The highlight games for the next set of EPL matches are MANCHESTER UNITED versus WEST HAM and ARSENAL versus LIVERPOOL. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 23 matches with his unique and insightful commentary. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
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All of this set of fixtures are the reverse of Game Week-18 which took place just before Christmas.
It’s worth noting that in 5 of the 9 games before the festivities started, the score was 0-0 at half-time.
Added to that, Jordan Ayew scored the opener in the Crystal Palace v Brighton game just as the referee was about to blow up for the interval.
Whether that means the boys were too excited about the impending visit from the Big Guy in Red and needed a half-time jolt from the Manager to get into gear, or it was just a coincidence, is unknown but this EveryTip column wanted to point that out.
EVERTON v TOTTENHAM
12.30 in England
It was mentioned in Monday’s column that Everton are struggling to score at the moment and a Fulham Win To Nil was predicted, however, the Cottagers themselves failed to score, so the fixture at Craven Cottage produced a draw by a 0-0 score.
Although it was a point gained, Everton dropped into the relegation zone with 18 points from 22 games played.
Now a point adrift of Luton, who have 19 points and have a game in hand over the Toffees.
Once again, Sean Dyche needs his boys to get their scoring boots on (or as one says in Barnsley, boo-it’s!) as this will be another tough ask against a resurgent Tottenham side who will score, unlike Fulham.
Tottenham were on the right end of a narrow 3-2 scoreline against Brentford on Wednesday gaining all 3 points.
Brentford scored first to lead at the break before 3 quick-fire goals from Destiny Udogie, Brennan Johnson and Richarlison put Tottenham in control midway through the 2nd-half.
The Bees did score another but Tottenham held on for the home win to lift Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs into 4th place with the same 43 points as Aston Villa but now a place above due to a better goal difference.
Tottenham gained the pre-Christmas present of 3 points in the fixture at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on the 23rd of December 2023.
Goals from Richarlison and Son Heung-Min, both in the 1st-half, gave the home team the victory over the Toffees by a 2-1 scoreline.
Andre Gomes pulled a goal back late on for the away team which turned out to be just a consolation.
Betfred offer Everton at 15/8, the draw at 5/2 and 11/8 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 10/3 that James Maddison Assists One Goal and 6/5 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
BRIGHTON v CRYSTAL PALACE
15.00 in England
The M23 Derby
If one had predicted Luton to gain a victory over Brighton on Tuesday and in the process score 4 goals, with 2 of those in the opening 3 minutes, one would have the men (or women) in white coats turning up at the door.
However, that’s exactly what happened, with Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls suffering a devastating defeat against Rob Edwards’ Hatters by a 4-0 away day scoreline.
That was the first defeat from 6 games in all competitions for Brighton, which needs quickly addressing.
Brighton sit in 9th place with the same 32 points as Newcastle from 22 fixtures completed.
Crystal Palace played in a very entertaining fixture against Sheffield United on Tuesday that produced 5 goals, with Roy’s Eagles gaining the victory over Chrissy’s Blades by a narrow 3-2 scoreline.
Eberechi Eze scored twice with Michael Olise getting the winner when the score was 2-2, to give Crystal Palace a much-needed 3 points.
Palace jumped up a place into 14th with 24 points from 22 games played.
In this EveryTip column that was published for the Game Week-18 set of fixtures back in December, the following was written for the Crystal Palace v Brighton preview.
‘This fixture is classed as the ‘M23 Derby’, however, the game could be called the ‘1-1 Draw Derby’, with 5 of the last 8 meetings between the two clubs finishing in a draw by a 1-1 score.
The other 3 were either 1-0 or 2-1 to either.
So if one is having a punt, the scoreline of 1-1 is probably the favourite.’
As it turned out, goals from Jordan Ayew (Palace) and Danny Welbeck (Brighton) continued that trend with the game at Selhurst Park finishing in a draw by a 1-1 score.
This means it’s now 6 of the last 9 Premier League meetings between the M23 boys that have finished in a 1-1 score.
No prizes for guessing what today’s prediction is going to be.
Betfred offer Brighton at Odds On 8/15, the draw at 3/1 and 4/1 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 16/5 that Pascal Gross Scores Anytime and 12/5 that Joachim Andersen Receives a Yellow Card.
BURNLEY v FULHAM
15.00 in England
Burnley suffered the expected defeat against Man City on Wednesday, with Vincent Kompany’s old team gaining the victory from a 3-1 scoreline.
Ameen Al Dakhil with the late Burnley consolation, after City had scored 3.
The loss was always going to be the case so Vince shouldn’t dwell on the result too much and concentrate more on this winnable fixture against Fulham.
Burnley remain in the relegation zone with 12 points from the opening 22 fixtures played.
Fulham failed to find the back of the net in the Marco Silva Derby against Everton with Marco’s old team also drawing a blank to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 0-0 score.
That leaves Fulham in 13th place with 25 points from the 22 games completed.
Surprisingly, it was Burnley who gained the victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage just before Christmas.
After a goalless 1st-half, Wilson Odobert and Sander Berge scored to give Vincent’s Clarets the festive win over Marco’s White and Blacks by a 2-0 away day score.
Everyone then went to the ‘Beer Gardens’
for a pre-Christmas drink.
‘Beer Gardens’ is an anagram of Sander Berge!
Betfred offer Burnley at 2/1, the draw at 23/10 and 11/8 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 13/5 that Willian Scores Anytime and 3/1 that Fulham Win To Nil.
NEWCASTLE v LUTON
15.00 in England
Newcastle arguably gained the best result of the midweek fixtures, by heading down to Villa Park and inflicting a defeat on Aston Villa by a 3-1 away day scoreline.
The Big Defender Fabian Schar scored the opening 2 goals before a cross from Jacob Murphy was deflected in by a Villa player and credited as an Own Goal.
Villa did score a late consolation but the Toon Army went off into the Birmingham night, all happy with the performance from the idols.
Newcastle sit in 8th place with the same 32 points as Brighton from the 22 games played so far.
There was talk that a few might leave in this Transfer Window, such as Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron, however, all featured in the win at Villa Park and are all still in Newcastle following the ‘Window Slamming Shut’ as the pundits like to say.
If Newcastle gained the best result of the midweek fixtures, Luton’s display against Brighton could easily be argued as up there with the Magpies display.
Elijah Adebayo scored after just a minute was on the clock with Chiedozie Ogbene adding a 2nd, 2 minutes later.
Elijah added a 3rd just before the half-time whistle then completed a superb hat-trick early in the 2nd-half to give Luton the victory over Brighton by a stunning 4-0 scoreline.
It was a brilliant performance and result that lifted the Hatters out of the relegation zone into 17th place with 19 points from 21 games completed.
The loveable OzScot wants to point out that he actually predicted a victory for Luton, which is exceptional, well done Kylie.
As with the surprise result of the Fulham v Burnley game before Christmas, once again, Santa handed out another surprise present of 3 points to Luton who inflicted the defeat on Newcastle at Kenilworth Rd by a 1-0 scoreline.
Andros Townsend with the solitary winning goal midway through the 1st-half.
Betfred offer Newcastle at Odds On 2/5, the draw at 4/1 and 6/1 for Luton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 3/1 that Alexander Isak Scores First and slight Odds On 19/20 that Newcastle Score in Both Halves.
SHEFFIELD UNITED v ASTON VILLA
17.30 in England
Sheffield United took the lead against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Tuesday with a superb goal by the New Boy Ben Brereton-Diaz with less than a minute on the clock.
James McAtee added a 2nd, 20 minutes later, however, both goals were equalised by the Eagles to take the teams in level at the break.
Unfortunately for the Blunts in attendance and the Millions back in Sheffield (and Swinton, nowhere near Bramall Land) watching on the Gogglebox, Palace scored a 3rd, midway through the 2nd-half to inflict the defeat on Sheffield United by a 3-2 scoreline.
James from Swinton, said it was a great game to watch but is that what the Blunts want?
A good game to watch but ultimately losing or a rubbish view that produces a victory?
Sheffield United have brought in the ex-Barnsley and Everton player Mason Holgate, who comes in initially on loan.
The Little fellow was melancholic after the game and spent the next half hour on the back step with his Vape, contemplating life and shouting for the Cat to come in.
It took half an hour for Jimbo to realise he hasn’t got a Cat and after laughing, went off to bed, dreaming of his beloved Blunts who will be back in the Championship in May with the prospect of facing the Super Reds from Barnsley, or as Little Jim calls them,
At Villa Park before Christmas, following a goalless 1st-half, a goal from Cameron Archer in the 87th minute gave the Blades hopes of an early present of 3 away day points.
Unfortunately for the Sheffield United faithful in attendance, Nicolo Zaniolo scored an equaliser for Villa in the 97th minute to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Betfred offer Sheffield United at 9/2, the draw at 16/5 and Odds On 4/7 for Aston Villa to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 11/5 that Ollie McBurnie Scores Anytime and 13/5 that Douglas Luiz Scores Anytime.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Thomas Kaminski- Luton
RIGHT-BACK- Conor Bradley- Liverpool
CENTRE-BACK- Fabian Schar- Newcastle
CENTRE-BACK- John Stones- Man City
LEFT-BACK- Andy Robertson- Liverpool
MIDFIELDER- Kobbie Mainoo- Manchester United
MIDFIELDER- Chiedozie Ogbenne- Luton
MIDFIELDER- Eberechi Eze- Crystal Palace
FORWARD- Marcus Rashford- Manchester United
FORWARD- Darwin Nunez- Liverpool
FORWARD- Elijah Adebayo- Luton
STAR MAN- Darwin Nunez- Liverpool
BOURNEMOUTH v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
14.00 in England
Bournemouth got off to a great start at the London Stadium against West Ham on Thursday.
The Hammers new loanee, Kalvin Phillips gifted Dominic Solanke the ball that allowed Dominic to tap home from 6 yards after just 3 minutes.
Fifteen minutes after the restart, Lloyd Kelly fouled Mohammed Kudus in the area and after the dreaded VAR got involved, the on-field referee Tim Robinson gave West Ham a penalty.
With James Ward-Prowse taking the spot-kick, the outcome was inevitable and JWP equalised.
It wasn’t a surprise that the referee Tim Robinson didn’t initially give the penalty as the official rarely does.
Back in May at Wembley, this was the same referee that denied Barnsley a blatant spot-kick in the League One Play-Off Final against Sheffield Wednesday.
With no further goals, the Hammers and the Cherries shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
The point gained leaves Bournemouth in 12th place with 26 points from 21 games completed.
It is only 21 due to the game against Luton being abandoned.
Nottingham Forest put in the usual fighting performance against Arsenal at the City Ground on Tuesday, however, just fell short and suffered a home defeat against the Gunners by a 2-1 scoreline.
Taiwo Awoniyi, who was back from injury and replaced Chris Wood at half-time, scored the Forest goal late on, however, that proved to be just a consolation as Arsenal had already scored twice.
The defeat leaves Nottingham Forest in 16th place with 20 points from 22 games completed.
Luton have 19 points from 21 fixtures and Everton who now occupy the final relegation place, have 18 from 22 games played.
Burnley and Sheffield United look to be cut adrift at the bottom, so it could come down to one place left to avoid the drop.
At the City Ground back in December, it was Bournemouth who got the victory over Nottingham Forest by a 3-2 away day score.
Probably the surprise in that was all 5 goals were scored in the 2nd-half.
Willy Boly was shown 2 quick-fire Yellow Cards and the subsequent Red in the 25th minute, leaving Forest a man lite for over an hour.
Anthony Elanga and Chris Wood scored for the home team with Dominic Solanke scoring twice in between to make the scores level.
Dominic then scored the winner in the 94th minute to secure his hat-trick and knock the pre-Christmas stuffing out of the Tricky Trees faithful in attendance.
Betfred offer Bournemouth at Odds On 7/10, the draw at 3/1 and 7/2 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer Evens 1/1 that Dominic Solanke Scores Anytime and 13/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
CHELSEA v WOLVES
14.00 in England
After drawing the last umpteen games against Liverpool, Chelsea succumbed to a much better Reds team on Wednesday, where Jurgen’s Reds inflicted the defeat on Mauricio’s Blues by a 4-1 scoreline, which did include a missed penalty by Liverpool.
Christopher Nkunku scored the Chelsea consolation goal midway through the 2nd-half when the away team were trailing by 3 goals to nil.
The loss leaves Chelsea in 10th place in the table with 31 points from 22 games completed.
Wolves come into this fixture off the back of a narrow home defeat against Manchester United at Molineux on Thursday.
Pablo Sarabia came off the subs bench and converted a softly awarded penalty when the score was 2-0 to United.
United then scored again to reinstate the 2-goal advantage but it was Wolves that were in the ascendancy and piled on the pressure that allowed the two Big Centre-Halves to combine to see Max Kilman score following a Craig Dawson assist.
Pedro Neto then scored to equalise the game in the 96th minute and when it looked like a great point was gained, Manchester United scored the winner in the 98th minute to inflict the defeat on Wolves by a 4-3 scoreline.
The loss leaves Wolves in 11th place with 29 points from 22 games played.
If one remembers, this reverse fixture at Molineux had the unique privilege of taking place on Christmas Eve.
Following a goalless 1st-half, Mario Lemina scored to give Wolves a lead.
That was that until the 93rd minute when Matt Doherty added a 2nd, however, it wasn’t the end of the goals with Christopher Nkunku scoring for Chelsea 3 minutes later.
As it turned out, Christopher’s goal was just a consolation with Gary O’Neill’s Gold and Blacks holding on for the victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Betfred offer Chelsea at Odds On 3/5, the draw at 16/5 and 4/1 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 8/5 that Cole Palmer Scores Anytime and 11/10 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v WEST HAM
14.00 in England
Marcus Rashford, or ‘Tequila’ as he’s known to his Manchester United teammates, was back in the starting eleven having been left out of the squad for the FA Cup tie against Newport last Sunday.
There were reports that Marcus was out in Belfast on the sauce as one says and rang in sick the next day saying he was ill.
To be fair to Mr Rashford, we have all done it, this EveryTip contributor’s fateful phone call was usually on a Monday morning after a night out with the Manchester Stick/Ball Thrower, the Widster and the Little Fat Lad.
It always starts with a little cough, followed by,
‘Sorry boss I’m not coming in today, I’m very ill!’
Ending the phone call with another cough.
After a day on the Tequila in Belfast, there is no doubt that Marcus was ill on Friday morning so the lad wasn’t telling lies.
It was then imperative that Marcus made a good impression and did so immediately by scoring the opener against Wolves on Thursday.
Rasmus Hojlund then added a 2nd to give United a comfortable lead at the break.
Casemiro conceded a harsh penalty but with the on-field referee Jarred Gillett pointing to the spot straight away, it was never going to be changed by the dreaded VAR.
Wolves converted the penalty to half the deficit but Scott McTominay, who was introduced as a substitute scored a 3rd United goal within minutes of coming on.
That wasn’t the end of the goals with Wolves scoring again and again making it 3-3.
It was then Kobbie Mainoo, who himself came on as a substitute, that scored the winner in the 98th minute, to give United the points from a 4-3 memorable away night scoreline.
The win leaves Manchester United in 7th place with 35 points, a place and a point below today’s visitors.
Kalvin Phillips made his Hammers debut against Bournemouth on Thursday in a Midfield that included James Ward-Prowse, who could quite easily be competing with each other for a place in the England Squad.
It’s unlikely that Gareth will take both and KP is the favourite but JWP could force himself into the Squad at least for the Internationals coming up in March.
That said, the ex-Leeds United lad had a nightmare start to life as a Bubble, gifting Dominic Solanke with a back-pass that resulted in an easy tap-in.
Pep Guardiola was sat at home with his hands held out wide like the popular emoji, explaining to the Cat (his wife wasn’t interested!) that this was the reason he didn’t pick him.
The Cat just meowed and nodded.
West Ham were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark when Mohammed Kudus was knocked over in the area.
The on-field referee Tim Robinson initially waved play on but the dreaded VAR got involved and advised Tim to have another look.
On second viewing, the penalty was awarded and with James Ward-Prowse on the pitch, the equaliser was inevitable.
With no further goals in the remaining half hour or so, both shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
West Ham remain in 6th place with 36 points which as mentioned, is a place and a point above today’s hosts, meaning a victory for either team would see them sit highest in the Premier League after 22 games.
At the London Stadium, West Ham gained the victory over Manchester United by a 2-0 score.
After a goalless 1st-half, Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudos scored the Hammers’ goals to give the Bubbles the early Christmas present of 3 points.
Betfred offer Manchester United at Odds On 8/11, the draw at 11/4 and 7/2 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 9/2 that Marcus Rashford Scores First and 6/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
ARSENAL v LIVERPOOL
16.30 in England
Arsenal gained a professional victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Tuesday gaining the points on offer from a 2-1 away night scoreline.
After a goalless 1st-half, Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka scored to give the Gunners a lead going into the final few minutes.
Forest did score what proved to be a consolation in the 89th minute which did give the travelling Gooners a nervy end to the game, however, their idols held on for the win, which temporarily lifted Arsenal up to 2nd in the table, 2 points adrift of today’s hosts.
With subsequent victories for Man City and Liverpool, Arsenal remain in 3rd place with the same 46 points as City from 22 played.
Both teams are 5 points adrift of Liverpool at the summit.
Remember that Man City have only completed 21 games.
Liverpool gained, what turned out to be an easy victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday.
It was mentioned in Monday’s EveryTip column that there had been a lot of draws between these two but included in the statement was,
‘That said, tonight’s match could bring an end to that run of drawn games.’
That bore out with Liverpool gaining the win over Chelsea by a 4-1 scoreline.
Diogo Jota, Conor Bradley, Dominik Szoboszlai and Luis Diaz with the Reds goals.
Darwin Nunez hit the post 4 times against Chelsea which in these days of Premier League records, is a Premier League record in one game.
One of those ‘post-hitters’ was actually from a missed penalty kick by Mr Nunez.
The previous record was 3 times, which Jay-Jay Okocha (Bolton v Tottenham), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United v Newcastle), Timo Werner (Chelsea v Southampton) and Leandro Trossard (Brighton v Manchester United) had all achieved.
Jay-Jay Okocha, so good they named him twice!
Although Darwin does miss the nets on most occasions, the lad is not afraid to take shots and on a good day, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, Darwin may evolve into a great goal scorer.
The victory keeps Liverpool at the summit of the Premier League table, with 51 points from 22 games played, which is 5 points more than Man City and today’s hosts.
No doubt Pep Guardiola will be sat at home in Manchester, with a nice glass of Rioja in his hand, wearing an Arsenal jersey with ‘Arteta’ on the back, cheering on his old mate, as a win for the Gunners added to a victory for City on Monday, would reduce the gap at the top to 2 points, with Man City having the added bonus of a game in hand.
At Anfield, both teams shared the pre-Christmas points with the game finishing in a draw by a 1-1 score.
Gabriel scored first for Arsenal with Mo Salah replying for Liverpool.
Both scored before half an hour was on the clock meaning the remaining hour passed by without a goal.
Betfred offer Arsenal at 5/4, the draw at 13/5 and 2/1 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 13/5 that Gabriel Martinelli Scores Anytime and 15/8 that Darwin Nunez Scores Anytime.
BRENTFORD v MAN CITY
20.00 in England
Remarkably, Brentford’s last 3 fixtures (2 in the Premier League and 1 in the FA Cup) have finished in the same 3-2 scoreline.
After gaining a victory over Nottingham Forest by the 3-2 score in the previous Premier League game, Thomas Frank’s Bees suffered a defeat against Tottenham on Wednesday by a 3-2 away night scoreline.
Neal Maupay scored first to give Brentford a lead at the break before Ivan Toney added a 2nd midway through the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately for the travelling Bees in attendance, Tottenham had scored 3 times before Ivan’s strike and with no further goals, Brentford suffered the London Derby loss.
That was back-to-back goals for Ivan Toney who will be needed for the remainder of the season before probably securing a move to a so-called Big Club.
Brentford dropped to 15th place in the table with 22 points from 21 games played, however, that game in hand is against today’s visitors which will take place at the Etihad in a couple of weeks.
If one remembers, this reverse fixture was postponed due to Man City’s involvement and subsequent victory in the World Club Cup that took place at the same time as the Game Week-18 set.
Man City head to the Capital off the back of another victory on Wednesday, this time against Burnley at the Etihad.
Julian Alvarez scored twice before Rodri added a 3rd to give Pep’s High Flying Blues the win by a 3-1 scoreline.
Burnley scored a very late consolation.
Erling Haaland was back in the squad and made a cameo appearance, coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute.
Man City have won all 9 of the games that Erling has missed, 5 in the Premier League, 1 in the FA Cup, 1 in the Champions League and the 2 games in the World Club Cup.
City remain in 2nd place with the same 46 points as Arsenal, who are both 5 adrift of Liverpool at the summit.
With Arsenal and Liverpool facing each other the day before this Monday Night Football, Pep’s Treble Winners will either be 6 or 8 points adrift of Jurgen’s Reds with the same points or a point less than Mikel’s Young Guns, or still 5 points behind Liverpool and 3 points away from Arsenal.
Man City, like Frankel, are just sitting nicely in the slipstream of the others, waiting for the optimum moment to move out and overtake the rivals.
In last season’s encounter at the GTech Stadium, which was the final game of the season, it was Brentford that gained the victory over Man City by a 1-0 score.
Ethan Pinnock with the winning goal.
Granted, Man City had already secured the Premier League Title and Pep Guardiola had the opportunity to rest a few players for the impending FA Cup and Champions League Finals.
Kalvin Phillips even got a rare start which probably tells the story of why Pep didn’t fancy KP in his team.
To add to the victory at the GTech, Brentford actually got the win at the Etihad earlier on in the campaign with Ivan Toney scoring twice to get the points from a 2-1 scoreline.
Phil Foden had equalised Ivan’s opener.
Considering the current circumstances, it’s unlikely that Pep will allow his boys to be so complacent and with Erling Haaland back in the fold, Thomas’s Bees could have a tough night.
Betfred offer Brentford at 13/2, the draw at 18/5 and Odds On 2/5 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 21/10 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime and 4/1 that Erling Haaland Scores Two Plus Goals.
There haven’t been any midweek fixtures in the Scottish Pub League so the situation at the top remains the same with Celtic at the summit on 57 points and Rangers in 2nd, 5 points adrift but with a game in hand still.
The loveable OzScot, who has had more clubs than Seve Ballesteros, now includes Luton has one of his own and was over the moon with the Hatters’ victory over the Seagulls, however, instead of buying a Luton FC jersey, Braveheart/Kylie just went out and purchased a hat.
The lad is definitely spinning around!