EPL Match Week 22 Preview
Written By: Mahdi Farahikia
After a week off, EPL is back starting this Friday. As Manchester United find their position in the top four and Arsenal continue their excellent record this season, there is a lot to watch for in the remainder of this season. This is EPL Match Week 22 preview. (Schedules are subject to change by EPL without prior notice. All times are in EST.)
Chelsea vs. Fulham (02/03/2023 3:00 PM):
Fulham have beaten Chelsea only twice in their 31 encounters with the London Blues. Both were home wins; one was the last time they met in January 2023. While history is against Fulham, the teams' current form favors the away side. That said, Fulham are only two points ahead of Chelsea with one more game played.
The problem for Chelsea is that their top three scorers have scored only one goal more than Fulham's top scorer combined. But their weaker defense overshadows Fulham's offensive advantage, conceding nine more goals than Chelsea. Playing at home, Chelsea look to revenge their loss to Fulham, and chances are they will win this game.
FiveThirtyEight: CHE: 61%, FUL: 17%, Draw: 23%
Odds Shark: CHE: -160, FUL: +440, Draw: +310
Everton vs. Arsenal (02/04/2023 07:30 AM):
Everton will enter this match following the sacking of Lampard. Not only that, they did not have a successful transfer window and lost Gordon to Newcastle. That means the new manager, Sean Dyche, will have a difficult time. In fact, some believe Everton are destined for relegation. And if you are a new manager of an EPL team, the last thing you want is to face Arsenal in your first game. That's Dyche's first task. All things considered, Everton will very likely lose this home game, and that's because Arsenal are too good this season.
FiveThirtyEight: EVE: 12%, ARS: 69%, Draw: 19%
Odds Shark: EVE: +625, ARS: -240, Draw: +380
Aston Villa vs. Leicester (02/04/2023 10:00 AM):
While Leicester have enjoyed victory four more times in their head-to-head with Villa, their recent form has not been promising. Under Emery, Villa have enjoyed positive results and more wins, albeit the margins of victory have not always been significant. The recent statistics are pretty even between the two sides, though, as each team have enjoyed two wins in their last five encounters, and the last match ended in a goalless draw.
With ten points separating 11th-place Villa from 14th-place Leicester, it is natural to predict the home side will be victorious. But Villa failed to win their home match against Wolves, and that gives pause. Villa are good but not perfect. They have hiccups, and it can happen against the Foxes. A draw is more predictable, with a slight chance of a win for the Villans.
FiveThirtyEight: AVL: 47%, LEI: 27%, Draw: 26%
Odds Shark: AVL: +100, LEI: +270, Draw: +260
Brentford vs. Southampton (02/04/2023 10:00 AM):
Scoring 15 more goals and losing 7 fewer goals, and playing at home against a team in crisis, Brentford should love all these statistics. Southampton's top three scorers have scored fewer goals than Brentford's leading scorer combined. But then, the Bees were stopped by Leeds last weekend. Southampton's latest EPL victory was against Everton in Goodison Park. Playing at home, Brentford can be dangerous. Just ask Liverpool and Manchester United! That is not good news for Southampton. The Bees are the favorite to snatch victory in this match-up.
FiveThirtyEight: BRE: 50%, SOU: 25%, Draw: 24%
Odds Shark: BRE: -118, SOU: +320, Draw: +260
Brighton vs. Bournemouth (02/04/2023 10:00 AM):
This one, too, is a match-up between two teams with widely different statistics. The hosts have scored 18 more and lost 15 fewer goals than the visitors. While both teams had to share points in their games last weekend, Brighton have enjoyed three victories in their previous five EPL matches. Bournemouth, on the other hand, lost four of their last five EPL games. Things don't look good for 18th-place Bournemouth, as Brighton will likely win this home game.
FiveThirtyEight: BRI: 72%, BOU: 11%, Draw: 17%
Odds Shark: BRI: -303, BOU: +800, Draw: +400
Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace (02/04/2023 10:00 AM):
Patrick Viera returns to Old Trafford after halting their host in the reverse fixture in January. Palace face one issue against the Red Devils: their hosts are playing with vigor. Man United reached the final match of the FA Cup, and minus the defeat against Arsenal and the draw against Palace, they have been on a winning streak. Palace haven't tasted victory in any of their last five games in all competitions. Times are tough for Viera, and this match may prove it, as United will win the home game.
FiveThirtyEight: MUN: 68%, CRY: 12%, Draw: 20%
Odds Shark: MUN: -250, CRY: +700, Draw: +375
Wolves vs. Liverpool (02/04/2023 10:00 AM):
Klopp needs to shake things up for Liverpool. The Reds were the favorite to end up in the top four pre-season. After nineteen games, they're in 9th place, far from the top four. Playing against Wolves may sound easy for Liverpool, especially considering the statistics. Liverpool have scored 22 more goals and conceded 5 fewer. Moreover, Wolves have not won against Liverpool in their previous five match-ups in all competitions. History will probably repeat itself in Liverpool's favor.
FiveThirtyEight: WOL: 18%, LIV: 61%, Draw: 21%
Odds Shark: WOL: +295, LIV: -115, Draw: +280
Newcastle vs. West Ham (02/04/2023 12:30 PM):
Almiron's recent form has dropped a bit, which may explain why Newcastle dropped points against Palace and Leeds. West Ham are struggling, too, as they lost an away match to Wolves. Their only recent EPL victory was against Everton. David Moyes is finding himself in Hammers' hot seat and may face Lampard's fate. The truth is playing against the Magpies is not what Moyes likes, and unless he devises a plan to stop the hosts for a draw, the visitors will lose this one.
FiveThirtyEight: NEW: 60%, WHU: 16%, Draw: 24%
Odds Shark: NEW: -160, WHU: +460, Draw: +295
Nottingham Forest vs. Leeds (02/05/2023 09:00 AM):
This is a difficult one. Form-wise, both sides are pretty similar. Leeds can take over Forest's place in the table with a victory in this match and one game in hand. The problem is they have not beaten Forest on the away ground, so they must make history in this match - albeit these statistics are from before the year 2000.
Both sides ended their last EPL matches with a draw. Forest don't lose easily at home, while Leeds' away statistics are not bright. Leeds hopes Rodrigo's scoring history comes to their rescue in this tough match. Also, Leeds have a better goal average and a hard-working spirit. This one has the potential to end in a draw. There is also a slight chance for a home-side win.
FiveThirtyEight: NFO: 35%, LEE: 39%, Draw: 26%
Odds Shark: NFO: +165, LEE: +170, Draw: +240
Tottenham vs. Manchester City (02/05/2023 11:30 AM):
Man City might be sitting in second place, but they are 9 points ahead of Spurs and have one game in hand. They also dominate Spurs in every statistic. Just to highlight that, they are enjoying a 33 goal difference against Spurs' 9. Although Cancelo departed City for Bayern Munich, Pep's side is full of talented players that can give nightmares to every opponent - needless to say, they beat Arsenal in the FA Cup. Tottenham will likely lose this match.
FiveThirtyEight: TOT: 25%, MCI: 54%, Draw: 21%
Odds Shark: TOT: +330, MCI: -135, Draw: +310