Premier League Preview Week 21
The frantic Premier League Christmas period has one more set of fixtures left this week.
Struggling Arsenal take on a rejuvenated Manchester United in the biggest game of the weekend at the Emirates as Mikel Arteta will be hoping to secure his first win for the Gunners. Liverpool will be looking to widen the gap at the top but face a tough Sheffield United side while second place Leicester will be trying to catch up to the Reds as they face Newcastle away. At the bottom of the table, and inconsistent Burnley take on Villa while Nigel Pearson knows a win over Wolves could see his Watford side climb out of the relegation zone.
All odds are from bet365 and subject to change.
Southampton v Tottenham
Southampton are now unbeaten in three matches after coming from behind to draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday. They produced an excellent performance against Chelsea on Boxing Day to beat them 2-0 and the Saints have looked more assured of late, losing just two in eight games.
The Jose Mourinho revival at Tottenham has slowed down recently as Spurs have only won once in their last three fixtures, including a disappointing loss to Chelsea and a 2-2 draw with Norwich. Spurs have only kept one clean sheet in eight Premier League games under Mourinho and have conceded 13.
Yann Valery is expected to miss this fixture due to a knock and Shane Long has been ruled out with a knee injury. Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-Min will all return from suspension for Spurs but the game comes too soon for Ben Davies (ankle) and Hugo Lloris (elbow).
Southampton will certainly be hard to beat and Spurs face a tough test at St Mary’s. Jose Mourinho’s side have also been less than convincing lately so expect a draw in this fixture.
Southampton – 12/5
Draw – 13/5
Tottenham – 11/10
Manchester City v Everton
Man City suffered another shock loss over the Christmas period, losing 3-2 to Wolves despite being 2-0 up at half time. The loss was City’s fifth of the season, but they were able to recover with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday. Despite their inconsistency this season, City have scored 27 goals and conceded just nine in 10 home games.
Carlo Ancelotti has overseen two wins from two since taking over at Everton on Boxing day. These results mean that the Toffees are now unbeaten in five matches and have conceded only three goals in this time. However, Everton have only won two of their 10 away games so far this season.
David Silva, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte could all return from injury but Ederson will return from his recent suspension. André Gomez (broken leg), Alex Iwobi (thigh) and Jean Gbamin (hip) are all out until the new year but Morgan Schneiderlin could return after a calf strain.
City are clear favourites to win this fixture and they usually deliver after they have suffered a recent loss, as they did against Wolves two games ago. But Everton have turned their fortunes around which could see them hold out for a draw here.
Manchester City – 2/7
Draw – 5/1
Everton – 8/1
Arsenal v Manchester United
Arsenal’s loss to Chelsea on Sunday now leaves them without a win in four matches and just one in their last 12 Premier League fixtures. Arsenal have lost their last three home matches and have not won at home since the beginning of October.
Manchester United are in good form and have only lost once in their last nine Premier League matches, picking up five wins and three draws in this run. United’s away record is poor this season as they have only won three times away from Old Trafford but two of those wins have come in the last three games.
Gabriel Martineli could return from a recent hamstring injury and Rob Holding (knee), Sead Kolasinac (ankle) could return, but Kieran Tierney (shoulder) will remain out until the new year. Marcos Rojo (knock), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (knee) and Eric Bailly (knee) are unlikely to feature. Scott McTominay’s recent knee injury will also keep him out of contention for this fixture.
Manchester United will win this fixture as they are playing well and have put together a good run of results over the last couple of months and it’s difficult to see Arsenal gaining anything from this match.
Arsenal – 8/5
Draw – 13/5
Manchester United – 13/8
Liverpool v Sheffield United
Liverpool are currently on a 35-game unbeaten run in the Premier League and their win over Wolves on Sunday saw them lose just one game for the entirety of 2019. Jurgen Klopp’s side have won 17 consecutive games at Anfield.
Sheffield United had a difficult Christmas period and only picked up one point from a possible six following a draw with Watford and a loss to Manchester City. However, Chris Wilder’s side had lost just once in 12 games before their defeat to City on Sunday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dejan Lovren, Fabinho are all doubtful for Liverpool while Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip also remain out. Simon Moore is unavailable for Sheffield United with a groin injury.
Liverpool seem unstoppable at the moment and are favourites to win here on Wednesday. But Wilder’s side have shown resilience and an ability to take on the top sides in the Premier League so they could be the first team in 17 to take a point from Anfield.
Liverpool – 2/9
Draw – 11/2
Sheffield United – 11/1
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