EPL

Premier League predictions: Arsenal facing Salah threat, Lampard to get the better of Lopetegui?

By Sports Desk April 07, 2023

Arsenal face another major obstacle in their quest to land a first Premier League title in 19 years when they travel to Liverpool on Sunday.

The Gunners have historically struggled at Anfield, though Mikel Arteta's men have passed most tests this season en route to opening up a healthy lead over Manchester City.

While Arsenal will be looking to continue their good form, having won seven league games in a row, it is the start of another new chapter for Chelsea when they head to Wolves.

Frank Lampard was this week appointed as caretaker manager for the rest of the season following the sacking of Graham Potter, with Chelsea way down in 11th place.

There are plenty of other big games at the top and bottom of the division this weekend, not least at Old Trafford where Manchester United and Everton face off.

United got their top-four hopes back on track in midweek and will be seeking some momentum when they take on an Everton side sitting level on points with the bottom three.

Here, with the help of Opta data, Stats Perform has provided some key insights and predictions.


Manchester United v Everton

United have dominated this fixture down the years, with their 38 Premier League wins against Everton the second most one team has over another after the Red Devils themselves against Tottenham (39 wins).

Erik ten Hag's men have won both meetings with Everton in all competitions this term – 2-1 in the league at Goodison Park and 3-1 in the FA Cup on home soil – and could make it three wins in a single campaign against them for the third time (after 1993-94 and 2015-16 seasons).

Everton have improved since Sean Dyche took charge, picking up 12 points from their nine league games under him, with that seven more than they managed in their final 12 games under Lampard.

Best bet – Everton to score at Old Trafford: The Toffees' away form this season may be terrible, as is their overall record at United, but they have scored in each of their past nine Premier League games at Old Trafford, with that the Red Devils' longest run without a clean sheet against a single opponent in the competition.

Long shot – Everton to avoid defeat: Scoring away at United is one thing; holding on for a point or more is another. Everton have won just one of their past 29 away league meetings with United, but their past three visits to Old Trafford have finished all square.

Opta prediction: United failed to win any of their six matches in the early Saturday kick-off slot last season, but they have won all three such games this campaign, including a 2-1 win over Manchester City in January. Everton have won just two of their past 31 away league games, meanwhile, and Opta's model gives them only a 20.6 per cent chance of winning at Old Trafford. United are given a 52.7 per cent chance of success, meanwhile, and the draw is rated at 26.7 per cent.

 


Wolves v Chelsea

Chelsea have failed to win on their past two league visits to Molineux, but the good news is that their most recent victory there came in September 2019 under Lampard.

Wolves are unbeaten in their three Premier League games against opponents from London under the watch of Julen Lopetegui, having failed to win any of their previous 11 such matches prior to the Spaniard's arrival.

The Blues have picked up just 16 points from 14 away top-flight matches, which is their lowest return after 14 road games in a single campaign since 2000-01 (nine).

Best bet – Wolves to win without conceding: Given Chelsea's form, a Wolves win this weekend would hardly be the biggest of surprises – especially considering Lopetegui's men have won their past three league games against sides starting the day above them without letting in a goal (1-0 v West Ham, 3-0 v Liverpool and 1-0 v Tottenham).

Long shot – Raheem Sterling to score or assist: The Chelsea winger has been directly involved in just one goal in his past six matches, but since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, only Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne (nine) has been directly involved in more league goals at Molineux than Sterling among visiting players (three goals, two assists).

Opta prediction: Wolves are winless in their past four Premier League games against Chelsea since beating them 2-1 at Molineux in December 2020. The Blues will be hoping the new (well, returning) manager bounce pays off and the Opta model makes them favourites to win with a 42.3 per cent backing, compared to 27.9 per cent for Wolves and 29.8 per cent for the draw.

 


Liverpool v Arsenal

Arsenal are facing Liverpool as Premier League leaders for the ninth time, with the previous eight occasions producing a total of 33 goals at an average of over four per game.

Since briefly surrendering top spot to Man City following a 3-1 defeat in February, Arsenal have won their last seven Premier League games. They have scored at least three goals in six of these, including the last five in a row.

Liverpool have won five of their last six Premier League home games (D1), including each of the last three by an aggregate score 11-0. The Reds have not conceded in any of their past seven hours and 26 minutes of league football at Anfield, since Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's strike for Leicester City in December.

Best bet – Mohamed Salah to score or assist: The Egypt international is expected to be recalled by Jurgen Klopp and that could spell bad news for Arsenal. Salah has been involved in 105 league goals in 105 games at Anfield for Liverpool (74 goals, 31 assists) and has scored in three successive home league appearances for the Reds.

Long shot – Arsenal to lose without scoring: The Gunners have lost on their last six league visits to Anfield, conceding at least three goals each time. They have failed to score against the Reds on 20 occasions in the Premier League era, which is their worst record against any team in the division.

Opta prediction: Arsenal won the reverse fixture with Liverpool 3-2 in the first major sign they were the real deal this season, though not since the 2009-10 campaign have they pulled off the league double in this fixture. They have a 22.6 per cent chance of doing so this weekend, according to the Opta model, while Liverpool are rated at 51 per cent to pick up the three points. A draw is given a 26.4 per cent chance of happening.

Related items

  • Arteta thanks Arsenal fans for their patience after Gunners miss out on title Arteta thanks Arsenal fans for their patience after Gunners miss out on title

    Mikel Arteta thanked Arsenal fans for their patience after the Gunners missed out on the Premier League title.

    Arsenal headed into the final game on Sunday needing a victory over Everton and a Manchester City slip-up at home to West Ham to claim their first title in 20 years.

    Arsenal did their part as Kai Havertz netted a late winner to see off Everton, but City were also triumphant in their game as Pep Guardiola's men secured a fourth straight Premier League title while ensuring the Gunners finish runners-up for a second straight season.

    Following the game, Arteta addressed the Arsenal fans at the Emirates Stadium, praising them for their support and looking ahead to the future.

    Arteta told the crowd: "All this is happening because you started believing, you started to be patient and started to understand what we tried to do. All the credit has to go to the players and the staff.

    "Don't be satisfied. We want much more than that and we’re going to get it."

    Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard also spoke to the fans, and though he was downcast over finishing second behind City again, the Norway international also believes the club has an exciting future ahead.

    "I think we're all a little bit disappointed," Odegaard said. "We've been fighting so long for the big dream. We were so close.

    "I'm so proud of the boys, so proud of the team and the fans. I'm so proud of the progress we are making.

    "We've changed the club, and I think you all believe in us now."

  • Man City's Foden lauded as 'main man' for Guardiola by Richards Man City's Foden lauded as 'main man' for Guardiola by Richards

    Manchester City were once again indebted to Phil Foden as they lifted the Premier League title on Sunday, and Micah Richards believes the midfielder is now Pep Guardiola's "main man".

    Foden cannoned an early opener past West Ham's Alphonse Areola to set City on their way, before doubling his tally and the hosts' lead after 18 minutes at Etihad Stadium.

    Indeed, Foden has scored six goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season, the most of any player, and the most ever by a Man City player in a single campaign.

    It is also the most by a player for any team in the competition since the 2018-19 season, when Christian Eriksen scored six, but Foden's heroics stretch further than his long-range shooting.

    The England midfielder helped City become the first team in English top-flight history to win the title in four consecutive seasons, having won the league in 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24.

    Former City and England defender Richards believes Foden is now the key for his boyhood club, after his efforts in the 3-1 victory over West Ham.

    Shortly before City lifted the Premier League trophy on home turf, Richards told Sky Sports: "It is ridiculous and unbelievable!

    "It makes it sweeter that someone homegrown is a big part of it. Phil Foden has become the main man of this team, what Pep has created is unbelievable."

    City went 35 matches unbeaten in all competitions (W29 D6), the longest run ever by a Premier League team, to secure the title.

    That run ensured Guardiola's side pipped Arsenal, whose 2-1 victory over Everton on the final day mattered for little, to another top-flight crown.

    "It is a brilliant young team and there is more to come at Arsenal," Richards added.

    "Kai Havertz has done well and Gabriel Jesus has probably not played at a level which we expected when he left Man City.

    "If you're looking on how they can improve they need to get a striker who can score all type of goals, even when Erling Haaland has not played at his best he has scored goals."

    This triumph for City means Guardiola has clinched his sixth Premier League title – he is just the fourth manager to win as many as six English top-flight titles, along with Alex Ferguson (13), George Ramsay and Bob Paisley (both six).

  • Brentford 2-4 Newcastle United: Magpies secure seventh spot in Premier League Brentford 2-4 Newcastle United: Magpies secure seventh spot in Premier League

    Newcastle United kept their European hopes alive as they ended the 2023-2024 Premier League season with a thrilling 4-2 victory at Brentford.

    The Magpies will qualify for the Europa Conference League if Manchester City beat cross-city rivals Manchester United in Saturday's FA Cup final.

    After a positive start from Brentford, the visitors took the lead on 21 minutes through Harvey Barnes' header, and their advantage was soon doubled through Jacob Murphy.

    Alexander Isak slotted beyond the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 before half-time, but the hosts responded after the interval thanks to goals from Vitaly Janelt and Yoane Wissa.

    Bruno Guimaraes got Newcastle's fourth in the 78th minute to ensure the Geordies claimed the three points as they end the season in seventh place, whilst Brentford finish in 16th.

    The Bees thought they had made the perfect start inside two minutes but after a VAR check Ivan Toney’s effort was ruled out by referee Simon Hooper for offside.

    Toney continued to search for a goal against his former club but was denied by the outstretched leg of Nick Pope.

    It was Newcastle, though, who should have taken the lead before the 10-minute mark as Isak set up an unmarked Joelinton from close range, but the Brazilian failed to convert.

    The visitors then broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, with Barnes darting into the six-yard box to meet a delightful delivery by Guimaraes and head the visitors ahead.

    Sean Longstaff thought he had quickly doubled their advantage, only to be flagged offside, but Murphy was not denied when he latched onto Isak's exquisite pass across the penalty area to make it 2-0.

    Just two minutes later, Isak grabbed his 21st goal of the season when he fired past Mark Flekken.

    The Brentford stopper ensured Isak did not extend Newcastle's advantage further with a smart stop to deny the Swedish international before half-time.

    The home side responded after the interval and Janelt reduced the deficit, striking home after being picked out by Wissa.

    Pope clawed away Toney’s header before Wissa curled a superb effort past the goalkeeper to set up a tense finale for the visitors.

    The nerves, though, were soon settled when Guimaraes followed up a free-kick to ensure the points returned to Tyneside.

    Brentford's home defence breached

    Brentford end the season comfortably above the bottom three, after arguably their toughest campaign yet in the Premier League, having contended with key players and the talk of a potential relegation battle at the turn of the year.

    The Bees could not finish on a high - instead they looked beaten before the half-time whistle, although they scored twice in the second half to test Newcastle's resolve.

    Going into the match with a recent impressive home record, including having kept a clean sheet in the past three, Newcastle's attacking capabilities were too much for the hosts to handle.

    It means Thomas Frank will have to wait to earn his 100th win in charge of the club, whilst Toney ends the season having not scored in his past 12 league games. However, Mathias Jensen did become the third Brentford player to reach 100 Premier League appearances.

    Toon await news of European qualification

    It has been an entertaining season for Newcastle, with more than 80 goals scored and over 60 goals conceded.

    And the entertainment continued here. After being relieved that Toney's early goal was chalked off for offside, the Toon established a three-goal lead at the break mainly thanks to the individual brilliance of Isak.

    It was a rare win on their travels for Eddie Howe’s side, whose patchy away form has proved costly in their quest to earn a top-six finish, with St James' Park providing the majority of their points.

    The Magpies will now have a close eye on next weekend's FA Cup final between Manchester rivals United and City.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.