Week 13 of the 21/22 Premier League season gets underway this weekend when Arsenal host Newcastle at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon in the early kickoff.
Elsewhere, Chelsea welcome Manchester United to West London, and Manchester City look to close the gap on the Blues with a win over top-four hopefuls West Ham.
Arsenal v Newcastle
Arsenal’s 10-game winning streak ended abruptly at the hands of Liverpool last time out as the Merseyside team thrashed them 4-0 at Anfield. The defeat meant that Mikel Arteta’s young side missed the chance to move up into the Champions League positions and remain in fifth spot, three points behind West Ham.
Arsenal continue to be without long-term absentees Granit Xhaka (knee) and Sead Kolasinac (ankle) but this weekend could see the return of Kieran Tierney to the first team after Nuno Tavares’ shaky performance at Anfield.Embed from Getty Images
Meanwhile, Newcastle remain the only team in England’s top four divisions yet to pick up a win this season, but early signs of a revival under new boss Eddie Howe were evident in their exhilarating 3-3 draw with Brentford.
Howe’s men have much work to do, though, and a win and three points at the Emirates could be just what they need to climb off the bottom of the table and get their season up and running.
Eddie Howe missed the Brentford game due to COVID protocols, and it’s still unclear if he will return for the trip to North London. Only Paul Dummett is out for the visitors as he recovers from a calf injury.
Recent history between the two teams suggests a comfortable win for Arsenal. In their last six meetings, Arsenal have won six and lost none, with Newcastle failing to register a goal at the Emirates since 2014.
Predicted Arsenal line-up: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Saka, Partey, Lokonga, Smith-Rowe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Predicted Newcastle line-up: Dubravka, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Murphy, Willock, Hayden, Ritchie, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
Palace have now gone seven games unbeaten after their 3-3 draw away at Burnley last weekend, while new Villa boss Steven Gerrard kicked off his reign with a big 2-0 win over Brighton.
Palace’s unbeaten run has seen them climb into the top half of the table in just 12 games under new boss Patrick Vieira, and were unfortunate not to pick up all three points against Burnley after they came back from 2-1 down.
James McArthur’s absence through injury was a big miss for the Eagles. The midfielder has been a rock for Vieira, but the manager needs to figure out how to win without him for now.
However, Palace received a boost with the welcome return to fitness of Eberechi Eze. Palace’s 20/21 player of the season has recovered from an Achilles injury and he should feature this weekend.
As previously mentioned, McArthur (hamstring) will miss the Villa game alongside Nathan Ferguson (Achilles), who is now back in training but not match fit.
Aston Villa are another team hoping to flourish under a new manager with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard taking the helm from Dean Smith.
They started well with a late 2-0 win over Brighton, halting a five-game losing streak and moving up to 15th in the table.
More good news for the Villans this week after Douglas Luiz was pictured in training and should be available for the trip to South London. Only Bertrand Traore will miss this weekend’s game as he continues to recover from a thigh injury.
Since Villa re-joined the topflight in 2019 both teams have shared the bragging rights with two wins apiece. The most recent matchup ended in a 3-2 win for Palace at Selhurst Park thanks to an 82nd minute Tyrick Mitchell winner.
Predicted Palace line-up: Guaita, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Milivojevic, Eze, Gallagher, Edouard, Zaha, Benteke
Predicted Villa line-up: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Nakamba, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins, Ings
Liverpool v Southampton
Liverpool dominated Arsenal 4-0 last weekend, bringing their two-game winless run to an end, while Southampton suffered an embarrassing 2-1 loss to 19th placed Norwich.
An excellent performance from Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale kept the score goalless in the first half, but Jurgen Klopp’s men ran riot in the second half thanks to goals from Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah, and Takumi Minamino. The Reds have scored two or more goals in each of their last 16 games and are yet to suffer defeat at Anfield this season.
Liverpool currently sit third in the table, one point behind Manchester City in second and four behind league leaders Chelsea.
Klopp will be pleased to have James Milner, Neco Williams and Divock Origi back from injury while Naby Keita (hamstring) will face a late fitness test. Roberto Firmino (hamstring), Curtis Jones (eye), and Joe Gomez (calf) will all miss the game.
Southampton’s four-game unbeaten run was abruptly ended by Norwich. The Canaries winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Teemu Pukki and Grant Hanley. The defeat keeps Southampton in the bottom half of the league in 13th, only five points off the drop zone. With a tough run of fixtures coming up, a win against a low in confidence Norwich was an opportunity missed for three points that they may look back on with regret come the end of the season.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has Nathan Redmond at his disposal once again after he missed the Norwich game due to the birth of his child. Stuart Armstrong and Moussa Djenepo are both carrying knows and are doubtful, while Jack Stephens is set to miss the fixture.
A win at Anfield is a tough ask for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men. They have lost seven of their last eight meetings against Liverpool and have not scored at Anfield since January 2017.
Predicted Liverpool line-up: Allison, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Mane, Jota
Predicted Southampton line-up: McCarthy, Livramento, Bednarek, Salisu, Walker-Peters, Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Elyounoussi, Adams, Armstrong
Norwich v Wolves
Both teams will look to continue their winning form this weekend after Norwich beat Southampton 2-1 and Wolves got the better of an in-form West Ham with a hard-fought 1-0 win.
Dean Smith had an immediate effect on his debut as new Norwich boss with last weekend’s thrilling comeback win against Southampton and his side will look to build some momentum from that victory in his second home game in charge. The win saw them climb off the bottom of the table and they now sit 19th on eight points, only three points from safety.
Smith will be without Christoph Zimmermann due to injury, but will have Ozan Kabak, Sam Byram, and Todd Cantwell back for this weekend’s game.
Wolves have started well under new boss Bruno Lage. They are currently sixth in the league after winning three of their last five and now have European football firmly in their sights. An impressive turnaround in fortunes considering a rocky start to the season that saw them lose four of their first five games under their Portuguese manager.Embed from Getty Images
Wolves, though, have a long list of injuries coming into this fixture, with Pedro Neto, Hugo Bueno, Jonny Castro, and Yerson Mosquera all missing the trip to Norwich.
Predicted Norwich line-up: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Williams, Normann, Gilmour, McLean, Rashica, Cantwell, Pukki
Predicted Wolves line-up: Sa, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri, Podence, Hwang, Jimenez
Brighton v Leeds
Brighton and Leeds both suffered losses last time out. Brighton dropped to ninth after losing 2-0 to Aston Villa while Leeds are only two points above the drop zone after their 2-1 defeat away at Spurs.
Despite a promising start to the season which saw them at one stage in the top four, the Seagulls are without a Premier League win since September 19th when they beat Leicester 2-1.
Graham Potter will welcome back keeper Roberto Sanchez to the first team after serving the suspension he picked up against Newcastle. While Steven Alzate (ligament) and Danny Welbeck (hamstring) will miss the game through injury.Embed from Getty Images
Leeds have endured an horrific start to the 21/22 campaign and find themselves in 17th place two points above the drop zone.
They will still be without Patrick Bamford (ankle), Robin Koch (groin), and Luke Ayling (knee), but Raphinha, Rodrigo, and Jamie Shackleton will all return this weekend.
Leeds will hope for a reversal of fortune against a team that did the double over them last season, Brighton beating them 1-0 on the road and 2-0 at the Amex.
Predicted Brighton line-up: Sanchez, Dunk, Duffy, Webster, Lamptey, Gros, Bissouma, Moder, Cucurella, Trossard, Maupay
Predicted Leeds line-up: Meslier, Cooper, Phillips, Llorente, Dallas, Forshaw, Strujik, James, Raphinha, Harrison, Gelhardt
Brentford v Everton
After impressive starts which saw both teams in the top ten, recent poor form has seen Brentford and Everton lose ground in the Premiership.
Brentford failed to get over the line against Newcastle last weekend in a thrilling 3-3 draw at St. James Park, having twice taken the lead. Whilst they were unhappy at not getting the win, the draw did, however, end Brentford’s four-game losing streak and is their first point in the league since October 3rd.
The Bees will hope defender Rico Henry can continue the goal-scoring form that has seen him find the net in consecutive games coming into this weekend.
Manager Thomas Frank welcomes back Mathias Jorgensen and Yoane Wissa from injury, but David Raya, Kristoffer Ajer, and Mads Sorensen will all miss out.Embed from Getty Images
Meanwhile, Everton boss Rafa Benitez is finding life tough on his return to Merseyside, and his team are winless since September 25th when they won 2-0 against lowly Norwich. And a heavy defeat last time out to Manchester City last weekend will have done nothing for their confidence coming into this fixture.
Benitez must also deal with selection issues as several key players are missing through injury and the blow of the one-match suspension picked up by Richarlison for his fifth yellow card of the season.
Dominic Calver-Lewin (thigh), Andre Gomes (calf), Abdoulaye Doucoure (muscle), Yerry Mina (hamstring), Thomas Davies (muscle), and Mason Holgate (suspended) will all miss the trip to London.
Despite their recent poor form, Everton have a good record against teams from the capital, winning five of their last six matches against London teams.
The last time Brentford hosted Everton in the English Football League was 68 years ago, in October 1953 when the Bees took all three points with a 1-0 win.
Predicted Brentford line-up: Fernandez, Roerslev, Jansson, Pinnock, Canos, Janelt, Norgaard, Ghoddos, Henry, Mbeumo, Toney
Predicted Everton line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne, Gordon, Allan, Delph, Iwobi, Townsend, Rondon
Burnley v Spurs
Unbeaten in their last four, Burnley have turned their poor start around and will look to frustrate Spurs when the London club visits Turf Moor this weekend. Summer signing Maxwell Cornet has been a revelation for Burnley since his arrival from Lyon. The Frenchman bagging five goals in his seven Premier League games, most recently scoring an outrageous volley to equalise against Crystal Palace.
The Clarets remain in the bottom three despite their upturn in form but are just two points from safety. A win against a Spurs side still looking for consistency under new boss, Antonio Conte will be a welcome bonus.
Sean Dyche has no new injury concerns, but he will still be without captain and defender James Tarkowski, who continues his recovery. Midfielder Ashley Westwood will miss the game through suspension.Embed from Getty Images
Spurs got their first league win under Conte last time out as they came from behind to beat Leeds 2-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The win put the North London team back into the fight for European football next season, but a midweek humbling to Mura will no doubt see them seeking a feel-good away win at Burnley to rebuild confidence.
There are two additions to the injury list for Spurs, both Giovanni Lo Celso (muscle) and Cristian Romero (hamstring) picked up knocks on international duty so they will not make the trip to Turf Moor.
Predicted Burnley line-up: Pope, Lowton, Collins, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Cork, Brownhill, McNeil, Cornet, Wood
Predicted Spurs line-up: Lloris, Sanchez, Dier Davies, Emerson, Winks, Hojbjerg, Reguilon, Lucas Moura, Son, Kane
Leicester v Watford
Leicester will look to bounce back this weekend against Watford after being outclassed by Chelsea at the King Power Stadium last time out as they conceded three goals and only managed three attempts on target
Brendan Rogers’ side have only picked up one point from their last three games, so a win this weekend is vital for their hopes at European football next season.
The Foxes have been struggling for consistency and a long injury list that includes several key defenders has clearly affected their ability to keep a clean sheet. Wesley Fofana (ankle), James Justin (ACL), Ricardo Pereira (hamstring), and Youri Tielemans (calf) are all out of the game.
Meanwhile, Watford are on cloud nine after their emphatic 4-1 win against Manchester United last weekend and will be hoping to continue this impressive form as former Foxes legend Claudio Ranieri returns to the club whom he took to the Premier League title in 2015/16.Embed from Getty Images
Watford have had a bit of a rollercoaster ride since Ranieri’s arrival at Vicarage Road, losing 5-0 to Liverpool on his opening game in charge and then beating Everton 5-2 the week after. So he will hope that last weekend’s thrashing of a woeful Manchester United can begin a period of consistency for the Hornets.
Watford have a lengthy injury list coming into this fixture with Kwadwo Baah (ankle), Ken Sema (knee), Christian Kabasele (hamstring), Oghenekaro Etebo (thigh), Francisco Sierralta (hamstring), and Nicolas N’Koulou (knock) all missing the trip to the King Power.
The last time these two met in the Premier League, it ended in a 1-1 stalemate at Vicarage Road and a convincing 2-0 Leicester win at the King Power.
Predicted Leicester line-up: Schmeichel, Amartey, Evans, Soyuncu, Albrighton, Soumare, Ndidi, Castange, Lookman, Barnes, Vardy
Predicted Watford line-up: Foster, Femenia, Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Masina, Louza, Sarr, Cleverley, Sissoko, Dennis, King
Man City v West Ham
Manchester City will make it five wins in a row in all competitions if they beat top-four challengers West Ham at the Etihad this weekend
The Citizens come into this game off the back of a dominating 3-0 win against Everton last weekend and a 2-1-win midweek against PSG in the Champions League.
City, though, do have several first-team players unavailable for the clash. Kevin De Bruyne (COVID), Ferran Torres (foot), and Liam Delap (ankle) will all miss the game while Jack Grealish (knock) and Phil Foden (knock) are doubtful after missing the PSG game but could feature this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
Pep Guardiola’s side have won nine of their last 10 Premier League meetings against West Ham, scoring an impressive 28 goals and conceding just five.
Meanwhile, West Ham are having the season of their dreams under former Manchester United boss David Moyes. The Hammers currently sit fourth in the table, three points clear of Arsenal in fifth, and are on their way to the Europa League knock-out stages after topping their group.
They hit a slight road bump last time out after losing 1-0 to Wolves at Molineux in a close game that could have gone either way. David Moyes has said that centre-back Angelo Ogbonna is out for the foreseeable future after a knee injury the defender picked up against Liverpool requires surgery. Fan favourite Craig Dawson is set to partner Kurt Zouma until at least January, where they may look to the transfer market to bring in a replacement.
Three points this weekend could take West Ham to third, depending on other results going their way. Heady days indeed for the Hammers.
Predicted Man City line-up: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Palmer, Gundogan, Bernardo, Jesus
Predicted West Ham line-up: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Antonio
Chelsea v Man United
Chelsea will stretch their unbeaten run to eleven games with a win against Man United this weekend, and extend their lead over Manchester City at the top of the table to six points.
Last time out an injury-stricken Chelsea won comfortably at Leicester 3-0 despite the absence of strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Thomas Tuchel’s men also dominated in midweek, dispatching Italian giants Juventus 4-0, in their Champions League fixture, and topping the group table ahead of the knock-out stages.
This weekend will be the fifth time Chelsea have hosted Man United in the Premier League when starting the game top of the table. The West London team have won three of the last four, going on to win the league in the seasons where they’ve been victorious (05/06, 09/10 and 14/15).
The Blues have several key players out to injuries, Ben Chilwell (ACL), N’Golo Kante (knee), Kai Havertz (hamstring), and Mateo Kovacic (hamstring) will all miss out.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester United are coming into this weekend’s clash without manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel, having been sacked following their humiliating 4-1 defeat away to Watford.
Michael Carrick will take charge of the side at Stamford Bridge before giving way to former RB Leipzig boss, Ralph Rangnick.
United are currently eighth in the table having lost four of their last five, only picking up three points from a possible 15. But the Red Devils have an excellent record against Chelsea in recent years, shutting out the Blues on their last four Premier League meetings with the London team, and there is the added incentive of impressing new interim boss, Rangnick who will have a watching brief.
Several players will miss the game this weekend for United, Mason Greenwood (COVID), Paul Pogba (thigh), Raphael Varane (hamstring), Edinson Cavani (tendon), Luke Shaw (head), and Harry Maguire (suspension) are all out.
Predicted Chelsea line-up: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Alonso, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku
Predicted Man United line-up: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles, Fred, McTominay, Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford, Ronaldo