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 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

2018/19 Premier League Predictions: March 2nd-3rd.

What drama there was in the Carabao Cup final! After 120 minutes of stalemate, it got interesting in the final moments as Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted by his manager Maurizio Sarri. He remains on the pitch for the penalty shoot-out and even though he saved one of the spot kicks, he cost them that. The Aguero penalty should never have got passed him; instead, it went right under him. It is disgraceful and Sarri was right to drop him in midweek however, the PR campaign trying to remedy it with Kepa saying he never intended to undermine the manager has been painful. He knew exactly what he was doing, he wanted the glory and instead cost them a trophy while also Sarri his job in the long run…

However, last weekend did see drama in the Premier League with some big results. Burnley shocked everyone when they beat Spurs in the Saturday dinner time kick-off while I don’t think anyone saw Crystal Palace winning 4-1 at Leicester City. It proved to be the final straw for Leicester who sacked Claude Puel this week. There were thumping wins for Watford (5-1 at Cardiff) and West Ham who condemned Fulham to yet another defeat. There were good wins for Newcastle and Arsenal against Huddersfield and Southampton respectively. The televised Sunday game was disrupted by injuries as Manchester United and Liverpool fought out a goalless draw at Anfield. read more

2018/19 Premier League Predictions: February 22nd-24th.

The predictions are back after a slightly extended absence. In that time, I missed a set of Premier League games on the weekend of 9th and 10th February which had some significant results. Chelsea suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat losing 6-0 to n impressive Manchester City side at the Etihad while Tottenham and Liverpool kept the pressure on with a 3-1 win over Leicester and a 3-0 win over Bournemouth respectively. At the other end of the table, Southampton thought they’d salvaged a draw with Cardiff City when Jack Stephens equalised in the second half only for Kenneth Zohore to give Cardiff a second goal and a crucial win; but also their first back to back win in the top flight since 1961. Marco Silva did not have a good return to Vicarage Road as his Everton side lost 1-0 to Watford. There were also significant wins for Manchester United, Burnley and Arsenal while Crystal Palace drew with West Ham and Wolves snatched a late equaliser against Newcastle.

How did the predictions fare between myself, Paul Merson and Mark Lawrenson? As I have been doing this season, I have been comparing the predictions made by these two pundits with those of my own using the scoring system Sky Sports use for their Super 6 game. That means two points are given for the correct result and five for the correct score. read more

Premier League Predictions 2018/19: January 29th-30th

Last time out, The premier League incredibly saw two seven-goal thriller’s over the course of the weekend. Wolves overcame Leicester City 4-3 with a late goal from Diego Jota while Liverpool edged past a very resilient Crystal Palace by the same score. Manchester City kept the pressure on the leaders with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Toen in their first game since the departure of David Wagner. In the battle for the top four, Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 while Tottenham Hotspur snatched victory with 12 seconds to go thanks to Harry Winks against Fulham and Ole Gunner Solsjkaer maintained his 100% start at Manchester United with a 21 win over Brighton. In the bottom half of the table, there were big wins for Newcastle (who defeated Cardiff 3-0) and Ralph Hassenhuttl’s revival at Southaptkcontinued with a 201 win over Everton while Bournemouth defeated West Ham 2-0. The boring game f the weekend had to be the goalless draw at Vicarage Road between Watford and Burnley.

In the 9 days since the last set of Premier League fixtures, a lot has happened… read more

Premier League Predictions 2018/19: January 12th-14th

After an extended break over the festive period and I am back with the Premier League predictions! There have been four sets of Premier League fixtures in that time. The outcome of these predictions was intended to be published before this post but things have not gone to plan.

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Premier League Predictions 2018-19: December 15th-16th

And then there was one! Liverpool remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League this season after last weekends 4-0 win at Bournemouth while Manchester City succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea. They were temporarily third before Tottenham beat Leicester 2-0 in the even later kick off of 7.45pm. Arsenal remain 5th after avoiding a potential banana skin in Huddersfield while Man United remain 6th after their 4-1 hammering of Fulham. That is courtesy of Everton’s 2-2 draw with Watford in the Monday Night Football and Newcastle succumbed to a 7th home defeat of the season against Wolves who won 2-1 at St James’s Park. Burnley secured a 1-0 win over Brighton and it was not the start Ralph Hassenhuttl was looking for at Southampton as his new side lost by the same scoreline at Cardiff while West ha, wpm a hectic London derby against Crystal Palace 3-2.

As the title of the post suggests, I will be making predictions on this weekends football as part of my weekly comparison of the predictions made by pundits Paul Merson and Mark Lawrenson. In doing this, I aim to see who is the most accurate over the course of the season but also to see how I fare in comparison as well. To settle this, I use the scoring system utilised by Sky for their Super 6 game which is as follows: 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