EPL Match Week 29 Preview
Written By: Mahdi Farahikia
Clash of the Masterminds - EPL Match Week 29 Preview
The two masterminds of English soccer will clash again as Man City host Liverpool.
Man United and Newcastle will have a heated battle for the third place. Everton will try
to shock Tottenham, and three points are all that separates the relegation zone teams
from the 12th place. This EPL Match week 29 preview. (Note: All times are in EST.
Game times are subject to change by EPL without prior notice.)
Manchester City vs. Liverpool (04/01/2023, 07:30 AM):
Yes, April 1st is known as April Fools' day, but this is not a prank. Set your alarms to
wake up in time to watch the clash between the two big masterminds of soccer in EPL:
Guardiola vs. Klopp. Liverpool's form may not have been as great as the previous
seasons, as Salah misses Mane in the attacking third. However, watching the Red's
performance against Man United, one would find it hard to believe that Liverpool are not
in the top four.
The question, though, is whether it was Liverpool outperforming United or United
underperforming like the last years. Perhaps, the answer may be revealed this weekend
as Liverpool visit the other part of Manchester - the champions. Poised to keep the title
race alive, Man City have won four of their last five matches in EPL. On the other hand,
Liverpool had a disappointing performance on the road against Bournemouth. They're
also out of the Champions League, while Man City reached the next round.
Everything seems in City's favor. Liverpool have rarely beaten Man City in Manchester -
four times in the entire EPL history. The glimmer of hope for Klopp's men is that their
last two visits to Manchester City have ended in a draw. Add to that, both Haaland and
Foden are injured for Man City. Foden will miss this clash, while Haaland's fitness is
uncertain. Liverpool's injury list is not a concern for Klopp, and he should have a strong
squad on the pitch. All these make predicting this game challenging. It could end in
another draw, but if Haaland makes it, City will have a slight chance of winning.
FiveThirtyEight: MCI: 61%, LIV: 19%, Draw: 19%
Odds Shark: MCI: -175, LIV: +450, Draw: +320
Bournemouth vs. Fulham (04/01/2023, 10:00 AM):
Fulham's defeat against Manchester United in FA Cup proved that if anything can
change Fulham's situation in a game from good to bad to nightmare in a matter of
minutes, it is Fulham players and staff. Mitrovic and Da Silva are suspended - Mitrovic
for pushing the referee seconds after Da Silva received the second yellow. So, Fulham
will probably have scoring problems.
Then, a look at the statistics between these teams. Interestingly, none of them has been
able to beat the other one at home. In other words, the visiting side in this fixture has left
the match happily. This could delight Fulham until one remembers Bournemouth's
performance against Liverpool at home. The hosts have more incentives to earn the
three points in this match because it would move them out of the relegation zone above
Leeds in fourteenth place.
Given the suspensions that befell Fulham and Bournemouth's motivation to move out of
the danger zone, the hosts have a marginal chance of winning this match. However, a
draw is very likely.
FiveThirtyEight: BOU: 38%, FUL: 37%, Draw: 26%
Odds Shark: BPU: +155, FUL: +185, Draw: +225
Arsenal vs. Leeds (04/01/2023, 10:00 AM):
Leeds put up a great show last weekend, beating Wolves on the away turf. They are
sitting in 14th place but only two points above the relegation zone. However, they're
facing a fierce opponent this time - on-form Arsenal hoping to snatch the championship
after a long time. That means Leeds are up for the real test against Arsenal at the
Emirates Stadium. Leeds will likely see this one go away to Arsenal.
FiveThirtyEight: ARS: 74%, LEE: 10%, Draw: 16%
Odds Shark: ARS: -345, LEE: +825, Draw: +500
Brighton vs. Brentford (04/01/2023, 10:00 AM):
No other team has had as fluctuating form this season as Brentford. They win
astonishing games but fail to do so against lower sides or even at home. Case in point,
their defeat to Everton at Goodison Park and draw against Leicester at home in a match
that they found it hard to perform. Brighton, on the other hand, have won all but one of
their last five matches in all competitions.
A win for both sides will take them above Liverpool, pending their result in their first
match of the week. Brighton are more motivated to play hard this weekend and will reap
the fruit of their efforts with a narrow victory against Brentford.
FiveThirtyEight: BRI: 57%, BRE: 21%, Draw: 22%
Odds Shark: BRI: -155, BRE: +400, Draw: +310
Crystal Palace vs. Leicester (04/01/2023, 10:00 AM):
Following their draw against Liverpool at home, Palace lost their next four matches
leading to Viera's departure from the club. Roy Hodgson is back as their manager, and
one can justifiably wonder if the new-manager hype will cost Leicester a defeat in this
away match. Foxes managed to snatch a draw from Brentford on the road, scoring an
equalizer after falling behind.
The point is both teams have had rough times this season. Although Palace sit in 12th
position, they're only two points above Leicester and three points ahead of the
relegation zone. While both teams need a win in this match, little separates them. Even
historical statistics between them are pretty even, with each side winning eight times.
Foxes have won two of the previous five encounters with Eagles, but not on the away
turf, and may not be able to win this one either, as this game will likely end in a draw or
a small-margin win for Palace.
FiveThirtyEight: CRY: 38%, LEI: 34%, Draw: 28%
Odds Shark: CRY: +155, LEI: +190, Draw: +220
Nottingham Forest vs. Wolves (04/01/2023, 10:00 AM):
Wolves' disappointments have been mounting this season, as they lost a home game to
another crisis-hit team, Leeds, last week. Wolves have more often tasted success in
their encounters with Forest lately, but the home side has proved a tough nut to crack
playing on their turf. The two sides shared the points in this fixture in the Carabao Cup
played in January. Given their recent form, Forest are favorites to enjoy a narrow victory
in this match.
FiveThirtyEight: NFO: 34%, WOL: 38%, Draw: 28%
Odds Shark: NFO: +195, WOL: +155, Draw: +215
Chelsea vs. Aston Villa (04/01/2023, 12:30 PM):
Chelsea's nightmares continued with their draw against Everton last time in London.
Graham Potter feels the pressure and needs to produce results. This may be a tough
one for his side, though, as they host Villa, who are behind Chelsea only on goal
difference. In addition, Villa's scoring statistics are better than Chelsea's; 35 goals for
Villa against 29 for Chelsea. On the other hand, Chelsea have better defensive records
than their visitors, losing 28 goals against 39 for Villa.
The question is whether Joao Felix can produce for his club what he did for his national
team during the international break. If his teammates can feed him with opportunities as
Bruno did for his in Portugal's matches, he can find the back of the net, giving his
manager breathing room. A narrow win for Chelsea is predictable, but a draw isn't ruled
FiveThirtyEight: CHE: 51%, AVL: 23%, Draw: 25%
Odds Shark: CHE: -155, AVL: +420, Draw: +295
West Ham vs. Southampton (04/02/2023, 09:00 AM):
One point apart, the two teams in the relegation zone desperately need winning to stay
in the EPL. They have had fluctuating results as of late, too, each winning one game,
losing two, and drawing two of their last five games. The attacking lines of the two clubs
have scored almost the same number of goals, whereas Southampton have conceded
thirteen more goals than the Hammers.
Ward-Prowse is a shining star for the visitors, and Declan Rice is the hosts' man of the
pitch. Goals have been scarce for the two sides. However, Southampton's outstanding
performance against Spurs led to Conte's meltdown and eventual departure from
Tottenham. That means this game will be close and very difficult to predict. A draw is
most likely, followed by a close win for Southampton.
FiveThirtyEight: WHU: 52%, SOU: 22%, Draw: 26%
Odds Shark: WHU: -135, SOU: +380, Draw: +270
Newcastle vs. Manchester United (04/02/2023, 09:00 AM):
Once in second place briefly, Newcastle are fifth in the table, two points behind Spurs,
with two games at hand. They can take Man United's third place with a win in this
match, except they have not been able to defeat the Red Devils in their last five
encounters across all competitions. Rashford continues to play well, but United are
suffering several injuries and suspension for Eriksen, Casemiro, Varane, etc.
Newcastle are difficult at home, yet they lost a match to Liverpool. United's woeful
defeat against Liverpool was followed by an unexpected draw at home against
Southampton. But Ten Hag's men must perform in this one. The recent statistics are
music to his ears, as United have not lost a single match to Newcastle. This trend will
likely continue in United's favor in this match.
FiveThirtyEight: NEW: 45%, MNU: 30%, Draw: 25%
Odds Shark: NEW: +145, MNU: +190, Draw: +240
Everton vs. Tottenham (04/03/2023, 03:00 PM):
Tottenham had a disastrous week as they saw a winning game at home slip to a draw
against Southampton. After Conte's firing, Spurs are looking for his replacement.
Everton have been tough rivals lately with Dyche. Last time around, Everton held
Chelsea to a draw in London. Playing in Goodison Pak is challenging, but Spurs have
what it takes to snatch the three points.
FiveThirtyEight: EVE: 28%, TOT: 48%, Draw: 24%
Odds Shark: EVE: +240, TOT: +120, Draw: +230