Welcome to the first edition of Joining the Dots. Here I’ll be analysing the Premier League fixtures every week, but never too seriously.
This week there’s a lot of material… A team turned into Cash Converters, the birth of the new Leo Messi, and much more… So let’s start:
BRIGHTON V CHELSEA
Let’s face it, whether you’re a Chelsea fan or not, you know that Dunk is more likely to put the ball at the back of Brighton’s net than Morata. But fear no more because after his tantrum against Norwich during the week, he’ll be missing games as well as tap-ins. The 0-0 against Leicester last Saturday definitely doesn’t portray the Blues as the most dangerous team in the competition. If you add up that Brighton have conceded the seventh least goals in the league, it’s not looking promising for Chelsea.
ARSENAL V CRYSTAL PALACE
Quiz number 1: Who’s older?
c) Last PL trophy Arsenal won
If Wenger keeps intending to sell his best players to Manchester United, then it’ll end up being the last option. Arsenal, who lost to Bournemouth last week after leading 1-0, have now sold one and will maybe sell another one of their attackers (Walcott and Sanchez) to the opposition. This means they could be relying on Wilshere, best midfielder in England (according to Gary Neville’s judgement), and Lackgoalzette to try and finish in the top four. But following the last few games, I’d only trust Bellerin to save the Gunners.
BURNLEY V MANCHESTER UNITED
Pope Francis between the sticks may have a tougher day than usual. But, if this doesn’t sound like a 0-0, what does? Oh, no, wait. Manchester United fans now have Lingordel Messi – he’ll surely win it. With the best player in the world on their side, United will surely be able to break down the miserly defence of Mee and Tarkowski, who’s surely a Bond villain on weekdays.
EVERTON V WEST BROM
Mr. Allardyce faces Mr.Pardew for the 1245th time in Premier League history. The battle of the generic merry-go-round managers is reaching full swing. Which middle-aged English man will prevail this time? Oh, I forgot to mention, the year is 3018. Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew successfully created cloned offspring to continue their never-ending scrap in the mid-table region of the Premier League. Forever. Everton have signed Theo Walcott by the way. Now with their plentiful attackers, Allardyce has a selection headache. Tosun, Rooney, Sandro, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse and now Walcott, all competing for a spot to register a few shots off target against West Brom.
LEICESTER V WATFORD
With Troy Deeney teetering over the edge of the transfer window, in every single transfer window, one may wonder why he hasn’t gone for it yet. He may be waiting to recreate that play-off goal against Leicester from quite a few years back. Watford went on to lose the final in the dullest of dull games against Crystal Palace, quite the metaphor for the direction of Deeney’s career since that Leicester goal. Odion Ighalo is listening to offers from Premier League teams (that’s nice of him), so there’s hope for Troy that he can once again be part of officially the speediest strike partnership in Premier League history, with Ighalo.
STOKE V HUDDERSFIELD
Trust me, you could easily be able to afford going to watch this game. Both Stoke and Huddersfield offer the cheapest season tickets in the Premier League. And I’m not surprised… The Potters have conceded 50 goals so far this season. Let’s hope Paul Lambert is able to change this or Stoke may end up playing Port Vale in a few years’ time. Meanwhile, Huddersfield have only scored 19. Don’t panic, this doesn’t compare to Swansea’s 14, but with their main striker Depoitre out of form, maybe Stoke will manage to get their third clean sheet of the season.
WEST HAM V BOURNEMOUTH
This is the equivalent of a Scottish League 1 game: many goals, little quality. With both teams struggling in the FA Cup replays during the week, they’ll surely want to make their fans proud. West Ham will be super happy knowing they may be able to get good money from Andy Carroll. Chelsea will be like Cash Converters, won’t they? Bring your old trash and we’ll pay you for it.
MANCHESTER CITY V NEWCASTLE
Quiz number 2: Who’s balder?
Now, let’s be serious. How obvious is this one? Manchester City will get back on track. Newcastle, for some reason, have decided to ignore last year’s heroes Gayle and Mitrovic, to make Joselu their main character. They don’t have a chance, do they?
SOUTHAMPTON V SPURS
Recently, the games between these two have been quite animated, with these having an average of more than three goals. Will Southampton be able to hold up their end of the bargain though? A strike force consisting of Austin, Gabbiadini and Shane Long (who sounds worse if you use his first name), is enough to induce insomnia of a clinical level. In the last 37 games between these clubs, there’s been 5 red cards, so perhaps we won’t be subjected to such a toxic mix for too long.
SWANSEA V LIVERPOOL
Are you surprised that Liverpool didn’t celebrate their victory against Manchester City like they did against West Brom last year? Well, this is just because they’re waiting for this one. It’s such a crucial game. A win for Klopp’s men would keep them in the same, boring, third position they are. Whereas Swansea, they’ll be buried in deep crap no matter what.