Dan’s EPL Predictions Wk25 – Arsenal to drop back again?

Okay everyone it is time for our resident Just Arsenal tipster, Dan Smith, to tell us the Premier League results for the upcoming weekend, but to start with I’ll give you a little update on Mr Admin’s personal traveling status. Today I am in Palawan in the Phillipines and have been to the UNESCO-rated Subterraneum river. Amazing! The weather is much better thankyou (I hear you have snow in UK…) but where I am only has electric 12 hours a day and dont even ask about internet! I am hotspotting but only available for another half hour! I am travelling to the capital tomorrow so hopefully internet will improve—-

So let me get Dan’s predictions up quick!

Spurs 1-0 Newcastle
It was a massive last 10 minutes for Spurs at Wembley in midweek. Dropped points would have seen them dragged into the race for the top 4. I can see this game having a similar pattern. Empty seats, apprehension but doing just enough to get over the line. It’s been a great week to be a part of the Toon Army, beating the champions followed by breaking their transfer record. Perhaps Mike Ashley ‘s last attempt to convince Rafa not to leave in the summer? The Spaniard is a smart man, he knows avoiding relegation again makes him a legend on Tyneside, there is nothing else to achieve under the current regime.

Brighton 1-1 Watford
Very unlike a Chris Hughton team to throw away a two-goal lead, a manager who prides himself on being well organised. He will go back to basics and probably be even more cautious. Watford were brilliant in defeat at Wembley and here’s a question, is Ben Foster the most underrated keeper in the league?

Burnley 1-1 Southampton
I would suggest that Burnley have refound their mojo. Nearly 40, it’s great that Crouch, one of the good guys of the game, finds himself back in the big time. It also shows that Sean Dyche isn’t exactly looking to revolutionise his style of play.

Chelsea 3-0 Huddersfield
Two weeks ago, Sarri chose to publicly call out his players. A fortnight later, they suffer their biggest defeat since the late 90s. It’s hard to predict where the Blues go from here, history shows once senior players fall out with their boss, they have a habit of not performing. But if they could hand pick a fixture though it be this one.

Palace 2-2 Fulham
Saha is starting to be remembered for his constant complaining rather than scoring goals. His sense of entitlement, in terms of being ‘singled out’ shows a youngster who lacks the mentality to make it at the highest level. How many times does he think Messi gets kicked? Fulham have half a chance of survival due to having a goal scorer, something their rivals don’t have …

Everton 1-2_Wolves
I don’t think the Everton players enjoy playing at home at the moment. Goodison is quick to get nervous, which plays into away team’s hands, especially the likes of Wolves. The visitors will just keep passing the ball, the more possession the more the groans from the stands. Everton might be this season’s biggest underachievers.

Cardiff 1- 3 Cherries
I’m glad in the end Cardiff didn’t try to buy a striker. How ethically can you try and replace a man who you still don’t know is 100 percent not alive? I also heard them starting to talk about compensation but now is not the time. Some things are bigger then football and you wasting 15 million is an issue that is not a priority right now. If the Cherries repeat their Chelsea performance, they will have too much.


Leicester 2-2 Man United
These types of games ate the ones the Foxes respond to, their problem is they get a result here then lose to a Huddersfield. As much as United have improved you can still get at their back 4, attacking wise though everyone is on form. Probably favourites to make too 4 as they have momentum and unlike us or Chelsea seem to be enjoying their football. Martial wouldn’t have signed a new contract if Jose was still there.

Man City 3-1
The last 3 times we played City we looked scared of them, showing them too much respect so I’m interested to see if Unai Emery has something up his sleeve (I can’t see him picking Ozil for this one). The question is do our players mentally believe they can get a result? Does a Mustafi have the personality where he’s going to lead his backline, pull people into position, bark orders, etc. People point to the likes of Palace, Leicester and Newcastle upsetting the champions, but they have the individuals where for the last 20 minutes of a match they can be organised and a hard nut to crack. Nonetheless Pep’s men do seem to struggle with adversity so the longer we stay in the match the more nervous the Etihad will become. In terms of the title race we are a dangerous side to play when all the pressure is on the home side.


West Ham 1-1 Liverpool
It was a chance missed for the leaders in midweek, but the fact is it’s another point further ahead of the champions. That’s what the leaders in your dressing room need to be saying, the problem is not too many at Anfield have experience of a title run. What was noticeable on Wednesday was for the first time the pressure seemed to be getting to the Reds. In my opinion that was the impact of having to play after City which is mentally huge. There’s a difference between playing to go 8 points clear and kicking off with the gap just 2.

Dan Smith


  1. Gogo says:

    Dan this time I’m gonna have to go against you on the arsenal prediction. I’ll go for a draw (1:1 or 2:2). I don’t see us loosing.

    1. jon fox says:

      Hope or real belief , he asked , knowing that HOPE is the honest answer for your comment! Realists have a different take ; we accept reality even though we still hope.

  2. gotanidea says:

    I sadly have to agree with you this time, Mr Smith

    I believe both teams would be pumped up to win, but Man City look more dangerous with their 30+ M wingers. Whereas Arsenal just have Iwobi that can beat the defenders in the left wing

    The good thing is Man City would most likely use 4-3-3, similar to Chelsea. Therefore Arsenal could have a chance if they use 4-1-2-1-2 again and instruct their CAM to disrupt Man City’s deep-lying playmaker

  3. Kenny says:

    Hope that Arsenal players play with guts, else they have to wear pampers as fear overwhelming them, cause them not able to control their bladders.

    1. gotanidea says:

      I hope Emery would start the players that usually do not hide from the opponent’s pressure and body contacts, like Iwobi, Lacazette, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey and Mustafi

      1. arsenal#7 says:

        YOU HAVE NO IDEA !!

  4. Th14 says:

    As long as we start Iwobi, Ramsey and Denis Suarez behind Lacazzette or Auba, we should have no problems against Pep. City love to build from that back and those 4 players can press and will give the city defenders/midfielders zero time on the ball. Ozil shouldn’t bother travelling for this one, he can watch the game from home and cheer the lads.

    1. Sue says:

      You know Th14.. you & I will never see eye to eye on Iwobi/Ozil… I just have to laugh at the sheer cheek of some of your comments!! ?????

      1. Phil says:

        my team would be
        I’m playing Leno because you can’t expect the lad to do it all on his own

        1. Sue says:

          Yes but King Phil with those flappy arms… he’d be great in goal… save a penalty surely ??

        2. Th14 says:

          Fantastic selection Phil… better than having 10 Ozils

        3. Break-on-through says:

          You guys take it too personally. Ozil, if being honest ..people will say that they don’t expect him to start v City. That doesn’t mean he wont though.

          Iwobi, he’s had some good form this season, esp if we’re comparing him to previous seasons. Iwobi’s ability to beat his man and occupy players thoughts, that’s been needed this season.

          Iwobi is an Arsenal player too, and he helped make a difference in our last game.

          If people need to resort to putting others down, so to build up another (I see that in life allot – but it’s usually to the benefit of the first person). It’s not a pretty tactic, chipping away at another when you can’t find anything positive to say about the guy who does hold your admiration.

      2. Th14 says:

        Never say never Sue, you might just come to love Iwobi as much as I do . After all, he is the future of our dear Arsenal. At 22, there’s still enough time to win you over ?

        1. Mwsupporter says:

          Th14, I think you may be right, Iwobi is our future, rumour has it gunnersouras will retire at some stage and iwobi is a fantastic fit.

          1. Phil says:

            Ha ha ha-I would rather have Gunnersauras in the team in place of Iwobi-I mean have you ever seen in with the kids at half time?Pure quality

          2. rkw says:

            the future for arsenal ain”t what it used to be ….

        2. Sue says:

          Sorry to disappoint you Th14….no chance!! ?

        3. arsenal#7 says:

          He has the same future as the rest of the AW to be stars that never shined.
          Walcott/Abu Diaby/Welbeck etc.
          If we want to battle relegation every year then he is the future
          I will take Ozil/ Sanchez/Auba/Laca/ and anyone that can play to that level
          which is no one form the current squad.
          Better days are coming I hope?

        4. jon fox says:

          Love? Or in love? Sometimes I wonder WHICH addiction you have!

          1. Th14 says:

            I don’t have an addiction lord jon… what I’m curious to know is why you intensely dislike (hate) the player? What is his offense?

          2. jon fox says:

            As usual, you are barking up the wrong tree. I do not “hate ” any footballer , notr do thoise others like me who do not esp rate iwobi. I ACTUALLY FIND HIM A RATHER ENGAGING AND LIKEAABLE YOUNG MAN. But we are here to rate his footballability, not his personality and as such I see a very eager , wiling but limited in ability and eso in decision making player. One thing I dislike a lot but do not “hate” since footballs opinions are not about hate – and I SUGGEST YOU SOBERLY CONSIDER THE EVIL TRUE MEANING OF THAT WORD BEFORE AGAIN INCORRECTLY USING IT – is biased patriotism used to hype a player who shares ones own nationality. This is a form of inverse racism and not likeable. Whether you have the intellectual capacity to understand that sentence remains to be see. That is my posItion on IWOBI and his nationality is of no concern at all to me. Nor, I suspect to many others who share my opinion of him as a player. Further NO ONE on this planets nationality concerns me at all either. You see , I AM NOT RACIST, NOR NATIONALIST AND NEVER HAVE BEEN. IT IS A SIMPLE STATEMENT OF FACT THAT IN NIGERIA RACISM IS FAR MORE PREVALENT THAN IN BRITAIN.


    2. Jah son says:

      Isn’t that what we tried against Liverpool

    3. jon fox says:


  5. Lenohappy says:

    Am waiting to see what emery will say again about ozil,will it be the same “tactical reason or back pain”can’t wait to see Suarez in action,iwobi Suarez Ramsey and lacazette,ooh Rest In Peace city.

    1. Do not mistake a lion that has been rained on for a cat. City are still very dangerous and could easily unleash their chaos on our reckless defence.

  6. Sue says:

    We’re not wearing that green kit on Sunday!! Yay!!!

  7. Lenohappy says:

    Dan you’ve gone for some bold predictions their,I don’t think Everton will lose,Liverpool I think will win also I think the upset of the weekend will be Leicester against man utd,Cardiff against Bournemouth should play out a goal draw,arsenal have a chance against man city,2:2.

  8. David Rusa says:

    I believe Arsenal will be fired up for this game especially after City’s loss to Newcastle in mid week. There is also something similar to a trend that usually Man city doesn’t win a game after one loss. It either loses again or draws before going back to winning ways. So Arsenal can spring a surprise here. What is required is for Arsenal players not to show Man city too much respect. They should put them under constant pressure and keep prodding them. That way we can beat them.

  9. I hope we keep it tight at the back and for once defend like we really mean it! Let’s put in a shift like Cardiff did against us, hopefully luck will be on our side unlike them.

    1. Sue says:

      I wish Sokratis was back for it…. no such luck! Even if we do lose, I just hope we play well & have a go! It should be a good game….. COYG

      1. I wish that too! Yes, let’s lose with dignity! I don’t want to ever again see anything like that limp carabao cup final performance we gave versus City..that was the most humiliating defeat for me right up there with 8-2 at OT. Anyway, we might get something out of this game.COYG!

  10. Declan says:

    Watching the Lille v Nice game. There are some good players for Lille on show.

  11. Tom says:

    There is talk that Saurez will start tomorrow.
    It might be that unai is saying to him ‘go back to where your story here in England started and show how far you have come’.

    Saurez is an exception to the rule. Most players spend their career trying to make a name for themselves and win honours with that. But for Denis he has won most things whilst at Seville and Barcelona with squad status at the latter. We have the luxury of a player who now can focus on just proving himself as a player who will be remembered for his ability; and not so a player who will be questioned on winning things but not always an influence in doing so.

    I think 343 would be the best deploy against city as man for man 433 they will outshine us. But in such a system M.Niles needs to be fit and everyone else seems to be – and just losing one player means we can’t play the system currently.

    If unai goes 3 4 3 it might be that Laca Ozil are on the bench along side Ramsay or Iwobi.

    Interesting tie nonetheless. Arsenal have a soft hold on 4th spot whilst city must win to claw back at 1st spot

  12. ForeverGooner123 says:

    I don’t see any point in starting Ozil. He doesn’t perform well against Top teams. But he should start other matches

    I only see defeat tbh
    If Unai pulls out a draw, it would be great
    I will be very happy with a draw
    A win would be remarkably good. But highly unlikely.
    But again a loss looks more likely

  13. Babasola says:

    Watched the Cardiff game replay

    So everybody is singing “Iwobi the game changer” after that performance

    The guy has had WAY WAY WAY better performances than that

    Okay, I get that he made the pass that led to the deadlock

    But it’s just funny how the whole Arsenal team players trust him so much while some fans still detest him

    Try and notice, if we go one goal down or are chancing a goal late in the game all balls will be going to the left side

    In the Man Utd match, we started brightly pressuring them from both sides (with Auba doing almost nothing from the right)

    But the moment we went one goal down, it became All Balls To Iwobi and in a couple of minutes we got one back

    He’s the team’s brain now

    1. Dan kit says:

      Wow you are joking right ?
      Oh dear you were serious ,you must have very low standards mate that’s all I’m saying ,you must be happy struggling to get 4th place because if you think this about iwobi then we are all doomed .

    2. jon fox says:

      It would be more believable if it was not ALWAYS the Nigerians praising him and almost everyone else not doing so. I doubt anyone can not help noticing that! And drawing their own conclusions!

  14. Jah son says:

    I am very confident that our boys can get something from the game tomorrow. The big issue is can Emery get his tactic right from the start.
    Is it
    4-2-3-1 to think we’ve actually tried all these formation this season and with a new player in the squad it’s a waiting game.

    1. Babasola says:

      Chelsea showed everyone how to beat Man City

      (Leicester & Newcastle more like snapped/scrapped the wins but Chelsea beat them tactically)

      Guardiola’s Plan A is SO SO SO strong
      But he totally doesn’t have a Plan B at-all at-all

      That said, his Plan A gets rattled only about 1% of the time
      But if a team gets it, you’ll see his players doing the same O’l thing that is not working – totally having no other new ideas

      They’ll rain bullets of attacks on u, defend compactly

      When u get the ball, no player should hold-on to it, pass quickly with one touches as there is plenty and very huge amount of space behind their defenders from their way too high line

      The bad news is u might get the ball only twice in 45mins, as ALL his Players mark like Torreira & Vieira

      In Guardiola’s team, everybody is an attacker and a ball-winning defender

      That being said also, if Auba is not the main Striker, then he’ll be useless in the game from any other position, as Man City players win back possession in less than 4 seconds

      So no time for players thinking to run with ball every time
      No time for dribbling too, so Iwobi might have a bad day unless he follows strict instructions

      Ozil has the sense to play this type of match (from the point view of going forward for us)

      But it’s too much of a risk from the point view of the need for compact defending from ALL personnel

      Ramsey fits the bill

      1. Jah son says:

        Ok point noted

    2. jon fox says:

      WHY are you confident? It that confidence based on the evidence of our “watertight” defence perhaps, he asked sarcastically. Or could it just possibly be the triumph of hope and natural bias over realism?

  15. Babasola says:

    Like Iwobi, Ozil is a positive player

    Tries to see if there’s something extraordinary (almost every time) he can do before just deciding to pass to the nearby player (unlike almost all our other players, except Lacazette, Guendouzi)

    But Ozil needs a team with two blocking DM’s, to allow him just focus on creating

    Ozil wasn’t bad in that Cardiff match, to me he put in more shift than Iwobi that day even

    But Iwobi is the one stringing the chords now

    1. jon fox says:

      Personally I have never before realised that some people consider laziness to be a “positive” thing. As you do! With Ozil! Talk about wilfully blind! I thought that had left us with Wenger.

  16. Burton says:

    Babasola, i like your analysis of the two players.

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