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Gameweek 23 – English Premier League

Premier League fixtures have been coming thick and fast over the past two weeks. There has been no let-up with weekend and mid-week fixtures keeping us entertained throughout January and February.

Gameweek 23 is much the same, with a full fixture list this weekend. The biggest clash sees Liverpool host Man City at Anfield as the Reds hope to make up ground in the title chase. Another big tie will take place at Old Trafford, where United host Everton.

Several mid-table fixtures take place in the remaining fixtures, while bottom three Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham face tough opposition in Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham.

Two of the Premier League’s out of form teams face off on Saturday between Newcastle and Southampton. Newcastle has won just one match in their last eight, losing the remaining seven. Southampton hasn’t fared much better. The South coast side lost 9-0 to Man United in mid-week, their second 9-0 loss in as many seasons. The Saints have lost four matches in a row and have won one of their last seven.

Man United take on Everton this weekend in what should be an exciting contest. United recovered from a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Sheffield United two weeks ago to dispatch Southampton 9-0 this week. United remain in second but just three wins in their last six leave them three points off league leaders, Man City. Everton has been inconsistent recently but they currently have the best away form in the Premier League. Carlo Ancelotti’s side has won five of their last six away matches and racked up four straight wins on the road recently.

Liverpool v Man City is usually one of the highlights of the season. However, this weekend’s contest is shaping up to be a one-sided affair. Liverpool has won two matches out of their last eight and a shock 1-0 loss at home to Brighton leaves them seven points behind City. In contrast, Pep Guardiola’s side extended their unbeaten run to 13 this week. The Spaniard’s side comfortably beat Burnley 2-0. City are the most in-form team in the Premier League, taking 35 points from their last 39 available.

Leeds host Crystal Palace in what could be an entertaining mid-table clash on Monday evening. Leeds’ inconsistency showed again this week. They could not add to their back to back wins against Newcastle and Leicester and lost a 2-1 to Everton on Wednesday. Marcelo Bielsa’s side has now lost four of their last six matches in all competitions. Crystal Palace has won back to back games for the first time since September, beating Wolves and Newcastle successively. The Eagles have only lost two of their last seven Premier League matches.

Players to Watch

  1. Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard endured a tough few seasons at Man United, which led to him joining West Ham in the January transfer window. On his debut for the Hammers, Lingard looked back to his best, scoring two goals and putting in a man of the match performance. The midfielder scored two goals and linked well with Michail Antonio in his side’s 3-1 over Aston Villa on Wednesday night. Lingard seemed to recover his confidence so expect him to become a central figure for West Ham in the next few weeks.

2. Patrick Bamford

Leeds striker Patrick Bamford went through a difficult patch recently, where he struggled to impact games for his side. However, Bamford looked back to his best last weekend against Leicester and he played a part in all three goals in his side’s 3-1 win. The striker also set up Raphinha in Leeds’ 2-1 loss to Everton in mid-week and was one of the best players for his team, offering plenty of hold up play.

3. Callum Wilson

Callum Wilson has been one of the few positives for Newcastle recently. The English striker has set up two and scored two in his last three games, proving his influence in attack for Newcastle. Wilson was sensational in the Magpie’s 2-0 win over Everton last weekend, He scored an excellent header and provided a calm finish to cap an excellent all-round performance at Goodison Park.

Don’t Shoot Messenger

With a host of mid-table fixtures this week, there could be a few close encounters taking place. However, there could also be big wins for some of the in-form teams, particularly Man City and West Ham.

What do you make of this week’s predictions? Will there be any upsets? Or will normal service continue in the Premier League? Let us know your thoughts, musings or predictions in the comments below.