O’Hara and Enrique’s Premier League Matchweek 5 Preview

After a weekend off and with the international break behind us, we take a look at what the fifth round of Premier League fixtures has in store for us.

Grosvenor Sport ambassadors Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique take a closer look at three of the weekend’s key fixtures in Manchester United versus Brighton, West Ham versus Manchester City, and Newcastle versus Brentford.

Watch the full episode of The Counter Attack with Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique here.

Manchester United v Brighton

Jamie O’Hara:

This is a massive game for Manchester United as they’ve already put themselves under pressure with their result so far. They might have Rasmus Hojlund coming into the starting 11 and he looked positive when he came on against Arsenal, but they could well struggle against this strong Brighton side.

It will be a brilliant game to watch and I’m looking forward to seeing Evan Ferguson, who I think has a really bright future. On top of that, they have Kaoru Mitoma, who I think is a £100 million player.

I just have a feeling with United being at home, Marcus Rashford coming back and Hojlund potentially starting, that they will be able to get a result. Bruno Fernandes has taken some stick but his performances have actually been really good and I think with those three you’ve always got a chance. It’s going to be close but I can see United winning this one – either way it will be a brilliant game.

Score prediction: Manchester United 2 – 1 Brighton 8/1

Anytime goalscorer: Bruno Fernandes 39/20

Jose Enrique:

I think Manchester United are now in a situation where if they don’t start games well then the stadium turns a bit toxic and they start to go against the owners, and Brighton can take advantage of that if they start well.

They’re already under pressure given their results so far and the situation between ten Hag and Sancho. After a very good season last season I expected Manchester United to be in a much better position at the moment, and now I don’t think things are going to end well for ten Hag.

Watch the full conversation on Erik ten Hag here

Even at home I don’t think this game is 50/50 and I am more in favour of Brighton in this game. They are in a much more positive place in terms of their fanbase and the general feel around the club than Manchester United are at the moment, and I think they could come away with all three points.

I still think it could be a tight game, but I am siding with Brighton. Mitoma is one of my favourite wingers in the league because he is so direct. It will be a great 1v1 battle between him and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but I can see Mitoma coming out on top.

Score prediction: Manchester United 1 – 2 Brighton 10/1

Anytime goalscorer: Kaoru Mitoma 27/10

West Ham v Manchester City

Jose Enrique:

This game is a prime example of why the Premier League is the best league in the world. To anyone who doesn’t watch the Premier League this game would seem like an easy win for Manchester City, but people that have played in it or watch it will know that this will be a fantastic watch.

West Ham will make this a tough game but I can’t get away from the fact that Manchester City, even if they don’t play at their best, always have the ability to kill teams at any point in a match. A counter-attacking approach will benefit West Ham because we all know that Manchester City will be going all out to win the game.

Anything could happen, but I am going to play it safe and say that City win this game. West Ham’s chances will be few and far between whilst City have the likes of Erling Haaland and Phil Foden in attack, so I believe they will win – they are just too good.

Score prediction: West Ham 0 – 2 Manchester City 7/1

Anytime goalscorer: Erling Haaland 13/25

Jamie O’Hara:

In any other season I would probably have said that this would be a walk in the park for Manchester City, but this West Ham team have been a real surprise with the performances they have put in so far.

They are willing to sacrifice possession and they hit you so ruthlessly on the counter-attack, and David Moyes has been fantastic in masterminding that approach. They could make this a really tough game for City.

I’m going to stick my neck out on the line a bit and say that West Ham will snatch a draw here. It will be tough for them to keep City out but I can see them getting goals on the break, potentially with a late equaliser to send the London Stadium crazy.

Score prediction: West Ham 2 – 2 Manchester City 14/1

Anytime goalscorer: Michail Antonio 24/5

Newcastle v Brentford

Jamie O’Hara:

Newcastle have had a really tough start to the season and they’re in poor form with three losses in a row, and they got absolutely pumped by Brighton in their last game. It’s not looking good for them at the moment. They’ve already lost three and you can only really lose six or seven if you want to be in the top four.

Newcastle need to bounce back and I think the international break came at the right time. They’ve had time to rethink and now they’ll have the St James’ Park crowd behind them again and that is always a massive help.

I can only see this going Newcastle’s way given how crucial it is that they win this game. Anthony Gordon has impressed me so far this season and given that Brentford will likely play as expansive as they always do, I could see him being very effective on the break.

Score prediction: Newcastle 2 – 0 Brentford 6.5/1

Anytime goalscorer: Anthony Gordon 19/5

Jose Enrique:

I don’t think anybody expected Newcastle to have such an underwhelming start to the season. There is more pressure on them this season to get into the top four, and you can see the impact the pressure is having on the players. They don’t look like the same team.

I think they have improved the squad on paper from last season and have a better starting XI and bench, but they are not performing at the same level as last year. The way they are playing at the moment doesn’t give me any positives when considering them for a top four spot.

They need to improve and this game is a great opportunity. At home, against Brentford, with the fans willing them on, I think they will win the game. I can see them getting back to their best in this fixture, and once they get the first goal their confidence will lift. Alexander Isak has been one of the few positives for them this season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see back on the scoresheet.

Score prediction: Newcastle 3 – 0 Brentford 10/1

Anytime goalscorer: Alexander Isak 11/8

Watch the full conversation around Gameweek 5 here

Gameweek 5 predictions:

Wolves v Liverpool

Jose Enrique: Liverpool 4/9

Jamie O’Hara: Liverpool 4/9

 

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

Jose Enrique: Aston Villa 19/20

Jamie O’Hara: Aston Villa 19/20

 

Fulham v Luton

Jose Enrique: Draw 3/1

Jamie O’Hara: Fulham 4/6

 

Manchester United v Brighton

Jose Enrique: Brighton 11/5

Jamie O’Hara: Manchester United 23/20

 

Tottenham v Sheffield United

Jose Enrique: Tottenham 8/25

Jamie O’Hara: Tottenham 8/25

 

West Ham v Manchester City

Jose Enrique: Manchester City 12/25

Jamie O’Hara: Draw 15/4

 

Newcastle v Brentford

Jose Enrique: Newcastle 4/7

Jamie O’Hara: Newcastle 4/7

 

Bournemouth v Chelsea

Jose Enrique: Draw 16/5

Jamie O’Hara: Draw 16/5

 

Everton v Arsenal

Jose Enrique: Arsenal 8/15

Jamie O’Hara: Arsenal 8/15

 

Nottingham Forest v Burnley

Jose Enrique: Nottingham Forest 59/50

Jamie O’Hara: Nottingham Forest 59/50

Catching My Eye: Kentucky Downs Preview Weekend at Ellis Park

It was Kentucky Downs Preview Weekend at Ellis Park last weekend (Aug. 5 and 6), and each of the seven stakes written across the two days awarded automatic berths into corresponding races at Kentucky Downs. That lucrative meet runs Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 13.

The $300,000 Pucker Up Stakes (G3)

A third-place finish in a graded stakes is nothing to shake a stick at, but you have to watch Freydis the Red (FR)’s run in the Pucker Up to understand how nice of an effort this was from the 6-1 shot.

Drawing the outside gate and having decent early foot, she broke well and threatened to find herself six-wide or more in the first turn. Brian “B.J.” Hernandez rightfully tucks her in but winds up at the back of the pack coming out of the turn. The turf course was playing fast and carrying speed on Sunday, so it would be a tall assignment to mow down the likes of Safeen and Bling, who finished one, two.

Some turf stars show a burst of speed late, others show off their power; file Freydis in the latter category, as she rallied home the final furlong in 11.58 seconds, the fastest in the field. Having shown nicely in the 1 1/4-mile Belmont Oaks (G1), going further doesn’t seem to be a problem for Kenny McPeek’s three-year-old filly, who regressed earning a 78 Brisnet Speed figure but overcame a subtly tough trip and a course favoring forward runners.

With her victory in the Pucker Up, Safeen earned a spot in the $1 million Dueling Grounds Oaks (G3), which will be run on Sept. 3.

The $250,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup

How about that late kick from Me and Mr. C? Getting Mike Maker his first mark in the win column after 28 starts this meet, the six-year-old ridden by Gerardo Corrales stormed from the back of the pack to win the 1 1/4 miles Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at 16-1, nailing Cellist at the wire.

Coming out of the far turn, things looked tight for Me and Mr. C, but a clean lane opened up for him to gather his run. Still, in the final stages, it didn’t look like he would be able to fight to the top, as Get Smokin and Cellist were hanging on, and War Campaign and Siege of Boston were finding their best run late.

Me and Mr. C tied the course record of 1:57.94, set by Bluegrass Parkway in 2021. He received a berth to the Sept. 9, $1.7 million Kentucky Downs Turf Cup (G2). The 108 Brisnet Speed figure, 16 points higher than his previous best, should be looked at judiciously going forward considering how fast they were flying across the Pea Patch green.

The $200,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint

Possibly the opposite reaction should be applied to the 94 Brisnet speed figure One Timer earned taking the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint on Sunday. After hounding Just Might through the toll-taking 21.23-, 43.43-, and 54.82-second opening fractions, One Timer had enough left to hold off the late kicks of Bad Beat Brian and Oceanic. Larry Rivelli’s lightly-raced four-year-old just banked win No. 7 in 11 career starts, including the 20-1 upset in last year’s $600,000 Franklin-Simpson (G2) at Kentucky Downs.

Two-year-old colts

Neither of Kenny McPeek’s freshman duo won the one-mile maiden special weight on Saturday, but both impressed me more than the winner, West Saratoga.

Speed and the rail at Ellis have been the advantaged style and position, and after the rail-skimming frontrunning winner had shot away from the field in the final furlongs, Generous Tipper was putting in a visually-impressive late run down the center of the track, narrowing the margin of defeat to a little over a length. After going one mile on the turf in his debut, the son of Street Sense definitely has a nice late move, and I could see him heading back to that surface.

A distant third place went to Django, who lost five lengths out of the gate and traveled as far as five-wide in the turn, took a knock, but still beat seven others home. A half to graded stakes sprinter Finley’sluckycharm and the eight-time turf winner M C Squared, Django’s next spot could be shorter or maybe on the grass, but either way he needs to figure out how to break cleanly. Once he does, watch out.