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Premier League predictions: Man City and Arsenal win, Liverpool surge continues



Premier League predictions: Man City and Arsenal win, Liverpool surge continues

We pick out the winners and losers from the latest round of English top-flight fixtures

Liverpool will be aiming to make it six Premier League wins in a row when they face Leicester City on Monday. AFP

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Manchester City and Arsenal continue to slug it out at the top of the Premier League as the title race enters its home straight.

Pep Guardiola’s side made hard work of beating relegation-threatened Leeds United last week as they survived a late scare to win 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal showed their mettle with a 2-0 victory at third-placed Newcastle United in what was a thrilling encounter at St James’ Park that left the Gunners one point behind table-topping City having played a game more.

At the other end of the table, there was an incredible night’s action in the relegation battle on Monday. Leicester City lost 5-3 against Fulham at Craven Cottage, Everton battered Brighton 5-1 on the south coast, while Nottingham Forest edged out Southampton 4-3 in front of a delirious City Ground.

The results dragged Everton and Forest out of bottom three, pulled Leicester into the relegation zone and left Southampton all but down in last place.

This week’s fixtures begin on Saturday when second-bottom Leeds take on Newcastle at Elland Road. Aston Villa then tackle Tottenham Hotspur in the Midlands, Chelsea entertain Forest at Stamford Bridge, Crystal Palace are at home to Bournemouth, Manchester United face Wolves at Old Trafford while Southampton play host to Fulham.

Sunday starts with Brentford at home to West Ham United, Everton against Man City on Merseyside and then Arsenal versus Brighton at the Emirates Stadium.

Finally on Monday, Leicester face Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.


SATURDAY – Leeds v Newcastle (3.30pm kick-off UAE): Sam Allardyce’s Leeds rescue mission started with a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City last week and the new manager would love to secure his first win against the club that sacked him back in 2008. The Magpies lost at home to title-chasing Arsenal but remain third in the table. Prediction: Leeds 1 Newcastle 3. Getty


Liverpool’s possible 25-man squad for next season after four transfers and nine exits

Liverpool already have one eye on the summer transfer window as they continue to mount their late charge for Champions League qualification this season.

But if they finish in the top four or not, there are set to be some notable changes to Jurgen Klopp’s squad when the 2023/2024 campaign eventually rolls around.

Having shelved plans to target Jude Bellingham when the market reopens, the Reds will instead spread their budget on several additions as Klopp and his recruitment team strive to revamp the engine room. Among the countless alternatives to Bellingham are Nicolo Barella, Alexis Mac Allister and Mason Mount.

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Even with Trent Alexander-Arnold impressing in his new hybrid role from right-back into midfield, it would be reasonable to expect Liverpool to make two or three signings in that area, while manager Klopp is thought to be in the market for another defender, too. Outgoings – of which there could be plenty – will have a major baring, too.

So, with that in mind, we take a closer look at the Reds’ potential 25-man squad for next season…

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Caoimhin Kelleher (or Adrian), a back-up goalkeeper.

As mentioned above, outgoings will shape final plans for Klopp and his recruitment team and that is no more evident than within the goalkeeper ranks. Alisson is unmovable as number one, but back-up options Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian have been linked with moves away. It’s highly unlikely Liverpool would allow both to leave in the same summer, but there will be contingency plans in place to bring in a second or third choice.

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate, Andy Robertson, Jurrien Timber, Calvin Ramsey, Kostas Tsimikas, Virgil van Dijk.

With one year to run on his contract, Joel Matip may be the most dispensable senior centre-back for Klopp and the club has one final chance to ensure they generate a fee for his services. Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams should also garner interest, while there are one or two moving parts to consider, such as what role Alexander-Arnold will be assigned to next season. In that respect, versatile cover for right-back and centre-back would be pretty useful and there is, arguably, no better option than Ajax starlet Jurrien Timber to try and target.

Midfielders: Stefan Bajcetic, Harvey Elliott, Fabinho, Curtis Jones, Alexis Mac Allister, Mason Mount, Jordan Henderson, Thiago.

In an ideal world, it would be Bellingham and one other. However, such is the need for a drastic rebuild in the engine room, there is no wiggle room in the budget to facilitate Plan A and Liverpool have already performed a U-turn before the market opens. Mac Allister would add much-needed guile, creativity and flair at a bargain price when compared to Bellingham, while Mount has excelled as a bridge between midfield and the forwards at Chelsea before his struggles this season. Due to his contract situation, he too would not break the bank.

Forwards: Fabio Carvalho, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah.

Even with Roberto Firmino heading on his way, there is not much need for change in attacking quarters now fit-again Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota are back in the first-team mix after their respective injury setbacks. Summer signing Darwin Nunez has enough to build on, while in recruiting Cody Gakpo mid-season Klopp and Liverpool foresaw what might happen with Firmino after eight hugely-successful years at Anfield.

INCOMINGS: A back-up goalkeeper, Jurrien Timber, Alexis Mac Allister, Mason Mount.

OUTGOINGS: Adrian (or Caoimhin Kelleher), Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Joel Matip, Arthur Melo, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams.


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