Printed on 24 Dec 2022 8:00 pm (UK Time)
We take a look at a few of this week’s video games on an action-packed Boxing day, the place objectives will fly in, and there could also be just a few shocks in retailer.
This week’s Premier League video games:
Brentford v Tottenham Hotspur
Crystal Palace v Fulham
Everton v Wolves
Leicester v Newcastle
Southampton v Brighton
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Arsenal v West Ham
Chelsea v Bournemouth
Man United v Nottingham Forest
Leeds United v Man Metropolis
Brentford v Tottenham Hotspur
Brentford signed off for the worldwide break nicely, with a superb win at The Etihad in opposition to reigning Champions Man Metropolis, which ended their 4-game winless streak. Ivan Toney scored twice and was unlucky to not be referred to as as much as the England squad for the World Cup.
Nevertheless, studies got here out that he could also be suspended from taking part in soccer for an prolonged time period, after being charged with 232 alleged breaches of the playing legal guidelines set by The FA. Ought to Toney be banned, it will likely be a large loss for Brentford as he has been large for them this season, with 10 objectives and a pair of assists in 14 video games to date.
If Toney is suspended, there will probably be large stress on Brentford to safe the companies of one other striker able to scoring objectives on the fee Toney does, which is not going to be low-cost within the present market.
It isn’t all doom and gloom at Brentford nevertheless, as Thomas Frank has simply signed a brand new deal till 2027. He believes that there’s unfinished enterprise on the membership and that he’s the appropriate man to take them ahead. His attacking model of play is actually entertaining, and it will likely be attention-grabbing to see simply how far he can take this Brentford aspect.
Spurs got here into the worldwide break in detached type, profitable simply two of their final 5 video games, their final sport being that scintillating 4-3 win in opposition to Leeds.
Spurs will hope to hit the bottom operating right here. They sit in 4th, 7 factors above sixth, nevertheless, the groups under them are all vying for a Champions League spot, so they can not afford to slide up.
How Spurs play will all rely upon how their World Cup gamers carry out. Will Harry Kane be capable of shake off his missed penalty in opposition to France? Will Lloris carry out after shedding within the remaining in opposition to Argentina? That is what makes it a tough tie for Spurs earlier than they even take into account the opponents. If gamers like Kane and Lloris can shake off their disappointment, we may have a superb sport on our palms.
Sadly, I don’t see that occuring, and I believe the World Cup hangover will probably be evident, with Brentford taking full benefit. I anticipate a sluggish Spurs begin, with Brentford going all out for a very good begin to the second half of the season.
Prediction: Brentford 3 – 1 Spurs
Aston Villa v Liverpool
The World Cup break couldn’t have come at a greater time for Aston Villa. They received 3 of their final 5 earlier than the break, profitable their final two video games additionally. Unai Emery could have drilled his crew throughout the break on the way in which he desires them to play, and we may see a totally completely different Villa take to the sector on Boxing Day.
Aston Villa does have a World Cup winner in Emi Martinez, along with his antics within the remaining grabbing a lot media consideration. Whether or not he performs or not could have a big effect on how Villa carry out, as their quantity two, Robin Olsen, isn’t comparatively pretty much as good, and when arising in opposition to a crew like Liverpool with their attacking gamers, you want your keeper to be in type.
While the managerial change has accomplished wonders for Villa to date, it’s a troublesome job taking over Liverpool. When you go all out, you get accomplished on the counter with the tempo of Salah, Diaz and Jota. When you sit again and take a look at to absorb the stress, they overload you on the wings, with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson being given the liberty to get forwards and supply assists. Will probably be a troublesome one for Emery to navigate and it will likely be attention-grabbing to see how he units his aspect up for this conflict.
Liverpool then again returned from the break with a 3-2 Carabao Cup loss in opposition to Man Metropolis. What a sport to return again to after the World Cup, and it reveals that Liverpool could not carry out how they did throughout the first half of the season. The depth was there, their attacking play was on level, and so they had been defensively stable for big components of the sport.
The one damaging, except for shedding, was the efficiency of Darwin Nunez. Liverpool may have received this sport comfortably, had he scored any of the 4 large probabilities he someway missed all through the 90 minutes. Even Klopp look bewildered at among the probabilities he managed to overlook.
Nunez can’t go on lacking probabilities like these week in and week out, particularly if Liverpool desires to claw their means again into the highest 4. He must be scoring every week. While he usually does nicely within the link-up play, for £100 million you’d anticipate him to have greater than 5 league objectives to date.
This might be an excellent sport for the impartial, as there might be quite a lot of objectives. I believe Emery will style defeat right here, particularly if Liverpool performs as they did in opposition to Man Metropolis throughout their cup tie, and regardless of his poor ending midweek, I anticipate to see Nunez on the scoresheet.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – 4 Liverpool
Arsenal v West Ham
Arsenal’s return to motion sat on the high of the desk, the query for them is whether or not they can stay there for the subsequent few weeks, will probably be came upon or begin slowly.
Bukayo Saka had a superb World Cup, and a superb season to date. 3 objectives within the World Cup, and 4 objectives, and 6 assists with Arsenal to date within the league, it’s spectacular to see how far he has come lately. If Saka can keep on this type all through the remainder of the season, Arsenal has an excellent likelihood of remaining on the high of the desk.
The dangerous information for Arsenal is their summer season signing Gabriel Jesus will probably be out injured for the subsequent few video games, that means Eddie Nketiah will probably be referred to as upon to make the step up and lead the road. Final season he scored 5 objectives and acquired an help in 21 appearances. If he struggles to steer the road, extra stress will fall on Saka and Martinelli.
Gabriel is slowly changing into among the best defenders within the league and has impressed massively to date this 12 months. It was a shock to see him not function for Brazil on the World Cup, however this may occasionally permit him to return again from the World Cup nonetheless in type, and nonetheless acting at a excessive degree.
West Ham is often a aspect that Arsenal battle in opposition to, nevertheless, Arteta has them taking part in good, free-flowing soccer, and this will probably be a very good check for his crew.
West Ham will probably be hoping for a significantly better second half of the season. They signed off for the World Cup with 4 losses in 5 video games, scoring simply 3 objectives within the course of. David Moyes’ job will probably be underneath stress as they’ve dropped all the way down to sixteenth place, only one level above Nottingham Forest in 18th.
While these are nervy occasions for West Ham, they’re performing nicely in Europe, however there could come some extent the place they should prioritise their league video games over their worldwide ones. How lengthy will Moyes be given? And can the West Ham board take into account European success and a relegation battle a profitable season?
It is a sport that would go both means relying on whether or not Arsenal hit the bottom operating or not. In the event that they proceed their pre-World Cup type, this ought to be a simple win for the Gunners, but when they don’t, West Ham has each likelihood of inflicting an upset.
I imagine Arsenal will get via this sport comfortably, Arteta is not going to let his aspect’s requirements drop, and we should always not see a distinction in for type or efficiency of their gamers.
Prediction: Arsenal 3 – 0 West Ham
Chelsea v Bournemouth
Chelsea will probably be hoping to show their fortunes round once they kick off in opposition to Bournemouth. Chelsea was winless of their final 5 earlier than the break, shedding 3 and drawing 2, scoring simply twice in these 5 video games. After a promising begin underneath Graham Potter, it seems like they’ll now battle to realize a Champions League spot, presently sitting 8 factors behind Spurs in 4th.
Chelsea’s largest downside was scoring objectives. Aubameyang has not accomplished nicely since becoming a member of, Sterling and Mount have seemingly gone quiet, and Broja is now injured. January might be an enormous month for Chelsea, and I anticipate them to make at the very least one signing within the attacking third to assist kick their season again into life, in any other case, it might be an extended second half of the season for them.
The Champions League spots are in a short time changing into unreachable for Chelsea, they should hit the bottom operating and begin scoring objectives if they’ve any hope. The second half of the season will make or break them, in the event that they miss out on the highest 4 this season, this season will probably be seen as a large failure for them.
Bournemouth is tough to foretell. They like to assault, however can’t defend nicely. Will they get battered 4/5-0 or will they play out an exhilarating 4-3? They ended with back-to-back wins in opposition to Everton, with the win within the league placing them as much as 14th.
It doesn’t matter what occurs, Bournemouth video games are entertaining to observe for the impartial, they’re much like Leeds in that regard. After lastly scoring just a few objectives, they will take this confidence into the subsequent few video games and hopefully rating just a few extra. Bournemouth have to be taking a look at some attacking, goalscoring choices for the January switch window, a confirmed goalscorer may show essential.
I believe there will probably be objectives on this one once more, leading to both a draw or a slender Chelsea win. I don’t see Bournemouth managing to get a win right here, their defensive frailties ought to rear their head once more and price them.
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – 2 Bournemouth
Leeds v Man Metropolis
Leeds, like Bournemouth, is so entertaining to observe for the impartial. Their final 5 video games yielded 24 objectives, 11 for, and 13 in opposition to, leading to them shedding 3, and profitable the opposite two. While they’re entertaining to observe, Jesse Marsch’s all-out assault playstyle has resulted in them dropping to fifteenth.
Leeds must be taught to maintain it tight on the again, however nonetheless, have the appropriate steadiness when going ahead. If they will handle this, they could discover themselves getting just a few extra wins behind them, while additionally placing in entertaining performances. Survival is Leeds’ solely intention this season, and we might even see them flip a bit extra defensively the longer they sit across the relegation zone.
Metropolis has already performed for the reason that finish of the World Cup. They put in a superb efficiency to beat rivals Liverpool 3-2 within the Carabao Cup. Kevin De Bruyne was again to his finest after an especially disappointing World Cup with Belgium. He supplied a superb help for Nathan Ake’s winner, and his stats to date this season have been astonishing.
Haaland returned with a objective as nicely. With no World Cup for him, he has been capable of recharge his batteries, and he hit the bottom operating for the second time this season. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how he performs when in comparison with different strikers who did go to the World Cup, corresponding to Harry Kane. If he can proceed his pre-World Cup type, he ought to be hitting 20 objectives within the subsequent few weeks.
This ought to be a simple win for Man Metropolis, nevertheless, I did imagine they might beat Brentford. With how erratic Leeds is on the again, Metropolis ought to be capable of rip via them with ease, and constantly. There are quite a lot of objectives on this sport, and most of them ought to be moving into Metropolis’s favour.
Prediction: Leeds 1 – 4 Man Metropolis
- Everton 1 – 1 Wolves
- Leicester 2 – 2 Newcastle
- Crystal Palace 2 – 1 Fulham
- Southampton 0 – 2 Brighton
- Man United 2 -1 Nottingham Forest
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