Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton v UB40 drummer & Birmingham City fan Jimmy Brown – BBC


Aston Villa were the last team to beat Manchester City, on 6 December, but can the defending champions exact revenge at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday?
"Since that defeat, City have gone 23 games without defeat and, in terms of results, that's incredible," said BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton.
"But there is something amiss with them at the moment. I thought they would find a way to beat Arsenal, but now they have to beat Villa and I don't think it's going to be easy for them."
Sutton is making predictions for every Premier League game this season against a variety of guests.
For the midweek matches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, he takes on UB40 drummer & Birmingham City fan Jimmy Brown.
Brown is not the only Blues fan in UB40 and the band have given one of their classic songs a revamp in honour of their beloved club.
Forever True is Birmingham City's new anthem, with new lyrics set to the beat of Food For Thought, which is blasted out around St Andrew's at the end of every winning game.
UB40 held a special concert at the stadium at full-time of Monday's game against Preston where they played the new track and other songs from their new album, UB45, which celebrates 45 years of the band and is out on 19 April.
Jimmy Brown (second from left) and the rest of UB40. The band have sold more than 100m albums and had 50 UK Top 40 singles. They tour the UK in November
Jimmy is here to make predictions for Premier League games but it is the bottom of the Championship he is focused on at the moment, with Birmingham battling to avoid relegation to League One.
"Believe me when I say I've got my fingers, toes and every single thing crossed," he told BBC Sport.
"I am very nervous, but I am hopeful as well. We've got a good manager in charge now with Gary Rowett back at the club but, however we do it, we just need to stay afloat."
Jimmy grew up a stone's throw away from St Andrew's and has been a lifelong supporter of the club.
He explained: "I was born and brought up in Small Heath which is the same area as the ground, and I lived a 10-minute walk away, so I had to be a Blues fan really.
"My dad used to take me every week when I was really young and after a while I told him I wasn't enjoying it. It smelled of old men and pies, and it would be 0-0 every week – it was kind of depressing and it put me off football for a few years.
"But then as I got a bit older I got back into it. I'd still be walking back home feeling miserable after the match, but that's what football is like, isn't it? You have got to take the rough with the smooth.
"We are not having a great time of it at the moment but there have been plenty of highs along the way.
"The best moment was probably winning the League Cup final against Arsenal in 2011. We were away touring at the time and we watched the first half on TV at an airport but then had to get on a plane.
"I thought we'd lost but then when we landed we got messages coming through that we'd actually won. We were all cheering on the plane, and I don't suppose the other passengers knew why."
The iconic sax of Food For Thought is chanted by Birmingham fans every time the team scores. It was UB40's breakthrough single and reached number four in the UK charts in 1980
Chris Sutton and Jimmy Brown were speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.
Premier League – week 31
Newcastle v Everton
Nott'm Forest v Fulham
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Burnley v Wolves
West Ham v Tottenham
Arsenal v Luton
Brentford v Brighton
Man City v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Sheff Utd
Chelsea v Man Utd
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
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I was at St James' Park to see Newcastle's late comeback to beat West Ham 4-3 and there is a lot to admire about Eddie Howe's side.
They found a way of winning the game, and it was great for Harvey Barnes to come on and change the game the way he did after missing so much of the campaign.
My concern for them here is how much that will have taken out of them. Their squad was already injury ravaged and now their captain Jamaal Lascelles is out for several months too.
I am taking a bit of a punt here, especially given that Everton have gone 12 league games without a win, but I think Newcastle are so stretched and put so much into it on Saturday, that it will catch up with them here.
Everton's big problem is still in attack because they really struggle to find the back of the net but they do create chances and I have a sneaking feeling they will get a result, just like they did when they beat the Magpies 3-0 at Goodison Park in December.
Sutton's prediction: 1-2
Jimmy's prediction: This is a hard one to call because Newcastle have had their problems with injuries. 1-1
Match report
I was wrong when I thought Fulham would beat Sheffield United on Saturday, and Marco Silva's side have not picked up many points on the road this season.
So Nottingham Forest will definitely see this as a winnable game – but the same applied to their past two fixtures, against Luton and Crystal Palace, and they did not win either of those.
Chris Wood is bailing Forest out at the moment with some important goals, and I would not be surprised if he scored again – but I expect this one will end up being a draw.
Sutton's prediction: 1-1
Jimmy's prediction: Forest definitely need the win here. 2-1
Match report
These two teams are next to each other in the table in 13th and 14th but the difference is Bournemouth are eight points ahead and looking up the table, while Crystal Palace are still looking over their shoulder at the teams below them.
Palace should be fine in terms of staying up, but they are a team in transition and are too reliant on Eberechi Eze for creativity.
This is going to be close but Dominic Solanke is still scoring and the Cherries are on a good run of results. They have really surprised me this campaign, especially after the way they started it.
I reckon Bournemouth will edge it but I should probably apologise to their fans now for saying that because whenever I back them, they never end up winning.
Sutton's prediction: 2-1
Jimmy's prediction: Palace to edge it. 0-1
Match report
Wolves were pretty limp in their defeat against Aston Villa and although their boss Gary O'Neil was right when he pointed out they were missing some key attacking players, the problem for him is if they are still without them at Turf Moor.
Matheus Cunha is apparently close to a return after his hamstring injury, which will give them a boost up front, but I still feel like Burnley will give them a good game.
The Clarets were really hard done by against Chelsea, starting with the penalty awarded against them – which was a disgrace because I thought Mykhailo Mudryk dived – and followed by dismissals for Lorenz Assignon and manager Vincent Kompany,
But they still picked up a point and are now on their best run of results of the season with two draws and a win from their past three games.
They are only four points away from safety and a win here would be massive for them, but I don't think they will quite manage it. Still, even a draw would keep them in touch with the teams immediately above them.
Sutton's prediction: 1-1
Jimmy's prediction: I like to see all the Midlands teams doing well so I've got to go with Wolves here. 1-2
Match report
West Ham will still be smarting from the way they lost at Newcastle. Hammers boss David Moyes took Michail Antonio off when his team were cruising at 3-1 up with around 20 minutes to go and, without him, they could not get up the pitch.
Antonio gave them a great outlet, but Moyes will also be furious at the late goals his side conceded.
They will be looking to bounce back here, and they will be confident because they have already beaten Tottenham once this season.
The expansive way Spurs play suits West Ham because they will be able to hit them on the counter-attack. I think Antonio was taken off on Saturday to rest him for this game, and he will play another key role here.
There should be a few goals at the other end too, though. Tottenham are just relentless going forward and wear teams down. Even if they go behind, I still fancy them to win this one.
Sutton's prediction: 2-3
Jimmy's prediction: Both teams have been up and down so let's go for a draw. 2-2
Match report
Arsenal needed a last-gasp Declan Rice goal to clinch a crazy 4-3 win last time these teams met, but it won't be anywhere near as close at the Emirates.
Luton will have a go, we know that, but the Gunners showed how strong they are defensively in Sunday's goalless draw with Manchester City and I am expecting them to control this game from the start.
Sutton's prediction: 3-0
Jimmy's prediction: There is no way Arsenal are going to drop any points here. 3-1
This should be a decent game. Brighton did well against Liverpool on Sunday but, if anything, they scored too early at Anfield, and I never really thought they would hang on.
Brentford were excellent against Manchester United and it seems strange they are on such a poor run, with only one win from their past 10 games.
I am going to back the Bees to put that right here and pull away from the relegation zone, because they are definitely too good to go down.
Ivan Toney was very good against United and unlucky not to score, and the goals are going to start flowing for him again soon.
Sutton's prediction: 2-1
Jimmy's prediction: I like watching Brighton but I think Brentford will win. 2-1
I thought some of the criticism of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland after Sunday's draw with Arsenal was well over the top.
It is not Haaland's fault City did not create enough opportunities for him – it is down to players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva to make those chances.
To compare Haaland to a League Two player, which is how Roy Keane described him on Sky, is just ridiculous.
It doesn't matter who gets the goals against Aston Villa, but City cannot allow the gap to leaders Liverpool to get any bigger than three points.
Villa will make it tough for them and carry plenty of attacking threat themselves, but this is a must-win for Pep Guardiola's side… and I think they will win.
Sutton's prediction: 2-1
Jimmy's prediction: Nothing doing for Villa here! City will go 2-0 up, Villa will pull one back and push for an equaliser but then City will wrap it up with a third late on when Villa leave themselves wide open. 3-1
This is top versus bottom and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah is going to be captaining my Fantasy team – that should tell you all you need to know about what I am expecting to happen here.
Against Brighton on Sunday, Liverpool did what they have done all season, which is finding a way to win even when they fall behind.
This should be far more straightforward because Sheffield United do not have the quality to cause them the same problems the Seagulls did.
Liverpool cannot just expect to turn up and win easily though. The finish line is in sight but they need to put their foot down to get there first, and that is what I think will happen here.
Looking at the table, goal difference could play a big part in the title race. Arsenal have the advantage there at the moment, but a big scoreline here could change that.
Sutton's prediction: 5-0
Jimmy's prediction: Liverpool are actually my second team, and my Premier League team at the moment. I love Liverpool, I love the city and I love the people and I think they will get an easy win here. 2-0
Some Manchester United fans have got a bit angry with me when I've predicted them to lose in the past, but what happened against Brentford on Saturday summed them up.
United were on a high after beating Liverpool in the FA Cup before the international break, showing great resilience to come back and win in the manner they did.
I was thinking 'here we go' and wondering if this was another turning point with the possibility of them kicking on… and then they go and put in such an insipid performance against the Bees.
They were so flat but, when Mason Mount scored in stoppage time, it looked like they had got away with it.
This time, Brentford deservedly levelled but United have been doing this all season. They've been lucky, right from the start.
As far as this game goes, well it's anyone's guess. I keep on being wrong about Chelsea, including their 2-2 draw against Burnley on Saturday.
Cole Palmer continues to be a bright spark for the Blues but something is not right with the rest of the team. If they cannot beat Burnley at home when the Clarets are down to 10 men, then heaven help them.
All things considered, it makes this game impossible to predict. It feels like it will probably be a draw but Palmer will score so I am going to go with him to get the decider.
Sutton's prediction: 2-1
Jimmy's prediction: This is another hard one to call but I'm going with United. 1-2
Last weekend, Sutton got five correct results, with no exact scores, from the 10 Premier League games in week 30, giving him 50 points.
He beat Gladiators star Bionic, who got four correct result with no exact scores, giving him 40 points.
Guest leaderboard 2023-24
Anthony Joshua
Ross from Twin Atlantic
Eddie Hearn
CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson
Barry Can't Swim
Anish Kumar
Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Midas the Jagaban
Jermain Defoe, 'Hollywood' Chris Dobey, Songer
Chris Sutton
77 (average after 30 weeks)
David Earl, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo
Dave from The Zutons, Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves, Sam from Twin Atlantic
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Ed Leigh, Tash from The Football Academy, Matthew Vaughn, Rick Witter
Bionic, AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli. Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms, Declan McKenna, JayO
Vigil star Dougray Scott, Felix White
Willie J Healey, Bria Keely of Better Joy
Suggs, Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring, Anna Friedberg and Emily Linden from Friedberg
Total scores after week 30
Chris Sutton
Sutton v guests
There were five draws in week 30, and they all caught you out – especially Chelsea versus Burnley, where 89% of you went for a Blues win.
You v Chris & the guests – week 30
=1. Chris
=1. You
3. Guests
*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.
Total scores after week 30
1. You
2. Chris
3. Guests
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