Rowan’s 2019/20 Premier League Predictions: November 30th-December 1st

Jose Mourinho s back and he got off the mark with Spurs first away win since January as his new side beat West Ham last week [Image above from TalkSPORT] but VAR ensured its controversial streak continued. A James Tompkins header was ruled out against Liverpool as they beat Crystal Palace, the goalkeeper standing on the line law was oddly applied in Leciester;s win over Brighton even though it made little difference; yes the keeper saved the penalty but James Maddison had already converted the rebound and there was the Burnley penalty at Watford as well as Francis’s red card for Bournemouth against Wolves. It can’t be any more controversial, can it?

Midweek saw the Champions League and Europa League campaigns continue. There was a comeback win for Spurs as they came from 2-0 down to beat Olympiacos, Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by Valencia while there was also a draw for Liverpool against Napoli and Man City recorded a win over Shaktar. Man United and Arsenal both lost in the Europa League with defeats against Astana and Frankfurt respectively. Wolves meanwhile ensured their progression with a 3-3 draw against Braga. read more

Verstappen’s Interlagos redemption, Mercedes struggle and the Ferrari’s collide: 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix Review.

Just when both Championships had been decided and it looked like F1 would be slowly winding down for the year, we get this! A chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix that was thoroughly worth the watch and perhaps the most dramatic since the rain-soaked German Grand Prix in July. The old school Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo is no stranger to dramatic races and the 2019 edition saw 52 overtakes, 46 pit stops (including a new world record), two unlikely maiden podiums, teammates colliding and woe for Mercedes. And all that without a drop of rain as Red Bull and Max Verstappen took their third victory of the season.

Verstappen really likes Interlagos. He produced a masterclass drive there back in a wet 2016 race and should have won here last year if not for that incident with Esteban Ocon while he was leading. He had been keen not to talk of it as redemption coming into the weekend but deep down there must have been a niggling thought there as the post-race team radio messages suggest. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: November 23rd-24th

The international break came at the wrong time. Liverpool laid a big statement by steamrollering past Manchester City at Anfield and there were several big wins for the likes of Wolves, Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton, Manchester United and Everton. Watford got their first win of the season at the 12th time of asking (pictured above, image from Sky Sports) and Spurs could only draw at home with Sheffield United.

My view at Wembley for England’s 1,000th international.

England men’s senior side became the first nation to reach their 1,000th international matches with their 7-0 win over Montenegro; a game I attended. It was a good game to be at as the future appears strong for England with the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and James Maddison starting to get involved. What I will say though, is that the boos that greeted Joe Gomez when he came on after the alteration with Raheem Sterling in the days before that game was entirely uncalled for. read more

F1 2019: Updates and what to look out for in the remaining two races

Both the Constructors and Drivers Championships have been decided with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ensuring a record-breaking sixth successive double success. So, with two races to go, you may be forgiven for thinking there is nothing left to play for as the F1 219 season winds down with the penultimate race of the season at Interlagos this weekend. That said, there are still several thongs to look forward to before the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi in two weeks…

Constructors-Battle for 6th

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all loo set to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the third successive year and with McLaren holding a 42 point leade over Renault for 4th, it looks like the only tasty battle in the Constructors Championship is the battle for 6th. read more

Bottas wins but Hamilton secures meteoric sixth title: 2019 USA Grand Prix Review.

The Circuit of the America’s (COTA) is probably one of the best circuits designed by Hermann Tilke in recent times and it was the site of F1 history. Previously, only one driver had won more than Juan Manuel Fangio’s five world championships. Now, there is two as Lewis hamilton wrapped up the 2019 Championship for his 6th title. An absolutely phenomenal achievement.

Austin’s F1 future may well be under threat with the proposed plans for a Grand Prix in Miami but F1 reported the attendance as being above last years 269,899 and 111,580 for race day. That is all despite there being another significant race in Texas that weekend; the NASCAR Cup Series at the Texas Motor Speedway for the second time after both events clashed in 2014. read more

Rowan’s Premier League predictions 2019/20: November 8th-10th

Drama. That is the one word I think that summarises last weekend. Manchester City and Liverpool eked out late last gap wins against Southampton and Aston Villa while Newcastle and Sheffield United also got big wins. Watford is still winless after 11 games while the Everton and Spurs clash was marred by the use of VAR and an absolutely horrific injury sustained by midfielder Andre Gomes.

Midweek saw more drama as Chelsea drew 4-4 with Ajax in the Champions League and Man City finished their clash in Italy with Atalanta with Kyle Walker in goal. Liverpool and Spurs seeled wins with Son Heung Min gesturing to the cameras in apology to Gomes for his part in the injury. The Europa League saw Wolves and Man United register wins while Arsenal were held to a lacklustre draw. Oh and with England having their 1,000th international next week, Gareth Southgate has named his England squad. read more

Rowan’s Premier League predictions 2019/20: November 2nd-3rd

Last weekend was record-breaking. VAR played its part, of course, awarding four penalties and a red card. Crystal Palace sparked a come back at Arsenal with one of the penalties VAR awarded while Man United were awarded two but failed to score either. It didn’t matter there as they won 3-1 at Norwich and in doing so became the first Premier League team to score 2,000 Premier League goals [Image above from BBC Sport]. Christian Pulisic scored a perfect hat-trick for Chelsea in their win at Burnley but the red card Var did give was for Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand as they capitulated to a record-equalling 9-0 defeat against Leicester.

Divock Origi scored at the last for Liverpool to take their sensation cup tie with Arsenal to penalties. [Image from Football Talk].

After the Carabao Cup action in midweek which saw Man City, Aston Villa and Manchester United all progressed at the expense of Premier League opponents as well as Liverpool’s entertaining draw and penalty shoot out win over Arsenal, it is back to league action. That means another round of predictions and this weekend I will not be including Lawro’s guest opponent. read more