If Psychic Steve was a Premier League manager, he’d be fielding questions in his press conferences about a ‘crisis’ right about now. These past few weeks of poor results would have seen him ‘under pressure’. But, alas, he’s not a Premier League manager. He’s a fake fortune teller who has compromising photographs of various Rileys executives and directors and, as such, isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Not that ‘Psychic’ Steve could even foresee that future. The big fraud.
Last week he took on Victoria manager Lee. And lost. Lee scraped the result in what was, frankly, a pretty woeful week for both parties. 6-4, the score was. This week he’s got a lot of work to do to salvage any kind of respect. Up against him? This guy…
Representing Team Rileys this week is:
Gareth Davies, Assistant Manager, Southend.
Eddie Howe wasn’t feeling too generous last weekend when Hull City came to play. Newly-confirmed Tigers boss Mike Phelan and his ‘new’ team were absolutely hammered by Bournemouth, so The Cherries should go into this pretty buoyed. Spurs are impressive again this year, but a tough game away in Europe midweek will make this a tougher task than it appears. Limited striking options might continue to cause Spurs problems here. There are only so many times September player of the month Son can bag winners for them. I see a good draw for the quietly impressive south coasters.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 1-2
Arsenal totally destroyed their Bulgarian opposition at The Emirates on Wednesday, with Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott particularly impressive. The Gunners have their best squad for years and are going to be real title challengers this year if they can swerve their trademark tailing off period. They’re bossing games at the moment and Boro, while equipping themselves well so far this season, don’t have enough to really trouble their hosts here. Even if Monsieur Wenger does rest a few of his Champions League stars for the Smoggies’ day out to Finsbury Park, his team should get a result.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 3-1
My crystal football showed me a Burnley side that would impress everyone this season and finish mid table. Hey, look – maybe my vision will still come true, but they need to start turning their hard work and effort into points. And home results are your bread and butter… Will they be eating a toffee sandwich* on Saturday? Well, it’s good news for the team dentist – no they won’t. I see Everton turning over Sean Dyche’s side with some ease.
*What a metaphor, eh?
Rileys’ Gareth says: 0-2
Ever since the first day of the season Mike Phelan has been auditioning for the Hull manager’s job. And as soon as he gets it, the team’s decent form tails off in dramatic fashion. Shipping five against Bournemouth isn’t going to have impressed his paymasters and a (slightly) resurgent Stoke City head to Humberside knowing they need to build on their win against Sunderland last weekend. Mark Hughes will be Tony Pulising the Bejesus out of his boys before this. Get a goal. Be smart. Defend. Win. And that’s how I see it going.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 1-0
Leicester’s triumph last year seems to have bred a new and odd club for this season. A bizarre Jekell and Hyde-type bunch who seem to be absolute monsters in the Champions League, winning their first three games and topping their group. But in the league? Rubbish. Is Ranieri prioritising Europe over the Premier League? If so, he’s mad. Kudos for last season aside, you don’t forget your roots. Unless you’re Marouane Fellaini.
Palace aren’t formidable but they have one of the league’s most lethal strikers now in Christian Benteke and he can punish a Leicester City that seem to be approaching league matches with a little ennui at the moment.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 2-0
Ex-USA boss Bob Bradley didn’t embarrass himself in his maiden Premier League outing, succumbing to a rampant Arsenal side 3-2 last week. The visitors for his first home game are Watford who did well enough themselves last weekend, save for that rather unpleasant bust-up between Holebas and Capoue at the end of the game. I see Swansea and Watford cancelling each other out here.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 1-0
Both teams here are struggling, but it’s Sunderland that are really staring into the abyss. A wafer thin squad riddled with injuries, David Moyes is on a hiding to nothing in this job, isn’t he? They’re going down, but I think he’ll stay in the hot Recaro seat. With a view to coming up next year. Am I speaking a bit prematurely? Perhaps. We’ll see. If they lose to West Ham, then it’ll suggest the only way is down. West Ham will be alright, though. Especially once Carroll and Ayew return from injury. This win will make it back to back wins for the first time this season and that should cheer up those miserable bubble-blowing fans of theirs.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 2-1
The much-hyped Liverpool/United game was a bit of a blow-out, wasn’t it? All that hype and then nothing. Mourinho parked his bus a tad and sat back further and further as the game went on, but Liverpool weren’t exactly adventurous. Fair enough, a point against a rival isn’t to be sniffed at, but they’ll need to pick things up against West Brom here. Which they will. But only win by a shade.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 3-2
For any other manager, a defeat at the Nou Camp isn’t anything to be ashamed of, is it? But for the much-hyped Pep Guardiola? It’s nothing short of a disgrace. He embarrassed himself and his new club with their 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the week. At least that’s what the media would have you believe. Their reaction to that result has been incredibly over the top. They’ll get back to winning ways here after that against a decent enough Southampton side. But one who had a return trip to Milan on Thursday, returning having been beat by an Inter side that had lost three on the bounce.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 4-1
We saw how The Special One (do we even call him that anymore?) set up on Monday against Liverpool and a point was a good haul for his side there. They opened Fenerbahce up midweek, but there’s no reason to think that his mindset won’t be the same again as it was at Anfield when he visits his former club. The parked bus might get a few more dents in it at Stamford Bridge, though.
Rileys’ Gareth says: 1-1
CURRENT SCORE: Rileys Experts: 54 – 52 Psychic Steve
The Rileys Experts have taken the lead for the first time and will be looking to put some distance between them and Psychic Steve. But our rogue Russell Grant writer fancies his chances with these picks. Let’s see how they get this week, eh?