TAA crucial to Liverpool win
West Ham to save Moyes' job
Villa should beat Southampton
Zinchenko key player versus Man Utd
Liverpool v Chelsea
Live on BT Sport 1
Level on points and bang in the middle of the table, the Premier League's two biggest under-performers are highly unlikely to produce a quality game of football at Anfield. Liverpool are unable to press as a unit, fracturing the system and leaving them open to counter-attacks, and yet Chelsea's injury crisis means they do not have the pace to exploit this problem.
The teams will mostly cancel each other out. Denis Zakaria's injury will slow Chelsea down and Kai Havertz's propensity to come short will make life easier for the struggling Liverpool centre-backs, but the absence of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota means the hosts don't have much firepower to threaten Graham Potter's defence, which is generally strong thanks to the prosaic possession football he has been coaching.
It will be a game of sideways passes and a constrictive pitch, then, with few obvious chances. However, Chelsea are notably poor in the full-back or wing-back positions and Potter's 4-2-3-1 can leave the wrong players helping in wide areas as Mason Mount tries to cover the left. Perhaps here, with Trent Alexander-Arnold pouring forward, is the game's only real mismatch and the source of a winning goal.
Back under 2.5 goals at 23/20
West Ham v Everton
It is widely expected that David Moyes will be sacked if West Ham lose this relegation six-pointer on Saturday, and consequently he will surely throw out a more attacking formation in an attempt to prove he is the right person to evolve the side. Gianluca Scamacca, Lucas Paqueta, and Said Benrahma keep making things happen in cameos but Moyes has, until now, been resistant to play them.
Yet the speed, directness, and ingenuity of these three is exactly what's needed to race through a disorganised Everton team that only hang on in matches if the tempo is low. Frank Lampard's 3-4-2-1 is filled with last-ditch defenders who are poor when faced with athleticism and quick feet, and so they should crumble under the pressure if the hosts pack the team with creative players.
Everton's attack focuses solely on the counter-attacking potential of Demarai Gray but that route is likely to be cut off by the stodgy but compact West Ham midfield; Declan Rice and Toma Soucek can stamp their authority on the midfield to cut off the supply line to Gray, giving Moyes the platform for a job-saving victory.
Back West Ham to win at 3/4
Southampton v Aston Villa
For the second game running Unai Emery began in a 4-4-2 that looked too clumsy when trying to build through the lines and for the second game running a tweak helped to unlock things. Surely now Aston Villa will start in a 4-2-3-1 when in possession, with Leon Bailey hugging the right touchline and Villa's deliberately slow, press-attracting passing at the back suddenly turning into fast football via Emiliano Buendia linking the lines centrally.
Emery's tactical philosophy is built for games like this. He likes to draw the opponent forward from a deep shape, then change gears and have Villa explode into the final third, while new Southampton manager Nathan Jones is trying to implement a high-pressing system. It will, therefore, be a bit ragged, making Saints more vulnerable to Villa's tactics, plus as hosts they will have to hold a lot of possession.
Southampton generally struggle when facing all 11 opposition bodies. They prefer to play in the transition, like Villa, but with Jones's football looking ropey it is the visitors who will control this match by refusing to control the ball. As Saints dally, neutralising James Ward-Prowse, Villa will pick their moments to race through the middle and heap pressure on Jones again.
Back Villa to win at 6/4
Arsenal v Man Utd
Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Erik ten Hag has had no issue with sitting ultra-deep in 'Big Six' clashes, playing like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used to in these games by refusing to engage outside the Manchester United half. The idea is to slow down possession-hogging teams and then hit behind their high defensive line with counter-attacks launched by Christian Eriksen or Bruno Fernandes. It worked perfectly against Manchester City, who play in a very similar way to Arsenal.
Casemiro's suspension isn't as big a problem as it looks. His anticipation is more important when United are the dominant force, but from within a compact low block Scott McTominay and Fred should be able to shield very effectively, before shunting the ball out to Fernandes to release the pace of Marcus Rashford and Anthony. There is a good chance of United getting the result they want from the Emirates.
However, Man City's big mistake that game was playing with traditional full-backs, whereas Arsenal's Oleksandr Zinchenko will come infield to sit alongside Thomas Partey and form a ring around United. This helps move the ball from side to side, but it also aims to stamp out counters at source in the counter-press. That should help, although in a fascinating match full of quality at both ends, frankly anything could happen.
Back BTTS at 6/10
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