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Palace next for Pochettino’s progressives

Given that Real Madrid finished only second in their group yet still went on to win last season's Champions League, it's very much a case of “don't count your chickens” for English sides.

However, such was the edge and guile that Spurs displayed on Wednesday, they made a few of Real's Galacticos look plump and ready for slaughter.

To be fair, the latter part was — metaphorically at least — left to the Madrid press, who proclaimed the game a “Nightmare at Wembley” and described the team as “vulgar and easy to beat”. I suspect “vulgar” is not the word Cristiano Ronaldo thinks off when he looks in the mirror every hour ... I mean morning, but Real clearly have work to do.

For Tottenham, the midweek win was a real statement of progress for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Noon kick-offs unless stated


Stoke City v Leicester City


All aboard the Claude Puel train; a man who, thankfully, lets the football do the talking. Stoke got back in the winner's circle last weekend but have won only one of four at home recently.

Prediction: 0-2

Huddersfield Town v West Bromwich Albion

Take their win over Manchester United out of the equation and Huddersfield's recent form is not great. However, WBA have failed to win their last nine competitive outings.

Prediction: 1-0

Newcastle United v AFC Bournemouth

Newcastle are unbeaten in four at home and, despite a 1-0 loss to Burnley on Monday night, will start as favourites against a Bournemouth team who, despite resilience against Chelsea, are having a tough time.

Prediction: 2-1

Southampton v Burnley

Saints, do once again seem to be struggling to find an identity. Burnley and Sean Dyche know exactly what they are and can build on their impressive away form.

Prediction: 1-2

Swansea City v Brighton & Hove Albion

Chris Hughton's side have shown steady improvement and, with Pascal Groß in excellent form, have the ability cut through a sturdy if uninspirational Swansea. However.

Prediction: 1-1

West Ham United v Liverpool


Liverpool's last away day was a disaster but it's fair to say West Ham will not pose the same threat as Tottenham. It will be surprising if an improved Joe Hart is not on the losing side, with Mo Salah and Daniel Sturridge starting to find the net.

Prediction: 1-3


Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace


If Spurs produce an inkling of what they managed against Real, Palace could be in for a long day. Triple captain for Harry Kane anyone?

Prediction: 3-0

Manchester City v Arsenal


Sergio Agüero's record-breaking performance in midweek propels City into this Super Sunday encounter. City have dropped just two points all season and, while Arsenal have stirred recently, it's hard to look past a home win.

Prediction: 2-0

Chelsea v Manchester United


A spiky José Mourinho will presumably get even spikier when he returns to Stamford Bridge. Yawn. Given Chelsea's struggles and United mechanical efficiency, Mourinho may even have a smile come the final whistle.

Prediction: 0-1

Everton v Watford


David Unsworth has pretty much failed his audition for the Everton job already after playing Gylfi Sigurdsson up front on his own against Lyons. For false nine, read false move. Fancy a Watford win to deepen the Goodison Park gloom. Prediction: 1-2

• Amid the thrills, spills, goals and, let's be honest, selection disasters, three managers have stood out so far in The Royal Gazette Fantasy Football League.

They are the winners of the August, September and October competitions. So kudos to Mark Pacheco (Pool Nation FC), who won August with 216 points, M Baker (Money Matters FC), who won September with 290, and the latest victor, D deShield (Migos), who took October with 193.

E-mail jburton@royalgazette.com for information on how to collect your $100 prize.

Target practice: Harry Kane may be worth making triple captain (Photograph by Tim Ireland/AP)

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Published November 03, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated November 03, 2017 at 4:36 pm)

Palace next for Pochettino’s progressives

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