Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton faces rapper and Arsenal fan Dapz on the Map

Sutton's Predictions

The last time Leeds went to Liverpool, in February, they lost 6-0 and sacked their manager Marcelo Bielsa a few days later.

Could history repeat itself this weekend, when Jesse Marsch’s side visit Anfield after taking only two points from their past eight league games?

“Marsch is in trouble,” BBC Sport football expert Sutton said. “When you hear the Leeds fans sing Bielsa’s name, like they did against Fulham last week, it doesn’t help him very much.

“Leeds have not got what they deserved from some games this season but it’s also true that they have been poor in others. What also doesn’t help Marsch is that he has come out after some of their defeats and said there have been lots of positives, when there really haven’t been.”

Sutton is making predictions for every top-flight game this season against a variety of guests.

For this weekend’s fixtures, he is up against rapper Dapz on the Map, who is an Arsenal fan.

Dapz’s debut album, Landed, is out on Friday.

Dapz On The Map

Dapz is from Birmingham and earlier this year he teamed up with UB40 and Gilly G to make Champion – the official anthem of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which were held in his home city. However, he is a lifelong Gunners fan.

“I’ve been supporting Arsenal since 1996, so it’s been a bit of time now,” he told BBC Sport. “It’s only because of my dad – he’s not a massive football supporter but he used to follow them because he had family in north London.

“So I ended up following them too, but I am much more of a serious fan than my dad is.

“I had quite a few heroes when I was growing up – Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires are definitely up there, but there were so many to choose from.

“I would say that the Invincibles era [when Arsenal went unbeaten for the entire Premier League season in 2003-04] was the best football ever. No-one’s done it since, have they?

“But that team didn’t just win things, we did it in style too.

“The aim now is to emulate that and I actually don’t think we are that far away. The way Mikel Arteta is building his team, I feel like we are maybe two transfer windows away from being at that level again.

“By signing people like Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who have won it and done it, he has brought a winning mentality to the squad.

“It’s not just the big games where we are different now, it’s against teams where in the past we were expected to brush them aside but ended up losing. We’ve eradicated that now, and we are hard to beat even when we don’t play well.

“I didn’t expect us to be top right now, but I am not surprised by our results because this has been coming. I watched us in pre-season and we looked like we meant business, and then we made a big statement when we went to Crystal Palace for our first game.

“In the past we had it in us to lose that, with everyone waiting for us to mess up, but we won and we have not looked back since. Even when we lost to Manchester United in August, we were the better team.”

Result Sutton Dapz
SATURDAY
Leicester v Man City x-x 1-3 0-4
Bournemouth v Tottenham x-x 0-1 2-2
Brentford v Wolves x-x 2-1 2-1
Brighton v Chelsea x-x 1-1 1-0
Crystal Palace v Southampton x-x 2-1 3-1
Newcastle v Aston Villa x-x 2-0 2-0
Fulham v Everton x-x 1-1 0-2
Liverpool v Leeds x-x 6-1 4-1
SUNDAY
Arsenal v Nott’m Forest x-x 2-0 3-0
Man Utd v West Ham x-x 2-1 1-2

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

SUTTON’S PREDICTIONS

Games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated

SATURDAY

Leicester v Man City

Leicester v Man City (12:30 BST)

This is tricky because as I speak, I don’t know if Erling Haaland will be fit to play. Without him, Manchester City will have to do do things differently.

Leicester have not only had the week off, they are looking a lot better defensively and also have the threat of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.

This feels like it will be closer than it might have been a couple of weeks ago, but Manchester City should still have too much quality for the Foxes.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-3

Dapz’s prediction: Home or away, it doesn’t matter for City, does it? I know Leicester have got a bit better but they have got no chance here. 0-4

Bournemouth v Tottenham

Bournemouth v Tottenham

This is a hard one too, because I haven’t got a clue what to expect from Tottenham at the moment.

I was at their draw with Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday but I don’t know which side of Spurs we will see here – the team that toiled for most of the first half, or the one that ended the game so strongly and almost won it.

It really doesn’t help much that their manager Antonio Conte keeps sending out a message about them being tired, because their players might believe him. They now need a point against Marseille on Tuesday to reach the last 16 of the Champions League so they have to rotate here, and the pressure is on Conte to get that right.

It depends who plays – and I am really not convinced by Spurs from what I’ve seen of them lately anyway – but I think this one might go the same way as their last visit to the south coast, a 1-0 win at Brighton at the start of October.

Tottenham weren’t great that day either, but they found a way to win.

Bournemouth feel hard done by with the VAR decisions that went against them in their defeat by West Ham on Monday, but they have now lost two games on the bounce.

The Cherries need something here and with my record of predicting their results this season, it is probably good news for them that I am saying they will lose.

Sutton’s prediction: 0-1

Dapz’s prediction: I can’t see Spurs losing three games on the trot, as much I’d like them to. 2-2

Brentford v Wolves

Brentford v Wolves

Both of these sides lost heavily last weekend, but it is Brentford who I think will bounce back.

The Bees have been walloped on the road a couple of times now, but they are usually decent on their own patch. After losing 5-1 at Newcastle a few weeks back they then beat Brighton and drew with Chelsea at home, and I’d expect them to respond with another good result this time.

Wolves say their interim head coach Steve Davis has got the job until the New Year but the alarm bells must be ringing at Molineux.

They have got some talented players but they are now joint-bottom of the table and, after seeing them get thumped at home by Leicester, you start to worry about what might happen to them next.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Dapz’s prediction: 2-1

Brighton v Chelsea

Brighton v Chelsea

After five games in charge, Roberto de Zerbi is still waiting for his first win as Brighton boss.

That means he already had his predecessor, Graham Potter, looming over him – now he goes directly up against him on Potter’s first return to the club where he did such a good job.

In contrast, Potter is unbeaten after nine games with Chelsea, but I don’t think this will be straightforward for them at all.

Brighton were actually decent in defeat against Manchester City last weekend. A lot of teams get rolled over by City, but the Seagulls took the game to them at times and they will do the same here.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Dapz’s prediction: Potter going back to Brighton means Chelsea have lost this game. It’s not about who is managing Brighton now, it is about their players and they are really going to want to win this one. 1-0

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Southampton are another team that I just can’t work out. They were brilliant in the second half against Arsenal last week, but the Gunners could have been out of sight by then.

That’s pretty typical of Saints though. They are such a patchy side, and it feels like they can’t put together a performance over 90 minutes.

Crystal Palace were pretty flat at Everton in their last game but I’m expecting them to be much better back at Selhurst Park.

Wilfried Zaha scored home and away for the Eagles against Southampton last season, which might be a sign he will make a difference this time too.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Dapz’s prediction: 3-1

Newcastle v Aston Villa

Newcastle v Aston Villa

Unai Emery is Aston Villa’s new manager but caretaker boss Aaron Danks will be in charge again for this game after overseeing their 4-0 win over Brentford last time out.

This is a much tougher task for Villa. I really like the way Newcastle are shaping up under Eddie Howe – they are in the top four and with a bit more luck they could have picked up even more points and be even higher in the table.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-0

Dapz’s prediction: 2-0

Fulham v Everton

Fulham v Everton (17:30)

Everton have got something about them now under Frank Lampard but I have been really impressed with Fulham too, and I have written them off too many times this season.

Marco Silva’s side are lively home or away and they will have a real go here – the battle between Aleksandar Mitrovic and James Tarkowski and Conor Coady will be a really good one.

You could make a case for both teams to win this one… so I am going for a draw.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Dapz’s prediction: 0-2

Liverpool v Leeds

Liverpool v Leeds (19:45)

I don’t think Leeds’ poor form is all on Jesse Marsch, and I think it is harsh that the fans have turned on him as quickly as they have done, but they really need a positive result at Anfield.

Liverpool have been a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ side all season and I keep getting them wrong – after they beat Manchester City and West Ham, going to bottom-side Nottingham Forest felt like an open goal for them, but they did not turn up.

They are at home this time, though, and they put in a really strong performance at Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday.

So, again, I am going to say the Reds will win comfortably and find the spark they have been missing for months. If they do, then things could get messy for Marsch and his side, because their defence is a real cause for concern.

Sutton’s prediction: 6-1

Dapz’s prediction: 4-1

SUNDAY

Arsenal v Nottingham Forest

Arsenal v Nottingham Forest (14:00)

This is top of the table versus bottom, but the way last weekend’s games went for both teams made me stop and think about this one a bit more.

I am still going for Arsenal to win, but they looked a bit tired in the second half of their draw with Southampton on Sunday, and they have got a Europa League tie against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday too.

Forest have been a bit more stubborn in their past couple of games and have kept two clean sheets. They seem to have found a bit of defensive stability and it is down to Arsenal to find a way through.

Because they are at home, I have to back the Gunners, but these next few weeks before the season stops for the World Cup will tell us a lot about their squad, and whether it is strong enough.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-0

Dapz’s prediction: We’re going for the win here, of course we are! We’re not conceding, either. I’m just really pleased with the way we have reacted to the end of last season, when we just fell short of making the Champions League. It was really disappointing, especially to see Spurs get in instead, but the way the team has responded to that setback is brilliant. Look at us now. 3-0

Man Utd v West Ham

Man Utd v West Ham (16:15)

Losing defender Raphael Varane to injury is a blow for Manchester United but I think they will cope without him here, even though Gianluca Scamacca is a real threat.

At the other end, it might be a different story. West Ham are a stubborn side, who are in decent form, but I don’t think their backline will be good enough to keep United out.

United are making progress under Erik ten Hag but he still has to deal with the distraction of being asked questions about Cristiano Ronaldo the whole time, which must be a nightmare for him. It will probably be the same again after this game, whether Ronaldo plays or not.

Great player that he is, Ronaldo has made it all about himself when really he is just one of the squad. It is quite sad, because he is starting to destroy his legacy at Old Trafford, and he might not be there for much longer.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Dapz’s prediction: I really want West Ham to win this one… and yes they can do it! 1-2

Chris Sutton and Dapz were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Sutton do last week?

Sutton got four correct results from 10 matches, including one exact score, giving him a total of 70 points.

That was enough to give him victory over basketballers Patrick Whelan and Blake Bowman of the Leicester Riders.

Patrick got two correct results with no exact scores, for a total of 20 points, while Blake got one exact score to leave him with 40 points.

Ali Bruce-Ball 110
Ian Broudie, GK from Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno, Editors bassist Russell Leetch, Phoenix singer Thomas Mars 70
Chris Sutton (average after 12 weeks), Ross MacDonald from The 1975, Ryan Porteous 60
Al Greenwood from Sports Team 50
Blake Bowman, Tom from Dry Cleaning 40
Juice Menace, Patrick Whelan 20
Guests 780
Chris Sutton 720

How did you get on?

It was a bad week for everyone – the only results you got right were Manchester City’s win over Brighton and West Ham’s victory over Bournemouth.

The game that caught most people out was Forest’s win over Liverpool, where 89% of you voted for a Reds victory.

Position Correct results
1. Chris 4/10
=2. Blake Bowman & Patrick Whelan 2/10
=2. You** 2/10

*Based on Whelan’s score.

**Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.

=1. You** 57/116
=1 Guests 57/116
3. Chris 56/116

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