EPL Preview: 15/16 July – Arsenal vs. Liverpool / Leicester vs. Sheffield United

Fans hold up a “We Are Liverpool” sign during a game at Anfield

With just a few weeks left of the Premier League, things are really starting to go down to the wire. The title may have already been won, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot left to fight for. Keep up with the latest Premier League betting, odds, and EPL news as we look forward to the remaining action-packed weeks in what has been a highly entertaining, congested schedule for all the teams.

On Wednesday the 15th, we see recently-crowned champions, Liverpool, away to a resurgent Arsenal in what is set to be a test of will power for the Reds. The Gunners will be fighting for a place in the top four of the Premier League table.

On Thursday the 16th, we have Leicester fighting to retain their Champions League spot when they host Sheffield United, who are trying to find the same consistency that they showed before the break. 

Here’s an in-depth look at the teams’ form, key players, and previous records going into their respective matches.

Arsenal vs. Liverpool

Liverpool defender, Joe Gomez, goes in to tackle Arsenal strike Gabriel Martinelli who has the ball

Arsenal welcome Premier League champions, Liverpool, to the Emirates in a match that the Gunners have a lot more riding on. Mikel Arteta’s team had a poor restart after the break, losing two games on the trot. However, they seemed to have regained some of their momentum, in no small part due to the goal-scoring abilities of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. But they need to keep on winning if they are going to get a sniff at the Champions League spots.

Liverpool players seem to be struggling with motivation after clinching the title. They capitulated to a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp knows that his side has the talent. They did win the league by a record margin, after all, but he needs to work out how to get his players raring to go when they already have the Premier League title in their hands.

Here’s more information for sports betting fans looking for in-depth knowledge of what to expect:

Arsenal vs. Liverpool latest odds:

Arsenal +240

Tie +270

Liverpool +105

The last time the two teams met was in the League Cup on October 30, 2019. The game saw an astonishing five goals scored by each team, but the Reds ultimately went through to the next round on penalties. 

The Gunners have certainly improved since their first two games, but most sportsbooks are going with Liverpool to take all three points at the Emirates.

Previous five results between the two

The last five results between the Gunners and the Reds have been largely in Liverpool’s favor with 3 wins and 2 draws. 

ResultDateCompetition
Arsenal 5-5 Liverpool (4-5 P)30 Sep 2019League Cup
Arsenal 1-3 Liverpool24 August 2019English Premier League
Arsenal 1-5 Liverpool29  Dec 2018English Premier League
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool3 Nov 2018English Premier League
Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool22 Dec 2017English Premier League

Restart form

Mikel Arteta’s team had a restart nightmare with David Luiz directly responsible for two goals against them and receiving a red card too. They were demolished 3-0 by a strong Man City team and then went on to lose to Brighton. However, they seem to have found the right gear with wins against Southampton, Norwich, Wolves, and a draw against Leicester. 

Liverpool started the season with a tepid draw to Everton but came right to thrash Crystal Palace 4-0 in their next game. On June 25, 2019, titleholders Man City lost to Chelsea, which meant that Liverpool was mathematically in the all-clear and was officially crowned the Premier League champions. Man City then unleashed an embarrassing 4-0 demolition on the Reds, who seemed to be unable to motivate themselves. They have picked themselves up somewhat with wins over Aston Villa and Brighton but they are nowhere near their pre-title lethal levels we had become used to.

Arsenal Restart Results:

ResultsDateCompetition
Man City 3-0 Arsenal17 June 2020English Premier League
Brighton 2-1 Arsenal20 June 2020English Premier League
Southampton 0-2 Arsenal25 June 2020English Premier League
Sheffield Utd 1-2 Arsenal28 June 2020FA Cup
Norwich City 0-4 Arsenal01 July 2020English Premier League
Wolves 0-2 Arsenal 04 July 2020English Premier League
Leicester City 1-1 Arsenal07 July 2020English Premier League

Liverpool restart results:

Results DateCompetition
Liverpool 0-0 Everton21 June 2020English Premier League
Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace24 June 2020English Premier League
Liverpool 0-4 Man City2 July 2020English Premier League
Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa5 July 2020English Premier League
Liverpool 3-1 Brighton8 July 2020English Premier League

Key players

Key players to keep an eye on:

Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring a goal for Arsenal

On July 7, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became only the second Arsenal player ever to score 20 goals in consecutive EPL seasons. When Aubemeyang gets the slightest sniff of the goal box, chances are that it will end up in the back of the net. Alexandre Lacazette is next up on 8 goals and Pépé on 5. Pépé and Lacazette are excellent with assists, but Bukayo Saka is right up there too. Arsenal has no problems in attack, but their defense leaves a lot to be desired, with Kieran Tierney the only shining light in a backline that consists of the accident-prone David Luiz.

Liverpool

Liverpool players Virgil van Dijk and Saido Mané go in for a handshake to celebrate a goal

Before we get to their striking front players, we think it’s worth mentioning that Liverpool has also been championed from the back in the form of the stoic Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch defender has helped his team to 15 clean sheets in the league this season and has 4 goals himself. Young Red Trent Alexander-Arnold is another defender who likes to get up high on the sidelines. The British national has helped himself to 3 goals this season.

Up-front, of course, we have the league’s most lethal forward players in Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Saido Mané who have combined this season with effective attacks. Salah is currently on 19 goals, Mané has 16 and Firmino is on 8, with more sure to come in the last couple of weeks in the season.

Conclusion

Arsenal is looking incredibly strong after a poor couple of games after the restart. With Aubemeyang looking in fine goal-scoring form, he could cause a lot of trouble for Liverpool’s defenders. That being said, if the Red’s front three are in the mood, then they will probably take all three points. 

This is a game that could simply be won or lost by the Liverpool players deciding if they are going to turn up in the right mind frame or not. For this reason alone, most online sports betting sites are going with a draw or a Liverpool win.

Leicester vs. Sheffield United

Sheffield United defender Phil Jagielka trying to stop former Leicester City winger Momo Sylla in a 2005 Championship match

On July 16, we are looking forward to what is set to be a tightly contested match between two teams that have been faltering after the restart. Before the EPL break, both teams looked on course for a top-four finish, with Leicester sitting comfortably in third place and the Blades looking to be on an upward trajectory in only their fourth-ever season in the EPL. 

Before the break, it would have seemed almost unimaginable that Leicester is clinging onto the fourth spot by the skin of their teeth, and that Chris Wilder’s team would have faltered into the lower part of the top 10 places. 

Brendan Rogers has struggled to get his team reignited during the restart and they’ve had a poor run of results. However, the recent return to goal-scoring form from Jamie Vardy is a good sign for the Foxes. 

Leicester City host Sheffield at the King Power Stadium in a match that is going to have serious repercussions for both teams. If the Foxes don’t take all three points then a resurgent Man Utd will surely overtake them in the fourth spot. If Sheffield loses in this away game, they are likely to miss out on a Champions League spot.

Leicester City vs. Sheffield United latest odds

Leicester -182

Tie +325

Sheffield +500

This match is probably one of the more evenly matched contests in the Premier League right now. Both teams have excellent goalkeepers and exciting attacking talent, but their restart form has been poor. 

Both teams have everything hanging in the balance at the moment and will throw everything at this match. A draw might be the fair result, but with both teams desperately needing to win, we should see some goals.

Previous results between the two sides

Sheffield United have not been a constant in the Premier League by any stretch. The two teams have only faced off once before in the EPL. In the last five games, Leicester has won four and drawn one.

ResultDateCompetition
Leicester 2-1 Sheffield Utd 24 August 2019English Premier League
Leicester 1-0 Sheffield Utd16 Feb 2018FA Cup
Leicester 4-1 Sheffield Utd22 August 2017League Cup
Leicester 1-0 Sheffield Utd01 Feb 2011Championship
Leicester 2-2 Sheffield Utd10 Nov 2010Championship

Restart form

Before the break, Leicester seemed secure in their third place on the table, however, things haven’t gone according to plan for the Foxes. With just one win in their first five matches, Brendan Rogers’ team has started to slip drastically and have been overtaken by Chelsea to drop into fourth. Their Champions League place is anything but secure right now. The silver lining for Leicester is that starman Jaimie Vardy seems to have found his goal scoring form again, and this could be the difference going forward.

Sheffield has struggled since the restart also having taken just two wins in five games. Before the break, Chris Wilder’s team were on track to their first historical season in the Champions League, but are now simply hoping to make it into Europa. They did beat Tottenham and hit a last gasp winner against a strong Wolves team, which has boosted their confidence.

Leicester results:

ResultDateCompetition
Leicester 1-0 Wolves08 July 2020English Premier League
Leicester 1-1 Arsenal 7 July 2020English Premier League
Leicester 1-2 Everton1 July 2020English Premier League
Leicester 0-1 Chelsea28 June 2020FA Cup
Leicester 0-0 Brighton20 June 2020English Premier League

Sheffield results:

ResultDateCompetition
Sheffield 1-1 Burnley 05 July 2020English Premier League
Sheffield 3-1Tottenham02 July 2020English Premier League
Sheffield 1-2 Arsenal28 June 2020FA Cup
Sheffield 0-3 Man Utd24  Oct 2020English Premier League
Sheffield 0-3 Newcastle Utd21 June 2020English Premier League
Sheffield 0-0 Aston Villa17 June 2020English Premier League

Key players

Key players to keep an eye on:

Leicester City

Jamie Vardy of Leicester tips the ball around Manchester United keeper David de Gea to score a goal

Deputizing at the back, the Foxes have a fine goalkeeper in Kasper Schmeichel, who has kept 12 clean sheets this campaign. The best defender that Leicester has by a long way is Ben Chilwell, who isn’t just solid when defending, but has also scored three goals through his surging runs up-field.

The midfield has two very strong players in James Maddison who has 6 goals and 3 assists to his name, and Harvey Barnes with 6 goals and 8 assists this season. In attack, Leceister has one of the best strikers in the Premier League, Jamie Vardy. Although he has struggled recently, he finally broke his goal drought and scored his 100th goal for the Foxes and he has been scoring ever since. He now has 22 goals and 4 assists, followed by Ayoze Pérez on 7 goals and 4 assists.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United defender Chris Basham celebrates scoring a goal

In Dean Henderson, on loan from Manchester United, Sheffield has one of the brightest young keepers in the league. Henderson is tipped to become England’s first-choice keeper. Chris Basham is a top tackler in the league and he keeps the backline in order.

The Blade’s success this season has largely been down to an organized and disciplined defense, rather than a glut of goals further up the pitch. Their stand out forward is undoubtedly Lys Mousset who has 6 goals and 4 assists. Oliver McBurnie is closing the gap with 5 goals to his name; George Baldock and John Lundstrom come in with 3 goals each.

Conclusion

This is one of the more difficult EPL matches to call. If Vardy continues to find the back of the net, then it’s hard to see how the Sheffield defense will stifle him. However, if he’s misfiring on the day then Sheffield are in with a chance. Ultimately, the game is going to be battled out in midfield. Although the Foxes seem to have a bit more steel in this part of the pitch, Sheffield has shown in their games against Tottenham and Wolves that they can take on the big teams and beat them.

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