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Fantasy football: cry me a river José

I'm sure I was not alone in shedding a tear over the predicament of multimillionaire superstar manager José Mourinho this week.

Not at anything that happened on the pitch but at his squalid and, frankly, unimaginable living conditions in the often unpolished yet thriving and fascinating city of Manchester.

Kings Road it is not but the northern powerhouse has its own charm and personality, something José appears to be unable to explore caged as he is by the trappings of his luxury top-storey hotel room.

Mourinho called this, and the fact his family remain in London, a “disaster”, suggesting the push for his dream job didn't take into account the harsh realities of his new environment: that he now lives in the North.

While results are all United fans really care about, these comments will not endear him to the straight-talking folk of Trafford and Salford.

You're not in London any more José. Man up.

11am kick-offs unless stated
Sunderland v Arsenal


Sunderland are a mess but after Sam Allardyce put down some much needed foundations, David Moyes has managed to ruin all the good work.

Moyes is in danger of failing at three clubs in a row unless he can find some goals and inspiration — both things that have been lacking recently.

Arsenal should bounce back from the rather fortunate draw at home to Middlesbrough.

Prediction: 0-2

Man United v Burnley

United recovered their poise after the mauling at Stamford Bridge to advance to the EFL quarter-finals, which is small consolation.

This presents a better chance to feel good again against a Burnley team who have yet to win away.

Prediction: 3-0

Middlesbrough v Bournemouth

Middlesbrough showed admirable resolve to claim a point at the Emirates and were unlucky not to claim all three.

However, Bournemouth are flying right now and, given their coaches have been on island putting on sessions, it feels like the Bermuda connection will inspire an away win.

Prediction: 1-2

Tottenham v Leicester City

Two draws have checked Tottenham's progress slightly as they juggle their squad around European football. Leicester looked like their old selves in beating Palace last week and need to be on their game again to get anything here.

Prediction: 2-1

Watford v Hull City

Since Mike Phelan was handed the manager's job on a permanent basis, Hull have been well beaten twice. It's now five defeats on the spin and that encouraging start to the season must feel like a dream to Tigers fans.

Watford are well positioned in ninth and have the firepower to rack up the three points.

Prediction: 3-0

West Brom v Man City

Well, well, well ... so the Pep Guardiola love-in is officially over. Everyone, yours truly included, gushed over City's opening-season form but the relentless demands of the Premier League and the addition of tough Champions League nights have kicked in and Guardiola is now on his worst run ever.

West Brom will be hard to break down and are worth a bet, but I'm still convinced Sergio Agüero is just a goal way from exploding into life.

Prediction: 1-2

Crystal Palace v Liverpool

In modern history, Selhurst Park is the place where Liverpool's title dreams fell apart for good under Brendan Rodgers. Scar tissue should not be a problem but you never know.

More of a concern will be former player Christian Benteke — beware a striker with a point to prove.

Prediction: 1-3

Everton v West Ham United


Ronald Koeman was a little shell-shocked at his team's late capitulation to Burnley and they take on a cautiously resurgent West Ham, who have won two in a row.

Slaven Bilic's side still don't look quite right, though, and Everton's home form is decent.

Prediction: 2-1

Southampton v Chelsea

It seems grossly unfair to call Southampton the surprise package but there was scepticism that they could recover yet again from the departure of another successful manager.

That, though, is exactly what they've done under Claude Puel. Unbeaten in five, they take on an impressive-looking Chelsea but they'll encounter a tighter defence than they did against Manchester United last weekend.

Prediction: 1-1

Stoke City v Swansea City


Stoke are shaking off their early-season malaise and this will be a tougher proposition for Bob Bradley's Swansea than it might have been a few weeks ago.

Prediction: 1-0

Struggling to survive: life in Manchester is not to Mourinho's liking apparently (Photograph by Dave Thompson/AP)

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Published October 28, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 28, 2016 at 2:04 am)

Fantasy football: cry me a river José

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