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Bets, butts and derby day

Fellaini is sent off in yesterday’s Manchester derby (Photograph by Dave Thompson/AP)

Dawn raids, illegal gambling and a head-butt ... sounds more like a Martin Scorcese film than a week in the Premier League.

But no, this is football in 2017; tax, betting and tedious subplots, one of which involved Joey Barton, a player who hasn’t had a decent game since Sven-Göran Eriksson was considered a tactical genius.

Having said that, a Barton tweet, however annoying, is infinitely more interesting than last night’s Manchester derby.

So to this weekend, which holds the most significance for supporters in North London.

If Tottenham Hotspur win, they will finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995. To put that into context, Waterfalls by TLC was No 1, Kevin Costner was getting panned for Waterworld and the US president was about to get jiggy with the intern.

And just like Bill Clinton, Arsenal can cover up their misdemeanours only for so long. Spurs hold the aces right now and should have something to crow about come Sunday night.

11am kick offs unless stated


Southampton v Hull City

Hull’s form home and away are like night and day and while they need the points more than Saints, it’s hard to back them to bag all three.

Prediction: 1-1

Stoke City v West Ham United

West Ham are limping over the line; a rather underwhelming season in their new, much-hyped home.

Stoke City are on the beach. A tedious ... I mean honourable draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunderland v Bournemouth

Jermain Defoe’s infamous personal assistant may be living in a different city next season as relegation beckons for the Black Cats. It’s a few years overdue, to be fair.

Bournemouth are full of goals and can take advantage.

Prediction: 1-2

West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City

Somewhat unlucky to get beaten at Arsenal after a resolute display, champions Leicester should continue their post-Ranieri-second-half-of-the-season-face-saving-Craig-Shakespeare-inspired revival. A strange title defence.

Prediction: 1-2

Crystal Palace v Burnley


Palace have been in superb form recently and took Spurs all the way after winning at Anfield. Burnley have dropped off, seemingly as their safety is secured. Sam Allardyce to get the better of Sean Dyche in a best-of-Britain managerial duel.

Prediction: 2-0


Manchester United v Swansea City


Yes, United are tired and have serious injuries but Swansea are clinging on to the top flight by their fingernails, in the same manner Luke Shaw is clinging to his Old Trafford career.

A stodgy yet comfortable home win.

Prediction: 2-0

Everton v Chelsea


Everton have won every game at home in 2017 and this could be an audition for Romelu Lukaku ahead of his exit from Goodison Park this summer.

Last big test for table-toppers Chelsea who appear to have shrugged off their defeat to Manchester United.

Prediction: 1-1

Middlesbrough v Manchester City


Boro may have beaten Sunderland last time out but, let’s be honest, I’d back Paget Lions to beat Sunderland right now. (No disrespect, Paget).

City should canter to three points.

Prediction: 0-3

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal


This Spurs side have an iron spine, which is striking compared to the flakiness of Arsenal in recent times.

Harry Kane loves a London derby, so I expect the striker to notch.

Prediction: 3-1


Watford v Liverpool


Watford were awful at Anfield but these games are so hard to call when it comes to Liverpool. Can they beat a midtable side? Are they arsed? Will Dejan Lovren locate the ball? Anyone’s guess.

Prediction: 1-2