With only a handful of matches left in the 2022/23 Premier League season, the title race is truly coming down to the wire, as is the battle for survival at the other end of the table.
Another weekend of fantastic matchups are scheduled, so let’s predict how it will all go down.
Leeds 0, Newcastle 2: Leeds haven’t won since April 4 against Nottingham Forest, and they almost certainly aren’t going to reverse their fortunes this weekend against one of the best teams in the league. Newcastle weren’t able to get the job done against Arsenal, but they have largely been brilliant against teams they are supposed to win against, such as Everton and Southampton in recent fixtures. Leeds fall into that category of opponent.
Manchester United 1, Wolves 0: Julen Lopetegui has pretty much steered Wolves to safety, with the young Matheus Nunes showing a real fire and level of quality on the ball in the process. But Wolves just doesn’t have enough talent in their squad to compete with clubs like Manchester United.
Wolves need a serious transfer window, while United have everything to play for in the top-four race. They may have a game in hand, but Liverpool sit just one point behind them. Look for Casemiro to step up with a big performance in this one.
Chelsea 2, Nottingham Forest 1: Chelsea finally showed what they are capable of with a late flurry against Bournemouth, and that should give them enough momentum to deal with a Nottingham Forest side that can surprise but is also very much lacking in quality.
The Blues received strong showings from Conor Gallagher and N’Golo Kanté in last weekend’s win, and both hard-working midfielders should be key again this weekend. Gallagher deserves a lot more respect than he gets and would shine more on a more functional team.
Crystal Palace 1, Bournemouth 1: Two teams that aren’t bad but don’t offer much in terms of consistency. Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are almost cookie-cutter mid-table Premier League teams, and they will play to a stalemate.
Southampton 1, Fulham 0: It is crunch time for Southampton, who sit dead last in the Premier League. They are six points beneath Leeds in 19th and eight points away from Everton in the safety zone, which pretty much sums up how poor they have been. The Saints fold in so many matches, and it’s been ages since they won.
Yet they could pull off a stunner this weekend against Fulham, the Premier League’s biggest overachievers this season. The Cottagers have let their standard slip, and Southampton could put it together in front of their home fans. They NEED this, and that urgency will finally show. But in the context of their season, it will probably be too little, too late. Their attack is abysmal.
Aston Villa 4, Tottenham 2: Tottenham have shown a real fire about them lately after hitting rock bottom, but it won’t be enough on the road against an Aston Villa side with European football ambitions of their own. Villa have impressed under Unai Emery, though they did suffer a letdown against Wolves after another 1-0 loss to Manchester United. However, Ollie Watkins and Co. should be due for a bounce-back performance. There is so much to like about this team.
Brentford 2, West Ham 2: Brentford and West Ham will help kick off Sunday’s Premier League action, and this should be one of the most entertaining fixtures of the coming Matchday. Both sides are capable of expansive attacking football, and the Hammers are coming off a big win in the Conference League, coming back.
Lucas Paquetá is a menace, both creatively and in his defensive work rate. In the matches against the Manchester clubs, Paquetá had a combined seven tackles, two interceptions, three key passes, four dribbles completed, and two fouls drawn. The Brazilian attacking midfielder offers a lot more than what the goals and assists show.
Everton 0, Manchester City 3: Everton have everything to play for in 17th place, but they are honestly just as awful as the three teams below them. Their massive win over Brighton certainly raised eyebrows, and they were able to get points off Crystal Palace and Leicester City. However, Everton are just as liable to completely implode. With all due respect to Brighton, Manchester City is a different caliber of opponent and are not going to slip in the title race against this kind of opponent.
Arsenal 2, Brighton 2: After Arsenal’s incredible win over Newcastle, it may be a huge risk to predict them dropping points to a Brighton side that was, quite frankly, humiliated by Everton, but every game is a new story. Each matchup offers a different dynamic, and this one between Brighton and Arsenal is as exciting as any.
Roberto De Zerbi has been widely praised for his tactical nous, but a lot of people underestimate how good he is at connecting with players. He and Arteta will have their XIs put on a show, but Brighton will ultimately steal away a point late to frustrate Arsenal in a title race that truly seems to favor Manchester City now.
Leicester City 0, Liverpool 5: Leicester City’s defense is shocking, and they are in for a rough Monday evening against Liverpool. The Reds are creeping up into the top-four discussion, with Jürgen Klopp proving a lot of critics wrong regarding his ability to adjust to a new game plan and keep his players believing when things get difficult.
Klopp has done brilliantly with the inherent flaws in this squad, and with Luis Díaz back, the Reds truly do have one of the most electrifying attacks in the English top flight. Mohamed Salah and Díaz will tear apart the Foxes’ backline in yet another Liverpool victory. Given they have not lost their last eight matches (with each of the last six being wins), it feels like the Reds really could pull off this incredible top-four comeback. Let’s see.
Kevin covered Real Madrid from 2019 to 2022 as editor of The Real Champs, Juventus from 2020 to 2022, and Schalke for the 2019/20 season. He is the site manager for The Trivela Effect and Let Them Wrestle.
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6 young Liverpool players who could make the first team next season
At Liverpool, one academy player has become a fixture in the first team this season while a handful have shown potential – so who could follow next?
In Stefan Bajcetic, the Reds have unearthed a gem just waiting to be polished. The Serbian-born Spaniard now looks set for a long-term role under Jurgen Klopp.
Although Bajcetic’s season ended prematurely due to injury, he showed in his 19 appearances that he can be counted on next season and in the future.
Along with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones and Caoimhin Kelleher, he left the academy to establish himself in the senior team.
There are also other examples such as Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams confirming the club’s focus on youth development as a source for the first team. So who could be an option for Klopp next season?
With Kelleher securing a starting XI role and Adrian in the final weeks of his contract, this summer could see big changes to Liverpool’s goalkeeping ranks.
If Kelleher pushes for a move and Adrian’s tenure isn’t extended, John Achterberg and his team will be looking for at least one new signing to back Alisson.
However, as with the current second choice, it’s possible that Liverpool will look to their academy for one of the backup roles.
Pitaluga’s loan spell at Macclesfield was marred by an ankle ligament injury, but he has spent the season training with the first team and visiting Anfield on matchdays with the Brazilian unable to play. – be next. Harvey Davies
However, there is a chance that Pitaluga will be passed by a scouser as Davies has progressed with the Under-21s and Under-19s throughout the season.
Davies has been a Liverpool player since U9 level, has developed rapidly in recent years and trains regularly and travels on match days like Pitaluga.
The teenager has kept seven clean sheets in 16 games and conceded just 19 goals. The U21s finished their second season with the best defensive record in the league. He has also been on the bench for the first team seven times this season.
In all likelihood, one of Pitaluga and Davies will remain at No.3 and the other will go on loan, with Alisson showing great potential.
Position: Left back, Central defender
Since Klopp is switching to a 3-4-3 system as part of his ‘new LFC’ – as he called it in a recent interview with LFCTV – there are new demands on the manager’s defensive line. Trent Alexander-Arnold comes into midfield at right back while Andy Robertson operates as a hybrid of left back and left centre-back.
The jury is out on Kostas Tsimikas as a backup in that role, but in Chambers the club could have the perfect fit up the ranks.
Chambers is a natural left-back, but has experience at centre-back, both with the Under-21s and on loan at Kilmarnock – and Klopp even used him there during their friendly defeat against Lyon in December.
Position: right back
“Our plans are to bring him back, go into preseason, enjoy the steps he’s made and then we’ll decide together what to do from there,” Klopp said of Bradley in April.
“The plans at the moment are to bring him back and keep him, but we’ll see.”
The manager has described Bradley’s loan spell at Bolton as a “victory”, and it’s no surprise why: the Northern Irishman helped his club reach the League One play-offs, scoring seven goals and six assists in 51 games in all competitions. . Whether his wild play at right-back will fit into Liverpool’s new system remains to be seen, but he may have passed Calvin Ramsay in the pecking order.
Another player who has impressed on loan – albeit less brilliantly than Bradley – Morton made 46 appearances for Blackburn and assisted four goals before foot surgery ended his season prematurely.
Although he didn’t tear up the Championship like Harvey Elliott did at Ewood Park, the 20-year-old’s time away from Liverpool has shown signs of becoming a talented senior player.
Morton has already made nine first-team appearances for the Reds and in January the club showed a huge vote of confidence by handing him a new long-term contract.
It’s unclear where he fits into Klopp’s midfield rebuild but Morton has every chance of becoming an option. Ben Doak
Position: right winger
During this crazy season, one of the feel-good stories for Liverpool has been Doak’s emergence as a future first-team star.
His luck was partly unavoidable when Klopp made sweeping changes for November’s Carabao Cup clash with Derby, but he definitely took advantage of it.
Doak had a relentless presence down the right flank, looking unmoved both on and off the ball. Although he has yet to add his five appearances, he is still an integral part of first-team training.
There is a compelling theory that Liverpool are looking for youngsters to replace the unbeatable Mohamed Salah – with Kaide Gordon also a contender – and it wouldn’t be surprising if Doak replaced him more often next season.
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