Here are Dan’s Premier League predictions for this weekend’s games. He thinks Arsenal are going to get a drubbing at Anfield and drop even further behind Chelsea and Tottenham. Could he be right?
Brighton 1-2 Everton
For Arsenal fans, the reason why it felt like two points dropped at Brighton is their lack of ambition. Home fans jeered when they chose to pass the ball back to the keeper instead of building a late attack, probably doing us a favour. They most likely won’t have the benefit of Silva taking off his most creative talent at half-time or striker before the hour mark?
Fulham 1-0 Huddersfield
December is too early for the term ‘must win’ but mentally if Fulham can’t win this game, they might wonder what game they can win. Only the nerves of the crowd stopped them from holding on against Wolves, but a repeat of that performance will be enough.
Leicester 3-0 Cardiff
Wins at Chelsea then the champions Man City made it the perfect xmas for the Foxes, especially with their manager favourite to be the next sacked. Now they go from underdogs to the pressure of favourites. Cardiff had to work hard (and have luck) to get a rare point on the road on Boxing Day. Neil Warnock hasn’t got the squad to do that again so soon after.
Spurs 3-1 Wolves
Like Liverpool, Spurs are on such a roll they are happy for games to come quick and fast (even though they are not selling out Wembley even when in a title race). Their chances of challenging all the way will determine what they do in January. For Daniel Levy it might be his heart vs his head. His manager might have agreed to the policy of zero spending, but they might not have envisaged being ahead of the champions going into 2019. If Levy doesn’t prove his ambition now it might make Pochettino question things, especially with United ready to pounce.
Watford 3-0 Newcastle
The whole of football understands Rafa can do no more than keep Newcastle up under the current ownership. But to say it would be a ‘miracle’ is going way too far. Is he really suggesting there are not 3 worse teams then his (hardly will make his squad feel great)? Is Huddersfield, Cardiff, Brighton, etc avoiding relegation not more of a story? Yet they seem to be approaching games more positively. The Toon Army are a loyal bunch who deserve for once to hear a positive soundbite …. especially at Christmas
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
I remember when we held Liverpool at the Emirates questioning why so many gooners were announcing it as the start of a new dawn. I pointed out then that under Arsene Wenger, we routinely got results against big sides ar home, it’s only on our travels where I would be convinced our mentality has changed. Here we are going to Anfield and yet again I wonder if we have the leaders who believe we are not already beat. We have an injury crisis in defence, players are losing confidence and our manager has picked the worst time to start messing round with his best players. And to think we, in the next month, could voluntarily be giving away Ramsey. When the Kop are in a good mood they can intimidate . We need to survive the first 20 minutes, but I see this going the same way as last season. At that point Man United could be creeping up on us.
Burnley 1-2 West Ham
Burnley just can’t seem to find the fundamentals that have seen them go so far in the last few years. Sean Dyche is not a man you want to make angry, while he will accept a lack of quality he won’t tolerate not being organised. The problem when your losing at xmas is there are games every three days, giving him little time to lift confidence after the drubbing from Everton.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea
I think Chelsea will be motivated by watching the Gunners lose the day before, giving them the chance to put some daylight between them and us in the race for the top 4. Palace respond to the big games, but Cardiff was another example of why they need to find a striker in January. Too many times they are not winning having played well.
Southampton 1-2 Man City
The only way Man City were ever going to lose their title is happening. They are losing matches at a time when games are coming thick and fast, giving them no time to get their bearings. As much as Per Guardiola is confident, he wouldn’t have expected to be 10 points behind Liverpool, which could be the case on Sunday. They can’t afford to blink before the Reds do.
Man United 3-1 Bournemouth
Some are questioning the attitude of the Man United squad. Why are they suddenly performing for their interim manager when they couldn’t for the man he replaced? To me it’s as simple as Jose wouldn’t have set them up to attack in games against Cardiff and Huddersfield. Let World class individuals be creative. Simple really!