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England Round 31

spkutano

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Arsenal vs Luton Town Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Arsenal:
Raya; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Kiwior, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Rice; Martinelli, Havertz, Trossard

Luton Town:
Kaminski; Kabore, Hashioka, Mengi, Johnson; Mpanzu, Barkley, Clark; Townsend, Morris, Woodrow

Title pretenders Arsenal will welcome relegation candidates Luton Town to the Emirates on Wednesday evening. Arsenal are second on the table with 65 points, just two away from the leaders Liverpool. The Gunners were in series of eight league victories in which they scored 33 goals, while conceded only four. Nevertheless, the series came to its end last weekend when they played a goalless draw at the Etihad. The Citizens have dominated the match through the possession, but it was Arsenal who had better goal-opportunities. To be honest, an away draw with Manchester City is not a bad result. The only problem is Liverpool returned to the top, but there are lot of games until the end of the season. Arteta must find a way to motivate his players against newly-promoted side. The Spaniard has most of his key players available, only ACL victim Jurrien Timber remain sidelined. Bukayo Saka, who was an injury doubt before the derby, struggled to hit his stride and was substituted late on due to fatigue. Saka will probably be rested here.

Luton Town are deeply involved into the relegation battle. They are third from the bottom with 22 points, level with 17th-placed Nottingham Forest. The situation is very complicated, but nothing is lost at the moment. Nevertheless, one thing is clear - they need to collect more points to avoid the relegation. But the current form isn't at desired level, last time they registered a victory was in January. It was a memorable 4:0 win against Brighton, but they need more. On Saturday they lost 2:1 to Tottenham, despite scoring first. Tahith Chong needed just three minutes to found the back of the net, but that wasn't enough even for a point as they conceded twice in the second half. Manager Rob Edwards is aware that he must improve the defense. He has some additional issues as lot of players are unavailable. On-loan Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga is ineligible to face his parent club, while Tom Lockyer, Amari'i Bell, Marvelous Nakamba, Elijah Adebayo, Dan Potts, Mads Andersen, Chiedozie Ogbene, Jacob Brown and Gabriel Osho are sidelined through injury. That's not all as Reece Burke, Alfie Doughty and Chong have suffered knocks in the match against Tottenham and they are rated as doubtful.

Arsenal vs Luton Town Prediction:

I expect a high-scoring game at the Emirates. Arsenal played a goalless draw against Manchester City, but that was a different match. The Gunners were focused on defense and they were satisfied with one point. This is a different story, Arteta's men will attack from the very first whistle. Luton Town are without a single away clean sheet all season long. But they are definitely able to score. The Hatters have already found the back of the net against Liverpool at Anfield, Tottenham at New White Hart Lane, Newcastle at St James Park etc. But even if they don't, I think Arsenal could score four.

Arsenal vs Luton Town Pick: Over 3.5 goals @ 1.65 with Pinnacle
 
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Manchester City vs Aston Villa Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Manchester City:
Ortega; Lewis, Dias, Akanji, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Doku, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland

Aston Villa:
Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Bailey, Luiz, Tielemans, Rogers; Diaby, Duran

Manchester City will welcome Aston Villa to the Etihad in the most interesting Premier League's fixture on Wednesday evening. The Citizens sit in the third place, one point behind Arsenal and three behind the leaders Liverpool. Pep Guardiola's men failed to beat the Gunners on Sunday, while the Reds won 2:1 against Brighton. However, Man City will try to return to winning ways as soon as possible. To be better, they are hosts again. The Citizens will come into this clash unbeaten in their last 39 home games across all competitions, winning 33 of them. But Guardiola has some injury worries ahead of this match. First-choice goalkeeper Ederson remains doubtful after the injury sustained against Liverpool. That's not all as John Stones is also an injury doubt. Nathan Ake had to be taken off in the first half of the derby against Arsenal, and he is definitely out. Kyle Walker is recovering from their thigh injury and it seems this game come too soon for him.

Aston Villa are fourth in the Premier League with 59 points. Unai Emery is doing an excellent job and the fans are satisfied. They are hoping for Champions League football the next season. However, the Villans are only three points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham. To be more complicated, the Spurs have a match in hand. That is why this match is very important. Aston Villa were good during the weekend, they beat Wolverhampton 2:0 in the West Midlands derby. Ezri Konsa and Moussa Diaby were the scorers on that match. For this match Emery has one big problem - key striker Ollie Watkins suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Wolves and had to be replaced by Jhon Duran. Most probably Watkins will not play against the champions and this is a huge handicap. He has 26 goals to his name (scored 16 and assisted 10 more) and he is simply irreplaceable. But there is more - John McGinn is suspended, while Tyrone Mings, Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia and Matty Cash are out injured.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Prediction:


This is a derby match if we look the table, the third-placed Manchester City versus fourth-placed Aston Villa. However, I think the reigning champions are clear favorites. First because Aston Villa are not in best form. They had one win, one draw and one heavy defeat in the last three rounds. They beat the Wolves, but drew with West Ham and lost 4:0 to Tottenham at home. But there is more - key player Ollie Watkins suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Wolves and most probably won't play here. I expect Manchester City to take advantage from Villa problems.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Pick: Manchester City -1.5 AH @ 1.72 with Pinnacle
 
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Liverpool vs Sheffield United Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Liverpool:
Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Wataru Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister; Salah, Gakpo, Luis Diaz

Sheffield United:
Grbic; Holgate, Ahmedhodzic, Robinson; Bogle, Souza, Norwood, Hamer, Osborn; Brereton Diaz, McBurnie

Liverpool will welcome Sheffield United at Anfield on Thursday evening. The Reds are leaders on the table with 67 points after Manchester City and Arsenal drew on Sunday. Klopp's men sit two points clear of second-placed Arsenal and are three points better off than reigning champions Manchester City. But Arteta and Guardiola have not give up, they are waiting for Liverpool's mistake. That is why the Reds must try to collect as much as possible points in the remaining nine rounds. Jurgen Klopp's men have beat Brighton during the weekend. It was a hard-fought victory. Danny Welbeck silenced Anfield when he fired the Seagulls into a two-minute lead, but Klopp and his men didn't panic. Liverpool turned the match thanks to strikes from Luis Diaz in the first and Mohamed Salah in the second half. The Egypt winger had a record 12 shots across the 90 minutes – the most by any player in a single top-flight game thus far. There are some good news from the medical department. Curtis Jones is expected back imminently after returning to training last week and could be in line for this match. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota are close to full fitness, although this match is coming too soon for both. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker is probably a week away from his return. However, Joel Matip, Ben Doak, Thiago Alcantara, and Stefan Bajcetic remain sidelined.

Sheffield United are bottom of the league and huge 10 points adrift of safety. Manager Chris Wilder, who replaced Paul Heckingbottom in December, has returned to the club and done his best to keep them in the top flight, but without much success. However, the Blades are unbeaten on the last two Premier League matches. Furthermore, they have scored five goals on these two occasions. First they played a 2:2 draw with Bournemouth and then dropped two points in a 3:3 draw with Fulham. Chris Wilder's men were on course to pick up their fourth Premier League victory last weekend when they were leading 3:1 against the Cottagers, courtesy of Ben Brereton Diaz's brace and Oli McBurnie, with just four minutes of normal time remaining. Nevertheless, Fulham scored twice in the finish of the match and left Bramall Lane unbeaten. The players confidence is low and that's a big problem. In addition, Wilder will be missing Chris Basham, John Egan, Max Lowe, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Rhian Brewster, Tom Davies, Cameron Archer, George Baldock and Daniel Jebbison due to injuries. Finally, Vinicius Souza is rated as doubtful after he was taken off with cramp in the match with Fulham.

Liverpool vs Sheffield United Prediction:


Pep Guardiola said Liverpool are now the "clear favorites" to win the title, however I am sure this is a "War of Words". His main intention is to lift the pressure from his players. Manchester City are great finishers, they managed to overrun Liverpool several times during Klopp's regime. However, the Reds are first and they are clear favorites in this match. Sheffield United are at the bottom of the table and they have no realistic survival chance. I expect a defensive approach from their side, but Liverpool should be able to score couple of goals. I expect a high victory for the Reds.

Liverpool vs Sheffield United Pick: Liverpool - 2.5 AH @ 1.67 with Pinnacle
 
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