Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips, Matchday 23
Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips: Matchday 23
If this weekend’s games are half as good as the action in mid-week, it should be a great weekend of football. Manchester City could make a huge statement of intent against champions Liverpool and could Sheffield United climb off the bottom of the table with a victory over Chelsea? Join us as we preview all the games.
Match of the Day
This is a huge game on Sunday and although we are just at the halfway point of the season, you feel the result here could affect the destination of the title. Will Liverpool lose three in a row at Anfield
- Venue: Anfield
- Sunday 7th February 16:30
- Referee: Michael Oliver
- Quick Glance OddsH: 5/2 D:11/4 A: 1/1
About the Game:
Liverpool’s grip on the Premier League trophy is loosening with the Merseyside club suffering another shock defeat, this time a 1 – 0 defeat to Brighton on Wednesday. This latest setback means they are seven points behind this weekend’s visitors and City still have a game in hand. Lose this one, and the gap could be thirteen points if City wins that game. Fortress Anfield, which had witnessed an incredible sixty-eight game unbeaten run, isn’t as impenetrable as it was, two defeats in a row and without a win in four. The stakes are huge for Liverpool; their league campaign hopes could depend on this game.
Much has been made of Liverpool’s injury worries with the club missing all their three senior centre backs through injury. Jürgen Klopp admitted he was waiting for a miraculous recovery of their best defender Virgil Van Djik but was forced to dip his toe into the transfer market. The club picked up Ben Davies from Preston North End for £2m and Ozan Kabak who joined from Schalke on loan. While the signing of Davies is largely underwhelming, he will, of course, add depth to the depleted squad. Kabak is an interesting signing; the 20-year-old is highly regarded in Germany as a decent prospect and Liverpool have an option to buy as part of the loan deal. Upfront, Liverpool will, of course, be looking towards Mohamed Salah, who has fifteen goals this season. Sadio Mane is rated as 50/50 for this game, and Diogo Jota is still ruled out.
Manchester City is back at the Premier League’s helm, starting to match their devastating form that gathered 198 points in their title-winning 2018 and 2019 seasons. The Citizens are abiding by Sir Alex Ferguson’s theory that attack wins you games, but defence wins you titles. Assembled at huge cost, it is a defence that appears to be getting stronger each week, on a run of six consecutive clean sheets and twenty-one is all competitions. What is worrying for opposition teams is that City have been experimenting with their formidable defence, testing a back three to get both Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in the side alongside Ruben Dias.
The Clubs’ record goalscorer Sergio Aguero is missing, still recovering from Co-vid19 and manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out a return here. It is up-front that City doesn’t seem as strong as in other departments. Gabriel Jesus was expected to step up, but his return of four goals is hardly Aguero standard. Raheem Sterling is performing better with eleven goal involvements (seven goals, four assists). Both Jesus and Sterling both scored in the 2-0 midweek win at Burnley. However, with goals spread around the side (Ilkay Gündogan seven goals, Riyad Mahrez five goals), it wouldn’t be a surprise to see City start without an out and out striker.
Prediction: City to win, yes, to BTTS, over 2.5.
Rest of the Premier League Games
Coming up are our previews and Premier League betting tips for all the rest of the weekend’s action.
- Venue: Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium
- Sunday 7th 12:30
- Referee: Stuart Attwell
- Quick Glance OddsH:9/2 D: 7/2 A: 6/1
About the Game:
Tottenham Hotspurs had been on an impressive run of eight games unbeaten in all competitions before collapsing spectacularly with three defeats in a row. These losses came against Liverpool (1-3), Brighton (1-0) and Chelsea (0-1) on Thursday. The games don’t get any easier for Spurs either, after West Brom they go to Goodison Park to face Everton in the FA Cup then a daunting trip to the Etihad to face the league leaders. Harry Kane has the best returns with twenty-three goal involvements this season but is rated 50/50 for this game. More likely will he will not be risked with a return against Everton or Manchester City more likely. Heung-Min Son, on eighteen goal involvements, will be leading the lines. Having been one of the many leaders of the Premier League table, Tottenham are now in eighth, fourteen points behind the leaders.
If West Brom fans hoped that Sam Allardyce’s appointment would galvanise the Baggies, they are bitterly disappointed as Albion has conceded 36 goals in their last 13 games. They have conceded twenty-six goals in nine games under Sam Allardyce, as many as they conceded in thirteen games under Slaven Bilic. In the last game, against the bottom of the table club Sheffield United they had a 1-0 lead at half-time, only to concede two sloppy goals in the second half. It was a result that meant Sheffield United became the 11th club to score at least two goals against them but more worryingly, means the gap between them and Sheffield United is just a point. Matheus Pereira has been the pick of the bunch in the West Brom side with five goals and three assists so far this season and the addition of Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan could add quality to the side. After Tottenham, West Brom host Manchester United in the league.
Prediction: Spurs to win. Over 2.5 goals.
- Venue: Villa Park
- Saturday 6th February 12:30
- Referee: Chris Kavanagh
- Quick Glance OddsH: 81/50 D: 5/2 A: 8/5
About the Game:
Aston Villa are proving to be a nightmare for football bettors this season as they are predictably unpredictable. For every 7-2 mauling of Liverpool, you get a 3-1 collapse against West Ham with the ignominy of Jesse Lingard scoring two against you. No offence, Jesse! A win against West Ham would have taken them into sixth-place and matched their points tally for the entirety of last season. The one positive in that defeat was the performance of Villa’s two key players, Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins. Grealish provided the assist, his tenth of the season to enable Watkins to score his tenth goal this season. Grealish is now level with Kevin De Bruyne as the leagues’ top provider. A poor run has seen them lose five of seven games in all competition and have yet another tough encounter against a club with top-six hopes. They have won the last two consecutive games in this fixture without conceding a goal, raising their prospects of getting a result, especially on their turf. They have already beaten their opponents 3 – 0 in the first round of fixtures at the Emirates in November.
Arsenal had a meltdown halfway through the game against Wolves, going ahead, only to lose 2 – 1. They finished the game with nine players, having David Luiz sent off at the end of the first half and goalkeeper Leno inexplicably handling the ball outside his area in the 72nd minute to join Luiz in the dressing room. It was Arsenal’s first defeat in eight games to end their impressive run of five wins and two draws in the last seven. In the game, they opened the scoring through Nicholas Pepe and had been dictating the play for the entirety of the first half. The Ivorian, who is their most expensive player, has netted in three consecutive away league matches since joining. He has been impressive, despite playing out of his natural position. However, they should have been out of sight in the game, having hit the woodwork twice and having a goal ruled out. Alexandre Lacazette is their best man in front of goal with eight goals and two assists so far.
Prediction: A score draw.
- Venue: Turf Moor
- Saturday 6th February 15:00
- Referee: Antony Taylor
- Quick Glance OddsH: 13/5 D: 21/10 A: 6/5
About the Game:
Burnley have faced a nightmare run of fixtures, having faced Manchester United, West Ham, Liverpool, Aston Villa Chelsea and Manchester City in their last six fixtures. It wouldn’t have been a surprise if they lost them all, but a hard-fought 3-2 win against Aston Villa and an excellent 1-0 win at Anfield defied expectations. They lost 2-0 to both Chelsea and Manchester City, but there will be easier games to pick up points. After Brighton, they face Crystal Palace, Fulham and West Brom. The two-point difference between the two makes this an important game, a win sends Burnley above Brighton and most importantly, increases their eight-point advantage from the drop zone. Dyche’s side is the lowest scorers in the league with thirteen goals with their main men Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes injured . They need to find goals, having not found the back of the net in the last two games.
Brighton are in their best form of the season, unbeaten in five in all competitions and just two defeats in twelve. Like their opponents, they can also pull off shocks; the Seagulls have beaten Tottenham, Leeds and most recently Liverpool by a one-goal margin. They have had more wins in the last five games than they had for the previous twenty-three games. Graham Potter’s side is now ten points clear from the drop zone. They have played some of their best football and recently got on the scoresheet to back up their performances, which wasn’t happening earlier in the season. The Seagulls have conceded ten goals in eleven games, keeping five clean sheets. They are currently on a run of three consecutive clean sheets and will hope their defence is effective once more. Neal Maupay (seven goals) leads the line well and could well get some goals here.
Prediction: Maupay to score at any time.
- Venue: St. James’ Park
- Saturday 6th February 15:00
- Referee: Craig Pawson
- Quick Glance OddsH: 2/1 D: 23/10 A: 7/5
About the Game:
Newcastle are in a terrible run of form, winning once in eleven games in all competitions. The win was a good one though, beating Everton at Goodison Park 2-0, keeping the impressive Toffee’s attack at bay. In typical Newcastle fashion, they lost the next game at home 2-1 against Crystal Palace. In fairness to Newcastle, they have struggled with injuries, and a Co-vid outbreak hasn’t helped either. They have played attractive football, and Callum Wilson is proving to be a revolutionary signing for the Magpies with ten goals and five assists so far this season. You get the impression there is more to come from Allan Saint-Maximin, and Miguel Almiron and Newcastle need them to perform to increase the eight-point buffer they have over the drop-zone. There is probably a no better time to face this opposition after their recent heavy defeat. With fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester United coming up, the three points here should be easier to get.
The 9 – 0 defeat against Manchester United is the second time the Saints have lost by that margin in consecutive years, suffering the same fate against Leicester last season. They were missing a host of their senior players in the mauling by Manchester United, forcing them to play a couple of academy graduates. One of these players, Alex Jankewitz, made the headlines, getting sent off for a bad tackle with less than two minutes on the clock. Four down at half-time, the second half went from bad to worse, conceding five in the final twenty-one minutes. Jan Bednarek also had a nightmare game, scoring an own goal in the first half, he was adjudged to have fouled Antony Martial late on in the game and was sent off, reducing the Saints to nine. It will be interesting to see if they can bounce back. They won the first leg of this fixture 2 – 0 and have great attacking options. Danny Ings, who has scored seven goals and Che Adams, on four goals and four assists, are both available for this game. James Ward-Prowse has provided five assists: the Saints most resourceful addition as an auxiliary provider of goals from set-pieces and dangerous on direct free kicks. It’s going to be tough though as they still have twelve players out injured.
Prediction: A draw.
- Venue: Craven Cottage
- Saturday 30 January 20:00
- Saturday 6th February 15:00
- Quick Glance OddsH: 5/2 D: 13/5 A: 21/20
About the Game:
Fulham couldn’t stand their ground against Leicester City and went down 2-0 at Craven Cottage. The challenge ahead of them is equally large against West Ham who has been ruthless and playing well. Meaning the host would need a big performance to get anything out this game. The Cottagers have been tough to beat but have had a hard time creating chances, an aspect that leaves them winless in eleven games. Said Benrahma is their joint-top provider of assists for the team; his three assists show how few and far between opportunities are for the strikers. Top goalscorers are Jamaican Bobby De Cordova-Reid (five goals) and Ivan Cavaleiro (three goals), as well as Ademola Lookman (three goals). Fulham are seriously in danger, occupying 18th, eight points away from seventeenth and three points away from bottom place. More concerning is they are the only team in the bottom three who haven’t won a game in the last five.
We must admit that Jesse Lingard raised the biggest smile for us this week. The former England man hasn’t started a game in thirteen months, yet comes off the bench for his West Ham debut and scores two goals to win the game. Football eh? Under his former manager at United, the signing of the forgotten Manchester United man might just turn out to be a stroke of genius. With Lingard unable to play in West Ham’s next game against United, we expect him to start. West Ham has been the best of the rest maintaining a consistently good form throughout the season currently sitting comfortably in fifth place just two points behind the Champions and seven ahead of tenth-placed Arsenal. All the components are working well for the London side with Michail Antonio linking up play well as the team’s focal point upfront with his five goals and three assists a great reward with the minimal gameplay he has had this season. Declan Rice anchors the midfield, and Aaron Cresswell is playing well with five assists so far. Tomas Soucek is also having a fine season, leading the club’s scoring chart with eight goals.
Prediction: West Ham Win.
- Venue: Old Trafford
- Saturday 6th February 20:00
- Referee: Jonathan Moss
- Quick Glance OddsH: 1/2 D: 33/10 A: 11/2
About the Game:
Goals for Manchester United strikers are like buses; you wait for ages for one to come and then nine come all at once. Of course, we are exaggerating, as of the nine goals they scored against Southampton midweek, just four were scored by strikers (Rashford, Cavani and Martial (2)). Joking aside, United were at times utterly ruthless, helped by a sending off early in the game. It was a result that equalled the Premier League record win and matched their own record tally they set in 1995 by beating Ipswich 9-0. For United, it was the perfect response after the humiliation of defeat by bottom club Sheffield United in a previous game. Antony Martial was the biggest beneficiary in the game against Southampton, with two goals in a second-half cameo, ending an eight-goal drought. Bruno Fernandes on twelve goals and nine assists and Marcus Rashford on eight goals and five assists both were on the scoresheet after recent droughts as well. With Manchester City facing Liverpool this weekend, it could be a chance to cut the three points between them and City.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted his twelfth goal of the season (his first goal in nine games) to go second in the race to the golden boot three behind Mo Salah. Gylfi Sigurdsson was also on target with his side coming out as 2 – 1 winners against Leeds United. Getting the prolific scorer back on the scoresheet will boost Everton as will Lucas Digne’s return. Digne adds additional creativity with six assists so far this season including one in their midweek triumph. Carlo Ancelotti has made his side serious European football contenders after a three-year absence. They head to Old Trafford with an impressive away record collecting sixteen points from the possible eighteen in the last six games and are on a four-game winning streak. Goalkeeper Robin Olsen deputised well for the injured Jordan Pickford making impressive saves to keep his side in the game against Leeds. Everton are in 7th, four points shy of Liverpool who occupies the last Champions League spot.
Prediction: A 2-2 Draw.
- Venue: Molineux
- Sunday 7th February 14:00
- Referee: Martin Atkinson
- Quick Glance OddsH: 5/2 D: 12/5 A: 11/10
About the Game:
Wolves recorded their first win, since a 2 – 1 win against Chelsea back in mid-December, against nine men Arsenal in mid-week. They will go into this fixture against a team who plays a similar style to Arsenal, confident that despite the other team enjoying possession, they can cause damage from set-pieces and long-range shots. Joao Moutinho, who started the game on the bench, scored his first home goal with a thunderous bolt in the 49th minute in the win against Arsenal, his other three goals he has scored have all been from outside the box. It is not likely that their opposition will have two players sent-off this weekend though. Wolves are susceptible to conceding the first goal, only Sheffield United and West Brom, on sixteen goals each, have conceded the first goal in the league more than them this season.
The Foxes continued their claim for a top-four finish with a two-nil win against Fulham. James Maddison on six goals and five assists was the star man, having a hand in both the goals. However, left-back James Justin pushed him hard for the man-of-the-match with a great display and getting on the scoresheet. This weekend could see the return of Jamie Vardy, the veteran striker is still producing the goods with eleven goals and five assists. Harvey Barnes has been another auxiliary source of goals; his long-range shooting comes in handy and has seven goals to his name. The Foxes are the second-best travellers with eight wins in eleven away games, only eclipsed by Manchester United.
Prediction: Leicester City win. Over 2.5
- Venue: Bramall Lane
- Sunday 7th February 19:15
- Referee: Kevin Friend
- Quick Glance OddsH: 6/1 D: 7/2 A: 9/20
About the Game:
Sheffield United have recorded three wins in the last five games as many as they have won in the last twenty-seven games to reignite their survival hopes alive. They had just gathered two points from seventeen games and are now ten points away from the safe zone and still have half the season to perform the great escape. Recent performances suggest they could do it. They stunned Manchester United in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford, Kean Bryan and Oliver Burke scoring to give United the victory over their namesakes from Manchester. It was their first victory at Old Trafford for a generation. They then narrowly lost 1-0 to Manchester City before winning against West Brom. The victory against West Brom was impressive, coming from behind to win the six-pointer. Billy Sharp has scored twice in the last five games will be their best source for goals. Another to watch for is David McGoldrick, who has the top-scorer on five.
Thomas Tuchel won his first ‘big six’ battle this week, his Chelsea side beating Tottenham on Thursday. Jorginho’s first-half penalty the difference between the sides and ensuring Tuchel remains unbeaten. In Tuchel’s first two games, they drew 0-0 with Wolves and won 2-0 against Burnley. In that win against Burnley, the manager surprised everyone with the inclusion of Marcus Alonso. The player hadn’t started a game in over four months but repaid the manager’s faith with a goal. One downside in the win over Tottenham was the injury to Thiago Silva. The Brazilian appeared to pull his hamstring and is almost certain to miss this game, Andreas Christensen is likely to replace him. Chelsea are in 6th place, four behind 4th and eleven behind the leaders.
Prediction: A 1-1 Draw.
- Venue: Elland Road
- Monday 8th February 20:00
- Referee: Andre Marriner
- Quick Glance OddsH: 4/5 D:14/5 A: 16/5
About the Game:
Leeds can feel rightly disappointed that they didn’t take anything from the 2-1 loss against Everton on Wednesday. Having only previously conceded six goals in the last six games, they gave away two goals in the opening forty-five. After the break, they were the better team and pulled one back through Raphinha after just three minutes, but they couldn’t find the equaliser despite constant pressure. Raphinha has been on top form for the Whites, with four-goal involvements in the last three games. The man to watch is Patrick Bamford, who is having an exceptional season, with eleven goals and five assists but more importantly, he is their link-up man in and is involved in everything the team does going forward. Marcelo Bielsa side has conceded seventeen goals by set-pieces, which is the highest by any side in the league and the latest defeat means Leeds have now lost five of the last ten games at Elland Road, winning three and drawing two.
Crystal Palace weathered the storm in their 2-1 win away against Newcastle United. The home side had 61% possession, 21 shots on goal but was sucker-punched in four minutes by Jairo Riedewald and Gary Cahill’s goals. It was a win that meant Palace recorded back to back wins for the first time since September. A huge downside to the victory against Newcastle was the injury to Wilfred Zaha. Zaha, who has nine goals and two assists and is the team’s top performer. Palace had a spell earlier in the season without him and lacked creativity without him. Of hope for Eagles fans, will be the performance the last time the teams met, Palace hammered Leeds 4-1 in November.
Prediction: Leeds win.
Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*
|Liverpool v Manchester City||Manchester City to win||21/20||2.05|
|Tottenham v West Brom||Tottenham to win||9/20||2.97|
|Burnley v Brighton||Brighton to win||6/5||6.53|
|Newcastle v Southampton||Draw||23/10||21.58|
|Fulham v West Ham||West Ham to win||21/20||44.23|
Bookie of the week: Our Pick
Bet365 are our bookie of the week. To find out everything you could want about 888sport, you can read our bet365 review.
* All our selections are provided for entertainment only and should only be used for informational purposes. Whilst we use our experience and knowledge to help inform you to make a considered bet, we are not responsible for any losses that may arise from actual results being different than predicted.