Soccer

A couple of dinosaurs are back in town

  • Familiar face: ‘Big Sam’ has turned Goodison into a version of Jurassic Park

Rumours that the director and producers of the next movie in the Jurassic Park franchise have been checking out Goodison Park and The Hawthorns as possible filming locations after the appointments of Sam Allardyce at Everton and Alan Pardew at West Brom could be wide of the mark.

With T-Rex Tony (Pulis) also on the loose and seemingly sighted in the vicinity of a number of struggling Premier League teams, there seems to be no shortage of dinosaurs on the touchline and in boardrooms up and down the country for film-makers to cast their lenses upon.

Allardyce was in the stands on Wednesday night to watch his new team thrash woeful West Ham 4-0 and will have been buoyed by the hat-trick from Wayne Rooney, who was England captain for Allardyce’s sole game in charge of the national team.

While Everton supporters may not be excited by their team’s brand of football under Allardyce, their relegation fears are now surely all but extinguished.

Pardew may find his life harder. He has a fine track record of making an immediate impact when taking on a new job, but this time around he inherits an ageing team which looks short of pace, particularly in defence and central midfield areas. However, he may not get a better chance to get off to a flying start this weekend with a home game against the league’s bottom club Crystal Palace.

11am kick-offs unless stated

Tomorrow

8.30am

Chelsea v Newcastle

Manager Antonio Conte may be anxious as he waits to discover if he faces further punishment after being sent to the stands during Chelsea’s unimpressive midweek win over Swansea.

Even if he were to be absent from the touchline, though, it’s hard to see Newcastle, who have failed to win in their last five games, leaving Stamford Bridge with any points.

Prediction 2-0

Brighton v Liverpool

Jürgen Klopp’s men may find Chris Hughton’s disciplined team tougher to beat than Stoke on Wednesday night, but Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah have the quality to edge a tight game.

Prediction 0-1

Everton v Huddersfield

Huddersfield have lost their last seven away league matches by an aggregate score of 17-0 and will arrive at Goodison Park just as Everton’s players are beginning to regain confidence.

Now could be the perfect time for Fantasy managers to introduce one or two of Allardyce’s men into their team.

Prediction 2-0

Leicester v Burnley

Burnley are the surprise package of the season and are now up to sixth under Sean Dyche.They have lost just once away from home this season and can pick up another point on the road.

Prediction 0-0

Stoke v Swansea

Not a game to excite the neutral Struggling Stoke should grab the points against a team destined for relegation and with a chairman probably on the phone to Tony Pulis right now.

Prediction 1-0

Watford v Tottenham

Tottenham are now 16 points behind leaders Manchester City and their championship dream is over, but they are fancied to edge out Marco Silva’s talented Watford team.

Prediction 1-2

West Brom v Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson’s men have yet to score a goal away from Selhurst Park this season but they might not get a better chance.

Prediction 1-1

Arsenal v Manchester United 1.30pm

Arsène Wenger’s men have a 100 per cent record at home this season but they will find it difficult to score with a bus parked in front of the opposition’s net as José Mourinho’s negative tactics against top teams will surely be on display once again. With Alexandre Lacazette ruled out and Alexis Sánchez reportedly carrying a knock, will Arsenal have the quality to break down a stubborn defence? Yes.

Prediction 1-0

Sunday

Bournemouth v Southampton 9.30am

This South Coast derby should be an entertaining game to watch with both teams having to settle for a point.

Prediction 1-1

Manchester City v West Ham 1pm

Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut will barely register any impact as it crushes David Moyes’s dispirited team. It’s just a shame you can’t pick 11 players from the same team in Fantasy League.

Prediction 3-0