English Premier League week 25 preview: Does Arsenal stand a chance against Manchester City?
Thirteen weeks left, 130 Premier League matches to go, 17 teams still in the hunt, seven with a fair shot and six matches to preview today. This weekend will be filled with sports action with two ongoing test series, two limited overs series, Premier League action and of course, the Super Bowl. Whilst the biggest encounter this weekend will be between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, there are six fixtures to look forward to in the Premier League, including Sunday’s Manchester City versus Arsenal. But before that, there’s plenty of exciting matches to preview.
Tottenham Hotspurs vs Newcastle United
Despite being 11 spots above Newcastle, this will be a tough one for Spurs. Newcastle is in fine form, coming off of a 2-1 victory over second-place Manchester City on Wednesday. It should be even easier for them to topple injury-struck Spurs on Saturday. Tottenham will also have to deal with a weak team. The duo of Harry Kane and Dele Alli are out injured along with the unavailability of Ben Davies. Though good news does come from the London camp, as South Korean forward Son Heung-min should we available to play. The visitors aren’t immune to injuries either. Jonjo Shelvey, Joselu, Ki Sung-yueng and Mo Diame will all likely sit this one out, weakening the Newcastle side.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspurs 1-0 Newcastle United
Everton vs Wolves
We’re no longer at the point where Wolves winning a match can be considered an upset. The seventh-place side, managed by Nuno Espírito Santo, are now favorites to win another top side, this time Everton, who sit one spot below Wolves in eighth. Another thing which works in Wolves’ favor is the fact that Everton has only managed one clean sheet in their last 17 matches, adding to the confidence of the Portuguese-Mexican Wolves attack. To further add to Everton’s defensive issues, Leighton Baines is unlikely to play due to a hip injury and Lucas Digne faces suspension. Another defender, Yerry Mina, is unlikely to play as well with a foot issue. Wolves, on the other hand, have a fully-fit squad and will be looking for their third consecutive win at Goodison Park tomorrow.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Wolves
Crystal Palace vs Fulham
This could be the hardest fixture to predict this weekend. Though Crystal Palace are above Fulham in the table by six points, Crystal Palace face squad issues which may hinder their performance against Fulham. Both sides have found form as of late, with Crystal Palace drawing Southampton 1-1 and knocking Tottenham out of the FA Cup 2-0 and Fulham coming back to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-2. However, while Fulham will likely field a fully-fit side, the home side will have to do without their main star, Wilfred Zaha, after he was sent off for sarcastically applauding the referee against Southampton.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-1 Fulham
Leicester City vs Manchester United
Perhaps the second biggest match this weekend, the results in this game can change the shape of the Premier League title race for the rest of the season. Leicester became the Premier League’s savior when they drew 1-1 to Liverpool, preventing Liverpool from extending their lead up top. However, in their last ten matches, Leicester has only secured 11 points.
Unlike Leicester, Manchester United are on spectacular form! They’ve won their last eight matches, including a 1-3 washout of Arsenal in the FA Cup. Although their position in the Premier League table has been static, a win away at Leicester could see United push into the top four, jumping Chelsea and Arsenal. Leicester, who sit in 11th, could move up to seventh, replacing Wolves, if they win. As far as team news goes, Chris Smalling is likely to remain unavailable for The Red Devils. It seems quite difficult for Leicester, who barely managed to draw with Liverpool, to now beat a team of fire. Manchester United will likely win and perhaps move up the table.
Prediction: Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United
West Ham vs Liverpool
Though it is quite crazy to predict West Ham winning, it’s not impossible at London Stadium. The last time The Hammers played a home game, they beat Arsenal 1-0. And with Liverpool being forced to a draw in their last match, it opens the window of opportunity for West Ham to win. With that being said, West Ham’s form actually hasn’t been that good. They lost to a stunning Bournemouth side 2-0, an upset in the FA Cup, being knocked out by AFC Wimbledon 4-2, then lost to fiery Wolves 3-0.
Going into Sunday’s fixture, Liverpool will be looking to extend their lead up top to eight points, while West Ham will want to move from 12th to eighth place. For Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez and Rhian Brewster will not play once again. To add to West Ham’s problems, the injury list is huge. Marko Arnountović will likely be unable to play after coming off injured in West Ham’s last game against Wolves. Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini and Fabian Balbuena are out as well. New signing Samir Nasri, ex-Arsenal forward Lucas Perez and Jack Wilshire remain injured.
Prediction: West Ham 0-4 Liverpool
Manchester City vs Arsenal
Despite the table unlikely to change after this match, the importance it holds for the teams individually is crucial. If Arsenal wins, they’ll close the gap between them and Tottenham down to possibly four points while if City win, they could be within two points of Liverpool. Both sides have a good deal of injuries to manage. For the hosts, both defenders Benjamin Mendy and Vincent Kompany are out, but the biggest news is goalkeeper Ederson’s injury, which will likely signal a start for Kosovian international Aro Muric. For Arsenal, Hector Bellerín, Rob Holding, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Danny Welbeck will be unable to play. Arsenal are in form and they will likely score goals against a weakened Man City defense, but it seems unlikely the injured Arsenal defense can handle City’s might.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-2 Arsenal
Other English Premier League predictions:
Chelsea 3-0 Huddersfield
Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 Watford
Burnley 0-2 Southampton
Cardiff City 1-2 Bournemouth AFC