Premier League Weekend Fixtures 13-15 January, Matchday 23
The Premier League returns this weekend after the third round of the FA Cup was played between Friday 5th January and Sunday 7th January. We expect another round of mouth-watering fixtures as the chase for the title and the battle against regulation continues. Let's have a look at some of the matches that will be played in game week 23.
Liverpool v Manchester City - Sunday 14th January kick off @ 1600hrs
Manchester City has started the season as the title favourites, and the team has been impressive from the start of the current campaign. The team is still unbeaten in the opening 22 matches, and only Everton and Crystal Palace have managed to stop the citizens from taking maximum points in a premier league match this season.
City have cemented their top spot in the table in recent weeks now being 15 points clear of 2nd place United. Manchester City have tightened up defensively, and they have been scoring goals at will with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero having 27 goals between them this season. Kevin De Bruyne has also been ruthless in providing assists to his fellow cityzens. Gabriel Jesus will sit out during the Sunday clash after sustained severe injuries during City's emotional clash with Crystal Palace in their last league game.
Liverpool, on the other hand, didn't have a perfect start to the league but have managed to pick up and are fourth on the table with 44 points, 18 from the top placed Manchester City and three from second-placed Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp has also implemented his brand of free-flowing counter attack football to a devastating effect.
He has found a magician in Mohammed Salah who is always willing to put in 100% effort in every match and can score from any angle. Players such as Sadio Mane and Robert Firmino have also excelled under the Germany coach. Salah has so far scored 17 goals and lies second on the chart of premier league's top scorers behind Harry Kane. Robert Firmino has also managed nine goals, and the combination of Firmino, Mane, and Salah has been unstoppable. However, Liverpool will be without Jordan Henderson and Alberto Moreno who are still out nursing hamstring and ankle injuries respectively. With Philippe Coutinho having now departed for Barcelona as the second most expensive footballer how will Liverpool fair against the so far majestic City?
Manchester United v Stoke City - Monday 15th January kick off @ 2000hrs
This fixture will be interesting since Manchester United will be hoping to retain second position in the Premier League while Stoke City will be hoping to get all the three points from Old Trafford to move out of the relegation zone.
Although Jose Mourinho's men had a perfect league to the start of the league, they failed to keep the momentum and let Manchester City slip away. The first round of this fixture saw the teams share the three points with a 2-2 draw. Mourinho will be hoping to continue with the winning streak after beating Everton two goals to nil on New Year and defeating Derby County with a similar scoreline four days later in the FA cup tie.
Romelu Lukaku will be hoping to score again after netting against Derby while Jesse Lingard will hope to continue with his streak of scoring wonder goals. However, Manchester United will be without Eric Baily and Michael Carrick who are still out due to injuries while Ashley Young will be serving the last match of his three-match FA ban.
Stoke City, on the other hand, lie in the 18th position on the table and their woes got worse when they were eliminated from the FA Cup by a Championship team, Coventry City. The team heads to Old Trafford with a caretaker manager after Mark Hughes was sacked shortly after the dismal performance at Coventry. However, Erick Maxim Choupo-Moting will be the man to watch after he scored twice against the Red Devils at Britannia Stadium and is the team's joint top scorer.
AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal - Sunday 14th January - kick off @ 1330hrs
After a surprising defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Arsene Wenger will have his eyes fixed on at least a Champions League spot. Arsenal currently lie in sixth position, five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool. The attacking duo of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez seem to be preparing for life elsewhere although Sanchez is the club's joint top scorer this season with eight goals. Even as Arsenal have no major suspensions or injuries, Arsene Wenger will be missing in the dugout after a three-match touchline ban in the wake of his post-match actions at West Brom.
Bournemouth come into the fixture without a defeat in their past four matches, but three of them have been draws save for the win against Everton on 20th December 2017. The Cherries will be looking for a win that can keep them out of the relegation zone and their first in the New Year. Bournemouth who are sixteenth in the table and will be without their striker Jermaine Defoe who is still nursing his fractured ankle. In the absence of Defoe, Callum Wilson has stepped up and will be looking for his seventh goal of the season.
Saturday 13th January - kick off @ 1500hrs (Unless Stated)
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