Liverpool to punish blunt Blades
Wounded City to return to winning ways
Sterling to worsen Red Devils' struggles
Brighton's 3-2 loss at Stamford Bridge at the weekend means they have scored and conceded in each of their last 18 league fixtures, a run that is close to surpassing a top-flight record that has stood for 65 years.
In that time they have scored 13 goals in the last 25 minutes, their always-high shot count (the Seagulls have the second highest number of shots on target in the Premier League) often telling.
With their games averaging four goals per 90 in 2023/24, they remain a thoroughly entertaining watch.
Yet for all of their positives, there is no getting around the fact that Roberto De Zerbi's men last kept a clean sheet in early May and that will greatly encourage a Brentford side that drew 3-3 at the Amex last term.
The Bees may be unpredictable on the road, and the suspended Christian Norgaard is a big loss, but this one could be a cracker, nonetheless.
Unquestionably the Cherries are improving as Iraola-ball finally takes hold.
In their last three games they have averaged 19.0 shots compared to 10.8 previously. The number of shots Neto in nets has faced has almost halved (from 17.7 per 90 to 9.7). Their xG has shot up to 2.50 from 1.05.
With seven goals in three, and Dominic Solanke firing 43.8% of their season's haul, a team previously tipped for the drop head to the capital on a significant upcurve.
It's a much more pessimistic outlook for Palace, boasting just one win in seven and minus their orchestrator-in-chief, Eberechi Eze.
With their brilliant attacking midfielder on the pitch, the Eagles averaged 1.4 points-per-game. Without him that dwindles to 0.5 and it's at Selhurst Park where they miss Eze's creativity the most. He had scored five in his last seven outings on home soil.
Even when they do carve out openings it's often to little avail. Roy Hodgson's side have the third worst chance conversion rate in the top-flight.
Fulham continue to run hot and cold at Craven Cottage, alternating wins and defeats all season. Should the pattern continue they're set to lose to a Forest side who hardly have a decent record on their travels, winning only one away game in their last 17.
This is a tricky one to call with both sides as capable of turning up or underwhelming, but goals are a distinct possibility given recent weeks.
In their last three games combined, 4.5 per 90 have rained in.
Corners, however, will likely be at a premium. Fulham have averaged five per game this term and Steve Cooper's strugglers a measly 3.7.
With two in his last three, Anthony Elanga is the player to watch.
With Paul Heckingbottom set to depart Bramall Lane it would be a mistake to place any degree of faith in a 'new manager bounce' occurring. The phenomenon is largely a myth with immediate improvement marginal at best. Even that is over-stating it.
Still, we cannot wholly rule out the very distant possibility of the Blades changing the habits of their season and rediscovering their Championship form from nowhere. Even with a team flat on the floor from being steamrollered by Burnley. A team that has created the fewest number of chances, and taken on the fewest shots this term by a country mile. Let's just say a bounce is unlikely.
Should Sheffield United ship in two or more to Liverpool it will be the highest amount of goals conceded after 15 games in Premier League history.
Jurgen Klopp's reimagined Reds have not failed to score in 21 games across all comps and the threat-level posed by Mo Salah and co against a woeful defence is painfully obvious.
Save for a few hiccups on the road, Villa have mostly been sublime this season, scoring two+ goals in 64% of their league commitments and extending on a winning streak at home that dates back to February.
Ollie Watkins has 13 goals and assists in his last 10 outings. Douglas Luiz has been sensational. Matty Cash and Lucas Digne have been great down the flanks.
Villa Park is bouncing these days with a Champions League place looking less implausible by the week.
As for City, they are winless in three for the first time since the spring of 2017 and something is awry with their defence. In their last four games an infamously stingy back-line has been breached every 36 minutes.
Moreover, Rodri is out and we all know how much City struggle without their Spanish metronome. Jeremy Doku is injured too, the dribble-king of the Premier League.
So why do I fancy an away win? Perhaps it's from seeing the players' faces as they stormed off the pitch on Sunday, feeling cheated, feeling angry at the world and themselves. That makes the champions - even when reshaped and weakened - a dangerous proposition.
Manchester United's abysmal away record against the top nine under Erik ten Hag came to light this week, a rap-sheet that makes for alarming reading. They should be thankful therefore that this clash is at Old Trafford, and that Chelsea are 10th.
The Reds last lost at home to Chelsea in the league way back in 2013 and what cannot be overlooked is how many draws this meeting tends to throw up, with five in the last six. You get the feeling that right now, both teams would gladly share the points again.
That's because these famous giants each reside on the edge of crisis and have done all season, United masking the true extent of their troubles with laboured wins over inferior fare. Chelsea, meanwhile, have veered from the half-decent to the ridiculous from October on.
Of the two, it is the visitors who have the most going for them offensively. Nicolas Jackson has scored four in three away from home. Raheem Sterling has three goal involvements in four and would love to make the headlines here given his history in the city.
Read Premier League Jones Knows Notebook here
Watch Football...Only Bettor