Pep’s men got a bloody nose at Chelsea last week and now face Everton, who look a much better outfit than last season. The Toffee-men remain poor travelers however and rarely look convincing against the elite sides. Does John Newsome predict an easy victory, for the Citizens? Here are his predictions for all game-week 17 matches. You can view all previous analysis from John’s weekly column here – English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
MAN CITY v EVERTON
Early Saturday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports.
Everton come into this game off the back of a very entertaining 2-2 draw against Watford on Monday Night Football. Having taken the lead early in the 1st-half through ex-Watford star Richarlison, the Toffees conceded 2 goals in the 2nd-half and had to wait until the 96th minute to get the equaliser. Lucas Digne scored a brilliant free-kick to give Everton a share of the points. Although Everton got a point, Marco Silva would have been annoyed that he couldn’t get one over his old employers especially with Gylfi Sigurdsson missing a penalty. That would have irked Marco. Video Assistant Referee of VAR will be coming into the Premier League next season but a few managers have called for it to be introduced straight away. That won’t happen but next season will be very interesting. Everton’s 1st goal would not have counted with VAR, due to Theo Walcott being offside when he touched the ball to Richarlison. A few other instances over the weekend, with VAR involved, would have been changed and the face of Football will change forever.
Man City lost for the first time last Saturday against Chelsea. City did have the majority of the possession and did miss a few chances but Chelsea took advantage of the lapses and ran out 2-0 winners inflicting the first defeat of the season on Pep’s boys. That might be a wake-up call that City need and Everton could be in trouble if City want to inflict their vengeance on The Toffees. The big story to come out of the loss to Chelsea was the horrendous vitriolic abuse given to Raheem Sterling. Sterling has since taken to Social Media with his thoughts and sparked conversation around the country.
No person whether a footballer, a pensioner or a girl or guy working at Tesco’s should be subjected to racist, sexist or homophobic abuse and Raheem is a top man for giving his opinion on the media portrayals.
This game last season was played at the end of August and finished 1-1. Wayne Rooney scored for the Toffees in the 1st-half and were then given an advantage when Kyle Walker was shown 2 yellow cards in the space of 3 minutes just before the break. City, with 10-men, we’re still a force and Raheem Sterling got the equaliser towards the end of the game giving both teams the share of the points. Morgan Schneiderlin, who had been shown a yellow card early on in the contest, was shown a 2nd yellow with a couple of minutes left both teams finished with 10-men.
Bet 365 offer Man City at Odds On 1/5, the Draw at 11/2 and a massive 12/1 for the Toffees to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 11/5 that there will be Over 4.5 Goals and Evens 1/1 Raheem Sterling Scores Anytime.
Home Win 4-1
WATFORD v CARDIFF
Watford were the other team involved against Everton in a brilliant Monday Night 2-2 Draw at Goodison Park. The Watford faithful headed North to Merseyside with inflatable Snakes to show their annoyance at ex-boss Marco Silva. Marco left Vicarage Rd after supposedly being “tapped up” by Everton and the fans obviously thought Mr Silva was “lower than a snake’s belly” for deciding Merseyside was better than Hertfordshire. Marco will argue that Watford sacked him so he was free to do what he wanted. Isn’t Football great?
After going in at half-time losing by a goal to nil, the Hornets were helped with the equaliser when Everton defender Seamus Coleman, unfortunately, scored an own-goal. Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a 2nd for Watford 2 minuted later. After Everton had missed a penalty soon after the Doucoure goal it looked like Javi Gracia had got one over Marco Silva but with time running out in the 96th minute, Watford conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Everton scored the late equaliser giving Watford a share of the points to take back home.
Cardiff beat Southampton last time out taking them up to 14th in the Premier League. Whilst a great win for Neil and the Bluebirds, it could be argued that Southampton were poor and are struggling at the moment. That’s for others to worry about not Big Neil who has now won 3 out of the last 5 games. Callum Paterson got the goal from a poor mistake by the Saints centre-half. Callum is doing great as a Striker for Cardiff but was actually signed as a Right Back. This game at Vicarage Rd should be a stiffer test for Cardiff but all Neil can do is take each game as it comes and will hope to be at least the 4th worse team in the league.
Bet 365 offer Watford surprisingly Odds On at 3/5, the Draw at 11/4 and 9/2 for Cardiff to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 9/2 that Troy Deeney Scores the First Goal and 13/8 that Watford Win to Nil.
Home Win 2-0
TOTTENHAM v BURNLEY
Tottenham went to the King Power late on Saturday night and came away with all 3 points after beating Leicester 2-0. Son Heung-Min opened the scoring for Tottenham in 1st-half stoppage time. Dele Alli added a 2nd in the 2nd-half which puts them 3rd in the Premier League table behind Liverpool and Man City. This will be another game at Wembley which is great for the travelling fans who maybe haven’t been to Wembley before, but it’s becoming a bit of a toil for the Tottenham fans with attendances falling each game. In their last Premier League game at Wembley against Southampton, there were only 33,102 fans that turned up. Granted this was a Wednesday night game and with Christmas coming up fans may have other things to spend their money on, however, there isn’t any sign of the new White Hart Lane being ready for play so playing at Wembley will continue for the time being.
Burnley got a much-needed win at Turf Moor on Saturday beating Brighton 1-0. Maybe the downside to the win against Brighton was that it was Centre Half James Tarkowski that scored the goal. The Strikers at Burnley appear to be struggling and have only got 2 goals between the front men in the past 8 games. Maybe Sean Dyche is working on his defence first then as the season progresses will concentrate on the Strikers but Burnley need the front men to score more to get them away from the relegation places. The Burnley faithful will enjoy their trip to the National Stadium but may be in for a long afternoon against an in-form Tottenham side who will have played at the Nou Camp in the midweek Champions League game Barcelona.
This game last season was one of the earlier games played in August and finished 1-1. Dele Alli put Spurs in front in the 1st-half. The points looked to be going to Tottenham until Chris Wood scored an equaliser in the 92nd minute giving Burnley a point to take away from Wembley.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at Odds On 1/6, the Draw at 13/2 and a massive 12/1 for Burnley to come away from Wembley with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer that 3/1 that Tottenham Score a Penalty and 40/1 that Burnley Miss a Penalty.
Home Win 3-0
HUDDERSFIELD v NEWCASTLE
Huddersfield are still in the bottom 3 of the Premier League after Saturday’s loss at the Emirates. The Terriers faithful were holding on for a 0-0 Draw going into the last 10 minutes against Arsenal but a lack of concentration gifted Arsenal the solitary winning goal which made the long trip back to West Yorkshire hard to endure. That’s now 3 defeats in a row for David Wagner’s boys after going 3 games unbeaten.
Newcastle succumbed to a last minute goal against Wolves on Sunday which was hard to take for the Toon Army. After Ayoze Perez had scored the equaliser for Newcastle in the 1st-half, DeAndre Yedlin was sent off midway through the 2nd-half and the 10-men thought they had snatched a draw as the game remained goalless going into the 94th minute. With time running out Newcastle conceded a very late goal giving Wolves all 3 points.
This was the 2nd game of both teams return to the Top Flight in August last season and Huddersfield took the spoils with a solitary Aaron Mooy goal.
Bet 365 offer Huddersfield at 11/8, the Draw at 21/10 and 21/10 also for Newcastle to come away from West Yorkshire with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 10/1 that the Scoreline is 2-1 to Huddersfield and 12/1 that the Scoreline is 2-1 to Newcastle.
Home Win 2-1
WOLVES v BOURNEMOUTH
Wolves went to St James Park on Sunday and grabbed a very late winner to dampen the spirits of the Toon Army and give Wolves back to back wins after the previous Wednesdays superb result against Chelsea. Diogo Jota gave Wolves the lead in the 17th minute before Newcastle equalised 5 minuted later. That was that until the very last minute of stoppage time when Matt Doherty got the late winner and all 3 points for the Gold and Blacks. That was Wolves 3rd 2-1 Scoreline in a row, 2 gave them the win and 1 resulted in a loss but 2-1 is a favourite scoreline of Wolves and one to keep an eye on in the future. Diogo Jota picked up a yellow card in the game against Newcastle which was his 5th of the season so will miss this home game.
Bournemouth were well and truly beaten at the Vitality on Saturday. Liverpool came to the South Coast to take on the Cherries in the early Saturday afternoon kickoff and comfortably beat Bournemouth 4-0. That’s now 5 out of 6 losses which has seen Bournemouth slip down the Premier League table to 8th. Eddie Howe has plenty of credit in the Cherry Bank but needs to stop the decline and get Bournemouth going again but this trip to Molineux will be another tough game.
Bet 365 offer Wolves at 1/1 Evens, the Draw at 23/10 and 14/5 (almost 3/1 ) for Bournemouth to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 17/2 that Wolves Win by there Favourite Scoreline of 2-1 and 10/3 that it’s a Draw and Under 2.5 Goals which basically means 0-0 or 1-1.
Home Win 2-1
CRYSTAL PALACE v LEICESTER
Another team in decline are Crystal Palace who are on a dreadful run of form at the moment having collected only 5 points from a possible 30. The latest defeat came at the London Stadium last time out losing 3-2 against West Ham. James McArthur had given Crystal Palace an early lead and Palace went into the break leading 1-0. Luka Milivojevic hit the bar from a tremendous free-kick which could have given Palace a 2-0 lead but West Ham sparked into life and scored 3 quick 2nd-half goals to lead 3-1 before Jeffrey Schlupp got a 2nd for Palace. West Ham held on for the final 15 minutes inflicting another defeat on Palace. Wilfried Zaha picked up a late yellow card which was his 5th of the season so gets a 1-game suspension for this visit of the Foxes. Roy Hodgson will know that without Wilfried, Palace don’t get any points so will be hoping that statistic changes in this fixture in front of the Eagle faithful.
Leicester welcomed Tottenham to the King Power in the late Saturday night kick-off which will become a permanent fixture slot over the coming years. It’s got to better than watching X Factor or Strictly. The Foxes were without Sheffield Superstars Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire, which was evident in the 2-0 defeat against Spurs. Jamie has missed the last 2 games through injury and Harry has missed the last 5, however Big Harry was on the bench for the visit of Tottenham and both may be ready for this game against Palace.
This game last season was one of the final games and Leicester were already on the beach. Crystal Palace ran out convincing 5-0 winners. Wilfried Zaha, James McArthur, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Patrick Van Aanholt and a Christian Benteke penalty earned Palace the 3 points. Marc Albrighton had been sent off when the score was only 2-0 to the Eagles.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace as slight favourites at 11/8, the Draw at 11/5 and 2/1 for Leeds to come away from London with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 7/4 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime and 7/2 that Leicester Win to Nil.
Away Win 0-2
FULHAM v WEST HAM
Fulham endured a tough trip to Old Trafford on Saturday in a relegation battle with Manchester United. United ran out convincing 4-1 winners. The Cottages were already 3-0 down at half-time before Aboubaker Kamara got a goal after coming on as a substitute. Ultimately this was just a consolation and United made it 4-1 late on. Andre-Frank Zambo received 2 yellow cards in the game at Old Trafford and will miss the visit of West Ham. Claudio Ranieri is a very pragmatic coach and will be working tirelessly on the defence which was breached 4 times at Old Trafford and who have conceded the most amount of goals out of all the 20 teams in the Premier League which is the reason they sit rock bottom of the League. Claudio will know what to do and will assess his team and with the January Transfer Window approaching, will have targets lined up for the Fulham heir-achy to purchase.
West Ham beat London rivals Crystal Palace 3-2 on Saturday in front of the loyal Bubbles fans. After going in at the break losing 1-0, The Hammers took charge after Robert Snodgrass, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Felipe Anderson gave West Ham a 3-1 lead before Palace pulled another one back making it a nervy last 15 minutes at the London Stadium. Noticeably just prior to Robert Snodgrass’s opener Andy Carroll was introduced at half-time giving him a further 45 minutes of action after his brief 27-minute cameo in the previous midweek game against Cardiff. Jack Wilshere missed out again through injury after making a brief appearance a couple of games back. Big Andy will be looking to start against their London rivals but Manuel Pellegrini will probably keep in on the bench and bring him on if the Bubbles are struggling.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 9/5, the Draw at 12/5 and 7/5 for West Ham to beat their London rivals.
Bet 365 offer 13/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals and 2/1 that West Ham Score in Both Halves.
Away Win 1-3
BRIGHTON v CHELSEA
Brighton headed the long trip North to Turf Moor on Saturday to take on struggling Burnley and were beaten by a single goal. Having had the majority of possession against Burnley they could not breach the Clarets defence and their goalkeeper Joe Hart. That’s the 1st loss for the Seagulls in 4 games. Leading scorer Glenn Murray had only managed brief appearances over the last few games and only got on for the final 28 minutes against Burnley. Chris Hughton will be hoping Big Glenn gets back to full fitness so can be selected for this tough game against Chelsea.
Chelsea got the result of the weekend and surprised everyone including themselves by beating High Flying Man City at Stamford Bridge in a highly charged late Saturday afternoon game. After surprisingly losing midweek against Wolves, Chelsea went in against Man City without a natural Centre Forward and played with what’s now become known as a ‘false number 9’ Eden Hazard played as the furthest forward player and was influential in the opening goal squaring the ball to N’Golo Kante to smash past Ederson in the City goals. David Louis got the 2nd for Chelsea with a looping header and although City had the majority of possession, Chelsea held on for a great win inflicting the 1st defeat of the season on Man City. The win was marred by some unsavoury scenes from the Chelsea fans who were seen abusing Raheem Sterling. Hopefully, these fans won’t be allowed back at Stamford Bridge, football doesn’t need them. It’s not passion! It’s abuse! Grow up!
This game last season was played in the cold of mid-January and finished 4-0 to Chelsea. Goals from Willian, Victor Moses and a couple from Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the convincing win.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at 13/2, the Draw at 16/5 and Odds On 4/9 for Chelsea to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 17/2 for a Scoreline of 2-1 to Chelsea and 11/10 that Eden Hazard Scores Anytime.
Away Win 1-2
SOUTHAMPTON v ARSENAL
Early Sunday afternoon football live on Sky Sports.
Southampton were unlucky to lose last time out away at Cardiff. A defensive error by Jannik Vestergaard allowed Callum Paterson to capitalise and score Cardiff’s solidarity goal in the 1-0 defeat. A bad start for new Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl, who has a good reputation coming from the German Bundesliga and has an intense pressing style similar to Jurgen Klopp. Southampton are in the bottom 3 of the Premier League and Ralph has a tough task on his hands but with the January Transfer Window approaching, will assess his squad and will know who he needs.
The Hertha Berlin striker, Davie Selke, is top of the Austrian’s list, which also includes the Leipzig central defender, Dayot Upamecano.
Arsenal beat Huddersfield 1-0 last Saturday. The surprise in that game was Huddersfield had frustrated the Gunners for 83 minutes and were holding out for a goalless draw until Lucas Torreira scored a brilliant overhead kick to deny the Terriers the draw and give Arsenal the 3-points extending their unbeaten run to 21 games. Arsenal come into this game after playing on Thursday night in the Europa League but Unai Emery has a strong squad to juggle between the 2 competitions. Having not been ahead at half-time in any of the games in the unbeaten run, Unai is not afraid to make changes at the break and Arsenal usually come good in the 2nd-half. This is either technical genius from Unai or the 1st eleven he always chooses are rubbish. Mesut Ozil has missed the last 5 games and may fear his future at the Emirates is coming to an end. It’s whether there will be any takers to pay him the wages he’s currently on.
This game last season was played at virtually the same time in December and finished 1-1. Charlie Austin got the Saints goal early in the game with Olivier Giroud getting a late equaliser for the Gunners. Both teams have new managers this time around with Southampton having 2 new bosses since that day 12 months ago.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 14/5, the Draw at 13/5 and Odds On 9/10 for the Gunners to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 11/4 that Arsenal Win to Nil and 13/10 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
Away Win 0-2
LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER UNITED
What a cracker of a game to round off the weekends’ football live on Sky Sports.
Premier League Table Toppers Liverpool take on a rejuvenated Manchester United both having played midweek in the Champions League.
Liverpool beat Bournemouth 4-0 in the early Saturday afternoon kick-off to take them to the Top of the Premier League with everyone saying that it was only temporary until the evening game at Stamford Bridge, all assuming City would beat Chelsea and return to the Top. However, everyone knows what assumption is. Mo Salah got a well-deserved hat-trick, next season with VAR, the 1st one would have been chalked off due to Mo being offside. Whilst VAR will change that, it wouldn’t change the result as each decision made by VAR will lead to another reaction. So, in theory, Mo’s goal would be disallowed meaning a restart in the Bournemouth penalty area, not in the centre circle, so the game would change and the subsequent events would be different. Complicated but VAR will be for the good of the game ultimately. The 4th Liverpool goal was down to a Steve Cook own goal. Cook had a bad afternoon and was lucky not to get sent off when he tried bringing Salah down on the way to Salah‘s 2nd goal and was then eased off the ball by Mo when Mo was completing his hat-trick.
Manchester United come into this game against fierce rivals Liverpool off the back of a great win against Fulham. Some would say “it was only Fulham “ and whilst true, United did score 4 goals in an entertaining attacking performance which the United faithful have been crying out for. Ashley Young opened the scoring for United with a superb individual goal, Juan Mata made it 2, Romelu Lukaku got the 3rd and Marcus Rashford scored a brilliant 4th. United did concede a late penalty but ultimately this was just a consolation for Fulham and United took all 3-points in a well-deserved win. That took United up to 6th in the Premier League table and whilst it was only Fulham and there will be tougher tests, it’s an improvement on recent performances. An interesting note was Paul Pogba was an unused substitute and is clearly not in Jose’s plans at the moment. The caveat to that is United have played better without Paul and depending on the display in the midweek Champions League game, Paul may stay on the bench. Despite being 6th in the Table, United are 8 points off 5th placed Arsenal and are a massive 16 points away from their Anfield rivals. Which basically means Liverpool have to lose at least 6 games and United Win all there’s for United to overhaul Liverpool. Which is not going to happen.
This game last season was played in October and surprisingly, given the talent on show, finished 0-0. Jose negating Jurgen on that occasion. United are not good enough defensively this time around so there should be goals.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at Odds On 4/7, the Draw at 3/1 and 9/2 for United to come away from Anfield with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 10/3 that there are Under 1.5 Goals and 12/1 for a repeat of last season’s score of 0-0.
Home Win 2-0