A 9-7 victory for our Rileys manager Lee last round was secured after he plucked out the most unlikely and surprising result of the weekend – Spurs’ victory over Pep’s Manchester City. The Spaniard tasted defeat in the Premier League for the first time, which may have surprised many (including our resident football ‘mystic’), but our Nottingham boy Lee saw it coming…
We’re back to league action this weekend after the international break which saw England’s new/interim/caretaker boss (we’ll have to see which tag best suits him soon) make his debut in The Big Recaro Seat. It was a fairly drab, routine 2-0 win over minnows Malta that quickly fizzled out, wasn’t it? Here’s a tip – if you’re ever bored during a match Gareth Southgate is involved in, you can always play a game we love: ‘Which Part of Gareth Southgate’s Face Is The Biggest Today?’ Trust us, it’ll keep you busy, it’s surprisingly fun and you’ll come up with a different answer each time you play it.
Anyway, enough of all this. It’s Week Eight of the Premier League’s 2016/17 season. Let’s see how Psychic Steve and our latest challenger get on. It’s tight at the moment… 48 points a piece.
Representing Team Rileys this week is:
Lee Betteridge, Floating Manager (Victoria).
Chelsea kick off Week Eight’s action at home to the champs. The Blues sit in seventh – a position they will covet if things keep going the way they do for them. It’s not been a disastrous start like last year’s, but it could’ve started better. Costa & Co. scraped past Leicester in the League Cup, needing extra time to settle the tie. I see a similar game here, but with Ranieri’s boys falling a little short of what’s required at Stamford Bridge. 2-1.
Rileys’ Lee says: 3-1
Bob Bradley’s debut taste of British football comes at The Emirates Stadium. It’ll no doubt be a baptism of fire for the first American manager in Premier League history. Arsenal have won five games on the spin in all competitions and only conceded once in that time. Those 450 minutes yielded the North London outfit fourteen goals of theirs too. The omens don’t look great for a maiden match at the highest level, do they…? Best of British, Bob!
Rileys’ Lee says: 2-2
We can officially stop calling Hull City ‘high-flying Hull City’ now. Their early run of good form has petered out as we always knew it would. The Tigers nabbed some useful points, but they’re down to 15th position in the league table now and the only way is down, as Yazz didn’t sing. That permanent job for Mike Phelan is looking less and less likely, isn’t it? Speaking of unlikely jobs, do you think Eddie Howe still dreams of the England gig? Who knows. To convince the FA though, he may need to remedy Bournemouth’s stop-start season. I see him boosting his reputation a smidge further here and taking all three points.
Rileys’ Lee says: 2-1
The pupil meets the teacher. Pep Guardiola’s old Barcelona mentor Ronald Koeman is the guest in the blue half of Manchester this week and is sure to receive a warm welcome from his counterpart. The Dutchman took Pep under his wing during at Camp Nou, but will get no special treatment here. If anything, City will be out for blood. They won’t have enjoyed tasting defeat last time out against Spurs and will look to reassert their dominance. With style.
Rileys’ Lee says: 2-1
Whichever tired and jaded former pro given this bottom of the table clash on Sky’s Gillette Soccer Saturday is no doubt going to mention how ‘ridiculous’ it is to call this game ‘a six pointer’. Shortly before going on to describe it exactly that way five minutes later. Of course, neither Stoke nor Sunderland are going to be fighting it out for Champions League places come the end of the season, but nor are they definitely fighting a relegation battle. Except maybe Sunderland – they always do. And maybe Stoke too, when we think about it. They are terrible. Fine. Alright – it’s a six pointer.
Oh, yeah. The result… No score bore draw. How can I foresee anything less (or more)?
Rileys’ Lee says: 1-1
Spurs, then. AGAIN. Poch really knows his onions, doesn’t he? A victory over City last Prem weekend takes Spurs a mere point away from them. They’re going strong. West Brom? Nine points from seven games isn’t all that bad, really. A semi-half-decentish patch of late (kind of) has eased fears that Tony Pulis might be about to see a freshly-printed P45 on his desk one Monday morning soon. That said, I can’t see anything other than another win for Tottenham.
Rileys’ Lee says: 0-2
If Eddie Howe might have have his head turned a little by Sam Allardyce’s ‘mutual consent’ sacking by the FA, Alan Pardew’s silver head will be in a permanent 2,000 RPM spin. An upturn in results recently has seen Palace win a few games and take a point at Goodison Park. The short trip south for West Ham is likely to end in a win for Palace, but glancing in my tea leaves, I see a draw. Mind you, that might just be dirt, not tea leaves. Either way… A point apiece.
Rileys’ Lee says: 3-2
Let’s be honest, this fixture is likely to feature fairly low down on the pecking order on Match of the Day, isn’t it? It doesn’t exactly stand out as a thriller. Although both sides have proved they’re more than capable of scoring. Expect another big game from Watford captain Troy Deeney, a man who will be fired up. Why? His recent (latest) England snub.
Rileys’ Lee says: 0-1
Southampton – or ‘Soton’ as the TV used to call them – head into this match-up against Wotsit-faced Sean Dyche’s men off the back of two nil-nil draws. Burnley will probably head into the game still a little sore about their unlucky defeat to Arsenal last time out. Both teams have the ability to snatch a win here, but I’m predicting Soton‘s attacking options waking up and bagging the goals here to outscore their Lancashire opponents.
Rileys’ Lee says: 3-2
A tale of two cities. Two clubs. And two different trajectories. Liverpool have won their last four games. United have only won one of theirs. This is one of world football’s fiercest rivalries and as such, anything can happen. But with Klopp’s Liverpool swarming their foes on the pitch and running rings around them, it’s hard to see an out-of-sorts Manchester United, or their oddly uninspired manager Jose Mourinho, winning here. Or even picking up a point. I see GOALS.
Rileys’ Lee says: 4-3
CURRENT SCORE: Rileys Experts: 48 – 48 Psychic Steve
The competition’s neck and neck at the moment. Let’s see who can take it by the scruff of those necks this weekend…