Right then. Let’s have a show of hands for all of you who thought I’d be back with another one of these? Yeah, me neither. But just like in pro wrestling, it seems that 50/50 booking is enough for me to get another shot at the title. To be fair, it’s been one of those seasons so far and I’m just happy that I got about half the results correct last time out. Yet I will try to do better this time, Dear Reader. And with only six matches on the cards, I can’t mess it up that much. Can I?
Sheffield Utd vs. Newcastle Utd
Premier League Result: Newcastle Win
I stated in my last column that I thought Sheffield Utd were doomed and I stand by that. The Blades are still winless this season and are firmly rooted to the foot of the table. Normally, any team going up against Newcastle would fancy their chances but Sheffield are stuck in a rut so deep that they need at least 300 feet of rope to climb out of it. I fully expect them to still be on two points after this match and if they haven’t already started planning for next season in The Championship then they really should.
Burnley vs. Manchester Utd
Premier League Result: Manchester Utd Win
If you’d told me at the start of this season that Man Utd would be level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League and with a game in hand, I’d have laughed in your face. I’d also have asked you how the hell you got into my house, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact that the red half of Manchester is on the verge of taking the top spot off of their much-hated rivals will be more than enough to spur them on in this game. Meaning that Utd will be top of the table before the big derby between the two on the 17th and I will be burning effigies of Ole Gunnar Solskjær while chanting voodoo rituals in the run-up to the game.
Wolves vs. Everton
Premier League Result: Draw
After four successive wins were brought to an abrupt halt by West Ham last time out, I fully expect Everton to be up for this match. But considering their opponents threw away a two-goal lead at Brighton, I expect Wolves to be looking to bounce back as well. This might be a high-scoring affair, but both teams will be smarting from their last matches so don’t expect either one to roll over. It could be highly entertaining but it’s got a draw written all over it.
Manchester City vs. Brighton
Premier League Result: Manchester City Win
This is going to be a massacre. Manchester City has been slowly building momentum over the past three games and the way they dispatched Chelsea with such relative ease should be a warning to every other club in the Premier League. City are back and they want their title. Brighton might be something of draw specialists at the moment, but there is no way they are walking out of the Etihad without their asses in slings, especially if KDB keeps up his impressive form of late. Expects goals galore and Brighton’s keeper to need six months of therapy after this.
Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League Result: Draw
I know that Spurs will be flying high on the back of reaching the ‘whatever-the-hell-it’s-called-this-week’ final, but there is just something about this Villa side that I like. They have a never say die attitude and considering how badly they performed last season, to be sitting in eighth place at the start of the new year is nothing short of a miracle. If Son and Kane aren’t firing on all cylinders for this match I could even see Villa nicking a win. Don’t forget, they’ve already spanked Liverpool 7-2 at home. I know I can’t.
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace
Premier League Result: Arsenal Win
Fans and pundits around the globe are now claiming that Arsenal has got their act together. I’m not buying it. Sure, they’re on a three-match winning streak which I fully expect them to extend against Palace, but it’s not like they’ve had to face anyone decent. Chelsea are in an epic slump at the moment; they were lucky to beat Brighton, and a WBA team that are all but relegated. So to say that Arteta is now some sort of footballing mastermind is a tad premature. They should beat The Eagles quite easily, but until they go up against a big club, this is nothing more than a mid-table team that has hit a hot streak.