Good day everyone,
I hope you are all well and having a great start to the weekend, welcome to CryptoGod-1's blog on all things sports. Today we will be looking at the upcoming weekend games in the Premier League after an exciting midweek which saw Liverpool and City continue their march at the top. This weeks sees more big games with the Merseyside Derby, Arsenal and United battling for top four, and Newcastle's march towards the top half of the table.
Fixtures - Times are shown as U.K. Time
This weekends round of fixtures take place over 3 days, from Saturday lunchtime until Monday evening.
Saturday 23rd April
Arsenal - Manchester United 12.30pm KO (Kick Off)
Leicester - Aston Villa 3pm KO
Manchester City - Watford 3pm KO
Norwich - Newcastle 3pm KO
Brentford - Tottenham 5.30pm KO
Sunday 24th April
Brighton - Southampton 2pm KO
Burnley - Wolves 2pm KO
Chelsea - West Ham 2pm KO
Liverpool - Everton 4.30pm KO
Monday 25th April
Crystal Palace - Leeds 8pm KO
Now for the most exciting part, as I go through the latest info regarding each team to make an attempt at predicting the results for this weekends matches. Remember this is just my fun analysis and should not be taken as advice or a guarantee.
Arsenal - Manchester United
The Gunners got their top four bid back on track with a resounding win away to Chelsea during the week, while United got torn apart by Liverpool and Thiago in particular. The positive news from Old Trafford is the new manager being confirmed in Ten Hag. Arsenal relied on Nketiah, who scored a brace, to get them through against the Blues, and will hope he can produce again in this one. With the third best home record in the league this season they will be confident going into this one, as they sit 5th and level on points with Spurs in 4th. United are three points behind in 7th having played a game more. With two wins in their last seven league matches, along with losing each of their last three away from home, their chances of them getting Champions League for next season is slipping away. Partey and Tierney are both out of this one for Arteta's side, while United will be without Pogba, Fred, Shaw and Cavani, while Maguire wont be involved after the bomb threat to his house after the Liverpool result. They will be able to welcome back Ronaldo who could be the difference in this one, after the tragic news of his new born sons death during the week. He should give United something different up front but with Arsenal flying high I cannot look past the home side for this one. I think it will be close but I can see Arsenal getting the win with a 2-1 home victory.
Leicester - Aston Villa
Leicester only managed a draw with Everton during the midweek games, as they keep their eyes focused on their European adventure. They face a Villa side who got torn apart by Spurs last weekend, and Gerrard will be eager to get one over his previous manager. After loosing to Newcastle before the Everton draw, Leicester are clinging on to 9th place by a single point. Up to four teams below them will be thinking they can overtake the Foxes in the standings, although Leicester have games in hand on the teams above them in the table they will most likely try consolidate their existing position. Expect a changed line up with their semi final in five days time. Villa went from winning three in a row while scoring nine goals to suffering a four-game losing run in the league. They are 8 points above the drop but know they need to pick up more points to ensure they are not dragged into a relegation battle. Bertrand and Ndidi will be out for the Foxes, along with Soumare but Vardy could be back in contention. Gerrard's side could still be missing Digne for this one, along with Hause, Sanson, and Traore. Its a difficult one to call but I think with Leicester most likely resting key players for Europe then this will give Villa a chance to get something from the game. They should put an end to their loosing streak and leave the King Power with a point after a 2-2 draw.
Manchester City - Watford
The Citizens know they are in a real title race, as they were overtaken in the standings after Liverpool beat Manchester United during the week. They regained their top spot by overcoming Brighton, although had a difficult first half in breaking them down. Watford will hope to cause City similar problems as they sit seven points from safety. With Pep's side loosing in the FA Cup and facing a tough Champions League semi final to Real Madrid this week, their know they cannot take their foot off the gas in their aim to regain the title. They have picked up 38 points from 16 matches at home this season, but face a Watford side much better on the road than in front of their own fans. The Hornets have a game in hand over 17th placed Everton and anything is possible in the Premier League, but have lost their last three after an away win over Southampton in March. Their record against City is not pretty, having lost each of the previous 14 games against them in all competitions. City will be without Walker, and potentially Stone and Ake who picked up knocks. They will likely feature similar players to their FA Cup defeat in a bid to keep their key stars fresh for the Madrid clash. Watford will be without Kalu, Sierralta, and Cucho. While Watford can certainly push the champions in this one, there can only be one winner and I'm afraid City will put Watford closer to sealing their relegation faith with a 3-0 victory at home.
Norwich - Newcastle
What was seen as a relegation battle the last time these two sides met, is now the bottom side against a team battling to get into the top half of the table. Norwich are 8 points from safety and creeping closer to the drop, although gave a good account of themselves last time out against United. Ronaldo was the difference that day as they scored twice at Old Trafford, and will be the fresher side having not played in the midweek games. The Canaries have won five, drawn six and lost 21 of their 32 league matches this season so form is very much against them, with the second-worst home record in the league. Newcastle are on a run of three wins in a row in the league as they beat Palace during the week. They are in 11th and 15 points clear of the drop, with real ambitions of a top half finish this season as they sit one point off 9th placed Leicester. They have a tough run after this but with their safety ensured they can enjoy the end of the campaign. Norwich will be without Idah, Kabak, Sargent, and Omobamidele. Newcastle will be missing Trippier, Wilson, Hayden, and Lewis. Fraser is also a doubt for this one. Both sides have a good chance in this one, especially as Newcastle have no pressure on them at this stage of the season. With Norwich playing so well at Old Trafford they could provide a surprise here, but I think the Magpies will have enough about them to secure a 1-2 away win.
Brentford - Tottenham
Spurs suffered a shock defeat to Brighton last time out as Conte's side continue to go from hot to cold. Franks side continue to impress as they beat Watford 2-1 last time out, and the Bees will be full of confidence heading into this one. They sit in 12th, only two points off 9th and have found form at the right time thanks to Eriksen and Toney being on form. They have secured 15 points from the last 18 in the top flight and have all but ensured their status for next season. Spurs, who were so free scoring of late, didn't manage a single shot at home against Brighton last weekend. They saw United and Arsenal slip up during their recent games, but are level on points with the Gunners and know they are in a battle for fourth. Tottenham have found the back of the net 12 times in their last four away games and will look to continue that form here. The Bees will be without Onyeka, Canos, Jorgensen, and Pinnock for this one, while Spurs will be missing Doherty, Skipp, and Tanganga. Although Spurs are having a terrible time in London derbies while Brentford are on great form, I think the away side should just about win this one. With Eriksen facing his old club expect this to be emotional, but Spurs should just about get away with a 1-2 win.
Brighton - Southampton
Both these sides suffered defeats last time out and will be looking to bounce back in this one, as Brighton lost to City and the Saints were humbled by Burnley. Brighton will still be full of confidence having beaten both Arsenal and Spurs before their defeat to City. They were resolute and tough to break down but eventually Pep's side got ahead and went on from there. Potter's side sit 10th in the table and are secure for next season, although have only managed 15 points from their 16 home games so far this season. They have only managed to beat Southampton once in their previous ten encounters in all competitions. The Saints are 13th in the table and only 2 points off 9th placed Leicester, but after beating Arsenal the defeat to Burnley will have hurt. Hasenhuttl's side have not won in the league since the end of February besides that, only managing 14 points from their 16 away games this season. Moder and Duffy will be missing for Brighton, while McCarthy is the only unavailable player for the Saints. This game has a draw written all over it, with neither side showing to form to make me choose a winner. I think it will be a tight game throughout and the final score will be 1-1.
Burnley - Wolves
Manager-less Burnley will look to further boost their survival hopes, as they sit 18th with a point less than Everton having played a game more. They have managed to get four points since Dyche's departure, and will hope to continue the positive uptrend in form here. They have picked up 18 points from their 16 league matches at Turf Moor this season which is a poor home record and face a Wolves team with the 5th best away record in the league. Lage's side have dropped out of Champions League contention but will hope to push on and challenge for at least a Europa Conference League place for next season. They have not played since April 8th due to the FA Cup semi finals, so will be fresh for this one. While they have a great away record, they are on a poor run against Burnley having not beaten them in their last six against the Clarets. Burnley will be missing Pieters, Mee, Westwood, and Gudmundsson for this one. Wolves will be missing Neves, Kilman, and Podence. With Burnley needing the points and Wolves still fighting for Europe, this will be a tough game for both. I think the most likely outcome will be a draw, with the final score being 1-1.
Chelsea - West Ham
After loosing at home to Arsenal during the week, Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways here. The Hammers are still involved in Europe so may rest some players for this one, as they sit 7th only two points behind United in 6th. Chelsea are now only five points clear of the chasing pack, a long fall from them leading the table up to early December. They have a game in hand on Arsenal and Spurs, but they have lost three of their last six games in all competitions including the last three at Stamford Bridge. West Ham will likely accept top four is not possible so they will likely put all their eggs in the Europa League basket. They have only won one of their last four in the league, but have managed 21 points in their sixteen away games this season. They won 3-2 at London Stadium back in December so Moyes will be looking to do a double over the Blues. Chelsea will be without Chilwell, Hudson-Odoi, Rudiger, and Kovacic. The Hammers has a bit of a defensive crisis as Diop and Zouma join Ogbonna in the treatment room. With Chelsea struggling in recent weeks I think West Ham will have a good chance here, and this game will likely finish as a 2-2 draw.
Liverpool - Everton
Is luck finally on Liverpool's side? For weeks everyone has said they have the more difficult run in, and while that is true on paper, they look unstoppable on the field. After thrashing United during the week, the Reds face an Everton side in real danger of relegation. Fifteen places and 47 points separate the local rivals in the table currently, as Liverpool aim to make it 10 games unbeaten in all competitions. They face Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday so while Klopp may rotate, don't expect him to take it easy on Lampard's side. The Liverpool squad is very strong and with three strikers scoring and four getting assists against United, they are on red hot form. Everton have not been any better under Lampard since he replaced Rafa, but they have taken four points from their last two league games. They are a point clear of Burnley and have a game in hand, but have lost 10 of their last 11 away league games. While Liverpool would miss the Merseyside derby if Everton go down, they will care more about their bid for a quadruple than taking it easy on their rivals. Only Firmino is injured for Liverpool, with a minor foot injury. Everton will be without Calvert-Lewin, while Van De Beek and Gomes are only doubts. While Everton demonstrated more of a fighting spirit in recent matches there can really only be one winner in this one. Anfield will be rocking after the United win and I expect the Reds to give the fans plenty to shout about. A comfortable win is on the cards for the home side, with the final score being 5-0.
Crystal Palace - Leeds
Palace welcome Leeds on Monday night after disappointment in the FA Cup followed by a loss to Newcastle in the league. Leeds meanwhile are sitting in 16th and only five points above the drop, so Marsch's side know the work is not done yet on their survival bid. Vieira will need to find a way to turn the form around, have lost their previous three games in all competitions. They are 14th and have no fears of relegation, but I am sure they would want to push on and finish as high up the league as possible. Leeds meanwhile are on a run of four games without a defeat as they improve post Bielsa. Marsch has gotten the team focused and they are playing some good football while getting results. Both clubs will hope for a strong finish to the season as they plan for the next one. Palace will be without Ferguson, while Milivojevic, Olise are doubts. As for Leeds, they will continue without the services of Forshaw, Firpo, Roberts, Shackleton, Bamford. Leeds excellent form means they travel to Selhurst Park with confidence and should expect to get something from the game. Palace will likely improve from their previous games and stop the rot of losses, meaning I can see this game ending as a 2-2 draw.
Have a great day, I hope you enjoyed the preview of the matches and get to see the league games over the weekend.
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