This week we take a look at some other huge games at both ends of the table, including table toppers Arsenal who host an in-form Man United, and a crunch match involving two of the bottom three, when West Ham welcomes Everton.
This Week’s Premier League Fixtures
Liverpool v Chelsea
Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest
Leicester v Brighton
Southampton v Aston Villa
West Ham v Everton
Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Leeds v Brentford
Man City v Wolves
Arsenal v Man United
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v ChelseaEmbed from Getty Images
Liverpool is really going through a horrible transition phase this season. After winning four games against Spurs, Southampton, Villa and Leicester, they have lost back-to-back games, conceding three in both, losing 3-1 at Brentford and 3-0 at Brighton.
Liverpool really has struggled to play against Brighton this season, more than other teams. Earlier in the season a Trossard hattrick meant that Liverpool only picked up a point, and this time round a Solly March masterclass decimated Liverpool just after half-time.
Klopp could be seen pleading with the away end at full-time, asking his supporters to be patient and stay behind the team. It is strange to see a Liverpool side managed by Klopp being so open at the back.
Liverpool has dropped down to 9th, level on points with Chelsea who sit 10th and are 10 points behind Newcastle who occupy the last Champions League place. Missing out on Champions League football will be a huge step backwards for them, but they have a massive task on their hands to claw back one of these spaces.
Chelsea finally got back to winning ways with a slender 1-0 win at home against Crystal Palace, with Havertz scoring his 5th goal of the season.
The one pressing issue for Chelsea is that they have still not beaten a top 6 side this season, and have also not registered a win against a side above them in the league.
Chelsea will find it difficult to move up the league back towards those Champions League places if they cannot beat the teams around and above them. They have already invested in the transfer window, prying Mudryk away from Arsenal and adding a few other attacking options.
They need these transfers to hit the ground running and start performing well within the team. If not, it could be a long second half of the season for Chelsea fans, and Potter may find his position under threat.
This is a game against two struggling big teams. A win for either side will be absolutely vital in kickstarting their hopes of a top 4 finish. Liverpool comes into this out of form, whereas Chelsea is hoping to make it 2 wins out of 2. I think Chelsea’s curse of being unable to beat a team in the top half will continue here, with another loss against a top 6 side.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 – 0 Chelsea
Leicester v BrightonEmbed from Getty Images
Leicester could be in trouble here. They have lost their last 4 games, failing to score in 3 of those and have most recently lost against Nottingham Forest. They are very quickly dropping down the table and now sit 2 points above the relegation zone.
Leicester needs to invest in the transfer window. They need a striker to come in and score goals. Harvey Barnes and James Maddison are their 2 top scorers this season, with Leicester’s strikers far behind them in terms of goals. Vardy and Daka need to start chipping in with a few.
It is difficult to know how long Brendan Rodgers has left at Leicester. If they go down he will be sacked, but if they remain in and around the relegation zone for the rest of the season, at what point do the owners pull the trigger and hire someone else? He has had a good few seasons with Leicester, but it may be time for someone different to take the helm.
Brighton has been back to their best in recent weeks. They beat Everton 4-1 the other week, and then beat Liverpool 3-0 in their last fixture.
One player who has been deeply impressed in recent weeks is Karou Mitoma. His dribbling and ability to take a player on are going to be crucial for Brighton, especially now Trossard has left for Brighton.
Trossard could be a huge miss for Brighton, however. He is currently their top scorer, with 7 goals, although MacAllister and Groß are not far behind. Trossard’s stats are good, but they have the players to fill his position.
With each game week, it looks more and more likely Brighton could achieve a European spot this season, which will be an incredible achievement for the club.
I think this game will only go one way. Leicester is in terrible form, and Brighton comes into this on the back of two wins. A 5th straight league defeat is staring Leicester in the face here.
Prediction: Leicester 1 – 3 Brighton
West Ham v EvertonEmbed from Getty Images
What a game at the bottom of the table, and what a game regarding the future of both of these managers. A loss, or even a draw, for either of these sides, could result in them being sacked. This is a vital game if regards to both teams Premier League status.
It is a difficult position David Moyes is holding at West Ham. After a brilliant season last year, they achieved a European spot, and have currently qualified for the knockout stages. Despite doing well in Europe, their Premier League season has been less than exciting.
There was a real buzz around West Ham last year, they were a strong side to face in the league, and they have performed well in Europe, not losing a single one of their group-stage games. Where has it gone wrong for them? It David Moyes the right man to continue and try to keep them up?
This is a crucial transfer window for them. They already have a strong squad, but some players are seemingly not playing for the badge. Moyes and the board have a vital few days left to try get the right calibre of players in to help them avoid the drop. They have not won in their last 7 games, only drawing on of these in the process.
Everton is also in a very precarious position. They have not invested too much in this transfer window, and have an important few days coming up to try to get the players in to help them avoid relegation.
There are also questions about Lampard. Everton fans are still divided over whether he is the right man for the job, or whether the squad themselves are to blame. Either way, the board have a very big decision as to whether he remains in charge for the rest of the season or not.
Like West Ham, Everton has also not won in their last 7 games but has drawn 2 games instead. The issue with Everton is that they keep losing against the teams around them. They took the lead against Southampton and ended up losing, they lost against Wolves from a 95th-minute winner, and got thumped by Bournemouth.
They need to start beating the teams around them if they want to stay up. It is all well and good taking points from Man City, but if they lose against Southampton and Wolves, these points mean nothing.
This game could go either way. It will be a tight, nervy affair, which neither side will want to lose. This should end up in a draw, it is difficult to see whether it will be a bore 0-0 or a score draw, however.
Prediction: West Ham 1 – 1 Everton
Crystal Palace v NewcastleEmbed from Getty Images
Crystal Palace are cruising in midtable, they are in no real danger of a relegation fight at the moment, and have no chance of finishing in a European spot. Another season of finishing in a comfortable midtable position is on the cards for Palace.
Olise scored an incredible goal midweek against Man United to help them to a 1-1 draw. He continues to surprise people in bizarre ways, previously giving one of the bluntest post-match interviews of all time, and against Man United, he did not celebrate his 91st-minute equaliser.
They do have some exciting players within their ranks. Olise and Eze have adjusted to life in the Premier League and at Crystal Palace well, and they have linked up well so far with Zaha. If they continue to bring in this calibre of player then they could be a force to be reckoned with in the next few years.
Palace is a strange team. When at home, they can beat anyone on their day, and at other times they can roll over and let teams walk all over them. They are hard to predict at times, especially as they lack consistency. It will be interesting to see how they perform in the second half of the season.
Newcastle has been a defensive monster this season. They have been absolutely incredible at the back, which will have taken many people by surprise, especially when they have been playing Dan Burn at fullback. He is naturally a centre-back and does not have the pace to play out wide, yet he has proved everyone wrong this season. He has been colossal for Newcastle this year.
It looked as if Newcastle were heading for their third 0-0 in a row last week against Fulham. Despite being the better team, they came up against a resilient and defensively solid Fulham, who could have taken the lead had Mitrovic’s penalty not been ruled out for a double touch.
Newcastle remained focused and was probably even better after the penalty call. They went forward with purpose and their persistent pressure paid off when Isak netted the winner in the 89th minute.
Newcastle has a big fight on their hands to remain in the Champions League places. They are currently competing with an in-form Man United, with Spurs sitting 5 points behind them. The more points Newcastle can get on the board whilst Spurs are informed the better.
This game will all depend on how Palace decide to play. If they turn up this could be an intriguing tie, if Palace rolls over and does not turn up then Newcastle could run riot. I think Newcastle will keep another clean sheet and pick up another 3 points here.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Newcastle
Arsenal v Man UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
This will be the game of the weekend. Arsenal is flying at the top of the table, Man United are in great form and is looking like a completely different animal lately. This will be a brilliant game against two massive sides.
Arsenal just keeps impressing week after week and they are showing no signs of slowing down. They had a tricky tie against their North London rivals Spurs, winning 2-0. They were absolutely brilliant in the first half, and whilst Arsenal was unreal going forward, their first goal was a calamitous attempt at a save by Lloris, who scored the 26th own goal of the season.
Arsenal did allow Spurs back into the game in the second half, but they defended resolutely and kept the clean sheet they ultimately deserved. Arsenal were title contenders before the World Cup break, but people are starting to take them seriously now, to the point where they are now odds-on favourites to win the league title.
Arteta is cooking up something special at Arsenal. They have exciting young players, brilliant attack players with flair and the ability to take their man on, and a very creative attacking midfielder, supported by two fantastic ball-winners. Their defence is solid and hard to penetrate, with a promising young goalkeeper in the net. Now they can start to flesh out their team with a few more squad players to help them when injuries hit.
Man United continued their good run of form, but stalled slightly with a draw against Crystal Palace. They are now unbeaten in 6 and have only dropped points in their one game against Palace. They are putting a huge amount of pressure on Man City and Newcastle to keep pace with them.
Marcus Rashford has been in unbelievable form, and it is safe to say that ten Haag is getting the best out of him. He has scored in 4 out of his last 5 league games, also scoring in 4 of his last 5 league home games. If he can continue this run of form then United have a brilliant chance of securing their top 4 spots.
United even managed to make Man City look ordinary, with a brilliant second-half comeback the other week, in a game, they typically struggle in. Their team is finally clicking, and their young players are performing well, with standout performers like Garnacho coming into the side and providing assists, it will be interesting to see how far United can go this season.
United will be without Casemiro due to his booking against Crystal Palace, which will be a huge loss for United. He has completely transformed their midfield, and United may struggle unless someone can fill his role perfectly. It will be intriguing to see who ten Haag goes with instead.
This game could go either way, with both United and Arsenal informed, both playing brilliant football and scoring goals. I think home advantage will be vital here, and with no Casemiro for United, they will be a lot weaker in midfield than they have been lately.
Prediction: Arsenal 2 – 1 Man United
- Bournemouth 0 – 1 Nottingham Forest
- Southampton 1 -1 Aston Villa
- Leeds 1 – 2 Brentford
- Man City 2 – 0 Wolves
- Fulham 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur