inevitable Red to follow.
The 2nd of the two could be considered harsh but the referee Mike Dean loves a Red Card with Arthur being his 102nd victim in Mr Dean’s career.
The point gained against Villa puts the Bubbles on the same 8-points as their rivals today but down in 8th-place in the Premier League table on goal difference.
Manchester United head to the London Stadium off the back of a Thursday night Europa League game at Old Trafford against Kazakhstan’s finest FC Astana.
United beat Leicester prior to the Europa trip with Marcus Rashford finally scoring a penalty after both himself and Paul Pogba had missed 2-previous spot-kicks costing United vital points.
There were no arguments on this occasion as Paul wasn’t playing due to injury so Marcus stepped up and vanished the nightmare of his previous spot-kick.
The victory against Leicester took the Red Devil’s up to 4th in the Premier League table on 8-points the same as a number of other clubs.
Tottenham, Leicester, Chelsea, Arsenal and today’s hosts all have 8-points from their initial 5-games.
Ole will rue the missed penalties as his young United side should have more points but it’s early days yet and 3-points against a good Leicester team, who are tipped by many to gatecrash the Top Six, should appease the United faithful.
David De Gea has finally penned a new contract putting to an end speculation about his future at Old Trafford.
The Spanish stopper has signed until 2023 with an option to extend depending on how Real Madrid are doing at the time.
John Denver’s 2nd-hit to be sung on the terraces is Take Me Home Country Roads.
‘Country roads, take me home
To the place, I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads’
The Manchester United fans have reworked the hit tune and regularly sing
‘Take me home United Road, to the place I belong that’s Old Trafford, to see United’
John Denver tragically died in a plane crash back in 1997 but his hit tunes live on all over the world especially in Manchester and Sheffield.
At the London Stadium, last season, this fixture was played virtually 12-months to the day prior to today’s game and finished 3-1 in favour of West Ham.
Felipe Anderson and a Victor Lindelof own goal gave the Hammers a 2-0 half-time lead.
Marcus Rashford did pull a goal back for United after the break but Marco Arnautovic restored the Bubbles 2-goal advantage and West Ham ran out easy winners in the end over the Jose Mourinho’s Pink Devils.
Bet 365 offer West Ham at 14/5, the Draw at 13/5 and slight Odds On 9/10 for Manchester United to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 5/1 Marcus Rashford Scores First and 7/4 Manchester United Score in Both Halves.
Away Win 1-2
CRYSTAL PALACE v WOLVES
A Sunday afternoon fixture due to Wolves exploits in the Europa League.
Crystal Palace had an off day at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last Saturday conceding 4-goals in the 1st-half.
Roy’s half-time talk did put an end to the goals but 4-0 down at the break knocked the stuffing out of the Eagles leaving the Ultras quiet on the way home.
Christian Benteke got 20-minutes at the end but looks a shadow of his former self.
In his prime, Big Chris was unplayable terrorising defenders, now he’s simply un-playable.
The good thing for Roy and his Eagles is a home game against a struggling Wolves team, who are finding the Europa League adventure an arduous encounter, could be just what the Eagles Ultras need to get their singing voices back in tune.
Wolves were smashed at home by Chelsea on Saturday losing 5-2.
Like Palace, Wolves were losing 4-0 at one point but did manage to pull 2-goals back before Chelsea got their 5th.
An own goal by Tammy Abraham and a goal by Patrick Cutrone gave the Wolves faithful brief hope of a comeback but not to be.
As mentioned Wolves are now in the group stages of the Europa League which will hamper their season.
Nuno’s Gold and Blacks played the Portuguese club Braga on Thursday night in the opening group stage.
As with Burnley last term, playing Thursday and Sunday does take its toll.
Sean Dyche refused to use it as an excuse for Burnley’s poor start and Nuno is giving the same viewpoint.
A Matt Doherty goal for Wolves was the difference between the two sides last season when these two met at Selhurst Park.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace at 2/1, the Draw at 11/5 and 11/8 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Luka Milivojevic Scores Anytime and 5/1 that Raul Jimenez Scores First.
Home Win 2-1
ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA
Another Sunday afternoon game due to Arsenal’s Europa League commitments against Frankfurt in Germany on Thursday.
Arsenal were woeful against Watford last weekend snatching a draw from the jaws of victory.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 2-goals in the 1st-half to give the Gunners false hope of victory.
The strike force for Arsenal are not the problem, it’s in defence where Unai’s men are struggling.
For some reason, Unai has instilled into his goalkeeper and defenders to play out from the back.
All well and good at times but not all of the time as Man City show on occasions.
Sometimes it’s better to kick the ball upfield to give the defenders breathing space.
Arsenal look as if they are under strict instructions from Unai to play out from the back at all times.
If it’s not working, like against Watford, then the senior players on the pitch have to take control and say to the ‘keeper
“Kick it long !”
After taking a 2-goal lead against
bottom of the league Watford it could have been assumed that Arsenal would go on to take all 3-points.
Unfortunately, the defensive frailties came to the fore and the Gunners conceded two 2nd-half goals and left Vicarage Rd with just a point.
Unai could do with a couple of his injured defenders back fit pretty soon such as Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and new signing Kieran Tierney.
Aston Villa played in what arguably could be considered the worse game of the 50-played so far in this season’s Premier League.
West Ham were the visitors to Villa Park in the Monday Night game and left with a share of the points after a very non-entertaining 0-0 draw.
The highlight of the Villa performance was a bust-up or flare-up or handbags at most between Tyrone Mings and Anwar El-Ghazi.
Big Tyrone wasn’t happy with Anwar when the Dutch winger failed to stop a cross coming into the box.
Little Anwar took exception to Tyrone’s indignation and squared up to Tyrone.
Even though the two are both Villa players, VAR got on the case to see if any misdemeanour had occurred.
Handbags at worse and the excitement was over.
That’s about the best it got at Villa Park on Monday but did give Villa a vital point in their bid for survival.
Jack Grealish had a decent game in front of the watching England manager Gareth Southgate and it could be argued that Jack outshone Declan Rice in the midfield.
It doesn’t guarantee Jack a call-up to Gareth’s Squad but will give Jack confidence and he’ll know if he keeps performing he may just get a shout from Gareth.
The last time Aston Villa played at the Emirates was a sad affair for the Villains.
Not only did Aston Villa lose heavily but it was the final game of the 2015/2016 season and Villa’s final game before relegation to the Championship.
Arsenal ran out comfortable 4-0 winners against the already relegated Villa.
Olivier Giroud got a superb hat-trick and an own goal from Mark Bunn left the Villains heartbroken heading home and to the Championship.
Bet 365 offer Arsenal at Odds On 4/11, the Draw at 15/4 and 15/2 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 3/1 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores First and 11/2 that Jack Grealish Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
CHELSEA v LIVERPOOL
Late Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports.
What a great game to round of Game Week Six proceedings.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge giving Big Frank another chance to pit his wits against Jurgen Klopp following the Super Cup game in August.
Chelsea gave a heroic performance against the European Champions but lost the cup on penalties after the game finished 2-2 after extra-time.
Chelsea comfortably beat Wolves at Molineux last Saturday with young starlet Tammy Abraham getting 4-goals in a 5-2 victory over Wolves.
Unfortunately for Tammy, 1 of the said 4-goals was an own goal after he was credited with the Wolves opener.
That said, Big Tammy was euphoric with his hat-trick getting his 1st-for the Blues and repaying the trust Frank has shown in him.
All of Chelsea’s goals were from youngsters given the chance by Frank with the first coming from Fikayo Tomori, Tammy’s hat-trick and the final one from Mason Mount.
Both Fikayo and Mason were with Frank at Derby last season and now, along with Tammy are excelling in the Chelsea first team.
The 3-goals by Tammy gives him a return of 7-so far this season which is all anyone connected with Chelsea can ask for.
It’s rumoured that Tammy is considering playing International football for Nigeria.
Most will clamour for Gareth Southgate to pick Tammy in the next England Squad to confirm his allegiance but is that fair on everyone?
Will Tammy replace Harry Kane?
Will Tammy replace Marcus Rashford?
Possibly but is that fair on Marcus?
If Tammy doesn’t feel he’s English and wants to commit to Nigeria then that’s his decision but Gareth should pick Tammy, in his England squad, purely on merit and not prevent Tammy playing for Nigeria.
What’s certain is that if Tammy Abraham keeps scoring for Chelsea the International route will take care of itself.
Liverpool stand alone at the summit of the not so infant Premier League table after a brilliant 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Anfield last Saturday.
Jurgen’s boys were stunned early on in the game when Newcastle took the lead but this just stoked Liverpool’s fire and a freak injury to Divock Origi introduced Roberto Firmino as a substitute who Jurgen will say had rested.
Roberto changed the game in Liverpool’s favour and was instrumental in giving Liverpool a half-time lead.
Sadio Mane equalised the Newcastle opener and then following a great through ball from Bobby F, Sadio tucked away number 2 just before the break.
With a sublime piece of skill midway through the 2nd-half, Roberto set up Mo Salah to make it 3-1 and give the Reds their 5th victory of the season and put them 5-points ahead of 2nd-placed Man City who went on to lose their Saturday encounter against Norwich.
It’s a long season and no one is getting carried away.
City have hit a slump with a couple of key injuries.
Imagine Liverpool if they get a couple of key injuries, in particular, if any of Virgil Van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino are out for any length of time.
Both teams come into this fixture after midweek Champions League games.
Both played on Tuesday night however, Chelsea may be the fresher of the teams having not had to travel with their European game against Valencia played at Stamford Bridge, whilst Liverpool had to travel to Italy for the start of the defence of their Champions League title to take on Napoli.
Last season’s fixture at Stamford Bridge was again in September and before they were renamed, Chelsea drew with Liverpool 1-1.
Ironically both goal scorers that day in September 2018 no longer play for the respective clubs.
Eden Hazard gave the Blues a 1st-half lead but Chelsea couldn’t hold on for the victory conceding a late equaliser.
Daniel Sturridge came on as a substitute for the Reds and after only being on the pitch for 3-minutes scored to give Liverpool a share of the points.
Eden has departed for Real Madrid and Dan has left to join Turkish club Trabzonspor.
Bet 365 offer Chelsea at 3/1, the Draw at 13/5 and slight Odds On 6/7 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Bet 365 offer 13/2 that Tammy Abraham Scores First and 13/8 that Roberto Firmino Scores Anytime.
Away Win 1-3