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21-22 Premier League Preview Week 16

Leeds vs Arsenal

Premier League festive season is ramping up. Teams will play their third matches within a week over the weekend and there will be opportunities for many clubs to gain ground at both ends of the table. Man City continue to lead the pack after they thrashed Leeds 7-0 at home in mid-week.

The race for the top-four places has also picked up as Arsenal have secured solid recent results to displace a patchy West Ham in the Champions League spots. In the relegation places, Norwich remain rooted to the foot of the table after Dean Smith was unable to get one over his former club, Aston Villa, on Wednesday. It was a missed opportunity after Watford and Burnley’s relegation clash was postponed. This weekend, teams will be hoping to take maximum points before the Christmas period. The race for the top four continues to catch the eye with Man United hosting Brighton, West Ham taking on Norwich, and Arsenal traveling to Leeds with the three sides separated by just two points.

All odds are from bet365 and subject to change.


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Man United vs Brighton

Man United’s midweek fixture against Brentford was postponed. The Red Devils won their previous match, a narrow 1-0 victory at Norwich on Saturday, where Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty earned all three points. The result extended United’s winning streak to three in the Premier League. Previous wins came at home against Crystal Palace (1-0) and Arsenal (3-2). Since Ole Gunnar Solskjær departed Old Trafford, United are unbeaten in six in all competitions, winning four and drawing two.

Brighton lost 1-0 at home against Wolves on Wednesday as they remain winless in their last 13 in all competitions. Despite rare wins this season, the Seagulls have picked up plenty of points through draws, keeping them in mid-table. Graham Potter’s side has drawn eight of their last 11 in the Premier League, including 1-1 draws in their last two road trips against West Ham and Southampton. Brighton’s only loss on the road this season came against Aston Villa (2-0).

United could see Edinson Cavani, Raphael Varane, Nemanja Matic, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial return to the squad. Paul Pogba (thigh), Juan Mata (illness) and Victor Lindelof (thigh) are ruled out. Shane Duffy and Adam Webster could return to the Brighton squad. Lewis Dunk (knee), Steven Alzate (ankle), Yves Bissouma (suspended), Danny Wellbeck (thigh) and Joel Veltman (hamstring) are ruled out. Neal Maupay, Pascal Gross, Jurgen Locadia and Jason Steele are also out with coronavirus.

Man United will be rested after their mid-week postponement. Brighton’s injury crisis won’t help their preparations and a comfortable home win is likely.

Man United – 1/2

Brighton – 19/4

Draw – 7/2

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Southampton vs Brentford

Southampton were held to a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace as their winless run extended to six in the Premier League. The Saints came back from a goal down as stunners from James Ward-Prowse and Armando Broja helped a Southampton revival before they conceded the equaliser in the second period. The result will be seen as a positive for the South coast side after they were hammered 3-0 at Arsenal in their previous match. Southampton has also been tough to beat at St Mary’s recently and they are unbeaten in their last five but have drawn their last two against Brighton (1-1) and Leicester (2-2).

Brentford’s form has improved in recent weeks following a patchy run of form during November. Thomas Frank’s side came from 1-0 down to beat Watford at home with two late goals securing the win. The victory leaves the Bees with just one loss in their last five, an away defeat at Spurs (2-0). Away from remains an issue for Brentford, however. The West Londoners have taken just two points from their last 12 available following draws at Leeds and Newcastle.

Adam Armstrong and Fraser Forster could be in contention for Southampton after recent injuries. Che Adams (thigh), Stuart Armstrong (calf) and Alex McCarthy (groin) are ruled out. Brentford forwards Ivan Toney and Sergi Canos are set to return. Mathias Jorgensen is doubtful with a thigh injury and Kristoffer Ajer (thigh(, David Raya (knee), Ethan Pinnock (coronavirus), Julian Jeanvier (knee) and Josh DaSilva (groin) are out.

Southampton has drawn a lot of games recently, while Brentford has shown their resilience to avoid defeat. With the two sides becoming harder to beat, another stalemate could take place.

Southampton – 23/20

Brentford – 12/5

Draw – 12/5

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West Ham vs Norwich

West Ham’s patchy run of form continued in mid-week as David Moyes’ side fell to a 2-0 loss at Arsenal. The defeat leaves the Hammers winless in their last three and with just one win in their last six in all competitions. Despite being among the top-scorers in the Premier League earlier in the season, West Ham has struggled to find the net recently and they have failed to score in their last three. Yet the East London side remain in decent home form, winning three of their last four at the London Stadium. The Hammers also saw off title-chasers Chelsea with a 3-2 victory in their most recent domestic home fixture.

Norwich’s form under Dean Smith has tailed off in recent matches. A 1-0 home loss against Smith’s former club, Aston Villa, condemned the Canaries to a third straight defeat in the Premier League without scoring. Smith’s side may take confidence from the fact they have taken four points from their last nine available away from Carrow Road. Although, goalscoring remains an issue for the Canaries as they have netted just three on the road the season, the worst record in the Premier League.

West Ham may be in contention for West Ham, but Kurt Zouma (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (groin), Angelo Ogbonna (knee), Vladimir Coufal (suspended) and Ben Johnson (thigh) are out. Norwich duo Ozan Kabak and Mathias Normann are doubtful with injuries. Lukas Rupp, Joshua Sargent, Pierre Lees-Melou and Christos Tzolis are out with coronavirus. Grant Hanley (shoulder), Milot Rashica (groin), Andrew Omobamidele (back) and Christoph Zimmermann (ankle) are also ruled out.

West Ham’s recent dip in form should be addressed by Moyes, especially at home. With a Hammers’ response expected, Norwich could struggle yet again on Saturday.

West Ham – 1/3

Norwich – 8/1

Draw – 17/4

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Leeds vs Arsenal

Leeds’ were on the wrong side of a 7-0 hiding at Man City on Tuesday. The result followed a devastating 3-2 loss at Chelsea in their previous fixture, where a 94th-minute winner was scored by the Blues. The consecutive losses leave Marcelo Bielsa’s side with just one victory in their last seven matches, a 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace, where the Whites netted their own injury-time winner. Leeds will be buoyed by their resilient nature at Elland Road. The Yorkshire side are unbeaten in their last five at home, drawing three and winning two.

Arsenal’s charge up the table continued with a comfortable 2-0 win against West Ham on Wednesday. It was a second consecutive win without conceding for the Gunners after a 3-0 win at home against Southampton. The victories were vital for Mikel Arteta’s side following back-to-back away defeats against Man United (3-2) and Everton (2-1). The Gunners have only taken seven away points from a possible 24 this season and they have lost their last three on the road.

Leeds’ Robin Koch may return from injury and Jamie Shackleton is being assessed on a heel injury. Liam Cooper (thigh), Kalvin Phillips (thigh), Patrick Bamford (hamstring), Rodrigo (calf), Junior Firpo (suspended) and Pascal Struijk (ankle) are unavailable. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should return for Arsenal after an internal suspension. Sead Kolasinac (ankle) and Bernd Leno (groin) remain sidelined.

Leeds are a tough nut to crack at Elland Road and Bielsa will want to see improvements after their 7-0 loss to City. Arsenal are in decent form, but they can’t seem to address their issues away, so a draw is expected.

Leeds – 12/5

Arsenal – 21/20

Draw – 11/4

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