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PPV about to bite bullet, thanks to fan power

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Making a stand: Liverpool and Everton fans were among supporters to protest the Premier League pay-per-view scheme, boycotting the offer in favour of donating to local food bank charities instead

“Player power” is often said to run much of football these days but it appears “fan power” has played a major role in a move to scrap the Premier League’s controversial pay-per-view method.

While a definitive decision was not taken at a shareholders' meeting yesterday, reports have emerged that the £14.95 fee — which led to significant protests among fan groups — is expected to be dropped after the international window this month.

The Premier League said shareholders met yesterday "to discuss a number of important issues", including the broadcast options for matches following the international break.

More than £300,000 has been raised for charities in Britain by fans boycotting pay-per-view games, which were introduced last month after clubs voted 19-1 in favour of the "interim solution".

Today

Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley

1.30pm

Two of the league’s most out-of-form sides meet as 16th-placed Brighton host bottom side Burnley today.

The home side are winless in five matches, including a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Tottenham last time out while, Burnley are still searching for the first win of the season and come into the match on the back of successive losses.

Prediction: 1-1

Southampton v Newcastle United

4pm

Southampton welcome Newcastle to St Mary’s aiming to build on a five-game unbeaten run, which includes four victories including last weekend’s 4-3 thriller against Leeds.

That run of form has catapulted the Saints into fifth three points adrift of league leaders Liverpool.

However, they will have to do without talisman Danny Ings for at least a month with the striker suffering a knee injury. Only compatriot Jamie Vardy has scored more league goals in 2020 than Ings, with the Leicester man’s tally of 23 putting him one ahead of the Saints marksman.

Unpredictable Newcastle come into the encounter on the back off an impressive 2-1 victory over high-flying Everton but Steve Bruce’s side are yet to put a string of results together, leaving them in mid-table.

Prediction: 2-2

Tomorrow

Everton v Manchester United

8.30am

Everton will be desperate to halt a run of back-to-back defeats when they host struggling Manchester United in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were the season’s pacesetters with four straight wins however, they are now winless in three games including losses to Southampton and Newcastle in recent weeks.

Pressure continues to mount on United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with reports stating that the club has already approached former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as his replacement.

United are languishing in 15th-place in the league having won just two of their opening six games.

Prediction 2-1

Crystal Palace v Leeds United

11am

Crystal Palace are another side who will be keen to regain some early season promise when they host Leeds United.

Roy Hodgson’s Eagles sit in thirteenth position well clear of the drop zone but have only picked up one win from their last five, suffering three defeats in that time, including against Wolves last weekend.

Leeds, who will be without striker Rodrigo after testing positive for Covid-19, have proved as unpredictable as anyone, beating the likes of Aston Villa convincingly one week and losing heavily the next, as they did in a 4-1 defeat to Leicester last time out.

Prediction 2-1

Chelsea v Sheffield United

1.30pm

Upwardly mobile Chelsea will be confident of building on a five-game unbeaten run at home against struggling Sheffield United.

Frank Lampard’s expensively assembled squad finally appear to be gelling on the pitch sitting in seventh in the table, four points adrift of the summit. Three of the five games in that unbeaten sequence were draws but they come into the game on the back of a convincing 3-0 win over Burnley last weekend.

Second-bottom United remain desperate for a first win of the season, having only picked up a single point so far this campaign. They travel to London on the back of a 1-0 loss to Man City having also suffered narrow defeats to likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

Prediction: 3-0

West Ham United v Fulham

4pm

Fulham will be aiming to secure a second successive victory when they head across London to face West Ham.

Scott Parker’s men lifted themselves out of the relegation zone last weekend following a welcome 2-0 win over fellow strugglers West Brom and will be aiming to build on that momentum.

West Ham found themselves in somewhat of a purple patch, unbeaten in three including a victory over Leicester and draw against Tottenham and Man City.

However, that run was brought to an end with defeat against Liverpool last week and manager David Moyes will be hopeful of getting back on track.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunday

West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur

8am

Tottenham will be strong favourites in their trip to struggling West Brom with the visitors aiming to secure a third successive victory.

Just two point adrift of the summit, José Mourinho’s men would go top temporarily with another win, with rivals Leicester and Liverpool not playing until later in the day and a day later respectively.

On paper it appears another tough ask for winless West Brom, who find themselves in the relegation having taken three points from their seven matches so far.

Prediction: 0-3

Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

10am

A third straight win would see hosts Leicester go top for at least 24 hours if they can overcome a difficult test in Midlands rivals Wolves.

While Leicester come into the game in second place it is actually the visitors who are the in-form team, unbeaten in four, including three wins in that time.

Victory may come down to who can take their chances with a battle between two of the league’s top marksman in the form of Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez.

Prediction: 2-2

Manchester City v Liverpool

12.30pm

The standout match of the weekend, Man City host defending champions Liverpool with both aiming to build on strong recent form.

After a sluggish start to the season, tenth-placed City have started moving up the table after a four-match unbeaten run including last weekend’s victory over Sheffield United.

Liverpool overcame West Ham last time out to extend their own unbeaten sequence to three games, including back-to-back wins. However, with talisman Virgil van Dijk still absent from the Reds defence, City will be confident of breaching the visitor’s backline.

Prediction: 2-1

Arsenal v Aston Villa

3.15pm

Aston Villa will be aiming to avoid a third straight defeat when they take on Arsenal.

Villa, in eighth, saw a four-game winning streak brought abrupt end in a 3-0 defeat to Leeds, which was then followed up by a thrilling 4-3 loss to Southampton last weekend.

Arsenal sit one place below Sunday’s visitors having ended a run of back-to-back defeats with a welcome 1-0 win away to Man United in their last outing.

Villa have failed to beat Arsenal in their previous three visits in the league.

Prediction: 2-1

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Published November 06, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Updated November 06, 2020 at 3:09 am)

PPV about to bite bullet, thanks to fan power

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