🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Sutton's Premier League predictions v The Zutons & Better Joy – www.bbc.co.uk

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Date Heure de publication : 2024-03-07 21:31:18

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Manchester City have not won a Premier League game against another team in the top five all season – can they change that when they face Liverpool on Sunday?

BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton said: “The statistic about City not beating the teams around them is important, because those head-to-head encounters decide the title.

“City’s record at Anfield is not great either – they have only won once there in seven league visits under Pep Guardiola. Even so, you would have to be a fool to write them off going into this game.”

Sutton is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches again this season, against a variety of guests.

For this weekend’s games, he takes on The Zutons frontman Dave McCabe, who supports Liverpool, and Better Joy’s Bria Keely, who is a Manchester City fan.

Liverpool band The Zutons’ new album is their first for 16 years. They are touring the UK in March and April

The Zutons’ new album, The Big Decider, is out on 26 April and their latest single, Creeping On The Dancefloor, is out now.

Frontman Dave is a lifelong Liverpool fan, who has fond memories of Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso – touted as one of the possible replacements for departing manager Jurgen Klopp this summer.

“Gerrard is an obvious choice as the best player I’ve seen, because he carried the whole club on his shoulders for about a decade and a half,” he told BBC Sport.

“I can’t remember a game where he wasn’t playing, but there was a brief stint when he was out and although Alonso never filled his boots – his corners were better, but that was it – he kind of took over the reins.

“Alonso was always one of my favourites, though. You’d be at games and people would be saying, ‘why doesn’t he just pass it into the goal?’ Because he was that comfortable on the ball, he never lost it, but he was still under-appreciated when he was with us.

“It was a classic case of we didn’t know what we had until he had gone. The minute he left, it just became glaringly obvious he was one of the very best. He also made Dirk Kuyt look really good, because he was a bit of a flapper.

“Luis Suarez was the same – he was that good he gave Kuyt a hat-trick against Manchester United in 2011 – and Gary McAllister is another. Everyone was moaning when we signed him because he was so old. He was 35 when he joined, but it was a stroke of genius by Gerard Houllier.

“That season we did the Mickey Mouse treble (when Liverpool won the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup in 2000-01), McAllister was incredible, spraying passes all over the pitch. It is players like that, who make other people look good, who I really appreciate.”

Bria Keely (left) on her brother’s shoulders at Manchester City’s Treble-winning parade in 2023 and (right) on stage with Better Joy

Manchester band Better Joy’s second single, Dead Plants, is out now – and Bria is hoping it gets on the playlist at Etihad Stadium, like their debut track Hard To Love.

“It was during the Brentford game a couple of weeks ago, and it was the first song played as the team walked off at half-time,” she told BBC Sport.

“I was actually on a train when it happened so I was pretty gutted not to be there, but a few people who were there sent me videos of it on Instagram. It was so loud and when I listened at first it kind of took me a second to realise what was going on – and then I saw City in the background, which was pretty bonkers, really.

“For me and my family I don’t think it could have got much better than that. Now I am just hoping for more of our songs to be played there!”

Bria follows City because of her dad and brothers, and explained how it was “impossible to be anything than a Blue” in her house.

“It was kind of a given, really,” she added. “It wasn’t a choice!

“My dad was a die-hard from a young age. He had season tickets at Maine Road in the 1980s and 90s and he was there for all the relegations and the tough times.

“He went through all the mediocrity and the ‘Manchester is Red’ years too, which is why the past few years have been so so special. He’s the reason I got into City, so watching him celebrate has been one of the best things about our success.”

Better Joy are playing at the Wanderlust festival in Southampton in May and are appearing at Supersonic in Paris in May and June

Chris Sutton, Dave McCabe and Bria Keely were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Premier League – week 26
When? Result Sutton Dave Bria
Man Utd v Everton x-x 2-1 2-1 2-1
Bournemouth v Sheff Utd x-x 3-0 3-1 2-0
Crystal Palace v Luton x-x 1-1 1-2 1-2
Wolves v Fulham x-x 1-1 1-1 1-1
Arsenal v Brentford x-x 3-0 4-0 3-1
Aston Villa v Tottenham x-x 3-2 3-2 2-2
Brighton v Nottingham Forest x-x 2-1 4-2 0-1
West Ham v Burnley x-x 2-0 1-1 1-2
Liverpool v Man City x-x 2-1 2-2 2-3
Chelsea v Newcastle x-x 2-1 3-1 0-2

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

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All matches kick off at 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.


Man Utd v Everton (12:30 GMT)

Everton have been in woeful form for a while now, but I still can’t say I am totally convinced Manchester United will beat them.

Sean Dyche’s side gave United a decent game at Goodison Park in November, despite losing 3-0, and I feel like the score will be a lot closer this time.

I am really tempted to go for a draw but I just know United will somehow nick another spawny win, so that is what I am going with.

There were some people out there who gave them credit for hanging on for a long time against Manchester City last Sunday but I was not impressed.

There is no disputing how good Marcus Rashford’s goal was to give United the lead, but the game was a mismatch and they are so far behind City – the two teams are worlds apart.

Whether United do win this game or not probably comes down to whether striker Rasmus Hojlund is fit.

If he does make it back from injury, it gives them a focal point in attack. Without him, we saw what happened to United last time out at Old Trafford when they lost to Fulham.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Dave’s prediction: I’d like a draw here but – and I hate to say it – I just have a feeling United are going to win. 2-1

Bria’s prediction: United weren’t actually doing too badly before they played Fulham and then lost the derby, and they should probably win this. 2-1

Bournemouth v Sheff Utd

Bournemouth did not have it all their own way when they beat Burnley last week but I am expecting them to find it a lot easier against Sheffield United.

If things don’t go well for them, Cherries fans can blame me, because I am triple-captaining their striker Dominic Solanke in my Fantasy Football team this weekend.

After this game, they play another side from the bottom three, Luton, at home in a rearranged game on Wednesday. So, my thinking is they have a chance of a cricket score in the next few days… but, because I am captaining him, Solanke probably won’t score and will get injured too, while Bournemouth will lose.

Something will have to go badly wrong if they are beaten here, though. Blades boss Chris Wilder said his players were ‘broken’ after their latest heavy defeat, 6-0 at home to Arsenal on Monday. Being kind, this has been a season to forget for them.

Like Burnley, the Blades have often been outclassed to the point where it has become embarrassing for their fans.

I know what that feels like because I live near Norwich and my old club’s last two top-flight campaigns have been so disappointing – the Canaries finished last in 2019-20 and 2021-22 – that some of their supporters would rather have stayed in the Championship.

Similarly, it has not been a pleasant experience for Sheffield United fans seeing their team humiliated week in, week out, which is what has happened. It’s been a desperate campaign so far, and I don’t see it improving now.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Dave’s prediction: Straight away I am just thinking Bournemouth will win. 3-1

Bria’s prediction: I haven’t really watched either of these teams much but, as far as I’m aware, Sheffield United are struggling. It’s not been a good season for them. 2-0

Crystal Palace v Luton

I am at this game for BBC Radio 5 live and it is a big one for Luton, who have lost four league games in a row as well as going out of the FA Cup against Manchester City.

Their run of good form at the end of January feels a long time ago and, although they have had some difficult games recently, this has to be seen as a fixture where they need to get something if they are going to stay up.

They beat Crystal Palace earlier in the season, so that must be the target again – I am just not sure whether they can do it.

It is a boost for the Eagles that Eberechi Eze is back from injury, and he scored against Tottenham last week.

They always carry more of a threat when he is in the team but to be completely honest, I really don’t know what to expect from them yet under new boss Oliver Glasner.

They beat Burnley comfortably in his first game which was a great start, but you have to remember the Clarets were down to 10 men for an hour. Then, against Tottenham last week, they lost and only had 22% possession.

What I am trying to say is it is going to take time for things to take shape under Glasner, and we will have to wait and see what kind of playing style he implements. As for this game, well it smells like a draw to me.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Dave’s prediction: It’s funny but I just fancy Luton here. 1-2

Bria’s prediction: Palace should win this at home, but I do love an underdog so I am going to back Luton. 1-2

Wolves v Fulham

I didn’t expect Wolves to get walloped the way they did at Newcastle last time out, the same way I didn’t think Fulham would beat Brighton so convincingly.

I really like what Fulham are doing at the moment, though. They are playing some nice football and, up front, Rodrigo Muniz is in excellent form.

Wolves are definitely without Matheus Cunha through injury so the level of their attacking threat depends on whether Pedro Neto is fit after he came off with a hamstring problem against the Magpies.

Either way, this is another very difficult game to call. I don’t want to go for a draw but I do feel like it’s the most likely outcome.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Dave’s prediction: Definitely a draw. 1-1

Bria’s prediction: Both teams are having good seasons and I can see this being close. I couldn’t decide on a winner so I went for a draw. 1-1

Arsenal v Brentford (17:30 GMT)

Even I am getting excited about what Arsenal are doing. They are flying and just can’t stop scoring in the Premier League and, if they win this game, they will go back to the top of the table for the first time since the end of December.

There are a few Gunners players who have impressed me recently but I think Kai Havertz deserves some praise. He was dug out a bit at the start of the season when people questioned why they had signed him, but he has turned into a key player and has proved a lot of those doubters wrong.

The bad news for Brentford is Ben Mee’s ankle injury means their entire first-choice back four is missing for this game, when they probably need them all to be fit to stand any chance.

There was plenty of controversy about this fixture last season, when Brentford’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw was wrongly allowed to stand after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) used the wrong offside line, but I don’t see the Gunners having any problems taking the three points this time.

Aaron Ramsdale will be playing because regular keeper David Raya cannot face his parent club, and he had a wobble or two in the reverse fixture in November. But I could probably go in goal for Arsenal at the moment and they would still win.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Dave’s prediction: Arsenal are hammering everyone. 4-0

Bria’s prediction: It is going to be tighter than their game against Sheffield United but Arsenal are still going to win it. I’d really like them to lose, but I am a fan of Mikel Arteta – I loved him when he worked at City under Pep Guardiola – what a dream team that was. 3-1


Aston Villa v Tottenham (13:00 GMT)

What I have found difficult about making predictions this season is that there seems to be more games where there is not an outcome that would surprise me.

I’d usually expect some patterns to be obvious where you automatically think one team is going to win or lose but there have not been many so far, other than those involving the clubs at the very bottom of the table. Instead, this is another example of a game where Villa could win or lose 3-0, or it could be a 3-3 draw.

Villa’s home form was very reliable for a while but even that has dropped off in the past few weeks and, although I am still going to say they will edge this, it is only a guess and not really based on anything concrete.

I know Villa won the reverse fixture, but they were quite fortunate and also it was against a Tottenham team who were missing some key men like James Maddison through injury and suspension.

Maddison will make a difference this time, and if the Spurs attack clicks then they will be dangerous. But you could say the same about Villa, and in-form Ollie Watkins, too and I don’t think he will have a quiet afternoon.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-2

Dave’s prediction: There will be a few goals in this one. 3-2

Bria’s prediction: I found this one tricky, because I felt like either side could win. 2-2

Brighton v Nottingham Forest (14:00 GMT)

I am not sure if it is European football that has affected Brighton, but they are not the team they were last season.

Their home record is still pretty decent, with only one league defeat at the Amex Stadium, but I don’t know how much Thursday’s Europa League defeat at Roma will take out of them.

Nottingham Forest were very angry last weekend after blaming the referee for their last-gasp defeat by Liverpool – although that seemed a bit ridiculous to me because the winning goal went in a couple of minutes after they should have been given the ball from a restart.

Forest are probably still angry now, though, and I don’t see their mood improving much here. I’m backing Brighton to pile on the misery for them.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Dave’s prediction: More goals in this one, too! 4-2

Bria’s prediction: Again I am going to go with the underdog here. The Premier League is full of surprise results and I am going for one of those here. 0-1

West Ham v Burnley (14:00 GMT)

Burnley are down as far as I am concerned. As a team they are pretty, but without a lot of punch.

West Ham fans have been moaning they are bored with ‘Moyes-ball’ but their team has scored seven goals in their past two games to just ram down how well it works.

I am delighted for David Moyes that he got those wins over Brentford and Everton to lift his side back up to seventh.

The Hammers travelled to Germany on Thursday in the Europa League so I am not sure how Moyes will manage his squad over the next few days. On that basis I’d usually quite fancy Burnley to get a point but, defensively, I don’t see them holding out.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-0

Dave’s prediction: 1-1

Bria’s prediction: My heart ruled my head with this one. Vincent Kompany is not having a great time of it as Burnley boss this season but he was an absolute hero for City and I am desperate for him to win. 1-2

Liverpool v Man City (15:45 GMT)

City are the Premier League champions, European champions and world champions… so who is going to write them off? I am. They are going to lose.

I have a hunch that, with Liverpool being at home, they will have the slight edge and Mohamed Salah’s return from injury could make the difference for them in a very tight game.

I will probably look stupid at full-time but I am going with ‘darling’ Darwin Nunez to score and the Reds to win.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Dave’s prediction: Every game this season when I’ve said I’ve got a feeling we are going to win, we never do… so I am going to be dead honest and go for a draw. 2-2

Bria’s prediction: I do think this one is going to be tricky, especially if Salah is back, and Liverpool are going to have a pretty decent chance of beating us. But I am never not going to back City, especially the way Phil Foden is playing at the moment – no-one moves quite like he does when he gets on the ball. This result is going to be so crucial in the title race and sometimes that can make games like this quite cagey because nerves come into it, but I actually think we will see a high-scoring game. It is going to be hard going to Anfield and I don’t think we will batter them like we did at the Etihad this time last year but we are going to win! 2-3

Dave on Klopp’s exit this summer: I am gutted, but it hasn’t hit home yet that he he is leaving. I do have a strange feeling, though, that it won’t be quite as bad as everyone thinks when he has gone. The right manager is out there for us and my thinking is go for Carlo Ancelotti next, if no-one wants to try to fill Klopp’s shoes straightaway, but I guess that relies on Real Madrid giving him up!

Bria on Guardiola’s future: He is ours, we want to keep him forever!


Chelsea v Newcastle (20:00 GMT)

I could easily end up with zero points this week – and I am not expecting to pick up anything here either.

How can anyone accurately predict Chelsea versus Newcastle, given the inconsistency we have seen from both teams recently?

Which Chelsea team will turn up, and which Newcastle side will we see? The Magpies bounced back from a bad defeat at Arsenal by beating Wolves, but they have not won back-to-back league games since the start of December.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve backed Chelsea at home, and been wrong, but surely they are going to win again at Stamford Bridge before the end of the season?

I went with the law of averages when I picked a Newcastle home victory last week, so hopefully the same method will work again with Chelsea this time.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Dave’s prediction: 3-1

Bria’s prediction: Chelsea are not doing too great at the moment but I actually just prefer Newcastle as a club. I went to university there and went to a few games at St James’ Park and even though this is an away game I am still going to back the Geordies. 0-2

How did Sutton do last time?

Sutton got eight correct results from 10 games in week 27, with no exact scores, for a total of 80 points.

He took on Sam and Ross from rock band Twin Atlantic, with mixed results.

Sutton saw off Rangers fan Sam, who got four correct results, including one exact score, for a total of 60 points, but was beaten by an amazing late run by Celtic fan Ross.

Ross got two exact scores from the final three games, on top of six correct results, giving him a total of 140 points.

That sent him into second place on the guest scoreboard, and meant the overall result was a draw.

Guest leaderboard 2023-24
Anthony Joshua 150
Ross from Twin Atlantic 140
Eddie Hearn 130
CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson 120
Barry Can’t Swim 110
Anish Kumar 100
Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Midas the Jagaban 90
Jermain Defoe, Songer 80
Chris Sutton 79 (average after 27 weeks)
‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey, David Earl, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo 70
Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves, Sam from Twin Atlantic 60
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Ed Leigh, Tash from The Football Academy, Matthew Vaughn, Rick Witter 50
AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli. Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms, Declan McKenna, JayO 40
Vigil star Dougray Scott, Felix White 30
Willie J Healey 20
Suggs, Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring 10
Total scores after week 27
Chris Sutton 2,120
Guests 1,880
Sutton v guests
P27 W14 D6 L7

How did you get on?

A strong week, with eight correct predictions – and you weren’t far off with the two you got wrong.

One of those games was Chelsea’s draw with Brentford, which 35% of you were right about – but 39% went with a Blues win.

The other was West Ham’s win at Everton, where 28% of you backed the Hammers, but 42% thought Everton would triumph.

You v Chris & the guests – week 26
=1. You 8/10
=1. Chris 8/10
=1. Guest 8/10

*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.

Total scores after week 27
1. You 153/269
2. Chris 146/269
3. Guests 132/269

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