ENGLAND – Former Arsenal star, Charlie Nicholas, has made predictions ahead of midweek games in the Premier League matches.
Some of the key games that will be played on Wednesday, include Manchester United vs Tottenham and Liverpool vs Everton.
On the Merseyside Derby, he told Sky Sports: “I watched the Liverpool match for Soccer Saturday at the weekend and in the end, they deserved to win. But the three points didn’t come without a struggle. They were hanging on at the end and the defensive frailties were highlighted once more.
“Alisson will miss the derby match and his replacement Adrian was a bag of nerves when he came on. Liverpool does not have the same rhythm of last season but they do know how to get results and got there in the end on Saturday.
“Meanwhile, Everton lost this fixture last season to a last-minute Divock Origi goal. Marco Silva, who is another manager in serious danger, is saying that he has no interest in talking about his job. He knows what is in store, but he may be out soon. I am just not sure how soon.
“If they get beat by three or four I think it will be over for Silva on Thursday. What happens after that? Does David Moyes come in and save the day or do they twist and go with Eddie Howe to build a project? It’s a big call for the decision-makers at Everton.
“This game is a different scenario though – it’s the derby. The two sides will not be thinking about anything that’s to come around the corner. Liverpool will want to rub Everton’s noses in it. Everton will park the bus, but Liverpool will be comfortable.”
As Jose Mourinho returns to Manchester United with his new club Tottenham Hotspur, Nicholas expects the game to end in a draw.
“We are all looking forward to it and Wednesday. This is the reason why because this is a stunning game. We have Jose Mourinho’s return to Manchester United to look forward to.
“Will Jose get stick? They didn’t dislike him at Old Trafford. They may not have liked his style and knew deep down that the players went about his ideas the wrong way, mainly Paul Pogba. He had problems with Luke Shaw but Jose has always been honest and up front. He did win trophies and got them a Champions League spot so he will not get bombarded.
“I might be wrong but we have a Tottenham team that are three weeks ago would have gone with their heads down – a draw will have delighted them and left them relatively pleased, but Man Utd are there for the taking if Tottenham want it..
“It is strange how things come up. Tottenham are the favourites at Old Trafford. They do not get results against the big teams, but United nowhere near at the moment. I think United will be upbeat for this one as if they have a point to prove, so it will be interesting. Jose will fancy the job though. I predict 2-2,” he said.
On Chelsea hosting Aston Villa after two consecutive losses, he added: “Chelsea have had the stumble that we’ve been predicting would come. A lot of players are not getting the game time they want, but he needs the youngsters in the squad to perform. We have not seen much of Callum Hudson-Odoi recently, while Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have had a couple of knocks to deal with. This tells you how the squad is being stretched. Chelsea will be up and down for the remainder of the season in my opinion.
“Meanwhile, Aston Villa impressed at Old Trafford, and that is exactly where you want Jack Grealish to be playing. I want him just off the left and attacking the defence. To be honest, I think Villa are better than what the table suggests, but I cannot trust them defensively, and for that reason I think Chelsea will edge this one.”