Predicted lineups for this weekend’s EPL action

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The English Premier League returns after the final international break of the season this weekend.

Starting around noon (local time) on Saturday, all 20 teams will be in action with some great games on offer.

The biggest game is Liverpool’s meeting with Spurs at Anfield on Sunday in what could be a huge fixture in deciding where this season’s Premier League title goes. It is a must-win for the hosts. A slip by Liverpool may offer Manchester City a big advantage- psychologically – provided City can win their match. Check out the promotional offer for new registrants as well as for existing ones at William Hill.

While injuries and a manager’s last-minute changes may affect the starting lineups, here’s a look at the expected XI for each team for this weekend’s EPL action. On a side note, check out the current promotional offers by DraftKings.

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Should Arsenal be worried by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s woes?

If there was one image that defined Arsenal’s dismal Europa League defeat to Rennes on Thursday night, it was the sight of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slumped on the bench, expression giving away his true feelings. Those feelings weren’t especially warm given the circumstances.

Indeed, Unai Emery’s decision to take off Aubameyang when Arsenal were 2-1 down and in need of a goal was a peculiar one. This left the Gunners without a striker on the pitch, without an out ball, and ultimately without a hope. Aubameyang was as puzzled by his manager’s call as the rest of us.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Alexandre Lacazette

Despite this, there can be no denying that Aubameyang’s form has dropped off in recent weeks. Against Rennes, the former Borussia Dortmund forward as poor, but this wasn’t an isolated case. In fact, Aubameyang’s recent performances may well be cause for concern for Emery and the Gunners.

He has scored just four times in 2019. With the exception of the 2-1 win over Cardiff City in January, Aubameyang has struggled to make an impact for Arsenal. Once the pace-setter at the top of the Premier League scoring charts, Aubameyang now seems to have lost his groove having been overtaken by Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah.

This weekend, Arsenal face a potentially season-defining fixture. Manchester United travel to North London on Sunday with a place in the top four on the line for both sides. Whoever comes out on top will have the momentum to go on and clinch qualification for next season’s Champions League.

It’s for this reason that Aubameyang’s dip in form is concerning, at least in the immediate term. Arsenal were this week shown what happens when opposition sides fail to take their chances against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, with Manchester United riding their luck to knock out Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Gunners need someone to be ruthless in front of goal in the way Kylian Mbappe and co. weren’t at the Parc des Princes otherwise they will suffer the same problems PSG did. Emery will have Alexandre Lacazette to deploy as a number nine, but Arsenal have found their best performances this season when both he and Aubameyang have dovetailed with each other. Emery might not be able to count on the optimum form of the latter, though. Not right now, anyway.

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Alexandre Lacazette success shows value in standing by player

The signing of Alexandre Lacazette was seen, at the time, as something of a landmark moment for Arsenal. For years, since the sale of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United, the Gunners had lacked a natural goalscorer. Lacazette, proven at Lyon, was that goalscorer. And yet he struggled to initially find his feet in North London.

Indeed, Lacazette struggled to such an extent in his first season as an Arsenal player that he was considered a flop. The signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the January window was widely seen as confirmation of this, with the Gunners plunging significant funds into signing another big-money, big name striker.

aubameyang lacazette

Of course, as we now know Aubameyang has been used as a partner for Lacazette rather than a replacement for the Frenchman, and the former Lyon man has started to find his groove for Arsenal this summer, scoring five times in 10 appearances.

It would have been easy for Arsenal to cut their losses on Lacazette at the end of last season. He looks slow and sluggish, unsuited to the demands of playing at the high pace of the Premier League. They could have moved on the French striker, designating Aubameyang as their new central striker. And yet they decided to stand by their man.

That decision seems to have paid off, with Lacazette starting the season in good form. He has found his groove, playing his part as Arsenal have strung together nine wins in a row in all competitions, recovering from a difficult start to the season to rise up the Premier League table rather dramatically.

In a league where patience is at a premium, this is refreshing. Look at Alvaro Morata, for instance. The Spaniard arrived at Chelsea at the same time, in the same transfer window, as Lacazette arrived at Arsenal, suffering similar struggles in his first season. But while Morata looks doomed as a Chelsea player, with the Blues rumoured to be looking at strikers around Europe, Lacazette has been given more leeway to adapt to his new surroundings.

Some may argue that this is down to the price of the two players, with Morata a more expensive striker than Lacazette. But Lacazette was still, at the time, the most expensive Arsenal signing of all time and so with that came pressure. Some even claimed that he would be the best Arsenal striker since the days of Thierry Henry.

Aubameyang has played a role in the rise of Lacazette, with the former Borussia Dortmund attacker key in creating space for the former through his position in a slightly wider area of the pitch. But whatever the reason for Lacazette’s improvement, this serves as a lesson to those quick to write off new signings, particularly strikers. Arsenal stood by their man and are now reaping the rewards.

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Why Aubameyang cannot thrive in Arsenal’s current system


After last season’s woes, Arsenal were set to be reborn in Unai Emery’s image with club legend Arsene Wenger leaving the side he led for 22 years after much furor from the team’s fans amid poor performances throughout the course of the campaign.

The former PSG tactician was heralded as Arsenal’s saviour with fans and pundits alike backing him to return the Gunners to the Champions League this term either through winning the Europa League or clinching a top four spot, but at the moment things aren’t looking good for Arsenal regarding the latter as they’ve failed to truly impress three games into the 2018/19 season.

Defensively, Arsenal have been below par with their back four seemingly incapable of maintaining a solid shape whilst trying to withstand a high press, the team’s attack has also been one-dimensional with the Gunners almost always opting to attack from the flanks and throw in a cross, or a cut back.

Their dependence on flank-attacks to find the back of the net this season has, and could continue to limit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goalscoring opportunities given he’s shown no signs of thriving under Emery’s current set-up.

Whilst it’s easy to dismiss Arsenal’s poor start as ‘unlucky’ due to the fact that they faced Manchester City and Chelsea respectively in their first two games of the season, they lacked real invention against both sides which was symptomatic of their lack of variety in their attacking patterns.

More often than not, Hector Bellerin would run down the right flank to cut the ball back or whip in a cross, on the left flank, you’d often find Nacho Monreal doing the same thing. Arsenal’s reliance on that sort of play doesn’t give Aubameyang an opportunity to utilise his speed and get in behind with the 29-year-old having to position him self for a tap-in or a lay-off like any other Arsenal player waiting in the box.

Unai Emery’s men managed to get their first three points of the season last time out against West Ham in a game where, yet again, Aubameyang failed to get his name on the scoresheet due in large part to the teams modus oprandi going forward.

Back when he played for Dortmund, Aubameyang was the joyful recipient of a variety of through balls through the middle which enabled him to utilise his blistering pace – a range of crosses; both early and late, which allowed him to make tremendous use of his height – he was also able receive the ball with his back to goal and utilise his superb dribbling skills to turn away from his markers and get a shot on goal – a stark contrast to his time at Arsenal thus far.

As things stand Aubameyang is not a great option to have as a striker in your fantasy team simply because he cannot get a decent amount of clear cut chances per game in Arsenal’s current system.

Arsenal would need to consistently play through all areas of the pitch for Aubameyang to start firing on all cylinders.

Unai Emery may make use a different approach in Arsenal’s upcoming tie against Cardiff in a bid to find their way past what is sure to be a sturdy defensive set-up. Neil Warnock’s men are likely to sit deep and hit Arsenal on the counter should they get an opportunity to do so, hence, a victory against them will require Arsenal to be creative in the final third.

There’s a lot of pressure on Arsenal to get their second win of the season due to the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City already widening the gap between them and the rest of the league, but should Aubameyang start bagging goals on a consistent basis, the Gunners will be able to climb up the table.

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Premier League predictions

Roberto Firmino Liverpool

With this being the last weekend of Premier League action, every sides that will be keen to end their season with a win. Here are our predictions for the upcoming games!

Burnley vs AFC Bournemouth – home win

Burnley have been truly phenomenal this season, securing Europa League action against the odds, and will be hoping this game rounds off a fantastic campaign.

With Nick Pope (12 clean sheets) cutting an inspired figure at times this season, this could well be his last chance to make a late bid to become the England keeper come the summer’s World Cup in Russia. Continue reading

Premier League Predictions


A look ahead at the Premier League fixture list for the weekend’s action!

Everton vs. Liverpool – away win

One of the most hotly anticipated games of the season, these two teams come into the Merseyside derby with different goals in mind – Liverpool looking to nail down Champions League qualification and Everton fighting for a mid-table spot.

Whilst they might be leggy from their Champions League clash with Man City, expect a Liverpool side led by the 29 goals and 160 points of Mo Salah to prove too much for Allardyce’s Toffees – assuming he’s fit!.

AFC Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace – home win Continue reading

Premier League predictions


Check out the Euro Fantasy League predictions for the weekend ahead as Premier League football returns following the international break!

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool – away win

This tie sees two teams at opposite ends of the table come together in Saturday’s early kick off.

Whilst Crystal Palace have presented a robust challenge for the likes of Spurs and Man United in recent weeks, the like of Salah (156 points) points and Firmino (95) should prove too much for the hosts.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leicester City – home win

Brighton have made the Amex a tough place to visit over the past few months and this game won’t be a ‘gimme’ for the visitors.

Whilst Leicester have been in good form, and players like Vardy  (53 points) have the capacity to hurt anyone, we’re tipping a home win here.

Manchester United vs Swansea City – home win

The atmosphere surrounding United it one of ill-ease in recent months yet they remain second in the league.

The form of players like Jordan Ayew (25 points) have made the Swans a tough team to face but wins at Old Trafford are tough to come by and it seems probable they will leave empty handed.

Newcastle United vs Huddersfield Town – home win.

After a dour first half to the campaign, the arrival of Kenedy on loan from Chelsea has sparked Newcastle United into life since January.

Dwight Gayle (24 goals) has also grown in form recently and the output of this attacking duo could prove too much for the visiting Terriers.

Watford vs. AFC Bournemouth – draw

Two sides that have blown hot and cold this season, it will be interesting to see whether either side can use the game as a platform too truly push on into the back end of the campaign.

Whilst Jordon Ibe (29 points) and Callum Wilson (34 points) have both shown good form as of recent, it would not be surprising to see this one end all-square.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Burnley – away win

Burnley’s form may have taken a dip in recent weeks but the Baggies’ is nothing short of woeful.

The likes of Tarkowski (10 clean sheets) and Pope (11 clean sheets) have delivered a solid defensive platform from which their game is built and expect them to use this to secure victory on Saturday.

West Ham United vs. Southampton – draw

Two sides in dire straits, there is a chance that a Sparky bounce could inspire a Soton win, but a draw would be an unsurprising outcome.

On the other side of the pitch, the Hammers will be counting on the form of Marco Arnautovic (seven goals and three assists) to inspire victory for them.

Everton vs Manchester City – away win

Guardiola’s men inch closure to the title and a win at Goodison Park will see them get ever closure to a first Premier League victory under the Spaniard.

Sergio Aguero will be hoping he can be the star man for the Citizens, as he looks to build on his 21 goals and remain in the fight for the Golden Boot.

Arsenal vs Stoke City – home win

For all of Arsenal’s woes in 2017/18, their form at the Emirates has remained exceptional.

Expect the likes of new boys Aubameyang (12 points) and Mkhitaryan (46 points) to prove too much for a relegation threatened Stoke.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur – Away win

This game could prove pivotal in deciding which team qualifies for the next season’s Champions League campaign.

The Blues may have a home advantage but the balance is probably tipped in the favour of the visitors, who are led by an in form Heung-Min Son who sits on 12 goals for the campaign – they will be hoping he can fill the void for a Harry Kane (98 points) that may not be fit enough to return at the Bridge.

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Premier League predictions for the weekend ahead


Another week of Premier League action looms ahead of us with some valuable fixtures at both ends of the table, check out our predictions here!

Manchester United vs. Liverpool – home win

Still widely considered to be the biggest game in English football, this threatens to be a real cracker this weekend.

Whilst Mo Salah has been in incredible form this season – leading Liverpool’s line with 24 goals and 134 points – United have overcome some big sides at Old Trafford this season, a factor that probably makes them marginal favourites.

The exploits of David de Gea, who has conceded just 22 goals in 29 appearances could Continue reading