Although it is tagged as GW-21, the lost GW-7 due to the Queen’s death means that most EPL teams play their 20th game this week. So the league enters the second half of the season with the transfer window wide open — a great chance for fantasy managers to fine tune their squads!
Both teams are eager to win this match and make it a platform to bounce back from the poor performance in the league. Chelsea are taking advantage of a full one week rest while Liverpool traveled to Wolverhampton for their FA Cup rematch during the mid-week. However, Chelsea has several absentees — including Joao Felix who is banned after being sent off in his EPL debut (with no cup fixtures in store, he returns Feb 11 against West Ham). Watch how the new transfers perform, especially Mykhaylo Mudryk and Cody Gakpo.
Prediction: Liverpool 2- 2 Chelsea
Leicester v Brighton | 21 Jan (Saturday) | 3:00 PM (GMT)
Leicester is among the several weak teams just two points above the relegation zone, and there’s no improvement yet in this January transfer window. It will be difficult for the Foxes to play against in-form Brighton even though they are playing in King Power Stadium.
On the other side, Brighton just won 3-0 against Liverpool despite top scorer Leandro Trossard leaving the team without permission. He has now signed for Arsenal, but it seems the drama has not affected team performance.
Prediction: Leicester 0- 3 Brighton
Southampton v Aston Villa | 21 Jan (Saturday) | 3:00 PM (GMT)
Good news for Aston Villa: Ollie Watkins will play this week despite being substituted last week. On the other hand, Lucas Digne is expected to miss due to shoulder injury. Southampton finally took a crucial three points thanks to a brace by captain James Ward-Prowse. Although Saints are still bottom, they’re now only two points adrift, so every match is an opportunity for them to leapfrog about six teams to “safety”.
Prediction: Southampton 2- 1 Aston Villa
Who would have thought in August that this fixture would become a relegation battle! West Ham and Everton are two of the most disappointing teams this season, and there is no sign of improvement for either. What makes it worse for West Ham is the injury of starting striker Gianluca Scamacca. There’s speculation that manager David Moyes will be sacked if West Ham suffers another loss to a relegation rival! There is no new injury news from Everton, so the Toffees should be able to field their strongest 11 on the visit to London Stadium this weekend.
Prediction: West Ham 1- 1 Everton
Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest | 21 Jan (Saturday) | 3:00 PM (GMT)
The latest injury to striker Dominic Solanke means that Bournemouth now has even fewer offensive options in the absence of Marcus Tavernier. Bournemouth has not scored a single goal in four matches and seems unlikely to break that streak this week.
On the other side, after a recent flying-color run of results in the league (three wins and a draw in five matches), Nottingham Forest is now sitting relatively comfortably at 13th. Veteran Wayne Hennessey replaces Dean Henderson as goalkeeper for the next five weeks or so while Henderson nurses a thigh injury.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0- 2 Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v Newcastle | 21 Jan (Saturday) | 5:30 PM (GMT)
Newcastle is the leading dark horse from the first half of the season. Highly rated Swedish striker Alexander Isak has finally recovered and was included in the squad last week. Unfortunately, the latest injury to Bruno Guimaraes means Geordies must to wait a while yet to see their team’s strongest lineup on the field.
For Crystal Palace, despite the absence of Joachim Anderson, the Eagles still managed to nick a point from their midweek match against Man United thanks to the beautiful free kick from Michael Olise. Expect a close matchup here!
Prediction: Crystal palace 1- 2 Newcastle
Man City v Wolves | 22 Jan (Sunday) | 2:00 PM (GMT)
City will once again welcome their opponent in Etihad Stadium after an exciting game midweek. Key players, including Kevin De Bruyne, Joao Cancelo and Phil Foden sat out the Spurs match. They’re expected to start Sunday.
Wolves have finally escaped the relegation zone after a 1-0 win over West Ham. An FA cup rematch against Liverpool midweek means they will have as short of a recovery period as City.
Prediction: Man City 4 - 0 Wolves
Leeds v Brentford | 22 Jan (Sunday) | 2:00 PM (GMT)
Brentford’s last defeat was from Aston Villa in October. Since then, the Bees are undefeated and on a run of three wins in a row. Leeds will need something special to win, even at Elland Road. Brentford top-scorer Ivan Toney resumed top form last week after recovering from injury. He’s now the third highest scorer in the league! Leeds’ new transfer Maximilian Wober picked up an injury in a midweek FA cup game, but the impact should be manageable as there are qualified substitutes in the squad.
Prediction: Leeds United 2- 4 Brentford
Arsenal v Man United | 22 Jan (Sunday) | 4:30 PM (GMT)
Arsenal’s Saka and Saliba avoided picking 5th yellow cards last week so should feature, but United’s Casemiro caught his midweek and is suspended. The absence of the on-form defensive midfielder makes the upper-table clash more difficult, especially as Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard is currently doing everything right on the field.
Arsenal has an advantage of a full week’s recovery while United travelled to Crystal Palace midweek. United remains the only team that has taken a full three points from Arsenal this season. Watch to see whether new transfer Trossard features, and see how United’s new transfer Wout Weghorst plays after his debut midweek!
Prediction: Arsenal 1- 2 Man United
Kane versus Mitrovic! Two of the EPL’s most prolific strikers play against each other this week. After falling to City midweek, Tottenham has now lost six of the last ten league games. Leaky defence and personal mistakes have hugely affected their competitiveness. Expect a high-scoring goal-fest since these are the two most “generous” defenses among top twelve teams in the league!
Prediction: Fulham 2- 3 Tottenham
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Stats and info for this article were sourced from premierleague.com