EPL PREDICTIONS: WEEK 23

Updated: Feb 15

Aston Villa (H) vs Arsenal (A)

Head to Head: Arsenal 27 wins Aston Villa 10 wins 14 draws

Villa beat Arsenal in the reverse fixture late last year 3-0 when Ollie Watkins scored a double. Villa haven't completed a home/away sweep of the Gunners since the inaugural season of 1992/93. For Arsenal, David Luiz & Bernd Leno are out after being shown straight red cards. For Arsenal, Nicholas Pepe has been in some good form, having scored in 3 straight away PL games. Before that, the tenacious midfielder had scored just 2 in 18 away PL games.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1


Burnley (H) vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Head to Head: Burnley 2 wins Brighton 1 win 4 draws

Are Brighton the form team of the competition? The Seagulls have won 3 of their last 5 including back to back wins over Liverpool & Spurs. Burnley was the team that ended Liverpool's 67 match unbeaten streak at Anfield and at home they are a strong team. Both Chris Wood & Ashley Barnes will be game time decisions after missing the mid week defeat to Man City. Burnley manager Sean Dyche will be hoping that Chris Wood is fit. The NZ born striker has scored 8 goals against Brighton, more than he has scored against any other team in England. Brighton have kept true to manager Grahm Potter's expansive attacking style of play but aren't doing too badly in defence either. The Seagulls have not conceded a single goal in their last 4 PL matches. The last time Brighton went 5 games without conceding was in the Championship in March 2016.

Prediction: Brighton 2-1


Newcastle United (H) vs Southampton (A)

Head to Head: Southampton 16 wins Newcastle 15 wins 8 draws

The Saints are in freecall after losing their last 4 matches including THAT 9-0 beating at the hands of their arch nemesis Manchester United. Newcastle are also woeful having lost 4 of their last 5. Both teams will be looking to stop the run of defeats and start to climb to mid-table security as soon as possible. For the Geordies, they have lost just one of their last 15 PL matches at home to the Saints (W11 D3). This is the longest losing streak of Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Prediction: Southampton 3-2


Fulham (H) vs West Ham United (A)

Head to Head: West Ham 14 wins Fulham 4 wins 5 draws

Fulham have won just 2 of their 21 PL matches this season. Before this season, 13 of the 15 sides to have won 2 of their 21 PL matches were relegated. One of the sides to survive? Fulham in 2007/08 season. It doesn't get better for Fulham as the Cottagers are winless in their last 19 PL London derbies (D2 L17), the longest run in the PL history. The Hammers under David Moyes have been both strong in defence but also winning away games. The Hammers will be looking to win 4 straight PL away games since Sept 2007 under Alan Curbishley.

Prediction: West Ham 3-0


Manchester United (H) vs Everton (A)

Head to Head: Manchester United 37 wins Everton 9 wins 11 draws

Would you really want to play the Red Devils the week after they mercilessly tore apart the Saints 9-0? The Red Devils have won 5 of their last 7 matches at home since a run of 6 matches without a win and have scored 20 goals and conceded just 5 in that span. Paul Pogba returns after a mid-week rest. The Toffees are looking at winning 5 PL away matches for the first time. The last time they won 5 away matches was in April 1970 when they won their 7th title that season. Carlo Ancelotti can become just the 2nd manager to win against Manchester United with three different teams. He has won with Chelsea and AC Milan before. The only other manager to win with three different teams at Man Utd is Jose "The Special One" Mourinho who achieved the feat with Chelsea, Real Madrid & Spurs.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-0


Tottenham Hotspur (H) vs West Bromwich Albion (A)

Head to Head: Spurs 10 wins West Brom 4 wins 11 draws

The news doesn't get better for Spurs after their 3rd loss in a row mid week to Chelsea. Harry Kane remains out with ankle issues, Dele Alli has not featured in Jose Mourinho's plans for quite some time and is not expected to start and what to make of Gareth Bale? The favourite son returned with much fanfare at the start of the season but has hardly been seen on the pitch and is rumoured to be heading back to Real Madrid at the end of his loan period. Luckily for Mourinho & Spurs, they come up against West Brom who are fighting relegation troubles of their own having lost 3 of their last 5 matches and 14 of their overall 22 with just 2 wins. No better time to get a win for Spurs. Can they deliver and can Son Heung-Min rescue a season in free fall?

Prediction: Spurs 3-0


Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) vs Leicester City (A)

Head to Head: Wolves 2 wins Leicester 2 wins 3 draws

While on paper this should appear to be an appetising matchup between two genuinely good sides with fantastic managers, the reality of mounting a campaign in the PL coupled with European games is much more difficult. Wolves have suffered injuries to major players and coupled with a regression from last season, have won just once in their last 5 matches. Wolves will be looking to win consecutive PL matches for the first time since October when they had victories over Fulham & Leeds. For Leicester, Jamie Vardy is available again but Wesley Fofana & Timothy Castagne are out (hamstring). Leicester have so far won 8 away PL matches which is only bettered by their title-winning season tally of 11 away win games in 2015/16.

Prediction: Leicester 3-1


Liverpool (H) vs Manchester City (A)

Head to Head: Liverpool 20 wins ManCity 10 wins 17 draws

The defending champions vs the would be champions of the 2020/21 season? City have truly hit top gear with 14 goals scored in their last 5 matches and 0 conceded. Liverpool, on the other hand, have lost 2 PL home games in a row after a streak of 68 games unbeaten at Anfield. The last time the Reds lost 3 home games in a row was September 1963. Man City have won their last 13 matches in all competitions. Victory at Anfield will see them equal the record for an English top flight club, set by Preston in January 1892 & Arsenal in November 1987. Raheem Sterling has 99 goals for City under Pep Guardiola. If he scores against his former club, he will be the third player to surpass 100 goals under Pep Guardiola after Lionel Messi (211) and Sergio Aguero (120).

Prediction: Man City 3-1


Sheffield United (H) vs Chelsea (A)

Head to Head: Sheffield United 4 wins Chelsea 4 wins 1 draw

The Blades have won 3 of their last 5 and their form has certainly picked up since the turn of the year. For Chelsea, a drab 0-0 draw with Wolves to start Thomas Tuchel's managerial reign was met with displeasure from the fans but the noise would have quietened down since then with 2 victories in a row. For the Blues, Timo Werner has struggled to stamp his authority in the Premier League with the expensive summer signing having had just 8 goal involvements (4 goals, 4 assists) in his 21 games. Nevertheless, a result should be expected between these two sides as the last 15 league matches at Bramall Lane have produced only wins (9 for Sheffield United, 6 for Chelsea)

Prediction: Chelsea 3-1


Last Week: 3 out of 9

Overall season: 106 out of 228

Prediction Success: 46.4%


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