Dan’s EPL Predictions WK 8
Luton 0-4 Spurs
It was important that eventually one of the newly promoted clubs got their win just to ensure the division remains competitive.
It’s fascinating how the three managers from the teams who came up from the Championship have handled their struggles in a different manner.
Rob Edwards always stressed that every week he was seeing improvement in his side.
He seems the type not to get too carried away by the highs of victory at Goodison, or the occasional heavy drubbing.
That will happen here as Maddison and Son are performing at a level Luton simply are not at.
Hatters fans though have faced bigger adversity in the last decade then being near the bottom of the topflight. 10 years ago, they would have bitten your hand off for that scenario.
Spurs will momentarily top the table with a win (at least for 24 hours) and we won’t hear the end of it.
Let them have their moment.
Burnley 0-1 Chelsea
I’m not a big stats person, especially not the whole XG numbers.
Yet if you’re making the most chances every match law of averages eventually, you’re going to get a break in front of goal.
Something for Chelsea to build on.
Poch though is wrong to suggest more transfer activity in January.
There have been too many changes, at some point you got to let players settle.
Everton 3-0 Cherries
They had won their last two games (both away), were home to a newly promoted side without a win and had Calvert Lewin fit. I thought the three points were there for the taking for Everton last Saturday.
Rob Edwards indicated it, when Goodison is with you it inspires the Toffees, when it’s against you it’s a hard place for the home side to play.
Sean Dyche’s players should have learnt their lesson in time for this weekend and will know the Cherries won’t be as direct as Luton were.
First goal and early goal is vital in this fixture.
Fulham 1-0 Sheffield United
I can’t help but compare Paul Heckingbottom’s demeanour with Luton’s Rob Edwards.
Even if Edward’s is trying to convince himself that Luton have been competitive every week at least you see the man management techniques he’s attempting to stay in the division.
Heckingbottom just looks hurt all the time, shell shocked by the lack of quality, crest fallen by reading that Chris Wilder is being lined up as his replacement.
Fulham haven’t got a natural goal scorer so If you can’t identify this as a winnable away fixture, one might not exist.
Man United 2-1 Brentford
What’s worse than Man United losing twice at Old Trafford in the space of 3 days is that it no longer shocks you.
It’s hard not to keep writing the same thing every week.
Forget the results, they are not good to watch, don’t have an identity and no one is stepping up to take any responsibility.
I’m more going for a home win due to law of averages.
Palace 1-0 N Forest
You know how Palace play; every player knows their job.
There is a clear ethos.
I’m not sure you can say the same about Forest.
Brighton 1-3 Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp might get more positives out of losing in the last second with 9 men then a routine win with 11.
It’s not every week you are going to have two players sent off and have a goal wrongly ruled out.
I don’t think the Liverpool boss truly believes a replay is realistic but is more attempting to put pressure on officials going forward.
Who dares disallows a Liverpool goal now?
De Zerbi is maybe not thinking about his words as much?
It’s rare of me to criticise the Brighton boss but it was strange of him to admit last Saturday that his squad were not mentally prepared for Villa Park.
How do you then make the same players believe they can handle Liverpool 3 days after a trip to Marseille?
The Seagulls play a style where they are easy to score against and this Sunday face one of the divisions most potent attacks.
West Ham 0-2 Newcastle
Wednesday night was a classic example of how an intimidating/ passionate atmosphere can impact a result.
After the lows they have been through it’s hard to begrudge the Geordies their moment in midweek.
This is back to reality, but Eddie Howe has made the Toon hard to score against, so they are always in the game.
Wolves 1-2 Villa
Unai Emery felt compelled to play a lot of his first team players in the UEFA Conference, meaning Wolves have had a whole week to prepare for a Midland’s Derby against a team with three days’ rest.
Given how he was treated at Bournemouth I’m happy that Gary O’Neil got to showcase his talents against Man City. Make no mistake with his use of his full backs, O’Neil out thought Pep Guardiola.
Villa should have too many match winners though.
Arsenal 3-1 Man City
This is an incredible stat …. we haven’t beaten Man City In our last 17 league games!
Yet with Rodri suspended and KDB injured, outside of Haaland the 2 positions where they don’t have a like for like replacement, we might never get a better chance.
It would be a devastating blow mentally if the Champions won on Sunday without their DM and playmaker.
It shows the improvement at the Emirates that I think the atmosphere can get us over the line.
There’s been recent talk that our stadium is over emotional, and I think In the NLD something wasn’t right.
At 2-2 there was anxiety like we were losing with seconds to go. It’s like the crowd were crippled by the fear of failure.
I’m hoping Gooners realise the players need help and the will to win this match means from the first second we make our ground a cauldron of noise.
Be very Arsenal-like to win this weekend, get carried away and then drop points next week.
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