Premier League predictions: round 26

Here are our predictions for the Premier League yet again! After the last round, Dan took five points, I got a dismal four and Alf took ten. One-zero. Ten.

Dan’s now on 95, I’m on 117 and Alf is sitting well clear on 128. But, as Liverpool have shown us time and time again, no lead is too big to blow.

Onwards we go!

Fulham v Manchester United

Alf: Manchester United won 5 of their 5 away games in all competitions while Fulham are still being Fulham. Ranieri’s not going to keep his job if he failed to win games – this one won’t be the one if he’s to achieve the target. FUL 1-3 MUN

Dan: Ok, so Fulham have conceded 55 goals. Nine more than literally any other team in the league. United have Antony Martial, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford. Look away if murder disturbs you. FUL 1-4 MUN

Oli: Fulham are pretty awful defensively, as I mention every week, having conceded 55 in 25. Manchester United have just moved into fifth and would like to push on into the Champions League slots. They’ll win this easily. FUL 1-3 MUN

Watford v Everton

Alf: The “Marco Silva derby” part 2. Everton are pretty inconsistent these days and last time out, it was a 2-2 draw with Digne scored a last minute goal to save the Toffees. I believe that it’ll be a draw, yet again, for both sides and this time, goalkeepers will be busy. WAT 0-0 EVE

Dan: Everton’s solitary win in their last five game against Huddersfield, which is pretty pathetic. Watford haven’t won in four games. Two similar sides in need of points go at it, but both will come out with less than they wanted. WAT 1-1 EVE

Oli: I don’t like picking my own team to lose. But Everton really aren’t playing well recently and I don’t see any reason why they’re going to improve. Watford are actually pretty decent this season, and they’ll take the three points. WAT 2-1 EVE

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal

Alf: Remember last time out when Emery faced a new manager of a club in relegation zone? That’s right, they lost 3-2. While I’ll still expect them to win the game, it’s another away game for Arsenal and they’ll leak goals. This is why I won’t have high standards on this one. HUD 1-3 ARS

Dan: It’s Huddersfield. Not much else to say here. HUD 0-4 ARS

Oli: Arsenal have just been well beaten by Manchester City, which has to sting a little. Their earlier momentum has really slowed, and they’re down to sixth in the table. However, Huddersfield. HUD 0-3 ARS

Southampton v Cardiff City

Alf: RIP Emi Sala. You’ll be missed. Sorry for the short description but I truly hope that Cardiff will win this one. SOU 1-1 CAR

Dan: Both sides have the uncanny ability to get points where it matters. However, both struggle away. While I think this will be close, Southampton should get a vital three points at home. SOU 1-0 CAR

Oli:  I don’t normally pick Cardiff to take points, because come on. But they’re not doing so badly now, with a win against Bournemouth last week. I’m genuinely really worried about Southampton, because if they get relegated, all of their talent will go to Liverpool for peanuts. But I don’t think they’ll win this one. SOU 1-1 CAR

Crystal Palace v West Ham United

Alf: Palace are unbeaten in their last three games while West Ham are winless in their last three games. I guess it’s not hard for us to predict the winner, no? That’s right, the home side, who’ll do everything to preserve their winning run. CRY 2-0 WHU

Dan: Some how, crazily, West Ham picked up points against Liverpool. Yet they still haven’t won in four and will be a bit shaky. Draw for me. CRY 0-0 WHU

Oli: West Ham United have been slowly creeping their way up the table for a while, and they’ve just drawn against Liverpool – not a bad result. They’ll win this. CRY 1-2 WHU

Liverpool v Bournemouth

Alf: There will be a familiar name for LFC fans in this game. It’s Dominic Solanke, who left them in search for more playing time. Despite of that, this will never change the fact that Liverpool will prevail in this 90 minutes. Oh well… LIV 2-0 BOU

Dan: Ah Bournemouth, 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea one week, 2-0 loss to Cardiff the next. Yet Liverpool have now drawn twice in a row against mid table sides, and I the Bournemouth that thrashed Chelsea will turn up and hold the reds yet again. LIV 1-1 BOU

Oli: I’m getting the feeling Liverpool won’t win this one. I’m not sure what’s giving me that feeling. Maybe it’s optimism at the potential of the Reds throwing another lead away. Maybe it’s realisation that they can’t keep this going. Maybe it’s Maybelline. But Liverpool won’t win this. LIV 2-2 BOU

Brighton and Hove Albion v Burnley

Alf: Brighton are winless in their last three PL games while Burnley recorded 3 draws out of 3. To be honest, this will be naturally a draw as no one seems to have the quality to beat the other team. But I’ll predict a Brighton win if I have to pick a winner. BHA 1-1 BUR

Dan: Yet another draw! The Clarets are still yet to lose in the league in 201, but like Liverpool, have drawn their last two. With Burnley having a thing for drawing on the road, and Brighton an opponent of fairly similar stature, another draw seems the correct result for me. BHA 1-1 BUR

Oli: Yeah, this is looking like a draw. I’d explain more, but Dan and Alf have basically hit the nail on the head. BHA 1-1 BUR

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City

Alf: A hard time to believe for Tottenham fans as Alli and Kane are out, which resulted in a weaker attack of the Tottenham team. But Tottenham will still be the winners of the game as they don’t play as individuals. Teamwork will win them games. TOT 1-0 LEI

Dan: Life finds a way. So does Mauricio Pochettino. With no budget, and his stars injured, he still gets results. A true great of the modern game. I love Poch. Oh, and Tottenham will win. But Poch is great! TOT 2-0 LEI

Oli: Tottenham, without basically everyone, still seem to find a way to play well. So many times, Spurs have turned nothing into something, and I see that happening again here. TOT 2-1 LEI

Manchester City v Chelsea

Alf: A proper dress rehearsal for the Carabao Cup final later this month. City won against Arsenal but Chelsea will be wary of the attacking combos of the home side. Nevertheless, Kepa, as a newcomer of the league, will have a hard time at the Etihad. MCY 2-0 CHE

Dan: So much of this result depends on which Chelsea turns up. Will it be the Chelsea that lost to Bournemouth. Or the one that beat City earlier in the season? I think it’ll be a mix – A Chelsea capable of giving City a game, but not winning. MCY 2-1 CHE

Oli: City really need to up their game, as we move into the final stretch of the season. They’ll throw their all at this match. Chelsea, meanwhile… who knows, really? If I was a Chelsea fan I wouldn’t be happy with their recent results, and I wouldn’t be happy with this one either. MCY 3-1 CHE

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United

Alf: The wolves are bouncing back from their poor run and the magpies are flying under turbulence. Another magpie dinner for the home side on the cards. WOL 2-0 NEW

Dan: Honestly, Newcastle will do the opposite of what I tip no matter what. But look, Wolves are in much better form, despite the Tyne side’s win over City. They’re deservedly seventh and Newcastle is still inconsistent. Wolves win for me. WOL 3-1 NEW

Oli: Wolves really aren’t doing too badly right now. They just beat the greatest football team of all time, Everton, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they won this one fairly convincingly too. WOL 2-0 NEW

Premier League: Our round 25 predictions

Holy shit, we did not tip the last round one. I got four points last round, Alf got three, and Oliver got two. Youch.

Points? Dan: 90 Oliver: 113 Alf: 118. Sober viewing.

On with the tipping!

Tottenham vs Newcastle

Dan

There’s nothing more mid-table/relegation battle team than beating a top four team one week then losing to another next week. 2-1 Tottenham

Oliver

Newcastle just beat City, for crying out loud. They’re starting to finally look like a pretty good football team. Spurs only stumbled their way over the line against Watford and I can’t see them winning this – but I don’t see them losing either. 1-1 draw

Alf

Pochettino will be glad that Son is back as South Korea are eliminated in the Asian Cup final. On the other hand, their opponents, Newcastle, just beat Manchester City at home. The firepower will improve but the fact that Kane and Alli are out doesn’t go away. 2-0

Everton vs Wolves

Dan

Two teams that aren’t really any better or worse than each other play. Will be close, can go any way, so it’s a draw for me. 1-1 draw

Oliver

Wolves and Everton are about as good as each other at this point. Everton’s home advantage will certainly give them a leg up, and I think that’s all it will take for the Toffees to win and overtake Wolves into seventh. 2-1 Everton

Alf

Wolves’ victory against West Ham propelled them to 7th place. Everton won against Huddersfield away, yet Digne’s suspension may affect how Marco Silva alter his preferred tactics. Points shared. 1-1 draw

Chelsea vs Huddersfield

Dan

Chelsea might be really frustratingly inconsistent, but, still. It’s fucking Huddersfield. If Sarri’s team can’t win this one, they will have really, really, big problems. 3-0 Chelsea

Oliver

Alf

It was so pleasing to see the “haha” emojis at full-time on the post on the official Chelsea account on FB after their defeat against Bournemouth. On the other hand, I feel sorry for Huddersfield, who had a hard time in playing well against Everton – you guessed it, it’s going to be tougher for them. 2-0 Chelsea

Brighton vs Watford

Dan

Brighton haven’t managed to win for four games and they’re coming off a loss to Fulham, of all teams. Watford are a quality side and should be able to narrowly dispatch of the seagulls. 1-0 Watford

Oliver

Watford are certainly a better side than Brighton and played well against Spurs, even if they went down. I’d pick Watford to win if they were at home, but they’re not, so they don’t. 1-1 draw

Alf

Brighton lost to relegation struggles Fulham in a goal fest. Watford lost to Tottenham in the London derby, yet a close call for both sides. Both sides are equally strong, but Watford will be able to snatch a draw, in minimum. 2-1 Watford

Burnley vs Southampton

Dan

Sean Dyche stopped Solskjaer’s and Man United’s winning run, Burnley hasn’t lost in 2019, Dyche has gotten The Clarets back on track. Southampton aren’t to bad but Burnley should win this with the form they are in 2-1 Burnley

Oliver

Both Southampton and Burnley are doing quite nicely at the moment. Ralph Hasenhuettl’s adjusted spectacularly to Southampton’s playing style and I’d expect them, for that reason, to just pip Burnley at the post. 3-2 Southampton

Alf

It’s going to be an interesting game (pun intended) with both teams of 23 points. Burnley and Southampton are eager to remain in the Premier League and neither side would want to lose. Last time. it was a 0-0 draw. Will the fear be repeated this time? 1-1 draw

Crystal Palace vs Fulham

Dan

Palace aren’t doing to badly, giving Liverpool a mighty good game, knocking Tottenham out of the FA Cup, and getting a draw with Southampton with just ten men. On the other side, it’s kinda Fulham. Palace should take the three points. 1-0 Crystal Palace

Oliver

Yes, I know Fulham aren’t doing well. And I know their defence is a mess. But Crystal Palace had Wilf Zaha sent off last week and I think that’ll really negatively affect them, enough for Fulham to win. 2-1 Fulham

Alf

Yay, it’s another London derby day. Palace, without Zaha, will be an easier target, on paper. But even without Zaha, Townsend, Milivojević and Ayew will still cause problems to the Fulham defence. Ranieri should be wary of this. 2-1 Crystal Palace

Cardiff vs Bournemouth

Dan

The last time I was tipping Bournemouth I asked “remember when Bournemouth was good?” After Bournemouth’s 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, I’m regretting that. Anyway, after such a dominant performance, Bournemouth shouldn’t have a problem here. 3-1 Bournemouth

Oliver

Off the back of their huge win over Chelsea, I think Bournemouth will win again. It won’t be as big a victory as the one against Chelsea, but they’ll still take a win against an unlucky Cardiff. 2-0 Bournemouth

Alf

I never expected that Bournemouth to thrash Chelsea before the match. It was supposed to be the opposite, but Howe’s men proved otherwise. On the other hand, Cardiff deserved a point, yet Aubameyang and Lacazette proved otherwise. At the same time, we #PrayForSala. 3-0 Bournemouth

Leicester City vs Manchester United

Dan

As much as I hate to admit it going into this game, Leicester are very much giant killers this season and I can very much see them getting something out of this match. Maybe not 3 points, but still. A draw. 1-1 draw

Oliver

Leicester managed to hold Liverpool to a draw last time out, and that’s no mean feat. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s been flying but their winning run stopped against Burnley and I don’t think they’ll win this either. 2-2 draw

Alf

Leicester snatched a precious point from Liverpool. Manchester United made a comeback to do the same. Leicester will be a tricky opponent at home but I believe in Solksjær’s men to get all 3 points at the King Power Stadium. 3-0 Manchester United

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Dan

Both teams will be nervous heading into this. City’s confidence was shaken after the defeat to Newcastle and they don’t want to City gain too much ground. Meanwhile Arsenal are playing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. I can see this being a nervy goalless draw. 0-0 draw.

Oliver

City know they need to make a statement now. Off the back of a loss to Newcastle, and with Liverpool five points clear, they need to show England what they’re made of. Arsenal’s a great team to do that against. 2-0 Manchester City

Alf

Just because Arsenal are back to winning ways doesn’t mean that they’re fine. They still lack concentration in defence. Against Manchester City, a side who loves attacking, Arsenal are going to lose all 3 points – well, a draw would be a bonus. 3-1 Manchester City

West Ham vs Liverpool

Dan

West Ham have lost their last two matches 4-2 to Wimbledon and 3-0 Wolves. Liverpool are Liverpool. This won’t be pretty. 5-0 Liverpool

Oliver

This will be controversial. Liverpool were stopped last week by Leicester City, and despite West Ham’s dismal performance I think they’ll hold the Reds again. This could be a turning point for the season. 1-1 draw

Alf

It’s very embarrassing to see West Ham with 0 shots on target when they faced Wolves away. I thought that it’s something which will happen only when I play Dream League Soccer. While West Ham may have some good memories in facing the Reds, Liverpool are going to bounce back from the draw against Leicester. 3-0 Liverpool

 

 

Why the Denis Suárez deal makes sense and why Barcelona can afford to lose him

Why the Denis Suárez deal makes sense and why Barcelona can afford to lose him

As Denis Suárez is now a Gunner for the rest of the season, it ends all the speculations that Arsenal won’t sign anyone in the January window. Even though it’s just a loan deal, it pleases both parties. Here’s why.


From Arsenal’s point of view

  1. Denis is happy to work with Emery. As Denis worked with Emery in Sevilla before, Arsenal now have two Europa League winners in their team, which will help to boost the confidence of the team in winning the UEL.
  2. Denis is the kind of player they want and need. What Arsenal need is not only someone who can play in both upfront and in midfield (like Özil) but also, a playmaker. Denis is the kind of player who can do all these stuff.
  3. If Denis doesn’t play well, he doesn’t have to be here. Arsenal can opt to activate the release clause of 20 million Euros to get him in the summer. But it’s not obligatory, so I’ll see it just a mere option on the contract.

From Barcelona’s point of view

  1. They get money from the deal, should Arsenal exercise their option to buy. Even if Barcelona don’t get the 20 million in July, Denis’ contract extension to 2021 will preserve his current market value.
  2. They would rather develop de Jong than on Denis. de Jong’s arrival will further reduce Denis’ playing time since it’ll be a total waste of money not to play the Dutchman, at least from Valverde’s perspective.
  3. Denis isn’t in Valverde’s plans, so it makes sense to offload him. Barcelona are crowded with talented midfielders like Arthur Melo, Carles Aleñá and Sergi Roberto. Even Aleñá got more chances than him.

From the player’s own point of view

Let’s be honest, if you were Denis, would you rather be a benchwarmer at Camp Nou or the main man somewhere else? For Suárez himself, he decided to opt for a return to England (he used to play for Manchester City before).


The final verdict 

Provided that Denis doesn’t get a lot of chances under Valverde and the confirmed transfer of Frenkie de Jong, I believe that there’s a high chance that the player will sign a permanent deal with the north London club.
Unless there is something bad happen to Arsenal (or Emery), it would be the best for Denis to be a Gunner in the next season. But of course, like Alcácer’s case, it all depends on what Denis will do in the future.
It can’t be certain for now.
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