Rowan’s Final Day Premier League 2019/20 Predictions: July 26th

Some thought we would not get here but Project Restart has come to its conclusion and it is the final day of the Premier League season, some 351 days since it started last August. With Champions League and Europa League positions to be determined as well as relegation, it is set to be an emotional day for some.

This week, Leeds United secured their return to the top flight for the first time in 16 years as Champions while West Brom secured top-flight status as runners up. The play-offs to determine the third promoted side take place in the next week with Brentford Town, Fulham, Cardiff City and Swansea City (who required a five-goal swing to qualify) battling it out. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: 20th-22nd July

The Premier League is now on the home stretch of Project Restart with seven league games in the next three days before the final round of games next Sunday. This weekend saw Harry Kane back to his best as he scored a brace against Champions League-chasing Leicester City. Already relegated Norwich were beaten 2-0 by Burnley including an unfortunate own goal by Ben Godfrey while Bournemouth are staring into the abyss after losing the south coast derby with Southampton.

In this round of fixtures, we will know more in the relegation battle as well as the battle for European places. Wolves and Sheffield United who are chasing the Europa League spots face Crystal Palace and Everton this evening while in the next few days the teams involved in the FA Cup final play. The Semi-finals produced some surprising results. A Pierre Emerick Aubameyang inspired Arsenal defeated holders Manchester City as Mikel Arteta beat Pep Guardiola for the first time. Then, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea swept past Manchester United to set up a 7th all-London final and the third such of those occasions it has been Arsenal vs Chelsea. read more

Rowan’s Premier League and FA Cup Semi-Final Predictions 2019/20: July 18th-19th

We are getting nearer to crunch time as the Premier League reaches its conclusion In the push for the Champions League places, Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United recorded wins over Norwich Coty, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace. Jose Mourinho [Pictured above; image from BBC.com] got his first league win at St James’ Park as his Spurs side beat Newcastle; even more remarkable that Serge Aurier played on only days after the death of his brother. Bournemouth were beaten by Manchester City, Liverpool tripped up in their search for the record Premier League points haul at Arsenal while Aston Villa will be ruing letting their second-half lead slip at Everton especially after West Ham beat Watford.

This weekend, the penultimate round of fixtures begins with only one game on Saturday and two on Sunday including a big south coast derby between Bournemouth and Southampton. The Cherries could have their relegation confirmed on Sunday if they fail to win at the same time Leeds United have had their return to the top flight after 16 years confirmed as Champions. There are three games on Monday night with the pick of the matches being Sheffield United vs Everton at Bramall Lane. The lack of league games this weekend is due to the FA Cup Semi-Final weekend with the last four FA Cup winners all in action at Wembley. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: 30th June-2nd July

The football action continues after the weekend that saw the last four winners of the FA Cup, all away from home, reached the semi-finals. They will be big games.

The Premier League only had three games and it did not change much in terms of what’s at stake in and around the relegation places with Watford being well beaten by a Danny Ings inspired Southampton [Image above from BeIN Sport] and Aston Villa beaten by Midlands rivals Wolves as they seemingly push for a Champions League place. read more

Rowan’s Premier League and FA Cup Quarter Final Predictions 2019/20: 27th-29th June

Liverpool are the Premier League Champions. That is one sentence I never thought I would write but there you go. Their impressive 4-0 victory over Crystal palace coupled with Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea [Pictured above, image from The Evening Standard] meant the title was there’s and it was thoroughly deserved.

They have been the best and most consistent team by far this season. I’m sure the fans will have wanted to be there but that is not possible. Although after my experience of Liverpool fans last season when they thought they were going to win the league after their 3-2 win at Newcastle, that is probably a good thing for everyone else. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: June 19th-22nd

Premier League football is back and not without controversy. An unusual error from goal-line technology denied Sheffield United a win at Aston Villa. Then, in a rain-soaked Manchester, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side breezed past a disappointing Arsenal but not without concern after a horrific head injury for Eric Garcia.

It was a great gesture from both sides at the two games in midweek taking a knee to mark their solidarity with the fight against racism and the Black Lives Matter movement [Image featured above from The Premier League]. The players will be wearing that slogan on their shirts during this weekends games and I think it is likely we will be seeing that gesture in these games too. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: March 7th-9th

What a surprise that was last week. After 44 games unbeaten on a run stretching back to New Years Day 2019, Liverpool eventually lost. They lost at Watford 3-0 in what was a shock result. Elsewhere, Spurs fell to another defeat as they lost this time to Wolves, West Ham secured their first win in nine and Crystal palace got the spoils in the M40 derby. Manchester United had a lucky escape at Everton but Manchester City were the happiest team of the weekend as they lifted the Carabao Cup for the third successive season [pictured above; image from The Evening Standard].

In midweek, we saw the FA Cup fifth-round produce some entertaining football. Newcastle overcame Championship leaders West Brom in a five-goal thriller, both Manchester clubs progressed away to Championship opposition but Spurs lost in a penalty shoot-out at home to Norwich. Premier League sides Sheffield United and Leicester City also progressed but in the heavyweight clash of the round, Liverpool bowed out after a bit of a howler from Adrian at Stamford Bridge. read more

Rowan’s Premier League and Carabao Cup Final Predictions 2019/20: February 28th-March 1st

Well, that VAR was a big talking pint again last weekend. Something is not right in its implementation in the English game, as we saw it work quite well in European competition this week. A human error at Stockley Park meant that le Celso was not sent off for Spurs when he really should have been. Chelsea got the result they deserved in the end [Image above from 90Min]. There was then controversy at Turf Moor where VAR gave Burnley a penalty after Adam Smith handled it in his area but only after Harry Wilson thought he’d equalised at the other end for Bournemouth. That is bizarre. Away from that, there were some really good football matches with Arsenal playing out a cracker with Everton and Liverpool coming from 2-1 down at home to West Ham to win 3-2 as they continue to march towards the title.

The Champions League second round ties continued and for a spell, it looked like all four English sides would lose the first leg of their respective ties. Following defeats for Liverpool and Spurs last week, Chelsea were undone in the second half at Stamford Bridge by Bayern Munich and Manchester City were 1-0 down against real Madrid. A quick double from Gabriel Jesus and a Kevin De Bruyne penalty gave them a famous win at the Bernabeau. In the Europa League, Manchester United swept past Club Brugge 5-0, Wolves fell to a 3-2 defeat in Spain to Espanyol but progress nonetheless but Arsenal, oh my. Having beaten Olympiacos in Greece, they lost 1-0 in 90 minutes forcing extra time and lost it in the final moments. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: February 22nd-24th

The second part of the winter break was eventful and controversial, to say the least as VAR took centre stage again. It ruled out a potential winner for Wolves against Leicester rightly but its use was questionable as it did not feel Harry Maguire should have been sent off for kicking out at Michy Batshuayi in his sides win over Chelsea. That said, watching it the first time I did not notice it but having seen the replays which the VAR official at Stockley Park did have access to. Liverpool kept their march towards the title going with a narrow win over Norwich and Spurs beat Aston Villa in a topsy turvy game thanks to a brace from Son Heung Ming [featured image above; image from The Evening Standard].

My last predictions post was published just before Manchester Cty’s UEFA ban broke. They have been banned from European competitions for the next two seasons for financial fair play reasons. The fans made their feelings known when they faced West ham in midweek; their postponed game thanks to Strom Ciara; or rather the fans that did turn up did. The Etihad was embarrassingly full of empty seats. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: February 14th-17th, Winter Break Part Two

A winter break with a week’s worth of fixtures split between two weekends; who’s idea was that? Oh right, it was the Premier League’s and it meant last weekend was a bit lacking of top-flight action. Storm Ciara had its impact too as we saw Manchester City vs West Ham called off but the games we did get saw a big win for Sheffield United as they went 5th [pictured above; image from Sky Sports], another win for Everton under Carlo Ancelotti and a draw between Brighton and Watford in the big game at the bottom.

This weekend, it is part two with six games being staggered over the weekend; all televised on Sky or BT. Hopefully, Strom Dennis does not interfere. There are certainly some interesting games with teams meeting on matching points as Burnley travel to Southampton on Saturday and Newcastle to Arsenal on Sunday and there’s a Monday Night Football to look forward to as Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Will Liverpool continue their relentless march to the title at Norwich? read more