Alexandre Lacazette has been appointed as Arsenal’s new club captain for the rest of the season, manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed.
The Gunners have been without a permanent skipper since Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang was stripped of the honour after a third disciplinary breach – and the Gabon striker has since joined Barcelona on a free transfer.
Lacazette has been handed the armband on a number of occasions since and has now been handed the role permanently for the remainder of the campaign, as confirmed by Arteta in his press conference ahead of their trip to Wolves.
The Frenchman himself looks likely to leave the Emirates at the end of the season, but is one of the club’s more experienced players aged 30, having made nearly 200 appearances for the team.
He is one of the most influential names in the dressing room – but has not been able to have the same impact on the pitch this season. He has scored just three league goals – five in all competitions – and there will be even more pressure on him to produce with Aubameyang gone.
Lacazette and Aubameyang were close friends at Arsenal, and the former Lyon man penned an emotional tribute to him after his exit.
‘My bro!!’ Lacazette wrote. ‘Thanks for the last four years. My experience [at] Arsenal would have been different without you. Wish you good luck in your next chapter! See you soon.’
Aubameyang’s situation had caused tension within the club after Arteta made the decision to remove him from captain duties after arriving back late from trip to France to visit his mother.
It was the third time he had been disciplined by the club since his arrival in 2018 – and the player admitted he had a ‘problem’ with his Spanish boss after sealing his move to the Nou Camp.
‘I think it was a problem just with him [Arteta],’ he said. ‘He made the decision. I can’t say much more. He wasn’t happy, I stayed very calm and that’s it.’
Speaking for the first time about the striker’s departure, Arteta said: ‘I’m extremely grateful for what Auba has done at the club for his contribution since I have been here and the way I see myself in that relationship is the solution not the problem.
‘I have been the solution. One hundred per cent. I can look in the eye of anybody. I do a lot of things wrong for sure but the intention all the time is the best and not for me, it’s for the club and for the team.’
Happy New Year! Welcome to Apex Football Match LIVE! No matter where you are, Apex Football sincerely hope you can have a very great new year! Ready to welcome the first big game in 2022? Let’s have a quick look at every update!
FULL TIME! The Arsenal players are on the floor, while Man City celebrate a big win which takes them 11 points clear at the top of the table!
90+3′ GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Man City (Rodri, 90+3)
Arsenal’s spirit is broken!
The ball is clipped forward and Laporte gambles.
His shot is blocked by White but the ball drops kindly for Rodri, who pokes the ball home to spark wild celebrations from the visitors.
Rodri celebrates right in front of the Arsenal fans and objects rain down on him by the corner flag!
87′: SAVE! White flicks a deep cross away from goal, but the ball drops to Sterling.
He gets a shot away from a tight angle, but the ball takes a flick off Tomiyasu, and Ramsdale makes a comfortable save.
Now Mahrez’s shot takes a deflection and crashes into the side netting.
69: YELLOW! Holding brings down De Bruyne and the Arsenal frustration continues as the substitute is booked.
68′: YELLOW! Just a bit of house keeping…
Saka was booked for a bit too much chat to the referee when Rodri fouled Lacazette a few moments ago,
The England international was asking for a second yellow for the City midfielder, but the referee didn’t take too kindly to it.
66′: OVER! Sterling nips inside Tomiyasu, but he can only fire a shot high over the crossbar.
59′: RED CARD! GABRIEL SENT OFF FOR ARSENAL!!!
An incredible few minutes. Gabriel was booked in the aftermath of the penalty incident and then he stops a Jesus counter on half-way. Stuart Attwell gets the second yellow out. This game has gone potty. Arsenal down to 10.
58′: WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE?????
Laporte loops a header over the onrushing Ederson and Ake is forced to rush back and clear off the line.
However, he can only clear as far as Martinelli, who can only slice his shot wide of the near post. He basically had an own goal!
What a passage of play, but City survive!
57′ GOAL!!! Arsenal 1-1 Man City (Mahrez pen)
Up steps Mahrez and the big delay doesn’t affect him!
he emphatically slots the penalty, sending Ramsdale the wrong way!
55: PENALTY TO MAN CITY! The referee has overturned the decision…
Xhaka has been booked for the tackle.
Arsenal are not happy about this and are probably asking the referee about their appeals for a first half penalty.
53: NO PENALTY! Bernardo Silva goes down under a challenge from Xhaka, but the referee waves away the appeals of the Manchester City players.
However, VAR will take a look at this…
51: CHANCE! From the resultant corner the ball drops kindly for Martinelli just inside the Man City penalty area.
However, the Brazilian fails to make a clean connection with his attempted volley.
Arsenal do get the ball back as Saka swing in a cross but City hold firm.
HALF TIME! A final chance for City to test the Arsenal defence as Mahrez stands over a free kick in a dangerous area, but the winger’s cross can only pick out Lacazette, who heads clear.
The half time whistle then sounds and it is greeted by a huge roar from the home fans. They’ve enjoyed that performance from Arsenal, who lead thank to Bukayo Saka’s goal.
It’s a deserved lead for the Gunners, but City have had their chances with the best one falling to Ruben Dias, who glanced a header wide.
It’s been a superb game so far and let’s hope for more of the same after the break.
43: WIDE! What a run from Martinelli, who skips past Cancelo.
He drives into the box and gets past Dias, but Cancelo gets back and then doesn’t, as Martinelli gets a shot away.
He pokes the ball past Ederson, but wide of the far post.
31′ GOAL!! It’s Saka again! And what a lovely goal!
The passing is superb from the Gunners.
They work the ball from right to left to Tierney, who picks his head up and slides the ball into the path of Saka, who sweeps the ball past Ederson and into the bottom corner for his seventh of the season.
30′: This has been City’s best chance so far! Dias should have buried it.
20′: CLOSE! Tomiyasu points to the space in behind the City defence and White obliges.
The full back plays a testing first time cross into the penalty area, but Ake is there to head clear.
Good defending from the Dutchman!
19′: WIDE! The ball finds its way to De Bruyne on the edge of the penalty area and the Belgium international wraps his boot around the ball, sending it towards goal.
You immediately expect the net to bulge, but there’s just not enough bend on the ball to bring it back into the top corner!
9′: Already 78 per cent of the ball for Man City, who are trying to suffocate the Gunners.
7: CLOSE! Arsenal win the ball back through Tomiyasu and they spring forward as White goes direct.
Lacazette and Saka both give chase but the ball skips off the turf and into the arms of Ederson, who was quickly off his line.
5: WIDE! Another let off for the Gunners!
They don’t react to City’s short corner, which allows De Bruyne to pick out his cross under no pressure. He finds Jesus, who gets above Gabriel, but the striker can only head wide.
4′: CHANCE! An early warning for Arsenal…
De Bruyne slides the ball past White and into the path of Sterling. However, Gabriel comes across well to mop up the danger.
1′ Arsenal 0-0 Man City KICK-OFF! The visitors get us underway…
Countdown to kick off!
What a game to get 2022 underway!
Arsenal, with manager Mikel Arteta watching from home while self-isolating due to Covid-19, show just one alteration from their 5-0 victory at Norwich as Takehiro Tomiyasu returnes following his own bout of Covid-19 to replace Rob Holding.
Man City Line-ups
Joao Cancelo keeps his place in the Manchester City side to face Arsenal despite being assaulted during a burglary at his home.
The Portugal full-back suffered facial injuries during the attack on Thursday but stayed in the side as Pep Guardiola makes three changes with City going in search of an 11th consecutive Premier League win.
Fernandinho, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish drop out – with Foden not among the substitutes – as Rodri, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling come in.
Man City love a trip to Arsenal…
Man City have won each of their last four away league games against Arsenal, by an aggregate score of 9-0.
It’s as many victories as City had picked up in their previous 50 league visits to Highbury/Emirates Stadium combined (W4 D14 L32)
Tomiyasu reunited with his defensive axis…
“The Arsenal back four is reunited. Mikel Arteta, who is of course watching from home after testing positive for Covid, has made just one change from the Boxing Day thrashing of Norwich. And it’s a popular one with Takehiro Tomiyasu returning at right-back, meaning Rob Holding misses out.”
Can Arsenal find the net against City?
Arsenal have failed to score in their last five Premier League games against Man City – only against Chelsea (6 between 2013 and 2016) and Liverpool (6 between 1997 and 2000) have the Gunners failed to score in more consecutive league games against an opponent.
Don’t hesitate to refresh your page anytime you want – always big updates during the match!
Manchester City will be bidding to take a double digit lead at the top of the Premier League as they bring the curtain up on 2022’s English game away to Arsenal. With Chelsea and Liverpool facing off the following day, the trip to the Emirates Stadium offers the reigning champions the opportunity to carve out yet more daylight between them and the chasing pack, turning what threatened to be a three team scrap into something of a procession.
Pep Guardiola’s side have an exceptional record against the red half of north London in the top flight, but he would be the first to admit that this Arsenal might offer his toughest test yet with the Gunners riding high in fourth place. Here is what you need to know:
Date: Saturday, Jan. 1 | Time: 12:30 p.m. UTC Location: Emirates Stadium — London Odds: Arsenal +480; Draw +33; Manchester City -188 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Arsenal: Mikel Arteta, the man whose diagnosis with COVID-19 in March 2020 brought English football to an abrupt halt in a matter of hours, will be missing from the sidelines again on Saturday after testing positive for the virus once more. He is not the only member of Arsenal’s coaching staff who has been isolating with assistant Albert Stuivenberg to lead from the dugout with his boss keeping in touch over audio equipment. For one of the league’s most hands on coaches it will be tough to be miles away from the action.
“I never experienced what I’m going experience tomorrow but it’s what it is,” he said. “It’s going to be easy to feel frustrated and with a lack of options because of not being in training sessions, not being able to prepare things like you want, to pass the message like you want, to have the players feeling that you are next to them. It’s a different experience. But we have to adapt to it and we have tried to do that the best possible way to get well prepared for tomorrow.”
Manchester City: Relatively free of COVID-19 and with a squad so deep Guardiola was able to make no changes in victory over Brentford last time out, City look to be in menacing mood, seemingly keen to squash any dreams of a title race and get the league wrapped up swiftly. They will surely feel at home at the Emirates, where they have won their last four league matches, scoring inside the opening two minutes in their last two trips down the Holloway Road.
Raheem Sterling has often been Arsenal’s tormentor, with eight goals and three assists against the Gunners. The England international returns to London in fine form and has scored in his last four Premier League matches. He and his team mates are determined not to take their foot off the gas. “It has been a decent start so far,” Sterling said. “We need to keep the focus and go into the new year with the same mentality. We need to keep going and that is all we can do.”
Arsenal are a better team than the one trampled under foot by City at the start of this season but not so good that they can expect anything more than a defeat. PICK: Arsenal 0 Man City 2
Hey! The international break has finally gone, do you miss league games? Time to have a preview of key matches this weekend!
Liverpool vs Arsenal
20.11.2021 17:30 (utc)
Liverpool saw their 20-game unbeaten run in the top flight come to a sudden halt prior to the international break, going down 3-2 to West Ham. That makes welcoming opponents Arsenal to Anfield all the more enticing, with just two points separating them coming into the weekend, and as Liverpool’s last three league defeats have now come against London clubs!
The ‘Reds’ currently boast a nine-game unbeaten league home run (W5, D4), albeit having drawn their last two despite taking the lead in both games. The four points dropped in those two matches are as many as they surrendered from winning positions in their previous 23 league games at Anfield. A visit from Arsenal could therefore be the tonic for Liverpool to get back on track, as the Merseysiders have won the last five home league H2Hs, finding the net at least three times on all occasions. But Arsenal are one of the league’s most in-form teams at the moment as Mikel Arteta’s youth-oriented strategy finally seems to be uniting fans of the team. Their current eight-game unbeaten streak (W6, D2) is actually the longest of all PL clubs and you have to go back to August to December 2018 to find the last time they embarked on a longer top-flight run without defeat. After the hysteria surrounding starting the season with three defeats, the ‘Gunners’ have catapulted themselves to the cusp of the top four. They’ve kept three consecutive PL clean sheets on their travels and are now on the verge of securing four successive top-flight away shutouts for the first time since May 2005. That’s a big ask here though, as they’ve won only one of the last 12 league H2Hs against Liverpool (D4, L7), keeping one clean sheet in that time. Players to watch: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has seven goal contributions in five home PL games against Arsenal (G5, A2), whose in-form youngster Emile Smith Rowe has seen four of his six PL goals arrive in the first 30 minutes of play. Hot stat: Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s average of 2.18 points per game against Arsenal is the third-highest points per game ratio of all managers who have faced Arsenal 5+ times in the PL.
Match Facts & Betting Odds
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Liverpool’s last 8 games (Premier League). Over 2.5 goals 1.50 Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches (Premier League). Over 1.5 goals 1.16 Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Arsenal win or draw 2.62 Liverpool are undefeated in their last 10 home matches against Arsenal in all competitions. Liverpool win or draw 1.11 Liverpool are undefeated in their last 9 home matches (Premier League). Liverpool win or draw 1.11 Arsenal have won their last 3 matches (Premier League). Arsenal win 6.50 There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Arsenal’s last 3 away games (Premier League). Under 2.5 goals 2.62
Opera Football Prediction
Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season last time out before the international break, losing 3-2 away to West Ham in a thrilling game. Arsenal now hold the longest unbeaten run in the division as a result, eight games without defeat in the Premier League. Liverpool remain favourites but they haven’t been as solid at the back this season as normal. They are struggling to get the right balance in midfield without Gini Wijnaldum. Liverpool have won their last five home league matches against Arsenal but Mikel Arteta’s side will give them a tough game on current form. So, Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal
Leicester City vs Chelsea
20.11.2021 12:30 (utc)
Things aren’t quite right at Leicester City with their pre-season expectation to challenge the top four currently off-track as they languish in the bottom half of the Premier League (PL) standings. Compounding matters further for the hosts is the fact that manager Brendan Rodgers is heavily linked with a move away from the club, stirring further unrest amongst their ranks. An optimistic fan would point to Leicester beginning this weekend just five points off the top five and being unbeaten in five of their last six PL games (W2, D3, L1). However, if Rodgers’ record against high-flying Chelsea is anything to go by, this will be a tough afternoon for the hosts (W2, D8, L8) though those outings are usually tight affairs, with eight of the last ten producing two or fewer total goals.
The international break came at the perfect time for title-chasing Chelsea, who had dropped points for just the third time this season prior with a frustrating 1-1 home draw against Burnley. Boss Thomas Tuchel also had a lengthy list of injuries to contend with and the break has given those individuals time to step up their recovery efforts ahead of the PL return. Extremely solid when playing away, Chelsea have picked up 13 of a possible 15 points on their travels so far (W4, D1) and are one of just two unbeaten PL away sides, alongside Brighton. That form has been built on a solid defensive unit that has conceded just once across five PL away games this campaign. Players to watch: Leicester’s Patson Daka became the first Zambian to score in the PL after his strike here just last month, he also netted over the international break. Another player who scored for their country during the break was Chelsea and Germany star Kai Havertz; he’s led the line in the absence of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Hot stat: No PL side has picked up fewer yellow cards than Chelsea’s 12 this season (1.09 per match on average).
Match Facts & Betting Odds
Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Chelsea win or draw 1.18 Chelsea have won their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Chelsea win1.75 Leicester have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches (Premier League). Over 1.5 goals1.30
Opera Football Prediction
Leicester are winless in three (D2, L1) and are already seven points adrift of fourth place. Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the Premier League but dropped points to Burnley last time out. Chelsea have only won one of their last four away to Leicester but will be considered favourites here.
So, Leicester 0-1 Chelsea.
Barcelona vs Espanyol
21.11.2021 20:00 (utc)
Club legend Xavi Hernández returns to Barcelona, but this time in the dugout, as he’s charged with turning around what is the club’s second lowest 12-game La Liga (LL) points tally in the 21st century. Their 3-3 draw (after being 3-0 up) against Celta Vigo before the international break extended Barça’s winless LL streak (D2, L2) and summed up the on-field problems and morale-sapping results that Xavi must now address.
The new boss couldn’t have chosen a better first game than the ‘Derbi Barceloní’, as Barcelona are unbeaten in 22 LL matches against city rivals Espanyol (W17, D5) – their longest-ever undefeated H2H streak against their derby foes. As Xavi plots a way to make the Nou Camp a fortress again, he’ll expect to extend Barcelona’s 11-game winning LL H2H home run. H2H history can only get you so far though, and what Espanyol have is improving form in their corner with three wins across six LL games (W3, D2, L1) – as many victories as they managed across their previous 25 LL fixtures. Three points here will actually propel Espanyol above Barcelona, and possibly heal some of the wounds of a 1-0 loss here back in July 2020 that relegated the visitors. Alternating between draw and defeat on the road since the start of the season (D3, L3), gaining a first win at the Nou Camp since February 2009 – a match that saw Barça boss Xavi play in midfield – seems a stretch of the imagination. However a stalemate would add to Espanyol’s H2H draw record of 38, which is more than they have recorded against any other LL opponent. Key battle: Barça’s Marc-André ter Stegen has gone six LL games without a clean sheet, but does have a joint-personal best of seven H2H LL clean sheets to his name. He will have to stop red-hot Raúl de Tomás who is looking to become only the second Espanyol player in the 21st century to score in six consecutive LL games. Hot stat: No side has seen more match goals (eight) beyond the 80th minute in LL home games than Barcelona.
Barcelona have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions. Barcelona win or draw 1.08 Espanyol have failed to win their last 15 away matches (LaLiga). Espanyol lose or draw 1.08 Barcelona have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 4 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions. Under 2.5 goals 2.37 Barcelona have won 5 of their last 6 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions. Barcelona win 1.36 Espanyol have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 4 away matches (LaLiga). Over 1.5 goals 1.20
Opera Football Prediction
It has been a busy international break for Barcelona, who appointed legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez as their new head coach and brought back another favourite in Dani Alves, although the experienced full-back can’t play until January. Barca head into the derby with Espanyol in pretty poor form, and are currently ninth in the table. They blew a three-goal lead last time out against Celta Vigo to draw 3-3, conceding in stoppage time. Before that, they did manage beat Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, but even that followed a disappointing draw with Alaves in La Liga. Espanyol picked up an impressive 2-0 win last time out over a resurgent Granada thanks to goals from Raul de Tomas and Adria Pedrosa. It was an important response from Vicente Moreno’s men after suffering a defeat to bottom club Getafe. Espanyol have won three of their last six and only lost once, so they come into this game in very good form, although Xavi’s homecoming at Camp Nou has a Barcelona win written all over it. So, Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol
Watford vs Manchester United
20.11.2021 15:00 (utc)
Claudio Ranieri hasn’t quite enjoyed the ‘new manager bounce’ Watford fans were hoping for, winning just one of his four Premier League (PL) matches in charge (L3). This contributed to his side heading into the international break only two points above the drop zone, hardly ideal with Manchester United up next, especially as they’ve suffered more PL defeats against them than any other side (W2, L12). If the ‘Hornets’ are to get back on the right side of the results, then rediscovering their threat in front of goal will be key. They’ve failed to score in a joint league-high seven matches this season, a problem that’s amplified when you’re averaging 1.73 goals against per game. Yet it’s worth noting that they did win and bag 3+ goals in three of the four matches that they did score, suggesting any win could be via a thriller. With manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær still under mounting pressure, Manchester United won’t care how they win, just as long as they do. However, the ‘Red Devils’ boast only one PL success across their last six encounters (D1, L4), with those four defeats representing as many as they had in their previous 40 matches in the competition (W24, D12). Although the visitors hold a dominant H2H record against the hosts, recent issues overcoming newly-promoted sides will be causing Solskjær serious angst. United are winless in their last three PL matches against newly-promoted teams (D3) and could go four without a win in such matches for the first time since 1997! Players to watch: Josh King scored a hat-trick in Watford’s last goalscoring match, and he’s netted in two of his last three games vs United. Across spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 20 goals in his last 14 league games against promoted teams. Hot stat: Watford are without a clean sheet in 21 PL matches, that’s their longest ever run without one in the top flight.
Match Facts & Betting Odds
Man Utd have won 15 of their last 17 matches against Watford in all competitions. Man Utd win 1.45 Man Utd are undefeated in 30 of their last 31 away matches (Premier League). Man Utd win or draw 1.11 Man Utd have been winning at both half time and full time in 7 of their last 8 matches against Watford in all competitions. Man Utd win/win 2.30 There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Man Utd’s last 3 away games (Premier League). Over 2.5 goals 1.66 Man Utd have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Over 1.5 goals 1.20
Opera Football Prediction
Watford have lost three of Claudio Ranieri’s first four matches in charge. After a shock 5-2 win away to Everton, Watford have suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Southampton and Arsenal. The international break came at the right time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though the pressure is still on. Supporters are quickly losing faith after a very bad start to the season. United have lost four of their last six in the Premier League and have generally struggled at Vicarage Road in recent times. United have conceded in each of their last seven matches away to Watford and only have two clean sheets in two of 11 league matches this season. It looks like they’ll have to do it the hard away again here. So, Watford 1-1 Man Utd
Manchester City vs Everton
21.11.2021 14:00 (utc)
Manchester City are one of just three clubs ever to successfully defend a Premier League (PL) crown, though only Manchester United have retained PL titles on more than one occasion. Yet, with City beating United themselves just before the international break, they will feel confident of building on that and keeping pace with the title race, especially after eight successive wins against opponents Everton across all competitions. After a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace late last month, City will target a strong start, as they last failed to win a PL home game after scoring in the opening 15 minutes back in September 2020. Another loss certainly seems unthinkable, with City never losing successive home league games in front of attending fans under Pep Guardiola (2016/17-present). Everton’s last game before the November international break (0-0 vs Tottenham) saw them record their first clean sheet since September 25. The same result would be a huge boost to the mid-table ‘Toffees’, though they’ve not kept successive PL clean sheets since May. Following a 5-0 defeat here on the final weekend of 2020/21, Everton’s last away win against City dates back to December 2010. That hoodoo looks set to survive, though neither of Everton’s last two away league clashes against a reigning champion (W1, L1) have seen them fail to cover a +1 handicap. Key battle: Man City’s Phil Foden scored in both league H2Hs last term, whilst four of his last six PL goals have been second in the overall order on the day. Though personally goalless since September 2017, former City man Fabian Delph may be a worthy foe for him in the centre of the park, after a strong performance against Spurs earlier this month. Hot streak: City’s last six PL wins by 2+ goals have seen them score inside the first 15 minutes.
Man City have won their last 8 matches against Everton in all competitions. Man City win 1.14 Man City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches against Everton in all competitions. Over 1.5 goals 1.14 Man City have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 3 home matches against Everton in all competitions. Over 2.5 goals 1.44 There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Man City’s last 3 home games (Premier League). Under 2.5 goals 2.75 Man City are undefeated in 9 of their last 10 matches (Premier League). Man City win or draw 1.02 Everton have failed to win their last 5 matches (Premier League). Everton lose or draw 1.02
Opera Football Prediction
Manchester City bounced back from a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace with an easy 2-0 win over Manchester United before the international break. They start the weekend 3 points behind the leaders Chelsea. Everton are winless in 5 league matches and have lost 3 times in that spell. They have won one of five away league matches this season. So, Man City 3-0 Everton
Tottenham vs Leeds
21.11.2021 16:30 (utc)
The weekend’s Premier League (PL) action concludes with what should be an entertaining 100th competitive clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United. Around 8,000 fans watched on as Tottenham won 2-1 in the first edition of this game at the old White Hart Lane back in 1925 and new manager Antonio Conte would surely take a repeat of that result here on what is his home league debut as Spurs boss. The highly-coveted Italian manager will be confident of getting his tenure off to a flyer as he won at least once against each of the 53 teams he faced across his prior Serie A and PL appointments. However, he will need to get Tottenham scoring in order to achieve that feat in what will be his first meeting with Leeds, as only Norwich have netted fewer than their nine PL goals this term while they are now without a goal in three straight league games! Leeds are another side desperately struggling for goals, as only Tottenham and Norwich have scored fewer than their 11 in the league so far. As a consequence, there’s already been unwanted talk of ‘second-season syndrome’ at the club as their cult hero manager Marcelo Bielsa looks to steer the off-colour ‘Lilywhites’ away from the relegation dogfight. While Leeds gained a confidence boost when winning their first away league game of the season at rock-bottom Norwich, the quality of the opponents there will leave fans under no illusions that they should temper their expectations here. They may well score as they did in five of the last seven away H2Hs, though victory in this game would be their first at Spurs since 2001 (D1, L4 since). Players to watch: Harry Kane should return to Spurs full of confidence after scoring seven goals in two games across the international break for England. Meanwhile, Leeds forward Rodrigo has scored twice in his three career appearances against Tottenham, both coming in 3-1 victories. Hot stat: Tottenham haven’t had a shot on target in two straight PL games.
Opera Football Prediction
Tottenham failed to have a shot on target for the second league game running in their 0-0 draw at Everton prior to the international break but will be confident of getting back among the goals when they welcome a Leeds side that has conceded 18 times to north London. The Whites secured an important victory in their last away game, returning to Yorkshire from Norwich with all the spoils. However, they are winless in their last five trips to Spurs, losing four, including a 3-0 defeat here at the beginning of the year. Antonio Conte will have worked those not on international duty hard at Hotspur Way and as he aims to get his ideas across, Spurs could make it two wins from three under their new boss in Sunday’s afternoon encounter. So, Tottenham 2-1 Leeds
Wolves vs West Ham
Wolverhampton Wanderers will be itching to return from the international break to right some wrongs after forfeiting their five-game undefeated streak (W4, D1) in the Premier League (PL) by losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace last time out. In hindsight though, even Wolves will be happy with their recent recovery after a shaky start to the season, and it seems consistency is eventually paying off after using just 18 different players in the league, the joint fewest of any team. Boss Bruno Lage and his men will likely be happy to return to Molineux after winning their last two home PL fixtures, as many as they’ve managed in the nine such fixtures prior (L7). They now chase a hat-trick of home top-flight league victories for the first time since November 1980. They’ll welcome current PL high-flyers West Ham who must still be on cloud nine after their 3-2 win over Liverpool before the international hiatus put them into third place. That monumental win was their fourth PL victory in a row – the longest winning streak in the league – and they’ll now aim to win five PL games on the bounce for the first time since February 2006. The ‘Hammers’ have been breaking down doors on their travels lately, as their current 11-game unbeaten streak away from home in all competitions (W8, D3) is their longest ever undefeated away run as a top-flight club. They did the league double over their hosts last season, which was their first time doing so since 1922/23 – the same season in which West Ham last won back-to-back away league matches at Wolves! Players to watch: Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez has seen 14 of his last 17 PL goals arrive in the second half, while West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen scored three goals in the two PL H2H matches last season, and has now averaged a goal every 77 minutes vs Wolves across three PL H2Hs. Hot stat: No side has scored more set-piece goals (excluding penalties) than West Ham’s six this PL campaign.
Match Facts & Odds
West Ham have won their last 4 matches (Premier League). West Ham win 2.40 Wolves have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches against West Ham in all competitions. Over 1.5 goals 1.33
Opera Football Prediction Wolves’ five-game unbeaten streak came to an end last time out in a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. Wolves are yet to keep a clean sheet at home in the Premier League this season. West Ham have won six of their last seven after beating Liverpool 3-2 before the break. With six goals conceded over their last three games, West Ham are not watertight at the back either. Nine goals have been scored across the last two meetings between the sides so we should expect another entertaining affair here. So, Wolves 1-2 West Ham?
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