Premier League Preview & Predictions: January 15, 2022

    After taking a back seat for a fortnigh at the expense of cup competitions, the Premier League returns to action this weekend. 

    Several high-profile fixtures are scheduled for Saturday as we take a look at the two most exciting ones. 

    Manchester City vs Chelsea

    Saturday’s Premier League action kicks off at the Etihad with a blockbuster encounter between leaders Manchester City and current runners-up Chelsea.

    Coming into this matchday, Pep Guardiola’s men have won 11 league games in a row en route to building a substantial 10-point gap at the summit. 

    Given Man City’s current form and a sizeable gap between the sides, another victory here would likely eliminate Chelsea from the title race already in January. 

    Despite going unbeaten in six successive Premier League matches in the build-up to this clash (W4, D2), Thomas Tuchel’s side have drawn the last two in a row.

    Furthermore, Chelsea succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge and are facing the prospect of losing both seasonal meetings with City in the Premier League for the fourth time. 

    Prediction: Over 2.5 goals

    Aston Villa vs Manchester United

    Saturday’s action in England’s top-flight closes out with another tasty-looking fixture as mid-table Aston Villa take on Manchester United at Villa Park.

    Scott McTominay’s 8th-minute header catapulted the Red Devils to Monday’s 1-0 FA Cup triumph over Villa, helping the Old Trafford support forget about an underwhelming 1-0 loss to Wolves on New Year’s Day. 

    However, the Lions eked out a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture back in September to give themselves an opportunity to record back-to-back league wins over this opposition for the first time since 1976.

    To achieve that, though, Villa will have to defy their thoroughly humiliating home record against Man United, having failed to win any of their last 22 league H2Hs at Villa Park (D7, L15) since a 3-1 win in August 1995.

    Moreover, the Red Devils have won 299 Premier League games away from home and could become the first-ever side in England’s top-flight history to smash a 300-win barrier on the road. 

    Prediction: Both teams to score

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