Newcastle 3-1 Norwich
It was depressing to see how defensive Eddie Howe was on Saturday. It went against his values and principles.
It’s one thing parking the bus at the Emirates, there will be a demand to attack a team 19th in the table.
This should be more of ‘you play, we play’ like they were at home to Brentford with neither of these two teams defensively good enough for this division.
If they don’t win here, already a new manager is under pressure.
Leeds 1-0 Palace
Leeds starts with lots of energy which means they tire in the later stages of games.
That means scoring early is vital, if not the opposition are always in with a chance.
I’m disappointed Bielsa has joined the list of managers who use the fixture scheduling as an excuse.
He can’t have it both ways. When his pressing works, he takes the praise, when it doesn’t it’s because there’s too many matches.
In reality his team have been playing well but have just been lacking a cutting edge.
Take their chances and he wouldn’t be mentioning about the schedule.
THE ABOVE TWO GAMES ARE VOID AS I HAVE POSTED THIS TOO LATE..
Saints 1- 0 Leicester
Would be very like Leicester’s season to follow up big wins in the League and Europe by not showing up on Wednesday night.
The Foxes won 9-0 in this fixture a couple of years ago.
Just sense something is not quite right at the King Power at the moment.
Watford 0-2 Chelsea
While Watford have an attack where on their day they can cause a shock, Chelsea’s defence isn’t an Everton or Man United.
Chelsea can be machine-like and grind out wins even when not playing well.
I’m not saying Jorginho was the best player in Europe in the last 12 months, but if a Messi or Ronaldo had won both the Champions League and something for their nation, they would have lifted the Ballon D’or.
West Ham 2-0 Brighton
I always think West Ham struggle with these types of fixtures where the expectation is on them to win.
I watched Brighton though recently and they have a problem of not turning superior possession into goals.
The Hammers simply have more firepower.
Wolves 1-1 Burnley
Wolves are another team who struggle when the expectation is on them to win.
While in the bottom 3, Burnley have only lost in the League once in 6 and look more like their old selves.
The Clarets had the week end off so should be fresher against not one of the biggest squads.
Villa 1-1 Man City
After winning his first two games managing in England it will be fascinating how Gerrard fares against Pep Guardiola
I think the momentum of those victories will help get them a result.
Everton 0- 3 Liverpool
Jamie Carragher said in the summer his dream was by the time the Derby takes place Everton are doing so badly they have sat at Goodison while Liverpool fans chant Rafa’s name.
That’s what will happen here.
Benitez is smart enough to know he couldn’t afford to get to this fixture with his team 14th with no wins in 7.
He will also be aware his worst-case scenario is a decent pay off.
He will play for a 0-0 which will further antagonise Toffees in attendance.
How long for the owner to swallow his pride and admit he got this appointment wrong?
Spurs 4-0 Brentford
Spurs will never have a better chance of winning a trophy then the Europa Conference League.
It’s incredible they are making such a hard work of Europe.
You would have thought that Thursday would have been one of the biggest games of the likes of Deli Ali’s career, yet they went through the motions.
I still think the likes of Kane and Son are waiting for that one game to find their mojo and this could be it
Man United 2-2 Arsenal
Unlike others, I’m not going to pretend I even knew who Ralf Rangnick was.
Even those who were aware of the German were not mentioning him for the United job (or any top job) until he was first linked.
I still think an interim manager can confuse things.
If they finish top 4 and say lift the Cup, are they pressured to give him the job full time?
Isn’t that how they ended up with Ole?
This isn’t a fixture that either should fear and whoever shows the most ambition will win the game.
Table to follow later in the week