Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton v rapper and Man City fan Blanco


Sutton's Predictions

Aston Villa beat Manchester United in Unai Emery’s first game in charge back in November – can they continue their brilliant run when they go to Old Trafford on Sunday?

“United are well placed to finish in the top four and are in the FA Cup final too but I’m still not convinced by them whenever I watch them,” said BBC Sport’s football expert Chris Sutton. “It’s Villa who have all the momentum right now.”

Sutton is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches this season, against a variety of guests.

This weekend he is taking on rapper and Man City fan Blanco.

Blanco, 24, first came to prominence with his leading role in drill collective Harlem Spartans. His latest singles, Carpe Diem and Londis, were both released in March and he has a full-length project to come later this year – his new mixtape Rebourne is dropping mid-June.

Blanco’s debut project, City of God, has amassed more than 63m Spotify streams so far

Blanco is from south London but grew up a Blue – mostly because of Robinho.

“When I was in primary school, he was one of my favourite players,” he told BBC Sport. “At that age I wasn’t watching football for the football, I was watching for the skills. He was such a brilliant player, I fell in love with him.

“I remember getting posters of him from the Match of the Day magazine and watching as many highlights of him as I could. He scored some amazing goals and I followed Manchester City because of him.

“No-one believes me, it’s crazy! But I have Facebook posts proving it, even before City won the Premier League in 2012.

“My favourite player now? Well, I’m spoilt for choice.”

City are chasing the Treble this season, and could secure glory in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

“I can see it happening, I’d just like us to get closer to it before I think about it too much,” Blanco added.

“It’s going to be tough to get past Real Madrid [in the semi-finals of the CL] but I’d actually be more scared of them if the tie was being played the same order as last year, when the first leg was at home and then we went away.

“This way, I just think whatever happens at the Bernabeu, we can turn it around.

“In terms of the league, though, I was always confident we were going to beat Arsenal. We just always look like a team that could do it when it mattered.”

Crystal Palace v West Hamx-x1-12-1
Brentford v Nott’m Forestx-x2-03-2
Brighton v Wolvesx-x2-12-0
Bournemouth v Leedsx-x1-11-2
Fulham v Man Cityx-x1-31-3
Man Utd v Aston Villax-x1-20-1
Newcastle v Southamptonx-x5-02-0
Liverpool v Tottenhamx-x3-13-1
Leicester v Evertonx-x2-11-0
Arsenal v Chelseax-x2-13-0

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



Crystal Palace v West Ham

Crystal Palace v West Ham (12:30 BST)

I can understand why West Ham’s David Moyes was so upset after his side lost to Liverpool on Wednesday because they should have had that late penalty for Thiago’s handball.

The Hammers have been much improved in recent weeks but I think they still need another win to get to safety and it is asking a lot for them to get it at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace’s unbeaten run under Roy Hodgson ended at Molineux on Tuesday after three wins and a draw but it wasn’t as if they played badly. I’d be surprised if they lost again here, especially because I don’t think West Ham will keep a clean sheet.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Blanco’s prediction: West Ham are the stronger team on paper but I’m going with Palace. 2-1

Brentford v Nottingham Forest

Brentford v Nottingham Forest (15:00)

I am pretty confident about this one because Brentford seem to have got over their little blip in form.

I didn’t see Nottingham Forest’s midweek win over Brighton coming but that was at the City Ground, where they have picked up 24 of their 30 points this season.

Steve Cooper’s side put up a fight in their last away game at Anfield but their record on the road is awful.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 2-0

Blanco’s prediction: Forest will put up a fight… but Brentford are going to win. 3-2

Brighton v Wolves

Brighton v Wolves (15:00)

I fear for Brighton a little bit, and whether fatigue could start kicking in during their run-in. It would be a shame if they blew up now after the season they have had and I don’t think they will.

Wolves are all but safe after winning three of their past four games so it is almost job done for their manager Julen Lopetegui.

They will make it difficult for Brighton but I still think the Seagulls are an excellent team and we will see a response from them after a difficult week.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Blanco’s prediction: This might actually be an easy win for Brighton. I’d love Kaoru Mitoma to play for City by the way. 2-0


Bournemouth v Leeds

Bournemouth v Leeds (14:00)

I was at St Mary’s Stadium on Thursday and Bournemouth really impressed me with their performance against Southampton.

As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t backed them often this season but they are a really well-balanced side and they should have won by a bigger margin than 2-1.

Leeds, meanwhile, are in desperate need a win after taking only one point from their past four games. Where will it come from though?

Javi Gracia’s team are such a patchy side and it’s hard to make a case for them playing well for long enough to win, but they might come up with enough to grab a draw if the Cherries take their foot off the gas.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Blanco’s prediction: Leeds are poor – they are all over the place defensively – but I like them because of the style of football they played under Marcelo Bielsa when they first came into the Premier League. So I am putting them down to win this one. I doubt it will happen, I really do, but they will definitely put up a fight anyway. 1-2

Fulham v Man City

Fulham v Man City (14:00)

I think the general consensus is that the Premier League title race is done – and Manchester City are going to win it for the fifth time in six seasons.

City were just brilliant against Arsenal on Wednesday, they just monstered the leaders really – they totally overpowered them.

Snapshot of the top of the Premier League table: 1st Arsenal & 2nd Man City

The only real doubt I have now is whether City can get the balance right when they make changes.

That will be most important in the league games around their Champions League semi-final games against Real Madrid on 9 and 17 May, but they will probably rotate here too.

I wrongly accused Fulham of being on the beach when they were on a dreadful run of form a few weeks ago and I think they will score on Sunday – I just think City will score three. They are going to slip up at some point, just because of their schedule – but not this time.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 1-3

Blanco’s prediction: No surprises here! We will have too much for them, even if we make changes. Riyad Mahrez will grab a goal or maybe two. Bernardo Silva is way better than him defensively so we kind of need him on the right wing in the big games but Mahrez is still a brilliant player. 1-3

Blanco’s favourite City players: There are so many players that have stood out for us this season but Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji deserve a special mention because I don’t think many people expected them to play such an important role. I still rate Kyle Walker though and I think we need his pace against Vinicius Jr in that Real tie. It definitely didn’t help that Fernandinho was up against him last time! As for Erling Haaland, well I wasn’t sure he would fit in with our style but you watch him now and he has become so good at link-up play, as well as scoring goals obviously!

Man Utd v Aston Villa

Man Utd v Aston Villa (14:00)

Aston Villa could close the gap on Manchester United here to just three points, although Erik ten Hag’s side would still have two games in hand.

Snapshot of 3rd to 8th in the Premier League: 3rd Newcastle, 4th Man Utd, 5th Tottenham, 6th Aston Villa, 7th Liverpool & 8th Brighton

I can see why Villa are on such a good run because Ollie Watkins carries a real threat, Emi Buendia is so creative and they have a properly balanced midfield.

They are on a high and playing with freedom and, although I think it will be close, I fancy Villa more.

United have been missing their first-choice centre-halves, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, and they don’t look confident when teams have a go at them the way I am expecting Unai Emery’s side to.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Blanco’s prediction: I don’t like United! 0-1

Newcastle v Southampton

Newcastle v Southampton (14:00)

This is the ‘Alan Shearer derby’ between two of his old clubs and there is only going to be one winner.

Southampton were a disgrace on Thursday, bearing mind they were at home and needed to win the game. I thought their performance was gutless and they offered so little in attack.

The position Saints are in, I was expecting them to play with desperation and throw everything they could at Bournemouth.

Instead, they looked like a team who had already been relegated. How on earth they got a point against Arsenal last week, I really don’t know.

Newcastle, meanwhile, are just absolutely flying. They have everything they need to finish the season strongly and secure a top-four finish – I think they will wipe the floor with Southampton for starters.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 5-0

Blanco’s prediction: I did think we might see Southampton bounce a bit after they drew with Arsenal but they have gone now, haven’t they. 2-0

Liverpool v Tottenham

Liverpool v Tottenham (16:30)

In some ways, Liverpool’s approach will suit Tottenham because Jurgen Klopp’s side will dominate the ball and Trent Alexander-Arnold will leave gaps behind him when he goes into the centre of midfield, as he does in his new inverted role.

Spurs showed a bit of character to fight back for a draw against Manchester United but I really can’t back them to get anything here because they have been so disappointing all season.

Liverpool are on a roll with three successive wins and they still want a top-four spot.

To have any chance of that, the Reds need to win every game they have left – and even that probably won’t be enough.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 3-1

Blanco’s prediction: I just don’t understand why Tottenham always beat us? How does that happen? I think they just treat it like a cup final when they play us – they have never won anything, so they just go for it! Liverpool always seem to beat them at Anfield though. 3-1


Leicester v Everton

Leicester v Everton (20:00)

Both of these teams are in the bottom three and a win would be huge for whoever gets it.

I still think Leicester are a bit of a soft touch at the back but there are signs they have found a little bit of spark under Dean Smith. Jamie Vardy is back in the side and looking lively and we know how sharp James Maddison is.

Everton’s performances have fallen away and they seem very short of confidence too but you know what their manager Sean Dyche will do here – he will target the Foxes from set-plays, which is where they have struggled.

It might work but I still think Leicester will have too much quality for them and it is hard to see Everton surviving if they do lose a game like this.

Snapshot of the bottom of the Premier League: 15th West Ham, 16th Leeds, 17th Nottingham Forest, 18th Leicester, 19th Everton & 20th Southampton

Do I trust Leicester defensively? Absolutely not. Do I trust them to defend set-pieces? No chance. But what I did see from them in their draw with Leeds was a bit of belief and they had some of their swagger back.

Leicester will fancy themselves to win this – Everton won’t.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Blanco’s prediction: I almost went 1-1 here but it is a big game and I wanted to pick a winner. 1-0


Arsenal v Chelsea

Arsenal v Chelsea (20:00)

Frank Lampard took the job with the best intentions but his spell as interim Chelsea boss has been a disaster, with five defeats out of five.

He has had a stinker and you just cannot view it any other way. There is all this talk about Mauricio Pochettino getting the job but Frank is still in charge for now – and I don’t know where he goes from here.

It’s not the defeats to Real Madrid that have damaged him, it’s being beaten by Wolves, being absolutely played off the park by Brighton and then losing again at home to Brentford – the Bees are now eight points above Chelsea. Who could have imagined that?

Chelsea just are not looking like a team at all, which is perhaps their biggest problem, but Arsenal have problems too. They look to me like a side whose confidence has been shot to pieces.

We don’t know how much that heavy defeat to Manchester City, in what was billed as a title decider, will hurt them but I guess we are about to find out.

This makes this game very hard to call. Chelsea have been so bad that in some ways the pressure is off, while the Gunners still want a strong end to the season.

I can’t see this being a cracker and there won’t be many goals, but I am going with Arsenal to pull themselves together and win it – just about.

Chris Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Blanco’s prediction: Every time I see Chelsea, I just know they aren’t going to score. They are so bad, especially when you consider how many good players they have got. 3-0

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

How did Sutton do last time?

From the midweek Premier League fixtures, Sutton got three correct results from 10 matches, with no exact scores, giving him a total of 30 points.

He was beaten by Evil Dead Rise writer and director Lee Cronin, who also got three correct results but with one exact score, for a total of 60 points, and Living With Chucky writer and director Kyra Gardner, who got five correct results and one exact score for a total of 80 points.

Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria230
Keke from 1Xtra140
Gaz Coombes120
Ali Bruce-Ball, Modernlove drummer Cian McCluskey, Jack Rowan110
Liam Fray of The Courteeners100
Living With Chucky writer and director Kyra Gardner, Editors bassist Russell Leetch80
Ian Broudie, GK from Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Corey Deshon, Joelah from 1Xtra, Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno, Aaron Moorhead, Phoenix singer Thomas Mars70
Chris Sutton (average after 32 weeks)68
AntsLive, Evil Dead Rise writer and director Lee Cronin, Ronnie Huxford from Those Damn Crows, Ross MacDonald from The 1975, Chris Batten, Ryan Porteous60
Justin Benson, Al Greenwood from Sports Team, Dapz on the Map, Chesney Hawkes, Maulo50
Blake Bowman, Tom from Dry Cleaning40
Jessica McHale, Olivia Chomczuk, Casper van Dien, Black Honey guitarist Chris Ostler, DMAS’S frontman Tommy O’Dell, Oli Shasha from FEET, Stereophonics guitarist Adam Zindani30
Juice Menace, DJ Schak, Patrick Whelan20
Trampolene frontman Jack Jones10
Chris Sutton2,260

How did you get on?

Only 14% of you thought Nottingham Forest would beat Brighton but you only just missed out on getting Leeds versus Leicester right. Out of more than 32,000 votes, 33% of you went for a draw but 35% wrongly said the Foxes would win.

PositionCorrect results
1. Guest5/10
2. You4/10
3. Chris3/10

*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match. Kyra’s score is used for these tables.

1. You165/324 (51%)
2. Chris152/324 (47%)
3. Guests147/324 (45%)

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