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Vinnie Jones: Are Chelsea title challengers again?

- Created: 06:12, 23rd June 2020 | Last updated: 16:35, 29th June 2020

So, how was it for you? I’m talking football here, not my new film The Big Ugly - although it's bloody good. No, the first weekend of football, which meant wall-to-wall matches and Vinnie guiding you in the right direction - hopefully!

We managed to nail a few of the results, probably better than most ‘experts’ out there. It’s not easy given the time off for these teams - there’s an element of rustiness and you could see some of the boys blowing hard. And playing in front of empty stadiums is odd.

It seemed to affect some teams more than most. I thought Man City handled it well, and also Spurs, even though they were held by Man Utd. Credit to Newcastle and Crystal Palace, too, and I actually thought Aston Villa defended well against Chelsea.

Villa and Dean Smith might be okay. There’s a whole host of clubs getting dragged into the nasty stuff at the bottom and it’s what happens when they play each other which will be crucial, but I thought the Midlands club did alright - against a top, top team.

There’s something going on at Chelsea. I like Frank Lampard’s style, the way he wants to play the game, and if there’s going to be challenge to Liverpool and Man City going forward, I reckon it’s coming from the boys in blue.

They’ve got a tidy squad already - and then you see them buy Timo Werner, a goalscorer Liverpool wanted badly. They’ve also got Hakim Ziyech, plus my spies tell me they’re looking at Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen. Three top, top signings potentially.

Throw in Ben Chilwell from Leicester, which is a transfer rumour that is still rumbling on, and are Chelsea title challengers again?

The answer has to be yes. There’s going to be a few shown the door at Stamford Bridge - and that midfield especially looks especially heavy and some serious players could make way - a bit like when I made way for Nigel Spackman to come in there!

Have a look at the team and bench yesterday - Mount, Kante, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Gilmour - with Jorginho suspended. Attacking midfield-wise they’ve got Pulisic, Pedro, Willian and Hudson-Odoi. That’s some list of players to call on.

With Werner, Ziyech and maybe Chilwell, they might go toe to toe with the Liverpool and City squads. 

As for Liverpool, I’m not sure what to make of the reds after the Merseyside Derby. Everton could easily have won that - and perhaps it’s going to be more difficult for a team like Liverpool to get back to how they were flying.

That’s no criticism, it’s just the way this extraordinary season has panned out.

They were surfing a red wave at Anfield, cheered on by thousands of their supporters in the ground and millions worldwide. They’re going to do something no Liverpool team has done in 30 years, but it’s going be lower-key for all surely. Not their fault.

Before lockdown, they were steamrollering teams. But you sense it’s different now and an empty Anfield just isn't the same for them. I know it’s the same for everyone but more so for Liverpool - the results might not be as plain-sailing as they had been.

Check out my predictions below for the next round of matches and let’s have a quick look at what else is going on in the behind-closed-doors world of sport. Thankfully horse racing and golf are both back on, two of my favourite sports.

They’re played golf in South Carolina at the weekend and there was a good show from the European lads in that event - Tyrell Hatton, Sergio Garcia, Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose all showed up well behind Webb Simpson in the RBC Heritage.

They move to Connecticut for the Travelers Championship this week - and might find it harder. The Americans have a great record there - it’s their sort of course - so my three against the field are Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson.

Hoping you’re keeping fit and getting a round or two in!

Keep safe.

Vinnie.

Vinnie’s Premier League Predictions

Tuesday

Leicester v Brighton - Leicester to win

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham - Spurs to win

Wednesday

Man Utd  v Sheffield Utd - Man Utd to win

Newcastle v Aston Villa - Draw

Norwich v Everton - Everton to win

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Bournemouth - Wolves to win

Liverpool v Crystal Palace  Liverpool to win

Thursday

Burnley v Watford - Draw

Southampton v Arsenal - Southampton to win

Chelsea v Man City  Chelsea to win

Saturday

Aston Villa v Wolves - Draw

Sunday

Watford v Southampton - Draw

Monday

Crystal Palace v Burnley - Burnley to win

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Vinnie Jones' Betting Tips

Leciester to win
4/6
Spurs to win
67/100
Man Utd to win
1/2
Newcastle vs Villa: Draw
12/5
Everton to win
97/100
Wolves to win
13/20
Burnley vs Watford: Draw
23/10
Southampton to win
7/4
Chelsea to win
10/3
Villa vs Wolves: Draw
13/5
Watford vs Southampton: Draw
245/100
Burnley to win
49/20

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