This weekend’s Premier League fixtures previewed


    Chelsea FC v Manchester United - Premier League
    After this clash last week, Chelsea play Brighton and Man Utd play West Ham (Picture: Getty)

    Leicester City v Man City

    Saturday, 12.30pm, BT Sport

    It is not just Manchester City fans who will be worried by the ‘three things’ boss Pep Guardiola felt were behind Erling Haaland lasting just 45 minutes of the Champions League stalemate at Borussia Dortmund.

    Fantasy League managers everywhere will be wondering whether to risk the striking colossus this weekend. Leicester appear to have got their mojo back, having counter-attacked to devastating effect in their 4-0 win at Wolves in which James Maddison and Harvey Barnes staked England claims.

    Match stat: Seven of Leicester’s goals have been from outside the box

    Newcastle v Aston Villa

    Saturday, 3pm

    Aaron Danks’ spectacular managerial record goes on the line before Unai Emery arrives as Villa boss next week but the 4-0 victory over Brentford seems to have been a reaction to the stifling way the sacked Steven Gerrard set them up.

    Emery is said to have turned Newcastle down last year but few Magpies fans will argue with the job Eddie Howe is doing right now, the 2-1 victory at Tottenham last Sunday featuring Miguel Almiron’s fifth goal in five Premier League games – his previous five took 61.

    Match stat: Kieran Trippier has put 113 crosses already this season

    Crystal Palace v Southampton

    Saturday, 3pm

    Ralph Hasenhuttl appeared close to losing his job just a fortnight ago but a victory over Bournemouth, sandwiched by draws with West Ham and Arsenal, has changed all that.

    Indeed, these two teams are the Premier League comeback kings with only Palace (nine) having taken more points after trailing this season than Saints’ eight. Patrick Vieira admitted his Eagles side were second-best throughout last week’s 3-0 defeat at Everton, but they have won their last two home games 2-1.

    Match stat: Saints lost just three of their 13 Premier League visits to Palace

    Brighton v Chelsea

    Saturday, 3pm

    Graham Potter makes his first return to former club Brighton since taking up the reins at Chelsea
    Graham Potter makes his first return to former club Brighton since taking up the reins at Chelsea (Picture: Getty Images)

    All eyes will be on Graham Potter as he returns to his former club having won six and drawn three of his nine games in all competitions since taking charge at Chelsea. Goalscorer Mateo Kovacic injured his calf in the midweek win at Salzburg and is a doubt for the trip to the Amex.

    Brighton, in contrast, have not won in the five games since Potter left although the failings up front are not unfamiliar – Leandro Trossard having scored all four of the their goals under Roberto De Zerbi.

    Match stat: Chelsea haven’t lost to Brighton in 14 previous league meetings

    Brentford v Wolves

    Saturday, 3pm

    Technical director Scott Sellars was the man who bore the brunt of Wolves’ fans wrath in their 4-0 defeat to Leicester even if caretaker-boss Steve Davis insists he is the man picking the team.

    The club may have said Davis will remain in charge until the World Cup but whether that will stick if Wolves drop deeper into the mire is not clear. Brentford, thrashed 4-0 at Aston Villa last Sunday in a performance their star striker Ivan Toney labelled as ‘a shambles’, are a different beast at home.

    Match Stat: Bobby Madley referees his first Premier league game since 2018

    Bournemouth v Tottenham

    Saturday, 3pm

    Will Dominic Solanke feature for Bournemouth against Spurs?
    Will Dominic Solanke feature for Bournemouth against Spurs? (Picture: Shutterstock)

    Bournemouth are sweating on the fitness of Dominic Solanke after injury forced him off in Monday’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham which highlighted that nobody seems to know the handball rule any more.

    Gary O’Neil could not hide his anger as his side were on the wrong end of the game’s two big decisions which made it back-to-back defeats after six games unbeaten. Spurs have also lost their last two in the league but battled back to draw with Sporting Lisbon in Europe on Wednesday.

    Match stat: Spurs have not scored in their last two visits to Bournemouth

    Fulham v Everton

    Saturday, 5.30pm, Sky Sports

    At times they may have over-stepped the mark in the 3-0 win over Palace but Everton are putting their bodies on the line for boss Frank Lampard.

    Nobody more so than James Tarkowski, whose 25 blocks this season are 11 more than the second-most in the top division, his old Burnley pal Ben Mee.

    Fulham boss Marco Silva was full of praise for his side’s fighting spirit in their 3-2 win at Leeds, back-to-back victories putting the one-time Europa League finalists into a qualification place.

    Match stat: Marco Silva faces Everton for the first time since leaving in 2019

    Liverpool v Leeds

    Saturday, 7.45pm, Sky Sports

    Anfield has been a fortress for Liverpool, even while their travels have seen them falter
    Anfield has been a fortress for Liverpool, even while their travels have seen them falter (Picture: Shutterstock)

    Liverpool may have suffered from travel sickness in the Premier League but their form at Anfield remains as dominant as ever, where their home has remained a fortress since the six successive behind-closed-doors defeats in 2021.

    Even though they lost to Nottingham Forest last Saturday, it feels like a big ask for fellow bottom-three side Leeds to repeat the feat, with Jesse Marsch favourite to become the top flight’s fifth managerial sacking this term.

    Match stat: Eight games without a Premier League win for Leeds

    Arsenal v Nottingham Forest

    Sunday, 2pm

    A lot has changed for Mikel Arteta since his All or Nothing-featured rant in the City Ground dressing room after Forest’s 1-0 win over Arsenal in January’s FA Cup tie. Manchester City may have deposed them as Premier League leaders by kick-off but they have a 100 per cent record at home this season.

    Forest need to prove their 1-0 win over Liverpool last weekend is not just a one-off but boss Steve Cooper has surely vindicated the club’s decision to keep faith with him after a slow start to the season.

    Match stat: Forest have as many away points this season as Liverpool

    Man Utd v West Ham

    Sunday, 4.15pm, Sky Sports

    David Moyes welcomes his former club to London where he hope to continue THe Hammers' recent good form
    David Moyes welcomes his former club to London where he hope to continue THe Hammers’ recent good form (Picture: Shutterstock)

    Sunday’s only televised Premier League game sees manager David Moyes try to continue West Ham’s recent renaissance at the club where he was the ill-fated successor to Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes’ only win in ten meetings with his old employers since came in the Carabao Cup last term.

    Raphael Varane’s injury is a blow for United boss Erik ten Hag, who saw his Champions League chasers salvage a valuable point at Chelsea last Saturday after Casemiro’s 94th-minute leveller.

    Match stat: 10 of Kurt Zouma’s 11 Premier League goals have been headers

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