Dan’s EPL Predictions Week 11
Fulham 2-2 Man United
Man, United have lost consecutive games at Old Trafford 3-0. The strange part is neither were a shock.
What will worry United fans is their lack of physicality in the Derby.
Most can lose to Man City without disgrace because they are simply the best in Europe.
That though should make it even more of a requirement to run faster, be stronger, work harder.
Great United sides at their apex never won easily at Highbury or Anfield.
So, why’s that been allowed to happen at the Theatre of Dreams?
I still don’t know what Ten Hag’s ethos or vision is?
If Fulham can be prolific, this fixture has come at the right time.
Brentford 2-1 West Ham
Let’s get this right – as bad as we were in midweek, West Ham were not great, they didn’t have to do much for their goals.
Brentford will be a lot quicker in how they move the ball and more direct.
The Bees may have refound their mojo.
Burnley 0-1 Palace
I admire Vincent Kompany for sticking by his principles and not being pressured into changing his style.
It’s just about constant work on the training pitch, because his team do a lot of things right but simply make naive mistakes.
They are constantly conceding due to giving the ball away by trying to play from the back.
It remains to be seen if this can be coached, or if it’s simply too big a step for some of his players.
Palace are more streetwise and cunning so will nick the three points.
Everton 2-1 Brighton
Everton scoring 5 at the Amex was one of the shocks of last season.
I think mentally it might encourage the Toffees to be more positive than they would normally be.
You know Brighton play high, so if you can win the ball back high, they are easy to catch on the break. De Zerbi needs to show he can adapt his tactics to that.
Sean Dyche’s first point of call will always to be to be hard to break down, but I do think Calvert Lewin getting a run of games injury free has mentally lifted the club.
Man City 5-0 Cherries
I watched the Manchester Derby and I maintain when the Champions play like that no one in this division are on their level.
Bernardo Silva might be their most underrated player, every week taking on a new role.
If they could pick a team to welcome to the Etihad, Bournemouth would be near the top of that list, simply because they are a footballing side.
It’s not in their DNA to park the bus.
Even if they wanted too, they don’t have the individuals to do so.
They want to get the ball down and play. No doubt Pep Guardiola will compliment Iraola for his principles.
Of course, he will., if that means an open match.
Sheffield United 1-2 Wolves
I often compare how Paul Heckingbottom talks to the other two promoted managers.
While there’s hope from Edwards and positivity from Kompany, the Blades boss doesn’t look like he’s enjoying a moment of this experience.
Whisper it quietly, he looks like he would be happy if someone put him out of his misery.
Even the Brammall Lane factor isn’t working. The whole club feels soulless.
The difference with Wolves to last season is you now feel they have match winners, so can now turn draws into wins.
That’s testament to Gary O’Neil who I feel still won’t get the credit he deserves.
Newcastle 1-0 Arsenal
There will be Gooners who woke Thursday morning saying, ‘it’s just the League Cup’.
Other fans will view victory at Saint James Park as worth the 3-1 loss at the London Stadium (why can’t you have both?).
That will be the viewpoint with supporters across the country. Unless you get to the semifinal stage and the draw opens up you don’t take this competition seriously.
Yet to be a big club you think like a big club.
A big club simply can’t accept Wednesday night’s performance.
Fringe players who should have been giving everything to impress their boss went missing.
We are talking about talent on huge wages, others who demanded hefty transfer fees.
Their confidence will be worse than going into the West Ham tie and none can now be trusted to cover injuries or suspensions. That will cost us the title.
Shame on any Gooner who allowed Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson to get paid 100,000 pound a week without reproach. While the Vieira and Havertz signings could one day cost Arteta his job.
Eddie Howe is one of the best at tactically setting up his side with every person understanding their role.
They will be happy for the Gunners to pass the ball sideways to each other, and this is where we might not get away with the lack of tempo, as we demonstrated last season.
Defensively the Toon are one of the hardest to break down and don’t need a lot of possession to hurt you.
Forest 1-3 Villa
Just can’t see Forest keeping Villa out. They have devastating lightning players on the break.
Still not convinced by Steve Cooper.
Luton 0-4 Liverpool
Despite clearly being out of their depth Luton have been able to be competitive in most game.
Rob Edwards is smart enough to know they will have days like Sunday, while laid back enough not to let it impact morale.
This weekend it’s simply a case of a Championship level defence against one of the country’s most prolific attacks.
Spurs 3-1 Chelsea
If Chelsea lose on Monday night, they will be an incredible 17 points behind Spurs!
Forget transition. Discount that youngsters will get better with experience.
Of all their London rivals, Chelsea despise Spurs the most and that kind of margin will be unacceptable to Blues fans.
Spurs have had good teams over the years but on and off the pitch have had an inferiority complex to Chelsea.
Perhaps the biggest sign of how far the visitors have fallen is you feel that complex no longer exists?
LAST WEEKS TABLE
Top 24 qualify for euros.