Sutton’s Premier League predictions v Blossoms & Suggs

Chelsea have not lost against any of the top-four teams in the Premier League this season – but will that record survive the visit of leaders Manchester City on Sunday?

After draws with Liverpool and Arsenal, Mauricio Pochettino’s side beat Tottenham in an extraordinary game on Monday.

BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton said: “I thought Chelsea were wasteful against Spurs’ nine men. Everyone is talking about how their xG [expected goals] is really good, but they will need to take their opportunities to have any chance against City.”

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

This week, he takes on two Manchester City fans – frontman and guitarist Tom Ogden and drummer Joe Donovan from indie band Blossoms – and a Chelsea supporter – Madness frontman Suggs.

Stockport band Blossoms have just announced a concert at Manchester’s Wythenshawe Park on 25 August 2024, which will be their biggest headline show to date.

Madness release their new album, Theatre Of The Absurd Presents C’est La Vie, on 17 November. It is their 13th studio album since their debut in 1979, and first for seven years.

Blossoms and Findlay (front)

Tom and Joe were both City season-ticket holders before Blossoms’ touring commitments took over, but they have seen a lot of Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

“We are recording in Liverpool at the moment but we got the train back over to the game [against Young Boys] on Tuesday,” Tom told BBC Sport. “We have been to quite a few games recently because for once we have managed to not be on tour when the season started.

“It’s going well, isn’t it? It is still early days but the way we play is so regimented and we are so consistent, it is hard to look past us again.”

City, who won the title last season as part of their Treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup success, are notorious slow starters under Guardiola but are already top of the table after 11 games as well as being safely through to the knockout stages in Europe.

“Whatever we do, it sometimes feels like people need something to moan about, and at the moment it is Erling Haaland,” Joe added.

“It makes me laugh because his scoring stats are still incredible. In the past, when we have a striker who comes back and collects the ball, we apparently needed someone in the box to finish off chances.

“Now we’ve got an out-and-out striker, people are saying how he doesn’t get involved enough in games – you can’t win!”

Suggs

Suggs is known for his Camden connection – it is where Madness were formed – but he is a lifelong Chelsea fan, and became a Blue when he lived in Fulham as a young boy.

He told BBC Sport: “I’m known as a north London boy but I didn’t move there until I was eight, by which time I’d gone to Park Walk School, which is literally about 200 yards from Stamford Bridge.

“I went to the same school as [former Chelsea midfielder] Alan Hudson – he was in the top year when I was in the bottom year, and he became one of my heroes.

“One of my earliest memories as a fan was in 1969 – we were playing Preston in the FA Cup and the floodlights went down so they had to play it again, at 2pm, a couple of days later.

“We all found out and bunked off school so we could go down there. They tried to stop us getting in, but it was too late by that point.

“But that whole period was special for me – the 1970 FA Cup final against Leeds, and then winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup final against Real Madrid a year later – and I could still name the whole team now.

“It was such an iconic time. We were supposed to be the ‘Southern Softies’ when we played Leeds, but that replayed final will never be forgotten. They re-refereed it a few years ago and said there would have been 11 red cards.”external-link

Fast-forward 53 years and Monday’s game against Spurs was not quite as dirty as that classic encounter – there were only two players sent off – but was just as memorable for different reasons.

“It was the craziest game I’ve ever seen in 50-odd years of watching Chelsea,” Suggs added. “My eyeballs were almost hanging out and I will have to watch it back again another time to work out what happened.”

Chris Sutton, Tom Ogden, Joe Donovan and Suggs were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Madness
When? Result Sutton Tom Joe Suggs
SATURDAY, 11 NOVEMBER
Wolves v Tottenham 2-1 1-1 0-2 1-2 2-0
Arsenal v Burnley 3-1 3-0 3-0 3-0 0-2
Crystal Palace v Everton 2-3 0-0 1-0 2-0 1-1
Man Utd v Luton 1-0 2-1 2-0 0-7 1-1
Bournemouth v Newcastle 2-0 1-2 0-1 1-3 0-1
SUNDAY, 12 NOVEMBER
Aston Villa v Fulham x-x 2-0 1-1 2-0 1-1
Brighton v Sheff Utd x-x 3-0 3-0 2-0 1-0
Liverpool v Brentford x-x 3-1 4-0 2-0 0-2
West Ham v Nott’m Forest x-x 2-1 2-0 1-0 1-1
Chelsea v Man City x-x 0-2 1-3 0-3 4-1

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, 11 NOVEMBER

Wolves v Tottenham

Wolves 2-1 Tottenham

It was incredible to watch what Ange Postecoglou tried to do by keeping such a high line when Tottenham went down to nine men against Chelsea.

I was a fan of his at Celtic, and I know he likes to do things differently, but I’d never seen anything like that in my lifetime – and I loved it.

They lost 4-1 in the end but had chances at 2-1 and came so close to getting a draw.

Spurs are depleted now with injuries to James Maddison and Micky van de Ven, and Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie suspended, so it’s going to be a patched-up Tottenham side at Molineux.

Postecoglou is not going to change the way he plays, but of course all of those absences will have an impact.

Wolves were very unlucky to lose to a late Sheffield United penalty last week – it looked like a dive to me – and they have been much improved in recent weeks. On that basis, I’m going for a draw.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Tom’s prediction: Spurs could start to capitulate after what happened against Chelsea, but I actually think they will bounce back and win. 0-2

Joe’s prediction: I think Wolves will score first. I will get dead excited and start watching the game, and then Spurs will fight back and win. That’s usually how it goes – I did it the other day when Luton went ahead against Liverpool in the 80th minute, but then conceded in injury time. 1-2

Suggs’ prediction: I’m going to go with Wolves, which will get some of my mates going – plus my son-in-law and his family are all Wolves fans so I have got to back them. 2-0

Read match report

Arsenal v Burnley

Arsenal 3-1 Burnley

Arsenal have got a few injury issues – Bukayo Saka took a knock during their win over Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday, and Martin Odegaard missed that game as well as last weekend’s defeat at Newcastle.

But even if both are absent here, I don’t see the Gunners having any problems against a Burnley team who have lost their past four league matches and are only off the bottom of the table on goal difference.

The Clarets’ home form in particular is deeply concerning, with six defeats out of six so far, and their away record is not much better.

They play high-risk football when they try to play out from the back, but it doesn’t look like their manager Vincent Kompany is going to change anything there. Week by week, though, their confidence is getting knocked by every defeat they suffer.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Tom’s prediction: This is going to be comfortable for Arsenal. Burnley play some nice football but they don’t have a cutting edge. 3-0

Joe’s prediction: I really wish Vincent Kompany had made a better start in the Premier League, but unfortunately I don’t see things getting any better for Burnley here. 3-0

Suggs’ prediction: Burnley to win, obviously. If this accumulator comes in on the back of my predictions, then the drinks are on me. 0-2

Read match report

Crystal Palace v Everton

Crystal Palace 2-3 Everton

I went for Palace to get a point at Burnley last weekend but they ended up taking all three, just by doing what they do well – defending well and then taking their chances.

This feels like it’s going to be another close game, partly because Everton are definitely improving, but also because of the way both teams play.

Neither of them really want the ball too much, or ever score many goals.

It ended 0-0 when they last met, at Selhurst Park in April, and I’m going for the same outcome this time. This game doesn’t just have a whiff of a draw, it is more a really strong stench.

Sutton’s prediction: 0-0

Tom’s prediction: Palace are at home and they don’t score many. 1-0

Joe’s prediction: I’m going for Palace to get two, just to be different. 2-0

Suggs’ prediction: 1-1

Read match report

Man Utd v Luton

Manchester United 1-0 Luton

Manchester United played really well for the first 40 minutes or so against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday, until Marcus Rashford was sent off.

They were brave on the ball, and used it really well. That didn’t last, though.

On the run they are on, this is a nightmare game for them, because Luton showed how resilient and awkward they are in their draw against Liverpool last week.

And, as we head into an international break, this is an absolute must-win game for United manager Erik ten Hag. A draw isn’t enough for him.

I don’t think he will get sacked if that happens, but it will just continue the conversation about his future and add to the pressure on his shoulders.

Bearing all that in mind, I think United will do just about enough to win it, much like they did at Fulham last weekend – but it won’t be easy for them.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Tom’s prediction: We know what we want to happen here – Luton to win 10-0. I think United will do it though – they kind of have to put in a performance at Old Trafford, don’t they? 2-0

Joe’s prediction: You are going to go with United? I am going to go with Luton. 0-7

Chris on Joe’s prediction: I would not be surprised if Luton did win, and it would not be the greatest shock ever, but it would be if they won 7-0!

Suggs’ prediction: United are not having the best of times at the moment. 1-1

Read match report

Bournemouth v Newcastle

Bournemouth 2-0 Newcastle

Newcastle’s injuries are piling up but I still fancy Eddie Howe’s side to bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat at Borussia Dortmund, on his return to his former club.

No matter how stretched the Magpies squad is, they should have too much for a Bournemouth side that is in a relegation battle. I’m going for another Cherries old boy, Callum Wilson to score the winner against his old club.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Tom’s prediction: Newcastle will get the job done. 0-1

Joe’s prediction: I am going to go with them getting more goals than that. Bournemouth created a few chances against City last week though, so they might nick one too, especially at home. 1-3

Suggs’ prediction: 0-1

Read match report

SUNDAY, 12 NOVEMBER

Aston Villa v Fulham

Aston Villa v Fulham (14:00)

Fulham were only beaten by a stoppage-time goal against Manchester United last weekend but I’m still not convinced by them, especially in attack.

I was surprised to see Aston Villa lose at Nottingham Forest, but we all know how good they are at home, where they have won five out of five this season, scoring 20 goals.

Villa need to get back on track if they are going to keep pushing for the top four, and that’s what I think will happen.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-0

Tom’s prediction: I know Villa have been good at home but we haven’t predicted any draws yet. 1-1

Joe’s prediction: That’s not a bad shout actually, but I am backing Villa. 2-0

Suggs’ prediction: 1-1

Brighton v Sheff Utd

Brighton v Sheffield United (14:00)

Brighton’s issue this season is the demands of European football on their squad – they play Ajax in Amsterdam on Thursday night, so it will affect them again here.

Sheffield United will be buzzing after getting their first win of the season, against Wolves last week. Their gameplan here will be to sit in and try to frustrate the Seagulls, but I don’t think they will keep Roberto de Zerbi’s side quiet.

I wasn’t sure whether to give the Blades a goal, because of Brighton’s defensive record – they did not keep a clean sheet in any of their first 11 games of the season, so maybe this is the day they manage it.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Tom’s prediction: Brighton should be pretty comfortable here. 3-0

Joe’s prediction: It might be quite close but I feel like Sheffield United will concede from two really harsh penalties that are given against them in the last few minutes. 2-0

Suggs’ prediction: 1-0

Liverpool v Brentford

Liverpool v Brentford (14:00)

This isn’t an easy one to call. I was wrong about Liverpool against Luton last time out, but Brentford’s return to form is the main reason I don’t think this one will just be a straightforward home win.

After a bit of a blip, the Bees are back to being the stubborn side we know they are, and they carry a threat too.

But Liverpool really have to win this game to keep up with Manchester City in the title race – I don’t want City to just run away with the title – and their home form has been very strong so far.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-1

Tom’s prediction: I can see this being a big Liverpool win. Whenever Mohamed Salah plays, there are goals there. 4-0

Joe’s prediction: I don’t think Liverpool have been that good in front of goal, they won’t score four. 2-0

Suggs’ prediction: Brentford are our west London rivals, which I didn’t see coming 10 years ago, let alone any further back. They beat us every season now! 0-2

West Ham v Nottingham Forest

West Ham v Nottingham Forest (14:00)

It’s four league defeats in a row now for West Ham and they are falling away a bit after starting the season so well.

I don’t think they have been playing that badly but David Moyes has been unhappy with the way they have conceded some of the goals that have cost them games.

I actually have a feeling they will nick this one though. Nottingham Forest’s away form is much improved and they will probably try to keep things tight, but West Ham will find a way to win it.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Tom’s prediction: West Ham are usually pretty good at home. 2-0

Joe’s prediction: I can see Forest sitting back and West Ham having a ridiculous amount of shots but only getting one goal. 1-0

Suggs’ prediction: 1-1

Chelsea v Man City

Chelsea v Manchester City (16:30)

Chelsea’s Nicholas Jackson scored possibly the worst Premier League hat-trick there has been last time out against Spurs, but it is still a hat-trick and it might boost his confidence a bit.

The same could be said about the impact of that win on the rest of the Chelsea team too. It doesn’t matter how they did it, they won when not many people gave them much of a chance.

This result really depends on how City play, though, rather than what Chelsea try to do. Pep Guardiola’s side have a few injuries to contend with but it doesn’t really make much difference who comes in or out of their team. Their squad is just so strong.

Guardiola also has a nice problem in terms of who to pick on the left, Jeremy Doku or Jack Grealish. You never know with Pep – because Doku has been playing so well, he will probably leave him out for the next six games.

Whoever plays, City are just relentless. They will win by two goals, it’s only really a question of whether Chelsea will score or not.

Sutton’s prediction: 0-2

Tom on City’s standout performers this season: It’s Doku and Julian Alvarez for me. Doku has really surprised me, to be honest. I didn’t know much about him but the way he is so direct and fast gives us something a bit different to the usual slow build-up play, which I think is kind of refreshing for the team, and Alvarez is such a good player – he reminds me of Sergio Aguero, which is never a bad thing.

Who has impressed Joe? Rico Lewis is the same, and I love his kind of terrier approach. He is only 18 but, whenever he comes in, he already looks like he belongs in the first team and it’s great to have another local player in the side. It’s mad that we’ve got someone as good as Phil Foden who is from Stockport like us – you don’t expect superstar players to come from the same place that you do.

Tom’s prediction: We’ve won at Chelsea in the past two seasons and they’ve been pretty poor recently – even the other day when they were against Tottenham’s nine men, they were missing chances. 1-3

Joe’s prediction: The old-school City fan in me wants to say that Chelsea will win 2-0 and Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer will both score, but I don’t actually think they will get a sniff. 0-3

Suggs on who has caught his eye so far in Chelsea’s new-look team: The one I have got high hopes for is Mykhailo Mudryk. I went up to Liverpool to watch him on his debut [in January] and him and Conor Gallagher played brilliantly – but I think we have got so many new players, especially in midfield, that the problem is how do you pick a team out of it? Hopefully Mauricio Pochettino is the man to work all that out. I wasn’t mad on the idea of him coming in when he got the job, because of his Spurs connection, but maybe he has got the discipline to get something out of Mudryk?

Suggs’ prediction: This one is obvious! 4-1

How did Sutton do last week?

After a weekend of shocks and mostly wrong predictions from Chris and his guest, singer-songwriter Willie J Healey, their scores were tied at 20-20 which meant it all came down to Monday’s game between Tottenham and Chelsea to decide who would triumph.

Chris went for a 2-0 Spurs win while Healey, a lifelong Blues fan, backed his side to get a point in a 2-2 draw – and thought that was optimistic.

No-one could have predicted the events of what turned out to be an extraordinary game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Chelsea’s 4-1 win meant neither scored any extra points. Chris registered his lowest score so far this season, and left Healey bottom of the guest leaderboard.

Anthony Joshua 150
Eddie Hearn 130
Anish Kumar 100
Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Midas the Jagaban 90
Chris Sutton 87 (average after 11 weeks)
David Earl, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo 70
Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves 60
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Tash from The Football Academy 50
Willie J Healey 20

How did you get on?

You did a bit better than Chris and Willie, with four correct predictions.

As well as wins for Brentford and Manchester City, 43% of you saw Palace’s victory at Burnley coming, and 42% were right about Newcastle beating Arsenal.

However, only 4% of you thought Luton would get a draw with Liverpool, though another 7% did go for a Hatters victory, which they came so close to getting.

1. You 4/10
=2. Chris 2/10
=2. Guests 2/10

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

1. You 65/110
2. Chris 63/110
3. Guests 58/110

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