This week is different. No, I’m not going to be nice all friendly. I’ve invited a good friend of mine, Tales from the Top Flight’s very own David Black to join me in guessing the madness of this weekend’s fixtures.
Saturday 11th February 2017
Arsenal vs Hull
Obviously Sky found their performance against Chelsea so funny they just had to put them on again. Even Cech got in on the act, with his assist for Cesc. Hull, on the other hand, have found out that winning games is a smart way of staying the league. No doubt Arsenal’s fans (called idiotic by Gary Neville last weekend) will be ready with their banners of hate one side and love on the other for their missing manager. Expect Arsenal to scrap a 1-0 from this with Giroud mastering a new crab-like kick.
SCORE: 1-0 and boos.
Marco Silva is having a great time showing up Paul Merson and friends, and Hull managed a point at Old Trafford in their last difficult away trip. It takes a brave man to back Arsenal to win anything after February but I think they’ll nick this one 2-1
Man United vs Watford
It’s odd to think that Man United are actually playing their best football since Fergie left, yet they find themselves in 6th. Many questions are still to be answered – Is Zlatan really 26? Will Mata ever be truly loved by Jose? And, more importantly, what has Fellaini done to his hair after a pic showing him at the barbers? They face a Watford side who change personnel so often I still only know about 3 of their players.
Watford have been improved by their January signings but they struggled to put 10 man Burnley away last weekend. Mourinho’s men are hitting some decent form and I think this will be a stroll, or a normal day out if you are Zlatan. 3-0
Middlesbrough vs Everton
Yes, Lukaku scored 1000 goals last weekend, but how no one saluting Barkley’s celebration before scoring is beyond me. Oh, we all would love to do that, even more so in front the away support. Boro tried their hardest to draw against Spurs by refusing to play till around the 80th minute of the game. I’m preparing myself to forget this game very soon after it ends.
Everton are a bit unpredictable these days whilst you know Boro are going to get 0 or 1, like a binary team. Karanka had a go at the home fans recently so they might give a bit back if things don’t go well. Let’s say a draw 1-1
Stoke City vs Crystal Palace
After Palace’s calamity against Sunderland last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if Big Sam has been working them hard on training field. Running in fields, denying them food while he throws mud patties at them. Sorry, I drifted off then. Stoke on the other hand have Bony back… nah I don’t care either.
SCORE: 1-3 (chippy dinner on Sam)
It’s the Tony Pulis derby, not starring Tony Pulis. This won’t be pretty. I think Big Sam will have gone ballistic this week but I’m not sure one week of threats is going to make them instantly better. Stoke are doing nothing but I think that suits some of their players who can have a great day out. 2-1
Sunderland vs Southampton
Well the great games at 3pm just keep coming hey guys and girls? Surely the only winner here is the sleep deprived. Defoe is the one shining light in what only comes across as a potential last game on Match of the Day.
Sunderland are like the anti-Arsenal – it’s February so they’ll win. Southampton have one eye on the League Cup Final and one eye on the treatment table. Defoe will probably score, and Sunderland will probably win. 2-0
West Ham vs West Brom
Who came up with these games? Just gets worse. The West derby of teams with West in their name is the only funny thing I could think of. That and the weird thought of Tony Pulis getting lost after his usual half time run towards the dressing rooms leads him to run around the track about 6 times.
The Hammers look a different proposition without the bad apple and a big striker to hit. West Brom have been excellent all season and Pulis can look forward to a quiet end to the season for once. If in doubt, predict a draw 2-2
Liverpool Vs Spurs
Nope. I refuse to say what I think. Hold on Chris is calling me. ‘Sacked if I don’t!!!’ On that note, it would be typical Spurs the rejuvenate Liverpool’s season by trying too hard to be top 4 material. Lord Mane has had a week of Klopp training, so he will either break down after 5 minutes or go on to score 3.
Score: Will anyone notice if I don’t make a prediction?
This should be a good game. Liverpool are having a nightmare 2017 whilst Spurs just keep on plugging away. On form, I’m going to back Tottenham. I don’t see how that Liverpool defence can cope with that Tottenham throw at teams 1-2
SUNDAY 12th February
Burnley vs Chelsea
I have an odd feeling about this. I actually can see Burnley getting something from this game. And not just decent gate receipts. Surely someone can get one over Chelsea before the inevitable title win. Also, I’m hoping Hazard has peaked with his Messi like goal last weekend. Has anyone else noticed Pedro and Costa don’t get along?
I don’t think it matters how good Burnley are at home, Chelsea are better. Chelsea are going to be champions and they deserve it for making David Luiz look competent. 0–3
Swansea vs Leicester City
The second Wales vs England game after the rugby, yet I’m leaning towards Swansea to make Claudio wonder what has happened to Vardy, Mahrez, Drinkwater and others. They could still make history by going down a year after winning the league. If that happens, I wonder if Andrea Bocelli will sing again on the last day of the season.
Who saw this being a relegation 6 pointer? It’s remarkable really, but Swansea have all the momentum and Leicester look lost and short of ideas. I’ll have to back Paul Clement’s men as Leicester are garbage away from home but also in general these days 3-0
Monday 13th February
Bournemouth vs Man City
I love Monday night football. An ex-Liverpool player and an ex-United player pretending to like each other. The game itself isn’t too shabby. It’s a chance for Wiltshire to show Pep he is still worth it and for Jay-zoos to wow us again.
I’m worried for Bournemouth, they always seem to concede at least two and Man City have been given a boost since Jesus arrived. I don’t think it’s going to get any better for them here 1-4