If you’ve been following the Premier League Preview here on Sports Obsessive, you’ll know by now that I don’t seem to have a clue what the hell I’m talking about. Let’s face it, I’ve not been covering myself in glory with some of these predictions, but life loves a trier so I’m back again to look at the fixtures between Jan 16-18. Whether or not I’ll do any better this time out remains to be seen and if I’m not back for next week’s article, then you’ll know the powers that be have given up all hope and relegated me to covering Sunday League football instead.
Wolves vs. WBA
Premier League Result: Wolves Win
Well, this should be a nice simple one to start off with, right? I have been quite vocal over the past couple of weeks about how convinced I am that both West Brom and Sheffield Utd are already relegated and I have no reason to think anything that happens in the early kick-off is going to change my mind. Wolves might be on a run of five games without a win, but the West Brom defence is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, so I fully expect that Nuno Espírito Santo and his boys to come out with bragging rights from this local derby.
Leeds vs. Brighton
Premier League Result: Draw
This all depends on which Leeds Utd shows up. If it’s the team that battered West Brom a couple of weeks ago, this could get messy. If it’s the ones who rolled over like a dog waiting for a belly rub at Spurs and Crawley, then they’ll be on the end of a loss. I fully expect Brighton to come away with a point as it seems that Graham Potter’s footballing philosophy is simply to get as many draws as he can, hoping it will be enough to keep them up and him in a job for another season. I fully expect the bus to be parked here with the hopes they can nick it on the counter. This match is going to be duller than dishwater.
West Ham vs. Burnley
Premier League Result: Draw
Both teams will be desperate for the three points here, which is why I think they’ll cancel each other out. Neither team plays attractive football but, at least with Sean Dyche, I can understand it. You have to work with what you’ve got and he’s never been allowed the funds to turn Burnley into anything other than a scrappy mid-table side. Gollum…sorry…David Moyes on the other hand, I don’t understand. He’s got the backing of the owners, he’s spent the cash, but watching West Ham is akin to watching paint dry. This is going to be another snooze-fest that’ll either end 0-0 or 1-1.
Fulham vs. Chelsea
Premier League Result: Chelsea Win
Chelsea has only won one of their last six Premier League games and, even though I think talk of Frank Lampard’s job being under pressure is ridiculous, I also know that Roman Abramovich is as patient as a toddler demanding sweets. This is a big game for the Chelsea boss and he needs a win far more than his former teammate and current Fulham manager Scott Parker. It’s about time that their summer acquisitions came good and there’s no better time than in a local derby with your boss’s neck on the line.
Leicester City vs. Southampton
Premier League Result: Leicester City
The battle of fourth vs. seventh. This promises to be a cracking game. Leicester City are usually a good team to watch and are following on a pretty decent season last year with a challenge for the title, while Southampton are where they are in the league on merit. They are also coming into the game on the back of a win against Liverpool that reduced their manager to tears. So, expect a thriller and expect Leicester City to somehow walk away with the win, probably via a decisive Jamie Vardy penalty.
Sheffield United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League Result: Tottenham Hotspur Win
I don’t care that Sheffield United beat Newcastle last time out. They are still going down. I fully expect Spurs to run wild over The Blades in a way that hasn’t been seen since Hulk Hogan was at the height of his pomp. Kane and Son will bag a hat full between them. Nuff said.
Liverpool vs. Manchester Utd
Premier League Result: Manchester Utd Win
Yeah, this one’s gonna hurt. Something isn’t right at Anfield at the moment and that is because, instead of going out to buy a centre back in the summer, the board and management, for whatever reason, decided that Big Virgil was made of adamantium and would never break, so it didn’t matter that Joe Gomez wasn’t good enough and that Joel Matip was always a light breeze away from another stint on the injury list. How’s that working out then? Liverpool will be made to pay for their lack of cover and the unbeaten record that we’ve cherished for so long will not only be gone but to Manchester United of all people. I hope to God I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt it. Next time, maybe look to bolster the places that need it? Just saying.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace
Premier League Result: Manchester City
The only saving grace about this whole season being such a clusterf**k is that if Liverpool isn’t going to win it, Manchester City are. I fully expect them to beat Palace and quite comfortably, then to win their game-in-hand before sweeping everyone else aside as they stroll to the title. This should’ve been my prediction for Liverpool this season. Hell, it was. But now City are hitting their stride, it’s the perfect mantle for them. Go forth Citizens and deny the red half of Manchester their season in the sun.
Arsenal vs. Newcastle
Premier League Result: Arsenal Win
If the draw against Crystal Palace taught us anything, it was that this Arsenal team are mid-table at best. I expect them to pick up the win here, as Newcastle haven’t won in their last eight, but I honestly don’t see them getting anywhere near the Champions League spots this season. I’d be surprised if they got Europa League football next season without winning a cup.