Premier League preview & predictions: Gameweek 23

06 February 2021 01:00

With Tottenham's heavyweight clash with Chelsea in the books, it's time to swiftly move on from gameweek 22 in the Premier League - as another full weekend of action beckons for what must surely be increasingly tired legs.

But there's no time for anybody to feel sorry for themselves, there's too much to play for right now - the title race is hotting up, West Ham are legitimately pushing for Champions League qualification and at the bottom of the table, well, it's actually getting a bit boring.

That could all change though with some shock results in gameweek 23; the question is, will there be any? Here's 90min's preview and predictions.


Saturday

Aston Villa vs Arsenal

Saka and Smith Rowe are in good touch for Arsenal | CATHERINE IVILL/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 12:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Villa Park
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK), fuboTV (US)

The weekend fun kicks off at Villa Park, as Dean Smith aims to get his side back on track after being blown away by Jesse Lingard in midweek.

The Villans are enduring a mini drop-off in form, and although they are still picking up points with some regularity, they don't seem as assured of themselves at home as they do away - particularly with tired legs creeping in.

Arsenal are on the up, and the return to the starting lineup of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - as well as the continued good form of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe - could give Mikel Arteta's boys another valuable three points.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal


Burnley vs Brighton

Brighton shocked Liverpool in midweek | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Turf Moor
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

One of the surprise results of the season saw Brighton defeat Liverpool at Anfield in midweek, but in a season where literally anything and everything has already happened, maybe it wasn't so surprising after all?

Whatever the case may be, there's no arguing against the fact that both of Liverpool's home conquerors this season are in action against each other this weekend - as Graham Potter takes his troops to Jordan North's happy place for a clash with Burnley at Turf Moor.

Two contrasting styles will be on show on this one, and that leads us to believe only one thing will happen - Burnley will score from a cross or set piece, and Brighton will score a goal of aesthetic natural beauty. Honours even.

Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Brighton


Newcastle vs Southampton

Steve Bruce cut a dejected figure in midweek | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? St James' Park
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK), fuboTV (US)

Some like to think that the best rollercoaster in the United Kingdom is at Alton Towers, while most of a southern persuasion would probably tell you Thorpe Park is where it's at.

But why go to theme parks for the rollercoaster ride of your life when you could be manager of Newcastle, right Steve? Poor old Brucey has been getting it from all angles this season, and just as he thought things might be on the up after a cracking win at Everton, things came crashing down with a dismal home defeat against Crystal Palace.

Still, he could be poor Ralph Hasenhuttl, who watched his Southampton side get spanked 9-0 for the second season in a row on Wednesday. For the trip to St James', we're not even sure the Austrian has 11 fit players - but don't be surprised if they bounce back and steal a point when they really shouldn't.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Southampton


Fulham vs West Ham

It didn't take long for Jesse Lingard to make his mark at West Ham | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Craven Cottage
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), fuboTV (US)

If you're a West Ham fan, you're on cloud nine right now. Hell, you're probably on cloud 99 given the incredible run of form that the club have been on in 2021.

Form - or a sustained version of it - is one that thing that has eluded Scott Parker's Fulham this season, and it's one of the key reasons, alongside a lack of quality, why they're marooned in relegation trouble.

Games between these two normally produce goals, and it's hard to look past the visitors improving their phenomenal record against non 'big six' teams this season.

Prediction: Fulham 1-3 West Ham


Manchester United vs Everton

No wonder Ole is smiling, his team scored nine in midweek | ANDY RAIN/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Old Trafford
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), fuboTV (US)

Manchester United's season has been remarkable.

Brilliant away from home, the Red Devils are yet to beaten, but at Old Trafford they've been pretty ordinary for the most part. Ordinary up until Wednesday just gone, that is, when they annihilated poor Southampton 9-0 to match the Premier League's biggest ever win.

Everton have been steadily good under Carlo Ancelotti, and in Dominic Calvert-Lewin they have a striker capable of scoring all sorts of goals. On this occasion he may draw a blank, with United's confidence at home surely stratospheric.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Everton


Sunday

Tottenham vs West Brom

Mourinho is going through a rough patch | Clive Rose/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 12:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK), fuboTV (US)

Once upon a time if you'd have compared Tim Sherwood to Jose Mourinho, you'd have been scoffed at.

But such is the bad run that Spurs are on, and the fact Harry Kane is out injured, such hypothesis really are doing the rounds, and the pressure is mounting on Mourinho to stop playing such negative football.

Thursday's drab defeat to Chelsea was the latest chapter of a pretty poor run of form, though one crumb of comfort is knowing things aren't going much better for West Brom under Sam Allardyce. The Baggies haven't really tightened up at the back, and still have relegation fodder written all over them. So, obviously, they'll probably up their game here and nick a point.

Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 West Brom


Wolves vs Leicester

Leicester outclassed Fulham at Craven Cottage | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 14:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Molineux
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), fuboTV (US)

The Sunday fun continues at Molineux when high-flying Leicester take their Champions League qualification ambitions to Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolves.

The Foxes outclassed Fulham in midweek to strengthen their grip on third, but they won't have things their own way against a Wolves side whose confidence will be high after coming from behind to beat Arsenal.

A tight game can be expected, but the return of Jamie Vardy will provide Leicester with a dynamic that could deliver all three points upon the blowing of the final whistle.

Prediction: Wolves 1-2 Leicester


Liverpool vs Manchester City

Liverpool slumped to a shock defeat against Brighton - and now face in-form City | Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 16:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Anfield
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), fuboTV (US)

Off colour Liverpool renew their rivalry with Manchester City in what should, but probably won't, be the game of the weekend.

The gloves have already come off between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, with an indirect press conference exchange between the pair stoking the fire before a ball has even been kicked. The Reds' title defence is on the rocks, and defeat against a resurgent City would seriously dent the hosts chances of retaining their title.

The outcome? No goals, probably.

Prediction: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City


Sheffield United vs Chelsea

Chelsea are back on track under Thomas Tuchel | Clive Rose/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 19:15 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Bramall Lane
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), Peacock Premium (US)

Some sections of Chelsea's support felt the sacking of Frank Lampard was unnecessary, while others felt the club needed to make a change in order to get things back on track.

But what everybody can agree on is that Thomas Tuchel is doing a pretty good job so far - from a results standpoint anyway - after picking up seven points from a possible nine. The Blues are yet to concede a goal under the German, and look to be adjusting nicely to their switch to three at the back.

Sheffield United's season, meanwhile, is finally up and running, and the Blades' comeback win over West Brom will have done wonders for confidence. However, scoring goals is still an issue, and overcoming a resilient Chelsea side looks unlikely.

Prediction: Sheffield United 0-2 Chelsea


Monday

Leeds vs Crystal Palace

Two of the Premier League's elder statesman meet in the final game of the weekend | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Elland Road
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), fuboTV (US)

The final match of gameweek 23 pits entertaining Leeds United against Crystal Palace.

The hosts have been very up and down this season, but one thing is guaranteed when Marcelo Bielsa's boys take to the field; goals. Palace are also a team struggling for consistency, but they will be buoyed by their win at Newcastle in midweek having fallen a goal behind early on.

Wilfried Zaha's absence could be pivotal, handing the Whites a valuable three points in what is bound to be a fast-paced game.

Prediction: Leeds 2-1 Crystal Palace


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Source: 90min