Soccer English Premier League Prediction
West Ham vs Arsenal - Match Preview
⚽ 16 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
The second of two games in four days for West Ham United brings them back home to London from Belgium after a hard-earned 1-1 UEFA Europa League draw, which adds some additional difficulty to the task of avoiding Premier League (PL) relegation. The Hammers still have to face three of the PL’s top five clubs in their run home, starting with league leaders Arsenal.
The reverse H2H (L 3-1) was one of eight 2+ goal losses suffered by the Hammers across their PL season, and with similar results at home to top-half opposition such as Manchester City, Brighton, Brentford (all 2-0 losses) and Newcastle (L 5-1), turning things around on home territory does not appear likely. Manager David Moyes, whose job was reportedly saved by last weekend’s 1-0 win away to Fulham, admitted during the week he needs “to get us closer to our levels”.
First-placed Arsenal is almost on a level of their own, but their more pessimistic fans will be hoping the 50-minute period in which they gave up a 2-0 lead over Liverpool at Anfield (D 2-2) isn’t the beginning of their downfall. That followed seven consecutive PL wins, five of which were by a 2+ goal margin, and with second-placed Manchester City carrying similarly imperious form into April, they cannot afford to slow down at any moment.
Manager Mikel Arteta has publicly called for his players to react to that disappointment, whilst he would have welcomed the sight of cult hero Eddie Nketiah - who filled in for Gabriel Jesus with six competitive goals prior to his own injury - back on the training track just as Jesus returned to goalscoring form. If selected as a substitute, Nketiah could be an imposing addition to a side already averaging two goals per away PL game in 2022/23.
📋 Players to watch: Saïd Benrahma has recorded West Ham’s opening goal in six competitive appearances this season, including the reverse H2H. For the visitors, Gabriel Martinelli has scored in a remarkable six of their eight straight PL games without defeat, including all four away from home.
⚡ Hot stat: Arsenal has won eight of the last ten PL H2Hs (D1, L1), but collected just two clean sheets in that period.
Nottingham vs Manchester Utd - Match Preview
⚽ 16 April 2023 - 15:30 GMT +0
Nottingham Forest desperately needs to inject some life into their Premier League (PL) survival bid, after a miserable nine-match winless run dropped them into the relegation zone (D3, L6). Once more, individual errors were responsible for Forest’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa last time out, leaving manager Steve Cooper scratching his head and admitting that his side can only blame themselves.
A source of strength so often this season has been their home form, with the Tricky Trees winning 21 of their 27 points at the City Ground. That fortress hasn’t been as strong of late though, with a four-match winless streak holding progress back (D3, L1), but Forest still remain tough to beat at home, largely owing to the fact they’ve scored in all but one of the PL games they’ve hosted this term - last failing to hit the net in August’s defeat to Tottenham.
A battered and bruised Manchester United travel to Nottingham for a PL game for the first time this century after squandering a two-goal lead against Sevilla in midweek (2-2). A brace of own goals put the Red Devils’ European progress in jeopardy, leading to boss Erik ten Hag lamenting his side’s inability to ‘kill the game’.
Still competing on three fronts, the injuries are piling up for ten Hag, with Lisandro Martínez and Raphaël Varane joining Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Luke Shaw on the sidelines on Thursday. The Dutchman will now take his depleted squad to Forest looking to defend United’s place in the top four, but away assignments have proved problematic of late, as a return of one win from their last five league road trips represents (D1, L3).
📋 Key battle: Forest forward Brennan Johnson could lead their charge towards safety here, given that seven of his eight PL goals this term have come at the City Ground. Standing in his way will be United stopper David De Gea, who has kept a joint-PL high 13 clean sheets this term.
⚡ Hot stat: Man Utd have conceded 29 of their 37 PL goals in away matches, averaging 2.07 per road trip!
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