Sutton takes on Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring

5 months ago 144

Sutton's Predictions

Manchester United's defeat at West Ham on Saturday was their 13th of the season, so is it still a surprise when Erik ten Hag's side are beaten?

BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton predicted a Hammers victory and, from a total of 45,000 votes, so did 47% of you.

"I get a load of grief every time I say Manchester United will lose," said Sutton.

"I don't understand why, because it keeps happening. You can probably guess how I think they will get on against Aston Villa on Tuesday, too."

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

For the fixtures over the festive period on 26, 27 and 28 December, he takes on Samuel T Herring, frontman of Baltimore-based synth-pop band Future Islands and an Everton fan.

Future Islands' new album, People Who Aren't There Anymore, is released on 26 January.

Future IslandsFuture Islands have released six previous studio albums. Their most recent, 2020's As Long As You Are, reached number 10 in the charts

American Herring has been an Everton fan since 2013 when he started watching the Premier League.

One of the reasons he chose the Toffees is because he wanted to follow a team without an ego, and he feels manager Sean Dyche has reinforced that identity since taking charge at the start of this year.

"There is no pretention about the way we play, which is probably quite a rare thing in the game," Herring explained. "Although I guess that also comes with most teams who are fighting at the bottom of the table.

"It just feels like Dyche is the kind of manager who gets people to tick all the boxes - the players know they have to do this and work hard every day if we are going to succeed.

"We don't have superstars - Romelu Lukaku was probably the last guy who had that aura, but even then he was just a kid when he was with us.

"More recently Richarlison had a bit of that ego, but he was also still a fighter - and without ego you have to create a team where everyone is on the same level, to build upwards, and Dyche has done that so well.

"It's all so positive. We are so well drilled now, it feels like Dyche has brought in this militaristic routine for the team - the kind of set-up where players get docked wages if their shoe laces are tied the wrong way and stuff like that.

"Sometimes I think it's easy to forget as a fan when you get mad at a player for not doing something right that they are just a 22-year-old kid - these are young men and women who are still need in guidance.

"And I just see Dyche as a fantastic guide. The sort of guy who would be telling his players that they need to make their bed and brush their teeth when they get up, because that's how you start the day right.

"It is those kind of things that took me until I was 26 or 27 to figure out - that if I want to be a productive human, I have to start the day productively. You know, tidy up, don't leave the dirty dishes.

"That's the kind of message Dyche is getting to the team to get the best out of them in every way."

Future Islands frontman Samuel T HerringHerring, who is well known for his extravagant dance moves on stage, made his acting debut this year opposite LaKeith Stanfield in Apple TV series The Changeling

Dyche is known for his eclectic musical tastes and love of a live gig, so Herring is hoping he comes to see Future Islands when they are back in the UK.

Everton legend Leighton Baines is already a fan, along with the club's former head of medicine, Danny Donachie.

"We are going to start touring differently to how we have toured in the past," Herring added. "We are not going to be playing as many shows because we are getting old and I can't do high kicks for an hour and a half any more, five times a week.

"So there are going to be less shows, but Dyche definitely needs to come to one of them. If he wants to bring like a plus-20 with him too, then that is fine!"

Herring is hoping to be back at Goodison soon himself too. His last visit was for the dramatic draw with Tottenham in April.

"I got to go on the pitch beforehand, for an interview, and Danny [Donachie] introduced me to some of the training staff and I got to go over to the dugout too," he said.

"I didn't get to meet any of the players because they were all warming up but I still felt like a little kid. I was just beaming.

"Then I got to watch the game with Danny and he was laughing at me the whole time because I was yelling, 'it's a foul' and he was just saying 'no, it's definitely not!'. It was great fun - he was calling me Ted Lasso because I was using the wrong terms when I was talking about the game.

"Danny knows the game so well, because he grew up in it, so I learned a lot. When Abdoulaye Doucoure got sent off, he was telling me that Harry Kane was going to score and break all our hearts and then five minutes later he put away a penalty. I was like, 'I hate that you knew that would happen!'.

"But right at the end Michael Keane scored late for us - from deep, very deep! The whole place went crazy and it was the perfect way to finish an amazing day.

Chris Sutton and Samuel T Herring were speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

When?ResultSuttonSam
TUESDAY, 26 DECEMBER
Newcastle v Nott'm Forest1-32-02-1
Bournemouth v Fulham3-02-12-2
Sheff Utd v Luton2-31-00-1
Burnley v Liverpool0-20-31-0
Man Utd v Aston Villa3-20-12-3
WEDNESDAY, 27 DECEMBER
Brentford v Wolves1-42-01-1
Chelsea v Crystal Palace2-12-11-1
Everton v Man City1-31-12-1
THURSDAY, 28 DECEMBER
Brighton v Tottenhamx-x2-32-2
Arsenal v West Hamx-x3-03-1

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

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SUTTON'S PREDICTIONS

All matches kick off at 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.

TUESDAY, 26 DECEMBER

Newcastle v Nottingham Forest

Newcastle 1-3 Nottingham Forest

Eddie Howe needs a win here because Newcastle's run of results is becoming a worry. Including their defeat on penalties to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, they have lost five of their past six games in all competitions.

It's not quite the case where they need to stop the rot, but fighting on a few fronts has clearly taken its toll.

Their home form in the Premier League is still strong, however, and I am sure being back at St James' Park will help them out again.

It's going to be interesting to see how quickly new boss Nuno Espirito Santo can make his mark at Forest because they could soon find themselves in the thick of the relegation scrap.

Sutton's prediction: 2-0

Samuel's prediction: Forest have got Nuno, but they are still kind of depleted though... but then so are Newcastle. 2-1

Bournemouth v Fulham

Bournemouth v Fulham

Dominic Solanke is on fire for Bournemouth and what a run the Cherries are on. I just did not see that coming, but then I didn't expect Fulham to lose at home to Burnley on Saturday, either.

This is a hard one to call but I am going to go with the form team. Bournemouth have won five of their past six games and drew with Aston Villa in the other one, and I am backing Andoni Iraola's side again here.

Sutton's prediction: 2-1

Samuel's prediction: There are going to be goals, lots of goals. 2-2

Sheff Utd v Luton

Sheff Utd v Luton

I wouldn't quite say they have turned a corner, but both teams have shown recently why they shouldn't be written off as relegation certainties.

Luton in particular have really surprised me this season. They got a great win against Newcastle last time out and their reaction after Tom Lockyer's collapse in their previous game spoke volumes about the spirit in their team and the club as a whole. It was great to see.

Sheffield United got a brilliant result too at Villa Park and surprised everyone with their draw - although they are probably disappointed they didn't win.

Blades boss Chris Wilder has already got one home victory under his belt, against Brentford, since taking charge at the start of the month, and I think his side will edge this one too.

Sutton's prediction: 1-0

Samuel's prediction: Luton are putting up one heck of a fight. 0-1

Burnley v Liverpool

Burnley 0-2 Liverpool

Burnley got a big win at Fulham last time out - and they really needed that. They are still in the bottom three, but at least they are giving themselves a chance of staying up.

Liverpool had 47 shots in their past two games and only scored from one of them.

I actually felt Jurgen Klopp's side were a little unlucky not to beat Arsenal on Saturday, though, and they should have too much firepower for the Clarets. I think they will win this one comfortably.

Sutton's prediction: 0-3

Samuel's prediction: Ah this just is not fair as an Everton fan! I guess I will have to lose points on this one, but I will do it happily! 1-0

Man Utd v Aston Villa

Man Utd 3-2 Aston Villa

It will be tight, but I think Aston Villa will win this game - and I don't see Manchester United scoring for what would be a fifth game in a row.

Manchester United have only managed 18 goals in 18 league games so far this season. Sheffield United are the only top-flight team to have scored fewer, which tells you Ten Hag's side have alarming problems in attack.

So why would anyone think that all of a sudden they are just going to flick a switch and thump someone? It is not as if they are creating loads of chances and missing unbelievable opportunities.

Villa are a well-balanced team and they are able to get results without being at their best. Their away form has not been as spectacular as their results at home, but they probably only need one goal to nick this.

Sutton's prediction: 0-1

Samuel's prediction: What Villa are doing is crazy, and they have got goals in them. 2-3

WEDNESDAY, 27 DECEMBER

Brentford v Wolves

Brentford 1-4 Wolves

Brentford have lost five of their past six games but they were a bit unlucky to be beaten by Aston Villa in their last home game - they were 1-0 up and on top until Ben Mee was sent off with 20 minutes to go.

Wolves were not on a great run of results either until they beat Chelsea at Molineux on Sunday, and away from home they have lost four in a row. Still, we know they will make things awkward and this one smells a lot like a draw to me... but I'm actually going to back the Bees.

I think we sometimes forget that Thomas Frank's side have done remarkably well since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2021. They are without their best two forwards, Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo, through suspension and injury - but I still think they will find a way to win.

Sutton's prediction: 2-0

Samuel's prediction: I'm saying 0-0... no let's give them both a goal. 1-1.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace

I hope I do better at predicting Chelsea's results in 2024 than I have managed this year.

They have had some odd defeats at home, as well as away - so the fact they are at Stamford Bridge doesn't really help me much.

Crystal Palace can cause them problems on the break, but I am going to go with Mauricio Pochettino's side to edge this one... and you know probably know what that means.

Sutton's prediction: 2-1

Samuel's prediction: Oh boy, I am going to have to go for another draw here. 1-1

Everton v Man City

Everton 1-3 Man City

I really like what Everton are doing and I can see them giving the world champions a good game here.

Manchester City will kick into gear at some point but I am not sure it will happen at Goodison Park. We don't know if Erling Haaland will be fit to start, and it's probably too soon for Kevin de Bruyne to come back from injury too.

Everton are relentless at the moment, and even against Tottenham they kept going and almost snatched a point at the end. I can see them getting some reward this time.

Sutton's prediction: 1-1

Samuel's prediction: I am thinking draw but of course I have got to root for my team on this one. 2-1

THURSDAY, 28 DECEMBER

Brighton v Tottenham

Brighton v Tottenham (19:30)

My first thought here is that we will get some goals.

Tottenham are still in the title race but they were slightly fortunate to hold on and beat Everton, and you just don't know what you are going to get from Brighton at the moment - good or bad.

The Seagulls have lost some of the spark they had last season but they have still only lost once at home in the Premier League and I can see them pushing Spurs all the way.

Sutton's prediction: 2-3

Samuel's prediction: Definitely goals in this one. 2-2

Arsenal v West Ham

Arsenal v West Ham (20:15)

This is a tricky one for Arsenal. West Ham are in good form, up to sixth place in the table, and always awkward to break down.

Hammers boss David Moyes is so underrated and also seemingly unappreciated by some fans, no matter how well his side do. I think it is a case where they should be careful what they wish for.

Still, I am going with Arsenal here. They are at home, where they have won their past seven matches in all competitions, and although West Ham will work hard, they won't keep them out.

Sutton's prediction: 3-0

Samuel's prediction: West Ham will get a goal, but I am going with Arsenal to win it. 3-1

Who do you want to win the Premier League this season? I want it to be Villa. I mean, I am an underdog guy, so I want them to get their first title in forever. But most of my American friends that watch football are Arsenal fans and I am tired of them bellyaching about being third or whatever. I am like, 'I am Everton fan, shut up complaining about being third'.

Either of them would be cool, but I don't want Liverpool to win it and City have won enough.

Who do you think will win it? I still think City will do it. They are going to get Haaland back soon and De Bruyne too, so yeah they are my pick. When they get going, they are just terrifying.

How did Sutton do last time?

Sutton got three correct results from nine games in week 18, including one exact score, for a total of 60 points.

With one game still to be played - Manchester City against Brentford, which was postponed because City were playing in the Fifa Club World Cup - he is guaranteed at least a draw against his guest, 86TVs guitarist Felix White, and goes down as a win for Sutton until that game takes place.

White got two correct results, with no exact scores, which gave him 20 points. He has gone for City to beat the Bees 2-0 when they meet.

Anthony Joshua150
Eddie Hearn130
CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson120
Barry Can't Swim110
Anish Kumar100
Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Midas the Jagaban90
Chris Sutton80 (average after 18 weeks)
'Hollywood' Chris Dobey, David Earl, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo70
Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves60
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Tash from The Football Academy50
AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli. Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms40
Vigil star Dougray Scott30
Willie J Healey, Felix White20
Suggs10
Chris Sutton1,440
Guests1,310

How did you get on?

A couple of shock results caught everyone out - only 4% of you went for Burnley to beat Fulham and it was a similar story with Sheffield United's surprise draw at Aston Villa, where 93% of you went for a Villa win.

Bournemouth's win at Forest was a much closer call, but you got that one correct - 35% of you backed the Cherries, 34% of you went with Forest and 31% chose a draw.

1. You4/9
2. Chris3/9
3. Guest2/9

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

1. You100/178
2. Chris 93/178
3. Guests89/178

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