Klopp-Salah war, Arsenal bottle it, Spurs win by mistake – 10 Premier League predictions

Dave Tickner
Jurgen Klopp and Mo Salah argue while Arsenal despair.
Jurgen Klopp and Mo Salah argue while Arsenal despair.

Here at Football365 we take great pride in being absolutely terrible at predictions. We even have the annual humiliation ritual of season-long predictions where several of us will do really stupid things like forget about Liverpool or think that Erik ten Hag is on to something or be impressed by Sander Berge. That kind of stuff.

But surely even we can’t make a b*llocks of predictions about what might happen when there are only three weeks of the season left? Surely even we can have a decent strike rate on that?

Oh, my sweet summer child. Here are 10 things that we are certain will happen over the remaining days of the season and that are therefore now certain not to happen.


Erling Haaland becomes the first confirmed fraud to win the Golden Boot
Haaland winning the Golden Boot has swiftly become the saving grace of all predictions. Whatever else we may get wrong, we could at least all go “Well we got the Golden Boot winner, right.” The Goalatron has done it again.

And yes, he is now going to win it again. He leads by one from Cole Palmer (we’re not going to give ourselves too hard a time for not predicting that one in August) and a couple from Alexander Isak and Ollie Watkins.

He’ll get himself a hat-trick somewhere over the run-in and enough elsewhere to secure the prize despite Going Missing at Spurs (see below) and therefore once again confirming what everyone knows: that he’s a great big fraud.

That’s the twist he’s given us this year, isn’t it? Haaland being top scorer was the least interesting prediction it was possible to make. But Haaland being top scorer while people don’t just find themselves sometimes asking “Is he actually any good at football, though?” but actually all agreeing that the answer is “No” is a monumental effort from the big fella.


Brighton don’t win any more games, De Zerbi remains among favourites for all jobs
Just a fascinating season from the lads on the south coast. Having won five of their first six games, they’ve won only six of the subsequent 28.

They beat both Manchester United and Newcastle in that early burst of form, but have only a single win against any team in the top half since. That win was against Spurs, obviously, but it still counts.

The good news is that their season is going to get even sillier, because that run of six wins in 28 is going to be six wins in 32 by the time the music stops. They’re not getting anything from Aston Villa, Chelsea or return fixtures against Newcastle and United, not now. A couple of those teams are enormously stupid, but not stupid enough to lose to this Brighton team in their current funk.

It’s not much of a prediction: team playing terribly will fail to beat four teams who have their own nonsense going on but are not as bad as the team playing terribly. But that’s only part of it.

The remaining part of the prediction is that these results will continue to have precisely zero impact on Roberto De Zerbi’s now seemingly mandatory position as third favourite for all big manager jobs definitely or potentially available.


Spurs accidentally beat Man City and hand Arsenal a clear run at the title
By this stage fully marooned in fifth and thus with no tangible benefit to themselves, Spurs nevertheless complete the now bafflingly reliable tradition of the annual pulling down the pants of Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, keeping their third clean sheet since November in the process. Erling Haaland is accused of Going Missing.

This victory achieves nothing whatsoever for Spurs, but does mean Arsenal can win the title with a final-day win over Everton, and surely even Arsenal can’t Arsenal that up.

👉 ‘Postecoglou should be sacked’ by Spurs after north London derby defeat
👉 16 Conclusions from Spurs 2-3 Arsenal: Stupidity, set-pieces, perfect outcomes and inverted centre-backs


Arsenal fail to beat Everton on the final day, handing title back to Manchester City
As a grinning Sean Dyche revels gleefully in his party-pooper role, Arsenal batten down hatches and insist that it all just further demonstrates how nobody can stop Man City winning it actually, and that it’s impossible to compete with them you see and there is no way Arsenal could have done anything differently to bring the title to north London and no, it is not in any way a bottle job, that’s just reductive trolling actually.

This noise will continue with utter relentlessness for many days to make sure nobody else is able to point out that the one thing Arsenal could have done to win the title was beat Everton at home.

The Celebration Police, meanwhile, are forced to double the penalty notices after Arsenal celebrated victory at Manchester United the previous week like they’d won the league, when beating United is nothing to shout about these days is it? Anyone can do it. Anyone apart from Liverpool anyway.

Having duly celebrated Arsenal not winning the league like they’d won the league, the Celebration Police are forced to turn on themselves via the medium of an illiterate and incoherent Richard Keys blog in which he goes off on a tangent to explain again at some length that he knows Arne Slot’s name isn’t actually Arne ten Slot and that this is in fact just one of his clever jokes.


Jurgen Klopp and Mo Salah come to blows
An actual full-on fist fight on the sidelines. Punches thrown, names called. Pep Lijnders eventually pulls the two warring colleagues apart before Klopp, beard bloodied, baseball cap askew, smiling maniacally, addresses the media to tell everyone it is all normal and everything is fine.

Mainly we want this to happen just to see how the Daily Express report Klopp and Salah actually coming to blows having reported ‘two men have a vaguely undignified public row’ as coming to blows this week.


Burnley beat Nottingham Forest in final-day decider
Having spent the vast majority of the season looking pretty much as bad as Sheffield United, albeit with marginally less propensity for getting absolutely smashed to pieces, the Clarets have in recent weeks launched quite the dullest and yet still potentially successful Great Escape bid on record.

There is proud Barclays history behind the idea of the Great Escape, with your West Broms, your West Hams and most famously the Leicesters of this world having all at one time or other completed this sacred quest.

Burnley can add their name to this list, but not in a way that makes you think it’s worth having a fiver on them at 5000/1 to win the league next season.

Because Burnley’s Great Escape bid has been powered not by a breathtaking run of their own, but by Nottingham Forest’s rule-breaking and incompetence, and Luton running out of puff. Burnley themselves have still only actually won two games in their last eight while closing on the trapdoor, and those wins were only against Brentford and Sheffield United. But they have managed to draw a lot of games with a lot of mid-table dreck like Chelsea, West Ham, Manchester United and Brighton.

And it really might all be enough to leave them needing only to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day, which right now you would probably back them to do given that Brentford-Sheffield United formline.


Nottingham Forest react to relegation with their customary quiet dignity
Having managed to get themselves relegated in a season of heroically and historically weak promoted clubs, Forest respond with a period of quiet introspection, ruminating on their own myriad failures on and off the pitch that have led them to this position of bleakness.

That lasts five seconds before the owner gets his hands on the Twitter password again and complains that the Premier League had completely failed to heed Forest’s warnings that Burnley’s team was full of Burnley supporters who had a clear conflict of interest due to wanting Burnley to stay up.

With NFFC once again darkly considering all its options, Mark Clattenburg is last seen calling Viper a “little prick” and explaining that Gauntlet needs to be refereed with a heavy hand, actually, and asking random passers-by if they want to see his Euro 2016 tattoo.

READ: Clatts has ruined Celebrity Refs, the Gauntlet and now helped melt Nottingham Forest’s entire brains


Chelsea win or lose all remaining games by four goals, nobody bats eyelid
While serious football clubs bid to complete their season’s goals over the final few weeks of the season, the proudly and profoundly nonserious Chelsea continue just mucking about like a bunch of daft lads. All their remaining games of the season see them either win by four goals, lose by four goals, or draw after leading and/or losing by two goals.

Not one of these results is in any way surprising or causes anyone to bat an eyelid. The 5-5 draw against Spurs in particular becomes the maddest game of association football in recorded history to be met entirely by shrugs of indifference by fans of all clubs, who manage to miss every single goal trying to work out what kind of timey-wimey weirdness is at play for this to somehow be the first Stamford Bridge meeting between the two clubs since the Tuchel-Conte handshake hilarity.


Bournemouth finish eighth
Not one single Proper Football Man acknowledges that appointing Andoni Iraola might not have been an affront to every true-born Englishman in the land.


Crystal Palace finish between 11th and 15th with a 40-something points total
Not really a prediction now, but a huge relief nonetheless that something one should be able to predict with 100 per cent confidence before a ball has been kicked is now going to happen having looked enormously fragile. An unlikely 10 points from four games against Liverpool, West Ham, Newcastle and Fulham now mean Palace are certain to make it 11 consecutive Premier League points tallies in the 40s, with the confirmation of a finishing position somewhere in the third quarter of the table now only a matter of time.

Having once again demonstrated our wild ability to get absolutely nothing right, it’s reassuring to know that Crystal Palace are still Crystal Palace and always will be.