Dan’s Week26 EPL Predictions – Nervy Arsenal to finally get an away win?

As I write this, police have confirmed they have found the body of Emiliano Sala. For a couple of weeks, we feared the worst but clung to the small percentage of hope. Not knowing must have made it agonising for his family who at least now can grieve. Earlier in the week I was disgusted with the news that Nantes and Cardiff were rowing over payments/insurance, etc. All of that can wait, and I hope in light of this breaking news the clubs can put the issue of money on the back burner.

This is a reminder. Football is a great game, but it is just a game …..
Much love to Sala and his loved ones.

Okay so here are my predictions…

Fulham 0-1 Man United
United will temporarily go third if they win here, they were 11 points behind us when Jose was sacked. Fulham’s best chance of survival is to attack. They have players who can hurt United’s defence and that’s more likely than their defence trying to keep them out. The Red Devils are picking up that habit you get when you’re on a winning run, they seem to be getting luck at key moments in matches.

Palace 1- 1 West Ham
Palace have an attack that their relegation rivals are envious of, but they have the same inconsistency problem as West Ham. How can the Hammers perform like they did against Liverpool a week after being outplayed at Wolves? Mark Noble blamed the transfer window for distracting the squad, failing to mention the other 19 clubs have the same issue. The reality is if you have a talent who shows up against Liverpool but not Wolves, that is what separates you playing at the highest level compared to a mid-table club. Why has there also not been more media coverage on video footage of Salah being racially abused? Compare this allegation to the incident involving Sterling at the Bridge, are we starting to get used to this in our game to the point it’s no longer a talking point?

Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal
With Chelsea at Man City a day after this is a must win game for the Gunners. Our away from is still dodgy and it would be very Arsenal-like to show up with the wrong attitude and be guilty of complacency. Huddersfield are bottom of the league due to a lack of quality but there is nothing wrong with their work rate or desire. Arsenal must earn the right to play and based on previous performances on our travels, I can see us making life difficult for ourselves.

Southampton 1-0 Cardiff
The Saints have conceded two late equalisers in their last 2 games. It’s a chance missed as now Cardiff have the chance to climb above them. Under their new boss they have been a lot more positive but it’s interesting to see if the stakes affect them. Cardiff will give 100 percent, but they haven’t got the likes of Ings or Austin.

Watford 3-0 Everton
It’s ironic that as he’s struggling, Silva should come up against his old club, the one he left assuming the grass was greener. It’s an FA Cup break after this, making it a long 2 weeks if the Toffees are soundly beaten. It’s incredible how much experience they have, that no one in the Everton squad is taking any responsibility. Silva’s had the dreaded vote of confidence, and given the hassle they went to employing him you like to think a successful business man’s judgement would not change based on the short term. Owners only act once it’s clear a boss has lost the dressing room. I think his players are trying for him, but he lacks the ability to lift their confidence.

Liverpool 2- 1 Cherries
Under 2 weeks ago Liverpool were playing to go 7 points clear at the top now there’s talk that they are bottling it (why I think it’s genius that City moved the Everton fixture forward to pile the pressure on). It’s quite defeatist when in February you are joint points with the champions having lost one fixture. Man City have the advantage of individuals who have experience of dealing with a title run in which is why I’m surprised Klopp, one of the few at Anfield to win a league, has been so defeatist this week. Surely he and his men discussed how to react to dropped points, 29 years in the waiting, this was never going to be simple getting over the line.
So, with a football mad city, nervous, looking to their leader for inspiration, I’m not sure if was a good idea to act like you had just lost. So, the Kop will be anxious on Saturday and Eddie Howe has the talent to take advantage going forward, but not to survive an onslaught in the last 20 minutes.

Brighton 0-0 Burnley
How did this get picked for TV? Using Crouch to get a 90th minute equaliser in 2019 is probably why Sean Dyche doesn’t get considered for a better job. Two well organised sides, this could be a case of who blinks first. Last on Match Of The Day?


Spurs 1-1 Leicester
Spurs easily could have dropped points in their last 2 games, digging deep to win, to be fair we don’t normally associate Spurs with mental toughness. I can already see a summer of “Spurs would have won title if Kane was fit”. A repeat of recent performances and the Foxes are good enough to get something. They have more about them than Watford or Newcastle not to cave in late on. Their performance at Anfield will help here.

Man City 2-1 Chelsea
A lot been made of Sarri’s tactics this season but it’s worth remembering he outsmarted the Champions at the Bridge. Unlike us, he has the talent to park the bus if he wants to, but there’s a spotlight on the Italian getting the best out of Hazard, Kante, etc. He needs to do more than beat Huddersfield to convince us he knows his best team. If Aguero keeps scoring crucial goals in the title race this should be the year that he gets recognition with a player of the year award.

Wolves 3-0 Newcastle
Earlier in the season Wolves lacked a cutting edge in the final third but they seem to have found their killer instinct in the last few weeks, and are looking like the best of the rest. This could see the debut of Almiron. He’s the type of flair player the Toon will fall in love with, but does he have the right manager? While adjusting from the MLS he doesn’t need Rafa barking at him to chase back a winger. I just hope he’s allowed to express himself.

Dan Smith


  1. Eddie Hoyte says:

    I think Bournemouth will give Liverpool a run for their money, I suspect Suarez will get his Debut and Ozil will play.
    That aside there’s something troubling me that I’ve been wondering about since Wednesday?
    Why were Manchester City and Everton the only teams to play on Wednesday? In this title race, Manchester City has now played 26 EPL games sames as Everton while the rest of us still at 25. I was thinking maybe it means City won’t play this weekend, but then again they’re playing, then you have the media piling Pressure on Liverpool saying all sorts of stuffs and using different headlines as if to say Liverpool has the same number of games City has and they dropped points for City to catch up.
    Why us nobody questioning that fact? Why did Manchester city had to play on Wednesday without other teams playing too?
    I’ve always read stuffs such as referees and the FA like to have things go their way and they favour some clubs above others, is this part of it? The pressure and attention on Liverpool now is something else and now people keep saying they’ll crack

    1. gotanidea says:

      Good point about Man City

      Man City have enough players to endure such tight schedule

    2. lcebox says:

      Its cause of league cup final and Everton agreed so they moved it forward Liverpool will play there catch up game that wkend.

  2. ThirdManJW says:

    Id like to see Saurez start. Ive never seen him play before. Please no Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil though. We need to win this one!

    1. gotanidea says:

      Suarez played in the previous match and he looked rusty with many bad first touches

      I think he could come as a sub

      1. ozziegunner says:

        gotanidea, to be fair to Denis Suarez he only came on as a substitute against high class opposition with minimal preparation.
        I hope he plays as a wide CAM; Arsenal need speed and width.

    2. Dan kit says:

      Saurez as been abit part player wherever he’s played,never made it at Man City ,Barcelona squad player at best ,even when emery won the Europe league saurez was an unused sub,so I’m not sure what we should expect from him.
      Maybe you could add iwobi to that list of players you don’t want to see play,or would you rather him play aNd show us his unbelievable talent?because that’s whats going to happen if he leaves out ozil. It I suppose fans on here now seem willing to take headless chicken running over quality these days

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        No I’d rather try Saurez first, then maybe bring Iwobi off the bench over Ozil, because at least he’ll work hard off the ball, even if his quality may be off on the day, and by the way…Iwobi has had more better performances this season than Ozil. Wish I could get paid 350k a week for a light jogging session, and risk free passing that even Denilson could pull off! Hahaha!


  3. John Wick says:

    I like your predictions Dan ? I will take a 2-1 all day long ? hopefully City beat Chelsea as I don’t think we can catch totts 10 points is a massive lead!

    1. Sue says:

      Unless Mike Dean sends a City player off (Fernandinho maybe?!)
      Yes I keep hearing about the 10 points & being told to mind the gap!! ???

      1. John Wick says:

        Well he’s bound to send someone off Sue he’s on 99 reds i think? Yes but Totts will suffer having to pay their new stadium off, hopefully we can overtake them during they’re barron period ?

        1. Sue says:

          Oh for sure & imagine that look of satisfaction on his face as he does it ?
          I hope so too!! All they keep on about is how their stadium is the greatest in the world blah blah blah ??

          1. John Wick says:

            Haha he would remind you of a strict headmaster wouldn’t he ? I bet he’s unmarried, lives at home with his elderly mother ? are they bragging on twitter Sue ? The world cup in Qatar will be over by the time they move in ?

            1. Sue says:

              ?? I reckon you’re right!!
              Yes on Twitter & another Arsenal blog… poor little spuds ?
              Hahaha brilliant!!! Been so long hasn’t it?!!

              1. John Wick says:

                The Europa begins next week, actually looking forward to that! So you heading to Belarus for the first leg Sue ? they do like a good brag ?

                1. Sue says:

                  Not a chance – sitting with my feet up in the living room will do nicely!! We’ve got to win that!! Yes I’m looking forward to the CL too. Come on Cavani ??

                  1. John Wick says:

                    And Mbappe ? Cavani too ? ?? Yeah I know Sue not many people are gonna be shelving out money traveling to Belarus for a Europa League game lol

                    1. Sue says:

                      I really like Cavani (no I don’t fancy him ?) just think he’s really good. Love watching PSG, my son in law went to Emery’s last game for them (alright for some hey?!) How I miss us being in the CL!
                      The darts was good last.night – Gerwyn won ? hahaha!!

                    2. John Wick says:

                      Haha ok ?? it is indeed Sue Paris very fancy ? I’d obviously prefer being in the CL but we were embarrassing in it especially last 16 I would rather be in it if we were good enough to win it, maybe some day ? I bet you loved that ??

                    3. Sue says:

                      One day we’ll win it John ? Christ knows when, but we will ?

                    4. John Wick says:

                      2006 was are best chance it still haunts me ? almunia got a lot of stick in that final but he pulled off a few world class saves I blame Lehmann the pints came flying off our table that night ?

                    5. Sue says:

                      Does me too if I’m honest, was absolutely devastated… haha I can imagine ?

                    6. John Wick says:

                      Especially when big Solomon headed one in ? yeah it will until we win it again ? well Sue hopefully the Gunners get those 3 points tomorrow and you have a great weekend ?

                    7. Sue says:

                      Fingers crossed John! I wonder if I’ll be watching MOTD tomorrow ??
                      You have a great weekend too!

                    8. John Wick says:

                      Oh you’ll watch it regardless of the outcome big Al will be on won’t he ? I’ll try thank you Sue ???

                    9. Sue says:

                      Btw you were right – it is that navy/burgundy kit tomorrow! ??

                    10. John Wick says:

                      For once I’m right ?? I can safely say I don’t have it ?

      2. Malik says:

        Yeah the game gap definitely keeps growing wider. Arsenal have won another 4 trophies in the last 6 years, whilst tiny tots recently celebrated 4000 days without a trophy #COYG #FOYS

        1. Sue says:

          I celebrated that too 4000 and counting ??

          1. Malik says:

            Imagine your most celebrating your golden generation with ZERO silverware ???

            1. Malik says:

              ***Please disregard “Your most”

              1. Sue says:

                Poor spuds can’t help being useless can they?! ?

  4. Clive says:

    @Eddie Hoyte…Man city were suppose to play Eveton on the weekend of the Carabao cup final,
    so the two Clubs and FA decided to bring the match to that Wednesday.there will be no outstanding match for them after the Caraboa cup finals.

  5. I think Emery is starting to lose the dressing room. If he doesn’t want to play his top players–Ramsey and Ozil–and the team lacks creativity–and thus goals, people will start to wonder what his tactics are supposed to be and what the hell he’s playing at with Ozil captain one game, then benched the next. Stupidity. Ozil is consistently one of the top creators in Europe and Emery is basically destroying him. Lichsteiner and Mustafi are simply not good enough, one is too slow, the other too error prone. But Emery prefers age and experience over youth and skill apparently, so Mavropanos and Jenkinson won’t get game time. We’ve already lost to too many bottom half clubs. If Arsenal lose the next game, I think Emery will have been found out as someone too rigid and too poor a man manager to deal with Arsenal. Emery needs this win, otherwise the pressure will get out of control.

    1. jon fox says:

      What a load of reactionary , ill considered NONSENSE ! Laziness, NOT Emery, is weekly destroying not only OZIL but his former reputation too.

    2. Jah son says:

      A lovely post indeed don’t mind the haters

    3. Gunner22 says:

      Stephan, my opinion, Ozil was “one of the top creators in Europe”, that is the past, means he is no longer the top creator, accept that his age and/or attitude is letting him down.No denying he was good at some point, his fans were quick to pint out that there was no lethal forward except Giroud/Walcot, hence “blah,blah,blah”Now we have PEA and Laca., yet he cannot provide those defense splitting passes and is exposed. Even at 30+ Messi is carrying Barca and CR7 is carrying Juve. Sorry Ozil is no longer in the world class bracket (lets not discuss his salary for a while, lets focus on his ability), end of debate. Emery is right no nonsense coach, he knows best having guided Valencia to top 3 in Spain, Seville to 3 Europas, PSG the title. He is the only classy coach in my opinion after Pep, Allegiri and Klopp, and would be great if he was supported with funds. Today even the mighty Bayern and Real are struggling with all their resources, so support the coach and wish all players put in their best efforts.

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