Sutton’s Premier League final-day predictions v Gladiators star Legend

Sutton's Premier League final-day predictions v Gladiators star Legend

Premier League final-day predictions: Chris Sutton v Gladiators star and Arsenal fan Legend – BBC Sport



Sutton's Predictions

Tottenham fans, beware. It’s not just your manager Ange Postecoglou who is unhappy with those of you who were glad your team lost to Manchester City on Tuesday.

Chris Sutton’s final predictions guest of the season is Gladiators star Legend, who supports Arsenal and watched Spurs play City hoping – in vain – they would do the Gunners a favour in the title race.

“I don’t have a problem with the Spurs players, it is with their fans literally cheering their team letting goals in,” Legend told BBC Sport. “That’s what I can’t get my head around.

“Fair play to Ange though, for basically just calling those Spurs fans a bunch of losers afterwards. That was amazing.”

Series one of Gladiators is available to watch on iPlayer and the hit Saturday-night show is set to return soon for a second season, with filming taking place in Sheffield in August.

Gladiators star Legend

Legend, whose real name is Matt Morsia, is a lifelong Gunners fan who grew up at a time when Arsenal were collecting trophies on a regular basis.

He explained: “My dad’s side of the family are all big Arsenal fans and I was born in north London so I was just kind of raised that way. I have got lots of memories of going to games at Highbury when I was younger.

“My formative Arsenal years were when we were the best team in the world, so I was pretty spoilt.

“My first memories are of us winning the Double in 1998 after Arsene Wenger first joined. Even before the Invincibles went unbeaten for a season, he built an incredible side.

“He inherited the English back five – David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Tony Adams and Steve Bould – and then brought in players like Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Nicolas Anelka.

“That team evolved into the Invincibles really, and for about six years we were just unbelievable.”

Gladiators star Legend

Legend was a teenage star at triple jump and targeted the 2012 London Olympics before being sidelined by a back injury. He turned his attention to powerlifting and won a silver medal in the European Championships in 2016, but football was his first love.

“At school I was a footballer,” he added. “I played for my county for a couple of years and I wanted to be a footballer.

“Then right at the end of my sixth form, I just kind of fell into athletics. One of our guys was injured on sports day so I got chucked into triple jump. I broke the school record, and never looked back.

“But for the first 15 years of my life, I played football every day and loved it. I was a centre-back, a monstrous and marauding centre-back. If you can remember Lucio, who played for Brazil, I was a lot like him – let’s just say I relied heavily on my physical attributes.

“I still play a bit now because I have got two boys and we go out in the garden and have a kickabout. In my head I am still unbelievable, although my days playing for a team are over.

“A couple of years ago a mate of mine said ‘why don’t you come back and play five-a-side?’ so despite having not played football competitively for 10 or 15 years, I thought that would be a great idea.

“I started playing five-a-side once a week and I loved it, I was getting well into it… but about five or six weeks in, I ruptured my Achilles and that was the end of it.

“I have done sport all my life but that was my first ever big injury. I am still tempted to go back, but with Gladiators now I just can’t take that risk.”

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

When? Result Sutton Legend
SUNDAY, 19 MAY
Arsenal v Everton x-x 3-0 5-0
Brentford v Newcastle Utd x-x 2-2 2-3
Brighton v Man Utd x-x 2-1 1-2
Burnley v Nott’m Forest x-x 1-1 2-1
Chelsea v Bournemouth x-x 3-1 3-1
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa x-x 2-1 2-1
Liverpool v Wolves x-x 4-0 5-1
Luton v Fulham x-x 1-2 1-0
Man City v West Ham x-x 5-0 0-0
Sheff Utd v Tottenham x-x 0-2 0-0

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

SUTTON’S PREDICTIONS

All games kick off at 16:00 BST.

SUNDAY, 19 MAY

Arsenal v Everton

Arsenal v Everton

Sean Dyche is a scrapper and his Everton side are enjoying a strong end to the season. He would like nothing more than to end with a positive result here, but I cannot see past an Arsenal victory.

With 15 wins, one draw and only one defeat from their past 17 Premier League games, the Gunners don’t deserve to finish second but that is what is going to happen, and other than the Community Shield, they are going to finish trophyless too.

Arsenal have invited players from their Invincibles side – who stayed unbeaten the last time they were champions in 2004 – to this game so they will want to put on a show for them.

They should have something to smile about, even if there is no title to celebrate.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Legend’s prediction: Had Spurs got a result against City, I think we still would have won this game but it would have been tighter. The stress would have been outrageous and we might only have won by a goal or two, which would have been a worry if City were only behind us on goal difference. Now, even though it not completely over, our players know it kind of is, so that takes a lot of the pressure off and this could be an absolute hiding with Kai Havertz scoring a couple of goals. 5-0

Legend on Gunners boss Mikel Arteta: From day one, when I first heard him speak, you could tell he was going to be good, although I didn’t think he would be this good. Even if we are playing badly, you want to get behind the side he has built because they have such amazing team unity – we don’t have one megastar, and even though some players are clearly better than others, it feels like the whole squad look at each other as equals, which makes a massive difference. Everyone tracks back and works hard defensively, for example.

Whatever happens this season, Arteta is still young and so are a lot of the team, so you have the feeling that it is going to get better. Look at what we’ve done this year, compared to three or four years ago, and it is unbelievable. Arteta has created such a positive environment and the club is going in an upward trajectory – this is just the start, hopefully.

Brentford v Newcastle

Brentford v Newcastle Utd

Brentford’s form has picked up recently and they will want to end the season on a high note, at home on the final day.

Their manager Thomas Frank has been linked with the Manchester United job, and I understand that in a way, because he’s done an excellent job with the Bees.

Newcastle United need to at least match Manchester United’s result against Brighton to make sure of finishing seventh. I’m expecting Eddie Howe’s side to do that, but it won’t be easy.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-2

Legend’s prediction: This is going to be a high scoring game because both teams are going to go for it. 2-3

Brighton v Man Utd

Brighton v Man Utd

I’ve been talking for a while now about how the season has fizzled out for Brighton and their manager Roberto de Zerbi, and their poor form continued against Chelsea on Wednesday.

The Seagulls can still secure a top-10 finish with a win here, though, and things cannot be too bad if that counts as a disappointing campaign.

Fair play to Manchester United for getting over the line against Newcastle United on Wednesday but they are still only in eighth place. If they finish there, that is a pretty accurate reflection of their season.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Legend’s prediction: It is between Chelsea, Newcastle and United for sixth and seventh place and the final European slots and I am so torn there because I actively dislike all three of those teams. With United that feeling is just inherent but, weirdly, out of those three I would rather they got in. They are going to concede goals but they do still look dangerous going forward, and Brighton are struggling. 1-2

Burnley v Nottingham Forest

Burnley v Nottingham Forest

This was supposed to be the big relegation decider, but with Burnley down and Nottingham Forest’s goal difference meaning they are as good as safe, there is nothing really riding on it now.

I feel for Burnley in many ways, because I actually think they are a well-run football club. They have got a bright young manager in Vinnie Kompany and, if they can keep their squad together, they will be back in the Premier League soon.

Regardless of the points deduction, this will go down as a disappointing season for Forest even though they have stayed up.

It is not as if they have kicked on since Nuno Espirito Santo replaced Steve Cooper as manager in December, is it?

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Legend’s prediction: Firstly it is at Burnley, which is big, and they have just gone down so they will want to sign off on a high. Also, Forest know they are staying up now and there is no way that won’t affect them here. No matter what they say otherwise, their motivation for this game is not going to be there. 2-1

Chelsea v Bournemouth

Chelsea v Bournemouth

Bournemouth have just dipped a bit recently but, whatever happens here, they have had a great first year under Andoni Iraola.

Chelsea have won four on the spin and could reel Tottenham in to finish fifth, which would be remarkable after the campaign they have had.

I am going to go with them to carry on their winning run, and Cole Palmer to continue his scoring form with another goal.

Sutton’s prediction: Chelsea are on a good run, apart from when we absolutely battered them 5-0 at the end of April. I was there for that game and it was amazing, we tore them apart. But the way Chelsea are playing, as much as I hate to admit, it, they are probably going to win this. 3-1

Legend’s prediction: I really enjoy watching Chelsea lose 3-1

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa

Crystal Palace’s biggest challenge is going to be keeping hold of Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta, who form such a formidable forward line.

They have helped the Eagles put together this great run of five wins and a draw from their past six games, and I think we will see more of the same on Sunday.

Aston Villa know they are in next season’s Champions League, so it is job done for Unai Emery and his players.

They have probably been on the lash to celebrate since Tottenham lost against Manchester City on Tuesday, so I am going with a Palace win.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Legend’s prediction: Palace are banging the goals in and with Villa only just being confirmed in fourth, there could be that massive comedown where all that stress, anxiety, motivation and pressure comes out, and suddenly it is all gone. 2-1

Liverpool v Wolves

Liverpool v Wolves

I can only see one outcome here. Mohamed Salah to score, Liverpool to go out with a bang under Jurgen Klopp, and send him off with a smile.

Wolves are not in great form, with only one win – and seven defeats – from their past 10 matches, and they have not been good enough as of late.

They were the club who triggered the vote over the future of video assistant referees (VAR) this summer, and they have been wronged by it this season, but Gary O’Neil needs to focus on their performances rather than decisions that are out of their control.

This game is all about Klopp and Liverpool, though. It is going to be an emotional day and I don’t think there will be many dry eyes at Anfield – I’ll be crying myself, even though I won’t be there.

Being serious though, I am gutted he is going because he is a brilliant manager and his departure is an enormous loss to the Premier League as well as to Liverpool.

Klopp is spiky at times, but he always says what he thinks and I admire that. Most football fans will be really sad to see him go, whoever they support.

As well as what Klopp has what won, you have to appreciate how he has pushed City so hard in the seasons where they edged Liverpool to the title. He built an excellent team that could challenge them, and, without him, City would have dominated even more than they have done.

Sutton’s prediction: 4-0

Legend’s prediction: It’s Klopp’s last game and it could be a big score. There will be a wild atmosphere. 5-1

Luton v Fulham

Luton v Fulham

One win in their past 17 league games has put pay to Luton’s chances of staying up.

There is still talk of hope for the Hatters but, let’s be realistic, they are not going to to overhaul Forest’s vastly superior goal difference.

Will Rob Edwards’ side bow out with a win, though? No.

Fulham have been accused of being on the beach already, but I am backing them here.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Legend’s prediction: This could be a similar outcome to Burnley because they will throw a lot at it. 1-0

Man City v West Ham

Man City v West Ham

My son James thinks West Ham are going to win at Etihad Stadium but he’s wrong. The same goes for Legend’s prediction, and I can see why he doesn’t win many on Gladiators.

Four of City’s seven Premier League triumphs have gone down to the final day, and they went at least one goal down in three of them.

This one will be different, because I don’t just think City will win, I am expecting them to wrap it up early and seal a record fourth Premier League title in a row without any last-day drama.

Like most people, I am sick of them winning but you have to admire them because they are an absolute machine.

The way they put their foot down, even on Tuesday night when Tottenham pushed them, is so impressive. They are a brilliant all-round team who have players who can come off the bench and impact the game, and their manager is a genius.

Pep Guardiola seems to win every title in a different style, and his team never stops evolving.

This season I have been particularly impressed with the physicality which has got them through the campaign. Also, there we were thinking Erling Haaland has not been very good, but he is going to walk away with another Golden Boot.

They are a remarkable group of players to keep going on these runs of results that take them to the title season after season. I know I am talking about them as if they have already won it but I don’t see any other outcome, because of how relentless they are, and their resilience, quality and mental strength.

Everyone talks about the Premier League being the best in the world and part of the reason for that is because it is the most competitive. City have come through some difficult games this season, but they always produce when they are under pressure.

Well played to them, again. I just feel a bit sorry for West Ham boss David Moyes because this is his final game in charge and it could not be any more difficult.

Sutton’s prediction: 5-0

Legend’s prediction: I’ve been trying to scrape around for any reason to be optimistic here but even if West Ham are winning and it goes into stoppage time, you just know City will turn it around. To be honest, though, I am struggling to envisage a scenario where West Ham even score a goal, let alone beat them.

The only hope is that it stays goalless, we go ahead, and everyone there starts to get nervous. I would be amazed if it is any other outcome other than a City win, but I need West Ham to do something, and somehow hold on so we win the league on goal difference. 0-0

Sheff Utd v Tottenham

Sheff Utd v Tottenham

We have seen an angry Ange Postecoglou this week, and I totally get why. I really liked what he said before the Manchester City game about how he wants the club to win something, rather than just have bragging rights. If I’m a Spurs fan, that’s what I want to hear.

He was bang on. He is trying to build a winning culture at Tottenham and clearly the mentality at the club does not align with his.

On the flip side, I do also understand the pettiness of the Tottenham fans who do not want Arsenal to win the title.

But it sounds like Postecoglou’s anger is not just at some of the Spurs supporters who wanted their side to lose to City on Tuesday, but at some people inside the club too.

If you are are on the inside and you want to build a winning club, then you cannot have that mindset where you don’t want to win every game – you cannot pick and choose, you have to be relentless and all pull in the same direction.

That does not seem to be happening at Spurs. We have seen this movie before, and it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

I admired Postecoglou when he was at Celtic, for the way he turned the club around as well as the football he played.

I still think he has over-achieved in his first season at Spurs because they lost Harry Kane just before it started, and the football has been excellent, but they have fallen away recently.

I am sure Postecoglou would accept it has been a disappointing end to the campaign, with five defeats in the past six games, even if they have had some difficult fixtures in that run, but all of this underlines that there are other issues at the club. I don’t know what happens next – they either believe in him, or they don’t.

He will be desperate to finish the season on a high, as will Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, whose side are already relegated, are bottom of the table with only three wins all season, and on a six-game losing streak. Even if the Blades do respond, I am still backing Spurs.

Sutton’s prediction: 0-2

Legend’s prediction: I am absolutely disgusted by Tottenham fans. They deserve an absolute stinker here and I hope they get absolutely pummelled, then Ange comes out on the pitch with a microphone and announces his resignation there and then because he is sick of managing a club whose fans literally want them to lose. That’s what I hope happens, and it would be the just outcome too. 0-0

How did Sutton do last week?

Sutton got seven correct results, with no exact scores, from the 10 Premier League games in week 37, giving him 70 points.

He beat Kasabian frontman Serge Pizzorno. who got five correct results with no exact scores, leaving him with a total of 50 points.

There were three extra games in midweek, all rearranged from week 34, when singer-songwriter Sam Tompkins was the guest.

When? Result Sutton Sam
TUESDAY, 14 MAY
Tottenham v Man City 0-2 1-3 0-5
WEDNESDAY, 15 MAY
Brighton v Chelsea 1-2 1-2 2-0
Man Utd v Newcastle Utd 3-2 1-2 2-1

Sutton, who led 50-30 before the remaining games were played, picked up 50 more points to confirm his victory. Sam picked up 20 points, meaning the final score was 100-50.

Luke Littler 170
Anthony Joshua 150
Ross from Twin Atlantic 140
Eddie Hearn 130
Nathan Aspinall, CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson 120
Barry Can’t Swim 110
Anish Kumar 100
Andy Bell from Ride, UB40 drummer Jimmy Brown, Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Franklin star Daniel Mays, Midas the Jagaban 90
Jermain Defoe, ‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey, Songer 80
Chris Sutton 77 (average after 37 weeks)
David Earl, Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, Steve Queralt from Ride, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo 70
Dave from The Zutons, Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves, Sam from Twin Atlantic 60
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Ed Leigh, Tash from The Football Academy, Sam Tompkins, Matthew Vaughn, Rick Witter 50
Bionic, AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli, Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms, Declan McKenna, JayO 40
Jericho Ridge star Zack Morris, Vigil star Dougray Scott, Felix White, Anna Friedberg and Emily Linden from Friedberg 30
Willie J Healey, Bria Keely of Better Joy 20
Suggs, Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring 10
Chris Sutton 2,850
Guests 2,640
P37 W20 D7 L10

How did you get on?

Only 9% of you thought Brentford would beat Bournemouth, but the only other results to catch you out last time were the draws between Newcastle and Brentford, and Aston Villa versus Liverpool.

You were right about Manchester City beating Tottenham in midweek, although 45% of you thought Spurs would pick up at least a point.

Overall, you are now 10 points clear of Chris, with 10 games of the season remaining.

=1. You 7/10
=1. Chris 7/10
3. Guests 5/10

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

1. You 211/370
2. Chris 201/370
3. Guests 190/370

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