Dan’s EPL Predictions
Liverpool 3-0 Everton
You know that saying, form goes out of the window in a Derby?
Simply not true when referring to the Merseyside version at Anfield.
Sean Dyche will park the bus and simply wait for Liverpool’s stunning attack to break down his defence.
The thing is, there is still an art to parking the bus, a skillset required.
Yet in this fixture last season and at home to us, Everton simply have not been good at it!
I’m writing this before the pre-match press conferences where Klopp will no doubt complain about yet again having to play in the early kick off. His team will have to do the same after the next international break.
Again, you simply walk into your employer’s office and insist they don’t agree the new TV contract.
If the 20 clubs are happy to take billions from broadcasters, then they can’t complain if part of that contract is your told where and when to play.
Plus, Liverpool Vs Man City was refused for a night-time slot due to police feeling it wasn’t safe.
Maybe if both sets of fans stopped smashing the teams buses up, they would be, okay?
Cherries 1-1 Wolves
Bournemouth tried to fix something that wasn’t broken in the summer.
Bringing in a manager from a different country, teaching players a new ethos, was always going to take time and Bill Foley surely was prepared to give his new boss time.
Yet lose on Saturday and that patience is put to the test.
Does he keep faith in Iraola or like so many owners panic with the sight of his club in the bottom three?
The irony won’t be lost that Gary O’Neil could really kick his x-employers while they are down on the ground.
Such was the ruthlessness of his sacking, some would argue the Wolves coach deserves to get the last laugh.
Originally promoted in charge on an interim basis, he achieved what was on the job description, he kept the Cherries in the big time which means a fortune.
He’s now showing at Molineux how tactically underrated he is.
He comes across too classy a guy to want any kind of revenge on the South Coast, but at least he finally gets a chance for the home crowd to thank him and give him the respect he earnt.
Brentford 1-2 Burnley
Two teams in similar situations, not just in terms of league position but that constant pressure from the outside looking in to change their styles, because they are not winning games despite being pleasing on the eye.
Thomas Frank has too much credit in the bank for anyone to be panicking at Brentford.
While anyone who has listened to Vincent Kompany’s story knows he has faced bigger adversity then this.
Watch the brilliant Sky Documentary, ‘Mission to Burnley’ and you sense the Belgian is trusted by the owners with a long-term vision.
It takes bravery though to lose most weeks and yet still believe in your ethos.
Man City 3-1 Brighton
So apparently something is not quite right at the Etihad?
Maybe the hunger has gone?
Pep Guardiola is over thinking things?
Oh, and my favourite, Haaland makes them worse?
You would think people would learn? All of this was said throughout last Christmas, and City went on to win the treble while their striker did okay for himself.
Their manager now has the outlook that Sir Alex Ferguson used to have.
As long as his Champions are in contention come March, he then trusts them to have the mentality and street smarts to get over the line.
I’m not going for a home win simply because Rodri is back, it’s because as good as De Zerbi is, Brighton play in a manner where they concede a lot of chances.
Newcastle 1-0 Palace
You know what Roy Hodgson will do on Tyneside. He will set up his team organized, be cagey and wait for the counterattack, with every player knowing their job.
Yet Newcastle have become very good at winning these types of games.
If they have to fight you and be patient, they can do that.
Dortmund are in town on Wednesday so it’s another exciting week for the Toon Army.
Notts Forest 1-1 Luton
Forest are of those teams that don’t cope well in the role of being favourites.
When the expectation is on them to take the initiative, they seem to freeze.
Luton though simply don’t have the quality in the final third to survive in this division.
Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal
Our win over Man City (as I predicted and those name calling didn’t) was so much more than 3 points! Mentally it could be huge for our young team!
Yet the follow up is crucial.
Player for player we are better than our opponents, yet, and maybe I’m giving Poch too much credit, but if he can’t get his team motivated for this Derby then when can he?
If any fanbase can relate to what Chelsea are going through, it’s Gooners.
The standards have dropped, you are suddenly trusting youth with few leaders who are learning on the job.
What you want though is those who wear the shirt to have pride in the badge. It matters to Blues fans that the Gunners don’t rock up at the Bridge and win without a fight.
The fact that some might be disappointed with a draw away at Chelsea tells you about the gap between the two.
Sheffield United 0-1 Man United
Champions League in midweek having lost their opening two fixtures in the group followed by the Manchester Derby, it’s a massive week for United.
They will hope that Rashford’s goal for England was the injection of confidence he needed.
The biggest indictment of how far United have fallen is; you can’t with much confidence predict they will beat a newly promoted side.
Even if you do, you have little faith it will be done with any flair or swagger.
Villa 3-1 West Ham
Villa have scored 14 goals in their last three league fixtures at Villa Park.
With Watkins and Diaby, Villa should overpower West Ham.
It’s between Watkins and Wilson to decide who is on the plane to Germany as Kane’s understudy.
Spurs 3-1 Fulham
The international break meant it got overshadowed, but Spurs showed a different side to themselves at Luton, that they can battle and grind out wins if needed.
It was very un-Spursy. Years gone by down to 10 men, they are not finding a way to win that game.
They will win on Monday due to a feel-good factor round the place.
Talk of a title bid is premature though.
LAST WEEK’S TABLE
Top 24 qualify for euros.
Dan kit 62
Sue P 61
Indian Gunner 60
Fanuel priston 58
Ayodale A 56
Big slim 56
J Gunner 55
J legend 47
A Samson 46
Bang bang 46
Die hard 46
Taiwo 4321 45
J gunz 43
O Achiel 42
Kenya 001- 39
A Oladimeji 34
Prince laoye 31
Uzi Ozil 23
Akeno B 20
Jimeigo T 17
M leashim 16
Gunner 4 lyfe 14
E blaze 14
Flash G 11
Caxbury Dan 11
Jimmy Bauer 11
Gerald king 9
Gio Bag 7
Mading East 7