Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal
This is an example where an empty stadium gives us an advantage. A packed Bramall Lane can be intimidating, and I probably would have made them favourites if that was the case. We were not great at Southampton but the only way you rebuild confidence is winning games and the likes of Rob Holding needed that. It’s worth remembering that Sheffield United have started with a 0-0 draw and two 3-0 defeats so maybe it’s a good time to play them? Are we just setting ourselves up for pain in the long run though?
Newcastle 0-3 Man City
Imagine a full house Saint James Park for an FA cup quarter final. Without that though, the Toon lose their best hope, and this could be attack vs defence (although Newcastle often prove me wrong in my predictions). Having surrendered their title though, I can see Pep Guardiola even more determined to make it another clean sweep of the domestic cups.
Norwich 0-3 Man United
It pains me to say this, but how good have United looked now they have Pogba playing with someone on his level in Fernandes? United are the in-form team in the country right now, and I struggle to make an argument for Norwich apart from I guess the pressure is off them?
Leicester 1-2 Chelsea
It was said for a while that Leicester are tip-toeing to the finish line, and since the League resumed they haven’t looked great in two draws. Think they will raise themselves here but it’s a bad time to be playing Chelsea. Lampard has good youngsters and the Blues are clearly going to spend big money this summer. They are 17-1 to win the Prem next year and could be a good outside bet? Chelsea to win maybe in extra time.
Aston Villa 0- 2 Wolves
So, here’s the situation at the bottom (if we assume Norwich are relegated). It’s increasing looking like 2 out of Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Watford are going down, with Watford having a point advantage at the moment. None of them can win at the moment, but the plus every week is neither can those around them. So, the first to win puts massive pressure on their rivals. Villa have an advantage here that they play first. Without repeating myself though, these results could look so different if they had their fans supporting them. Without that, logically the better team will simply win more often, and you will see less upsets.
Watford 2-0 Saints
Watford’s best chance of staying up is this Sunday. They know a win here puts massive pressure on Bournemouth and West Ham in midweek. What Nigel Pearson has been good at is getting his team to stay in games. Watford simply need this more than Southampton.
Crystal Palace 3- 1 Burnley
It’s ironic that when strongly linked with the likes of Everton, Sean Dyche decided to stay in the comfort of Burnley. Now with not an obvious bigger job available the rumours are that he’s thinking of leaving. Maybe he feels he’s taken the club as far as he can which he probably has? He was very emotional after beating Watford which suggests it wasn’t easy preparing his men for a game with other distractions.
That’s my basis for them getting comfortably beaten on Monday night.