2018/19 Premier League Predictions: November 30th-December 2nd

After the final international break of 2018, the Premier League returned and the action was tense! The unbeaten trio of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea became the unbeaten duo as Chelsea were defeated 3-1 at Wembley by Spurs. Liverpool and Manchester City carried on with 3-0 and 4-0 wins away to Watford and West Ham respectively. The pressure mounted on Jose Mourinho as Manchester United could only muster a goalless draw at home to Crystal Palace. Claudio Ranieri got off to a winning start as Fulham managing having replaced Slavia Jokanovic as his side beat Mark Hughes Southampton 3-2 while Everton edged out Cardiff 1-0 at home and Leicester came from a goal behind and a man down to draw at Brighton. Arsenal and Huddersfield recorded away wins in the Super Sunday instalment and Newcastle United held on for their first Monday Night Football victory in six years, 2-1 at Burnley.

As I have been doing all season now, I have been making weekly predictions and comparing them against those made by Paul Merson (pundit for Sky Sports) and Mark Lawrenson (Pundit for BBC Sport). This is part of a comparison of the two but also my curiosity in seeing how I fare against them. To do this, I use the scoring system used by Sky Super 6 which is as follows… read more

FA Cup First Round Proper 2018/19: Review

It is one of the most famous cup competitions in world football and in November it began again in proper. The Qualifying rounds started not long after Chelsea lifted the famous cup in May in what proved to be Antonio Conte’s final game in charge. Now, it was time for the First Round Proper. For those who came through the qualifying rounds, it’s their first chance to play against football league opposition and only two away from a potential big money clash with a Premier League side. However, at this stage teams from League One and League Two came into the fray.

Chelsea won the FA Cup back in May. [Image from BBC Sport].

The prize for progression to the Second Round is £36,000 which comes from the FA Prize Fund. While that is not a lot considering some of the crazy sums of money you see in football these days but to some of the smaller clubs, it is big. For some of the clubs in the lower reaches, that could go towards helping secure their squads yearly wage bill or fund much-needed developments in the clubs infrastructure. read more

Premier League 2018/19 Predictions: November 24th-26th

The Premier League is back after the final international break of 2018 and there were some relative surprises in the last round of fixtures. Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves while Chelsea drew a blank against Everton although that did ensure Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season continues. There are still three teams unbeaten with Liverpool winning 2-0 against Fulham at Anfield and ManchesterCity triumphing in the Manchester Derby 3-1. The action started with Cardiff’s 2-1 win at home over Brighton and in the three o’clock’s saw an emotional return to the King Power Stadium for Leicester City; just a fortnight after the tragic death of five including owner Vichai Srivvadhanaprabha in a helicopter incident. It ended goalless with Burnley. There were also draws for Huddersfield against West Ham but also Southampton’s match with Watford with Holebas’s deflected effort surely adding more pressure upon Mark Hughes. Newcastle won their second consecutive game for the first time since April with a victory over Bournemouth and Spurs edged out Crystal Palace 1-0.

In the two weeks since then, we have seen the first managerial casualty of the season. The 2-0 defeat at Liverpool proved to be the final game for Slavia Jokanovic in charge of Fulham as they replaced him with Claudio Ranieri. read more

Jokanovic out, Ranieri in as the Premier League has its first managerial casualty of the season.

At the start of the season, I made a number of predictions. One of them was regarding the sack race and which manager would be the unfortunate one to lose his job first. In my preview post of the season, I went with Everton’s Marco Silva. However, after twelve games into the Premier League season, the league does have its first casualty and my prediction back in August is well off the mark. Instead, the unlucky manager receiving his P45 was Slavia Jokanovic after two years, 10 months in charge of Fulham was sacked this week.

Slavia Jokanovic oversaw Fulham’s revival and return to the top flight but after 12 games, he has been sacked. [Image from Fulham FC].

Jokanovic took over at Fulham in December 2015 with the Cottagers languishing 18th in the Championship. While they finished in 20th place that season, they were 11 were safe by 11 points from relegation and Jokanovic built on that by turning the club into promotion chasers as they reached the Championship play-offs two seasons in a row and succeeded in gaining promotion to the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley in May. However, after a mammoth outlay on players, this season and no league win since August (a 4-2 win over Burnley) and a run including four successive league defeats have seen Fulham make the decision. read more

Armistice day 1918; 100 years on…

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. / At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.”

Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen read more

Premier League predictions 2018/19: November 9th-10th

Last weekend was an emotional one in the Premier League. Leicester City showed great character to win at Cardiff City only a week after the tragic death of owner Vichai Shrivaddhanaprabha It was also a big weekend for Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town who recorded their first wins of the season 1-0 over Watford and Fulham respectively. The top three remain unbeaten as Liverpool were pegged back to a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at The Emirates while Manchester City steamrollered on with a 6-1 win over Southampton with Sergio Aguero netting his 150th Premier League goal and Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 3-1. Elsewhere, Manchester United showed their resolve to nick a 2-1 win at Bournemouth in the final moments while Everton returned to winning ways against Brighton. West Ham outscored Burnley and Spurs survived a late scare to defeat Wolves 3-2.

That was the penultimate weekend of top-flight football before the final international break of 2018 meaning after this weekend, there will be a two-week break before more Premier League action. As usual for this season, I continue to make predictions that I compare against those made by Paul Merson and Mark Lawrenson on a weekly basis for Sky Sports and BBC Sport respectively. I use the point scoring system used by Super 6 meaning predicting the correct score results in 5 points while the result is rewarded with 2 points. This is how last weekend got on… read more

Premier League Predictions 2018/19: November 3rd-5th

Last weekend saw the unbeaten starts of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City reach the 10 game mark. Liverpool defeated Cardiff City 4-1 at Anfield while Chelsea demolished Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor on Sunday and Manchester City overcame the bobbles of the Wembley pitch still showing signs of the NFL clash between the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars. Liverpool’s win was one of 5 traditional Saturday 3 o’clock kick offs which also saw Bournemouth and Watford continue their promising starts to the season with 3-0 wins over Fulham and Huddersfield respectively. Brighton secured a third successive win in the top flight for the first time since 1981 with Bruno and Glenn Murray combining to make the oldest assist and scorer combination in Premier League history. The damp squib of the weekend was at St Mary’s Stadium as Southampton and Newcastle played out a goalless draw. Arsenal’s winning run in all competitions came to an end as Crystal Palace held the Gunner’s to a 2-2 draw and Manchester United saw off Everton 2-1.

Every week this season, I have been pitting myself against respective pundits Paul Merson for Sky Sports and Mark Lawrenson for BBC Sport in making predictions on each game. For this comparison, I use the scoring system used by Sky Super 6 meaning the correct result gains two points while the correct score gains 5. This is how last week got on… read more