By News Team
31st December 2021
Premier League leaders Manchester City will be looking to get 2022 off to the ideal start as they face Arsenal at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.
We’ve previewed that and two other key games below.
Arsenal vs Manchester City
Manchester City have made the most of their rivals’ recent demise to pull further clear in the title race in what could already be a defining weekend for the reigning champions.
Pep Guardiola’s side are eight points ahead of Chelsea and nine points ahead of Liverpool – who have a game in hand – in the Premier League table.
The Citizens have won 10 league games in a row and are unbeaten away from home in the competition since the opening weekend, back in August.
Arsenal have had a full week to prepare for this game but with Mikel Arteta out – this may be a mountain too high to climb for the Gunners.
The Gunners have won five in a row heading into Saturday’s game and are certainly better placed compared to the reverse meeting back in August when they lost 5-0.
Arsenal haven’t even scored in each of their last four home meetings with City but have looked good going forward of late so should at least end that run here.
Chelsea vs Liverpool
Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Leicester City when facing Chelsea this Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have only taken just nine points from the possible 18 available after drawing 1-1 with Brighton on Wednesday.
Thomas Tuchel continues to lament his team’s injury problems and things just aren’t clicking on the pitch as they were earlier in the season.
They have only managed one clean sheet from their last eight league games with Edouard Mendy set to leave for AFCON after this game.
Mo Salah – also set to join Mendy and Sadio Mane at AFCON – had a night to forget when surprisingly missing a penalty (and the rebound) against Leicester.
He’ll be desperate to put it right against his former club, who he has already scored against this season, and he’s been enhanced to 4/1 from 7/2 to do so first.
The Blues have lost three of their last five Premier League matches at home to Liverpool and a repeat result wouldn’t surprise given the way things have been going for them of late.
Crystal Palace vs West Ham
Further down the table, we’re treated to a tasty London Derby at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace bounced back well from their Boxing Day defeat at Tottenham by beating a hapless Norwich City side 3-0, whereas West Ham saw off local rivals Watford 4-1.
Both teams have been inconsistent and unpredictable of late, so this looks like a tough game to call.
However, the Hammers have key personnel back and look to be over their recent dip of form – which will be to the delight of David Moyes.
Expect Michail Antonio to find his name on the scoresheet first (Top Price Guarantee) which was 5/1, now enhanced to 6/1.