Tales Top Tips

It still feels weird that matches were being played whilst agents were telling the last few clubs what players were going where on Wednesday. To be honest, I only just realised that Newcastle United had got their hands on Islam Slimani and I was following it all day. It’s a funny old thing the transfer window, but if your team didn’t get themselves sorted then I am afraid you are screwed.

What’s happening this weekend?

Burnley vs Manchester City

Burnley, who brought in Aaron Lennon, face Manchester City who brought in a £57m central defender and would have happily given Leicester City £60m for Riyad Mahrez. This is what makes the Premier League great, a true spectacle. Pep has been bleating in the press about players needing more protection, but what we are to do Pep? Just let your lot run past? God no, hit them and hit them hard. It’s the only hope Burnley have.

Burnley 0 – 3 Manchester City

AFC Bournemouth vs Stoke City

You see, this is what frustrates me about Bournemouth. They shocked Chelsea 3-0 in the week but you just know they cannot be relied upon to beat Stoke City. Stoke, in fairness, look better under Lambert than they did under Hughes and will be tough to beat.

AFC Bournemouth 0 – 1 Stoke City

Brighton & Hove Albion vs West Ham United

It wouldn’t be a transfer window without West Ham United coming out of it looking like complete idiots. This time they’ve raised the stakes to a bit of casual racism, with Tony Henry claiming that the attitudes of African players aren’t up to much. Considering that some of West Ham’s best players have been and still are African this is a crazy claim. I mean, they’d turn down Mo Salah, Sadio Mane et al would they? Tony Henry is one of David Moyes’ lot and don’t forget, Moyes was all for giving a female reporter a clip round the ear. Chris Hughton, on the other hand, is one of the best men in football and for his drama-free presence I hope Brighton win and stay up.

Brighton & Hove Albion 2 – 1 West Ham United

Leicester City vs Swansea City

So how do you solve a problem like Mahrez? Riyad feels very let down by the Leicester owners, Riyad’s teammates feel very let down by Riyad and nobody has realised that Islam has legged it to Newcastle United. I’d hope that Claude Puel, in his calm French manner, will sit Riyad down and tell him that he can still get a big move in 2027 if he continues to play well for the Foxes. Swansea City are pinning their survival hopes on the Ayew brothers and Andy King. It’s a bold strategy, I must say.

Leicester City 2 – 2 Swansea City

Manchester United vs Huddersfield Town

How rubbish were Manchester United against Tottenham? Hey, Jose. There’s space on your left flank mate. Yeah, that Trippier guy seems to be getting the freedom of Wembley. Cracking finish by Jonesy though, wasn’t it? Kane looked almost jealous. The thing is, Huddersfield could put up a bit of a fight at Old Trafford and United do have form of inexplicably failing to beat sides that aren’t very good there. Alexis Sanchez was man-of-the-match against Yeovil and non-existent against Spurs. That bodes well.

Manchester United 0 – 0 Huddersfield Town

West Bromwich Albion vs Southampton

Alan Pardew gets to go to yet another former club, but then every other match for Pards is like that. This game doesn’t excite many. Especially not me. Daniel Sturridge might make his debut though, it would be nice to see him and Alan do some kind of dance off if Sturridge scores a last-minute winner.

West Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 Southampton

Arsenal vs Everton

Credit to Arsene for still persuading Pierre-Emerick to join after watching that game against Swansea City in the week. Mesut Ozil now has a new contract so can go back to being the Mesut Ozil that doesn’t need to prove anything again. Theo Walcott probably spent most of his time taking the mick out of Arsenal defenders in training, so now he gets to try and do it in a match. Please don’t let Big Sam get anything here, I don’t think Arsene could take it.

Arsenal 3 – 0 Everton

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle United

Palace will finish higher in the table than Newcastle United, fact. But, Islam Slimani could become a cult hero in Geordieland if he gets the service. Neither side will get relegated, just.

Crystal Palace 2 – 1 Newcastle United

Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur

Ooooh, a proper game to watch. This could be a classic with Liverpool looking to avenge the 4-1 battering at Wembley which still brings Dejan Lovren out in cold sweats. Liverpool still cannot defend and Tottenham can still attack. I’d back Liverpool to be more likely to beat Manchester City again than Tottenham for some reason. Spurs can, and probably will, win this.

Liverpool 1 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur

Watford vs Chelsea

Chelsea’s unbeaten run came crashing down against Bournemouth. Watford are rotten right now. Olivier Giroud could make all the difference, or he might be going undercover for Arsene. Only time will tell.

Watford 0 – 1 Chelsea