Premier League preview: Sunday’s action including Arsenal vs Brighton
Brentford vs West Ham
It’s not been a vintage campaign for West Ham, at least in the Premier League. The Irons’ indifferent league form will be forgotten if West Ham can secure a place in the Europa Conference League final; they won the first leg of their semi 2-1 against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.
Can they follow that with a decent performance away against the Bees, though? Thomas Frank’s team are generally pretty solid on home turf. Since they were promoted to the Prem, Brentford have won each of their three league encounters with West Ham.
Indeed, when these sides met back in late December, David Moyes’ side was booed off following a 2-0 defeat. Will this be another dispiriting derby outcome for the visitors?
Perhaps, but it’s easier to put our faith in Ivan Toney scoring for the hosts. He’s done that in four of his last five home games, and also found the net in his last two league meetings with West Ham. Toney is 3/1 to open the scoring here.
Everton vs Man City
Everton smashed five goals past Brighton on Monday. It’s fair to say we were unprepared for this outcome. Still, Pep Guardiola seems unlikely to offer a similar lifeline to the Toffees as they seek to dodge the drop into the Championship.
Everton’s players and fans alike are doubtless delighted after that five star showing at the Amex. City have a way of pulling you down to earth though, even if the side showed a hint of vulnerability against Leeds last week.
Could a Dychian masterclass see Everton frustrate the visitors, add a fresh twist to the title race – and enhance the Merseyside’s team of remaining in the Premier League? It’s the dream outcome for the neutral.
But without taking anything away from the excellence of Everton’s performance, there’s a sense that everything went perfectly for them at Brighton. Meanwhile, City had a rare off day against Leeds, Erling Haaland spurning a number of chances that the Norwegian would gobble up on another day.
A return to something closer to normality seems likely – even if Everton have already taken a point from City earlier this season, earning a 1-1 draw back on New Year’s Eve.
Everton have shipped seven goals in their last two home games, and may be powerless to keep City at bay. Back City to win, over 2.5 goals and Haaland to score in a treble at 11/10.
Arsenal vs Brighton
The Gunners are playing catch-up to Man City. In all likelihood, even winning their final three games of the season will not be enough to wrest the title away from Pep Guardiola. But what else can they do but try?
Brighton may offer a stern challenge, however. The Seagulls suffered something of a savaging on Monday, ripped apart 5-1 at home against Everton.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side might be seeing out the season a little erratically. But last time they suffered a surprise defeat, losing 2-1 to Nottingham Forest last month, they followed it up with a 6-0 victory over Wolves.
The Gunners are clearly capable of getting caught out, too. Brighton have proved as much, winning 3-1 at the Emirates in the League Cup back in November, and taking a 2-1 victory over the north London side in this fixture last season.
That said, last time these two sides met, Arsenal won 4-2 at the Amex. Whatever the outcome, goals seem a good bet here. Back over 3.5 at 11/8 – or take punt on Martin Odegaard to score for the hosts.
The Norwegian has scored in his last two league meetings against Brighton; he also has five goals in his last five outings for Arsenal. Odegaard is 13/5 to find the net here.
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