Wednesday’s Premier League Predictions: Alvarez can net for Guardiola’s City

Greg Lea

2 May 2023

Manchester City face West Ham, while Liverpool host Fulham as part of the Premier League’s midweek offering. Football expert Greg Lea has previewed both games and provided his predictions. 

Liverpool v Fulham

Kick-off: 8pm Wednesday

Finishing in the top four appears unattainable for Liverpool, but they are at least keeping Newcastle United and Manchester United honest. Currently priced at 7.6 to qualify for the Champions League, a victory here would move Jurgen Klopp’s side to within four points of fourth place and cause those odds to shorten slightly. 

As Liverpool prepare to face Fulham, their fans will undoubtedly hope for a more straightforward win than they achieved last Sunday. Liverpool stormed into a 3-0 lead within 15 minutes of kick-off against Tottenham Hotspur, before taking their foot off the gas.

Slowly but surely Spurs fought their way back into the game and they eventually restored parity in second-half stoppage time. Former Everton forward Richarlison temporarily silenced the Anfield crowd, but, as they have done so often throughout the Klopp era, Liverpool dug deep to score a dramatic last-gasp winner through Diogo Jota, who was aided by a Lucas Moura error.

On the plus side, Liverpool’s attack is firing again. With Jota and Luis Diaz fit again, Klopp suddenly has an abundance of options at his disposal once more. Only Manchester City and Arsenal have scored more goals this term, while no team has found the back of the net as often since the start of March.

The problem is at the other end of the field: Liverpool have now gone five matches without a clean sheet. Meanwhile, Fulham continue to carry an attacking threat (three of their last four encounters) without the suspended Aleksandr Mitrovic. 

Prediction: Both teams to score and Over 2.5 goals @ 2

Manchester City v West Ham United 

Kick-off: 8pm Wednesday 

Manchester City are now red-hot favourites to win the Premier League title. After eight wins on the bounce, they are listed as a 1.06 shot to finish at the summit of the standings for the fifth time in the last six seasons. 

The job is not done yet, though, and their trip to Fulham on Sunday served as a reminder that City still have work to do. Pep Guardiola’s side was the better team in a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage, but the fact the points were not safe until the final whistle shows that City will not necessarily be able to blow all their remaining opponents away. 

The reigning champions returned to top spot with that triumph in west London. But they could be back down to second by the time this match kicks off, with Arsenal in action against Chelsea 24 hours earlier.

Mikel Arteta: Arsenal's manager will hope to pile the pressure on Man City on Tuesday

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners must hope that City are distracted by their other commitments in the Champions League and the FA Cup. A two-legged semi-final against Real Madrid will certainly test Guardiola’s team.

Even so, it is hard to envisage City slipping up against West Ham, who are still involved in the relegation battle. David Moyes’ men lost 4-3 to Crystal Palace on Saturday, but they could easily have been beaten by a greater margin.

Erling Haaland scored his 50th goal of the campaign against Fulham, but Julian Alvarez stole the headlines with a spectacular strike in the first half. With Kevin De Bruyne out injured, the Argentine should keep his place in the starting squad.

West Ham have shipped an average of 2.17 goals per game in their last six outings, which indicates they will struggle to keep City out here. Back Alvarez to make his mark again.

Prediction: Julian Alvarez anytime goalscorer @ 1.99 

Wednesday’s Premier League Predictions 

Liverpool v Fulham: Both teams to score and Over 2.5 goals @ 2
Manchester City v West Ham: Julian Alvarez anytime goalscorer @ 1.99

Greg Lea

2 May 2023

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