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  • Writer's pictureMahdi Farahikia

Clash of the Red Ginats - EPL Match Week 26 Preview

On-form Manchester United will visit Liverpool this weekend as the race for top-four positions in EPL is heating up. Manchester City seek a win against Newcastle, while Arsenal take on 19th-place Bournemouth. Chelsea have a challenge at hand, trying to win after a long time. Here is EPL Match Week 26 Preview. (All times are in EST. Game schedules are subject to change by EPL without prior notice.)

Manchester City vs. Newcastle (03/04/2023, 7:30 AM):

Newcastle suffered a defeat against Manchester's red side in Carabao Cup Final Match. They're facing the blue side of Manchester on the road, which is probably the last thing Howe's men want. Moreover, they've only won this fixture once in the entire EPL history. While the Magpies have fallen from their winning form, and Almiron has not been on his scoring streak, Man City players are giving every game everything they have to keep up the title race. History will likely repeat itself as Pep Guardiola's men win this match.

FiveThirtyEight: MCI: 64%, NEW: 15%, Draw: 20%

Odds Shark: MCI: -225, NEW: +600, Draw: +375

Arsenal vs. Bournemouth (03/04/2023, 10:00 AM):

Sitting just above Southampton in nineteenth place and facing relegation threats, Bournemouth will have a difficult task against the title-favorite Arsenal and the statistics. Bournemouth have only beaten Arsenal once in the entire EPL history, and that happened on the home ground. Even when the Gunners were not in their optimal form in the past couple of years, they did not lose any head-to-heads with Bournemouth. This trend will continue this week as Arsenal snatch the three points of this match.

FiveThirtyEight: ARS: 80%, BOU: 6%, Draw: 14%

Odds Shark: ARS: -450, BOU: +1200, Draw: +550

Aston Villa vs. Crystal Palace (03/04/2023 10:00 AM):

Although fluctuating, Aston Villa's form has improved under Unai Emery. But the clash between these two sides has usually been close and with several goals. Palace have not won any of their previous five games, earning four draws and a defeat against Man United. Villa beat Everton and Southampton and lost to Arsenal, Man City, and Leicester. So, the two teams have had rough times recently. History, though, tilts in Villa's favor, as Palace have only won this fixture once in the EPL history. At home, Aston Villa are the favorites to win this match. However, Viera can also pull a draw out of this match if his team can defend well.

FiveThirtyEight: AVL: 47%, CRY: 26%, Draw: 27%

Odds Shark: AVL: +105, CRY: +280, Draw: +235

Brighton vs. West Ham (03/04/2023 10:00 AM):

When West Ham hosted Nottingham Forest last weekend, the question was if it would be Moyes' last match as the Hammers' coach. But West Ham won the game in style, and Moyes got some breathing room. It's not to say he's out of the danger zone, especially looking at the history between these two sides. West Ham have never won any match against Brighton in the entire EPL history (home or away.) That should worry the Hammers.

Thirteen points separate the eighth-place Brighton from the sixteenth-place West Ham. However, West Ham have Danny Ings, who scored two goals in his debut against Forest. This could help West Ham prevent another defeat, but it will probably not be enough to give them a win. A draw is possible in this match.

FiveThirtyEight: BRI: 54%, WHU: 22%, Draw: 24%

Odds Shark: BRI: -133, WHU: +350, Draw: +275

Chelsea vs. Leeds (03/04/2023 10:00 AM):

Chelsea's encounters with Leeds have always been met with challenges. The two sides have met 29 times in EPL history. Chelsea have enjoyed eleven victories in contrast to Leeds' nine. This shows how close this encounter is expected to be. Neither of the two sides is in good form, and to make matters worse for Potter, his world-class defender, Silva, picked up a knee injury and will miss a few weeks.

Chelsea need to win games. They have not done so in their previous five EPL games. Leeds, too, need to distance themselves from the relegation zone. That means both teams will give this match everything they've got. History may repeat itself in Chelsea's favor, as Leeds rarely win against Chelsea on the away turf.

FiveThirtyEight: CHE: 54%, LEE: 21%, Draw: 25%

Odds Shark: CHE: -155, LEE: +420, Draw: +300

Wolves vs. Tottenham (03/04/2023 10:00 AM):

Three points above the relegation zone, Wolves may feel safe, but the season is not over. Their next challenge is the home game against Spurs. Playing on the home ground should give Wolves an advantage. However, they have only beaten Spurs in Molineux Stadium once in the entire EPL history. What's more, Spurs seek a top-four position by the end of the season, for which they will need to fight hard.

Wolves have scored almost thirty goals fewer than Tottenham. Spurs' defense have been just as vulnerable as Wolves', though. The question is whether Wolves can stun Spurs as they did to Liverpool or they will lose as they did against Bournemouth. Coming off two back-to-back wins against West Ham and Chelsea, Spurs are mentally ready to enjoy another away win against Wolves.

FiveThirtyEight: WOL: 25%, TOT: 50%, Draw: 25%

Odds Shark: WOL: +220, TOT: +125, Draw: +230

Southampton vs. Leicester (03/04/2023 12:30 PM):

The encounters between these two sides have ended with a Leicester more often. However, Leicester have earned the three away points only four times. In fact, the last two times Southampton hosted Leicester, the game ended in a draw. While six points separate the two sides, the visitors are only three points away from the relegation zone. Foxes' main weak point is their keeper. Ward-Prowse may be able to exploit that with a clinically-taken free kick. However, that may not be enough from the home side's poor performance this season. Leicester are favorites to enjoy a long-awaited albeit close away victory against Southampton.

FiveThirtyEight: SOU: 37%, LEI: 37%, Draw: 26%

Odds Shark: SOU: +165, LEI: +165, Draw: +240

Nottingham Forest vs. Everton (03/05/2023 9:00 AM):

Is it safe to safe Everton's new-manager hype is over so soon? It sure sounds like it, as they suffered a 0-2 defeat at home against Villa last weekend. For the first time in a long time, Everton are facing serious relegation threats. Once rock-bottom in the table, Forest are four points above the danger zone despite suffering a thrashing 4-0 defeat against West Ham last weekend. But, playing at home, Forest have been good recently, beating Leeds and holding City to a valuable 1-1 draw.

This is not good news for Dyche. His side has not done well on the road lately. Moreover, Everton's top scorer, Gordon, left the club during the January transfer window. The question is whether the poor offensive lines of these two sides will be able to break the other team's equally lousy defense. It looks unlikely we'll see many goals in this match, as it will end in a draw.

FiveThirtyEight: NFO: 37%, EVE: 34%, Draw: 28%

Odds Shark: NFO: +170, EVE: +175, Draw: +210

Liverpool vs. Manchester United (03/05/2023 11:30 AM):

When the two red giants of the English sport met in Old Trafford, not many gave United even a remote chance of winning. But that game went for Manchester's reds. Man United's form has improved significantly under Ten Hag. After many years, they won their first trophy and are still alive in FA Cup and Europa Cup while sitting third in the table. Ten Hag has definitely reshaped United. However, too many games in short intervals may cause fatigue, which may be detrimental.

Liverpool are still in the Champions League and will face a difficult task against Real Madrid, having lost the first leg 2-5 at Anfield. No matter what, this is an important game for both teams, one that no side wants to lose. For once, after a long time, both teams are in good form, which means we have a good game at hand. This one can go either way, making it very difficult to predict. Given the forms of both teams and their determination, the safe prediction for this game is a draw.

FiveThirtyEight: LIV: 48%, MUN: 30%, Draw: 22%

Odds Shark: LIV: +145, MUN: +175, Draw: +260

Brentford vs. Fulham (03/06/2023 3:00 PM):

Brentford can be dangerous at home, or can they be? Sure, they beat Bournemouth and Southampton but were halted to a draw by Palace. The only head-to-head between the two sides in EPL history ended in a close 3-2 win for Fulham. However, they have met a few times in other competitions. The last time Brentford hosted Fulham, they won the match by three goals to nothing. But the game before that ended in a 1-2 victory for Fulham on the road. Furthermore, the statistics are very close between these teams - even their worst losses this season have been against Newcastle. This match will have goals and will be a close one, but it will probably end in a draw.

FiveThirtyEight: BRE: 51%, FUL: 25%, Draw: 24%

Odds Shark: BRE: +100, FUL: +270, Draw: +260

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