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Premier League preview: Saturday’s action including Man City vs Liverpool

Man City vs Liverpool


Premier League preview: Saturday’s action including Man City vs Liverpool

Premier League preview: Saturday’s action including Man City vs Liverpool

Man City vs Liverpool

In the days immediately before the international break rolled round, Manchester City saw off RB Leipzig 7-0 in the Champions League, then dumped Vincent Kompany’s Burnley out of the FA Cup 6-0.

Even leaving aside those wins, Pep Guardiola’s side are on a ten-game unbeaten streak in all comps. It doesn’t bode well for Liverpool’s lunchtime visit to the Etihad on Saturday.

True, Jurgen Klopp’s side have often performed well against City in recent years. But the Reds just can’t get anything going this season.

A staggering 7-0 win over Man United came virtually from nowhere, demonstrating that Klopp’s team can still operate at an elite level when the mood seizes them. Alas, those moods are fleeting.

In painful contrast to the Citizens, Liverpool’s last two outings each ended in defeats – a 1-0 loss to Bournemouth which underlined the Merseyside team’s failings this season, plus a 1-0 loss to Real Madrid that confirmed the side’s exit from the Champions League.

Liverpool face Chelsea and Arsenal after Saturday’s encounter, and even with the Blues still looking somewhat shaky it’s not hard to imagine a run of defeats continuing for Klopp’s side.

Even with Erling Haaland an injury doubt for the hosts, it would be a tumultuous turnaround if the visitors were to outwit Guardiola here. Given what’s gone before in this campaign, looking beyond the obvious may be unwise.

Liverpool have failed even to find the net in four of their last five away games in the Prem. With that in mind, Man City to win and BTTS – No in a double at 33/20 seems pretty fair.

Arsenal vs Leeds

Arsenal signed off with a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace two weeks ago; on Saturday they faced another relegation contender, though Leeds did put four goals past Wolves in their most recent game.

The Yorkshire side have shown fight – and that they can find the net under new coach Javi Gracia. It’s a stretch to see them ending Arsenal’s six-game winning run in the Prem, but they might at least be able to score; the Gunners do tend to concede at home.

Arteta’s side have let in goals against Palace, Bournemouth, Brentford and Man Utd already in 2023; combine Arsenal to win and BTTS Yes at 9/5.

Bournemouth vs Fulham

Fulham have lost three on the spin in the run-up to this one. That includes the FA Cup meltdown against Man Utd that saw Willian, Mitrovic and manager Marco Silva all sent off in the space of one mystifying minute of mayhem.

Can the Cottagers shrug off that unpleasantness to come roaring back at the Vitality? Bournemouth have lost three of their last four league games – but the exception was a 1-0 home win over Liverpool.

The Cherries can also take comfort in the absence of Willian and Mitro, two of Fulham’s most influential players. The visitors can call on another player who has had an incredible impact in the last few months, though.

Manor Solomon has scored in five of his last seven appearances for Fulham, three when coming on from the bench. He could find more opportunity against a Bournemouth side that struggle for clean sheets at home (one in their last six in all comps).

Solomon is 24/5 to score at any time against the Cherries.

Brighton vs Brentford

With both these sides level on 42 points, Brighton are ahead of Brentford on goal difference – though the Seagulls also have a couple of games in hand.

Both sides have lost just once in the Prem in 2023, but Brighton may have the edge, having conceded only a single league goal in their five home games so far this year.

If De Zerbi’s side can maintain that doozy of a defensive record, they have plenty of attacking power too – not least Evan Ferguson. The 18-year-old scored on his debut for Ireland last week, and a few days earlier the highly-rated teenager scored a brace for Brighton as they pummelled Grimsby 5-0 in the FA Cup.

The young striker has been linked with moves to Tottenham, Man Utd, Bayern Munich and Barcelona – but for now, he’s happy starring for the Seagulls. Ferguson is 33/20 to score on Saturday.

The home side may also continue keeping the opposition at bay, so it could be worth backing Brighton to win and BTTS No in a double at 8/5.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester

Roy has returned! The plucky septuagenarian arrives at Selhurst Park on a mission to restore Crystal Palace to past glories.

And why not, when the all-conquering Hodgson can hark back to a record of, uh, six defeats in his final eight league games in charge, just before he called it a day in the 2020-21 season?

Palace finished 12th in that campaign, which is exactly where they are in the table now. Still, twinkly-eyed Roy hasn’t been resting on his laurels since leaving Palace. He also oversaw Watford’s relegation last season, managing two league wins during his five-month tenure.

All of which perhaps doesn’t sound too encouraging for a team that still hasn’t won a game in 2023. Still, even if a new manager bounce isn’t assured, Leicester’s ropey record – winless in five, having lost four of those – at least gives Palace a sniff of a chance here.

With Leicester having scored a total of two goals in five league games, and Palace scoring once over the same period, backing under 1.5 goals at 41/20 might be the best approach, sadly.

Nottingham Forest vs Wolves

Forest are without striker Chris Woods, who picked up an injury on international duty that rules him out for the rest of the season.

Steve Cooper’s side have taken just two points from their last six matches, and could certainly use a strong showing at the City Ground – although they lost thanks to a last gasp penalty to Newcastle last time out.

At least Wolves look beatable; they’ve lost three of their last four, and shipped four goals to Leeds, improbably, just before the international break.

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui will presumably look to tighten up his defence after that result. And with both these sides among the joint lowest scorers in the Prem (they’ve each scored just 22 times) it’s unlikely this one will be a goalfest.

In what’s likely to be a tight affair, Forest may be able to nick the game 1-0 at 13/2; if that’s too much of a reach, backing under 2.5 goals might be more reliable at 4/7.

Chelsea vs Aston Villa

Chelsea were caught out when Everton held them to a draw last time out. Graham Potter might not have completely figured out this management lark just yet when it comes to the West London outfit, despite better results in March.

If Chelsea are still a work in progress, Villa are living it up under Unai Emery, the Spanish boss having won three of his last four.

The visitors are 23/5 to nick an audacious away win at Stamford Bridge, against a Chelsea side that lost at home to Southampton back in February. A Villa win is far from impossible; take a chance on the Midlands side to cause the hosts more difficulties in this Saturday tea-time kick-off.

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