Come on, let’s have it!
The football’s back and I’ve got a new film out next month. It’s called The Big Ugly and is coming to a screen near you soon - home or drive-in!
But the beautiful game is also coming to a screen near you and we’re locked and loaded ready to fire off . . . some winners!
How many games will Liverpool need to seal the Premier League title?
And can Leeds clinch promotion and bring the big-time back to Elland Road. I can see it now ... Leeds v Liverpool, Leeds v Man Utd, Leeds versus Chelsea. Ouch!
But the fans will be dreaming of seeing these fixtures week-in week-out again. It's been 16 long years outsides of the top division and Bielsa's side are in pole position for a return to the big time.
But let’s concentrate on the Premier League and I expect a nervous game to kick off the behind-closed-doors action at Villa Park on Wednesday.
It’s Aston Villa v Sheffield Utd and it’ll be a new experience for the players with no fans - almost a throwback to reserves or youth games for them.
I’m sure the TV bosses will hype it up - and rightfully so. We’ve been starved of action for such a long time and all eyes will be on this game.
It’s a crucial game for Villa given their position, but organised is exactly what Sheffield United are and they will handle the situation. It’ll be a draw.
No disrespect to Villa and the Blades, but Man City v Arsenal is probably what the masses are looking forward to watch on Wednesday night.
The Gunners will be hoping results from the early Bundesliga matches show these empty stadiums make it a more level playing field - there weren’t that many home wins in the German league.
But they’re playing City now - and Pep will take no prisoners.
Look, no-one is saying Liverpool can be caught - they’re home and hosed - but Guardiola might just want to send out a message to Klopp to keep them on their toes. If they hammer Arsenal, Liverpool will know they definitely can’t slip-up.
This is like a new season, but the atmosphere will feel more like a warm-up game.
Some teams will do okay, others won’t - and until they start playing these catch-up games we really don’t know. Best keep it fun if you’re having an interest on these games.
So on to the weekend’s matches - starting on Friday night - and you can see my predictions below.
I’d say the pick of them would be Spurs to beat Man Utd - with a back-to-fitness Harry Kane a real boost to the White Hart Lane boys.
I had a few of them wound-up last week when I said I’d keep Harry in check, but I still reckon he’ll give the Man Utd defence the runaround.
Next to Watford v Leicester.
I really like what Nigel Pearson is doing at Watford. Brendan Rogers is also doing a decent job at Leicester - and they might have the better squad on paper - but I’m going with my home town and a home win at Vicarage Road.
Arsenal and Wolves look like a couple of tasty ‘away’ bets, while as for the other games I’m looking forward to seeing how Chelsea progress.
That was some statement to sign Timo Werner from Leipzig for next season - under the noses of Liverpool. You sense something is happening again under Frank Lampard - and they should beat Villa.
You’d have to assume Liverpool will win the Merseyside Derby on their way to lifting the title, but I still reckon that’s one to watch and enjoy. I can’t see the Reds slipping up, but no-one could have seen the season ending like this. It’s unreal.
What is also unreal is my new film - The Big Ugly, out on July 24. It’s the dogs’ b******* and was great fun to make.
Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think.
None of us could have imagined it’d be released just as the world was emerging from a global pandemic - and that studios would lie empty - but thankfully we had it wrapped before the madness unravelled.
To play opposite one of the great British actors of our time in Malcolm McDowell was an absolute privilege and you’ll enjoy it.
It’s produced by the same guys who did X-Men: First Class and looks fantastic. It’s about a London crime boss - played by Malcolm - who gets involved in the oil business stateside, with various twists and turns along the way.
Catch it soon, but in the meantime enjoy the games coming up and keep safe.
It’s going to be emotional - but with tears of joy for us football fans!
All the best,
Aston Villa v Sheffield Utd DRAW
Man City v Arsenal MAN CITY WIN
Norwich v Southampton SOUTHAMPTON WIN
Tottenham v Man Utd SPURS WIN
Watford v Leicester: Watford win
Brighton v Arsenal: Arsenal win
West Ham v Wolves: Wolves win
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace: Bournemouth win
Newcastle v Sheff Utd: Sheff Utd Win
Aston Villa v Chelsea: Chelsea win
Everton v Liverpool: Liverpool win
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