⛅️ Friday Forecast: A derby with a difference and more worry for Arsenal? | OneFootball

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Padraig Whelan·10 February 2023

⛅️ Friday Forecast: A derby with a difference and more worry for Arsenal?

Article image:⛅️ Friday Forecast: A derby with a difference and more worry for Arsenal?

After a surprising weekend at the top last time out and some exciting midweek FA Cup action, the Premier League takes centre stage once more.

We look ahead to what lies in store.

💪 Game of the weekend

Liverpool v Everton

While it isn’t quite the weekend given this will take place under the floodlights at Anfield on Monday night, it is still the tastiest fixture on offer this matchday and could offer something quite outside the norm of recent history.

This game would have been appointment viewing in any case, as it always is, but recent events have added even greater intrigue to the latest Merseyside derby.

Liverpool are in crisis, averaging 1.45 points a game (if that trend continues they would end the campaign with 55 points, their third worst Premier League season ever), shipping goals at an alarming rate and looking abject in attack.

Their top league scorer in 2023 is Leicester centre-back Wout Faes and the normally reliable Mo Salah is chipping in with a goal every 254 minutes – by a distance his worst return with the Reds.

In contrast, after a woeful run of form, there is some renewed optimism across Stanley Park after Sean Dyche’s arrival and he immediately whipped the Toffees into shape by claiming the scalp of league leaders Arsenal.

This fixture has not been kind to them whatsoever of late, particularly at Anfield where they have just one win on their last 22 league visits, but there may be no better time for them to meet.

📊 Fun fact: It depends on your definition of fun (or lack of it) but this has finished 0-0 more than any other fixture in Premier League history (12 times).

🔮 Our prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Everton

😨 Potential upset

Arsenal v Brentford

This is not a knee-jerk reaction to Arsenal’s surprise loss at Goodison Park last weekend.

In case you haven’t noticed (and it has gone under the radar given other events across the Premier League), Brentford have been good this season. Very good.

Were it not for Kaoru Mitoma’s late goal for fellow high-flyers Brighton last weekend, the Bees would have travelled to the Emirates in sixth – an arguably even more impressive achievement than what is going on in north London.

And when it comes to the traditional ‘top six’, their record against them this season has been incredible with Brentford picking up 11 points from 18 on offer so far, while they are also on a nine-match unbeaten run in the league, where they haven’t lost since October.

There is potential to strike at a wounded animal in this one, while there is also the Manchester City factor for the Gunners, who could be forgiven for looking ahead, even if just a little, to their mammoth midweek clash against the champions.

Although Arsenal did win the reverse fixture 3-0, it will not be as straightforward this time.

📊 Fun fact: No side in the league has more set-piece goals this season that Brentford with 14, with five of those coming from the ever-reliable Ivan Toney’s penalty kick prowess.

🔮 Our prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Brentford

👍 Big favourites

Bournemouth v Newcastle

Article image:⛅️ Friday Forecast: A derby with a difference and more worry for Arsenal?

This marks Eddie Howe’s first ever visit to the Vitality Stadium as a member of the opposition and is certain to be a surreal occasion of the Magpies boss.

After all, he is an undisputed Bournemouth legend, racking up over 300 games for them as a player and 458 games as coach across two separate spells and 10 years.

But it is hard to see any way that he doesn’t take the plaudits of the Cherries faithful before returning to the north east with the three points.

Newcastle are unbeaten in their last six against Bournemouth (which does stretch back to their current coach’s tenure) and have never failed to score on any of their five visits to the coastal town.

And when it comes to the current form book Newcastle are enjoying their longest ever Premier League unbeaten run which currently stands at 16 games, with the Cherries winless since the World Cup, scoring just once and losing five of their six games.

📊 Fun fact: Bournemouth are the only side yet to register at least 200 shots on goal this season and are still some way off the tally with 179, while they have also faced the most attempts on their own goal with 341.

🔮 Our prediction: Bournemouth 0-3 Newcastle

🤔 Too close to call

Leeds v Manchester United

Article image:⛅️ Friday Forecast: A derby with a difference and more worry for Arsenal?

Given that we have literally had these two face off as recently as two days ago and there was no separating them then, it had to be this right?

Leeds are still no closer to appointing a successor to Jesse Marsch after his dismissal earlier this week, meaning the three-man team which helped them to a point at Old Trafford will be back in charge again.

It is always a fiery affair whenever United make the trip across the Pennines and this one won’t be any different as Leeds chase a first win in this fixture since 2010, while it has been an even longer wait for an Elland Road win.

The last time they did that was in 2002 courtesy of a lone Harry Kewell strike and while that will prove to be a big ask, their performance in Manchester on Wednesday is proof that they will make things difficult for Erik ten Hag’s side in a game that will guarantee fireworks.

📊 Fun fact: This is the first time Leeds have faced the same opponent in back-to-back top tier games since Sheffield United in 1974, while you have to go back even further for Manchester United when they won against Wolves in consecutive fixtures in 1967.

🔮 Our prediction: Leeds 1-2 Manchester United

🔥 Your Fantasy Football captain should be …

Erling Haaland

Article image:⛅️ Friday Forecast: A derby with a difference and more worry for Arsenal?

Let’s face it, if you don’t have the City star in your team by this point then you fare little chance.

The Norwegian will surely emerge like a man possessed against Aston Villa this weekend after failing to register a single shot for the first time in his career in England last time out, a game which also saw him make zero touches in the opposition box.

There is also the added bonus for fantasy fans of this being a double gameweek for City and Arsenal given their mouthwatering showdown next Wednesday, which only makes Haaland’s appeal even greater than normal. Give him that armband!

Other predictions