The first Super Sunday of the season could see two managers a step closer to the door. Everton v Liverpool and Arsenal v Man United are two emotional six-pointers. They aren’t actually worth more points than any other games, but such is the rivalry between the teams that these are the matches that cost managers’ jobs!
Bring it on!
Palace kick us off v wounded West Brom…
12.45 Crystal Palace v West Brom
West Brom will be stinging from their uncharacteristic defensive calamity in the second half v Everton. Expect a tighter rear guard action here. Palace offer great approach play but still lack cutting edge, so will struggle to overcome the Baggies in stubborn mood.
Score Prediction: An easy on the eye 0-0
MVP Prediction: Scott Dann has been the man so far.
15.00 Aston Villa v Stoke
Stoke’s win over Bournemouth (after taking care of Calum Wilson early doors) will be a big relief. And might free up their undoubtedly talented assembly of players to do their stuff. Villa are without a win since opening day (also v Bournemouth) but will be encouraged by a gutsy showing at Anfield. Both would probably take a draw.
Score Prediction: So 1-1 it is.
MVP Prediction: Rudy Gestede has got something about him. Might fancy this.
15.00 Bournemouth v Watford
The loss of Calum Wilson is a heartbreaker for Bournemouth (and many FL managers). Could be a season decider too. They need a result quickly and this looks a good one to start their post-Wilson era. You think that Watford need to start scoring goals. They might need two here.
Score Prediction: 2-2.
MVP Prediction: Matt Ritchie needs to grab the nettle now.
15.00 Man City v Newcastle
Just the sort of match that Newcastle could raise themselves in. And just the sort of match that Man City could drop the baby in. But the CL victory and the sight of Man United sat in top of the PL should prompt a reaction. Home win.
Score Prediction: 2-0
MVP Prediction: A lot of money, yes. But Kevin de Bruyne is a class act.
15.00 Norwich v Leicester
Game of the week for the neutral. Two teams absolutely loving life in the top-flite. Both look full of goals and high on confidence. Both will go for this. Less a six-pointer, I fancy a six-goaler.
Score Prediction: 3-3
MVP Prediction: Jamie Vardy has my ‘Double Points Captain’ card on him this week.
15.00 Sunderland v West Ham
On the evidence of this season, this is the banker of the weekend. If West Ham are anything like their Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool humbling best they will win at a canter. Of course, it doesn’t always work out like that. But Sunderland look uneasy in front of their own fans.
Score Prediction: 1-3.
MVP Prediction: Dimitri Payet looks like the signing of the summer.
17.30 Chelsea v Southampton
Jose has never lost against Southampton. Who have won just once in their last 13 visits. But the stars are aligned in a funny order this season. Chelsea have conceded more than anyone bar Sunderland so far and Saints have players who can score. So it’s down to Chelsea’s forwards.
Score Prediction: 2-1. A scruffy win.
MVP Prediction: Eden Hazard had a rest midweek. Needed it.
13.30 Everton v Liverpool
Ouch. Brendan doesn’t need this at the moment. An emotional six-pointer. These games can get you the sack. Everton haven’t beaten Liverpool in a dog’s lif but will never be in better shape.
Score Prediction: 2-1. Only way is up for Roberto
MVP Prediction: Ross Barkley missed a couple Monday. Due one.
16.00 Arsenal v Man United
Not the blood and thunder of years gone by, but still a tasty encounter. Arsenal look full of goals – at both ends. United are slowly warming up, with Martial, Memphis and Mata likely to provide headline writers and fans plenty of magic moments.
Score Prediction: Not much between these. 1-1
MVP Prediction: Wayne Rooney scored his 1st and 100th goals v Arsenal. Due one.
16.00 Swansea v Tottenham
Swansea have quietly lost their way, while Tottenham have done the opposite. They have finished the last few games very strong – a trademark of the ultra-fit Pochettino teams. Swansea miss the goals of Gomis and would take a point right now.
Score Prediction: 2-2.
MVP Prediction: Harry Kane’s ‘shinned’ effort will be a weight off his shoulders.
Boom! Looking forward to Super Sunday. Let there be points!
Until next time.
Matt Nesbitt’s unspectacular but joyful playing career has given way to a much more successful but miserable one writing about football and providing betting advice. Email: Matt Nesbitt