Manchester City 2-1 West Ham, Brentford 1-0 Everton: Premier League – as it happened
That, then, is us. Thanks for your company and ta-ra.
And here’s Sachin Nakrani’s report from the Brentford Community Stadium...
Here’s Peter Lansley’s report from the KP...
Here’s Jamie Jackson’s report from the Etihad...
Kári Tulinius is back: “This probably comes in too late but … PSG were set up really oddly. Honestly, it was a bit like 1958 Brazil’s 4-2-4. But it worked.”
Yup, it should against most teams. I can’t see them winning big ears, but.
And it turns out Lionel Messi is alright at football.
You can follow that one properly, right here:
Michael Carrick explains that he’s left out Ronaldo to freshen things up and because of his tactical plan; he says Ronaldo took the news well. He won’t reveal whether he’s playing three at the back or a diamond, but I assume the latter.
Full-time: Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United
City go above Liverpool and level on points with Chelsea, who play Man United in 28 minutes; West Ham stay fourth.
WHAT A GOAL! Manchester City 2-1 West Ham (Lanzini 90+5)
West Ham enjoy decent possession down the left without looking threatening, but then Fernandinho dwells on the ball, Lanzini sneaks up behind, pokes it away, then once it bounces, he swivels to hammer a belting finish just inside the near post and in off the bar! Wow!
Updated at 4.06pm GMT
“Deeney!” emails Ray. “Truly a wonderful clip. There’s nothing quite like an announcer getting caught up in a great moment and losing all abandon.”
There isn’t. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like that, in the 38 years I’ve been watching this thing of ours.
Full-time: Leicester City 4-2 Watford
Watford stay 16th, Leicester move up to ninth, Jamie Vardy is good.
GOAL! Manchester City 2-0 West Ham (Fernandinho 90)
That settles it! City take a short corner, Mahrez waving feet over the ball, and though West Ham win it back, they lose it agains very quickly, Bernardo sending Jesus into the box, and he cuts back for Fernandinho to plant a low shot past Fabianski.
Updated at 4.03pm GMT
Full-time: Brentford 1-0 Everton
Seven without a win now for Everton, who are now 14th, while Brentford move up to 12th.
In the final minute of injury-time at Brenford, it’s the home side pushing for 2-0, rather than the visitors looking like saving themselves.
Goodness me, Leicester v Watford has been going 93 minutes and I’ve still not posted this . Please accept my urgent apologies.
At Leicester, we’re playing seven additional minutes. Watford aren’t out of this yet.
Sky give Brentford’s Ivan Toney man of the match, and that seems fair from what I’ve seen. He’s been a constant threat, and the dismissive disregard of his penalty was to die for.
Jamie Vardy is hat-trick hunting, leathering a shot that Cathcart blocks – inadvertently I think. We’re into the final minute, while at Brentford we’ve played one of five extra ones. At City, it’s seven to go.
One of the advantages of being a possession team, as Man City are, is that they’re able to disappear time extremely effectively. West Ham just can’t build a head of steam.
All this talk of toes and inside thighs; Soyuncu has just worn an Ndidi drive in the chopsHe spends a fair old while lying in the snurr, but he’s up and about now.
Updated at 3.47pm GMT
Wissa is now on for Brentford, replacing Canos; it’s good to see him back.
Back on the pitch, Everton are huffing and puffing, but that’s about it. Gray, on for Townsend, has just had a speculative cross cleared, but that’s about it.
Updated at 3.48pm GMT
“As an Everton supporter,” emails Eric Peterson, “the biggest thing testing my patience is other Everton supporters either unable or just simply too lazy to look past Rafa Benitez as the cause of their distress. He has had virtually no funds to build the team in any way that suits him, leaving him with a hodgepodge of players and contracts signed by his many recent predecessors. He’s had to deal with not only the long list of injured players but also the response to it that led to him hiring a new medical director. What ails Everton goes far deeper than the face we see in the technical area on game day. Let’s look for Everton to solve the actual problems that face them rather than just vent our frustrations against a manager who happened to lead the club across town many years ago - who, by his track record, deserves much better from us.”
This is all very rational and sensible ... which is polar opposite of English football.
David Moyes sends on Bowen for Masuaku; he’s already replaced Cresswell and Benrahma with Coufal and Lanzini.
Orange ball memories from my childhood.
I’ve been a little disappointed with what I’ve seen of West Ham this afternoon. Obviously City are brutal to play against, but I thought they’d be caused more problems than has been the case.
“Ranieri’s appointment at Watford is turning out to be a gift to the league,” emails Kári Tulinius. “Pretty much every game since he arrived has been great fun. His legacy didn’t need burnishing after 2016, but he’s certainly not doing it any harm at the moment.”
I love how addicted he and his ilk are to the game.
At Brentford, the home side have replaced Henry with Roerslev. Everton are looking more dangerous now.
You can follow both buildup and game here, with Rob Smyth.
Teams at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea: Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger, James, Alonso, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Werner. Subs: Kepa, Christensen, Lukaku, Pulisic, Niguez, Barkley, Mount, Azpilicueta, Havertz.
Man United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles, Fred, Matic, McTominay, Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford. Subs: Henderson, Jones, Ronaldo, Mata, Martial, Greenwood, Lingard, Dalot, Van de Beek.
Or, put another way, Michael Carrick os having a laugh. First he leaves out Bruno and Rashford, now he’s leaving out Ronaldo and playing a diamond. He’s enjoying himself!
“At full-strength Everton is a mid-table team,” reckons Mary Waltz, “possibly a Europa squad. Without DCL, Richarlison, and losing the player whose name cannot be spoken, they are so offensively challenged that expectations for this season are reduced to nothing. When you are counting on Rondon and Townsend for scoring you are in trouble.”
Agree. I just imagine the hardcore are unreplete with patience for Benitez.
GOAL! Leicester City 4-2 Watford (Lookman 68)
Castagne wins a nasty challenge with Masina – he’ll do well to get away with that, imparting studs to foot and knee to midriff – then Barnes nips into the box and forces the ball square for Lookman, who taps home.
Updated at 3.38pm GMT
Looking ahead to our later game, apparently Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t starting for Man United at Chelsea.
Updated at 3.40pm GMT
There’s a ruckus at Brentford, everything that no one wants to see, not even all the people who’re desperate to see it. Canos goes in the back of Coleman Jansson is booked for scuffling with Rondon – that would be an extremely intriguing scrap.
At Leicester, they’ve brought out machines to get rid of the snow on the lines.
Jesus has just missed a really good chance to put City two-up, a very good counter ending with Sterling crossing low into his path. But just when he thinks he’s going to score, Fabianski gets to his feet and does enough to block.
GOAL! Leicester 3-2 Watford (Dennis 61)
Dennis barges Castagne off the ball – the defender has to be stronger there – skids through and lifts a lovely finish over Schmeichel. There’s a check for a foul, but it looked an excellent challenge to me and the goal stands.
Updated at 3.30pm GMT
West Ham are pushing at the Etihad, where Declan Rice is wearing short sleeves. Robert van Winkle will be proud.
The liveliest stuff is now coming at Brentford, the least that way in the first half. In fairness, the snow is having its way elsewhere, and at Leicester Maddison shoots from distance, the ball skipping awkwardly off the surface and flying wide.
“The players chugging around, passing the ball absentmindedly and having to keep warm outside in the freezing col d until their pitch is ready has a wonderful Sunday league feel to it,” says Hugo Molloy, and I couldn’t agree more. The best thing about being cold at the game is the hope that the players are colder.
Updated at 3.18pm GMT
Everton have created very little at Brentford, and you get the feeling it won’t be long before things turn toxic if he can’t fashion a swift improvement. As I write that, though, Rondon has a shot blocked and Coleman crosses behind everyone, so perhaps they’re stepping it up.
We’e back underway at the Etihad.
“There’s not much happening so I did some more looking,” returns Dave Manby.
“The Premier League’s rules are suitably vague enough to mean that clubs can get away without underfloot heating, should they not wish to go to the expense of getting it installed when there’s no guarantee that they’ll remain in the top-flight for very long.
The English Football League’s rulebook states: ‘Each Home Club shall provide full pitch frost covers and/or under soil heating (the specification of which shall meet the reasonable satisfaction of The League) which shall be operated to the extent necessary to procure, so far as it is reasonably possible, that the pitch is playable on the
occasion of each match’.
The Premier League has similar wording in its rulebook, stating that pitches need undersoil heating or ‘some other adequate system of pitch protection to the reasonable satisfaction of the board’. But what exactly classes as an ‘adequate system’ is not something that is set in stone.
Back in 2006 matches at Ewood Park and Bolton’s Reebok Stadium were abandoned after a heavy frost and a Premier League spokesman confirmed that the matter would be investigated as ‘It is a specific rule in the Premier League that clubs must have undersoil heating’. Yet when Blackpool had to abandon three matches in 2010 due to temperatures reaching minus nine overnight their club secretary said, ‘It is not a
Premier League regulation [to have undersoil heating]’.
However when Bournemouth gained promotion to the top-flight in 2015 they opted against developing parts of the ground and decided to install undersoil heating instead. This was because they felt the Premier League had ‘strict rules’ regarding such things. The wording may be vague but what does seem clear is that the Premier League rules seem to suggest it’s up to you what type of system you have in place but you better not
need to call a game off because your pitch is frozen…”
Thanks very much for that. I recall a game i was meant to be doing to, in December 2010, between Chelsea and Man United, that Chelsea got postponed a day or two in advance, though there was very little snow. They weren’t in great shape prior to that game, I seem to recall.
Ohhhh maaaaate! Hernandez charges into the Leicester box, doing brilliantly to step inside Castagne and fashion a shooting opportunity. But no more than 10 yards out and with no one between him and the keeper, he opts to pass and Schmeichel closes the angle before whoever it is can capitalise. That’s a very poor decision.
“Won’t the match officials think of the fans watching the game on a dodgy stream?” emails Ian Sargeant. “Crying out for an orange ball, can’t see this yellow one.”
The Etihad pitch is almost back to how it started now, but at Leicester it’s now extremely snowy.
We’re back under way at Brentford and Leicester, where Ranieri has removed Cleverley and Louza, sending on Pedro and Tufan. That should sort it.
The second half of City-West Ham has been delayed by five minutes
They’re trying to clear more snurr.
Half-time email: “Playing in snow is actually not that bad compared to getting caught in a hailstorm with ice the size of marbles suddenly raining down out of the sky when I was 13 and playing for the school team,” recalls Rick Harris. “The game was on the farthest pitch from the changing rooms and on an exposed hill top so the master who was reffing the game shouted to everyone to take shelter behind a nearby hedge where we collectively shivered our proverbials off until one kid screamed his had disappeared.”
Brentford 1-0 Everton
Leicester 3-1 Watford
Man City 1-0 West Ham
It’s now snowing at Leicester, though not as fiercely as as City, where the pitch markings are no longer visible. Nor is the ball, but that might just be my stream.
Neil Lavery sends in the musings of Chris Boden, a reporter with the Burnley Express:
GOAL! Leicester City 3-1 Watford (Vardy 42)
This is another jazzer of a Vardy finish! They win a corner down the left and he runs past the near post – someone should follow him – but the flick he imparts is a perfect one, sending the ball flying towards the far corner. As his team celebrate, Ndidi’s relief permeates through the screen.
Updated at 2.56pm GMT
I’ve just seen a clearer angle, and Johnson defended that Jesus shot brilliantly . The ball was past Fabianski, but he first made the correct call in running covering behind his keeper, then was quick enough to extend the thigh that completed the block. He’s really growing into things.
Leicester ought to be 3-1 in front, but Evans allows the ball to slide sideways off his forehead when in front of goal. A proper contact, and that was in.
City are used to this now (from what I can see through the blizzard), Jesus, who you’d think would be effective in the snow, driving into the box down the right and drilling a low shot that Johnson blocks.
GOAL! Leicester City 2-1 Watford (Vardy 34)
Absolutely classic Vardz. A ball over the top sees him down the left side of the box. If Bachmann stays, he probably can’t score, but the keeper does what keepers are meant to do, racing out to narrow the angle, and suddenly Vardy doesn’t need to beat him, he needs to steer the ball away from, which he dies by flicking over the eventuating dive. That, my friends, is expertise.
Updated at 2.42pm GMT
GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 West Ham United (Gundogan 33)
As I was saying, Masuaku gives it away and Cancelo smacks a terrific ball out to Mahrez down the right, and he picks out Gundogan with a hard, low pass, and the finish is a simple one from close range.
Updated at 2.48pm GMT
I wonder if it’s in conditions like these that City suffer for Guardiola’s obsession with tricksy little attacking midfielders. Most of the time, possession is a match fir power, but they’ve been finding it hard so far.
“I don’t know how many readers have played in snow,” says Benjamin Park, “but I remember doing it rather often growing up in Switzerland. It’s the toes, the toes are the worst in my opinion. You could put gloves in your hands, rub them, tuck them under your armpits, but when your toes got cold, you could do nothing. You tried rubbing your big toe against the adjacent one in the hope of creating some friction.”
A ball slapped onto the inside thigh is also a good one.
GOAL! Leicester City 1-1 Watford (King 30)
Watford have played pretty well so far and there’s no Ismaila Sarr to arse-up their spot-kicks, so King opens his body and power-punches hard to Schmeichel’s left. The keeper guesses right, but he’s never getting to it.
First, a shot from someone, Louza I think, hits Soyuncu’s back and cannons the post, then Ndidi extends a leg as Bonaventure runs across him going nowhere, and that’s a very clear but very avoidable call for the ref. Silly behaviour.
Eeesh! Rondon nearly equalises, than a mag nificent challenge from Docoure denies Janelt a one-on-one inside the box, after Toney diddles Keane with some lovely footwork.
“Your dad,” says Karen Brigden, “sounds like a top bloke.”
He’s very humble.
GOAL! Brentford 1-0 Everton (Toney pen 24)
Ahahahahahaha! Toney stands a foot from the ball, ambles up to it, if one can amble one step, and spanks it bottom left because Pickford has even though about sorting his barnet moving. The disdain there, glorious.
Updated at 2.34pm GMT
PENALTY TO BRENTFORD!
The ref consults the screen and does the only thing he can do. Onyeka is now up, but that was a right sair yin though I’m sure he’s pleased to have endured it.
At Brentford, they’re investigating a potential penalty for the home team – Andros Townsend has just tried to clear, but Onyeka headed away from him and wore a boot in the coupon instead. I’m sure this’ll be given.
“According to my dad, who was a Burnley fan in the 60s (and still is now),” confesses Rob McEvoy, “Burnley installed underfloor heating in the Cricket Field Stand behind the goals, as well as including a behind the goal directors box, changing rooms and more fancy add-ons. However, they stopped using it after the games as the cost was prohibitive because, and you will never believe this, the hot air escaped. Also, Northerners are hard and don’t need it. No idea why we don’t have undersoil heating.”
It’s a strange one – surely the expense of postponing the game, never mind the aggravation, is worth sorting it. But really the league need to enforce.
By far the quietest start has come at Brentford, where neither side has done loads. Garry Southgate is watching that one, presumably so he can get to Stamford Bridge for the 4.30 kick-off.
At City, a poor kick from Fabianski is won by Sterling and he plays in Mahrez who shmices across the keeper into the far corner ... but went too early so the flag goes up.
GOAL! Leicester City 1-0 Watford (Maddison 16)
A long ball from the back, Troost-Ekong ducks underneath it though Maddison lurks behind him, and he clatters home. That is some majestically dreadful defending.
Updated at 2.20pm GMT
West Ham are playing well, by the way, and contrary to what I thought, Masuaku is playing pretty high.
It’s snowing pretty hard at City now , which I think is to West Ham’s advantage, turning the game into a struggle. And here they come, Fornals pouncing upon an error from Mahrez to send Antonio into the box. He gets to the line and powers along it, but Ederson stands up to see him away.
Updated at 2.18pm GMT
Tangentially, my old fella – a teacher – told me that a parent once told him that his son could be cheeky, but never lied. “I’m sorry to tell you this,” responded my dad. “But your son is a teenage boy and i’ve had one of those. He lies to you all the time and possibly every day.”
“I always though Burnley was the first club to install undersoil heating,” says Dave Manby, “but a quick trawl of the tinterweb reveals that Everton was and no mention of Burnley being an early adopter at Turf Moor. Hmmm, methinks my geography teacher (a fanatical Burnley fan) back in my youth (some 50+ years ago) lied to me!”
I find that hard to believe – teachers are genetically incapable of lying.
City move the ball across the face of the West Ham and box and Walker allows it across his body, lashing a nasty skidder that Fabianski slithers after, poking it around the post.
“The Mason Mount comment reminds me of a Tony O’Reilly quote from years ago,” emails David Mitchell. “Recalling his Jesuit school childhood the Irish rugby player remembered being told that Jesuits are the tops in modesty.”
At City, West Ham are looking sharp on the break, Benrahma unable to make the most of the most recent one.
But then Watford go down the other end and Evans gets himself into trouble, letting a long ball bounce and leaving it for Schmeichel, but King can’t get around or over him to capitalise.
And if there was any, Jamie Vardy might just’ve melted it, s creeching down the right side of the box to crack a shot shoved away by Bachmann at his near post. Decent effort, and a warning for Watford.
Updated at 2.10pm GMT
“It’s snowing in the Midlands,” informs Lisa H. “Let’s hope the Leicester game can get going before any settles on the pitch!”
Yup, they’re away, and as yet, no snurr whatsoever.
At City, there’s snurr on the pitch – not all over it, but it might make the pconditions a little heavier.
And off we go!
The teams are out at Brentford . It’s cold.
“Really frustrated that Guardian and other journalists keep calling Man City, ‘City’,” says Eamonn Harrigan. Here at the King Power, Ndidi is in midfield for City. Are journalists biased towards Manchester? Seems that way to me.”
Er, bias towards Manchester City isn’t something of which I’ve ever been accused, so that’s something. But what’s actually going is that Leicester, for example, are lucky enough to be referred to by their forename; City get their surname because Manchester won’t do on account of United’s existence.
Let’s take a moment to think about the importance of the rainbow laces movement. Like the taking of a knee, as well as being a Marxist plot, the point of it is not just to say yeah, agree with that, but for us to use it as springboard to educate ourselves not just about the experiences of those most affected by it, by about how we can help.
Updated at 2.01pm GMT
“That ‘in a good moment’ always sounded mega-awkward,” says Tom Boyle. “Probably of Germanic origin, maybe works in Italian or Spanish too. In German ‘in einem guten Moment’ could refer to having good momentum. And now Robert P. and ‘The Principle of Moments’...”
Maybe this is what Bono was getting at.
“What’s gone wrong at Burnley? asks Neil Tully, trying to provoke me into an essay. “I remember when they had central heating in the Stands, that was in Bob Lords day.”
Chelsea have that too, these heaters sitting on the edge of the roof blowing hot air into your coupon.It’s more disconcerting than you’d think.
“Can’t believe Sean Dyche has allowed the game to be called off,” emails Daniel Barnett. “My PE teacher back in the early 80s, Mr Jackson (who turned out for Wigan Rovers in their only season in the North West Counties League) would have been appalled. ‘A bit of snow? Good for the circulation, lad! Get out and run around!’ In the olden days (pre-Moyes), these conditions would have guaranteed a 5-1 shellacking for West Ham at City today, orange ball included, but this lot seem to made of sterner stuff (he says, tempting fate). Still, can’t see us getting anything this afternoon.”
Mr Jackson knew. In my school, our swimming teacher, Mrs Briden, opened the doors, so we’d all be sat there shivering on the side, while the more comfortably upholstered kids struggled to get out of the pool – she’d forbidden them from using the steps and corners.
City, meanwhile, will play their normal game. Their midfield of Rodri, Gundogan and Bernardo looks extremely competent and will, ultimately, probably be definitive in this game. Rodri is really starting to assert himself now, but it’s Bernardo who’s making them tick – he’s just so deft on the ball and so clever in his movement and touches. On which point, Mahrez is also in nick, and I imagine he and his mates will be looking for overloads out wide – though I’m not wondering if West Ham will play 5-4-1.
Looking at our main game, I imagine West Ham will go five at the back with Fornals joining Rice and Soucek in midfield, leaving Benrahma to support Antonio. I guess Masuaku might play further forward, but if you’re doing that you may as well pick Bowen.
“Dyche in shirtsleeves...in the snow,” emails Scott Blair on the subject of earworms. “See, I’ve got this stuck in my head now , so cheers for that.”
Here’s mine over the last week or so.
Talking of which, has there ever been a team to so utterly inhabit the “in a good moment” neologism as Chelsea? I’m old enough to remember the olden days, when “playing well” was sufficient.
On Sky, Mason Mount – who I really enjoy listening to – has just informed us that Chelsea are “very humble” (even if he says so himself).
“Hasn’t undersoil heating arrived in Burnley yet?” asks Norman Keane. “ Highbury had it in the mid 70s.”
It seems not, and I’ve not a clue why it’s not compulsory. Alternatively, get a few fans who went out last night under the pitch and see if they can give off enough heat to melt the snurr.
Updated at 1.36pm GMT
“Dyche in shirtsleeves … in the snow,” emails Tony Barr. “He should get the three points purely for that piece of unconscious self-parody. Where’s a topless Magpies fan when you need one?
Kieran Tierney must be gutted to have missed it. No doubt he’s in his front garden, sunbathing.
Pep Guardiola makes three changes to the side that beat Everton last Sunday: John Stones, Cole Palmer and the injured Phil Foden miss out, replaced by Ruben Dias, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus.
David Moyes, meanwhile, makes just one change to his extremely settled XI and it’s a defensive one: Jarrod Bowen, an attacker, is replaced by Arthur Masuaku, a defender.
At Leicester, Jonny Evans is fit enough to start, while Daniel Amartey loses his spot to Luke Thomas. In midfield, Marc Albrighton drops out with James Maddison coming in, while the front three of Ademola Lookman, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes is the same as last week. Vardy was rested for the Europa League win over Legia Warsaw, and Patson Daka was again impressive in his stead – I don’t think Brendan Rodgers can be leaving him out for much longer.
As for Watford, Ben Foster, Ismaila Sarr and Nicolas Nkoulou are absent injured, so Daniel Bachmann, William Ekong and Cucho Hernandez replace them. , so Daniel
Following the shame of a 3-3 draw at Newcastle, Brentford make two changes: Saman Ghoddos and Mads Roerslev are left out, with Charlie Goode and Frank Onyeka replacing them. Yoane Wissa, meanwhile, has recovered from an ankle problem and takes his place on the bench.
As for Everton, Allan is fit while Abdoulaye Doucouré returns, big news for them – he replaces Fabian Delph – while Alex Iwobi is in for Demarai Gray and Salomon Rondon replaces the suspended Richarlison.
Let's have some teams...
Brentford: Fernandez, Henry, Goode, Pinnock, Jansson, Onyeka, Norgaard, Janelt, Canos, Mbeumo, Toney. Subs: Cox, Thompson, Jensen, Forss, Wissa, Ghoddos, Baptiste, Sorensen, Roerslev.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Digne, Keane, Godfrey, Allan, Doucoure, Iwobi, Gordon, Townsend, Rondon. Subs: Begovic, Kenny, Delph, Gray, Tosun, Gbamin, Branthwaite, Simms, Dobbin.
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas, Ndidi, Soumare, Barnes, Maddison, Lookman, Vardy. Subs: Ward, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Perez, Amartey, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Vestergaard, Daka.
Watford: Bachmann, Femenia, Cathcart, Ekong, Masina, Louza, Sissoko, Cleverley, Dennis, King, Hernandez. Subs: Elliot, Ngakia, Rose, Pedro, Gosling, Fletcher, Tufan, Kabasele, Morris.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Gundogan, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling. Subs: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Palmer, McAtee.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Johnson, Zouma, Dawson, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Masuaku, Benrahma, Antonio. Subs: Areola, Coufal, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Vlasic, Noble, Bowen, Diop, Kral.
Burnley P-P Tottenham Hotspur
Or for those unfamiliar with pools coupons and classified results, Burnley v Spurs is OFF.
Updated at 1.15pm GMT
Er, it seems like Burnley v Spurs is in jeopardy on account of the quantity of snow that’s falling in Lancashire. I don’t know I really don’t, just get out the orange Adidas Tango and don’t be soft.
Updated at 1.20pm GMT
Manchester City are a peculiar construction. Watching them play Paris off the pitch on Wednesday night, it was hard not to think that they’re the best team in Europe. And yet, watching them play Paris off the pitch on Wednesday night, it was also hard not to see why their own league is topped by a more solid and ruthless side, and why they’ve still to win the Champions League: ultimately, their defence is still suspect and they now lack a reliable goalscorer.
Nevertheless, if they play like that this afternoon, West Ham are in trouble ... and yet it’s not impossible to visualise a scenario in which they limit chances, survive a few missed sitters, and catch their hosts on the counter. Which is to say this is an intriguing fixture, and the one on which we’ll principally be focused.
There are, though, three other encounters well worth a look-in. Without a win in six, Everton badly a result at Brentford who, after a decent start to Premier-League life, have lost four in a row. Similarly, Spurs have so far been poor under Antonio Conte, though he willpowered them to a comeback win last weekend, and must rebound from their hilarious disastrous loss to Mura – they could have hoped for an easier sop that Burnley away – while the Claudio Ranieri derby at the KP is another goodun.
Kick-offs: 2pm GMT
Updated at 1.06pm GMT