Football

Five things to look out for in Gameweek 15

Man Utd boss Erik Ten Hag

It is another busy week of Premier League football with the first midweek fixtures of the season taking place across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the schedule ramps up towards Christmas.

Here are five things to look out for from the full docket, and our score predictions

Arsenal could steal a march at the top

Mikel Arteta’s side play one day earlier than close chasers Liverpool and Manchester City, and have the opportunity to rise to five points clear at the top of the league. Arsenal’s win against Wolves made it three Premier League wins on the spin, after falling short to Newcastle a month ago.

Their opponents this week are Luton Town, at Kenilworth Road. A favourable fixture on paper, but we have seen the Hatters cause issues for the big sides earlier this season. Tottenham, with ten men just about scraped past Rob Edwards’ side, whilst Liverpool could only salvage a late point a month ago.

Arsenal are in fine form, and have the firepower to wipe away Luton, but the home side are not going to roll over for their title chasing visitors. It should make for an exciting game.

Prediction: 0-3

Heckingbottom hanging by a thread as Reds visit steel city

After 14 games, we are on the verge of seeing the first managerial sacking of the season. Sheffield United’s Paul Heckingbottom is on the verge of the sack, with Chris Wilder rumoured to return to Bramall Lane. Their woes could worsen this week with the visit of Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side will still be ecstatic after their late win over Fulham at the weekend, and will hoping to push on and put pressure on Arsenal, who they sit two points behind.

Liverpool’s fine form will be a worry for the Blades who sit rock bottom of the league on five points. They have a lower points tally at this stage of the season than Derby did in 2007/08, when the Rams finished on 11 points. This will not be easy for Sheffield United, who appear to be in free fall. Perhaps the return of a familiar face in the dugout will boost morale.

Prediction: 0-2

Can City turn draws into a win at Villa Park?

Three draws in a row have stifled City’s momentum as they seek a fourth consecutive Premier League title. Spurs’ late equaliser condemned the Champions to another draw, with City conceding late in all three. They travel to Villa Park against an Aston Villa side who have an impressive 13 league wins in a row on their patch.

This was a fixture City failed to win in last season, with Leon Bailey grabbing a point for Steven Gerrard’s Villa in a 1-1 draw. Now Unai Emery is in charge and Villa look like a different beast. They are not scared of taking on the big boys, winning at Tottenham last weekend. This will be another stern test for Guardiola’s men who need to get back to winning ways with Arsenal and Liverpool ahead of them.

Prediction: 1-2

United need to show character against improving Blues

The Old Trafford faithful will be demanding a response after Manchester United’s defeat to Newcastle. They come up against a Chelsea side who have shown signs of life in recent weeks, despite also being beaten in the north east.

Chelsea will be without the suspended Conor Gallagher, but will take plenty of encouragement from Enzo Fernandez’s performance against Brighton, with the Argentine grabbing a brace. As for United, a lot of fingers have been pointed at player’s application during games this season, and Erik ten Hag will be demanding a better display in front of their own fans.

Prediction: 2-2

Ange needs home form to spark again

Spurs have lost their last two home games, against Chelsea and Aston Villa. Rivals West Ham come to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as David Moyes’ side will look to compound Spurs to a fourth defeat in five games. The rot must have been stopped at the weekend for Spurs with their late draw Manchester City, but they will want to get back to winning ways in front of their own fans.

West Ham are unbeaten in three league games, after previously suffering three defeats in a row. They have not beaten Spurs since 2021, a 1-0 home win. West Ham also won at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2019. Tottenham’s performance at the Etihad was encouraging, and Postecoglou will be hoping to continue that as the two London sides face each other this week.

Prediction: 2-1

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