This weekend’s Premier League fixtures previewed
Posted by  badge Boss on 2 weeks ago
The Manchester derby rolls around again this weekend as Erik ten Hag (left) welcomes Pep Guardiola’s City side to Old Trafford (Pictures: Getty/Reuters)

Aston Villa v Leeds

Today, 8pm,

As if being shocked 2-1 in their home tie with Stevenage last week wasn’t enough, Villa boss has a long injury list to contend with – John McGinn and Diego Carlos among those unlikely to feature under the lights, with Villa trying to get left-back Alex Moreno registered in time after this week’s £12million swoop from Real Betis. Like their hosts, Leeds are likely to have a very different look to the team that had to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Cardiff on Sunday.

Match stat: The home side have not won any of the last seven meetings

Man United v Man City

Saturday, 12.30pm, BT Sport

It’s hard to remember the last time United went into a Manchester derby in such high spirits, Erik ten Hag’s side having lost just one of their 18 games since crashing 6-3 at the Etihad in October. Victory at Old Trafford would leave United just a point behind their noisy neighbours. Pep Guardiola said he has some ‘ridiculous’ ideas to deal with United earlier this week. Picking their best team might just be a start after a much-changed side slumped to a 2-0 Carabao Cup exit at Southampton.

Match stat: City have won the last three meetings by an aggregate 12-4

Everton v Southampton

Saturday, 3pm

This has relegation six-pointer written all over it but the Saints fans who had already turned against boss Nathan Jones after defeats in his first four games must think again after victory at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup was followed by the stunning 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Manchester City. They must now try to end a run of six league defeats. Despite getting a vote of confidence from owner Farhad Moshiri this week, this feels like a game Everton boss Frank Lampard cannot afford to lose.

Match stat: Seven defeats for Everton in their last 10 premier league games

Brighton v Liverpool

Saturday, 3pm

Robert De Zerbi has seen his Brighton side put 25 goals away in their last nine games (Picture: Steve Bardens/Getty)

A lot of people may wince when the term ‘XG’ is bandied about but Roberto De Zerbi inherited a club with a high expected goals tally but a low actual goals tally from Graham Potter – and has seen them bag 25 in their last nine games. This looks a difficult game for a Liverpool side missing Virgil van Dijk for at least the next month through injury and who have started 2023 poorly, with a 3-1 defeat at Brentford before their good fortune to escape with a 2-2 draw against Wolves in the FA Cup.

Match stat: Only four sides this term have scored more than Brighton’s 32

Nottingham Forest v Leicester

Saturday, 3pm

Considering Steve Cooper was thought to be on his way out of a job after Forest were crushed 4-0 at Leicester in October, the transformation has been remarkable. The hosts go into the weekend in the rarefied air of 15th place while their Carabao Cup penalties win over Wolves has taken them into their first major semi-final for 31 years. Leicester bowed out at Newcastle and their boss Brendan Rodgers has cautioned against a third transfer window with few incomings.

Match stat: Forest beat Leicester 4-1 in last season’s FA Cup fourth round

Wolves v West Ham

Saturday, 3pm

Julen Lopetegui has every right to feel aggrieved Wolves’ cup performances at Liverpool and Forest this week did not result in victory in either but there is no doubting their battling spirit since the Spaniard took charge. Victory at Molineux tomorrow would lift them out of the bottom three at West Ham’s expense and they are also keen to sign Hammers defender Craig Dawson. Said Benrahma’s winner gave David Moyes’ side a morale-boosting 1-0 FA Cup win at Brentford.

Match stat: Six Premier League games without a win for West Ham

Newcastle v Fulham

Sunday, 2pm, Sky Sports

Dan Burn is mobbed by his Newcastle teammates after scoring his first goal for his boyhood club (Picture: Stu Forster/Getty)

Newcastle have gone 67 years without a domestic trophy but it may not be too much longer after a 2-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final victory over Leicester which really could have been five or six. It is easy to be jealous of the Saudi billions but who can begrudge Dan Burn the joy of his first goal for his boyhood club setting them on their way, while Eddie Howe is getting the best out of previously malfunctioning stars such as Joelinton. For Fulham, this comes 64 hours after a home derby with Chelsea.

Match stat: Newcastle won 4-1 at Craven Cottage earlier in the season

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

Sunday, 2pm

It was perhaps a cruel twist of fate for Palace that Conor Gallagher, so impressive for them on loan last season, should get Chelsea’s stoppage-time winner when the sides met in October. That was a 10th successive league defeat for Palace against their London rivals but they must see this as a chance to end that run against a side with one win in their last seven under Graham Potter. The Blues are likely to be able to call upon new loan signing Joao Felix to bolster their attack.

Match stat: Palace have never had a Premier League penalty against Chelsea

Tottenham v Arsenal

Sunday, 4.30pm, Sky Sports

The home side have won six successive north London derbies. Whether that sequence is extended to seven on Sunday could have a major say on the destiny of this season’s Premier League title. While Arsenal have looked increasingly imperious, Spurs’ form has been mixed although a 4-0 win at Crystal Palace in their last league game raised morale. Boss Antonio Conte may also be able to call upon Yves Bissouma, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur after injury.

Match stat: Harry kKane has scored a record 14 goals in North London derbies

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