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Kevin Doyle on VAR, Liverpool and this weekend’s Premier League games

| 29.11.2019

Newcastle v Man City, Saturday 12:30 

Consistency of performance is Newcastle’s Achilles heel; giving a good performance one week and then they drop the ball the next. 

Man City had been playing great but recently their standards have slipped a bit and I think they will struggle to break Newcastle down this weekend up in St James Park. 
I agree with Sterling’s goal not being allowed last weekend. When it comes to a limb being offside that is ridiculous. But when it is a distinct body part like your shoulder, I agree with this.

The rule was always to give advantage to the striker when I was playing, there is no advantage to the striker if your toe is offside! 

With both teams underperforming I think this game will end in a 1:1 draw.  

Liverpool v Brighton, Saturday 15:00 

Brighton play well away from home and are well organised, I can see them causing Liverpool some trouble this weekend.  

Liverpool being a counter attacking team, they like to break quickly, and Brighton won’t give them the space to do that. Liverpool struggle to break teams down who have a lot of possession, this is their one weakness. 

They labored slightly to the Champions league draw at home during the week. Having players like Virgil van Dijk, who came in two years ago, on the Liverpool side is a huge advantage for them.

In my opinion he was the difference of them winning the Champions League last year or not and being the top team in the Premier League and more than likely winning it this year.

They are a team full of great players who all have their part to play. But he has been their icing on the cake the last number of years. 

With Liverpool having the stronger squad in this game, I can see them winning 2-0. 

Chelsea v West Ham, Saturday 15:00 

I was surprised to see Chelsea getting beat last weekend, I still think they played quite well and had plenty of possession against City. Frank Lampard has done a really good job with the team bringing in younger players.

The pressure is off him to a certain degree compared to previous Chelsea managers. He doesn’t seem to have that ‘we have to win’ pressure. He has the team playing very well and they are nice to watch.  

I can see them running away with the game against West Ham this weekend. West Ham have been very poor, and their manager is on the brink. They need to improve on everything in my opinion!

Their chairmen are not the type to wait around for results and the fans are beginning to get impatient.

They will bite the bullet and change their manager if they feel it is going to make a real difference to the team and results. They need to sign some good players in January! 

I can see Chelsea winning 3-0 at home in this game.  

Southampton v Watford, Saturday 17:30 

These are two teams who have underperformed, and their managers are under serious pressure. Neither team has played well so far this season.  

I expected a better season out of Southampton this year. Their manager Ralph Hasenhuttl came in last season and had done a good job with the team.

And I had hoped he would build on it this season to make it as a mid-table team at minimum, but it hasn’t happened for them. They had a great chance to secure a big away win to Arsenal last weekend but couldn’t get the job done. 

For this game I expect both teams to get something out of it and ending in a 1:1 draw.  

Man Utd v Aston Villa, Sunday 16:30  

Last weekend Man Utd had been playing terrible for 75 minutes and performed well for 10. They went 3-2 up and the minute I saw them making a sub taking on a center half. I knew they were going to concede a goal.

They were on the front foot and playing well, Sheffield Utd were out of the game! This is not a move Man Utd would have made in the past under Fergie.

They would have kept going and won 4-2 or even 5-2, they wouldn’t have brought a center half on against Sheffield Utd, hoping not to concede in the last few minutes.  

Man Utd shouldn’t have been in the position of losing to Sheffield Utd in the first place, but unfortunately that is where they are at the moment, they are not good enough.

As I mention each week, they need a new manager! Pochettino is waiting to be snapped up and he would be fantastic for this team and turn them around.  

Aston Villa on the other hand are so hot and cold. One week you think they are fantastic then the next week they lose.

They had a good performance against Newcastle last week, a convincing 2-0 win. I can see Villa going to Old Trafford and coming out even with a 1-1 draw. My best value bet this weekend would be for Aston Villa to get something out of this game!

Leicester v Everton, Sunday 16:30 

It is hard not to see Leicester’s winning streak continuing this weekend, they have been a breath of fresh air! They have beaten good teams and I believe they can keep it going.

I am enjoying seeing them stir up the league and causing the top teams some trouble. You don’t see the big teams like Man Utd or Arsenal putting pressure on them anytime soon as Leicester are just as strong as them now.  

At home to Everton, I would be surprised if they don’t win this game. Everton have been playing very poor and their manager is on the edge of being let go by the looks of it. I just hope Leicester don’t sit back and think this will be an easy win for them.  

My prediction for this game is Leicester will be too much for the Toffees and will come out on top with a comfortable 2-0 win. 

My Five-Fold ACCA 

Liverpool v Brighton: Liverpool win  
Chelsea v West Ham: Chelsea win 
Tottenham v Bournemouth: Tottenham win 
Leeds v Middlesbrough: Leeds win 
Wigan v Reading: Reading win 

My 1-2-FREE predictions

Southampton v Watford: 1-1 
Norwich v Arsenal: 2-2 
Leicester v Everton: 2-0 Leicester 


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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.