Friday, October 7, 2022

Match Week 10: Preview

A confident Arsenal team faces a shaky Liverpool side at the Emirates on Sunday. The Gunners are coming off a resounding victory over rival Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby and continue to lead the table by a point over Manchester City. Liverpool is searching for answers, having won but twice in its seven league matches to date. Manager Jurgen Klopp changed things up in Champions League during the week when he went to a four forward front line. That strategy could prove dangerous against the Gunners who have the firepower to capitalize by exposing frailties in Liverpool’s midfield and defense. Arsenal has won seven consecutive Premier League matches at the Emirates and the table leaders will be anxious to reverse a run of form against Liverpool which has seen the Gunners win but one of the last 14 league matchups with the Reds.

Manchester City continues its chase of Arsenal when the Citizens welcome Southampton to the Etihad. Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has 14 Premier League goals already, twice as many as next leading scorer Harry Kane. Southampton is on a miserable run where the Saints have lost four of their last five matches.

Chelsea are home to Wolverhampton which will play its first match under interim manager Steve Davis following the sacking of Bruno Lage. Former Chelsea star Deigo Costa could make his first Premier League start since 2017 as Wolves search for a solution to their striker issues. Chelsea can overtake Brighton for fourth in the table with a win over Wolves and if the Seagulls are unable to defeat Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs visit Brighton Saturday for a match between the current third and fourth place clubs in the table. The Seagulls played well in their first match under Manager Roberto de Zerbi in Brighton’s 3-3 draw at Liverpool. Spurs, meanwhile, are looking to rebound from their defeat in the north London derby and a frustrating draw in Champions League during the week. Tottenham Hotspur Manager Antonio Conte was undefeated in four meetings with de Zerbi when both managed in Italy’s Serie A.

Manchester United will hope to revive its top four hopes when the Red Devils visit Goodison Park to face Everton this weekend. Former Real Madrid defensive midfielder Casemiro could see his first league start for United after Manager Eric ten Hag saw his defense concede six goals to rival Manchester City in last week’s derby. Everton, meanwhile, has conceded the fewest goals this season of any Premier League club and will present a stiff challenge for the Red Devils in front of the Toffees’ Goodison Park faithful.

Newcastle United and Fulham are both just one point behind Manchester United after Newcastle’s thumping of the Cottagers last week. Newcastle hosts Brentford this weekend while the Cottagers travel to London Stadium for a London derby versus West Ham. Newcastle has lost home matches only to Manchester City and Liverpool in the time that Eddie Howe has managed the Magpies. Brentford striker Ivan Toney should be extra motivated when facing his former club. Fulham could have problems against a West Ham side which is showing signs of life in attack. Striker Gianluca Scamacca scored his first Premier League goal last week and scored again in the Hammers’s midweek Europa Conference League victory. Fulham, meanwhile, could be without star striker Alexsandar Mitrovic who injured an ankle last week.

Crystal Palace have won only once this season and are squarely in the relegation battle as the Eagles welcome Leeds to Selhurst Park on Sunday. Leeds though have gained only a point from their previous three away matches this season and have not won at Selhurst Park since 2006.

Leicester will try to build on last week’s first win of the season when the Foxes visit Bournemouth Saturday. The Cherries are undefeated in their four matches under interim manager Gary O’Neil.

Nottingham Forest ownership has adopted a novel approach by rewarding Manger Steve Cooper with a contract extension in the week following the club’s stumble into the table basement. The expression of confidence in Cooper is remarkable after the club has lost six of its eight Premier League matches to currently sit 20 in the table. Three other clubs have already sacked their managers this season for poor results. Cooper gets his first chance to justify ownership’s faith when Forest faces Aston Villa in a home match at the City Ground on Monday.

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