EPL Match Week 20 Preview
Written By: Mahdi Farahikia
As Arsenal continue to dominate the league, Newcastle enjoy a top-four position, and Manchester United find identity, the second half of the EPL season begins with exciting derbies. Here is what to expect in EPL Match Week 20.
Aston Villa vs. Leeds United:
Aston Villa come to this game with regained momentum under Emery despite sitting in 11th position, whereas Leeds are in a bit of crisis. However, White Roses' fighting spirit cannot be neglected. The top scorer between the two clubs is Leeds' Rodrigo, who has scored four more goals than Villa's leading scorer, Ings.
Aston Villa's results have not been consistent. They beat Manchester United but lost to Liverpool and failed to win over Wolves in the relegation zone. There is not a lot separating these clubs in terms of statistics. Leeds are capable of finding the back of the net. However, a narrow win for Villa or a draw is the more likely outcome of this match.
FiveThirtyEight: AVL: 50%, LEE: 26%, Draw: 24%
Odds Shark: AVL: -110, LEE: +320, Draw: +245
Manchester United vs. Manchester City:
The first of the two hot derbies of the week is happening in Northern England as the two Manchester giants collide. Their last game ended with a humiliating 6-3 defeat for the Red Devils. However, they have shown character since then, especially after Ronaldo's departure.
Manchester City are still good, with Haaland looking to break all kinds of records. The question is whether Man United can take revenge. Rashford has been brilliant lately, and the team's morale is better. But it will be a tough day for United defenders to contain City's relentless scoring machine. This one may not see as many goals as the last encounter between the two, but a narrow victory for Man City is predictable.
FiveThirtyEight: MUN: 26%, MCI: 52%, Draw: 22%
Odds Shark: MUN: +320, MCI: -125, Draw: +295
Brighton vs. Liverpool:
Let's be honest! Liverpool are not in great form. That's partly because of the number of injuries they have suffered, but a team as big as Liverpool is expected to overcome that. The eighth-place home side are separated by the sixth-place visitors by only one point. That means a win for Brighton would take them two points above Liverpool.
Three of the last five match-ups between these two have ended in a draw, and each side won one of the remaining two games. Brighton look to keep the momentum they showed against Everton, whereas Liverpool must move past their defeat against Brentford. This game will likely end with a narrow win for the visitors.
FiveThirtyEight: BRI: 31%, LIV: 48%, Draw: 22%
Odds Shark: BRI: +240, LIV: +110, Draw: +265
Everton vs. Southampton:
Perhaps, the question is how much support Lampard can enjoy despite bad results with Everton until losing his job. Everton's best result in their last five matches was a draw against Manchester City. This may give them hope that they can pull something from a game against the rock-bottom Southampton. Both sides have suffered low goal-scoring averages. Together, they have scored 29 goals, slightly higher than Man City's Haaland's record.
Southampton have conceded more goals, while Everton's defenders keep making crucial mistakes, e.g., in the game against Brighton. Everton's fan base may come to their help this time to snatch a narrow win, but I won't rule out a draw either.
FiveThirtyEight: EVE: 41%, SOU: 33%, Draw: 27%
Odds Shark: EVE: +120, SOU: +240, Draw: +235
Nottingham Forest vs. Leicester City:
In the seven match-ups between these two sides, Leicester have never come victorious on the road. This doesn't sound pleasing to the Foxes and their supporters. What's more, they are not in great shape either. Losing their last three games, in which they scored only once, means Rogers is under pressure.
Forest, on the other hand, have not been as bad lately. Despite losing a home game to Manchester United, they tied with Chelsea and Brentford and beat Palace and Southampton. They're equal on points with Leicester and two points above the relegation zone. Leicester have massive problems on the net with Ward. That's something Forest can exploit. A narrow victory for the home side is more predictable.
FiveThirtyEight: NFO: 33%, LEI: 40%, Draw: 27%
Odds Shark: NFO: +170, LEI: +160, Draw: +235
Wolves vs. West Ham:
Two points above last place, Wolves are not doing well, but neither are the Hammers. West Ham have enjoyed four victories in their last five head-ons with Wolves, but given the current form of both teams (especially their low goal-scoring statistics), this one may end in a draw.
FiveThirtyEight: WOL: 35%, WHU: 36%, Draw: 29%
Odds Shark: WOL: +165, WHU: +170, Draw: +230
Brentford vs. Bournemouth:
Looking at this fixture, one can't help but wonder which Brentford will show up to the match. Will that be the team that defeated United and Liverpool or the team that lost games against weaker teams? It's hard to say, but given their form as opposed to Bournemouth, the probability of a Brentford win is higher in this one.
FiveThirtyEight: BRE: 58%, BOU: 20%, Draw: 22%
Odds Shark: BRE: -155, BOU: +400, Draw: +310
Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace:
The London Blues' poor performance has frustrated some of their fans. It seems like Potter can't do magic after all. History is on their side, though, as they have won all the previous five head-to-heads against Palace. Palace's goal average is worse than Chelsea's, and they may lose this one, albeit by tiny margins.
FiveThirtyEight: CHE: 61%, CRY: 16%, Draw: 24%
Odds Shark: CHE: -155, CRY: +420, Draw: +295
Newcastle vs. Fulham:
Pundits have started doubting whether Almiron can continue scoring for the Magpies. He is the hosts' highest-scoring player, yet he has scored two goals less than Fulham's Mitrovic. While Fulham have been good against lesser teams, they have lost to both Manchester sides by one-goal margins. They may not have the edge against the top teams yet, but Newcastle's draw against Leeds at home raised questions, too. A narrow victory is the most probable outcome for this game. However, a draw is also possible.
FiveThirtyEight: NEW: 66%, FUL: 14%, Draw: 20%
Odds Shark: NEW: -188, FUL: +500, Draw: +333
Tottenham vs. Arsenal:
Arteta was unhappy with the VAR in their 0-0 draw against Newcastle. Arsenal's only defeat this season has been against Manchester United, and they have the incentive to play hard for another victory. Spurs have been shaky at home and on the road despite their win against Palace. It's unlikely that the Gunners will lose this home game. The three points of this London derby will go to Arsenal.
FiveThirtyEight: TOT: 32%, ARS: 44%, Draw: 24%
Odds Shark: TOT: +220, ARS: +120, Draw: +260