EPL Preview: Matchday 23

(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Matchday 22 proved to be another exhilarating set of midweek soccer fixtures with Manchester United putting nine goals pass Southampton to equal an EPL record for biggest scoreline in the League, Manchester City extending their gap at the top of the table, Liverpool losing again at Anfield, and West Ham’s new arrival made a huge impact for the team.

The matches are coming thick and fast, and Matchday 23 arrives just a couple of days after the last round of fixtures. Let’s take a look at the biggest matches that will affect the table’s top 5 teams, as well as the EPL betting odds for the rest of the games taking place.

Saturday February 6

Fulham vs. West Ham

Betting odds: Fulham: +260 Tie: +240 West Ham: +110

Tomáš Souček of West Ham celebrates after scoring against Watford - Photo by Adam Davy/Pool via Getty Images
Photo by Adam Davy/Pool via Getty Images

There probably isn’t a worse time for Scott Parker’s Fulham side to meet up with high-flying West Ham. The Cottagers sit in 18th place, and unless something drastic changes, it’s highly likely that they will be relegated at the end of the season. They haven’t won any of their last five league games, but they have drawn against both Liverpool and Tottenham this season, and Parker will be hoping that his team can replicate some of that form to keep West Ham at bay.

It might sound incredulous, but the Hammers are in 5th place —  just two points below Liverpool on the table. David Moyes’ team has played with confidence and resilience this season. Tomáš Souček looks like a new player, and he has a massive goal tally for a defensive midfielder. He might just be upstaged, however, by the Hammers’ new loan signing, Jesse Lingard. The midfielder hasn’t started a Premier League game in over a year for Manchester United, and he has a point to prove at West Ham. He scored two goals and got Man of the Match on his debut in the midweek win against Aston Villa. If Souček and Lingard can continue to combine to such devastating effect, we could see West Ham in a European competition for the first time since 2017. 

The betting odds are with West Ham for this one, and they’re expected to take all three points at Craven Cottage.

Manchester United vs. Everton

Betting odds: Man United: -190 Tie: +320 Everton: +525

Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood of Manchester United celebrate - Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United will be keen to keep the pressure on Manchester City, who are above them in the top spot on the EPL table. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team lost valuable points in draws to Liverpool and Arsenal, as well as a shock loss to bottom of the table Sheffield United. However, they will go into this game against the Toffees with galvanized confidence after absolutely thrashing Southampton 9-0 on Tuesday, equalling a Premier League record. Goals have been a problem in the last couple of games and Solskjær will be thrilled that seven different players got on the score sheet against the Saints. The only fitness concern seems to be Edinson Cavani, but Anthony Martial will surely be ready to take his place after scoring two goals the last time out. 

Everton started the season so brightly, but Carlo Ancelotti’s team have slipped down the pecking order in the new year, with only two wins in their last five League games. Ancelotti will be hoping that loan-signing Joshua King has a point to prove against his old club and that he provides the goal threat they have been lacking in recent weeks. 

Everton travel to Old Trafford at a time when the Red Devils are trying to win their first EPL trophy since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and when confidence is at an all-time high. The only way United could throw this game away is by going in with a little more arrogance than confidence; they have to give Ancelotti’s team the respect that they deserve. This should be an exciting game of soccer and the betting odds are on the Red Devils taking all three points at home.

Sunday February 7

Wolves vs. Leicester City

Betting odds: Wolves: +240 Tie: +240 Leicester City: +115

Rúben Neves of Wolves takes a shot at goal - Photo by Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images
Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images

Nuno Espírito Santo’s team has not had the best of seasons, especially after they finished so strongly last year. The departure of Diogo Jota and long-term injury of Raúl Jiménez has had a massive impact on the Wolves and Adama Traoré hasn’t been able to fill that gap successfully. Wolves were precariously positioned a couple of points above the relegation zone just a few weeks ago, but a draw with Chelsea and a much-needed win over Arsenal have helped them climb the table into 14th. Nuno will hope that his team can take confidence from the win into the match against a Leicester City team that is looking lethal.

Brendan Rogers will be happy with the way his team reacted to their shock loss against Leeds United, as the Foxes came right with two goals against Fulham and the much-needed three points. Leicester City sit in 3rd place on the table, two points below Man United and two above Liverpool; they can’t afford to drop any points if they want to keep their title chase alive. The good news is that talismanic goalscorer Jamie Vardy might be back in action after missing a couple of weeks due to a hernia operation. 

This could be a very open and exciting game between a team looking to get back to their usually high standards, and one pushing for the League trophy. On paper, Leicester City should take the three points at the Molineux Stadium. 

Liverpool vs. Manchester City

Betting odds: Liverpool: +240 Tie: +270 Man City: +105

Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City scores against Liverpool - Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images
Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images

This time last season, Jürgen Klopp would have relished the prospect of playing Manchester City at Anfield — given that they didn’t lose there for three years and six months. However, things couldn’t be more different this time around having lost to Burnley and Brighton in their last two consecutive home games. After convincing wins against Tottenham and West Ham, it looked like the Reds were coming right, but a shock loss to Brighton showed that they are still struggling. Klopp admitted his team is mentally and physically fatigued, and the growing list of injuries is putting massive pressure on the Champions.

Things couldn’t be any different for Manchester City, who haven’t lost since they were thrashed by Leicester City in September. Pep Guardiola’s team had a bit of an inconsistent start to the season, but they seem almost unstoppable now and are three points ahead of United at the top of the table, with an extra game in hand. The Citizens will go into this game full of confidence and they will undoubtedly push to take all three points from an unusually shaky Liverpool.

Anfield is certainly not the fortress that it once was and the odds are favoring Manchester City being the next team to breach Liverpool’s defense. 

What’s happening in the rest of the league?

Of course, these aren’t the only games that are happening in the EPL this weekend and online sports betting fans can also look at the following soccer betting odds for matchday 23:

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