The English clubs in Europe have had a mixed time of it. Sure City and Chelsea have won, but the others have had a fairly tepid time. That added to the week that saw West Brom sack their manager has given plenty of talking points about the Premier League.
For what it’s worth I can certainly understand why the Baggies ditched Pulis, talk of ‘being careful what you wish for’ by some, comes across as tired now after it’s been a drum banged on for any potential managerial change. This one hasn’t come out of nowhere and it’s just as risky to stick to a situation that shows no signs of improving. Pulis may be the great rescue act, but that’s not usually at the place where he started the fire.
Meanwhile in Europe, the really disappointing result wasn’t Liverpool’s second half capitulation that saw them concede three second half goals in a draw, or United failing to score and beat Basle. Those were bad. Celtic getting dismantled in the 7-1 thrashing by PSG wasn’t the most disappointing. That was bad. Arsenal not beating Cologne wasn’t the worse. That wasn’t great. No, the worst was the battering that Everton endured in their own back yard against an Atalanta side that’s hardly the scourge of the competition. The time they are taking to get the replacement for Koeman is not doing their confidence and run of form any good whatsoever and if Unsworth is seriously being considered as a long term option it might make all the aspirations of an Everton on the climb come to nothing. Might.
That of course makes how they all do in the domestic league scene all the more intriguing. Before we get a look at what’s ahead, let’s briefly recap how I did on last week’s predictions. There were points at stake – three points for getting a spot on prediction, one point for getting the right outcome and of course zero for nothing right whatsoever.
Arsenal 1-2 Tottenham (0 points – actual score 2-0)
Bournemouth 2-1 Huddersfield Town (1 point – actual score 4-0)
Burnley 2-0 Swansea (3 points)
Crystal Palace 1-1 Everton (1 point – actual score 2-2)
Leicester 1-4 Man City (1 point – actual score 0-2)
Liverpool 3-1 Southampton (1 point – actual score 3-0)
West Brom 1-2 Chelsea (1 point – actual score 0-4)
Man Utd 3-0 Newcastle United (1 point – actual score 4-1)
Watford 2-2 West Ham (0 points – actual score 2-0)
Brighton 1-0 Stoke City (0 points – actual score 2-2)
So 9 points isn’t retaining my recent record of getting double figures, but in the season so far it’s a decent gain. The 70% correct outcome is better than usual too, so it’s not something to get hung up about. It’s good, but I can do better. Let’s see if I can do that with this weekend’s set of fixtures.
West Ham 1-1 Leicester
Crystal Palace 1-2 Stoke City
Man United 3-1 Brighton
Newcastle 2-2 Watford
Swansea 1-2 Bournemouth
Tottenham 3-1 West Brom
Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea
Southampton 1-1 Everton
Burnley 2-1 Arsenal
Huddersfield 0-4 Man City
This is the first of set of fixtures for the week, but with midweek matches taking place, expect to see another set of predictions at the start of next week. With that in mind how will the teams approach this weekend’s matches, will the teams under pressure prove they have more than they have shown thus far? How many goals will City score on this occasion?
Let’s see how it goes.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden