Arsenal returned to Premier League action with ease as they defeated West Ham 3-1 on Boxing Day. Any worries fans had of the club missing the injured Gabriel Jesus have been swept away, with Eddie Nketiah filling the void and netting his first goal of the season.
Nketiah is expected to have a run of games with Jesus out of action. He will need to build on his great performance against the Hammers when the Gunners travel to Brighton. The January transfer window opens the day after this match, Mikel Arteta is expected to be in the market for a forward, so Nketiah must prove that he is the man to lead Arsenal’s line.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli were also on the scoresheet against West Ham, which took their combined goal tally for the season up to 11. Arsenal is looking to add competition for these players next month, and the club have already had a bid for Mykhailo Mudryk rejected by Shakhtar Donetsk.
Brighton was also victorious on Boxing Day as they defeated Southampton 3-1. The Seagulls have won three of their last four games and Robert de Zerbi has said that qualifying for Europe next season is their ambition.
Score prediction: Brighton 1-2 Arsenal
Manchester City vs Everton, Saturday December 31, kick-off 15:00
Manchester City’s last game before the World Cup break ended in defeat to Brentford. However, in their first game back they put things right with a 3-1 victory over Leeds United. Although they do still remain five points behind Arsenal.
Erling Haaland scored twice at Elland Road, which took his goal tally up to 20. His goalscoring form is unbelievable and he is the fastest player in the Premier League’s history to score this amount of goals in a season.
Everton who they face next have lost their last three games, conceding seven goals in the process and will be daunted at the prospect of facing Haaland this weekend. The Toffees are one point above the relegation zone and are facing another relegation battle.
Following their defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Boxing Day, Frank Lampard has called on their supporters to be patient after they were booed off at Goodison Park. The players’ confidence will be low after conceding a late Rayan Ait Nouri goal when they were searching for a winner themselves. James Tarkowski launched a ball forward but Anthony Gordon then failed to hold on to possession and they conceded from a counter-attack.
The game against Wolves was a must-win, but this match against City will be a damage limitation exercise. Lampard kept Everton up last season but is facing another tough battle to do it again.
Score prediction: Manchester City 5-0 Everton
Newcastle vs Leeds United, Saturday 31 December, kick-off 15:00
Newcastle United could make it seven wins in a row if they defeat Leeds United on Saturday. Eddie Howe‘s side picked up where they left off on Boxing Day with a 3-0 victory over Leicester City.
There is much to admire about this Newcastle side, with Miguel Almiron scoring his ninth goal of the season against the Foxes. Credit must also go to Sean Longstaff who did the dirty work in a midfield consisting of Joe Willock and Bruno Guimarães who dominate their play.
Howe is very optimistic about what his side can achieve, they are currently third in the table and just maybe they could become English champions for the first time since 1927.
Leeds on the other hand is facing a battle to stay in the division. Jesse Marsch‘s side has lost their last two games and is right back in the relegation fight. They do have Tyler Adams returning from suspension, which is a massive boost for them after the American impressed captaining his county at the World Cup.
Score prediction: Newcastle 2-0 Leeds United.
Last Matchweek’s predictions vs actual results:
Arsenal 2-1 West Ham
Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
Leeds 0-3 Manchester City
Leeds 1-3 Manchester City
Everton 1-2 Wolves
Everton 1-2 Wolves
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