Newcastle and Tottenham fans might as well do their Christmas shopping this weekend, while Roy Hodgson will have no reason to show off his Lulu tattoo



IF you’re like me and also you’re having bother maintaining with all of the matches right now of yr, then, fairly frankly, that you must get your priorities so as.

That’s proper: depart the Christmas searching for now – that’s what 5pm on Christmas Eve is for – and simply throw your self headlong into the soccer as an alternative.

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Rafa Benitez switches his consideration from Christmas purchasing to Arsenal recreation

Take this weekend the place there are extra video games than you may shake a Santa at.

However who’s going to win, who’s going to lose, and who or what will make Jose Mourinho smile once more?

Reply: no person and nothing…

Leicester v Crystal Palace

Saturday September 16, kickoff 12.30pm, watch the sport on Sky Sports activities Essential Occasion or with Now TV day cross for £6.99

Which of those statements about Roy Hodgson is true?

(a) He as soon as ate a complete cow, hooves and all, for charity.

(b) He has a tattoo of Lulu on his left buttock.

(c) He has by no means misplaced towards Leicester Metropolis as a supervisor.

The reply, after all, is (b)… I imply (c).

Sure, Roy’s received three and drawn one towards the Foxes and he’ll be in no temper to give up that unbeaten report right here. Hassle is Leicester are flying. They’ve received 4 on the spin and so they haven’t misplaced in any of their final 4 league video games towards Palace (W3, D1).

However it appears just like the Eagles’ luck could also be altering. Not solely did they snatch a completely undeserved win towards Watford this week however they might go seven video games unbeaten within the league in the event that they keep away from defeat right here.

Which they received’t, clearly.

 Roy Hodgson celebrates after finishing off a full cow... hooves n' all

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Roy Hodgson celebrates after ending off a full cow… hooves n’ all




Arsenal v Newcastle


This has acquired all of the hallmarks of excellent old school pumping.

Arsenal’s house type is phenomenal, as is their report of beating Newcastle in all 9 of their final encounters, scoring 22 objectives and conceding solely six. They’ve additionally received their final 5 towards the Magpies on the Emirates.

Is it price Newcastle turning up? All the proof – and I imply all of it – suggests not.

Take a look at Rafa Benitez. He’s by no means managed a staff to victory away to Arsenal (D2, L4) and it might nicely imply am eight defeat from their final 9 video games ought to they go down once more right here.

Nonetheless, look on the intense aspect Magpies followers. Mike Ashley is perhaps gone quickly.

 Arsene Wenger will be hoping for three points with is excellent record against Toon


Arsene Wenger can be hoping for 3 factors with is superb report towards Toon


Brighton v Burnley


Two sides with distinctly totally different experiences of the top-flight this season.

The Seagulls are fading badly and wish a win to cease a run of type that might see them lose 4 consecutive league video games for the primary time since 2011 when, as luck wouldn’t it have it, one of many defeats was to Burnley. They’ve an honest report towards the guests, nonetheless, and haven’t misplaced to them within the final six conferences (W3 D3).

Distinction that with the Clarets, who’ve received six of their final eight league matches (W6, D0, L2) and now have their sights set on a spot in subsequent yr’s Champions League.

I’ll say that once more. Burnley are going for the Champions League.

Bonkers, I do know.


 Sean Dyche could be welcoming Barcelona to Turf Moor next season

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Sean Dyche might be welcoming Barcelona to Turf Moor subsequent season


Chelsea v Southampton

After their comfy win at Huddersfield in midweek, Blues boss Antonio Conte stated the one method they might win the title is by successful all their remaining video games and hoping that Manchester Metropolis slip up someplace alongside the best way.

Neither of these issues is probably going.

Chelsea will begin this recreation as overwhelming favourites and it’s exhausting to see simply how Southampton are going to choose themselves up after that Four-1 house battering by Leicester in midweek.

Maybe the one hope they’ve is within the form of Charlie Austin, or somewhat Charlie Austin himself, somewhat then one thing simply within the form of him. The striker has scored eight objectives in his final 12 Premier League begins for Saints, together with 4 in his final 4 video games.

However right here’s the rub.

Southampton have saved one clear sheet of their final 24 matches towards Chelsea and that was again when Charlie Austin was simply 13 years previous.


 Saints' hopes of getting anything from trip to Stamford Bridge could rest with Charlie Austin


Saints’ hopes of getting something from journey to Stamford Bridge might relaxation with Charlie Austin


Stoke v West Ham

Having taken 4 factors towards Chelsea and Arsenal, David Moyes is edging ever nearer to a return to Outdated Trafford (please!) and if he can keep away from defeat right here it’ll be the primary time since March 2014 that’s he’s gone three matches unbeaten within the league.

Each likelihood he’ll do it too.

The Hammers have a new-found confidence whereas their hosts Stoke are about as constant as David Davis.

That stated, Stoke are unbeaten in all eight Premier League matches towards the Hammers beneath Mark Hughes (W3, D5) and Sparky’s additionally received his final two house video games towards David Moyes too, having crushed Manchester United in 2014 and Sunderland in 2016.


 David Moyes has got four points off Chelsea and Arsenal.. and he wants everyone to know about it

Information Group Newspapers Ltd

David Moyes has acquired 4 factors off Chelsea and Arsenal.. and he desires everybody to learn about it


Watford v Huddersfield


Watford appear to have the quantity on the newly-promoted sides, particularly at house, and the Hornets are unbeaten of their final seven league video games towards them at Vicarage Highway, successful three and drawing 4.

Huddersfield, like fellow newbies Brighton and Newcastle, are wobbling in the meanwhile too. They’ve misplaced 5 of their final six league video games with their solely win coming towards a Brighton aspect that ought to be ashamed of themselves.

I’m undecided I’ve acquired anything to say about this recreation.

Grasp on…

Nope, that’s it.


 Marco Silva knows how to deal with Premier League new boys

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Marco Silva is aware of learn how to cope with Premier League new boys


Manchester Metropolis v Spurs

Saturday December 16, kickoff 5.30pm, watch stay on BT Sport

Simply shading Watford v Huddersfield for the title of the most important recreation of the weekend is runaway leaders Manchester Metropolis versus Spurs.

A yr in the past you’ll have fancied Tottenham to take the spoils right here however as they’ve stagnated barely, Metropolis have reached new, unprecedented ranges. Certainly, Pep’s males might develop into the primary staff ever to beat every of Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham in a Premier League season earlier than the New 12 months.

And although Spurs are the staff which have received extra Premier League away video games at Metropolis than another staff (10), you may’t actually see past a 16th consecutive win for the Cityzens.

That basically is a garbage nickname, by the way, and I don’t know a single Metropolis fan that calls them that.


 Pep Guardiola will be looking to make it 16  wins in a row against Spurs

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Pep Guardiola can be seeking to make it 16  wins in a row towards Spurs


West Brom v Manchester United

Sunday December 17, kickoff 2.15pm, watch stay on Sky Sports activities Essential Occasion or with a Now TV day cross for £6.99

Do you ever take a look at Jose Mourinho, as he moans and groans and spits and scowls his method by each interview, and marvel why he bothers? He’s clearly not having fun with his job. Possibly he wants a brand new profession? He might strive funeral directing. The very last thing that you must do with that’s smile.

Yep, Jose is turning into a bore and the earlier he realises he’s previous his peak and opts for a snug job in worldwide administration (or funeral directing) the higher, so far as I’m involved.

And West Brom is perhaps the staff to make his depressing face that bit longer right here too provided that no supervisor has crushed a Mourinho aspect within the Premier League greater than Alan Pardew (three)


 Mourinho in typically upbeat mood


Mourinho in usually upbeat temper




Bournemouth v Liverpool

Sunday December 17, kickoff Four.30pm, watch on Sky Sports activities Essential Occasion or with a Now TV day cross for £6.99

What’s it with Liverpool? One minute they’re shoving it within the web like goal-hungry maniacs, the following they will’t even beat West Brom.

Sure, they’re unbeaten of their final eight league video games (W5, D3) nevertheless it’s hardly the sort of type that’s going to fret any aspect above them within the Premier League pecking order.

Nonetheless, a minimum of we should always see some objectives. Why? As a result of a) just one league fixture final season had extra objectives scored than Bournemouth v Liverpool (11) and that was Crystal Palace v Swansea (12), and (b) each defences are very common.

Maintain ‘em peeled for Mo Salah too. He wants only one extra purpose to develop into the primary Liverpool participant to attain 20+ in all competitions in a season since Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge each did so in 2013/14.

And it’s not even Christmas!


 Mo Salah was named Player of the Month for November

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Mo Salah was named Participant of the Month for November


Everton v Swansea


You may say what you want about Sam Allardyce – and most of the people do – however he’s turned this Everton staff round in double-quick time. The Toffees have taken 10 factors from their final 4 Premier League video games and that’s another than they managed of their earlier 12 mixed.

A lot of their change in fortunes is right down to Wayne Rooney who not solely has 9 league objectives this season however who has additionally been concerned in seven objectives in his final seven league video games towards Swansea (three objectives, 4 assists).

And if you’d like an thought of simply how badly Swansea are struggling this season then contemplate this – they’ve scored the identical variety of league objectives as Rooney this season.

So will the Toffees put the Swans to the sword at Goodison?

No, as a result of swans belong to the Queen and killing them is an offence tantamount to treason.

 Wayne Rooney with his Goal of the Month award for November

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Wayne Rooney along with his Objective of the Month award for November



Man Metropolis have proved the ‘Barca method’ can work in England say Pep Guardiola



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