Liverpool 1-0 Cherries
Yes, If you offered Liverpool fans a first title in 30 years at the start of the season, they wouldn’t care about the FA Cup. When they are lifting the Premiership in a month’s time their fans won’t be crying. Going by that logic though your keeper could throw the ball in the net 5 times in the Champions League and it wouldn’t matter. It’s funny how the media (biased to Liverpool) spoke for months about going unbeaten and winning a treble, yet as soon as they fail, these things are not so important? Even if they don’t play well though, I can’t see the visitors keeping a clean sheet or believing they can win.
Arsenal 2-1 West Ham
I wrote West Ham off a few weeks ago and to be fair they have surprised me with their last couple of performances. This will be the first time we will see a few of our players since the Europa League defeat. How they start might be crucial as we seem to have gone back to the days of it not taking a lot for the Emirates to get edgy. The longer the Hammers are in the game the worse our game management gets.
Palace 0-2 Watford
The win over Liverpool was a performance that should give Watford’s manager the confidence to be positive every week. Especially their attacking players like Sarr. If they start on the front foot they can win here
Sheffield United 1-1 Norwich
Are Norwich the best side to be bottom of the Premiership? I did feel sorry for them last weekend. They won on the Friday to give themselves a chance then the sides above them get results. It’s amazing how often that happens. Like at home to Brighton, United might not be comfortable being the favourites. Expectations are such that fans will be disappointed not to win, which is crazy when you consider these two clubs got promoted together.
Saints 2-1 Newcastle
The winner will feel they might have done enough to survive while the loser will be looking over their heads. The FA Cup was a timely moment for some of the Toons attackers to find their scoring boots, but the Premiership is different pressure. You have no such doubt over Southampton ‘s firepower with Ings and even Long in form.
Wolves 1-1 Brighton
Anyone else notice Brighton have stopped trying to play beautiful football and are now trying to grind out results? That wasn’t good enough this time last year when that’s what Chris Hughton was doing. Wolves might have one eye on their Olympiokos tie, and you can’t blame them. They don’t have the biggest squad.
Burnley 1-0 Spurs
Nightmare game for Jose so soon after going out of the Cup (out of all the sides left in it perhaps Spurs needed that trophy the most?) This is where he needs to show he has learnt from previous mistakes. Does he have the man management skills to lift his players? Or does he continue to create a negative environment by complaining about his lack of strikers. Or another press conference when you ask , ‘Why would he say that?’. On current form it wouldn’t be a shock if Spurs get bullied here.
Chelsea 1-1 Everton
If I was Lampard, I’d start Gilmour again, you have to after how he did in midweek. One of those few times you see a youngster play for the first time and you know he’s special. It’s up to his peers to find consistency and some of them might be injured. Everton at least showed against Man United they believe they can compete with the top 6, although I thought it was the correct decision to not allow the winner.
Man United 1-2 City
City were awesome at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup yet United have found some confidence. If you had to pick a winner though you would always fancy the champions with zero pressure on them.
Leicester 1-1 Villa
Last week I said the Foxes had lost their mojo, but should be okay to qualify for the Champions League. Now I’m not so sure. Yes, it would take a couple of other sides to find some consistency but by the time they kick off on Monday it could be just the 5 points. Villa could be 5 points from safety. The visitors simply need this more. This will be a battle.