So, for a long time since I started doing this, I’ve always thought of starting the weekend off with my predictions. Ok, this may be a pointless and ultimately embarrassing way to go about things, but these days a man needs to be ahead of the curve, rather than reacting to what’s already taken place. Plus, as some may know, I love a good “I told you so” and what better way to achieve that than telling people what’s going to happen before it does? Although I may be writing this post as the first game is being played (and first goal being scored), I can assure everyone that my predictions were made before the weekend’s play! So, here we go:
Manchester City vs. Everton
I am one of the many who have been absolutely blown away by City’s play this season. Ok, so they’ve spent enough money to be able to play this way, but the way that Pep has managed to keep all those egos on a careful leash, rotating when necessary without upsetting the apple cart, is nothing short of outstanding. Although now second in the league after the loss against Chelsea last week, I am still fully confident that, come the end of the season, they will be the team on top. If Jose Mourinho had half the man management talent of Pep Guardiola, United would surely be challenging City for the title, for sure Pogba would either be nowhere near the team sheet, or be playing as the team player he needs to adapt to being.
On the other side of things, I watched as many people did as Everton came so close to a derby draw and I was very impressed with how they played, especially Andre Gomes and the pacey little Bernard. I truly believe that, given a bit more finesse and a little calmness at some vital moments, Everton would have come away with the points. Overall, Everton have had a disappointing couple of weeks with the draws against Newcastle, then having lost the lead at home to Watford being specifically poor. That is why, in this contest, I’m pushing City as the winners at home, I expect heavy amounts of possession, lots of chances and, although I see the Toffees not going down without a whimper, I don’t see them turning over the reigning Champions.
My prediction: 3-1 to City
Huddersfield vs. Newcastle
Huddersfield this season have been playing the exact brand of football that I expected of them to be honest. In my first piece of the season, I predicted them to come in the relegation zone and they haven’t really showed me anything that has changed my mind. They still seem like a team of plucky underdogs who just don’t quite have enough of what it takes to keep themselves afloat. They blew me away last season with an incredible story to stay up, including a massive win against United, but I don’t see lightning striking twice.
For Newcastle, they had a gargantuan November, winning all 3 games against all the odds. Since then, December hasn’t gone their way and so this game against fellow relegation contenders will be HUGE for both teams. The way I see this going, is for Newcastle, with their highly experienced Rafa at the helm (lucky for them that he’s still there), to come through this contest with the points, 3 massive points that will maybe give them a bit of breathing space at the bottom.
My Prediction: 2-1 to Newcastle
Crystal Palace vs. Leicester City
Roy Hodgson is starting to rebuild his reputation a little with his now hard to beat Palace team, while Leicester are doing their best to honour the memory of their beloved former chairman. Although there is 10 points between them, I think at Selhurst Park, Palace could offer some strong resistance and I actually see this game going more their way than for the visitors, it just depends on whether they can get enough chances put away. I think Leicester could push them quite a lot but, overall, that aforementioned toughness could see Palace hold on.
My prediction: 1-1 Draw
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. AFC Bournemouth
After very impressive starts to the season, with varying results, this game will definitely be worth a watch I reckon. Bournemouth have been going through a tough period as of late, with not many points coming their way, of course with having Arsenal, Liverpool and City in the space of 4 games, it was never looking likely that they would have a good run there. Wolves, on the other hand, are coming off the back of two humongous wins, firstly the one against Chelsea that came out of nowhere, then that last gasp winner they deserved against Newcastle. That is why I’m putting my money on them to take this one, they finally seem to be seeing some results from their play that has lit up Molyneux this season. In addition to the euphoria of their victory against the Geordies, plus Bournemouth coming back from a 4-0 stomping at home, the momentum certainly seems to be going one way.
My Prediction: 2-1 to Wolves
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley
One of my particular disappointments this season has been watching the Burnley Express having some maintenance problems. They’ve got themselves out of the relegation zone for now but, after crashing out of Europe, the basket that they seemed to choose for their eggs, they really have been lacking some focus on their league form. Tottenham, on the contrary, have been pulling out some mammoth results, a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp to qualify for the last 16 in midweek being the pinnacle. I thought that they may struggle this season after a lack of reinforcements in the summer, and maybe they will later, but right now they are showing no sign of that exhaustion. They’re also starting to learn how exactly to play at Wembley, something that was missing last season, so I’m going to pick them out as the likely winners.
My Prediction: 3-0 to Spurs
Watford vs. Cardiff City
I’ve said it many times and I’m going to say it again – I don’t like Cardiff City, I don’t like the way they play and I don’t like their slimy manager, whose smile sends shivers up my spine whenever I have the misfortune to gaze upon such a sight….so then it may be more out of spite than anything that I have picked the Hornets to win at home today. They are a team that run a very interesting club behind the scenes, with a setup that focuses on bringing in young players and organisationally having a structure that isn’t diminished when a coach decides to leave (If you fancy reading about that, check out this article). It’s quite a German system of running things, where they bring in youth and sell for profit, my case in point being Richarlison, so for me it’s a welcome change to the rivers of money being poured into clubs to turn their fortunes around, it’s a smarter, more sustainable system. Therefore, after singing their praises all round, I’m picking them for this one, not the horrible team from the city where I went to uni…..
My Prediction: 2-0 to Watford
Fulham vs. West Ham
Well, lets be honest, this is not really the slobberknocker that everybody is going to tune into on a Saturday evening. It’s about as much of a derby as Fulham vs. Chelsea was on “Derby Day” which, when stood next to the North London and Liverpool derbies really doesn’t hold up so thanks Sky Sports. But, anyway, Ranieri is back in the Premier League which I’m sure everyone is excited about, although he has warned us not to expect the miracle, let’s be honest, we’re all hoping to see Fulham as Premier League Champions aren’t we?! That is, however, highly unlikely and I’m pretty sure the Hammers are going to steamroll them, with their manager finally getting the quality players he has at his disposal to play together, they are becoming a real fine working machine.
My Prediction: 2-0 to West Ham
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