Premier League ball

2023/24 Premier League: Weekend Preview

The Premier League resumes this weekend with clubs looking for that win in order to take that extra step closer to achieving their targets for the 2023/24 season.

England’s top flight is returning this weekend, but there will be fewer matches due to some clubs’ participation in the Carabao Cup, and also the FA Cup next week. As a result, 4 Premier League matches are to be played over the course of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st January, whilst there is one game to be played on Monday 22nd January 2024.

Going into these matches, there are a number of clubs fighting for the title, European qualification and to avoid relegation. Starting with the title race, there are currently five teams in the midst of this battle as of the time of writing, and these clubs are: Liverpool (1st – 45 pts), Manchester City (2nd – 43 pts), Aston Villa (3rd – 43 pts), Arsenal (4th – 40 pts) and Tottenham Hotspur (5th – 40 pts).

However, this weekend, Arsenal and Liverpool are the only clubs amongst these five that will play. The Gunners have the opportunity to leapfrog Villa into third place. Goal difference will likely prevent them from taking second place even with a win due to Manchester City’s vastly superior goal difference.

As for Liverpool, they can extend their lead over second-place City to 5 points with a win, although Pep Guardiola’s side will then have a game in hand them.

Regarding the race for Europe, all of the above teams are fighting for UEFA Champions League football. In the fight for Europa League and Europa Conference League football, West Ham (6th – 34 pts), Manchester United (7th – 32 pts), Brighton & Hove Albion (8th – 31 pts), Chelsea (9th – 31 pts) and Newcastle United (10th – 29 pts) are all in the heat of this battle. Some of them could still find themselves in the Champions League come the end of the season – there are still plenty of games left.

Only West Ham and Brighton will be able to take a step closer to European qualification with the Hammers and the Seagulls playing on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Finally, in terms of the relegation battle, a number of clubs are involved in it. These clubs are: Sheffield United (20th – 9 pts), Burnley (19th – 12 pts), Luton Town (18th – 16 pts), Everton (17th – 17 pts), Brentford (16th – 19 pts), Nottingham Forest (15th – 20 pts) and Crystal Palace (14th – 21 pts). There are 7 clubs within just 12 points of each other.

Brentford, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United all play this weekend as they all seek to take a step closer to Premier League safety in the 2023/24 season.

Let’s look at all five Premier League matches set to be played this weekend and Monday, starting with Arsenal welcoming Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal v Crystal Palace (Saturday 20th January, 12:30 – Emirates Stadium)

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are set to take on a Crystal Palace side led by Head Coach Roy Hodgson in a 12:30 Kick-Off at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, 20th January 2024. The Gunners will look to get the win that would see them rise into third place and be within just two points of league leaders Liverpool.

As for the Eagles, a win would see them leapfrog Fulham into 13th place on goal difference and extend the gap between themselves and the relegation zone to 8 points.

Arsenal and Crystal Palace have played against each other on 54 occasions in all competitions. It is the Gunners with the superior record of 32 wins compared with the Eagles’ 6. There have been 16 draws between them as of the time of writing.

Arsenal won 1 – 0 in their most recent meeting in the Premier League at Selhurst Park. Arteta’s side scored through a Martin Odegaard penalty (53’).

Brentford v Nottingham Forest (Saturday 20th January, 17:30 – Gtech Community Stadium)

A crucial relegation ‘six pointer’ is set to be played between Thomas Frank’s Brentford and Nuno Espirito Santo’s Nottingham Forest at the Gtech Community Stadium in a 17:30 Kick-Off on Saturday, 20th January 2024.

Both sides will be desperate for all three points in order to drag themselves away from the bottom three and danger – for now. If the Bees secure the three points, they will climb up into 14th place if Crystal Palace lose, and to 15th place if Palace win or draw. As for Forest, they will only rise to 14th place with a win if Palace lose or draw against Arsenal.

Brentford and Nottingham Forest have played against each other 38 times in all competitions. The Bees edge Forest with a record of 14 wins compared to the Reds’ 13. There have been 11 draws over the years in this fixture.

The most recent Premier League match between these two clubs took place on 1st October 2023, where they drew 1 – 1 at the City Ground. Danish midfielder Christian Norgaard gave Brentford the lead (58’), before Nottingham Forest restored parity thanks to a goal from Argentine midfielder Nicolas Dominguez (65’).

Sheffield United v West Ham United (Sunday 21st January, 14:00 – Bramall Lane)

Bottom of the table Sheffield United, led by Head Coach Chris Wilder, are set to welcome David Moyes’ West Ham United to Bramall Lane on Sunday, 21st January 2024. This game in the Premier League is set to kick-off at 14:00.

If the Blades are able to pull off a surprise victory against the Hammers, they will move level on points with Burnley, but they wouldn’t leapfrog the Clarets due to goal difference. As for Moyes’ side, they would bring themselves to within 3 points of 5th place Spurs with victory.

Sheffield United and West Ham United have met on 92 occasions over the years. The Blades have a superior record of 38 wins compared to the Hammers’ 33 victories in this fixture. There have been a total of 21 draws between them as of the time of writing.

The most recent game between them in the Premier League was a 2 – 0 win for West Ham at the London Stadium on 30th September 2023. Jarrod Bowen (24’) and Tomas Soucek (37’) scored the goals on the day.

Bournemouth v Liverpool (Sunday 21st January, 16:30 – Vitality Stadium)

Both Andoni Iraola’s AFC Bournemouth and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are in great form of late, and they meet in the Premier League on Sunday, 21st January 2024. The game is set to kick-off at 16:30 at the Vitality Stadium.

A win for the Cherries would see them go level with Wolves in 11th on goal difference. If Liverpool win, they will go 5 points clear of second place Manchester City. However, City will have a game in hand.

These two clubs have met on 21 occasions, with Liverpool having 16 wins compared to Bournemouth’s 2. There have been just 3 draws between these two clubs as of the time of writing.

The most recent Premier League match between them took place on 19th August 2023, where Liverpool won 3 – 1 at Anfield. Luis Diaz (28’), Mohamed Salah (36’) and Diogo Jota (62’) scored for Klopp’s Reds, whilst it was Antoine Semenyo who scored Bournemouth’s only goal of the game (3’).

Brighton v Wolves (Monday 22nd January, 19:45 – Amex Stadium)

Brighton and Wolves are set to come face to face in the Premier League at the Amex Stadium on Monday, 22nd January 2024. The game is set to kick off on the South Coast at 19:45.

If the Seagulls take all three points, they will rise up to 6th if West Ham lose or draw their match against Sheffield United. As for Gary O’Neil’s Wolves, they will climb to 10th with victory against Brighton.

Brighton and Wolves have met on 41 occasions over the years. The Seagulls have the superior record of 19 wins in comparison to 8 for Wolverhampton Wanderers. There have been 14 draws between them over the years.

The most recent Premier League match to be played between these two clubs took place on 19th August 2023 at Molineux, where the Seagulls won 4 – 1. Kaoru Mitoma (15’), Pervis Estupinan (46’) and Solly March (51’, 55’) all scored for Brighton, whilst it was Hwang Hee-Chan who found the back of the net for Wolves on the day.

Excitement and anticipation is growing ahead of the latest round of Premier League matches getting underway.

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