Cardiff 0-1 Wolves
Last weekend was a reality check for Wolves. A group of talented players who rise to the occasion when going to the Emirates or Old Trafford but who believe their own hype against lesser opposition. Instead of playing as a team at Huddersfield they relied on individual skill. The message is clear, you cannot drop your level in this League and get away with it. So, we will now find out their mental strength having had a week to learn harsh lessons. They know they are individually better then Cardiff but will need to match their work ethic.
Palace 2-1 Burnley
A draw at Old Trafford is why I can’t see Palace getting relegated, there is enough experience around the club to get results when it matters. After a tough fixture pile up, they have winnable games coming up. Sean Dyche seems to be losing the magic of the last few years. An example to some of his peers that maybe take another job when you’re at the height of success.
Huddersfield 1-1 Brighton
David Wagner deserves more credit. Many think the Terriers are a non-football city punching above their weight, a case of when and not if the fairy tale will end. Such is the German’s man-management style he has them playing possession-based football as much as parking the bus and being well organised. To get such limited players to even believe that is possible shows he has a bright future. Chris Hughton has done similar at Brighton. While he was quick to distance himself from the Ireland job at what point have both men taken their clubs as far as they can?
Leicester 3-2 Watford
The Foxes qualified for the last 8 of the League Cup in midweek. It gives them something to cling to for the rest of the season which is why I don’t understand why more clubs don’t take the cups seriously. Garcia has signed a new contract this week. For him to be able to win over Watford’s owners when others haven’t is a huge compliment.
Man City 4-1 Bournemouth
The Cherries are the type of side who could cause an upset just based on the fact that at least they will try and take the game to City. Eddie Howe is not the kind to park the bus and surely having a go, by the law of averages, is more likely to get a result then defending for 90 minutes. The issue though is getting the ball in the first place.
Newcastle 1-1 West Ham
Suddenly Newcastle have won three in a row and showed a bit more ambition in their last game. Rafa will always set up not to be beat over planning how to win a game. With West Ham’s creative players, I can see him maybe showing the Hammers a bit too much respect.
Southampton 0-1 Man United
When they dropped points at home to Palace Jose was quick to question his players attitude yet when those same individuals won at Juventus, he took all the credit. That’s why you feel United are always a defeat away from a crisis. There’s no guarantee they won’t take Southampton lightly, but the Saints are so poor at the moment I can see the visitors falling over the line.
Chelsea 3-1 Fulham
Claudio Ranieri has the personality where he was always going to get a response out of players who were underachieving.
Is a trip to his old club a step too far? This is the first real test for Sarri, having started so well how will the Blues respond to their first defeat under him, especially given the manner of their performance at Wembley. With this fixture before the North London and Merseyside Derby, that should be motivation not to be complacent.
Arsenal 2-1 Spurs
It’s been a few years of this so called ‘shift in power’. Yet what the press fails to explain how during Spurs’ glory period why they can point to zero trophies and 1 single win at the Emirates (and that was back when Harry was in charge). You then have to go back to 1993 for their last win at Highbury. You have to believe the likes of Kane and Ali want to change the history of 2 wins at Arsenal in 25 years, but the fact remains despite the media love in this is not a fixture they win often. I expect gooners to create the same atmosphere they did against Liverpool, realising we might need help getting over the line.
Liverpool 2-1 Everton
Okay Liverpool’s attack is not hitting the heights of last season but I’m not sure they deserve an inquest in where things are going wrong. They are doing enough to hang in there with City and you would still rely on one of their front three to provide a piece of magic this weekend. I’m curious how Silva approaches his first Derby. Does he trust his talent individuals to hurt Liverpool or like previous Toffee bosses will he park the bus at Anfield.