Unlike Pep Guardiola,
Mystic Meg Psychic Steve got back to winning ways last week with two correct scores helping him beat Gareth from Southend nine points to three. Our in-house football fortune teller has nipped into a 61-57 lead against the Rileys experts and hopes to uses his made-up mental powers to extend his lead this week.
Pep couldn’t stop City’s winless run, but luckily for him, a fair few of the teams in and around his side slipped up on matchday nine. Most surprisingly, Arsenal. City remain top, but only just. Sunderland and Hull City’s woes continue. Stoke continue to step out of the mire. As do West Ham. But the weekend’s biggest winners? Undoubtedly Chelsea. A 3-0 humping of Manchester United and former manager Jose Mourinho will have cheered up the Stamford Bridge faithful no end.
Anyway, let’s get on with this weekend’s action, eh?
Representing Team Rileys this week is:
Dan Dear, Marketing Department.
Arsenal drew a blank against North East opposition last Saturday in a game that everyone – my psychic self included – had down as a home banker. But none of us reckoned on Boro’s resilience or the Gunners misfiring. Surely lightning can’t strike twice…? Especially against the league’s poorest team. David Moyes remains without a league win and last week at West Ham was heartbreak for the Scotsman. This defeat will be much more expected and easier to take, we suspect.
Rileys’ Dan says: 0-3
It’s funny how a club’s pedigree and cache can affect your thinking when it comes to predicting – sorry – ‘seeing into the future’. Burnley beat Everton last time out and United are in a slight league slump at the moment. Should they really go into this as favourites? Well, maybe. Whatever malaise is lurking at Old Trafford at the moment, a home win against a newly-promoted side is still expected. Albeit by the faintest of margins. I see them lucking out and scraping the one goal advantage needed to bag the three points. The league cup – sorry, ‘EFL Cup’ – derby victory on Wednesday should be a boost to the hosts too.
Rileys’ Dan says: 2-1
Both these sides will be happy with their starts this season. Aitor Karanka has proven a wily and smart manager. Many people criticised the way he set Boro up to defend, defend, defend at the Emirates last week and predicted a cricket score. But they held firm and chalked up another vital point. They’ll have a resurgent Jack Wilshere to deal with this Saturday and his talismanic ways. I see these two sides cancelling each other out, though. A goalless draw.
Rileys’ Dan says: 1-1
Spurs host the champs here during a slump of Man City proportions. Winless in five, that swaggering victory over the pale blue half of Manchester seems a long time ago now. No one in North London’s panicking as yet, but Harry Kane’s return can’t come soon enough. Vincent Janssen netted in the defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday, so that’s got to be some consolation for Tottenham. Leicester are gods in the Champions League at the moment, but have lost all four of their away league matches. So something’s got to give – either Spurs end their losing streak or Leicester break their duck. Personally, I see the former happening. Mostly because I don’t want to think about people breaking any poor little ducks.
Rileys’ Dan says: 2-0
Hull aren’t having a happy time of late, but their progression in the EFL Cup in the week will have pleased everyone at the club. Will that result act as a bit of a catalyst for the Tigers? Well, they’ll certainly hope so. But Watford aren’t the sort of team you pay a visit to and boss about. The Hertfordshire mob have racked up an impressive 25 cards already this season, so they’re an intimidating prospect. And one with a few goals in them. I see 2-0 on the (tarot) cards.
Rileys’ Dan says: 3-1
Is it really a crisis for Manchester City? Their Spanish manager isn’t really used to not winning, is he? Last weekend’s draw against Southampton extended City’s run to five games in all competitions without a win. But after nine Premier League games, the former champions are still top. So it’s hardly a huge headache (though losing his first Manchester derby midweek won’t have pleased fans). West Brom rallied well against Liverpool last time out and almost snatched a draw. They’ll keep it tight again and lose by the same scoreline here. Sixth time lucky for Pep… What even is his full first name? Is it ‘Pepper’? I do hope so.
Rileys’ Dan says: 1-2
That defeat for Palace last time out was two on the spin. So, knowing Alan Pardew, that’ll be the start of a sixteen game losing streak. So Liverpool should walk this, eh? They’ll have to ensure that old boy Christian Benteke is marshaled well by Matip and Lovren. Palace’s glimmer of hope? Lorius Karius between the sticks hasn’t settled totally yet and can be got at. Liverpool should welcome back Lallana and Wijnaldum and they’ve more than enough about them to inspire an away win.
Rileys’ Dan says: 1-2
Most of the talk around Wednesday’s league cup outing for the Hammers was about their fans having a pwopa nawty tear up afterwards, which is a shame because it detracts from the fact that they beat an in-form Chelsea side. Alright, changes were made, but still. Slaven’s Bilic’s side look a new outfit of late and can take a point here against Everton. Mind you, Romelu Lukaku LOVES scoring against West Ham, so I’m backing him to bag another here.
Rileys’ Dan says: 1-1
Southampton will be confident of snaffling something here. And it’s not a distant dream. They’ve only lost once in their past ten matches and while Chelsea are looking more solid – they’re getable. The Saints are tough cookies, but I expect a professional afternoon’s business from Antonio Conte here. A dirty, horrible snatch and grab. The kind of game you can imagine Diego Costa would relish.
Rileys’ Dan says: 2-2
Should my soothsaying prove accurate and Stoke see off Swansea City here, it’ll be three wins on the spin for the Staffordshire club. It looks as though their fortunes may be a little too connected to the form of their notoriously temperamental Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri. The stocky little fella was awesome last weekend, bossing the game and bagging a brace. Momentum should see them sweep aside the Swans here.
Rileys’ Dan says: 1-1
CURRENT SCORE: Rileys Experts: 57 – 61 Psychic Steve
There’s still all to play for. It’s tighter than Mickey Quinn’s jock strap at the moment. Game on.