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England Round 16

spkutano

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Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Crystal Palace:
Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Clyne; Richards, Lerma; Olise, Hughes, Ayew; Edouard

Liverpool:
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Gravenberch, Endo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz

Crystal Palace will welcome Liverpool to Selhurst Park on Saturday lunchtime. The Eagles currently sit on the 14th place with 16 points and they are seven points away from the relegation zone. But the actual form looks bad, three defeats on the last four matches and just one point earned. Palace drew with West Ham, but lost the matches with Everton, Luton Town and Bournemouth. The fans are disappointed, but it seems some of them went too far on Wednesday, as manager Roy Hodgson was allegedly targeted by a bottle thrown from the stands. According to some sources, the veteran coach will be sacked, maybe even this weekend. Steve Cooper, the actual manager of Nottingham Forest is linked with that position. But Hodgson isn't the only reason for the poor results. The injury situation look very complicated at the moment. Left-back Tyrick Mitchell is the latest victim after suffering a muscular strain against Bournemouth. Cheick Doucoure is confirmed to have ruptured his Achilles tendon and he will miss the rest of the season. What is worse, the key player Eberechi Eze is also sidelined with an ankle injury. Three more players - Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, Rob Holding and Dean Henderson are also out injured.

Liverpool are in mini series of two victories in the Premier League. Last Sunday they obtained a dramatic 4:3 win versus Fulham, while on Wednesday beat 2:0 Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. The attack is doing well, six goals on two matches is a good record. What is worth mentioning, none of this goals was scored by Mohamed Salah. However, the Reds are second on the table and a victory here would see them as new leaders, at least for few hours as Arsenal face Aston Villa exactly five hours later. But winning here will be a challenging task, particularly because Klopp has huge injury issues. The worst is connect with Joel Matip who suffered an ACL tear and would cruelly miss the rest of the season. Considering his age, it is possible that means the end of his career. Three important players - Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson remain sidelined, while Alexis Mac Allister is the latest victim. The Argentine international picked up a knee injury in the early stages of the match against Sheffield United, but somehow played almost a hour. Mac Allister is rated as doubtful for this match, but most probably won't play. Finally, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara remain long-term absentees.

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Prediction:


Liverpool are favorites in this match, however it won't be easy. Hodgson and his players are under heavy pressure as their fans are angry. The veteran-coach Hodgson was allegedly targeted by a bottle thrown from the stands. What I expect, that's a big fight from Palace players. Last season they managed to upset the Reds, both home and away. I am not sure if they could repeat such scenario, but I think they are able to score. Liverpool are without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson and that's a huge handicap, regardless of the fact Kelleher kept clean sheet against Sheffield.

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Pick: Both teams to score - Yes @ 1.79 with Pinnacle
 
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Aston Villa vs Arsenal Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Aston Villa:
Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Diaby, Luiz, Kamara, McGinn; Tielemans; Watkins

Arsenal:
Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Aston Villa against Arsenal - this is not a big derby on paper, but the truth is this is a clash between two "hottest" teams at the moment. Nobody was expecting Villa to be so high on the table. Ok, maybe some of their fans, maybe some of the club officials, maybe Unai Emery himself. Just one week ago the Spaniard told the press "there are seven teams better than us - Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Newcastle." Well, he must re-think about that after Wednesday's victory over Manchester City. It was a big result, but something else shocked the experts - Aston Villa outplayed the reigning champions. Like no other team in the last few years. Only 19 of the 281 Premier League games that Man City have played since Guardiola became their manager have seen them have fewer shots than their opponent. But Aston Villa did not just have one more shot than City. They had 20 more. That has never happened before. Not just during Guardiola's time at Man City, but in any of his 535 top-flight games as a manager. This fact have to be respected. Imagine if Aston Vila beat Arsenal here, they will instantly become genuine title pretenders. Emery has three unavailable players as Bertrand Traore, Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings are injured.

Arsenal are first with 36 points, two more than the second placed Liverpool, Arteta's men are in series of four victories in the Premier League. They beat Burnley, Brentford, Wolverhampton and Luton Town, scoring 10 goals in the process. The last match was dramatic as newcomers Luton - team with nothing to lose - showed the teeth. The Hatters took advantage from Raya's mistakes and found the back of the net three times. However, the Gunners responded well through Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, whose last-gasp header seven minutes into stoppage time secured important three points. Arsenal are doing well in Europe too. They have secured the knock-out stage in the Champions League. Arteta has some injury and suspension worries ahead of this match. Guess who is banned - exactly Arteta. He picked up his third yellow card of the season against Luton Town, so Albert Stuivenberg will replace him. Of course, he will receive orders from the boss, before and during the match. Now about the players - Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber are out injured, while Takehiro Tomiyasu is rated as doubtful with a calf injury he sustained against the Wolves.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal Prediction:

This is a genuine derby between two of the three most successful teams in the Premier League this season. It's third against first. The match could go both ways, though I think Arsenal are closer to the victory. The key reason for my pick is the consistency and the depth of the roster. The truth is Aston Villa outplayed Manchester City, but the players had no time for recovery. I think they are tired, and that's the main reason for some of the bad results against small teams - they lost at Nottingham and dropped points against Wolves and Bournemouth. Playing twice a week could be a big problem for some teams, while the other teams are familiar. Arteta has bigger roster and this fact should not be underestimated. At the end I will mention that Arsenal players have one day more to prepare for this match.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal Pick: Arsenal to win @ 2.12 with Pinnacle
 
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