Wolves 1-2 Liverpool
How United played at Anfield and the fall out has overshadowed how brilliant Liverpool were. Playing catch up to Man City, the pressure didn’t get to them at all, something which will help them going forward. Klopp knows Wolves raise themselves for these types of games which is why I can’t see the leaders being complacent, not with a chance to go 4 points clear. He is one of the managers though who moans a lot about too many games at xmas, will he over complicate things by rotating too much in the next 10 days?
Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
My fear during our unbeaten run was it was papering over the cracks, people believing that Iwobi was better than Ozil and Ramsey, etc, playing right into the hands of Stan Kroenke. This week some players haven’t shown up, while others are losing confidence, which is worrying when lots of games are coming up. Unai Emery is also making mistakes. Xhaka should be our last option to play in defence while certain fixtures don’t need a back 5 with two dm in front. The fixtures have at least been kind in terms of we wouldn’t want to be away after two defeats. The Emirates will be nervous to see if we have the personality to respond
Cherries 2-1 Brighton
The advantage of having the same manager in charge for years is you don’t panic when things are not going well. Eddie Howe has overseen periods like this so many times that his squad will have some perspective. I know it’s early to talk about the January window but if Wilson really is on Chelsea’s radar, we should interject. He’d be a perfect replacement for Welbeck. Knowing our owner though, he will find value in the MLS.
Chelsea 2-0 Leicester
It’s no coincidence that Chelsea’s form has returned with Hazard back fit again, the Belgian my player of the year so far. I know Leicester’s board have had more important things to think about in the last few months but I can soon see a change just to put a spark back into the squad. The Foxes seem to be going through the motions
Huddersfield 0-1 Southampton
Saints new manager promised xmas would be like pre-season training for his team and the work ethic they put in against us contradicted their whole campaign. If he can get Ings and Austin confident, they will stay up. How Huddersfield would love to have a striker like one of them.
Man City 4-1 Palace
Palace have the flair players to at least have a go yet might be the latest side to go to the Etihad and park the bus. Where City might get the better of a Liverpool over the holidays is 2 players in every position, meaning fixture congestion Is not an issue for a Pep.
Newcastle 0-1 Fulham
The problem for Rafa here is this is one of the few games where Geordies will be showing up thinking the opposition is so poor he should be ambitious, which is why he’d prefer this to be away from home. I like Rondon and think he’s a threat if he has quality supporting him. Imagine if they hung on to Mitovic, someone who might come back to haunt them?
West Ham 3-2 Watford
Should be an early xmas cracker with both sides playing confident attacking football. The Hammers are adding some consistency to their performances. I heard Jack Wilshere could be out for another 5 weeks. I encouraged him in the summer to stay and fight for his place but he’s proven our manager right. If he misses much more football, where does he go from here?
Cardiff 2-2 Man United
There were so many aspects of the performance at Anfield which smacked of a manager wanting the sack/pay off. A Manchester United manager cannot play like that against his rivals, not bring on an 89-million-pound World Cup winner and then admit his club can’t compete with Liverpool. Cardiff fans will wonder why Solskjaer has been chosen ahead of the class of 92 given he got relegated with them. He’s working with a different quality of players though who I think will play better now Jose is gone. The Norwegian might need more than a couple of days to change confidence and attitude. Can see them being bullied at set pieces In Wales.
Everton 2-2 Spurs
Some gooners are saying Spurs only beat us in a Mickey Mouse Cup but let’s be bigger than that. If we had gone to Wembley and won 2-0, we’d be chuffed. Okay we wouldn’t release a DVD about it but hey. I still think a lack of squad depth makes them fragile, especially over Xmas. This is a tough away game to play the day after everyone else. Everton have played well against some top sides without getting the luck, they might be due some.