Premier League Matchday 17 Predictions – Tuesday

    There’s no time to rest for top European clubs as we head into the business end of the calendar year.

    Let’s have a quick preview of Tuesday’s Premier League match-ups.

    Brentford vs Manchester United

    Tuesday’s Premier League action kicks off at the Brentford Community Stadium with the first top-flight encounter between Brentford and Manchester United since 1947.

    Both sides head into proceedings in high spirits.

    While Brentford came from a 1-0 half-time deficit to beat fellow newcomers Watford on Friday, Man United registered a brace of 1-0 wins under new interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

    After navigating his team to consecutive Premier League clean sheets at the beginning of his managerial tenure, Rangnick could become the first-ever Red Devils manager to record a shutout in his first three league games in charge.

    Since cutting ties with former tactician Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the wake of a 4-1 thumping at Watford in November, Man United have gone unbeaten in all four league matches (W3, D1), winning the last three in a row.

    Another victory here would see United make it four top-flight triumphs on the trot for the first time this season, though Brentford’s recent form suggests they could throw a spanner in the works.

    Having lost just one of their last five Premier League fixtures (W2, D2), the Bees enter this round tucked in mid-table comforts, meaning there’s no pressure of being sucked into an early relegation fight.

    Norwich City vs Aston Villa

    Carrow Road is the venue as relegation-threatened Norwich City face mid-table Aston Villa in a revenge-poised Premier League fixture.

    Don’t let the opponents fool you, this could be one of the most keenly-contested affairs on the midweek Premier League schedule.

    Dean Smith’s honeymoon period at Norwich is long gone as the Canaries go into this showdown winless in their last four league outings on the bounce (D2, L2).

    Since eking out a 2-1 home win over Southampton on Smith’s touchline debut, Norwich have returned to being their old selves, with relegation fears again looming over Carrow Road.

    However, Smith doesn’t need a better incentive to get his side back on the rails than making his former employers Aston Villa regret their decision to sack him in November.

    A run of five successive Premier League defeats saw the Lions sever ties with the 50-year-old manager and appoint former Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard back almost a month ago.

    Since taking over the managerial reins at Villa Park, Gerrard has inspired Villa’s mini-revival, guiding his side to three wins in five Premier League games (L2).

    With three of Villa’s last four top-flight fixtures yielding an identical 2-1 scoreline, we could have an action-packed, high-octane duel on the hands here.

    Manchester City vs Leeds United

    Pacesetters Manchester City and underperforming Leeds United are set to lock horns in contrasting circumstances at the Etihad Stadium. 

    Man City benefited from a controversial second-half penalty at the weekend as they squeezed past a stubborn Wolverhampton side 1-0.

    The reigning English champions have now won six straight Premier League matches to return to the summit, albeit they are just a single point clear of second-half Liverpool.

    Interestingly, the Citizens have racked up a staggering 499 goals in 206 league matches under current boss Pep Guardiola. 

    Another strike against Leeds would see the Spaniard become the quickest-ever Premier League manager to navigate his team to 500 league goals.

    Unfortunately for the Whites, they look powerless to stop that.

    After succumbing to a heartbreaking 3-2 reverse at Chelsea over the weekend, Marcelo Bielsa’s men have remained at a single win from eight Premier League travels this season (D3, L4).

    Moreover, barring a scoreless at Brighton in late November, Leeds have failed to keep a clean sheet in their remaining seven top-flight away games this term. 

    On a more positive note, though, they avoided defeat in both last season’s Premier League H2Hs (W1, D1) despite conceding on each occasion. 

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