Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton takes on Phoenix singer Thomas Mars for the midweek games
He is right occasionally* but some of Chris Sutton’s predictions this season have been shockers – just ask the Liverpool fans who rang into 606 on Sunday to take him to task for tipping the Reds to lose 4-1 at home to Manchester City.
But if he’s been wrong about the Reds once or twice, then he is on an even worse run with Bournemouth, whom he has backed to lose all 10 of their Premier League games this season.
Will the Cherries change his mind this week after extending their unbeaten run to six games? Find out below.
*Sutton’s success rate this season is actually quite impressive – he has got more than 50% of his 97 predictions right so far, a better ratio than you lot have managed, or his guests.
For this weekend’s fixtures, he is up against Thomas Mars, lead singer of Grammy-winning French band Phoenix, whose new album, Alpha Zulu, is released on 4 November.
Mars is a Paris St-Germain fan, although the team was not doing so well when he started going to watch them.
“I grew up in Versailles and when you a French kid, you don’t have any options,” he told BBC Sport. “It is not like London, which we have always envied, with so many clubs. I went to Paris because my godfather was a fan and he would take me and my brother.
“I have always thought it is sad there is no derby for us, and the main game we look forward to is against Marseille – in the 1990s, when they were dominating, they were the two biggest games of the season.
“My early memories are of us struggling – either going to the stadium or watching on TV, and hoping for a goal – just one goal.
“Things changed with the Brazilian era at PSG, which was such a joy to watch. Not only was there a good team spirit but they were also so charismatic.
“Rai, for instance, was so fun to watch and with him as captain you knew you were proud of this team. At one point they had just been playing quite ugly football and being aggressive, and now all of a sudden we were so elegant.
“The goalkeeper, Bernard Lama, was my favourite, though. You would be excited to watch a corner kick for the opposition because of what he might do.
“I watch a lot of Premier League games too. I think when Arsene Wenger went to Arsenal [in 1996] was when French people embraced English football properly because the football was better, and all our best players went there. We realised that even more a few years later, when Thierry Henry was at his peak.
“I don’t have an English team, though. Auxerre are the other team I followed, because I have a German uncle who was a fan and he would take us to games when we went to visit him in Burgundy.
“That felt like the most charming atmosphere that is totally gone now, unless you are in England and go to watch a team far down the divisions. The feeling has changed when you go to games now – I guess I miss those old-style days.”
Holders France are one of the favourites for the World Cup which starts next month, but what does Mars think about their chances of defending their title in Qatar.
“It is going to be tricky for us, because there are too many injuries,” he said. “It feels like we have about 15 players out.
“The Hernandez brothers, Theo and Lucas, are key to our system – Theo has been injured and Lucas is still out. N’Golo Kante is missing too, which is a big issue, so I don’t want to get my hopes up.”
Mars has already seen France lift the famous trophy, however. Just don’t ask him where he should have been sitting when it happened.
“I was at the 1998 final and after Zinedine Zidane’s second goal [before half-time] we all went down to the field to celebrate, and then we were looking for our seats – which we never found again.
“I thought I had rushed forward four or five rows, but it turns out we had rushed 30 rows. Moments like that are amazing – you think it is only a few seconds but it can be like a minute where you are totally lost in your thoughts.”
|Brighton v Nott’m Forest||x-x||2-0||3-0|
|Crystal Palace v Wolves||x-x||1-1||2-0|
|Arsenal v Man City||P-P||P-P||P-P|
|Bournemouth v Southampton||x-x||2-1||1-2|
|Brentford v Chelsea||x-x||1-1||0-2|
|Liverpool v West Ham||x-x||3-1||2-1|
|Newcastle v Everton||x-x||2-0||2-1|
|Man Utd v Tottenham||x-x||1-3||3-2|
|Fulham v Aston Villa||x-x||1-1||1-0|
|Leicester v Leeds||x-x||1-4||1-0|
P-P – Arsenal v Man City has been postponed.
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
Games kick off at 19:30 BST unless otherwise stated
Brighton v Nottingham Forest
Brighton were unlucky to be beaten by Brentford on Friday. They played well and had opportunities, but they weren’t ruthless enough.
That defeat meant new Seagulls boss Roberto de Zerbi has taken only one point from his first three games, but his wait for a first win should end here.
Forest don’t just seem disjointed, they look like they are losing confidence and belief. Last season, they were always very well organised but also went after teams – they are not doing either at the moment.
Even when they do get opportunities, like their missed penalty in Saturday’s defeat by Wolves, they don’t seem able to take them. That summed up where they are at the moment.
Somehow, Forest boss Steve Cooper has got to stumble across a result and find something that works for him, to find a framework for his team again.
I’m afraid I don’t see that happening against Brighton. I’m not writing Forest off, but it looks like it is going to be a very long season for them.
Sutton’s prediction: 2-0
Thomas’s prediction: Sometimes you have a strong feeling and I am good at predicting if I follow a player that I really care about; I am like ‘I know he is going to score today’. But in an entire game there is so much to think about. I am going to try though! With Brighton, their past two results have not been great but their key players, like Leandro Trossard and Alexis Mac Allister, are in good shape. 3-0
Crystal Palace v Wolves (20:15)
Crystal Palace did OK in their draw with Leicester but I don’t think Patrick Vieira’s side have hit the heights that he was probably expecting from them this season.
Some of the Eagles’ performances have been quite bitty, which means they don’t do enough to win games.
As for Wolves, well I say the same thing every week about their lack of goals.
They got the win at the weekend, by holding Forest off, but their caretaker boss Steve Davis got a big break when Brennan Johnson’s penalty was saved.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-1
Thomas’s prediction: It is important for Crystal Palace that Joachim Andersen is fit, because he is one of my favourite players – he is incredible. I have seen him play three games, maybe they were his best three, but he was the most precise, incredible, defender. If he plays, Palace win. 2-0
Arsenal P-P Man City
This match has been postponed.
Bournemouth v Southampton
I am going to do something that no Bournemouth fan wants me to do, and predict a Bournemouth win.
So apologies to them, because that means the Cherries definitely won’t win. It’s a bit like me making Erling Haaland my captain in Fantasy Football last week – as soon as I did that, he stopped scoring.
Bournemouth really should win this one, though.
|Aston Villa (h)||L 0-1||W 2-0|
|Man City (a)||L 0-5||L 0-4|
|Arsenal (h)||L 0-2||L 0-2|
|Liverpool (a)||L 0-3||L 0-9|
|Wolves (h)||L 0-1||D 0-0|
|Nott’m Forest (a)||L 0-1||W 3-2|
|Newcastle (a)||L 0-4||D 1-1|
|Brentford (h)||L 0-1||D 0-0|
|Leicester (h)||L 1-2||W 2-1|
|Fulham (a)||L 1-2||D 2-2|
I thought Southampton were lucky to get a draw against West Ham on Sunday. Saints got an assist off referee Peter Bankes for their first goal and I also agree with Hammers boss David Moyes that his side should have had a penalty.
As for Bournemouth, well their first goal against Fulham on Saturday was absolutely superb. Dominic Solanke seems to be brimming with confidence and Philip Billing has emerged as a key player. They are a real threat.
Maybe I got a bit brainwashed by what their former boss Scott Parker said earlier in the season, about their team being “ill-equipped” for the Premier League?
At least I got a couple of their results right when he was in charge. Under Gary O’Neil they have proved me wrong every time.
Sutton’s prediction: 2-1
Thomas’s prediction: Here, I decided to go with the opposite of whatever Chris says. I read about how he is always wrong about Bournemouth, so if he says they are winning this time I am going against that. 1-2
Brentford v Chelsea
Chelsea got over the line against Aston Villa on Sunday but it felt like they had to grind that one out.
I don’t really know what to expect from Brentford but they had some of their attacking bite back when they beat Brighton last time out.
Another performance like that should get them something this time too, especially if Chelsea still aren’t at their fluent best.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-1
Thomas’s prediction: Chelsea will win, and I think there will probably be a goal for Thiago Silva. He has not scored since January, so it has been a while. 0-2
Liverpool v West Ham
I have taken a lot of flak from Liverpool fans recently.
I love it when supporters come out afterwards, like they did after beating Manchester City, and are wise after the event, but then basically admit that, beforehand, they were feeling along the same lines as my prediction.
Still, you couldn’t fail to be impressed with the way Liverpool played against City, especially the back-line who were excellent.
There was a period in the second half where the crowd really got up and backed them and Anfield was bouncing again.
I think they will continue in the right direction here, helped by the fact West Ham are so stretched at the back, although I do fancy Gianluca Scamacca to grab a goal for the Hammers.
Sutton’s prediction: 3-1
Thomas’s prediction: 2-1
Newcastle v Everton
Newcastle were a little unlucky not to win at Old Trafford, and they seem to have found a good balance in their team.
Defensively they are sound and they also had a few chances against Manchester United – you can see why they are in the top six, and they probably should have even more points than they do.
Everton have lost their past two games and I can see them struggling here too.
Sutton’s prediction: 2-0
Thomas’s prediction: Newcastle are doing well and they are very solid. It is a shame Allan Saint-Maximin is out injured because he was such a great player when he was with Nice. 2-1
Man Utd v Tottenham (20:15)
Manchester United rode their luck against Newcastle, but I think it will be a different story against Spurs.
If Harry Kane gets any chances, then he is in the kind of form to take them.
At the other end, United were slightly toothless against the Magpies. They missed Christian Eriksen, who was out with illness and is still a doubt for this game, and they will need his craft to cause his former club any problems.
Even if Eriksen plays, however, I’m going for an Antonio Conte counter-attacking win for Tottenham, with Kane kicking things off by winning another penalty and slotting this one away too.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-3
Thomas’s prediction: This one is the hardest game to predict. I think United will edge it, although there will be a lot of goals. I have a lot of friends who are United fans and they tell me that their team is such a complex headache. They have such great players, but the glue is not there. 3-2
Fulham v Aston Villa
Aston Villa were decent in the first half of their defeat against Chelsea but they couldn’t build on that good start.
The pressure is growing on Villa boss Steven Gerrard and I am not sure the fans are with him any more. In fact, it is the other way – so he needs a good result here, and that won’t be easy.
I had an eye on Fulham against Bournemouth at the weekend and the Cottagers are a dangerous team. I am going to sit on the fence here, and go with a draw.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-1
Thomas’s prediction: 1-0
Leicester v Leeds (20:15)
Leicester are without the hugely influential James Maddison, who is suspended after he was booked for his late dive against Crystal Palace.
He will rue that dive, because it could cost his team here.
Leeds have not got the results their play has deserved on a few occasions this season, including their defeat to Arsenal at the weekend when they played with great intensity.
This is where all of that changes, because I am backing them to get a break or two at King Power Stadium.
Leeds boss Jesse Marsch talks his team up in defeat like no other manager – if you listened to him, you would think they had won every game – but I like their playing style and it deserves greater rewards.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-4
Thomas’s prediction: Leicester are low in the league compared to usual and it seems crazy that saying they will win is a gamble. 1-0
Chris Sutton and Thomas Mars were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Sutton do last week?
Sutton got six correct results from 10 matches, including one exact score, giving him a total of 90 points.
He beat Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds, who got seven correct results, but with no exact scores, giving him a score of 70 points.
“One of Ian’s songs is ‘Lucky You’ but it was ‘Lucky Me’ this week,” said Sutton. “We were thinking along the same lines in a lot of games, so I think I got away with one there.
“Ian was only eight goals out, but he did predict a Liverpool win too so I take my hat off to him.
“Still, I am absolutely flying now after winning three weeks in a row.”
|Ian Broudie, GK from Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno, Editors bassist Russell Leetch||70|
|Chris Sutton (average after 10 weeks)||67|
|Ross MacDonald from The 1975, Ryan Porteous||60|
|Al Greenwood from Sports Team||50|
|Tom from Dry Cleaning||40|
How did you get on?
Chris is not the only one having problems predicting how Bournemouth will do – 58% of you thought they would be beaten by Fulham and, overall, you only got four results right this week.
|1. Ian Broudie||7/10|
*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.
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