Friday, February 5, 2021

Matchweek 23 Preview: City Look To Knock Out Liverpool; Manchester United Face Tougher Old Trafford Test; Gunners Vulnerable vs. Villa; Seagulls Look to Continue Ascent

The fading title hopes of Liverpool are on the line this weekend when they welcome Manchester City to Anfield. A third consecutive home loss would put Liverpool 10 points behind a league leading Manchester City side which has a game in hand on the Reds. Manchester City has won 13 consecutive matches across all competitions, 9 consecutive wins in the league.

Everton will look to win a fifth consecutive league away match when they face Manchester United. United demolished Southampton this past week at Old Trafford but have incurred all four of their league losses in home matches this season.  

Leicester hopes to have Jamie Vardy back fit when they travel to Wolves this weekend. Leicester’s 8 wins on the road this season are matched only by Manchester City. Wolves will be looking to record back-to-back league wins for only a second time this season.  

Arsenal travels to Aston Villa shorthanded due to suspensions resultant from this week’s red cards versus Wolves. David Luiz will be replaced by Gabriel in defense but the real concern is that Arsenal could be vulnerable at goalkeeper where Bernd Leno is suspended and newly acquired Matt Ryan is nursing a hip injury. Runar Alex Runarsson could make his first league start for the Gunners. Villa is experiencing a rocky patch.  The 4 defeats in their last 6 games are as many losses as the Villans sustained in their first 18 matches this season.  

Southampton travels to Newcastle for a match between struggling teams. Southampton is at risk to lose its fifth consecutive league match which would equal the club record. Newcastle have lost 6 of their last 7 league matches.  

Spurs, still without Harry Kane, will hope to end their goal drought against a West Brom team which has conceded 52 goals this season 14 more than any other Premier League team. 

Brighton will be aiming for a third consecutive away win when they travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley this weekend. A fifth consecutive clean sheet would mark a club record for the Seagulls. The record should be in reach as Burnley has scored fewer league goals this season than any team in Europe’s top five leagues.  

West Ham looks to match a club record of four consecutive away victories when they travel to Fulham for a London derby. The Cottagers are at risk of matching a more dubious club record of eight consecutive league home matches without a win. The Cottagers are also winless in their last 19 London derbies, home and away.  

Suddenly dangerous Sheffield United hosts Chelsea at Bramall Lane.  Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp had the game winner versus West Brom, his third deciding goal in the past month across all competitions for the Blades. Chelsea has won 10 of its last 12 matches played against teams at the bottom of the league.  

Crystal Palace travels to Leeds without the services of injured Wilfried Zaha. That normally spells doom for the Eagles who have few other quality options in attack. Leeds will be looking to end a two-match home losing streak and to avenge an earlier 4-1 loss to Crystal Palace.


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