Joel Sanderson-Murray·17 February 2023
Joel Sanderson-Murray·17 February 2023
Arsenal need to get back to winning ways while Liverpool face a real test over whether they are indeed ‘back’.
Here are our predictions for this weekend’s Premier League action.
A make-or-break week for Liverpool begins in the North East on Saturday night.
The Merseyside derby win over Everton on Monday has threatened to spark new life into a season that was falling apart, and suddenly the task of catching the top four appears plausible again.
Their opponents this weekend hold the coveted fourth spot going into the game and are in the midst of a 17-game unbeaten run with the best defence in the league having only conceded 13 goals.
It will be a true acid test for Jürgen Klopp’s side: are they capable of salvaging something from 2022/23?
A win would move them to within six points of the Magpies with a game in hand and the momentum will back on the side of last year’s league runners-up.
📊 Fun fact: Newcastle have only lost once in the Premier League this season, with Liverpool inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Eddie Howe’s team in August.
🔮 Our prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Liverpool
The champions look like they have well and truly arrived this past week with emphatic wins over Aston Villa and Arsenal.
Pep Guardiola’s men have whittled away at the eight-point gap at the top to overtake the Gunners on goal difference.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest have taken the unusual step of pleading with the Premier League to let them re-register Steve Cook back into their 25-man squad after losing defender Scott McKenna and Wily Boly to long-term injury.
Steve Cooper only has two available centre-backs for the visit of Erling Haaland and co. to the City Ground.
Which is why, naturally, we’re predicting Forest to overcome City. But in our defence, they are unbeaten at home in their last seven games – beating Liverpool and drawing with Chelsea during that run.
This is a potential banana skin for the league leaders.
📊 Fun fact: Man City have won their last nine league games against a newly-promoted side since losing to Leeds in April 2021.
🔮 Our prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Manchester City
The mood music at Old Trafford hasn’t been this positive in a long time.
Erik ten Hag has the Red Devils purring again, spearheaded by Europe’s in-form forward at the moment in Marcus Rashford, who equalled his best-ever season goal tally (22) with a strike against Barcelona on Thursday.
Last weekend’s victory over Leeds United leaves them just five points off top spot and we’re not far off them being brought into the title race discussion.
Leicester have shown signs that they are turning a corner in their last two games, scoring four times on two occasions to beat Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur. New signings Tete and Victor Kristiansen have had a positive impact and the Foxes look capable of moving away from the relegation zone.
But this might be a step too far for Brendan Rodgers’ resurgent side.
📊 Fun fact: United have scored at least once in their last 27 league games against Leicester.
🔮 Our prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Leicester City
The wheels haven’t quite fallen off the Arsenal title charge just yet but the vehicle is beginning to stumble.
Mikel Arteta’s men are going through their worst run of the campaign — three games without a win — rounded off by the defeat to City on Wednesday.
Perhaps the last face Arsenal supporters want to see right now is Unai Emery’s. He will have revenge in mind when he leads his Aston Villa team out against his former club.
Another defeat would be catastrophic for the Gunners, but a win at a tough ground in the lunchtime kick-off would have all the ingredients of a season getting back on track.
📊 Fun fact: Only against West Ham (14), have Arsenal won more Premier League away games than against Villa (13).
🔮 Our prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal
Believe the hype. The 25-year-old is the real deal.
Mitoma has burst on to the scene seemingly out of nowhere the past three months, making sure the Seagulls aren’t missing Leandro Trossard.
The star who has written a thesis on literally the inner workings of dribbling, has five goals in his last eight games.
Fulham better beware this weekend.
Brentford 3-0 Crystal Palace Brighton 2-1 Fulham Chelsea 1-0 Southampton Everton 1-1 Leeds Wolves 2-0 Bournemouth Tottenham 2-1 West Ham