In the opening fixture of game-week 8, a resurgent West Ham visit the south coast. Can they build upon their superb victory, over Manchester United? John Newsome shares his thoughts.
BRIGHTON v WEST HAM
The first match of Game Week 8 of the Premier League live on Sky Sports and Friday Night Football sees the Hammers travel south to the Amex.
Brighton went to the Etihad last time out and lost 2-0. A respectable scoreline considering most teams, who go to the Etihad and take on City, will lose heavily. Glenn Murray was left on the bench with Dutch forward Jurgen Locadia starting up front for the Seagulls. Chris Hughton introduced Glenn halfway through the 2nd-half but the game was effectively over by then and Chris will put that defeat behind him and move onto Friday Night Football in front of the Brighton faithful. Murray should come back into the starting lineup and his goals will be vital to Brighton’s survival.
West Ham literally hammered a very poor Manchester United in last Saturday’s early kick-off. The Bubbles were definitely buoyant at the London Stadium. Felipe Anderson opened the scoring early doors in the 1st-half netting after just 5 minutes. They were helped on their way when the unfortunate Victor Lindelof deflected an Andriy Yarmolenko shot past a helpless David De Gea to give the Hammers a 2-0 lead going into the break. Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back for United, but the tie was put to bed when the excellent Marko Arnautovic sealed the win scoring West Ham’s 3rd to heap more misery on Jose and United. Arnautovic versus Pogba? No contest! After 4 straight defeats, the Hammers have finally clicked into gear and are now unbeaten in 4 including an 8-0 thrashing of minnows Macclesfield in the Carabao Cup. The last 3 Premier League games have yielded 7 points out of 9 including an excellent draw against Chelsea, a great away win at Goodison and this result against United. Manuel Pellegrini’s methods are beginning to bear fruit.
This game last season was played in early February and finished 3-1 to the Seagulls. Glenn Murray, Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross got the goals for Brighton with Javier Hernandez getting West Ham’s consolation.
Bet 365 have Brighton at 7/5, the Draw at 11/5 and 2/1 for West Ham to get the Away Win. Bet 365 offer 3/1 for there to be over 3.5 goals in the match which basically means 4 goals or more.
BURNLEY v HUDDERSFIELD
Burnley entertain Huddersfield at Turf Moor after their trip to South Wales last time out.
Burnley are back on track after their Europa League experience which was always going to happen. They travelled down to South Wales on Sunday and came away with all 3 points after a 2-1 victory against Neil Warnock’s men. Sean Dyche was always going to get Burnley going again and the Turf Moor faithful kept faith in Big Dychy. After a tame first half, Joey Gudmundsson got Burnley going scoring a scrappy goal passed the Cardiff goalkeeper. Cardiff got back on level terms for a little while, before Sam Vokes got the all-important winner in the 70th minute. Burnley did have their backs to the wall for the remaining 20 minutes but held on for a well-deserved 2nd consecutive win.
Huddersfield lost at home to Tottenham in the West Yorkshire sunshine on Saturday and remain rock bottom of the Premier League without a win in 7 and not too many goals. Laurent Depoitre is playing as the lone striker for the Terriers but has failed to score so far this season and lack of goals is a real problem for David Wagner who needs to address the situation before Huddersfield get cut adrift.
This game last season was played at virtually the same time at the end of September and finished 0-0, as did the game at Huddersfield so with a lack of goals last season and the same this term don’t expect many goals.
Bet 365 have Burnley at 21/20 for the Home Win, the Draw at 21/10 and 3/1 for the Terriers to get the Away Win. Bet 365 offer 7/4 for the score to be either 0-0 or 1-0 to either team.
Home Win 1-0
CRYSTAL PALACE v WOLVES
Crystal Palace played on Monday night against Bournemouth and have a couple of days less to recover against a superb Wolves side who have taken to the Premier League like ducks to water.
Palace were on for a point Away at the Vitality coming from 1-0 down at half-time to get an equaliser after the break through a superb strike from left-back Patrick Van Aanholt. Inexplicably Mamadou Sakho threw an arm at Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma in the 87th minute and Referee Mike Dean had no option but to award a penalty to the Cherries. Junior Stanislas coolly slotted the spot-kick away giving Bournemouth all 3 points. Wilfried Zaha had a quiet game but at least he wasn’t kicked. With Wilfried in the team, Crystal Palace will be a match for any side and this should be a great game against newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves beat Southampton 2-0 at Molineux on Saturday but left it late to grab all 3 points with the goals coming in the final 11 minutes. Nuno Espírito Santo introduced Ivan Cavaleiro in the 77th minute and the Portuguese forward made an immediate impact scoring the Wolves
opener within 2 minutes of entering play. Ivan signed for Wolves in 2016 but has been injured up to now this season and was making his Premier League debut after a brief appearance in the mid-week Carabao Cup game against Leicester. He will certainly remember his 1st game in the Top Flight. Jonny scored a 2nd for Wolves with time running out and put the game beyond the Saints giving Wolves all 3 points and taking them to 8th in the Premier League table.
Bet 365 have this pretty even and offer 13/8 for Palace to win, the Draw at 21/10 and 7/4 for Wolves to get the Away Win. There should be goals and Bet 365 offer 10/3 for there to be over 3.5 goals which could be real value.
LEICESTER v EVERTON
Leicester are holding their own this season and are up to 7th in the table after a great 2-0 win away at Newcastle last time out. Newcastle are struggling at the moment but the Foxes still had to put in the performance to come away from St James Park with all 3 points. England World Cup boys and Sheffield’s own Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire got the Foxes goals both made from Steel. Jamie slotted away a cool penalty on the half-hour mark and Big Headed Harry got his big head onto a James Maddison corner to make it 2-0 mid-way through the 2nd half. Game over and that would have pleased the 2 Sheffield lads.
Everton comfortably beat Fulham at Goodison Park last Saturday beating the Cottages 3-0 in a fairly one-sided contest. The surprise in that game was at halftime the scores were level at 0-0 but Marco Silva must have given an excellent team-talk in the dressing room and Everton came out in the 2nd-half and blitzed Fulham. Gylfi Sigurdsson got a couple either side of a Cenk Tosun goal. Cenk had only just come on as a replacement for Dominic Calvert-Lewin. One thing that would have irked Gylfi despite his 2 goals was he had the chance of a hat-trick but missed a penalty earlier on before he’d got his 1st. Ultimately that miss didn’t affect the scoreline and Everton ran out convincing winners and up to 11th in the Premier League table.
This game last season was played at the end of October and finished 2-0 to the Foxes. Jamie Vardy and Demarai Gray got Leicester’s goals that day.
Bet 365 have Leicester at 23/20, the Draw at 9/4 and 12/5 for Everton to get the Away Win. Bet 365 offer 9/4 for Leicester to score in both halves and 3/1 for the Toffees to do likewise.
Home Win 2-1
WATFORD v BOURNEMOUTH
After winning their opening 4 Premier League games, Watford have hit a bit of a slump collecting only 1 point from a possible 9. Admittedly they have lost to Manchester United and Arsenal. However, with United’s poor start to the campaign, the Hornets will look at that game as a big loss. Watford were holding their own at the Emirates on Saturday until the unfortunate Craig Cathcart helped the Gunners on their way scoring an unlucky own-goal in the 81st minute. That gave Arsenal the momentum and Mezut Ozil quickly made it 2-0 to the Gooners and the game was over for Watford. Watford will come again and this game, at home, against Bournemouth will be an ideal test with both teams up at the top end of the Premier League table.
Bournemouth played on Monday night and ground out a great win against Crystal Palace in front of their loyal fans. They took the lead through a superb David Brooks goal in the 5th minute, the Cherries couldn’t add to that in the 1st half and were pegged back after the break. With time running out Palace defender Mamadou Sakho tangled with Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma in the penalty area and the referee had no choice but to award a spot-kick. Substitute Junior Stanislas who had only just come on, coolly slotted the ball home and the Cherries held on for a great 2-1 win. David Brooks has only just turned 21 and is a real prospect. He started life at the Man City Academy as a youngster but switched to Sheffield United where he made his debut. After impressing at Bramall Lane, Eddie Howe decided to bring the Welsh International to the Vitality and has continued impressing in the Premier League at such a young age and will be one to watch over the next few years.
This game last term was played on the last day of March and finished with the honours even after an entertaining 2-2 Draw. Kiko and Roberto Pereyra got the Hornets goals, with Josh King and Jermaine Defoe replying for the Cherries. Defoe’s equaliser was scored in the 92nd minute and would have irked the Watford faithful.
Bet 365 have Watford at 11/10, the Draw at 5/2 and 23/10 for Bournemouth to get the Away Win. Bet 365 offer 2/1 for Watford to score in Both Halves and 3/1 for the Cherries to do likewise.
TOTTENHAM v CARDIFF
Tottenham are back at Wembley after their trip to West Yorkshire and a stellar performance getting a 2-0 win against struggling Huddersfield. Huddersfield are struggling but no game in the Premier League is a gimme so Tottenham had to be professional and get the job done. Harry Kane got a quick-fire double in the sunshine at the John Smiths Stadium. Both goals were scored in the 1st-half, the 2nd being a penalty which Harry rarely misses and the contest was effectively over before half-time. After a little slump in form, Tottenham are back on track with back-to-back Away wins. They played a mid-week Carabao Cup game against Watford away at The MK Dons Stadium as a home fixture. MK Dons Stadium is 53 miles away from White Hart Lane and is actually closer to Vicarage Rd. Sometimes Football authorities throw up strange decisions. Tottenham won that Cup game but have been drawn away in the next round of the competition and will play against West Ham at the London Stadium which is 6 miles away from White Hart Lane. Tottenham play a home cup tie 53 miles away from White Hart Lane and an away Cup Tie 6 miles away from White Hart Lane. It’s difficult to make that up.
Cardiff come to Wembley 2nd bottom
of the Premier League by way of scoring 1 more goal than Huddersfield. They played Burnley on Sunday in front of their home fans and after initially going behind, got back on level terms through a Josh Murphy goal, only to later concede a 2nd and eventually lose the game. Neil Warnock will rally the troops but it’s going to be a long hard season for the Bluebirds and this trip to the Capital will be another tough test after Tottenham have recovered well and despite their midweek Champions League game against Barcelona, should still be too strong for the Bluebirds in front of their home fans.
Bet 365 unsurprisingly have Tottenham as odds-on favourites at 1/6, the Draw at 6/1 and for Cardiff to get the Away Win, a massive 14/1. There should be plenty of goals and Bet 365 offer 5/4 for a Tottenham Win and Over 3.5 goals.
Home Win 4-0
MANCHESTER UNITED v NEWCASTLE
Late Saturday afternoon kick-off live on BT Sports sees a struggling Manchester United take on a struggling Newcastle United at Old Trafford. The Pink Devils were humbled at the London Stadium in the early Kick-off last Saturday and there is something severely wrong with the Manchester club. A lot has been documented about the fall out between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba and whilst there is definitely something amiss there, that could just hide the real problems at Old Trafford. Is it as simple as J v P? Let’s scratch the surface, for almost 30 years, Old Trafford has been in the grip of a legend, what establishments can say that BBC, ITV, The Bank of England, Coca-Cola ??? Any great establishment what can be named in any walk of life, never mind a football club, look at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter or A-C, Celtic, Rangers or even Newport County. So once that Legend decides his time is up and to be fair to Sir Alex Ferguson he did stay way beyond any reasonable period he should have and the legacy he put in place should have guaranteed continuity for Manchester United. The first error after Sir Alex left, was not the appointment of David Moyes, it was allowing David Moyes to get rid of Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and the rest of the coaching staff that had been so successful. Why would you do that? Egos in football! David Moyes is not a bad person but his future at Old Trafford was literally decided after that decision. Louis Van Gaal was the same, a good person but did not understand Manchester United. Ryan Giggs took charge of 4 games after Moyes left and before LVG took over and should still be at Old Trafford. Ryan has been at Old Trafford for going on 30 years. A guy at Coca-Cola who has had 30 years wouldn’t be discarded like Ryan, let alone a legend like Ryan. Football thinks their better. Now Jose Mourinho. Jose has been great, has been successful, has been great for football, but are the significant words of that statement about Jose ‘has been’ Its hard to say that about Mr Mourinho but maybe the Football Time as caught up with him. Stubbornness in life is not always a bad thing, but stubbornness in Football will leave you behind. Pep, Jurgen, Maurizio and Mauricio and even Nuno have all moved on, it appears Jose hasn’t, can’t or won’t. Football finds you out, the Old Trafford faithful won’t put up with Jose for much longer. His ways are dinosaur, his football philosophy is outdated, his stubbornness will be his downfall, he hasn’t moved with the times. Manchester United deserve and demand more. Whatever or whoever say Jose is the answer will be disappointed because Jose won’t be there much longer. Ryan has only just been put in the top job at Wales, it doesn’t matter, go to the Welsh FA, give them some dollar and a pink shirt and put him in charge at Old Trafford. What’s the worse that can happen? Oh yeah, United could be rubbish, they could be the laughing stock of football, they could lose against Brighton, Tottenham, Derby and West Ham, get Ryan on the phone in a conference call with the Welsh FA and sort United’s future out. By definition Jose won’t stay, he never does!!! Give him his dollar, say thanks and goodbye and ring Ryan and the Welsh FA up.
Newcastle lost on Saturday in front of the loyal Toon Army and things are not going well at St James Park. Newcastle literally are on a losing streak and haven’t won any game of football since a pre-season friendly in July. For the first time in Newcastle United’s history, the Magpies have lost their first four home games in a league campaign. Their defeat against Leicester on Saturday was in front of under fire owner Mike Ashley who attended St James Park for the 1st time in a while but watched Newcastle for the 2nd weekend in a row after his visit to Selhurst Park last Saturday. Although Newcastle are losing, they are not getting hammered and no team has scored more than 2 goals against them. It’s just at the other end where they are floundering and need a goal scorer. Someone like an Aleksandar Mitrovic would be ideal for the Magpies. If only. Rafa Benitez has to remain positive and this relegation battle against the Pink Devils will certainly test his nerve. Jose or Rafa might just be the 1st manager to leave his post if things don’t go well for either of them at Old Trafford. October is renowned for Managers getting sacked in all divisions and I’m sure Big Sam Allardyce has his phone turned on and fully charged. Imagine that, Big Sam, in at Old Trafford to save Manchester United from the drop. Bleakus Geralitus.
This game last season was played in mid-November and the Red Devil’s ran out easy 4-1 winners. The United goals that day were scored by Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku with Dwight Gayle getting the Magpies goal. Dwight had actually put Newcastle 1-0 up before United rallied and scored 4.
Bet 365 have United at 9/20 for a home Win, the Draw is priced at 10/3 and a massive 6/1 for Newcastle to get the Away Win. The odds compiler at Bet 365 must not have watched United lately, that said United will be very disappointed if they don’t get the win. Bet 365 offer 7/1 for United to repeat last season’s result and come from behind and win and a massive 33/1 for Newcastle to miss a penalty.
Home Win 2-0
FULHAM v ARSENAL
Early Sunday afternoon football live on BT Sports sees a great old-fashioned London Derby.
Like Cardiff, Fulham have found life in the Premier League a lot different from the Championship and lie just above the relegation zone after Saturday’s loss away at Everton. They matched the Toffees in the 1st half but couldn’t carry that on after the break and were soon up against it after conceding a penalty early in the 2nd-half. Although Gylfi Sigurdsson missed the penalty it sparked him and Everton into life and they eventually ran out 3-0 winners making the long trip home back to London an arduous journey for the Cottages. Unlike Newcastle, Cardiff and Huddersfield who are the 3 teams below Fulham, they do have a goal scorer in Aleksandar Mitrovic so all is not lost at Craven Cottage and provided Aleksandar continues his fine run, Fulham will just try to keep out of the bottom 3.
Arsenal are in fine form at the minute. After losing their opening 2 games against Chelsea and Man City, they have won 7 in a row including 1 in the Europa League and 1 in the Carabao Cup. Five straight Premier League wins is fine form for any club. The Gunners beat Watford at the Emirates last Saturday. Watford held out for 80 minutes but gifted the Gooners the first goal through a Craig Cathcart mistake. Mezut Ozil added a 2nd a couple of minutes later and the game was over. A great win for Arsenal against a Watford side that had beaten fellow North London rivals Tottenham. Arsenal play away in the Europa League on Thursday night so this would be an ideal opportunity for Fulham after the long trip to Azerbaijan to take on Qarabag.
Bet 365 still have Fulham as underdogs despite the trip to Baku and offer 4/1 for a Home Win, the Draw is 10/3 and 4/7 for Arsenal to get the Away Win. Bet 365 offer 17/10 for there to be under 2.5 goals which is great value considering the circumstances and the timing of the game.
SOUTHAMPTON v CHELSEA
Sunday afternoon football live on Sky Sports.
Southampton suffered an Away loss at Molineux last time out. For almost 80 minutes the Saints were still in the game and looked set for a point, but Wolves took control and after making a couple of inspired substitutions, scored 2 goals and took the points, making the trip back to the South coast a longer one for the Southampton faithful. The Saints have found this season tough and have only managed a win and 2 draws out of their 7 games up to now. Maybe one thing the fans should be concerned about and keep an eye on is Southampton haven’t really played anyone of note yet. Apart from Liverpool, the Saints haven’t played any of the Top 6 and considering Newcastle have played Arsenal, Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea, Huddersfield have played Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea and Cardiff have played Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City and are only 3 points away from Southampton, maybe the bottom half of the Premier League is slightly askew and the Saints fans should be wary. Saints boss Mark Hughes had a great couple of years at Chelsea and will want to put one over his old team.
Chelsea got a well-deserved point in the late Saturday afternoon kick-off against Liverpool. Eden Hazard put the Blues 1-0 up against Liverpool with a superbly taken individual goal latching onto a through ball from Real Madrid loanee Mateo Kovacic and superbly placing the ball past Alisson with his left foot strike. Earlier on in the week in the Carabao Cup, Eden scored an even better individual goal to get the winner against Liverpool and was on course to get 2 winners against the Reds in a matter of days before a superb strike from Daniel Sturridge gave Liverpool a share of the points. It’s still early days in the Premier League but Maurizio Sarri has certainly got the Blues back on track after a woeful season last term under a frustrated Antonio Conte.
This game last season was played in mid-February and finished 3-2 to Chelsea. What’s amazing about that game back in February was that the Saints were 2-0 up and cruising before Chelsea thought to themselves ‘we better start playing’ Dusan Tadic and Jan Bednarek scored Southampton’s 2 before Olivier Giroud got the Blues going. Eden Hazard got the equaliser then Giroud got his 2nd and finished off the scoring for the Blues giving them an unlikely Away Win.
Bet 365 understandably have Chelsea as clear favourites at 4/7 the Draw is 13/5 and a massive 11/2 for Southampton to get the Home Win. Bet 365 offer 11/8 for Chelsea to score in both halves and a massive 28/1 for Southampton to miss a penalty.
Away Win 0-3
LIVERPOOL v MAN CITY
This is the final Premier League game of the weekend live on Sky Sports and what a final game to brighten up any Sunday afternoon gloom. Unbeaten Liverpool take on current Premier League Champions City, themselves unbeaten both with 6 Wins and 1 Draw on their records. Both on 19 points but City go Top by way of scoring 6 more goals than Liverpool. Both come into this game after playing midweek in the Champions League but should be refreshed with this being the late Sunday Afternoon kick-off.
Liverpool looked like they were going to suffer a 1st defeat of the season away at Stamford Bridge late Saturday afternoon. Trailing to an Eden Hazard goal and with seconds remaining, substitute Daniel Sturridge scored one of the goals of the season, a superb left-foot shot into the top corner giving the Blues ‘keeper no chance. Daniel had only been on the pitch minutes, an inspired substitution from Mr Klopp. Earlier in the game, Klipperty substituted Mo Salah for Xherdan Shaqiri. Last season that would never have happened, but Mo isn’t the same player this term. His confidence, for some bizarre reason, seems shattered. Earlier in the week, Mo won a FIFA award for the ‘Goal of the Season ‘ FIFA inexplicably gave Mo’s goal against Everton last season as the best goal and gave the Puskas award to Salah. The FIFA official who gave that decision must not have seen Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in the quarter-final of the Champions League, for Real Madrid against Juventus. The same person must not have been watching the final of the Champions League when Gareth Bale matched CR7’s over-head kick. Two better goals than Mo’s, but Mo should have been buoyed by the award, however, in the Chelsea game, he was way off the mark. Liverpool will need last season’s Mo against City if they have any chance of winning.
Man City beat Brighton 2-0 at the Etihad on Saturday taking them back to the Top of the Premier League where the Citizens will feel they belong. The much-maligned Raheem Sterling scored City’s opener just before the half-hour mark tapping in from close range from a Leroy Sane cross. Raheem gets a lot of stick from fans across the country, some would say undeserved, Raheem certainly would, but it’s his performances for England which gripes at everyone as he rarely produces his Man City form for The Three Lions. Probably what folk forget is that he is still only 23 so has plenty of time to come good for England. The brilliant little Argentinian Sergio Aguero got Man City’s 2nd mid-way through the 2nd half and City held on for a well-deserved win. City might just remain top of the Premier League now for the remainder of the season. Liverpool and Chelsea look to be the biggest challenge to City’s title and this game will be a real yardstick to what happens this term.
This game last season was played in mid-January and Liverpool inflicted the first of only 2 defeats in Man City’s Premier League winning season. The Reds eventually beat City 4-3. ‘Eventually’ because they were 4-1 up at one point through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah goals. Leroy Sane had made the score 1-1 earlier in the game, but with time running out and Liverpool 4-1 up, City almost staged a remarkable comeback. The Bernardo of the Silva’s got City’s 2nd and Ilkay Gundogan made it 4-3. Fortunately for Liverpool, the final whistle blew and the Reds got all 3 points.
Bet 365 understandably have this game pretty even with Liverpool slight favourites at 11/8 the Draw at 5/2 and 9/5 for City to get the Away Win. There should be goals and Bet 365 go odds-on 3/5 for there to be over 2.5 goals. Although odds on, for every fiver you bet you get £8 quid back which is licence to print money.
Away Win 2-4