Premier League Preview: Match Day 23

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While Liverpool’s record-breaking canter towards a first title in 30 years is the main topic of conversation in the Premier League so far this season , it’s easy to overlook the impressive achievements of other sides in the division recently.

Watford and Southampton have both taken 13 points from their last five games. Only Liverpool (15) have taken more points during that span, with the aforementioned pair rising up the table to 17th and 12th respectively.

And then there’s Sheffield United. Tipped by many to go straight back down, Chris Wilder’s side have defied expectations to currently occupy sixth place. The Blades sit just two points behind Manchester United in fifth and a further five behind Chelsea in fourth, which should emphasise how well they’ve done this season.

Match of the Weekend – Liverpool vs Manchester United

The crescendo for Match Day 23 in the Premier League comes from Anfield when Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday evening. While the pair are England’s two most successful sides, they look poles apart currently.

There’s little that hasn’t been said about Jurgen Klopp’s side this season. They sit top of the table with a 14-point lead and a game in hand, while winning 20 of the opening 21 games to record the best ever start to a season in Europe’s top five leagues.

The Reds haven’t lost now in over a year in the league and look as if they will end their 30 year wait for a league title come May. While that appears a certainty, Manchester United can at least attempt to end their rivals’ unbeaten league start to the campaign. 

United themselves need the points as they look to secure a Champions League place come the end of the season, although they need little incentive when it comes to a game against Liverpool. They are as well the only side to take points off the Reds in the league so far following the 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side however will likely be without Marcus Rashford for the short trip to Anfield. The 22-year-old – who has six goals and one assist in his last eight games in all competitions – limped during their FA Cup third-round replay win over Wolverhampton Wanderers with his absence a major blow for the Red Devils.

Rest of the Weekend

Watford host Tottenham Hotspur at Vicarage Road for Saturday’s lunchtime offering.

Arsenal take on Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium in what is Mike Dean’s 500th game as a Premier League referee. 

Aston Villa take a trip to the south coast to face Brighton & Hove Albion.

Manchester City welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium, with the Eagles hoping for a repeat of their shock 3-2 win there last season.

It’s a basement battle at Carrow Road when Norwich City take on Bournemouth. Collectively, the pair have won just two league games in their last 21 combined.

An in-form Southampton welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to St. Mary’s as the Saints look to make it five wins from their last six league games.

It’s the David Moyes derby at the London Stadium when the Scot’s current club West Ham United host his former club Everton. 

Saturday’s evening game comes from St. James’ Park when an injury-hit Newcastle United take on Chelsea.

Sunday sees Burnley – who have lost their last four – take on Leicester City.

Premier League Player to Watch: Sergio Aguero – £1.74 – Manchester City

Sergio Aguero made history last weekend by becoming the Premier League’s all-time non-English leading scorer (177) as well as scoring the most hat-tricks in the competition’s history with his 12th in the 6-1 win over Aston Villa. 

The Argentine has five goals in his last three games across all competitions, meaning the 31-year-old could be a shrewd addition for anyone’s portfolio for a short term at least in order to pick up those In-Play Dividends.

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Social Media Executive @ Football Index - Liverpool fan at just about the right time

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