Brighton 1-1 Leicester
Never before have the Foxes experienced a month like the one in November and it’s hard to say if it was beneficial for the club to get away from domestic football for a couple of weeks. It’s impossible to predict how the players will react from one week to the next but maybe it’s easier to be away from home at the moment? I’ll go for a draw as Brighton are decent at home and more positive then this time last year.
Everton 3-0 Cardiff
I often think Everton struggle with these types of games when they are massive favourites. As long as they break the deadlock early, they will be fine this weekend. Neil Warnock recognises he has a group of Championship level players. That’s why the late winner against Brighton was a relief. They were seconds away from failing to beat 10 men for the third time this season. That’s the sign of a squad who simply might not be good enough despite the effort. This game is a definite to include in your online football accumulators as one of the bankers of the day.
Fulham 3-1 Southampton
Mark Hughes might be feeling fortunate that it was only Fulham who chose to change bosses during the international break. He might not be far away if he slips up against one of his old clubs. Suddenly I don’t worry about Fulham being relegated. I’m not expecting Ranieri to produce the miracles he displayed at Leicester, but he’s inherited some good players. Janovic had just ran out of ideas in terms of how to turn the tide, that can happen sometimes.
Man United 2-1 Crystal Palace
Was it because we went straight into the international break or are, we just bored of Jose? Is it me though or did he get away with criticism in the Manchester Derby? What was worse, the performance or is explanation for it? He was better off admitting the champions were on a different level. Yet he argues they were in the game and had the home side worried. This despite the penalty being their only shot on target. Imagine leaders like Keane, Giggs and Neville hearing excuses such as money spent or an unfair fixture list? Oh, and at which point is it not okay to not be starting someone on 500 000 pound a week in your toughest away days? In the short term, Palace will find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. Long term, Jose and United is a marriage that does not work.
Watford 1-1 Liverpool
Watford have individuals who raise their game for these types of fixtures. Although they are undefeated, I still think we are not seeing the best of Liverpool, they are just doing enough to hang in there with Man City. Will drop points if they play how they have recently.
West Ham 1-4 Man City
City have filled their boots at the London Stadium before and I can see it happening again. The Hammers have decent attacking players but how much of the ball will they get? Will Pellegrini feel obliged to park the bus against his old club? The gulf in class in the Manchester Derby should scare the whole country. There won’t be a title race this season
Spurs 0-2 Chelsea
I’m going off the fact that there’s been something flat about Spurs in the big games at Wembley this season, even in terms of atmosphere. They never looked like scoring when City went there or for the majority of the time when Liverpool were in London. I just think Chelsea’s attacking players are on better form then the hosts.
Bournemouth 2-2 Arsenal
Law of averages we were not going to keep getting away with our current performance levels. Against Wolves we again took until the second half to get going, this time unable to win the game in the second half. The Cherries have shown us before what they can do to us when our attitude is poor, and you could argue in attack this is the most confident they have been. They nearly destroyed Man United in the opening 45 minutes, a side similar to us who are starting matches slow. Given the defeat at Dean Court last time, the Wolves performance and Wilson now an England international, no excuses for Emery to send us to the South Coast taking anything for granted.
Wolves 2-0 Huddersfield
Wolves are pleasing on the eye. Of all the impressive recruitment they have done though, they would have more points if they secured a natural goal scorer. They certainly would have won at the Emirates if more prolific in front of goal. I think the Terriers will set up defensive and let the home side have possession. By the law of averages eventually Wolves should break them down. An afternoon where they might have to show some patience.
Burnley 2-0 Newcastle
Rafa will point to two consecutive victories but surely, he can’t carry on trying to stay up with this style of football. They are one of the dullest sides to watch and the opposition are starting to know there will be a lack of ambition. Parking the bus at Turf Moor will see the home side pick them off.