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Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton v Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill

Written by on May 2, 2024

Sutton's Predictions

Jurgen Klopp’s farewell tour as Liverpool manager is into its final month, but will their form continue to fade when they take on Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday?

“It is big for both teams, but I think Liverpool fans and everyone associated with the club want to see them finish the season with a bang,” said BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton.

“Whatever happens against Spurs, though, they are not going to win the Premier League from here.”

Sutton is making predictions for every Premier League game this season against a variety of guests.

For this weekend’s matches, he takes on Kings of Leon drummer and Manchester City fan Nathan Followill.

Kings of Leon’s new album, Can We Please Have Fun, is out on 10 May, with a special ‘Live in Wrexham’ edition featuring seven tracks from the gigs they played at the Welsh club’s Racecourse Ground last year.

The band are friends with Wrexham’s US-based owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who helped bring Kings of Leon to north Wales for the first time.

“It is just phenomenal what Ryan and Rob have done,” Followill told BBC Sport. “A lot of people kind of have the Ted Lasso effect, but with Wrexham we are able to watch it happen in real life, in real time. Hollywood could not have written this if they wanted to.

“Wrexham had just been promoted back to the Football League when we were there, and I saw they have gone up again.

“Maybe we should do one more concert there and that should be just enough to nudge them up a couple more notches, and get them up into the Premier League.”

Kings of Leon strike a pose as a band
Since their debut in 2003, Nashville band Kings of Leon have sold over 20m albums and nearly 40m singles worldwide. They have four Grammy Awards, three NME Awards and two BRIT Awards

Kings of Leon are back in the UK this summer, and one of their gigs is at the new Co-op Live venue next door to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

“Don’t think I haven’t already sorted out a little visit to the home of my favourite squad,” Followill added. “I will get decked out too.

“It’s so funny, one of our good friend’s family are involved with Arsenal. When we had kids, they would send us the Arsenal kit for each baby, as soon as they were born.

“I was like ‘No! Return to sender!’ We only wear powder blue in my house, which is one of the reasons I got into City in the first place.

“Whenever I post about City on social media I get all these people going ‘oh you glory hunter’ and all that, but in 2006, which was the year I started watching them and being a fan, there were no trophies. We only won 11 matches all season.

“They were near the bottom of the table then and sometimes getting beat so bad that I kind of felt sorry for them, but the main thing was that their colours were just so gorgeous and I mean really gorgeous.

“When I was a kid, it was always that light blue colour for me. I gravitated towards basketball teams that had THAT colour.

“So I loved North Carolina blue – the Tar Heels [the University of North Carolina’s sports teams] have a really pretty blue, and it is the same with UCLA. So, firstly I saw Man City in that colour, then I saw they weren’t very good and I thought ‘I am going to cheer for these guys’.

“It is easy to pick the team that is at the top – everyone does that in the US with the Lakers or the Yankees, and I did not want to pick the Premier League’s equivalent. We are doing much better now of course, but I have suffered in the losses as much as I have celebrated the victories.

“What’s funny is all the people who call me a glory hunter are on teams that are having down years right now.

“I’m kind of like ‘of course – you are down in the gutter right now, and it doesn’t feel good – but instead of picking on people above you, why not just let us enjoy our moment here at the top?!’

“I see sporting success like sideburns. You are hot for a minute, then you are out for a while, then you are back but halfway up, then back to pork chops.”

Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill
Nathan is the only City fan in Kings of Leon – his brother Jared supports Arsenal. “It’s nice to have a little brotherly competitiveness there,” he told BBC Sport. “He won’t like it because I am going to be pulling for Bournemouth this weekend!”

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

When? Result Sutton Nathan
THURSDAY, 2 MAY
Chelsea v Tottenham x-x 1-1 1-2*
FRIDAY, 3 MAY
Luton v Everton x-x 1-2 3-2
SATURDAY, 4 MAY
Arsenal v Bournemouth x-x 3-1 3-1
Brentford v Fulham x-x 2-2 2-2
Burnley v Newcastle x-x 3-3 0-3
Sheff Utd v Nott’m Forest x-x 0-2 0-2
Man City v Wolves x-x 3-0 4-1
SUNDAY, 5 MAY
Brighton v Aston Villa x-x 1-3 0-2
Chelsea v West Ham x-x 2-1 2-3
Liverpool v Tottenham x-x 2-3 4-3
MONDAY, 6 MAY
Crystal Palace v Man Utd x-x 1-1 3-1

* Jermain Defoe’s prediction from week 26, when the game was originally scheduled.

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

SUTTON’S PREDICTIONS

All games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated.

THURSDAY, 2 MAY

Chelsea v Tottenham

Chelsea v Tottenham (20:00 BST)

Last week’s north London derby showed us that Arsenal have got a better balance to their team right now than Tottenham, but it was still only fine margins that decided it.

That game showed the progress Spurs have made this season, because it could have been nasty for them when they went 3-0 down, but they got back into it.

Tottenham still lost, of course, but they are not quite out of the race for fourth place and Champions League qualification – and it’s the same with Chelsea, who could still finish sixth but might make it into Europe by finishing seventh.

So, both teams have plenty to play for – it’s just they are both let down by their inconsistency and you never quite know what you are going to get from them.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Jermain Defoe’s prediction (from week 26, when game was originally scheduled): 1-2

FRIDAY, 3 MAY

Luton v Everton

Luton v Everton (20:00 BST)

Everton are safe now, and what a tremendous job Sean Dyche has done there.

Dyche says keeping the Toffees up with three games to go is his biggest achievement as a manager, and I can understand why he feels that way after the campaign they have had.

When you look at Premier League managers who have exceeded expectation this season then, with all the nonsense he has had to put up with off the pitch, he is one of them.

If not for their points deductions, Everton would have been a mid-table team for most of the campaign and would not have been worried about the drop.

Luton, meanwhile, are still in the thick of the relegation scrap and you could argue this is a decent opportunity for them, given Everton have just made sure of staying up and might take their foot off the gas a bit.

Looking at their remaining games, Luton have got to play West Ham (away) and Fulham (home) as well this one.

They are three fixtures where you feel they have a chance of picking up some points but, having said that, they are too easy to play against, concede too many goals and might also be low on confidence after losing their past three matches.

We don’t know how many points Luton will need to stay up, not helped by the uncertainty over Nottingham Forest’s appeal against their points deduction, but they are going to need at least one win.

Luton won at Goodison Park earlier in the season, but I don’t see them repeating that result here. The pressure is all on them now, while we should see Everton play with a bit of freedom.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Nathan’s prediction: I am going with Luton on this one. I like a team that is backed in a corner, and has to claw their way out. Everton could kind of be on cruise control because they have got what they want. 3-2

SATURDAY, 4 MAY

Arsenal v Bournemouth

Arsenal v Bournemouth (12:30)

Bournemouth are finishing the season strongly, and have already surpassed their record points tally for a Premier League season.

That’s especially impressive when you remember they did not win their first league game until 28 October, but Andoni Iraola has turned everything round and has proved me wrong because I thought he was out of his depth at first.

I can’t look past an Arsenal win here, though, with what is at stake for them in the title race. They cannot afford to slip up, and they won’t.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-1

Nathan’s prediction: My heart is with Bournemouth but I am a realist. And if we win every game then it doesn’t matter what Arsenal do. 3-1

Brentford v Fulham

Brentford v Fulham

Fulham have been decent at home this season but they have become almost impossible to predict recently, while Brentford are safe now too, so it’s hard to know what to expect from them either.

I am basically saying I don’t have a clue what will happen here, but it is a west London derby and I do think there will be a few goals.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-2

Nathan’s prediction: I am going for more goals here. 2-2

Burnley v Newcastle

Burnley v Newcastle

I am at this game for 5 Live, and I am really looking forward to it because both teams have hit a bit of form.

I used to play for Blackburn so I always get a nice reception when I go to Turf Moor, but I have to say I admire how Burnley have kept going this season.

Vincent Kompany’s side should have beaten Manchester United last week, but they have still given themselves a chance of staying up with three games to go.

They will throw everything at this game, while Newcastle are in the mix for sixth place and will be right up for it too.

I love what Alexander Isak is doing for the Magpies but, like his team-mate Anthony Gordon, his numbers do drop off when they are on the road.

Home Premier League Away
1.2 Goals 0.5
0.1 Assists 0
1.3 Chances created 0.7
Home Premier League Away
0.6 Goals 0.1
0.5 Assists 0.2
2.1 Chances created 0.9

Both players should have a chance to improve their away stats on Saturday, but I don’t think Newcastle will have things all their own way.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-3

Nathan’s prediction: Newcastle to take this one. 0-3

Sheff Utd v Nottingham Forest

Sheff Utd v Nottingham Forest

This has to be seen as an open goal for Nottingham Forest.

They did well against Manchester City last week despite being beaten, but now they need to follow that up with a repeat performance that gets them the result they need.

Forest’s focus has to be on how they play, rather than who is the referee or video assistant referee. If they can do that, they should beat a fragile-looking Sheffield United, who are already down.

The Blades played well in the first half against Newcastle last week but capitulated in the end.

With 97 Premier League goals conceded already this season, it looks very likely they will end up passing the century mark there – but will it happen on Saturday?

Sutton’s prediction: 0-2

Nathan’s prediction: I love all things trees and Robin Hood, so I am all about Nottingham Forest. I heard Little John is in goal for them so I am very excited about watching this one. 0-2

Man City v Wolves

Manchester City v Wolves (17:30)

It definitely helps Manchester City that they are not in the Champions League because their full focus can be on this game.

City boss Pep Guardiola says his players are tired but they are unlikely to get much sympathy about that when they can bring Erling Haaland off the bench, like they did against Forest.

Wolves beat them at Molineux in September, but that is not going to happen again. Gary O’Neil’s side saw off Luton last week but their form has fallen away in recent weeks and this should be comfortable for City.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Nathan’s prediction: City all the way. 4-1

Nathan’s favourite player: Phil Foden is my hero. He is just so sneaky with how good he is. First of all he looks so young, and you think he is just a kid just out of class but then he takes teams apart. Oh, and I love Kevin de Bruyne too – he is by far the best playmaker or, in basketball, set-up man. Soccer and basketball are very similar because it is about passes and cutting in open lanes. To use a basketball analogy, De Bruyne would be an unstoppable point guard, who just knows where his guy is going to be before the other team even know he is going to be there. His vision of the field is just absolutely insane.

Nathan on Pep Guardiola: He is a genius. I would kiss his bald head if I met him. I am pretty confident about the title because of how many great players we’ve got that we can bring on when we need to, but Pep is behind it all. When he needs to put a squad out there that can get it done, he gets it done.

SUNDAY, 5 MAY

Brighton v Aston Villa

Brighton v Aston Villa (14:00)

Aston Villa have got fourth place and Champions League football in their grasp but they still have work to do to get over the line.

Unai Emery’s side play the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final with Olympiakos on Thursday, so you think if Brighton could find a bit of energy, they might cause them some problems.

I don’t see that happening, though. The Seagulls are missing their spark – for a long time now they not been the same team they were last season – and, as I’ve said before, the uncertainty over Roberto de Zerbi’s future has hardly helped.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-3

Nathan’s prediction: 0-2

Chelsea v West Ham

Chelsea v West Ham (14:00)

The more I see and read about David Moyes’ situation at West Ham, the more I am expecting them to shake hands and part company at the end of the season… and then they will bring him back a few months later when they are struggling.

I don’t think Moyes has got enough credit for the overall job he has done at the Hammers, but with only one win in their past eight league games, their current form is not great.

This is Chelsea’s second London derby of the week, and another big game for them in the battle for sixth and seventh spot. It is going to be close, but I fancy them to edge it.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Nathan’s prediction: I am going for an upset here. 2-3

Liverpool v Tottenham

Liverpool v Tottenham (16:30)

Liverpool are not in great form and the incident with Mohamed Salah has not helped. I hope he apologised to Klopp for the way he behaved on the touchline last week.

Salah is a great player but he is no different to everyone else in the squad in that, if he doesn’t perform well, I am afraid he is droppable.

It is going to be very interesting to see whether Salah starts this game, which should be an absolute cracker.

I thought Tottenham’s tactics would suit Arsenal last week and allow them to hit them on the counter-attack, and the same applies here.

When Liverpool turn the ball over, they are pretty devastating on the break, so the key for Spurs when they commit men forward will be to get the balance right. It will make for one hell of a game.

Probably no-one fancies Spurs to come out on top, other than me, but that’s what I think will happen, with the wheels coming off for Klopp properly this time.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-3

Nathan’s prediction: I can see this one being a high-scoring affair. 4-3

MONDAY, 4 MAY

Crystal Palace v Man Utd

Crystal Palace v Man Utd (20:00)

I keep getting abuse from Manchester United fans on social media saying I never back them on here… but we keep on seeing why I rarely back them to win.

They were played off the park by Burnley last week, and were fortunate to get a point. So, how can I possibly back them to beat Palace?

The one thing that might help Erik ten Hag’s side is that Eagles forward Eberechi Eze is doubtful with a knee injury, but Jean-Philippe Mateta is still on fire and will be a real handful for the United defence.

Palace won 1-0 at Old Trafford in September but I don’t want to upset United fans again by predicting they will suffer another defeat.

I do want to tip Palace to win, but there are so many angry United fans out there who think I am against their club, I am going to say United will get a lucky draw to try to get them onside.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Nathan’s prediction: I love the sound of Crystal Palace. I am a King of Leon, and kings love palaces. My own palace is that beautiful light shade of blue, so to cheer for Manchester United from my powder blue palace is just not going to happen. 3-1

How did Sutton do last week?

Sutton got six correct results, with no exact scores, from the 10 Premier League games in week 35, giving him 60 points.

His guests were Andy Bell and Steve Queralt from Ride, and both of them beat him.

Bell also got six correct results, but with one exact score, for a total of 90 points, while Queralt got four correct results, with one exact scores, leaving him with 70 points.

Thursday’s game between Chelsea and Tottenham was postponed from week 26, when Sutton’s guest was Jermain Defoe.

That is the last game to be played from that set of fixtures and, so far, Defoe leads 80-60.

Luke Littler 170
Anthony Joshua 150
Ross from Twin Atlantic 140
Eddie Hearn 130
Nathan Aspinall, CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson 120
Barry Can’t Swim 110
Anish Kumar 100
Andy Bell from Ride, UB40 drummer Jimmy Brown, Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Franklin star Daniel Mays, Midas the Jagaban 90
Jermain Defoe, ‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey, Songer 80
Chris Sutton 77 (average after 35 weeks)
David Earl, Steve Queralt from Ride, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo 70
Dave from The Zutons, Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves, Sam from Twin Atlantic 60
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Ed Leigh, Tash from The Football Academy, Matthew Vaughn, Rick Witter 50
Bionic, AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli, Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms, Declan McKenna, JayO 40
Jericho Ridge star Zack Morris, Vigil star Dougray Scott, Felix White, Anna Friedberg and Emily Linden from Friedberg 30
Willie J Healey, Bria Keely of Better Joy 20
Suggs, Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring 10
Chris Sutton 2,680
Guests 2,500

How did you get on?

There were four draws last weekend, and they were the results that caught you out. You did rather better with your prediction that Newcastle would beat Sheffield United – 93% of you voted for a Magpies win.

=1. Chris 6/10
=1. Guests 6/10
=1. You 6/10

*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match. Andy’s scores were used in both tables.

1. You 193/346
2. Chris 187/346
3. Guests 176/346

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