A Sunday afternoon showstopper takes top billing in the 2021/22 Premier League this weekend as Man Utd meet old rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer relieve some of the pressure mounting on his shoulders as the Reds roll into town?
We’re back with our next set of Premier League predictions…
PREDICTED PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE | 2021/22 SEASON
Here is our predicted Premier League table for the 2021/22 campaign…
- MAN CITY
- MAN UTD
- LEICESTER CITY
- WEST HAM
- ASTON VILLA
- LEEDS UTD
- CRYSTAL PALACE
- NEWCASTLE UTD
- NORWICH CITY
Prediction: 29th July 2021
EPL Predictions – Weekend Betting Preview
You just know it’s going to be a good gameweek when the Premier League serves up Friday night football.
Arsenal will be looking to get one over their bogey team as Aston Villa travel to the Emirates…
Friday 22nd October
ARSENAL VS ASTON VILLA
Mikel Arteta’s reign at Arsenal continues to be a case of one step forward, two steps back.
A late Alexandre Lacazette equaliser at home to Crystal Palace papered over the cracks of another off day from the hosts at the Emirates, with the Gunners still looking short of the consistency required to mount a reliable top six charge.
The hosts will be out to end a three-game losing streak in league meetings against the Villains.
An early Oli Watkins strike proved enough to secure Dean Smith’s side all three points in their last clash at Villa Park back in February.
An improved defensive display is likely to be Smith’s major priority at the Emirates after watching his side ship three avoidable late goals from set-piece situations in their late collapse to Wolves.
Verdict: ARSENAL 0-0 ASTON VILLA
Saturday 23rd October
CHELSEA VS NORWICH
It’s those finest of margins that can ultimately win you a Premier League title.
If Chelsea go on to lift a first title in five years next May, Thomas Tuchel may look back at Brentford away as one of those moments where the stars were aligning for his team.
The visitors survived a late onslaught from the Bees courtesy of some Edouard Mendy heroics to pick up their sixth win in eight league games and maintain their one-point lead at the top of the table. However, Tuchel will be forced to plan for a clash with another one of the Premier League newboys light on attacking options, with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both limping off injured against Malmö in midweek.
Tim Krul also picked up a clean sheet as Norwich secured their second point of their campaign in a 0-0 draw at home to Brighton, but it’s problems at the other end that could ultimately once again cost the Canaries their Premier League status.
The hosts fluffed several gilt-edged chances at Carrow Road as they failed to add to their meagre two-goal tally since returning to the top flight.
Daniel Farke’s strugglers will be chasing their first win against Chelsea since 1994 on Saturday afternoon, although both of the last two meetings between the teams have been close-run affairs, with the Blues edging 3-2 and 1-0 wins in the 2019/20 campaign.
Verdict: CHELSEA 3-0 NORWICH
CRYSTAL PALACE VS NEWCASTLE
Should either of these sides be unduly concerned about a potential trip into the EFL Championship next season?
Crystal Palace have rightly won plaudits for their more adventurous style of play under Patrick Viera, but their lack of game management of late will be a concern for the Frenchman as he looks to consolidate in his first season as an EPL manager.
Both Brighton and Arsenal have now snatched largely undeserved points against Palace in the last month with effectively the last kick of the game, frustrating draws that leave Viera with still only one league win to his name since his appointment in July.
Second-bottom Newcastle will surely be a different proposition once they embark on some serious shopping in the January sales. However, the next few months look decidedly dicey for the Toon Army given the ongoing uncertainty on and off the pitch.
Graeme Jones has temporarily stepped into the Magpies dugout in the wake of Steve Bruce’s long-expected departure. His first task will be forging a siege mentality among a squad of players in danger of lacking motivation with their long-term futures openly up for discussion.
Newcastle will have fond memories of their last visit to Selhurst Park.
A devastating late double from Callum Wilson and Joelinton saw the visitors snatch all three points as they picked up a first win at the home of the Eagles in six years.
Verdict: CRYSTAL PALACE 1-1 NEWCASTLE
EVERTON VS WATFORD
It’s back to the drawing board for Rafa Benitez.
A win over West Ham would have seen the Spaniard make the best home start to a season of any Toffees manager since 1978, but a disjointed performance from the hosts coming off the international break instead condemned Benitez to his first slip-up at Goodison Park.
Fortunately for the not wholly loved new Toffees boss, he should have every chance to get the Goodison faithful back on side this weekend as woeful Watford journey north.
Claudio Ranieri’s warm reception from the Hornets fanbase was about as good as things got for the Italian as he witnessed his defence crumble in the face of a rampant Liverpool display.
This first away assignment doesn’t look much easier for the Italian.
Ranieri will be hoping to provide his travelling supporters with some long overdue cheer as they head up to Merseyside.
The Hornets are still waiting to register their first ever Premier League win at Goodison Park, with a 2-2 draw back in 2018 the last time they journeyed home with a point.
Verdict: EVERTON 3-1 WATFORD
LEEDS VS WOLVES
Whisper it quietly… are Leeds in danger of doing a Sheffield Utd?
It’s too soon to draw that comparison just yet, but Marcelo Bielsa has some thinking to do with his side struggling to find a winning formula this term.
The Whites looked uncharacteristically off their usual standards in possession as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat over previously winless Southampton, a result that leaves them within touching distance of the bottom three.
The Argentinean does have some excuses for their slow-burn of a start, with a crippling injury list currently holding back his usually reliable Plan A.
Potential returns for Kalvin Phillips and Rafinha this weekend could trigger a more energetic display against a Wolves side likely to be fired up after an extraordinary comeback win away at Midlands rivals Aston Villa.
Bruno Lage’s battlers silenced Villa Park with three late goals from set pieces, but a goalfest might not necessarily be on the cards in Yorkshire despite the unpredictability of these two sides.
The West Midlanders worked hard to grind out two 1-0 wins against Bielsa’s men last season, with those results making them just one of three teams to do the double over Leeds on the Whites’ return to the top tier.
Verdict: LEEDS 1-1 WOLVES
SOUTHAMPTON VS BURNLEY
An inability to kill off games will remain a concern for Ralph Hasenhüttl, but Southampton are finally up and running at the eighth attempt as Armando Broja’s second-half strike against Leeds sealed the Saints a first three points of 2021/22.
That means it’s now just the current bottom three yet to chalk up a ‘1’ in the win column, a trio that includes the Saints’ weekend visitors, Burnley.
After agreeing a contract extension earlier this month, Sean Dyche looks to have signed up for his hardest survival battle since steering the Clarets back into the top tier in 2016.
This showdown at St Mary’s already has a ‘must-not-lose’ feel to it for the Lancastrians with dynamic Brentford and league leaders Chelsea to come after this game, and they certainly can’t afford a repeat of last season’s collapse in this fixture.
The visitors looked to be cruising to a comfortable win after taking a 2-0 nil lead inside half-an-hour, before an error-strewn next 60 minutes allowed the hosts a path back to snatch a memorable 3-2 win.
Verdict: SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 BURNLEY
BRIGHTON VS MAN CITY
Can the Seagulls shock City for a second season in a row at the Amex?
Memories of their 3-2 comeback win on the south coast last May will give the home dressing room plenty of optimism they can be more than a match for the Cityzens here, with Dan Burn the unlikely hero as the 6ft 7in defender hooked in the winner.
Surprise packages Brighton remain in fourth place with nearly a quarter of the season completed. That’s despite seeing their early-season form stall of late after a trio of stalemates, with their staying power amongst the pacesetters mostly built on a rock-solid defence rather than masses of improvement in the final third.
Graham Potter would surely settle for a fifth clean sheet in nine league games here to keep his side on terms with Saturday’s visitors, with Albion currently sitting pretty in the Champions League places.
A 2-0 cruise against Burnley means Pep Guardiola’s side remain unbeaten in the league since their opening day setback at Spurs, form that sees them remain the 9/10 favourites in the Premier League outright betting.
Verdict: BRIGHTON 1-3 MAN CITY
Sunday 24th October
BRENTFORD VS LEICESTER
Will the Bees rediscover their sting as revitalised Leicester travel to West London?
Thomas Frank received a sobering reminder of the unforgiving nature of top-flight football last Saturday as his Brentford side left the Premier League’s latest London rivalry with nothing to show for their efforts in an unfortunate 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.
While Frank can take heart from his side’s fearless approach to taking on their near neighbours, he’ll be mindful his side can’t afford to make a regular habit of falling on the wrong side of unjust defeats on home soil.
Their two losses to date have both been by 1-0 scorelines at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Frank may need a big showing from star man Ivan Toney here with their talisman chasing his first EPL goal in four outings.
The 25-year-old might just be taking on the visiting Leicester defence at the wrong time as he looks to end his lean spell, with the return of Jonny Evans likely to be crucial in shaping their chances of challenging for another top-five finish.
The Northern Irishman’s long-awaited return against former club Man Utd sparked a much-improved display from his regular defensive partner Çağlar Söyüncü, who had previously been struggling for form.
The Turkish international’s 78th-minute strike would prove to be the lightning rod for a frenetic final 15 minutes as his side ran out 4-2 winners against the Red Devils.
Summer signing Patson Daka also looks to be clicking into gear for the Foxes at just the right time for Rodgers, netting all four Leicester goals in their 4-3 win at Spartak Moscow on Wednesday.
Verdict: BRENTFORD 2-2 LEICESTER
WEST HAM VS SPURS
Will West Ham win the ‘best of the rest’ battle this term after pushing Leicester close in 2020/21?
There’s no sign of the Moyes-aissance being a time-limited affair in East London with the Hammers’ resilient early-season form already setting them up nicely for another crack at the top six.
The Scotsman secured back-to-back wins at his former stomping ground last Sunday as Angelo Ogbonna’s late header secured the visitors all three points at Goodison Park.
Now Moyes will be looking for an improved display at the London Stadium after a surprise hiccup against Brentford in their last home outing, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if this cross-city rivalry had less spice than usual given both sides could be weary from European commitments on Thursday night.
Spurs spoiled the party atmosphere at St James’ Park last week win in a 3-2 win that saw Harry Kane finally open his account for this league campaign.
The England captain failed to score in this fixture last season as the hosts ran out 2-1 winners but will be aiming to build on his impressive 11-goal tally against the Hammers. Only Wayne Rooney (14) and Michael Owen (13) can rival that total.
Verdict: WEST HAM 0-0 SPURS
MAN UTD VS LIVERPOOL
Finally, can Jürgen Klopp add to Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s problems at Old Trafford?
Utd slipped out the Champions League places after their calamitous late surrender against Leicester finally ended Soskjaer’s incredible 29-game unbeaten away record in the league.
Perhaps more pertinently, that result also saw Utd extend a barren spell in the league that now runs to three games without a win, leaving them five points adrift of table toppers Chelsea.
However, as shown in the improbable midweek comeback against Atalanta, Solskjaer does have previous form for pulling a rabbit out the hat just when Utd look to be heading into a tailspin.
He’ll need one here if Mo Salah turns up in his current mood, with the Egyptian’s sensational form helping spearhead Liverpool’s title charge.
Salah slotted home his seventh league goal of the season in the 5-0 rout of Watford, but it was his regular supporting act who took centre stage against the Hornets.
Roberto Firmino bagged his first hat-trick in three years to cement the Reds’ position as the league’s free-scorers, a result that meant they became the first side to surpass the 20-goal mark.
His new-found hot streak could come in handy on Sunday as the Brazilian vies to repeat the brace that helped the visitors to a stylish 4-2 win in Manchester back in May.
Verdict: MAN UTD 1-1 LIVERPOOL
All fixture information correct at time of writing.
Premier League Correct Score Predictions
Our score predictions for the next round of games are in…
Friday 22nd October
ARSENAL 0-0 ASTON VILLA (20:00)
Saturday 23rd October
(all 15:00 unless stated)
CHELSEA 3-0 NORWICH (12:30)
CRYSTAL PALACE 1-1 NEWCASTLE
EVERTON 3-1 WATFORD
LEEDS 2-1 WOLVES
SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 BURNLEY
BRIGHTON 1-3 MAN CITY (17:30)
Sunday 24th October
BRENTFORD 2-2 LEICESTER (14:00)
WEST HAM 0-0 SPURS (14:00)
MAN UTD 1-1 LIVERPOOL (16:30)
Premier League Betting | EPL Tips | Best Bets
Looking for Premier League betting tips ahead of the latest action?
We’re back with our three latest picks…
2021/22 Premier League Betting | EPL Outrights
Reigning champions Man City lead the way in the outright betting, with the Cityzens 9/10 to retain their crown.
Chelsea’s success in the Champions League early in Thomas Tuchel’s reign sees them installed as 5/2 second-favourites to deliver a first EPL trophy for the German.
Liverpool are 7/2 to make a better fist of things this time around after their title defence faltered early last season, while Man Utd have drifted out to 33/1 shots after an inconsistent start to the campaign.
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Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.