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

 

 

My thoughts on Emiliano Sala

My thoughts on Emiliano Sala

In England, right now, it’s transfer deadline day. That’s the same across Europe, in fact. At any other deadline day, I’m sure that’s where the football world’s attention would be almost exclusively directed. Who’s going where? What deals are going to shock us? How long can Spurs go without signing anyone?

But I’ll be honest, I almost completely forgot about the transfer window’s impending closure, and I think a lot of football fans have done the same. That’s not because this year’s January has been any more dull – ok, maybe it has – but because of the disappearance of Emiliano Sala, Cardiff City’s record signing whose plane went missing on the way from Nantes over to south Wales. It was January 21st when the plane left France and the day after that it was confirmed Sala was on board the aircraft. It’s now the 31st of January, ten days after Sala was due to arrive at his new club. In that week-and-a-half, I believe we’ve seen the best of the footballing community.

Image result for emiliano sala

After days of searching, efforts were called off on the 24th of January because Channel Islands Air Search just didn’t think it was possible to find Sala or pilot Dave Ibbotson. In the space of two days – that’s 48 hours – after the search was called off, donors had raised £260,000. That’s close to $500k in NZD. And that was in two days.

Just look at the way Nantes fans acted yesterday in their match against Saint-Etienne. The match was stopped in the ninth minute to allow the fans to have a tribute, with tifos and chanting all around. And it’s not like the Nantes fans stopped there – they kept chanting Sala’s name for goodness knows how long. There were even Cardiff City fans at the game that had flown over from Wales just for that.

Image result for nantes sala

Football – like any other sport, really – can be pretty divisive at times. Our tribalistic instincts really do come to the forefront when we’re in support mode. I could look at this in a more negative sense and argue that it’s sad that we need an event like this to bring people together. But instead, I think it says a lot about it that we come together in the first place. There are other walks of life where it seems anything that harms opposition is a benefit for yourself. Politics, especially, is an example of an environment where this seems to ring true.

Football fans around the world have put our differences aside for this. It’s the same way Dortmund fans put their allegiances aside and welcomed Monaco fans into their homes after the BVB bus bombing. It’s the same way the Premier League collectively mourned Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after his unfortunate death in a helicopter accident. And there are other, perhaps more humorous examples that could be given.

When you’re 1-0 down in a football match at halftime, rolling over and not bothering to contest the second half is probably the worst possible thing you could do. Anyone who knows anything about football knows that you’re best off fighting onwards together, as a unit, as a team. You won’t get anywhere if the centre-backs disagree on who should take throw-ins and the wingers won’t cross the ball in cause they don’t think the forwards are any good. You do best together, and it seems with the events of the past two weeks, the football world’s realised that, and done it.

Image credit: http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/34A8/production/_105408431_hi052008761.jpg

and  http://sf2.sport365.fr/wp-content/uploads/se/2017/08/sala-750×410.jpg

Premier League: Our Round 24 predictions

Another week, another round of premier league football. And another few hours of me scrambling to get everyone’s tips. Folks, say hello to this week’s tips.

Alf really has overtaken Oliver recently, and retains that lead heading into round 24. He’s on 115, Oliver is on 109, and I’m on 85. *mournful sigh*

On with the tipping!

Arsenal vs Cardiff

Dan

It’s been a real tough week for Cardiff fans after the disappearance of Emiliano Sala. As much as I want them to bounce back in the right way, it’s still Arsenal. And they’re still Cardiff. It hurts to predict this. 2-0 Arsenal

Oliver

Cardiff City are going through a difficult time at the moment both on the field and off it. They’re sitting in eighteenth and club-record signing Emiliano Sala has gone missing off Alderney. It’s not looking good for them against Arsenal but I think they’ll make it closer than expected. 2-1 Arsenal

Alf

Sure, Arsenal lost their last game against Manchester United. But it’s a United side rejuvenated under Solksjær, so I’m fine with it. On the other hand, Cardiff are really bad these days. It’s a good time for Aubameyang to grab a hat-trick in the Premier League. 3-0 Arsenal

Fuham vs Brighton

Dan

Fulham were desperately unlucky to lose to Tottenham the other week, and now, they’re rested coming up against a good at times, yet inconsistent Brighton who will be frustrated after West Brom forced them into a replay in the FA Cup. I’ll pick Fulham for this one, though not confidently. 2-1 Fulham

Oliver

Brighton’s last two PL games have been against superior opponents in Liverpool and Manchester United, and so Fulham will be a match they’ll be looking forward. Fulham are Fulham, so that’s all I need to say there. 3-1 Brighton

Alf

Being knocked out of the FA Cup has its perks since they have more time to rest. Brighton just forced West Brom to a replay. With tired players, I believe that Fulham can seize the chance to look for a win. 1-0 Fulham

Wolves vs West Ham

Dan

Losses to Brighton and being shockingly dumped out of the FA Cup by Wimbledon ended West Ham’s purple patch of form. Sure, Wolves got held to a replay by Shrewsbury, but unlike their opponents they’ll have the home advantage and confidence to boot. 1-0 Wolves

Oliver

We’ve got two sides with very, very similar records going up against each other. Wolves are eighth, WHU are tenth, both with a goal difference of -4 and nine wins from 23. How could this not be a draw? 1-1 draw

Alf

The Wolves are on fire at home and they’re not a team to be looked down on. On the other hand, West Ham were humiliated by AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup. I see the home side at least drawing this one, well, if not winning. 1-1 draw

Huddersfield vs Everton

Dan

If Huddersfield’s managerial change is going to make a difference, then this is a golden opportunity for Siewert to install some confidence and belief in his side ahead of tough clashes against Arsenal and Chelsea. And against an inconsistent Everton, I think they’ll just scrape a result. 1-0 Huddersfield

Oliver

So Everton may have just lost a cup match to a team divisions below them… but it’s Huddersfield. They’re the weakest team in the league, and everyone knows it. Even Everton will have no problem overrunning them. 2-0 Everton

Alf

Yet another home game against a strong side after the Manchester City defeat for Huddersfield. This will be Jan Siewert’s maiden game in England after Wagner’s resignation. Everton will want to continue their scoring streak, if not a winning one. 2-0 Everton

Newcastle vs Manchester City

Dan

You know, if it wasn’t for Mike Ashley Newcastle might actually have a chance of being at least competitive in this game. 3-0 Manchester City

Oliver

City know that they can’t be dropping points any more. Liverpool are ahead, and any points dropped is a gain for their opponents. With that in mind, I can see City scoring a few here to try to make a statement. 4-1 Everton

Alf

The magpies are really inconsistent these days. Against Manchester City, I don’t believe that they’ll win. At all. For City, I believe that they’ll score at least 3 goals without reply. This is Guardiola! 3-0 Manchester City

Manchester United vs Burnley

Dan

The Red Devils just keep on winning, don’t they! Burnley might go full defensive mode, but given how United are playing? Nothing is stopping the Solskjaer train. 2-0 Manchester United

Oliver

Burnley have got home advantage in this tie and they’ve not lost a league match since Round 19. Solskjaer’s got United flying, though, and I can’t see the Clarets stopping that momentum. They could, however, slightly slow it down. 2-1 Manchester United

Alf

This should be no contest at all since Burnley are really shit these days. Enough said. {Editors note: When Alf swears you know you’re really bad} 4-0 Manchester United

Southampton vs Crystal Palace

Dan

Despite their contrasting form in the FA Cup in the league, this is a very difficult match to call, with two quite even teams. So I’ll go with the option that won’t please either team. 1-1 draw

Oliver

So’ton are coming into this in better form than their opposition and frankly I can see why. The Saints are a place below Palace at the moment but I can see that changing after this match. 2-0 Southampton

Alf

I still can’t believe that Palace beat Tottenham and knocked them out of the FA Cup. This should be enough to build a momentum for them to win more games and a visit to St Mary’s shouldn’t be hard for them. 1-2 Crystal Palace

AFC Bournemouth vs Chelsea

Dan

Remember when Bournemouth were good? No, me neither. Chelsea have beaten Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham since their loss to Arsenal and should have built up enough confidence to comfortably dispatch the cherries. 3-1 Chelsea

Oliver

This is much the same situation as Burnley against United – Bournemouth’s home advantage won’t be enough for them to take a point, especially given their downward spiral, but they should still dampen Chelsea’s play somewhat. 1-0 Chelsea

Alf

What’s wrong with Bournemouth these days? They used to be quite good but no, they started to have a shaky form. Despite of that, Chelsea’s dressing room started to be a little bit unstable after the Arsenal game. Can they nick a draw from the Blues? 1-1 draw

Liverpool vs Leicester City

Dan

Leicester are tough to predict in games like this, as they’ve been giant killers a few times already this season. Still, at home, Liverpool should win. Should. 1-0 Liverpool

Oliver

We’ve got the victors of a 4-3 match against the losers of one in this tie. Liverpool are absolutely flying and I can’t see their momentum harmed here, especially given Leicester’s poor play as of late and the pressure on Claude Puel to turn things around. 4-0 Liverpool

Alf

Both Liverpool and Leicester City, who are out of the FA Cup, shouldn’t have any excuses in this game. They have had enough rest and I believe that Liverpool will win, with all their players all guns blazing. 3-0 Liverpool

Tottenham vs Watford

Dan

This is the question that will continue to bug Tottenham until their injury crisis is over: Does their squad have the depth to win this match? For the Watford game, I think no. But they’ll still get a point. 2-2 draw.

Oliver

Here’s my upset. Watford haven’t lost in the league yet this year while Tottenham have been doing the kinds of things you’d expect of Tottenham. With all of the injuries Spurs have had, it’s hard to believe that they’d win this, and I think they’ll lose. 3-2 Watford

Alf

Out of the League Cup and the FA Cup in a row with both of them were London derbies. It’s the third for Tottenham in a week. Both losses and the injury crisis in the team will certainly hit the team morale in the dressing room. A draw would be a fair prediction. 0-0 draw

Arsenal and 2018 – a complete review

Arsenal and 2018 – a complete review

2018 is the year when Arséne Wenger decided to pave way for his successor at the Emirates. 2018 is the year when Unai Emery proved his doubters wrong by achieving an amazing unbeaten run with his team.

While it wasn’t plain sailing in the second half of the year, the first half of 2018 wasn’t pretty either. In this article, we’ll be taking a trip down the memory lane to review 2018 as a year for both the team and the fans.


The beginning of the end of the Wenger era.

I’m pretty sure that the football world was shocked to hear that Arsenal were knocked out by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last season, an embarrassing feat which never happened under Wenger, until 2018.

The away days in the final days under Wenger weren’t nice either, losing most of the games away from home with the chance of winning the Carabao Cup slipped away by being beaten by Manchester City 3-0 in the final.

There was some good news, though. Wenger’s parting gift to Arsenal, Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, proved to be a solid signing for the team and now, Emery is unleashing his potential to his best.

In Europe, Arsenal reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, where Atlético Madrid progressed to the final thanks to the goal by Diego Costa at the Wanda Metropolitano, which made it 2-1 to the home side.

So basically, Arsenal won nothing at the end of 2017/18 season aside from the FA Community Shield. They were 5th in the Premier League and hence, are currently playing in the Europa League again.


The end of the beginning of the Emery era.

When Unai Emery was presented as the new Arsenal manager, I still could remember that he needed a translating device to his ear in order to understand English. But apparently, he doesn’t need one now.

Emery’s first PL games after moving from PSG ended up with two consecutive losses. However, they were reasonable defeats, considering the opponents were Manchester City under Guardiola and Chelsea under Sarri.

After beating West Ham 3-1 at home, Arsenal endured a 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions, including the  North London derby which was won 4-2 in style, until being beaten by Southampton away 3-2.

Their Carabao Cup journey also came to an end as Tottenham gained their revenge from the loss earlier this month with Son Heung-min and Dele Alli knocking the home side out by their goals.

Arsenal will be seeking for improvement after winning against Burnley and starting another unbeaten run. At the time of writing, Aubameyang is the top scorer of the Premier League. Hopefully, he’ll score more in 2019!


Why Emery proved that he’s more than a boss

Emery may not be at the same level as the top managers in the Premier League, like Klopp, Guardiola and Pochettino, but for a club who needs to rebuild the team like Arsenal, he’s a reasonable choice.

Back then when he was with Valencia and Sevilla, he had the reputation of having the ability to win trophies with a limited budget. This is partly why Arsenal decided to offer him a contract as Kroenke is a Scrooge.

Emery happens to be the right man to replace Wenger. As I’ve written before, Emery is the exact opposite of Wenger who doesn’t allow his men to give up and the mentality instilled is amazing, despite it doesn’t always work.

A positivity-driven coach, Emery is also active on social media and listens to the opinions of the supporters. He’s a bit stubborn to make changes during half-time but sometimes, it proved to create the game-changing moment later.


The best signings in 2018 (and why they are)

Note: This list is in no particular order and is subjective with the preference of the author. 

Lucas Torreira (Uruguay)

I’m too lazy to list them out here. Please refer to my answer on Quora for the details.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Aubameyang is now proving his worth in the Premier League not only by scoring goals but also giving assists and helping the team in defence for a little bit. What a signing Wenger made before he left us!

Bernd Leno (Germany)

Despite that he could have done better with the positioning and stuff on the pitch, you can’t really blame him for not keeping clean sheets. One thing for sure, though, is that Leno has the qualities to succeed Čech of his No. 1 shirt.


While there’s a huge chance that Arsenal won’t be winning anything these days, it’ll be interesting to see how Emery and his boys will do in 2019. It’s going to be tough, but I believe that they’ll weather the storm eventually.

On a side note, on behalf of the team, I would like to announce that FootyFans will be taking a break in predicting Premier League fixtures. We’ll be back in 2019. See you later soon!

Believe or not, Gooners, please stop chanting #UnaiOut

Believe or not, Gooners, please stop chanting #UnaiOut

It’s quite painful to become an Arsenal supporter these days. At the time of writing, Arsenal are out of the Carabao Cup and lost their first Premier League game against Southampton, having their unbeaten run ended.

Now, impatient fans may ask Unai Emery, our newest manager, to get sacked after just four months of appointment. However, while we may not lift any trophy in his first year, I truly believe that Arsenal shouldn’t fire the Spaniard.


Reason 1 – Rome wasn’t built one day. 

If you follow Liverpool, you should know that Jürgen Klopp spent a few years to modify his team. He made a lot of sacrifices and at last, he achieved his aim and are looking forward to clinching the title this season.

Now, I’m not saying that Emery is at the same level as his rival coach. However, I’m thankful that he brought quality signings  (like Torreira, Leno and Sokratis) to bolster the squad.

Even though it’s not something to be finished in a transfer window or two, all he needs is time and money. And we, as supporters, should have his back instead of turning on him at this crucial moment.


Reason 2 – He promotes positivity in the team.

I started to dislike comebacks in sports because it showed that they didn’t pay enough attention when they play and started to make mistakes so you’ll need extra effort to win. It’s not a good sign and should be avoided at all costs.

Frankly speaking, Arsenal were quite lucky in their previous unbeaten run, where they should have lost a few games already. Alas, the philosophy of “winning ugly” is in Emery’s DNA. And it’s unlikely to be changed.

The good thing about Emery is that even though they can’t win the game, he’ll ask the players to fight until the end.

Mkhitaryan kept the hopes of Arsenal keeping a draw against the Saints by scoring a brace before Austin crushed it. It wasn’t pretty at all but at least better than giving up and concede a few more. Good improvement nonetheless.


Reason 3 – Some matters are out of his control.

Sadly, real life is no Dream League Soccer or other football games where you can heal injured players in just one click. As Arsenal are currently hit by injuries, Emery must be having a headache in the selection.

They’re yet to be potential title contenders but thankfully, are on the right track of being one of them. Now, they must treat the “wish lists” in the transfer market seriously and wish that there are no new injuries in the future.


Reason 4 – He’s currently the best option Arsenal have.

I’m a realist and here’s my question, “who are you going to replace Emery with if he’s sacked right now?” Laurent Blanc? José Mourinho? Or would you consider re-hiring Arsène Wenger?

I have to admit that football is an unpredictable sport but you’re not firing someone who led the team to a 22-game unbeaten run when you just lost 2 games in a row (and 4 in total). This is plain stupid.

Arsenal are already doing better than Manchester United who still fails to replace Sir Alex Ferguson to date. At least Kroenke didn’t consider David Moyes when he was scanning through the CVs (I wonder what will happen if it’s true).

At the same time, only time will tell if Emery is the right one. Right now, he should stay unless things go really bad.


Reason 5 – Arsenal needs him for the Europa League. Seriously.

Having won the competition three times with Sevilla, we would expect Emery to help the Gunners to lift the trophy in Baku. Yet, as they’re in the knockout stages of the competition, there are too many uncertain factors in it.

For Arsenal, reaching the “Top 4” in the Premier League is no longer something reachable. With the Europa League being Emery’s favourite competition and a target more feasible to aim, it’s a “now or never” opportunity for them.

Frankly speaking, Emery is one of the reasons why Arsenal are seen as favourites of winning the Europa League this season. Yes, there’s no guarantee that the club will win it, but it’ll certainly be harder without the Spaniard.

So why would the club want to release him at the expense of the qualification of the Champions League, which matters them the most? The management isn’t formed by a bunch of stupid people but smart money makers.


Yes, I understand that it’s demoralising to lose consecutive games, especially against Tottenham. But don’t lose hope, Gooners. The season isn’t over yet and everything can happen with a lot of fortune involved.

Here’s a fun fact for all of us: Wenger didn’t win the title in his first year and the rest is history. Hope Emery will prove his doubters wrong soon! At this stage, just be patient and bear in mind that “nothing worth having comes easy”.

Premier League – Round 17 predictions

Premier League – Round 17 predictions

Oh my god! It’s been a few days since the last matchday and here we are again! I’m doing the predictions this round because Dan’s experiencing yet another technical difficulty. Zac is going to fill in his place.

So here it is, our predictions of the Round 17 of the 2018/19 Premier League season! By the way, Oliver is taking the lead with 94 points and I’m second with 92 with Dan hits rock bottom like Fulham (72).


Manchester City vs Everton 

“Well, it’s an away game for Everton. They just drew with Watford and their next opponent is Manchester City. If Everton wins this, it’ll be, possibly, one of the biggest upsets this season. I really wish they can make history at the Etihad. 3-1 City” (Alf)

Everton has been OK this season under Marco Silva, but Man City are Man City. Easy beans. 2-0 City” (Zac)

“I’d be surprised if City don’t respond to their loss against Chelsea with a win against an Everton side lacking consistency. Everton should have no problem nipping one goal, but it’s a clear City win. 3-1 City” (Oliver)

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City 

“Goddamit, Schlupp! Your goal crushed my hope to leapfrog Oliver in the leaderboard! Last time out, it was 5-0 for the home side. This time, no more thrashing but with Zaha’s suspension, Leicester can dream of winning. 1-0 Leicester” (Alf)

Both these teams are very average, but Leicester are the slightly better team. Expect a snore fest. 1-0 Leicester” (Zac)

“Both sides are coming off losses, and while Leicester City would surely win this match on a neutral ground, Palace’s home advantage should get them to hold out for a draw. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Wolves vs Bournemouth 

“Winner winner Magpie dinner! The Wolves are back again! On the other hand, Bournemouth lost against Liverpool. A draw is feasible but I believe that Wolves will remind themselves that they’ve beaten Chelsea before. 2-1 Wolves” (Alf)

“In-form Wolves come up against a Bournemouth side that just got destroyed by Liverpool 4-0. But both are decent teams and I think will play each other off the park here. 1-1 draw” (Zac)

“Wolves have won their last two matches and have started looking like a much better side. Bournemouth went down hard to Liverpool, which was expected, but not by a 4-0 scoreline. Wolves should have no trouble taking the three points. 2-0 Wolves”

Huddersfield vs Newcastle United

“One of the trickiest fixtures to predict this week. Newcastle will be able to stay up if they win this one. However, at the bottom three, David Wagner will be hoping that he won’t get the sack as the Christmas present from the club. 2-1 Newcastle” (Alf)

Two bad teams, playing bad football, in what will be a bad match. If you want a good match, this ain’t it. 0-0 draw” (Zac)

“Newcastle lost their last match thanks to a 94th-minute winner and they’ll have that fight on them now. Huddersfield are on a three-game losing run, and it’s about to become four. 2-1 Newcastle” (Oliver)

Tottenham vs Burnley 

“Pochettino will remind himself that Burnley is no Barcelona. It’s not going to be easy for Burnley supporters to endure the 90 minutes at Wembley. I’ll expect at least 2 goals above but sometimes, it’s better to be conservative. 1-0 Tottenham” (Alf)

Tottenham have just come off an amazing performance against Barcelona to save their Champions League campaign, whereas Burnley just beat Brighton 1-0. Says it all really. 3-0 Tottenham” (Zac)

“Spurs are winning it and they’re winning it big. Burnley are all the way down in 17th and they’ve really not been good at all this season. That defensive stability they had last season is gone, and it’s showing. 3-0 Tottenham” (Oliver)

Watford vs Cardiff City 

“Digne saved Everton from losing by that free-kick. Cardiff caused an upset for Hasenhüttl and his men. Callum Paterson will remain a threat for Watford but the hosts will show that they have a better defence than Cardiff. 2-0 Watford” (Alf)

Watford have been impressive this season but are coming off a 6 game winless streak. They are facing a much improved Cardiff team who, after beating Southampton last week, could nick a draw here. 1-1 draw” (Zac)

“Cardiff are on a roll, aren’t they? They’ve gone from the relegation zone to fourteenth pretty damn quickly. Watford on the other hand are dropping like a stone. And I still don’t like them. 3-1 Cardiff” (Oliver)

Fulham vs West Ham 

“West Ham are on fire and in the last game against Palace, they scored 3 goals but conceded once. Fulham conceded 4 goals against Manchester United but scored once. This is partly why I don’t expect a clean sheet for either side. 1-1 draw” (Alf)

Although Fulham have looked slightly better under Ranieri they are facing a resurgent West Ham with three wins on the bounce, so will come away disappointed. 2-0 West Ham” (Zac)

“I don’t need to know Fulham’s opponent to know the Cottagers will concede at least two. It’s just how they are. I’d pick West Ham to add another in a fairly convincing win. 3-0 West Jam” (Oliver)

Southampton vs Arsenal

“Against an injury-struck Arsenal side, Hasenhüttl will be hoping that his men will get the points for his first home game. With Sokratis and Mustafi serving the suspension in this game, the unbeaten run may end at St Mary’s. 1-0 Southampton” (Alf)

Since when have Arsenal been good? This season that’s when. They will easily roll over a Southampton team under new management, and good management at that, although I think it will take a while for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s brand of football to take full effect. 3-0 Arsenal” (Zac)

“Southampton aren’t in a good way at the moment. Arsenal haven’t lost in what feels like forever and I’d pick them to win away from home, albeit perhaps less convincingly than one might expect. 2-0 Arsenal” (Oliver)

Brighton vs Chelsea 

“A good season so far for Chelsea fans as their team ended Manchester City’s unbeaten run. Brighton, on the other hand, lost to a Burnley side fighting for the survival in Premier League. It’s going to be a goal fest from the visitors. 2-1 Chelsea” (Alf)

Pretty easy one for Chelsea this one really. The loss of Alvaro Morata will hurt them but they will still pull through quite easily. 2-0 Chelsea” (Zac) 

“Here’s my upset. Chelsea have just beaten City, sure. And Brighton just went down to Burnley. But neither team is exactly… consistent, and I can see the Seagulls taking a shock win. 2-1 Brighton” (Oliver)

Liverpool vs Manchester United

“Manchester United did draw against Arsenal but against a strong Liverpool side at Anfield, they’ll definitely struggle. Not a big problem for Klopp but for Mourinho, who knows the importance of this game. It’s more than a rivalry. 2-1 Liverpool” (Alf)

With defence meeting attack in this one, the main matchup of the weekend, it will be a boring game full of Liverpool throwing attack after attack at the United backline, grabbing a late winner in a dull affair. 1-0 Liverpool” (Zac)

“Would such a hyped game ever be dull? Is there any possible scenario in which we could walk away from this match without being entertained? Yes, definitely. 0-0 draw” (Oliver)

Premier League: Our round 16 predictions

In 8 days, this is the third(!) time I’ve written this post. The fixtures just keep on coming, and we here at FootyFans will be (badly) predicting it the whole way. Well, not all of us – Oliver couldn’t get his predictions in this week.

Oliver is knocking on the door as he leads the pack on 94 points, Alf continues to narrow the gap as he’s on 86, and I’m also starting to pick up more points as I sit on 71.

On with the tipping!

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Dan

Liverpool’s unbeaten streak has to end. It has too. And what better team to end it than one of the most criminally underrated in the league? I’m backing Bournemouth to win here. 2-1 Bournemouth

Alf

Bournemouth may have lost the last few games but they all hit the back of the net successfully as a consolation. Liverpool just won against the Clarets, although Salah’s not scoring, Firmino and Shaqiri will be there to take the points back home. 3-1 Liverpool

Image result for liverpool

Burnley vs Brighton

Dan

Brighton struggle on the road, while Burnley aren’t too bad at home. Sean Dyche & Co should be able to eek out a 1-0 here. 1-0 Burnley

Alf

Yes, Burnley may have lost against a quality Liverpool travelling party but finally, they’ve scored a goal. Hopefully, this will help to gain the confidence of the forwards. Brighton, though, would not want to leave Turf Moor with nothing. It’s going to be a draw. 2-2 draw

Manchester United vs Fulham

Dan

United continue to just draw with sides, both good and bad. I can see that sort of mediocrity continuing, when you look Mourinho’s struggles and Ranieri’s quality. 1-1 draw

Alf

The Fulham players must be jotting notes when they were watching Arsenal playing against their opponents next game. Honestly, Mourinho should go when if the home side get nothing after the 90 minutes. It should be an easy win, on paper. 4-1 United

Image result for jose mourinho

Arsenal vs Huddersfield

Dan

Undefeated in 20 games in all competitions now, Arsenal continue to show just how much they have improved under Emery, and Huddersfield should be brushed aside fairly easily. 3-0 Arsenal

Alf

I’m a bit disappointed that my team slipped the lead twice when they faced Manchester United to force a draw. To be honest, in the “Herbert Chapman derby”, Arsenal should be able to get the points, but they won’t win big like last season, where they humiliated the visitors 5-0. 2-0 Arsenal

Cardiff vs Southampton

Dan

Southampton have a new manager, so this could potentially go anyway. However, Cardiff have won 3 out of their last home games and are proving a tough challenge, and a challenge that Southampton will not be able to overcome. 2-1 Cardiff

Alf

It’s Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first game in charge as the Saints manager. It’s also his first 90 minutes in England and is not going to be a smooth sailing for the former RB Leipzig boss. Cardiff will be working hard to get the win and force the Saints to make mistakes. But that’s okay, who doesn’t? 1-1 draw

West Ham vs Crystal Palace

Dan

With six goals and two wins in their last two matches, I think we are finally seeing the West Ham we thought we’d see at the start of the season. If they can keep that sort of form up against Palace, then it’ll be another easy win. 2-0 West Ham

Alf

Palace lost the M23 derby away against Brighton. West Ham won against Cardiff. The scores for both fixtures were 3-1. Is history going to repeat itself? I think so. 3-1 West Ham

Image result for west ham

Chelsea vs Manchester City

Dan

God damn it Chelsea. Two weeks ago, I was confident that this match was going to be City’s first defeat. But, then you had to go and fall out of form. I hate myself for doing so, but I’ll tip City to win here. 2-1 City

Alf

Chelsea were beaten 2-1 away by the Wolves while City won 1-2 away against Watford. Sarri will demand his men to put up a good fight to against the table toppers. Not going to lie but I really like the away kit of the visitors this season (you won’t see me later, I guess). 3-1 City

Leicester vs Tottenham

Dan

Leicester are another criminally underrated side, and beating them is no easy task. They’ll be able to frustrate Tottenham a lot in this game, and come out with a point. 1-1 draw

Alf

Well, it’s Tottenham and they’re visiting Leicester. Unless the Foxes are planning to stage a comeback like what Arsenal did in the North London derby, I can see the Lillywhites to grab all 3 points back to north London. 3-0 Tottenham

Newcastle vs Wolves

Dan

I have to pinch myself to remind myself that yes, Wolves did actually Chelsea. Considering the inconsistent form, and goal scoring issues of both teams, I can see this being a goalless draw, although I don’t think it’ll be boring. 0-0 draw

Alf

Did anyone really expect the Wolves to win against Chelsea? Even I myself was surprised! Newcastle will be an uphill climb for the wolves but they’re hungry enough to catch the magpies off guard for a tasty “chicken dinner”. 3-1 Wolves

Image result for wolves fc

Everton vs Watford

Dan

When you compare the two teams, Everton have proven that slow and steady wins the race, as they sit in the top six while Watford, despite their electric start are in 11th. With their superior quality, Everton will show Watford who’s boss. 2-0 Everton

Alf

The “Marco Silva derby” is finally here. But the Premier League is no place for sentiment. Everton do have an advantage in getting the points but Silva, as the former Toffees coach, knows how they’ll do it. If it’s not a draw, I don’t know what it is.2-2 draw

 

 

Premier League: Our round 15 predictions

Midweek fixtures are here, everybody! And with it is your favourite post – how we think they’ll all end up. Last round actually saw Oliver’s lead at top shrink a bit, with Oliver leading on 88 points, Alf following on 79, and myself in last on 64.

On with the tipping!

AFC Bournemouth vs Huddersfield 

Dan

Last week, I thought we might be seeing a revival from the terriers, but the loss to Brighton has re-established the idea in my mind that Huddersfield is doomed. Bournemouth may have lost to City, but they gave a good fight, and it is Manchester City. 2-0 Bournemouth 

Oliver 

Huddersfield have just come off a home loss to Brighton and are without forward Steve Mounie. Bournemouth may have also lost but they were playing against league leaders Manchester City and should still win this. 2-1 Bournemouth

Alf

Both sides haven’t been great in the last few games. But in this fixture, let’s expect goals to fly in. Not for David Wagner’s men because they have yet to find the way to hit the back of the net consistently. 2-2 draw

West Ham United vs Cardiff City

Dan

While Cardiff has been improving, they are away against a West Ham side that stopped Newcastle’s winning streak pretty darn convincingly, with a 3-0 win. In fact, I can see them picking up a win by the same scoreline over the bluebirds. 3-0 West Ham 

Oliver

West Ham took a convincing 3-0 win against Newcastle and I’m picking them to do the exact same thing again today. Cardiff won, sure, but they’re still Cardiff. 3-0 West Ham

Alf

The Bluebirds just won against the Wolves at home. Bear in mind, though, that it’s an away game for them. West Ham are improving under Pellegrini, the thing is, they dropped points against opponents like Huddersfield and Leicester. It’ll be a close call. 1-1 draw

Brighton vs Crystal Palace

Dan

Both teams come into the game having the exact same results from their last two matches; a win and a draw. Very difficult to predict, and I can see this going either way, but with the home advantage, I think the seagulls will just edge it. 1-0 Brighton 

Oliver

We’ve got two fairly evenly matched sides who both won their last matches. Brighton sit slightly above in the table and have home advantage but Crystal Palace will get a point here, given they took one against United. 1-1 draw

Alf

Ah, the M23 derby is here this week. Palace won against Burnley while Brighton beat Huddersfield. It’s far from the trickiest PL fixture to predict this week but don’t forget that it’s a derby and anything can happen. 2-2 draw

Watford vs Manchester City

Dan

I want to predict Watford to win so, so, much. But I can’t. City just has too much quality. But hey, maybe me not predicting them to slip up will cause them to. 2-1 City

Oliver 

This is gonna be a beatdown. Watford lost 2-0 to Leicester City last time out, and they’re missing Etienne Capoue. Manchester City, meanwhile, are… well… Manchester City. 4-1 Manchester City

Alf

City is on fire and have yet to lose a match to date. Watford are struggling these days. The home side just need one goal to stop the leaders from winning but a thrashing can be on the cards, if not a high-scoring result. 3-0 City

Fulham vs Leicester City

Dan

Leicester is on a five-game unbeaten streak in the prem, but I think Raineri and Fulham, with the home advantage, will have the fire in their bellies to beat the team that Ranieri was sacked by. Still, a tough game to call. 2-1 Fulham 

Oliver

Despite the home advantage that Fulham have, I don’t think they’ll take a point from this match. Leicester City are a class side sitting up in eighth and could use this match as a springboard. Fulham have been unexpectedly bad and I don’t see Ranieri getting them a point. 2-0 Leicester

Alf

There will be emotional scenes when Ranieri meet his former employers this Wednesday. The sad thing is that there will be no mercy in the 90 minutes of football. With the Italian’s knowledge and Puel’s strategies, I can foresee a draw. 1-1 draw

Wolves vs Chelsea 

Dan 

Wolves’ winless run stretched to six with the loss against Cardiff the other day, and they are up against Sarri’s Chelsea who has time and time again proved that they are a true force to be reckoned with. Expect Wolves’ winless run to stretch to seven. 2-0 Chelsea

Oliver

One would think that Chelsea would win this big. After all, they’ve just won a derby and they’re playing a side that lost to Cardiff. But this is a Chelsea side playing away against a Wolves side who are pretty good defensively. It’ll be tight. 1-0 Chelsea

Alf

– Since when did the Wolves become Siberian huskies in the PL, where they didn’t win their last 6 games? I don’t know, but Sarri and his men will take the advantage of the home side’s poor run to solidify their position in the table. 4-0 Chelsea

Burnley vs Liverpool 

Dan

2nd bottom plays second top, and I can’t see the upset here. With Burnley’s form, it’s possible to see Liverpool really running riot in this game, but, a more conservative score is likely. 2-0 Liverpool 

Oliver

Burnley just lost to Palace meanwhile Liverpool are cruising after their win over Everton. As there are in so many matches this weekend, Burnley have home advantage but that’s not gonna be enough to get a point. 3-1 Liverpool

Alf

Last season, Burnley were one of the best teams in defense with Sean Dyche being the mastermind. This year, Burnley are in the drop zone, also under Sean Dyche. With an improved offense and defense, Liverpool should be able to grab 3 points on the road. 3-0 Liverpool

Everton vs Newcastle 

Dan

Had Newcastle’s winning run not ended in ugly fashion with that 3-0 loss to West Ham, I could have seen them getting something from this game. But it didn’t, so they won’t. 2-1 Everton 

Oliver

Finally, a game where the favourite is at home! Newcastle just got beaten 3-0 at home by West Ham, and despite Everton’s loss in the derby, I think that’ll help them push on to a big win in this match. 3-0 Everton

Alf

I don’t really have much to say about it, except the fact that both sides lost their games before meeting each other. Period. 1-1 draw

Manchester United vs Arsenal

Dan

Emery’s side keeps reminding us just how far they’ve advanced in such little time, while Jose Mourinho’s side reminds just how little they’ve advanced in so much time. Seriously, if United can’t beat both Crystal Palace and Southampton, there’s no way they’ll get anything against the Gunners. 3-2 Arsenal 

Oliver 

The pressure is growing on Jose Mourinho. Subsequent draws to Crystal Palace and Southampton will be followed by a loss against an Arsenal side who just beat Spurs fairly convincingly. 4-1 Arsenal

Alf 

Good riddance, Alexis Sánchez won’t be facing his former teammates. Arsenal may have won against Tottenham but away comebacks are always harder. Realistically, the visitors’ record at Old Trafford has been awful in the past years. Dan’s going to laugh at my club after full-time. 3-2 United

Tottenham vs Southampton

Dan

Despite their loss in the North London Derby, this is Tottenham we are talking about. A managerless Southampton shouldn’t prove difficult. 2-0 Tottenham

Oliver

Yep, I’m picking nil-all. Southampton just drew with United but they don’t have a manager any more. Spurs lost to Arsenal, they’re doing pretty well but won’t win here. 0-0 draw

Alf

Mark Hughes is gone. Pochettino lost a three-pointer in the North London derby. The Saints will get nothing in return when they walk out of Wembley for the team bus. Perhaps a goal as a consolation? 3-0 Tottenham

Premier League: Our round 13 predictions

Hooray! That was the last international break for 2018, and now the football that people are actually interested in is back on! As teams gear up for their busy mid-season schedule, we here at FootyFans are gearing up for a busy mid-season tipping schedule.

Last round was a truly terrible round of tipping for all of us – Alf and I only gained three points while Oliver got a whole four. That result means that the table sees Oliver retain his lead on 76 points, Alf follows on 64, and I remain in last on 57.

On with the tipping!

West Ham United vs Manchester City

Image result for West Ham vs Manchester City

Dan

On paper this should be an easy match for the citizens, as they lead the pack on 32 points, while the Hammers are in 13th place and just four points off the relegation zone. However, I think West Ham have the capacity to surprise and give City a match, even if it does all ends up for nothing. 2-1 Manchester City

Oliver

City have fifteen goals in their last four league games, while West Ham have five points in the same amount of time. It’s a clear MCFC win, and I think it’ll be big but not huge. 3-0 Manchester City

Alf

It’s Manchester City and they’ll play well. Kevin De Bruyne may not be back now but with David Silva, Leroy Sané and the other players in-form, I’m sure that they’ll win this one. 3-0 Manchester City

Everton vs Cardiff City

Dan

As much as I like to hate on Cardiff, they’re doing better than I expected – they’re only in the relegation zone thanks to a single point of goal difference. Still, Everton, despite not knowing consistency, will triumph at Goodison, but this could be a harder match than it looks. 1-0 Everton

Oliver

Everton are starting decently well, currently sitting in ninth place in the table. A win at home against eighteenth-placed Cardiff could take them up to sixth and I’m backing them to do it. 2-0 Everton

Alf

Cardiff City isn’t a surprising team to predict as they’re still in the relegation zone. Everton will struggle to grab points but chances will be created owing to the faulty defence of the Bluebirds. A thrashing on the cards but it’s better to be conservative. 2-0 Everton

Brighton vs Leicester City

Dan

Both teams are doing fairly well, with the Foxes in 10th and the Seagulls in 12th, and a win for Brighton will see them go equal with Leicester on points. Another close game is on the cards here, but I’ll back Brighton. 2-1 Brighton

Oliver

Two fairly solid midtable sides in Brighton and Leicester shouldn’t be expected to play out much more than a draw. A goal each way sounds about right to me. It’s just gonna be one of those games. 1-1 draw

Alf

Both sides are eager to grab points and this is why I believe that it’ll be an equal contest between both sides. 1-1 draw.

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Image result for Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Dan

In the end, I think what this game will boil down to is just what is more sub-par on the day; United’s defense or Palace’s attack. I’ll go with Palace’s attack, with a dab of mediocrity from United’s defense as well. 2-1 Manchester United

Oliver

I know this is going against the grain a little. But United really haven’t impressed me so far this season and I reckon they’l take only a draw against this Palace side. 1-1 draw

Alf

The Eagles faced Tottenham in the previous match day and lost 1-0 with youngster Juan Foyth on the scoresheet. I don’t think that Crystal Palace will make history at Old Trafford and Mourinho’s men will win this one, eventually. 1-0 Manchester United

Watford vs Liverpool

Dan

Watford are either brilliant or disappointing, and with Liverpool in town, they’ll have to be better than brilliant. But, this is Waford we are talking about, and I think they’ve got it in them. In fact, I think they’ve got in them to hand Klopp’s side their first leauge defeat. 3-2 Watford

Oliver

Watford are a good side, don’t get me wrong. And they’ve really impressed so far this season. But it’s Liverpool they’re playing, and even with home advantage I think they’ll lose. 1-2 Liverpool

Alf

The Reds’ last visit to Vicarage Road was a thrilling 3-3 draw. With an improved defence and goalkeeping, Liverpool should be able to win without conceding (or will they?) 3-0 Liverpool

Fulham vs Southampton

Dan

Ranieri’s first game as Fulham manager! It’s a very winnable fixture for him as well, with Southampton only being outside the relegation zone thanks to goal difference. I’ll tip Raineri to start off his Fulham career on a high note. 2-1 Fulham

Oliver

If Fulham lose this, I think they can kiss the Premier League goodbye, to be honest. But new manager Claudio Ranieri is a quality boss with the ability to do a lot with a little, and I expect they’ll take the three points in a topsy-turvy match. 3-2 Fulham

Alf

In case you missed it, it’s Ranieri’s first game at Craven Cottage as the manager of the Cottagers. Both teams are struggling to be back to winning ways but I think that Ranieri will beat Hughes in the mind games using his experience. 1-0 Fulham

Tottenham vs Chelsea

Image result for Tottenham vs Chelsea

Dan

Sarri’s Chelsea are the only unbeaten team left in all competitions in Europe, but the 0-0 draw against Everton could be the start of a stall, and with players exhausted from international duty,  and with Tottenham’s home advantage, they might finally fall to Tottenham. 1-0 Tottenham

Oliver

Spurs, like I’ve said a few times before, have been quietly brilliant this system, and are sitting up in fourth. All the attention’s been on the top three, but I expect the hugely hyped Chelsea to only take a draw against Tottenham. 2-2 draw

Alf

Pass the popcorn please! This is a tricky fixture to predict. Most likely a draw owing the international commitments of the players of both clubs (fatigue?), if I were to predict a side to prevail, I hope that it’ll be Sarri’s men. 1-0 Chelsea

AFC Bournemouth vs Arsenal

Dan

It’s sixth vs fifth, and with two fairly attacking sides, we should be seeing a good game. Hard to choose, but I’ll pick the Cherries. A man can dream, after all. 3-2 Bournemouth

Oliver

Arsenal’s form is starting to slip, with their insanely long winning run coming to an abrupt halt against Crystal Palace, and then picking up draws against Liverpool and Wolves. They’ll scramble for a draw. 1-1 draw.

Alf

The Gunners won only 1 in 3 games against the Cherries with the last outing resulted in an embarrassing defeat. This is going to be tough for the visitors but with a mentality boost under Emery, they’ll fight back whatever the circumstances are. 2-1 Arsenal

Wolves vs Huddersfield

Dan

Wolves have struggled slightly in recent weeks, but, it is Huddersfield. Surely they’ll turn around their rut against the Terriers. 1-0 Wolves

Oliver

Wolves have done basically what I expected of them, but not in the manner I thought they would. Eleventh place seems about right, although I thought they’d be a big scoring side, not this somewhat weak attacking side we’ve seen. They’ll still beat Hudds, tho. 2-1 Wolves

Alf

The Wolves showed that they’re capable of salvaging points when facing bigger clubs away. They’re back home this time and against a Huddersfield side who are leaking goals, this shouldn’t be a surprising scoreline for Wagner to see. 3-0 Wolves

Burnley vs Newcastle

Dan

Two pretty equal sides go up against each other in a match where they both will really want the points to put space between them and the relegation zone. Given that both want points, it’ll naturally be a draw. 1-1 draw.

Oliver

This is the oddball prediction. Newcastle to win away? Their form’s improving, they’re starting to play more cohesively, and Burnley haven’t been good defensively. It’s happening. 3-1 Newcastle

Alf

Both sides have been virtually dragged out of the relegation zone. Aside from praying that Palace and Cardiff to drop points (so that they won’t be leapfrogging them), they’ll need to perform well. Burnley, ironically, conceded more goals than ever under Sean Dyche. Time for him to go? 1-0 Newcastle