What a weekend to come back into after the international break and the disrupted Premier League weekend due to the Queen’s passing. 

It’s back up and running, and business is back to usual. The big fixtures are obviously the Manchester Derby, and with Arsenal sitting right at the top of the league and Tottenham going well, you look at that, and it’s a massive fixture. I mean, it stands alone anyway as it is a big derby down in the South of England, but Arsenal is sitting top. Great result before the international break for them and a really positive and professional performance from them against Brentford. 

Obviously, Tottenham had that setback against Sporting after going seven games unbeaten, but they got back on track against a poor and disillusioned Leicester City side, you still have to beat what is put in front of you, and they did it emphatically. A big decision from Conte to drop Son, which he did, but the player’s response was to come on and bang in a hattrick, so Tottenham going really, really well.

I think Arsenal have come unstuck against Manchester United, their first real big test as the fixtures were quite kind to Arsenal in the opening few weeks but a big October for them against Tottenham.

I am going for a draw in that game, and I think it will be a scoring draw; I think it’s going to be a tight affair, and I think it will be feisty as well, so I am looking forward to that this weekend. 

Liverpool are back at home at Anfield. The game against Chelsea was called off, which I do not know whether it was a good or a bad thing, to be honest. Sometimes when you are in the form that Liverpool are in, you want games thick and fast so you can find a bit of routine, find a bit of rhythm, but obviously, it’s not started well for Jurgen Klopp.

Brighton at home is a difficult one to call, I do think that Liverpool will come out on top, and the thing that is difficult to call is Brighton, as they lost their manager. A new manager comes in with new ideas and philosophy, but I doubt he will change a lot at the beginning as Brighton are in a good position at the minute. 

When a team gets a new manager, it’s usually when the manager hasn’t done well, he’s been sacked, and there are a lot of players sort of sulking maybe because they are not being played or the first team are lacking in confidence as results haven’t gone well hence the manager being sacked, but that is not the situation at Brighton. They were in a really good position, and they lost a really really good manager in Graham Potter. So, it’s going to be difficult for the players, I don’t think the manager will change that much and shouldn’t change much, in my opinion, he should set the team up just as they were, implement the same tactics and gradually working his own philosophy in time, but right now he needs to go to each game with their head held high.

It will be a difficult game for Liverpool, but they will overcome Brighton, I think Liverpool will win the game, and if you are asking me for a score, I am going for 3-1 Liverpool. 

So the Manchester derby it always difficult to predict and call out. Fan’s expectations, bragging rights, the usual games that stand alone, and they always offer a little bit more in the way of spice and excitement really.

If you look at where the two teams are; obviously there has been a resurgence at Manchester United. Under Ten Hag he has found a settled team, he has found results which is very important after the start they had. Although the game against Real Sociedad in the Europa League was a slight step back, but they got back to winning ways, and they will be going into the game full of confidence. 

It’s a good game for them a good test, to be honest, they already faced top-of-the-table Arsenal and have come through that with flying colours, taking three points. I think that confidence that beating a really good Arsenal team will bode them well for this fixture, but then we talk about 

Manchester City. They have got Haaland who scored 11 goals already this Premier League season lots of first time two touch finishes; he is in a really good place at the minute, so it the team, they have dropped points against Aston Villa which stands out as it was a disappointing result for them. 

I think this year it’s going to be like that. All the teams are going to drop points along the way, and it’s going to be close come May, but this game, obviously, Pep will set his sights on getting the three points, I personally think it will be a draw, will play out as a tight affair maybe a 1-1, and if I am pushing it a bit I would go for a 2-2, but if you are asking me to put my neck on the line, I would go for 1-1. 

  • A draw of 1-1 in the Manchester derby is priced at 10/1 (11.00)


Champions League is obviously around the corner; Liverpool faces Rangers at Anfield on Tuesday night. 

Rangers have done really well qualifying for the Champions League; that win against PSV is obviously a massive highlight of their season so far, but this group they face, a very good Napoli, Ajax and we all know Liverpool’s credentials in this competition, so we always expected Rangers to struggle in this group and its been like that in this group. 

Still, then going to Anfield, it’s a stand-alone fixture. People always get excited when the English take on the Scotts. I cannot see Rangers getting anything out of the game on a Champions League night which is special at Anfield. Jurgen would want a great performance; they were extremely disappointing against Napoli away, and nick that results against Ajax, which would have been a disappointing result if it had to finish as a draw. 

They need a win against Rangers that will get them to six points, and also banking on Napoli beating Ajax which will help Liverpool a lot. I don’t see an upset on the horizon. I am going with a Liverpool easy win; I am gonna go three or four for Liverpool.

  • Liverpool to win 3-0 against Rangers at 8/1 (9.00).

My other two picks in the Champions League are Frankfurt against Spurs. Spurs were really disappointing against Sporting, conceding twice late on. Frankfurt hasn’t done well domestically; they had a great result against Marseille, who are a solid side, which will give this team some confidence going into the game. Antonio Conte would have had a few words with his players after the Sporting game, which got a response beating Leicester City emphatically and a welcome break as well. I am going for a Tottenham win against Frankfurt. 

My other pick is Inter against Barcelona, Barcelona with all the signings coming in; they need a big season, financially the rewards will be there the longer they stay in the competition. Disappointing result against Bayern Munich; I surely expect them to get out of the group and fully expect them to win against Inter this round. I am going for a Barcelona win over Inter and Tottenham win over Frankfurt, and a Liverpool wins over Rangers.

So Chelsea takes on Milan; Milan, a quite glamorous name in World football, two teams having a good history in the competition, Milan won the league last season a resurgence, new owners, sitting on top of the group. Chelsea are really struggling, never really expected this to happen, then again, you don’t know when new owners come in, and after the Zagreb defeat, Tuchel lost the job, and Potter stepped in; a little bit of a disappointment in his first game the 1-1 draw against Salzburg, he is up against it to try and get to second place in the group. His objective will be to obviously win the group, and to do that; he has to take points off Milan. It’s going to be tough; I am going for a Chelsea win, a narrow win, just because Milan isn’t doing well in the league; they are sitting fifth. Chelsea will have a bit of a lift from Graham Potter’s impact on the team, and I am going for a narrow 1-0 win. 

Manchester City is up against Copenhagen; City are flying in their group; it’s becoming quite routine, and I think we thought so with the group as well; when the draw was made, we always fancied City to go through easily. Haaland coming in, you would feel that it’s the final piece in the jigsaw for Pep to get this elusive Champions League title with City. I can’t see any slip-ups, Copenhagen drew one and lost one; good young team, but I think City has got too much quality for them to contain. I am going for an emphatic Man City win, well rested, after the last few weeks who will be itching to get back to playing; obviously, they have to play the Manchester Derby before that, which is a very good game for Manchester City to come into a Champions League game, I am going for a City win 4-0. 

The final game that I am going to preview is Celtic sitting in third in Group F, and Leipzig, who are sitting at rock bottom on zero points. Celtic obviously taking one point at Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid sitting top followed by Skaktar will pan out, and if Celtic want to do something in this group, they need to get wins against Leipzig. Leipzig isn’t going well in the Bundesliga, and Celtic sitting at the top of the Scottish Premiership. 

I am gonna go for Celtic to narrowly beat Leipzig, 1-0 or 2-0, which will give them a massive three points, and they will be hoping that Real Madrid will do the job against Shaktar Donetsk, so they will go level, so it will be a massive boost for them in this group F. I cannot see Celtic qualify I do think that Celtic will beat Leipzig. 

England’s 26-man Squad for the World Cup

Since the Euros, England has been in a slight decline, Gareth Southgate has got a number of riches at his disposal, and I think he has tried to think who stayed loyal to a couple of players who might be letting him down; he needs to make some big calls and be ruthless, and I think you need to be going into such a tournament. 

Especially with England being the favourites in the tournament and that defensive area where John Stones picked up an injury, we will see how that goes and obviously, Harry Maguire’s form has come under real scrutiny certainly after the Germany game. In the forward areas, he has a lot of talented players he does need a backup for the likes of Harry Kane, and he needs a plan B. 

At the moment, there are a number of weeks until the start of the tournament, and I know he needs to pick the squad relatively soon, but at the minute, you would put Ivan Toney in, who is the favourite to go over Calvert Lewin who is obviously hasn’t featured this season and would need to pull apart trees if he gets into that squad. The central area kind of picks itself, Jude Bellingham has featured in the Nations League, and obviously, Declan Rice has cemented into his position and also Kalvin Phillips being injured does not help Gareth Southgate. 

The manager needs to make some big decisions going into the tournament, and he needs to turn the form around as they haven’t impressed since the Euro. As much as the group is quite easy for them, I think they will get out of the group in Qatar, but going out facing bigger and better opposition, I just think they can come unstuck unless they can find a bit of momentum and consistency with team selection. 

  • England are at 4/6 (1.67) to beat USA in their first game. 
  • England measure up at 11/4 (3.75) to reach the final.


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