Kevin Doyle talks Everton v Arsenal, Man City and Mourinho v Lampard

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Everton v Arsenal, Saturday, 12:30

It was hard to judge Arsenal’s performance against Manchester City last weekend as both teams were not playing to their full potential. However, in the end City had the upper hand and won the game.

Kevin De Bruyne made a comment that Arsenal’s defensive problems are down to their attackers which I can agree with. A good team starts defending from the front!

Have a look at Liverpool, they are the best of the best at this. They start their attacks from the front, pressurising the opposition by closing-down the space and winning the ball. This is down to their front three, with the midfielders closely behind. If you win the ball further up the pitch it makes it a lot easier to play attacking football and to score goals.

Everton’s performance was decent last weekend, and they got a good goal at Old Trafford. With the possibility of Carlo Ancelotti and David Moyes up for the Everton job, I don’t see either being the right choice.

Ancelotti has been a fantastic manager in top clubs across Europe and comes with a pedigree. However, I don’t think his style would complement the Everton players. And on the other hand, David Moyes has been there and done that with Everton, I don’t see him being a good fit either.

Looking at this game, I see both teams getting something out of it.

Prediction: Everton 2-2 Arsenal

Aston Villa v Southampton, Saturday, 15:00

This is a crucial game for both teams to climb away from the relegation battle. Aston Villa had not been playing well at the start of the season, but were getting a few results and the odd victory. Looking at the squad now, they are starting to get themselves into trouble.

I thought Southampton had started a revival, as they were on course for three wins in a row until Newcastle United ended their winning streak. Particularly with the Saints having conceded two goals in the space of ten minutes.

Both teams are up and down and unpredictable. However, looking at both sides performance wise, Southampton are playing better in my opinion and have upped their performance in recent weeks.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Norwich v Wolves, Saturday, 15:00

I had predicted Leicester to win last weekend, so I was surprised when Norwich City bagged the first goal and secured a draw.

Although Leicester have been one of the top teams this season and put pressure on league leaders Liverpool, the Canaries have taken a few big scalps this campaign and shouldn’t be underestimated.  

Wolves manager, Nuno Espírito Santo has been heavily linked with the Arsenal. Losing him would be a massive blow to the team as he has been fantastic, I would be sad to see him leave.

Having lost last weekend, I can see Wolves coming into this game hoping to scrape a win. They are where they should be in the league table for the squad of players they have, anywhere in the top half of the table is a decent season for them.

Predicted: Norwich 0-1 Wolves

Man City v Leicester, Saturday, 17:30

Man City played well last weekend against Arsenal, having not been performing great the last number of months. But I can see this win bringing them back up to speed and right in the hunt again for the top spot over the coming weeks.

If Pep Guardiola leaves the Etihad, I don’t know if Brendan Rodgers will be the right replacement.

I think he will want to prove himself and stay for the entire season with Leicester as they are currently in a fantastic position. However, if he does decide to come to Man City, the team are already set up in a way that he plays, so managing them would not be a problem for him.

Prediction: Man City 3-1 Leicester City

Watford v Man Utd, Sunday, 14:00

I never enjoyed playing at Vicarage Road Stadium myself, it is a tough place to go and get a result.

However, Watford are in such a bad position right now, they are literally fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table. Manchester Utd should be able to go there and win this game. They seem to be on an upward curve, and I see them keeping that momentum up this weekend.

It’s nice to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielding some young home players like Mason Greenwood who is starting to  reward the manager’s faith by delivering some important goals on the pitch.

Prediction: Watford 0-1 Man United

Tottenham v Chelsea, Sunday, 16:30

I can see Tottenham beating Chelsea and making it three league wins on the bounce.

José Mourinho’s attitude and confident demeanour seems to be back, he has the team playing well. They are in a great position in the league compared to a month ago. In the space of a couple of weeks they went from sacking their manager, to things really turning around for the Tottenham fans.

Chelsea have been given more of a chance to build and have the attitude of, you win some you lose some. This is the game I am most looking forward to watching this weekend. Mourinho against his old club and Frank Lampard now pitting his wits against his former gaffer.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea

My 1-2-FREE prediction:

Man City v Leicester: 3-1 City
Watford v Man Utd: 1-0 United
Tottenham v Chelsea: 2-0 Spurs

My Five-Fold ACCA:

Man City v Leicester: Man City win
Newcastle v Crystal Palace: Crystal Palace win
Bournemouth v Burnley: Bournemouth win
Fulham v Leeds: Leeds win
Huddersfield v Nottm Forest: Nottm Forest win

Kevin

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Kevin Doyle

After a top-line career banging in the goals for Reading, Wolves and Colorado Rapids, former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle now brings Ladbrokes his thoughts and opinions on the beautiful game.