This week’s Premier League fixtures previewed
Man City v Newcastle
Saturday, 12.30pm, BT Sport
Eddie Howe admitted in aftermath of last Sunday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester United that reaching Wembley had proved more of a distraction than he would have liked for his Newcastle team. It was the fourth game without a win for the Magpies since beating Southampton had secured their place and they need to get back on track quickly if they are not to lose touch with the top four. Trouble is, they are visiting a City side who appear to have rediscovered their ruthless touch.
6 – Games without a clean sheet before City’s 3-0 FA Cup win at Bristol City
Arsenal v Bournemouth
Arsenal’s emphatic 4-0 win over Everton on Wednesday means they will go into this game top of the table irrespective of City’s result. Eddie Nketiah has started the last two games on the bench due to a niggle and Gabriel Martinelli took full advantage with a brace against the Toffees. Having lost 4-1 at home to City last weekend, a result that pushed them back into the drop zone, this is an equally tough assignment for Gary O’Neil’s side and the bookies have them as distant as 14/1 to win here.
50 – Premier League goals or assists for 21-year-old Bukayo Saka
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
This may be a meeting of 11th versus 12th but while Villa’s mid-table finish seems assured, could Palace be sleepwalking into trouble? Popular opinion seems to be that they should be safe. But, though Patrick Vieira’s side drew 0-0 with Liverpool last Saturday, they are without a league win in eight and their buffer to the bottom three is down to six points. Wilfried Zaha, for so long their talisman, has been missed and the Eagles’ other forwards have simply not been potent in front of goal.
4-2 – Defeat for Villa in each of their last two home league games
Brighton v West Ham
Boss Roberto De Zerbi believes Brighton have hit on a natural finisher in 18-year-old Evan Ferguson, who got the only goal to clinch an FA Cup quarter-final spot with a midweek victory at Stoke. After their first defeat of 2023 at home to Fulham last week, the hosts will be keen to get back to winning ways against a Hammers side who are just two points clear of the drop zone despite beating Nottingham Forest 4-0 last time. A quickfire brace showed the importance of keeping Danny Ings fit.
400 – Seagulls appearances for stalwart defender Lewis Dunk
Chelsea v Leeds
Having started his reign as Leeds boss with last weekend’s much-needed 1-0 win over bottom side Southampton, Javi Gracia saw for himself the lack of cutting edge that has landed them in relegation trouble in Tuesday’s 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round defeat at Fulham. We are in the unfamiliar territory of a trip to Stamford Bridge being far from the most daunting west London has to offer. If Gracia can add to Graham Potter’s woes, Leeds can give their survival hopes a massive boost.
3-0 – Leeds beat Chelsea in August, the Blues’ first defeat of the season
First appear at This week’s Premier League fixtures previewed