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Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton faces actor Casper van Dien

Sutton's Predictions

Arsenal face a familiar figure on Saturday as they look to get their title bid back on track – but can they get the better of their former manager Unai Emery’s Aston Villa side?

“I really want there to be a title race and Arsenal need to hang on in there,” BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton said.

“It is just their luck that they really need a win this weekend, and they are up against a manager who was derided by their fans.

“This would be the perfect time for Emery to stick the boot in, by getting a result for Villa.”

Sutton is making predictions for every top-flight game this season, against a variety of guests.

For this weekend’s fixtures, he is up against Starship Troopers actor Casper van Dien.

Van Dien’s new mystery film, Daughter, is out on digital download on Monday.

Daughter director Corey Deshon has also made his predictions for the same games and has promised to find Sutton a part in his next project – well, if there is a character obstinate enough for him to play.

“From the sounds of it, I think that’s unlikely,” Deshon said. “But if Chris sends me an audition tape then I’ll give him a go!”

Casper van Dien in Starship Troopers
As Johnny Rico in 1997 film Starship Troopers, Van Dien defeated a planet-load of belligerent lifeforms – but can he get the better of Chris Sutton at predictions?

Van Dien has Dutch ancestry but despite having football-mad relatives in the Netherlands, his own career was over by the time he was 15.

He told BBC Sport: “I played a lot of soccer when I was a kid, and competed right the way up to ninth grade, but then I just played American football after that.

“I still have cousins over there [in the Netherlands] and they talk about soccer all the time. But I’ve not been to a game since I went to David Beckham’s last match for LA Galaxy, in 2012.

“I actually have a Beckham jersey – and I wore it with pride! – but I haven’t been back since.

“It’s a big fail of mine, and I’m determined to get to a game next time I am in the UK, to experience that too. For now, though, I guess I have to settle for making some predictions instead!”

It’s just a shame for Van Dien that Hull City are not involved because chanting “Go Tigers” has become something of a family tradition that he has passed on to his daughter, Grace, who played cheerleader Chrissy in Stranger Things.

Van Dien explained: “In Starship Troopers, I play on the Tigers, who are my football team and in Stranger Things, Gracie’s character cheers for the Tigers – that’s the team at Hawkins High School, which she goes to.

“I am 54 now, so the chances of me playing for Hull in a sports movie are pretty slim – but if I can play the coach or the owner, then you never know!”

Casper van Dien and Grace van Dien
Future Hull fans? Casper with his daughter, Grace
Premier League predictions – week 23
Aston Villa v Arsenalx-x1-21-31-2
Brentford v Crystal Palacex-x2-02-12-0
Brighton v Fulhamx-x3-12-22-1
Chelsea v Southamptonx-x2-03-03-0
Everton v Leedsx-x1-11-11-0
Nott’m Forest v Man Cityx-x0-20-33-1
Wolves v Bournemouthx-x1-02-02-1
Newcastle v Liverpoolx-x1-12-31-0
Man Utd v Leicesterx-x2-12-13-1
Tottenham v West Hamx-x3-11-11-0

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


Games kick off at 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated


Aston Villa v Arsenal

Aston Villa v Arsenal (12:30 GMT)

This has turned into a crucial game for Arsenal, who are without a win in four matches in all competitions.

It’s not the case that they have lost form – I was at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday for BBC Radio 5 Live and in the first half they were very good, although Manchester City controlled things after the break.

It doesn’t really matter how well the Gunners play here, though. They just need to find a way to win.

It’s really important for their manager and the fans, but also the players too. They are a young team, who had a fantastic first half of the season, but the longer they go without a victory, the more pressure they will come under.

Snapshot of the top of the Premier League table: 1st Man City, 2nd Arsenal, 3rd Man Utd, 4th Newcastle, 5th Tottenham & 6th Brighton
City’s win over Arsenal on Wednesday sent the defending champions top for the first time since November

Villa will be awkward opponents, however, as they showed when they played City on Sunday. They carried a threat in the second half and could have made it a tense finish.

I can see them causing Arsenal problems too and my head is telling me this will be a draw, but I am going to follow my heart – and my heart wants there to be a title race this season.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Casper’s prediction: 1-3

Corey’s prediction: 1-2

Brentford v Crystal Palace

Brentford v Crystal Palace

Brentford might have appeared fortunate to extend their unbeaten run last weekend thanks to the controversial goal they scored against Arsenal, but they played really well and could have even beaten the Gunners.

The Bees have not lost any of their past 10 league games, but they’ve not just been getting good results – their boss Thomas Frank is flexible with his formations and their performances have been impressive too.

In contrast, Crystal Palace picked up a point – against Brighton – last time out, but if truth be told they were pretty hopeless. They will have to carry far more of a threat here if they are going to get anything from the game.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-0

Casper’s prediction: 2-1

Corey’s prediction: 2-0

Brighton v Fulham

Brighton v Fulham

This should be a decent game between two good teams. Who would have thought at the start of the season that they would be sixth and seventh now, and both fighting for a European place?

Brighton were wasteful against Palace, which is why they dropped points in that one – as well as the VAR offside decision that went against them after the line was drawn on the wrong Eagles defender.

Fulham always create chances too, home and away, so I think there will be goals here – especially if Brighton find their shooting boots.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-1

Casper’s prediction: 2-2

Corey’s prediction: 2-1

Chelsea v Southampton

Chelsea v Southampton

Chelsea boss Graham Potter really has to win this game, because otherwise he is going to come under massive pressure.

Potter’s side missed more chances against Borussia Dortmund in midweek and we know they are missing a cutting edge – but there can’t be any excuses for not beating Southampton, who are bottom of the table, don’t have a manager and are in a real mess.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-0

Casper’s prediction: 3-0

Corey’s prediction: 3-0

Everton v Leeds

Everton v Leeds

This is a very hard one to call. Leeds still don’t have a new manager, but they do have some talented attacking players.

One day, things will really click for them and they will take their opportunities – but they have already been waiting a while for that to happen, because they have not won a league game since Bonfire Night.

Snapshot of the bottom of the Premier League table: 15th Wolves, 16th West Ham, 17th Leeds, 18th Everton, 19th Bournemouth & 20th Southampton

Everton were unlucky with the way they conceded their first goal against Liverpool on Monday, just seconds after hitting the post, but they didn’t have enough up front without Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Calvert-Lewin won’t be fit for this game either so I think Everton are going to need some help from their fans if they are going to get anything out of it – Goodison Park is going to have to play its part.

Everton are probably looking at the table and thinking they can stay up by winning their home games. Well, this is their opportunity and I am not convinced they will be able to take it.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Casper’s prediction: 1-1

Corey’s prediction: 1-0

Nottingham Forest v Man City

Nottingham Forest v Man City

This is a tricky game for Manchester City because Nottingham Forest have such a good record at the City Ground, where they have not been beaten in the league since September.

I still worry about City’s left-back position and you can get at them defensively. Forest will have a real go too at home.

But we saw Pep Guardiola’s side flex their muscles when they beat Arsenal to go top of the league on Wednesday. It was a reminder that they have players who can produce moments of brilliance.

City’s second-half display really was excellent and I don’t even think they have really hit their stride yet, which is ominous for the rest of the Premier League – there is much more to come from them.

Sutton’s prediction: 0-2

Casper’s prediction: 0-3

Corey’s prediction: 3-1

Wolves v Bournemouth

Wolves v Bournemouth

Performance-wise, Bournemouth have actually done all right in the past couple of weeks but it must be frustrating for their manager Gary O’Neil that they haven’t taken more points.

Wolves seem to have improved in all areas too and I like what Julen Lopetegui has done since he took charge.

However bad Southampton were, to come back to beat them with 10 men shows that he has instilled a bit of spirit in his side, and I think they will be too streetwise for Bournemouth.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-0

Casper’s prediction: 2-0

Corey’s prediction: 2-1

Newcastle v Liverpool

Newcastle v Liverpool (17:30)

Have Liverpool turned the corner with Monday’s win over Everton? I am not sure about that.

Jurgen Klopp’s side did look more like their old selves, especially with the way they counter-attacked, but their defence was not exactly stretched.

The question with Newcastle is whether they are just running out of steam. They looked short of energy against Bournemouth last time out.

Bruno Guimaraes, who is still suspended, is a big miss too. They just don’t have the same control in midfield without him.

Liverpool are the only team to have beaten Newcastle in the league this season. I don’t see them doing the double – but I am going to sit on the fence and go with a draw.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Casper’s prediction: 2-3

Corey’s prediction: 1-0


Man Utd v Leicester

Man Utd v Leicester (14:00 GMT)

I keep on ruling Manchester United out of the title race – and I still think the title is Manchester City’s by the way – but United keep finding a way of winning games, even when they are not at their best, which is a good habit to have.

We will have to see how Erik ten Hag’s squad copes with the volume of matches they face while they are in the Europa League, and Thursday’s game against Barcelona is obviously a big distraction for them.

Leicester got a great win over Tottenham last time out, and it’s clear what an enormous difference it makes for them to have James Maddison fit again.

I reserve the right to change my prediction after the Barca game but at the moment United have the confidence and belief to carry them through tight games, which is what I think will happen here.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Casper’s prediction: 2-1

Corey’s prediction: 3-1

Tottenham v West Ham

Tottenham v West Ham (16:30 GMT)

I’ll start by wishing Tottenham boss Antonio Conte well and the main thing is he makes a swift recovery from his gallbladder surgery.

Spurs won the last game Conte missed, against Manchester City earlier this month, and I am expecting a similar result here, helped by them having Cristian Romero back after suspension.

But we don’t really know what we will get from Tottenham, as was shown by their heavy defeat at Leicester last time out.

As for West Ham, they were very poor in the first 25 minutes against Chelsea and the game could have been out of sight for them by then.

The Hammers hung on in there and got something out of the game but I don’t think they will get away with it if they put in a repeat performance against Tottenham.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-1

Casper’s prediction: 1-1

Corey’s prediction: 1-0

Chris Sutton, Casper van Dien and Corey Deshon were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Sutton do last week?

From last weekend’s Premier League fixtures, Sutton got five correct results from 10 matches, including two exact scores, giving him a total of 110 points.

He beat FEET bassist Oli, who got three correct results, with no exact scores, for a total of 30 points.

Manchester City’s win over Arsenal on Wednesday counted towards week 11, when that game was meant to take place.

Sutton predicted a 2-1 Arsenal win while his guest, Phoenix singer Thomas Mars, went for a 1-1 draw. That means Mars is confirmed as the winner, by 70-30.

Two more guests also had a go at predicting that game in midweek – You Me At Six singer Josh Franceschi, who supports Arsenal, and Cassia bassist Lou Cotterill, a Manchester City fan.

Franceschi also wrongly backed Arsenal but Cotterill not only got the right result, he chose the exact scoreline too.

How is Sutton doing this season?

Guest leaderboard
Gaz Coombes120
Ali Bruce-Ball, Modernlove drummer Cian McCluskey110
Liam Fray of The Courteeners100
Chris Sutton (average after 22 weeks)71
Ian Broudie, GK from Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno, Editors bassist Russell Leetch, Aaron Moorhead, Phoenix singer Thomas Mars70
Ross MacDonald from The 1975, Ryan Porteous60
Justin Benson, Al Greenwood from Sports Team, Dapz on the Map, Chesney Hawkes, Maulo50
Blake Bowman, Tom from Dry Cleaning40
Olivia Chomczuk, Oli from Feet, Jessica McHale30
Juice Menace, Schak, Patrick Whelan20
Total scores after week 22
Chris Sutton1,560
Sutton v guests

How did you get on?

You had a good week, helped by a close call in the Merseyside derby going your way. While 35% of you went for a draw, 38% correctly went for a Liverpool win.

For the Arsenal-City game, more than 750,000 of you voted on the outcome – 259,000 (34%) correctly backed City to win but 314,000 (42%) wrongly went for an Arsenal victory

You vs Chris & the guests – week 22
PositionCorrect results
1. You6/10
2. Chris5/10
3. Ollie3/10

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

Total scores after week 22
1. You113/221 (51%)
2. Chris107/221 (48%)
3. Guests102/221 (46%)

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