Premier League Preview And Predictions: Arsenal To Stumble Again?

Premier League

Updated: May 3, 2023 1:03 am

We take a look at this week’s Premier League action, including a key game at the bottom of the table, when Nottingham Forest hosts basement boys Southampton, a huge clash between Newcastle and Arsenal, and a chance for Tottenham Hotspur to get some confidence back when they host Crystal Palace.

Check out my predictions for the midweek games here!

This Week’s Premier League Fixtures

Bournemouth v Chelsea
Man City v Leeds
Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Brentford
Newcastle v Arsenal
West Ham v Man United
Fulham v Leicester
Brighton v Everton
Nottingham Forest v Southampton

Bournemouth v Chelsea

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This Bournemouth turnaround has been nothing short of incredible. For weeks I have been writing about how they need to learn to balance their attack and defence, and it looks like they have finally found the perfect blend. They have now won two on the bounce, and look certain to be playing in the Premier League next season.

Last week, they comprehensively beat Leeds United 4-1, a result that took them up to 13th place, level on points with Chelsea, and 9 clear of the relegation zone. With 12 points left to play for, they are really safe, but stranger things have happened in football, so they really need to keep pressing on and keep picking up points.

The 4-1 score line may have flattered Bournemouth slightly, as Leeds did match them throughout the game. They both created enough chances to win the game, but Bournemouth were more clinical, and Leeds was guilty of some horrendous defending, yet again. Against a better side, it could have been a different story.

Chelsea is a joke at the moment, an absolute joke. They go into such a big game, against the league leaders, and go 3-0 down within 35 minutes. They only managed one shot on target in the entire first half, and most of the Arsenal players were toying with Chelsea’s. This is the reason Chelsea have struggled so much this season. They are so disjointed and disconnected from each other.

I have said all season, their biggest mistake was not bringing a world-class striker to the club. One that could hit 15-20 goals a season. Aubameyang managed just 9 touches in the first half, before being hooked at the start of the second half, only to be replaced by Havetz, who is not a striker.

Even when Chelsea did create a chance, nobody is on the end of the final ball. The players do not know how to play together. Bringing Lampard back was such a mistake by Chelsea. He is not only ruining his reputation at Chelsea but ruining his managerial reputation as well. Chelsea will finish in the bottom half of the table this season, there is no doubt about it.

In the second half, Chelsea got a goal back, and they looked more comfortable and confident after that. They created a few chances and looked like a different team than they did in the first half. They still were not good enough, by far, but it was much better to see.

This is a dangerous one to call. Bournemouth have been playing well, and Chelsea is really struggling, but Bournemouth is one of those sides who can gift teams like this a result. If Bournemouth wins this, they will be mathematically safe, but it will not be detrimental if they lose. Chelsea on the other hand really need points, they cannot finish in the bottom half of the table. I would say that I expect Bournemouth to pull off a shock by beating Chelsea here, but is beating Chelsea really a shock anymore this season?

Prediction: Bournemouth 2 – 1 Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace

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Tottenham Hotspur must be one of the hardest teams to support in the Premier League. After being comfortable in the top 4 all season, they went to Newcastle and were 5 goals down within 20 minutes, lost 6-1 in the end, and now it looks like they will not even finish in the top 5. They are having a rollercoaster of a season, and it is not ending well for them.

After their brilliant comeback against Man United last week, to gain a point after being 2-0 down, they travelled to Liverpool, in what was a crucial game for both sides, in terms of a 5th place finish. Just like they did against Newcastle, Spurs were guilty of lax defending, and an extremely slow start, as they were 3-0 down within 15 minutes. They were dominated on the ball as they were against Newcastle, and there was no defending them at halftime as they went in 3-1 down.

Ryan Mason made changes, and these paid dividends, as Spurs, somehow, clawed their way back into the game through Son, and then Richarlison in the 93rd, to rescue what looked like the unlikeliest of points. However, in true Spurs fashion, they threw it all away. 99 seconds later, Lucas Moura plays a poor back pass, straight to Diego Jota, who rifles the ball in and wins the game for Liverpool.

These kinds of results hurt, let alone against a big rival. This will knock a lot of confidence out of Spurs. Their players looked defeated on the pitch, and they will be mentally drained after a result like that. The most important thing they can do now is bounce back with a win, nothing less.

Crystal Palace got back to winning ways last weekend, as they came out victors in an enthralling encounter with West Ham, ending 4-3 for The Eagles. The game did not start well for the hosts, and Soucek opened the scoring for The Hammers after 9 minutes. Palace responded extremely well, however, with Jordan Ayew scoring their first after 15 minutes, with Wilfred Zaha scoring just 5 minutes later.

Palace continued to impress, and on the half-hour mark, they scored to make it 3-1, this time through Jeffrey Schlupp. The first-half goal fest continued as Michail Antonio reduced the deficit, sending the sides in at halftime with the score line sitting at 3-2. Eze scored a penalty just after the hour mark, and Aguerd made it 4-3 with 18 minutes left to play. Both sides had chances before the end of the game, but Palace held on to secure a hard-earned 3 points.

The result puts The Eagles up into 11th on 40 points, 10 clear of relegation with 12 left to play. It has been a brilliant turnaround since Roy Hodgson rejoined them, and they can now look towards building for next year, and it will be interesting to see whether Hodgson stays or whether they go for someone else.

You would be mad to try and predict a Spurs result at the moment, especially against a side that can break at pace and score goals. They will be hurt after that Liverpool result, and they can either come out angry and fighting or come out deflated and already beaten. The result hinges on which Spurs side takes the field. Palace will put a good shift in no matter what, and I think that will earn them a draw.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 1 Crystal Palace

Wolves v Aston Villa

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What a horrible, horrible result for Wolves last week. They were never expected to win, but they were expected to put up some form of a fight. Instead, they were poor from start to finish, and hardly created anything, as Brighton ran out 6-0 winners. With Wolves still needing points to be mathematically safe, that result is a huge blow to them.

They are a different animal at home, though, so this game should be completely different. They need to start better than they did against Brighton. After 13 minutes they were 2-0 down, and the game was effectively over by that point, it was only going to go Brighton’s way.

They need to put that result behind them and not let it affect their performances going forward. They have a massive game now against their huge rivals, Aston Villa. A win can effectively secure safety, and guarantee that they play in the Premier League next season.

Aston Villa were disappointing last week against Man United. They slumped to a 1-0 defeat, which many may have expected, but it was the manner in which they were defeated which disappointed me. They did not look like the Emery side that had been pushing for a top 5 finish.

Going forward, they hardly created anything. They had 7 shots and only managed one of these on target. When you go away to a big side, especially one like Man United who are so good at home, you have to make your chances count. You cannot go there and not generate shots on target. You are setting up to fail.

Despite that result, they did only sit 2 points behind Liverpool in 5th, so a European spot is not out of the question just yet. They can still push for it, and it would be an incredible achievement if they got it. They need to get back to their creative best, however, or they will slowly start to slide back down the table.

With Wolves being good at home, and Villa impressing since Emery has taken over, this is a hard game to call, but if Wolves turn up like they did against Brighton, then Villa will run away with it. I think this will be a tight game, settled by the sole goal. It could really swing either way, but I think the form Villa have been in will help them shade it.

Prediction: Wolves 1 – 2 Aston Villa

Newcastle v Arsenal

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Newcastle secured, what ended up being, a routine win against basement boys Southampton last week. The first half did not go entirely as planned. Despite Newcastle having chance after chance, they went in at halftime 1-0 down thanks to Stuart Armstrong’s goal in the 41st minute.

The second half continued, in the same way, the first half did, with Newcastle dominating. The only difference this time was, Newcastle were more clinical. It took just 9 minutes for Newcastle to get back into it, with Callum Wilson scoring. We were then made to wait until the 79th minute for the next goal, with Theo Walcott putting through his own net to give Newcastle the lead.

Callum Wilson made sure of the 3 points two minutes later, with his second, and Newcastle’s third of the game, as the hosts won 3-1. The result keeps Newcastle in 3rd, 2 points clear of Man United with a game in hand, but more importantly, it gives them a 9-point gap over Liverpool in 5th, with 5 games left to play. They are so close to achieving Champions League football for next season.

Arsenal were back to their best in the first half against Chelsea. In what could have been a very tricky fixture for them, they took a 3-0 lead into halftime after goals from Jesus, and two from Odegaard. The result puts Arsenal back at the top of the table before Man City play West Ham on Wednesday night.

It was not all plain sailing, however. Despite Chelsea playing poorly, they did get a goal back in the second half, and on another day, they could have had more. It just felt as if Arsenal were crumbling the longer the game went on. They really do look uncomfortable at the back without Saliba playing.

To make things worse for Arsenal, Gabriel went down multiple times in the second half and ended up coming off with an injury. It will be a massive loss if he is out for a few games, especially if Saliba is not back either. These injuries could help decide the title race, as Arsenal have looked inept defensively when Rob Holding plays.

At the end of the day, however, Arsenal did win the game, and they returned to the top of the table. That is all that matters to them. They need to keep putting pressure on Man City. They need to take them all the way, but this is a very difficult game for them to do that in.

Newcastle have been so good as of late, and they have rediscovered their scoring touch at a vital time. Arsenal has been dropping too many points lately, and they are points that are proving to be costly in terms of their Premier League ambitions. Playing away against Newcastle is going to be tough for any team, but this could be another costly game for Arsenal.

Prediction: Newcastle 2 – 1 Arsenal

Nottingham Forest v Southampton

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Nottingham Forest fell to a 2-1 defeat last week away against Brentford, that ultimately dropped them back into the bottom 3. They worked so hard just before, and after the World Cup break to get out of the relegation zone, and now all their hard work has been undone with a string of bad results.

Brentford is always strong at home, so it was always going to be difficult for Forest to get anything out of the game. However, they performed brilliantly and took the lead just before halftime through Danilo. Despite not creating many chances, they had their lead, and they rested on it.

They defended brilliantly and kept pushing Brentford back. But they could not hold on, and Ivan Toney got an equaliser with 8 minutes left on the clock. Forest would have been happy with a point before kickoff, but they will have been disappointed after leading for so long. Things went from bad to worse, however, as Josh Dasilva netted in the 94th minute, to continue Brentford’s good record at home, and condemn Forest to yet another defeat.

Forest needs to bounce back quickly. Thanks to Leicester and Everton’s draw midweek, Forest has now dropped back into the bottom 3, albeit on goal difference alone. A win here would be huge for them.

Southampton injected their survival bid with a bit of hope last week against Newcastle when Stuart Armstrong took the lead at St James’ Park against Newcastle. The side sat bottom of the table, taking the lead against 3rd place. However, the joy was short-lived, as Callum Wilson equalised shortly into the second half, before a late own goal from Walcott, and Callum Wilson’s second of the game, condemned Southampton to yet another defeat.

It is looking increasingly likely that The Saints will get relegated. They are 6 points from safety, and their goal difference is vastly inferior to everyone else’s. They need to pick up a win, now more than ever, to have any chance of staying up. A loss here, and it is essentially curtains closed for them. A win, however, could spark something, and provide them with one of the greatest escapes.

Forest has now dropped back into the bottom 3, and they will be desperate to get out. This is a perfect game for them to do that in, against the team bottom of the league. This is the crunch end of the season, and Southampton are wilting away without any fight. A win for The Saints here would make the final few games much more interesting, and I am praying that they do pick up 3 points here, but I think this is going to be an easy 3 points for Forest.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 2 – 0 Southampton

Other Predictions

  • Man City 4 – 1 Leeds
  • Liverpool 2 – 1 Brentford
  • West Ham 1 – 3 Man United
  • Fulham 2 – 2 Leicester
  • Brighton 3 – 0 Everton

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