Sutton’s Premier League predictions v Twin Atlantic

29 February 2024 0 By Total Football News

Sutton's Predictions

Manchester City were convincing winners in the last Manchester derby in October, but who will come out on top at Etihad Stadium on Sunday?

BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton said: “Manchester United have been getting away with it for a while now. Fulham deserved to beat them on their own patch last week – and they are not on the same level that City are.

“City have huffed and puffed and got over the line in their last couple of league games, but everything is going to come together for them soon, and it could happen on Sunday.”

Sutton is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches again this season, against a variety of guests.

For this weekend’s games, he takes on Sam McTrusty and Ross McNae from rock band Twin Atlantic.

Twin Atlantic’s latest track, Asleep, is out now. They are touring England in March and return to Scotland to play in Aberdeen on 22 May before two homecoming shows at Glasgow’s O2 Academy on 23 and 24 May.

Twin Atlantic are (l-r) Barry McKenna, Joe Lazarus, Sam McTrusty and Ross McNaeTwin Atlantic are (l-r) Barry McKenna, Joe Lazarus, Sam McTrusty and Ross McNae. The Scottish band have had five top-40 albums in the UK, with two making the top 10.

Sam and Ross follow United and City as their English teams but are also diehard Rangers and Celtic fans and have very different feelings about taking on former Bhoys striker Sutton at predictions.

While Celtic fan Ross enjoyed watching Sutton during his time with the club and wished him well, Rangers fan Sam is determined to get one one over a former player who he loved to hate during Old Firm clashes.

“It has just dawned on me that I am going to have to tell my Rangers-mad supporting family in Glasgow that I am up against Chris Sutton for something,” Sam told BBC Sport.

“I can’t stop thinking about it now. They are going to be baying for blood if he beats me – so I definitely have to win!”

Sutton has lost to his predictions guests in each of the past two weeks but still holds a commanding lead overall [see table at bottom of page], and did not seem too bothered about facing Sam’s challenge.

“My first game against Rangers was the ‘demolition derby’ – when we beat them 6-2 in August 2000,” Sutton said.

“I scored our first goal inside the first minute, so I expect I will probably put Sam away just as quickly.”

Twin AtlanticTwin Atlantic formed in 2006. Their highest-charting UK single is Heart and Soul, which peaked at number 17 in 2014

Rangers and Celtic are in a title battle of their own this season at the top of the Scottish Premiership but this weekend, it is an English rivalry that is on Sam and Ross’s minds.

“I have a strange link with City because, for some unknown reason when I was a child, I acquired a City top that had ‘Kinkladze’ [1990s midfielder Georgi Kinkladze] on the back,” Ross explained.

“From that point on I have always had a soft spot for them, but I started focusing on them more and more as Scottish football started to go down the tubes a little bit.”

Sam chose United at a similar stage of his life – at a time when they were the dominant force in the Premier League, not City.

“I was just getting seriously into football when the Champions League was on TV every week, and United were the British team doing well,” Sam said.

“I’d be watching Rangers at the weekend but then watching United play Barcelona or someone in the group stages and I kind of got stars in my eyes over their squad.

“Back then, you would always get asked who your team down south is, so United were always the answer – and still are now!”

Chris Sutton, Sam McTrusty and Ross McNae were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

When?ResultSuttonSamRoss
SATURDAY, 2 MARCH
Brentford v Chelseax-x1-12-21-2
Everton v West Hamx-x1-02-11-2
Fulham v Brightonx-x2-11-20-2
Newcastle v Wolvesx-x2-13-23-2
Nott’m Forest v Liverpoolx-x0-20-31-4
Tottenham v Crystal Palacex-x3-01-22-0
Luton v Aston Villax-x1-31-00-3
SUNDAY, 3 MARCH
Burnley v Bournemouthx-x1-11-10-2
Man City v Man Utdx-x6-12-33-1
MONDAY, 4 MARCH
Sheff Utd v Arsenalx-x0-30-40-5

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

SUTTON’S PREDICTIONS

All matches kick off at 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.

SATURDAY, 2 MARCH

Brentford v Chelsea

Brentford v Chelsea

This is not an easy one to start off with. After such a disappointing defeat in the Carabao Cup final last weekend, Chelsea made heavy weather of Championship side Leeds in the FA Cup on Wednesday.

Brentford, meanwhile, have just not got going. They have lost five of their past six league games, but their poor run of results goes back a lot longer than that – and they have not been anywhere near as strong at home compared to previous seasons.

So, what do I go with here? Brentford require the points more urgently, because they are only a couple of places above the relegation zone and must be short of confidence, but Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino needs a strong end to the season to secure his future at the club.

I don’t think he would have been sacked if they had lost to Leeds, but it is important Chelsea have something to play for over the coming weeks even if the sustained improvement we’ve been waiting for from them all season does not arrive.

Basically, I can’t see past a draw, because I can’t trust either team to play well enough to win.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Sam’s prediction: It feels like a bit of a cop-out to predict a draw but I can see Chelsea trying to kill the game early because they have had a tiring week, but Brentford will wear them down. I know you’re not after the minute details but I kind of see them pegging Chelsea back in the last minute. 2-2

Ross’s prediction: Neither side having a great time of it at the moment. I’m going with Chelsea to win but you can usually rely on Brentford scoring at home, even if they lose. 1-2

Everton v West Ham

Everton v West Ham

Everton must be absolutely delighted to get back four of the 10 points that they had deducted, and that sets them up nicely for this game.

If they can follow that by ending their long wait for a league win, which stretches back nine games to 16 December, it would be huge for them.

They should have beaten 10-man Brighton last week, and would have done if not for Lewis Dunk’s stoppage-time leveller – but they showed enough in that game to make me think they will be out of trouble soon.

Without the points deduction, we wouldn’t have been talking about them being in danger of the drop. Now it has been reduced, they are perfectly fine.

West Ham have had some good news too, with Lucas Paqueta back from injury after six games out, and he made an immediate impact against Brentford. Jarrod Bowen was on fire in that game too, with a hat-trick, but I am not expecting more of the same from him or his team.

I keep backing Everton at home, and getting it wrong, but I fancy them here. Their former boss David Moyes has won at Goodison with West Ham once before, in 2021, but I have feeling he will leave empty-handed this time.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-0

Sam’s prediction: One of my best pals is an Everton fan, so I kind of get drip-fed all the drama. It’s been a great week for them and maybe a bit of fairy dust will see them end it with a first win in a long time. 2-1

Ross’s prediction: West Ham had not been having a great time of it until they beat Brentford, but they are a good team when they get going. 1-2

Fulham v Brighton

Fulham v Brighton

I was a bit surprised that Brighton went out of the FA Cup to Wolves in midweek, but then they have been inconsistent for most of the season.

After a strong start where they won four of their first five league games, the Seagulls have only managed back-to-back wins once in all competitions. Kaoru Mitoma’s back injury is not going to help their cause either.

So, I am not going to look past Fulham here. They deservedly beat Manchester United at Old Trafford last week after carrying a threat all game, and Rodrigo Muniz has really impressed me in the past few weeks.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Sam’s prediction: Fulham were really good against United. They will score, but Brighton will edge them out. 1-2

Ross’s prediction: When Brighton are on it, they are a very good side. Fulham have scored a few goals recently… so therefore I am going to say they won’t score any this time. 0-2

Newcastle v Wolves

Newcastle v Wolves

The more I see of Wolves, the more I can see why they are doing well. They are well organised and carry a threat, although Matheus Cunha’s injury is a blow.

Like Gary O’Neil’s side, Newcastle also reached the FA Cup quarter-finals in midweek – but they were a bit fortunate to get past my old team, Blackburn, on penalties, and their display underlined how they are not the force they were last season.

Just as I’ve been doing with Everton, I keep backing Newcastle at home but they haven’t won any of their past four games at St James’ Park.

That has to change if Eddie Howe is going to keep his job. I don’t think he is on the verge of being sacked but he does need a strong end to the season to maintain that belief that he is the man to take them forward.

Of course he is striving to do that but, right now, they are 10th and miles off the kind of form they showed to crack the Champions League places last season, when Howe over-achieved.

Wherever they finish in the table, they need to get back to being the swashbuckling team they were earlier on in this campaign.

The more I think about it, the more I think Wolves will nick this but I am actually going to keep backing Newcastle, because the law of averages means they are going to win at St James’ Park again sooner or later.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Sam’s prediction: Wolves are a good side, who are in decent form while Newcastle just feel like they are on the edge. I have got a feeling there will be some goals in this one, with Newcastle edging it. 3-2

Ross’s prediction: I am going to be boring and agree with you. 3-2

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool

There’s been lots of praise for Liverpool’s young players this week, and rightly so after the way they played in the Carabao Cup final and then beat Southampton in the FA Cup.

It’s been an excellent week for Jurgen Klopp, with the first trophy of the season under his belt and then seeing his side keeping alive the possibility of winning four of them this season.

It would get even better if the likes of Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo are fit enough to play in this game, and I feel like Liverpool are going to be hard to stop here.

Forest were unlucky to go out of the FA Cup to Manchester United on Wednesday but they have got some work to do to get to safety in the league, especially with a possible points deduction looming, that could be announced next week.

I keep hearing how Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are much-improved in an attacking sense. They may well have done, but it has not translated into results because they have only won once this year, and I don’t see them getting another one on Saturday.

We are now into the run-in to the end of the season and Liverpool have already shown a great habit of finding a way to win games in recent weeks. They are riding on the crest of a wave at the moment so this one might be a bit more straightforward.

Sutton’s prediction: 0-2

Sam’s prediction: Forest are going to get an absolute doing. I see Liverpool showboating and bossing it possession-wise. 0-3

Ross’s prediction: Yep, Forest are going to get smashed. 1-4

Tottenham v Crystal Palace

Tottenham v Crystal Palace

Tottenham are still chasing a Champions League spot and, if they get it, it would represent a magnificent season – especially when you think about the way they finished the previous campaign.

I didn’t give them a chance of making the top four at the start because I thought it would take a while for Ange Postecoglou to implement his ideas, but that has happened quicker than I expected.

As for Palace, well their new manager Oliver Glasner got off to a great start by beating Burnley in his first game and but this is a much tougher test.

Spurs have stuttered a little bit in the past few weeks and dropped points, but they have got superior players.

Glasner has been talking about his footballing philosophy and how it is all about scoring goals, but Tottenham are pretty good at that, and if they can find their rhythm then they will come out on top.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Sam’s prediction: I was surprised by how well Palace did in Glasner’s first game. It feels like they are playing with the handbrake off, while there is a bit of uncertainty about Spurs. 1-2

Ross’s prediction: I love the fact that Ange came from Celtic and he is doing such a great job – okay, so it’s not all rosy but I think most Tottenham fans are enjoying it. Our manager is a Spurs fan and his take on it is that they don’t need to win every game if going to the football is enjoyable. That is what Ange has made it down there, and I also enjoy watching them. 2-1

Luton v Aston Villa

Luton v Aston Villa (17:30)

Luton have had so much praise recently – including from me. I said at the start of this month that Rob Edwards deserves to be named ‘manager of the season’ if he keeps them up.

I still stand by that, but with Everton getting some of their points back, and Luton losing three league games in a row, they are now desperate for points again.

This feels like an important time for Luton. We’ve seen how difficult it has been for clubs to come to Kenilworth Road all season, but it feels like their home defeat by Sheffield United on 10 February was a big setback that they have not got over yet.

The other thing about the way they are approaching games is that, while they always look like they have got a goal in them, being that little bit more expansive means they are vulnerable.

When you consider how dangerous Aston Villa are going forward, it feels like they are asking for trouble and it will be interesting to see if Edwards tweaks his approach again.

I don’t think he will and, while I expect Luton to score, Villa will score more.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-3

Sam’s prediction: I should probably back Villa and John McGinn because he is a big player for Scotland and he just lent his flat in Edinburgh to my wee sister and her boyfriend. That’s as close as you’ll get to me name-dropping a footballer by the way. Villa will probably hammer Luton but, because I am up against Chris, I am going to take a risk here and go with a home win. 1-0

Ross’s prediction: I’ve never been that excited about Villa for some reason but I do love McGinn! This should be a big Villa victory. 0-3

SUNDAY, 3 MARCH

Burnley v Bournemouth

Burnley v Bournemouth (13:00)

You could label every game as ‘must-win’ for Burnley but that has been the case for weeks.

The reality is that they have had it. They are 11 points from safety with 12 games to go, and they have only won three times all season.

I said when I covered their game against Arsenal for 5 live a couple of weeks ago that they had to win half their games, or the equivalent, to stand a chance of staying up but then they got smashed by the Gunners and lost heavily at Palace too.

In his programme notes for the Arsenal game, Burnley boss Vincent Kompany wrote how ‘we still believe’ but you need results to back that up, and they have not managed to get them.

Playing out from the back seems to keep putting them in trouble – it led to Josh Brownhill being sent off against Palace – and although it is understandable to make mistakes, if you keep making the same ones every week then it becomes a problem.

Bournemouth are not in very good form either, and Dominic Solanke will be a huge miss if he is not fit to lead their attack, but I still cannot make a case for Burnley to beat them.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Sam’s prediction: Burnley will probably tighten up off the back of that Palace defeat. I don’t see this being a thriller. 1-1

Ross’s prediction: Another defeat for Burnley. 0-2

Man City v Man Utd

Man City v Man Utd (15:30)

Manchester United found a way of getting over the line against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Wednesday.

It was a really important win for their manager Erik ten Hag, but it was a scruffy one and it did not suggest that United are going to cause City many problems with Rasmus Hojlund out injured.

I watched Marcus Rashford lead their attack instead last weekend, against Fulham. I’d put Rashford in my Fantasy team and I was so disappointed – he barely had a kick.

This time, Ten Hag might try a tactic that has worked for United before against City, and go with split strikers, playing on the counter. It’s probably a strength of theirs, playing on the break.

But United have got some key defenders out, as well as Hojlund, and how successful they are will depend on whether they can hang on in there during the long spells when City will have the ball.

City will win, I’ve got no doubt about that. It’s just a question of how many will they score?

If it clicks for City, and Kevin de Bruyne has said he feels like he is getting better by the game, then I just think they could run away with it.

Sutton’s prediction: 6-1

Sam’s prediction: City will go into it assuming they will win, but United will be really fired up and I think it could end up being end-to-end, with mistakes from both teams. City should win but I just have a feeling this could be a Bruno Fernandes masterclass, with him scoring a hat-trick or something crazy like that. Casemiro is the derby specialist, and he could swing it for us too. 2-3

Ross’s prediction: I can see City giving away a goal but they should still have too much. They will get the job done. 3-1

Sam on United’s season: We have got so many injuries and there has been so much chaos behind the scenes. Well, actually with United there is no ‘behind the scenes’. It is all on the front page and no-one can escape it.

Ross on City’s season and their title prospects: This is always the time of the season where City click and the machine just starts to get the job done. If Liverpool weren’t up there and it was just Arsenal then I would say yeah, we will win it, because I think we know how to do it, and they don’t. But Liverpool have won it under Klopp and they’ve been doing so well, so it is a bit more 50-50.

Sam on the title race: I feel like Arsenal might do it. I feel like the ‘Eye of Sauron’ is gonna be looking elsewhere and they are just going to get through it somehow. I think it is going to be a Lord of the Rings end to the season.

Ross on Sam’s title prediction: Just remember that Mikel Arteta is a Ger [former Rangers player]. That’s why Sam is going for Arsenal!

MONDAY, 4 MARCH

Sheff Utd v Arsenal

Sheff Utd v Arsenal (20:00)

Arsenal are wiping the floor with everyone in the Premier League at the moment. Like Liverpool and Manchester City, they can’t afford any stumbles in the title race but I don’t anticipate them having any problems winning at Bramall Lane.

They are so superior to a Sheffield United side that lost 5-0 at the Emirates earlier in the season, when Eddie Nketiah scored a hat-trick, and they are also in excellent form.

The Blades are not going to go toe-to-toe with Arsenal and their plan will just be to try to keep them out for as long as possible. If the Gunners score early, then it could be a difficult afternoon for Chris Wilder’s side.

Sutton’s prediction: 0-3

Sam’s prediction: It’s hard to see anything but Arsenal on the rampage. 0-4

Ross’s prediction: Arsenal have won six league games in a row, and they are scoring a lot of goals. 0-5

How did Sutton do last time?

Sutton got six correct results from nine games in week 26, with no exact scores, for a total of 60 points.

He took on former England striker Jermain Defoe, who got five correct results, but with one exact score, giving him 80 points.

It goes down as a win for Defoe for now, but there is still one other game yet to be scheduled from that set of fixtures, which is Chelsea versus Tottenham.

Defoe has gone for a 2-1 Spurs win in that game, and he and Sutton will know their final points tallies once it has been played.

Anthony Joshua150
Eddie Hearn130
CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson120
Barry Can’t Swim110
Anish Kumar100
Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Midas the Jagaban90
Chris Sutton82 (average after 26 weeks)
Jermain Defoe, Songer80
‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey, David Earl, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo70
Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves60
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Ed Leigh, Tash from The Football Academy, Matthew Vaughn, Rick Witter50
AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli. Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms, Declan McKenna, JayO40
Vigil star Dougray Scott, Felix White30
Willie J Healey20
Suggs, Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring10
Chris Sutton2,140
Guests1,800
P26W14D5L7

How did you get on?

Only 11% of you thought Fulham would beat Manchester United, and it is safe to say that was the biggest shock of the weekend.

Like Chris and Jermain, you correctly backed Liverpool to beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final, but none of you pick up any points for that.

=1. You6/10
=2. Chris6/10
3. Guest5/10

*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.

1. You146/260
2. Chris139/260
3. Guests124/260

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