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: 14th-18th July

What an explosive weekend of Premier League action at the bottom of the table that was! Aston Villa recorded a big win to stay in the fight for survival by beating Crystal Palace but it was followed by a magnificent 4-1 victory for Bournemouth over Leicester City which was totally unexpected. They needed the win after Watford and West Ham, the two teams immediately above the relegation places recorded wins over Newcastle and Norwich. Michel Antonio [pictured above; image from ESPN] was the star of the show as he scored all for goals for West Ham in a result that condemned Norwich to relegation back to the Championship.

Elsewhere, Manchester City romped over Brighton after Sheffield United stunned Chelsea with a magnificent 3-0 win. Earlier, Liverpool lost their 100% winning record at home this season after Burnley managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw. Jose Mourinho maintained his unbeaten home record against Arsenal in the Premier League with his Tottenham side winning the North London derby and Manchester United were held to a 2-2 draw by a very plucky Southampton side. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: 11th-13th July

The games keep coming thick and fast, only four sets of fixtures remain. There remains a lot to be played for in terms of European places and survival after the midweek games. Arsenal and Leicester played out an entertaining draw at The Emirates but it was not without controversy while we had a five-goal thriller between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park [Image featured above from The Evening Standard]. Liverpool became the quickest side to 30 league wins in a season after they recorded a comfortable win over Brighton while Manchester City romped home putting five past Newcastle and Manchester United recorded a similarly comfortable win at Aston Villa. Spurs were held to a goalless draw at Bournemouth while Watford got a big win which will go a big way to guaranteeing their survival this season over a sorry Norwich side.

VAR has propped its head up again as a major talking point in the past week or so. In midweek, it saw Eddie Nketiah shown a straight red card. I have no problems in the way it was used by referee lee Kavanagh he did not just take it from the official at Stokley Park, he went to the pitchside monitor himself before making the decision. Ultimately, it should be the referee’s decision and if the referee sees the footage before making the decision you can’t really argue with that. The pressure was also added after former referee Dermott Gallagher claimed that VAR got three penalty decisions wrong on Thursday with Manchester United and Southampton wrongly awarded penalties and Spurs denied. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: July 4th-6th

Premier League football keeps coming thick and fast and the midweek action did not disappoint. There were twists and turns with VAR having its devilish impact on proceedings with some awful decisions against Pavel Soucek [Featured above; Image from Sky Sports] and Lucas Moura. At the bottom of the table, there was a dramatic win for West Ham while those around them faltered. Newcastle and Manchester United recorded comfortable wins on the south coast and Manchester City gave Liverpool a guard of honour before romping home to a 4-0 win; the joint heaviest defeat for a reigning champion.

The action continues this weekend with another full set of fixtures with five games including two traditional three o’clock kick-offs on Saturday. Wolves and Arsenal meet in a big game in the battle for European places while on Sunday Liverpool will be hoping to bounce back against Aston Villa while Spurs face off against Everton in the Monday Night Football. 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 8th-9th, Winter Break Part One

It’s that technology, VAR that had a big part of another explosive weekend of Premier League football to kick off February. It was used quite rightly at Selhurst Park as Andy Madley used the pitchside monitor to downgrade the initial red card he gave to Danny Ward to a yellow. But there were questionable decisions such as Brighton’s equaliser at West Ham and the delay in awarding the penalty to Manchester City. They didn’t take that penalty and ultimately lost to Spurs thanks to a wonderful debut goal from Steven Bergwijn [pictured above; image from FourFourTwo.com]. There was also big wins for Bournemouth over Aston Villa in the battle at the bottom as well as a stunning comeback win for Everton at Watford.

This weekend, we have only four games. That is because of the Premier League deciding to give teams a winter break for the first time in the competition’s history. It is for two weeks but of course, it isn’t that straightforward. It sees the games staggered over two weekends to give them all 13 days off between league games but this has been done with the TV companies in mind too as they are televising all 10 games over this period. read more